Sir, – Regarding “Netanyahu at Fogel shiva house: The terrorists
shoot, we build” (March 14), our prime minister thinks that the approval of
400-500 more housing units will comfort us after the tragic and horrific murder
of the Fogel family. What he doesn’t understand is that his solution is like
putting a bandaid on a cut, only to discover that the wound is quite deep and
has left a life-long scar.
Sir, – Today the
Palestinian people find themselves caught between two forces. On one side they
have Hamas, the religious terrorist entity supported by Iran dedicated to the
destruction of Israel. On the other they have a weak corrupt dictator, Mahmoud
Abbas, propped up by the West and inciting his people against Israel on one
hand, and on the other, crying crocodile tears after atrocities such as
It is truly fortunate that Israel has a prime minister with the
backbone to stand up to the world and, rather than incite his people against the
Arabs, take a measured approach to terrorist provocations by allowing 500 homes
to be built in the settlement blocks.
Until the Palestinian people can
put forth a true leader dedicated to real peace with Israel, we must resist all
attempts toward a false peace.PAUL BERMAN
Sir, – The horrendous
killings at Itamar should bring the end of the charade our country has performed
for years. Whether the al-Aksa Martyr’s Brigade carried out the murders,
provided technical support or did nothing is irrelevant – it is proud to take
I couldn’t care less whether it is the accountancy wing,
the educational wing or the “militant” wing of Fatah – it is a wing of the
organization headed by Mahmoud Abbas. If Abbas has no control over the al-Aksa
Brigade and is master only of his own mansion and the streets around it, it is
meaningless and reckless for our government to be negotiating the status of any
part of the Jewish homeland with someone as politically impotent.
Abbas is in control, our prime minister should not be taking pro-forma
condolence calls from him, for Abbas is our enemy and I would expect our
government and army to be prosecuting a comprehensive military campaign against
him and Fatah.HILLEL HURWITZ
Sir, – The horrific slaughter of
the Fogel family defies belief.
However, the orgiastic reaction from many
quarters, including our minister for public diplomacy and diaspora affairs and
those of us whose mission is to disseminate hasbara material is disgusting
(“Israel moves to release graphic photos of slaying victims after family gives
its consent,” March 14).
We have placed ourselves in the same category of
those who seek our destruction. What have we become? NADIA BITTERMAN
Rely on yourselves
Sir, – Regarding Arab League chief Amr Moussa’s call for NATO
and the US to do its dirty work and impose a no-fly zone over Libya (“Gaddafi’s
forces launch attack on Misrata, March 13), unless I am mistaken, at Saudi
Arabia and Egypt both have large fleets of fighter-bombers they received from
Israel and the US have demonstrated that these planes are capable
of long-range missions.
There is no reason for Saudi Arabia to withhold
its aircraft from such a mission; flying via Sudan, Saudi planes could easily
reach Egyptian air bases in the western portion of that country and, along with
Egypt’s air force, carry out the edict of the all-mighty, all-wise Arab
Perhaps this council of perpetual snivelers is too afraid to do
anything but whine. More likely, it would prefer that the civilian casualties be
blamed on the US and its allies. That would be a fine excuse for another rise in
oil prices.DAVID STAR
Ma’aleh Adumim Consult your elders
Congratulations on an intriguing interview with Uri Lubrani (“Playing chess
against Tehran,” Editor’s Notes, March 11), who succeeded where many fail in
bringing a uniquely human side to the conflict with our neighbors, and all that
If leaders had any sense they would use not only the
intellect of senior former advisors, but their wealth of experience and
understanding of those who, it seems, would seek our
Knowledge of Arabic and its nuances, as he says, is vital to
good neighborliness. I agree totally that our youngsters should become familiar
with their surroundings instead of absorbing superficial, Western
The arguments of the early days, when teaching of Arabic was
rejected due to the antipathy of olim from Arab countries, are no longer
relevant if we are to build the future of the Middle East together.
need more older people of the caliber of Lubrani where the decisions are
Sir, – I agree with everything Uri Lubrani
says except for one thing: Language will not help us to be accepted.
agree that we should learn Arabic, to know our neighbors better and to better
defend ourselves against their attacks. But I do not agree that knowing their
language and their customs will help us be accepted. The Jews in Germany and
Hungary spoke perfect German and Hungarian, and dressed like Germans and
Hungarians, but it did not help them at all to be accepted.
not learn history is condemned to repeat it.JOSEPH M. SCHWARCZ
Omer Scaffolding is strong
Sir, – I am wondering if Lisa Palmieri-Billig
(“Rickety scaffolding,” Letters, March 10) witnessed the same Vatican synod on
the Middle East as I did.
According to her reply to my op-ed (“The
Vatican vs the ‘Zionist tsunami,’” March 1), I have been “inaccurate, incomplete
and misleading.” I’ll reply point to point to her false claims.
attack on Israel by Archbishop Bustros was not a single incident, but was
reinforced in the final message, which, under the heading “Cooperation and
Dialogue with the Jews,” argued that “recourse to theological and biblical
positions, which use the Word of God to wrongly justify injustices, is not
Israel’s right to the land has been radically questioned by
the Vatican. Bustros was not a bystander, but the cleric chosen to draft the
synod’s 44 final propositions.
In the “Instrumentum Laboris,” a
preparatory document sent by the Holy See to the bishops, aside from Iraq the
only country singled out for criticism in the Middle East was Israel. Patriarch
Antonios Naguib of the Egyptian Coptic church, who was the “relator,” or
secretary, of the synod, expressed “solidarity with the Palestinian people,
whose situation today is particularly conducive to the rise of
The lesson is simple: The Islamist ideology is the
consequence of Israeli policies.
Archbishop Edmond Farhat didn’t
participate in the synod as an ordinary clergyman, but with the title of
“apostolic nuncio,” meaning the Pope’s ambassador.
It’s funny and
frightening that Palmieri-Billig uses nice words for La Civiltà Cattolica when
the Vatican’s magazine had highly positive expressions for the “research” of the
anti Israel historian Ilan Pappe. Sergio Minerbi, a scholar specializing in
relations between the Catholic Church and the Jews, also recently explained in
The Jerusalem Report
that “the synod marked a sharp regression in attitudes
Palmieri-Billig’s statement on the “mainly positive
Vatican- Israel relations” is nice, wishful thinking.GIULIO MEOTTI