Do as the Palestinians do
Sir, – People claim that Jews are such a smart people. It seems we should take a page from the Palestinians’ book: We should not rush to negotiations or even to submit proposals for peace with our neighbors (“Israel putting pledges to launch proximity talks on paper,” March 25).
We should not make one-sided declarations like Prime Minister Netanyahu did at Bar-Ilan University (recognizing two states for two peoples), nor commit to a settlement freeze in Judea and Samaria. Does anyone even remember the quid pro quo on that one, or is it now a given? And after there are no negotiations, does anyone believe the world will accept Israel unfreezing settlements?
Where are our red lines? We should do what the Palestinians do: Sit on the sidelines and await proposals, gestures and conciliatory moves. Let President Obama come to Israel with a peace proposal from the Palestinians. Our policy of gestures, including Ariel Sharon’s unilateral withdrawal from Gush Katif, has shown the Palestinians that if they just wait around, we will give it all up in the end.
After all, when you have lines of people trying to get into H&M for hours and less than a few hundred interested in seeing the rebuilding of the Hurva Synagogue that was destroyed by the Jordanians, it is clear to our enemies that our will to survive and strengthen our Jewish state is waning.
What a shame. SHLOMO LOSHINSKY
Ma’aleh AdumimWill the US be deterred? Yes
Sir, – In his analysis “Healing the rift” (March 22), David Horovitz asks the important question, “Is the US going to be deterred from supporting Israel because that support irritates our mutual enemies?”
The events of the past two weeks confirm, resoundingly, that the answer is “Yes.”
Granted, the timing of the Ramat Shlomo announcement was a gaffe. But it was hardly a deal-breaker. When Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu agreed to stop most construction only in Judea and Samaria, his gesture was greeted enthusiastically, with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hailing it as “unprecedented.” Thus, the decision to build in the Jewish neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo (population 20,000) in northern Jerusalem, was entirely consistent with what the prime minister promised and what the Americans embraced.
Mr. Horovitz’s question is answered in the affirmative because President Barack Obama has yet to grasp that the Palestinians and the Arabs are not just Israel’s enemies, but America’s as well. The eagerness of the president – through Vice President Joe Biden, Clinton and White House adviser David Axelrod – to crucify the Israelis in international diplomatic and media circles tells us how begrudging his support of Israel is compared to his conspicuous obsequiousness to the Arabs. His administration’s fruitless and unprincipled dedication to such appeasement is entirely consistent with his downgrading – perhaps neutralizing – the American-Israeli relationship.
As White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel stated shortly after Netanyahu was elected, this administration is going to have a peace agreement in place before the end of Mr. Obama’s first term – with or without Mr. Netanyahu’s assent. ALAN B. KATZ
Melville, New YorkOur people in Britain
Sir, – The reaction of the British government in expelling a member of the Israeli embassy is not surprising, nor is the action or inaction of British Jewry (“Israel is the easiest target,” March 25).
The British foreign office, the political establishment and the social elite have always been pro-Arab, tinged with a certain distaste for Jews. The present Labor government has within it some of the most virulent leftist Israel-haters in the business.
I believe there is also a certain envy of the Mossad on the part of the British security services; hence this overreaction and feigned horror.
British Jews are a cohesive and respected group. Our way of dealing with these matters is perhaps more subtle and low-key than others, but nevertheless can be effective. No one should interpret our approach as weakness. The Jewish community in the UK is vibrant and, apart from the usual suspects, very actively pro-Israel.
We have an uphill struggle, but has it not always been that way. Nil desperandum. JEFFREY MARLOWE
Sir, – British Foreign Secretary David Miliband has succeeded in confusing me (“Israel blasts UK for expelling diplomat over Dubai killing,” March 24). He insists that Britain has drawn no conclusions as to who is responsible for the killing of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai, but he has nevertheless expelled an Israeli diplomat after concluding there was compelling evidence that a government-sponsored assassination squad used forged British passports in the killing.
The assumption that the Israeli government was responsible for the forged passports used in Dubai is based on very flimsy evidence – especially considering that the British passport office itself reportedly issued 10,000 fraudulent passports in one year, including to al-Qaida terrorists, and no foreign government was blamed.
According to the British Mail Online of March 2, 2007, “an al-Qaida fanatic was issued nine British passports while plotting to murder thousands of people in a series of terrorist atrocities. Muslim convert Dhiren Barot was among 10,000 terrorists and fraudsters who managed to slip through Home Office Security checks to secure a travel document every year.” MAURICE OSTROFF
Sir, – As a result of the Dubai passport ruckus, an unknown source has announced that all British citizens travelling abroad must apply for forged passports. This, the British Foreign Office says, will safeguard their own passports, which must be left at home.
Any tourists arriving at a British airport in tennis attire must be immediately detained and interrogated. The same applies to any traveler arriving holding a tennis, badminton or squash racket.
However, on the instructions of the British foreign minister, ping pong rackets and hockey sticks have not, as yet, been included in this lethal list.
All contestants arriving for the Wimbledon tournament must be screened, fingerprinted and vouched for by their respective governments.
The wearing of wigs and false moustaches is to be forbidden, especially by female participants.
The foreign minister has been heard to say that some of his best friends are tennis players, and that he has been assured that their passports are genuine. ZVI FREEDMAN
Kiryat Tivon‘Vehi She’amda’
Sir, – On the front page of Thursday’s Post
, the news goes from bad to worse. One side of the page deals with a diplomat of ours being expelled from Britain (“Israel concerned about ‘copycat’ effect following British expulsion of diplomat,” March 25). The other side of the page deals with what the Obama administration is trying to do to us.
But in this season, we should remember the song from the Pessah Haggada, “Vehi She’amda
.” The translation goes, “And it is this promise which has stood by our fathers and by us. For it was not only one man who rose up to destroy us; in every generation they rose up to destroy us. And the Holy One, blessed be He, saves us from their hand.”
May we all hear good news and enjoy Pessah. THELMA JACOBSON
Petah Tikva Lessons from Purim...
Sir, – A local family opera company in my hometown is currently performing Springtime for Haman
, a musical by David Bass, in which kids and adults belt out the Purim tale with moving yet rollicking lyrics; my daughter plays the biblical chamberlain Bigtha.
It could be the Middle East today (“Massive civil defense drill planned for May,” March 19). They tell us that “to be a Jew in Persia is not an easy lot”; and especially remind us that, at bottom and whatever our politics, “they say your worse fears never come true, unless you happen to be a Jew; will no one sympathize with what it’s like in our shoes?”
Mordechai, in explaining why he refuses to bow down to Haman, sings,
“For who can be a god? It’s not a promotion that you can earn, for all
of us are mortal beings, and everyone of us must return unto the source
of life and birth, and we are all of equal worth in the eyes of God.”
If only Ahmadinejad’s Iran, the Palestinians, other Arabs – and even,
to a much lesser extent, Israel – indeed, all of us, could learn. JAMES ADLER