Conscience over duty
Sir, – That British ambassador to Israel Matthew Gould
should endorse and explain his prime minister’s views on the advantages of the
reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah is understandable (“Sensible statecraft,”
Right of Reply, May 12).
He is simply doing his duty to his country.
However, the naïveté (or is it ignorance?) displayed by his article is evidenced
by his failure to acknowledge that Hamas, even after the signing of the
agreement, continues to assert that its eventual aim is the elimination of the
Jewish state. Thus, there cannot be any sensible statecraft in supporting this
An article on the same page by Melanie Phillips (“An open
letter to Prime Minister David Cameron”) sets out much more accurately the role
that has been played, and indeed continues to be played, by British governments
in facilitating the aims of Palestinian leaders to the detriment of Israel. I
have no doubt that Gould will read this article and that it will prick his own
conscience, especially as he is Jewish.MYRA ZION
Tel Mond Terror vs.
Sir, – In “There’s no double standard” (Rattling the Cage, May 12), Larry
Derfner does not distinguish between terrorists and legitimate countries that
have signed the Geneva Convention. It appears that targeted assassinations of
terrorist leaders who have not signed the convention is becoming an accepted
means of combat.
Hamas is a terrorist entity, without a doubt. Through
trial and experimentation, I expect to see international laws and rules evolve
for defining terrorism and how suspects and countries harboring these
organizations are treated.
Until that day arrives, Israel and the US,
which appear to be the main targets of these unlawful and hideous organizations,
will do what they feel is necessary to protect their citizens. Morality should
be met with morality. Terror should be met with terror without having to
apologize to anyone.P. BERMAN
Shoham Appropriate or not
Sir, – It is
forbidden to judge those in mourning, so it behooves us all to ignore the more
extreme insults and threats of those grieving for the captivity of Gilad Schalit
(“Noam Schalit: We may be forced to step up our campaign,” May 11). This does
not, however, absolve the government of its national
Paying a price means suffering some harm to the state and
its citizens. Paying any price is obviously absurd since it implies an unlimited
amount of damage.
It is an awesome task to weigh just how much damage
will balance the benefit of ransoming our soldier. Let us hope this current
government is equal to the job.SIDNEY HANDEL
Sir, – My heart
goes out to the Schalit family and the families of the others of our nation and
their families who are still hopeful for their sons,’ husbands’ or fathers’
return. Still, we must not succumb to the temptation to free terrorists as the
price to pay.
In 2007, in a report released by the Jewish Agency, Elyakim
Rubenstein wrote that 180 Israeli citizens had been murdered by released
terrorists since 2000, and “that does not include those who were killed during
the intifada, which was led and supported by released terrorists.” I’m sure the
number has increased since then.
I agree with Yoel Schalit. His brother’s
captivity should not be trivialized, but neither should that of the other
Our sages said that whoever prays for others has his
personal prayers answered first. I suggest the Schalits pray for all the
captured Israeli soldiers and that they not press the government to release
terrorists in exchange for Gilad. Pressure should be placed upon Hamas, Fatah
and their terror partners, not on the Israeli government.YOCHEVED MIRIAM
Sir, – We get it, Schalit family – you want Gilad to come
We all want Gilad to come home, but it’s not the Israeli government
that is the obstacle here. It’s the Palestinians, it’s Hamas. Direct your
righteous anger at the bad guys.
Yes, the Israeli government could
probably win the release of Schalit, but at the expense of hundreds of Israeli
lives. That’s a losing hand for Israel.
So suck it up Schalits and pipe
down – Gilad won’t be the first or last Israeli who is lost in this perpetual
war, which only ends when and if Israel decides to allow itself to
Highland Park, New Jersey
Leave Pollard out Sir, – I
watched the various Remembrance Day and Independence Day ceremonies with great
pride and emotion. There were many moving speeches and prayers.
I had one
problem, though. In expressing hope for the release of our MIAs, they were
linked with a convicted spy imprisoned in the US (“Israelis out in force for
Independence Day celebrations,” May 11).
I think it is a travesty of
justice and morality to include brave citizens who were defending our beloved
country in the same breath as someone who betrayed his country. I very sincerely
hope and pray that all our soldiers will return safely in the coming year, but
if not, the mistake of considering Pollard among their number should not be
Haifa Onus on Israel?
Sir, – Issa Edward
Bourshes asks the innocuous question: Can Israel embrace its Palestinian-
Israeli citizens? (“Independence Day and the ‘Nakba Law,’” Comment &
Features, May 9). Actually the question is the other way around.
November day in 1947 when the Arab and Muslim world ignored the United Nations
and international law, and declared genocidal war on a nascent state, it has
been the Arabs who need to do some embracing.
During the 19 years that
“Palestine” was under Arab rule, there wasn’t a single peep or voice or movement
toward a state for “Palestinians” – mainly because they didn’t
Bourshes needs to answer this question: Where was Palestine
between 1947-1967? Israeli Arabs need to cease living a lie. Only then their own
healing process will begin.ANTHONY LUDER
Sir, – Is there a
nation in the world that would permit and subsidize a day of mourning for its
sworn enemies to coincide with its independence day? The fact that Issa Edward
Bourshes is a graduate student at Tel Aviv University should show what an open,
understanding and tolerant country he resides in.
Wouldn’t it be nice for
American indians to celebrate their own Nakba Day” with support from the US
government? How acceptable would that be for the citizens of the United States? JONATHAN SURASKY
Sir, – It is all to easy to conclude all discussion on
the Nakba with accusations of Jewish/Zionist/Israeli responsibility.
could easily come to believe that the Palestinian people have absolutely no
control or responsibility over their lives and the destiny of their
Still, I must admit to being pleasantly surprised and encouraged
by Issa Edward Bourshes’s personal integrity in that he acknowledged and even
quoted the words and intentions of the Jewish leadership and inhabitants of the
future state of Israel. So now that we know what the Jews thought and said, I
leave it to him to share with us the insights and decelerations of his people,
so we can better understand the origin of the catastrophe he and his community
Hopefully, they will come to understand the full and true
reasons for all these years of suffering, anguish and exile.YORAM