May 24: Double Standard

But before looking at Israel and criticizing it, should Erdogan not look over at his own country?

May 23, 2013 23:34
3 minute read.

Letters 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )

Double standard

Sir, – Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said “As long as Israel does not accept a Palestinian state, there is not much to talk about in terms of trying to achieve peace, because peace can be made between two states... it is something we have to look at” (“Erdogan: First create Palestinian state, then peace can be made,” May 19).

But before looking at Israel and criticizing it, should he not look over at his own country? That quotation of his applies far more so to his own country, specifically to the Kurds.

The Kurds deserve a country of their own. I cannot understand why Israel and the West do not take these Kurds under their wing; after all, they are a peaceable people, generally not inclined to violence or terrorism.

There are some 35 million Kurds in Turkey, Iraq and Syria, where they live as a mistreated minority, compared to 8 million so-called Palestinian Arabs worldwide who are constantly involved in violence and creating disharmony but unable to run the semblance of a country.


Last song

Sir, – I think that it is high time that the powers that be at IBA and Channel 1 TV have second thoughts about continuing to send an entrant to future socalled Eurovision song contests (“Israel fails to advance to Eurovision final,” May 19).

With anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism running rampant, and with the Russian bloc of the old USSR and their neighbors and other groups of countries ganging up to vote for each other, the Israeli song has less than a snowball’s chance in hell of getting past the first stage in any event.

I am sure that the time and effort – and especially the amount of money involved – could be used for better purposes in promoting local music and musicians.


Green guzzling

Sir, – Alon Tal, chairman of the Green movement, implies that the gas found off the coast of Israel belongs exclusively to the government of Israel (“Natural-gas exports: A debate over values, not numbers,” Business and Finance, May 19).

Nowhere does he consider the rights of the entrepreneurs who took the risk of exploring for it and will pay for the huge costs of developing it for the benefit of the nation as a whole. Apart from this being contrary to all accepted legal principles, it will be counterproductive in the long run.

In the first place, the royalties which will be imposed on the owners of the field have already been retroactively increased dramatically from those agreed on in the initial lease signed by the government and the explorers. This in itself is both immoral and a breach of international law. Limiting the amount the owners can export is a further encroachment on their natural rights.

Tal is willing to ignore all legal precedents and strip the owners of their legal rights, in order to ensure that Israelis will enjoy cheap energy for decades to come.

However, even if the immorality and illegality of this approach is ignored, there is a practical objection.

Technological advances may well make further exploration for oil or gas possible in places currently inaccessible. It is certain that these techniques will be even more expensive than current ones. Which entrepreneur in his right mind would risk the huge sums required if he feared that any benefits would be stolen, while the costs, if the exploration were a failure, would be his alone to bear? Tal, as a typical socialist, looks to government control to achieve immediate short-term benefits for the nation, but ignores the obvious long-term consequences.

It is thinking like this that has always resulted in disaster whenever socialist ideologues have attempted to control the economy. It destroyed the Soviet Union, and is well on its way to sinking the entire European economy.

Ma’aleh Adumim

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