PLO and Hamas
Sir, – We can finally breathe a sigh of relief because the reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas (“Hamas, PLO announce reconciliation agreement,” April 24) occurred before the Americans forced us to accept the ill-conceived notion of a mini-Palestinian state between Jordan and Israel.
From the very beginning of the so-called peace process, the objective of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has been to free prisoners, not make peace.
Israel must now annex the West Bank and put an end to any idea that a Palestinian mini-state as envisioned by the Americans can be created.
The only feasible solution to the problem is two states for two peoples – Israel for the Jewish nation and Jordan for the Palestinians.
Jordan, an artificial state created in 1946, where 70 percent of the citizens are currently Palestinians, should finally accept its responsibility.PAUL BERMAN
Sir, – Another public relations opportunity handed to Israel on a silver platter, and then lost.
If our government had any understanding of PR, its response would have been: “If this reconciliation means that Hamas now accepts the two-state solution, it could be a great step forward. On the other hand, if it means that the PLO is now formally committed to the Hamas position of armed conflict and terrorism aimed at the destruction of Israel, we unfortunately are back to square one. We hope that a joint statement will soon be issued by the PLO and Hamas clarifying this key point.”MARTIN GERSTEL
Sir, – You’ve got to hand it to US Secretary of State John Kerry. He got an agreement by April 29 – just not between the parties he was expecting.DAVID GILAD
Path for peace
Sir, – Since the Oslo Accords were long ago breached, it’s time to return to the “administered territories” of post-1967. During that time, violence was controlled and there was a period of reeducation.
It all ended with the takeover by the “Tunisians” – the Palestinian leaders who were welcomed back from there after Oslo.
Israel should eagerly accept the opportunity to replace all textbooks with Israeli Arab ones; regulate the teachers, police and media from the hate-mongering of generations; and cancel payments to murderers and their families serving sentences in Israeli jails. Arabs can receive certification to work on construction and in factories. This will elevate the Arab economy.
Israel can channel foreign aid to see that it is not sent to private Swiss accounts or used to fund terror organizations. With the machinery of hate dismantled, a new grassroots leadership can arise to manage municipalities and rebuild the mess the Palestinian Authority has made. That would truly be the path for peace.
Maybe by ending his “resistance,” PA President Mahmoud Abbas might earn a Nobel Peace Prize.GARY DALIN
Sir, – By stating unequivocally that “we must stop acting as if this [occupation] is debatable, as if our own narrative is delegitimized by this confession,” Jacob Magid (“‘Occupation’ – That word makes me uncomfortable too,” Comment & Features, April 24) argues strenuously that Israelis should take responsibility for the serious damage that continues to take place for Palestinians on a daily basis. He says that avoiding labels does not mitigate the blame and that only by ending Israeli rule will there be peace.
What seems like an intellectually and emotionally reasonable conclusion is missing some basic elements.
The land itself, contrary to past historical “occupations” is claimed by Israel as its ancestral home. The Arab occupants have resisted not only by total terrorism in that territory, but by equal fanaticism against Israel within its green line.
Magid’s concentration on the use or guilt feelings over the word “occupation,” therefore, is beside the point entirely, and his misguided diversions, painfully true, are results, rather than causes, of the self-inflicted misfortune of our Palestinian neighbors.
Defending against terror requires tactics, intelligence and dedication while trying to remain the moral people we have always been. Ending the “occupation,” as Magid recommends, without first ending the hatred against us would be an exercise in national suicide.YITZCHAK BEN-SHMUEL
Sir, – The pro-Israel work that Jacob Magid is engaged in at university is probably under the aegis of J Street.
Although I’m sure he is a Zionist, Magid should realize that his “objectivity” harms the Zionist cause. His fellow students are already enduring an onslaught of “occupation-related” propaganda.STEVE KRAMER
Sir, – How can any responsible Treasury official contemplate the possibility that the Hadassah Medical Organization “could be dismantled?” (“Hadassah negotiations ‘stuck,’ union declares work dispute,” April 24). Such talk is utterly irresponsible, and if that is indeed how Treasury officials talk, it reflects terribly on them and nobody else.
It has taken a huge amount of time and effort to build a medical institution of the caliber and scientific research capability that characterize Hadassah today. Nobody should dispute that it is the Number 1 medical research/education faculty in Israel. Talk of dismantling such an institution ought to be utter nonsense.
The fact that this is mentioned, presumably as a negotiating threat, only goes to show the level of incompetence and/or detachment from the real world by those in charge of the government side of the negotiations. This also has to reflect poorly on our political leaders – Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu included – and the way they deal with the nation’s health.PETER SCHWEITZER
Stamp of disapproval
Sir, – Regarding your editorial “Postal problems” (April 24), we in Rehovot have been plagued with postal service problems for years, including letters, checks and packages that are never received. Theft is suspected. At least one check was cashed in a foreign country.
I, personally, know of two letters that were sent to me from the US that never arrived at my home. In February I received a piece of mail from Tel Aviv that had been posted in November! Where was it in the interim? It’s anybody’s guess.ANNICE GRINBERG
Business is good
Sir, – With regard to “Top LA bankruptcy law firm to close doors,” Business & Finance, April 24), I wonder how the spate of US bankruptcy law firm closures due to a downturn in companies declaring bankruptcy has affected bankruptcy law firms that deal with bankruptcy law firm closures? YONATAN SILVER Jerusalem Blame the victim Sir, – With regard to “Family traditions” (Letters, April 24), as someone who has learned much from attending the public lectures of Rabbi Meir Soloveitchik in both New York and Jerusalem, I was surprised to see a classic “blame the victim” political attack cloaked in family bickering.
Rabbi Soloveitchik is criticized for “topping off” his trip to Jerusalem with his congregation with a lecture on – horrors! – Menachem Begin and a “publicity-seeking visit” to the Temple Mount that became news as a result of rioting by Palestinians.
There is nothing “publicity-seeking” about visiting the Temple Mount, as many Jews do so on a regular basis, unless it becomes the object of stone-throwing attacks by intolerant Palestinian rioters. Any “publicity” thereby generated is the result of the actions of the attacker, not the victim.IRVING WIESEN
Unlike what we reported in “Yellen on ‘Time’ list of 100 most influential people” (April 25), there is one Israeli on the US news magazine’s annual list – Israel-born economist Anat Admati, a professor at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.