Sir, – The headline “PM’s Office: Jerusalem not part of freeze
proposal” (November 18) addressed a minor issue while ignoring the big
The West Bank, 35 miles wide and 90 miles long, is big enough for a
terrorist base, not a nation state. Why did we agree to a two-state solution?
Because the Americans asked us to? The Arabs don’t want a Palestinian state
alongside Israel. It was offered by the UN in 1947 and they turned it down. None
of the Arab states objected when Jordan annexed the West Bank. They could have
made it into a Palestinian state. In 1967 it fell to Israel in a defensive war.
It is now Israeli territory.
Once we agreed to negotiate over something
that is ours, the Palestinians have expanded their horizon to include Israel’s
capital. Since we put Jerusalem on the table they expanded their horizon to
include a Jerusalem neighborhood, Gilo.
They got UNESCO to give them
Rachel’s Tomb and the Tomb of the Patriarchs.
The Americans are no
There still is no embassy in Jerusalem. They have yet to release
Pollard. Eisenhower promised to break a future blockade of the Straits of Tiran
if we returned the Sinai in 1957; the Americans reneged in 1967 and forced us to
go to war.
Why are we negotiating over land that is ours, and with, of
all people, a certified terrorist organization, the PLO? Stupid us.
leaders, all of them, should take a special course on how to be obstreperous. It
might save the nation.CHAYIM SEIDEN
Jerusalem Another airport wasteful
Sir, – Regarding “After foggy day delays flights, need for B-G alternatives
discussed at aviation conference” (November 18), plans to build another
international airport in Israel, possibly near Timna in the far South, would
indeed be a very expensive project.
Apart from the buildings, access by
road and rail would need to be constructed, and the distance to major cities
would add much extra time to journeys.
Also, fog is not selective! Surely
a hi-tech system for instrument landings could be installed at Ben-Gurion
Airport and a second runway constructed, which would be less
Thick fogs are not a frequent occurrence here, so these ideas
should be reconsidered in the interest of the economy.SALLY SHAW
Saba Wooly-headed thinking
Sir, – With all due respect to Dr. Samy Cohen,
(‘Falling into the trap, over and over again,” Comment & Features, November
18), advocating for Israel to use minimum force is woolly-headed
It may be suitable for big countries with large
Israel is a tiny country with a small population surrounded by a
vast area of huge Muslim populations, big armies and enormous financial
resources. Israel’s is an existential problem and, in order to survive, it must
strike hard and end every war as quickly as possible.
This does not mean
that we must disregard and/or ill-treat civilians; purity of arms is very
important. Many operations are called off at the last moment when civilians
appear in the area. Every soldier in fact receives careful orders how to act.
However, there will always be the odd one who, perhaps out of fear or vengeance,
mistreats civilians, although these incidents are few and far in between, and
the culprits are punished.MIKE AYL
Sir, – Dr. Samy Cohen
commits two almost unforgivable sins and thereby falls into a trap of his own
The first is his brazen assumption that the instructions given to
today’s soldiers about the need to be mindful of civilian casualties and purity
of arms are less accurate or stringent than those issued when he was an officer
in the Golani Brigade. The opposite is true.
The second is his implied
acceptance of the accusations made against the IDF and Israel as being true and
reflecting an accurate portrayal of events. He chooses to disdainfully disregard
Col. Richard Kemp, the former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, who
unequivocally stated “The IDF did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in
combat zones than any other army in history.”
Surely, we deserve better
from a former IDF officer.ZEV CHAMUDOT
Sir, – As a political
scientist, Samy Cohen’s understanding of international relations is incredibly
myopic. He states that Israel has failed to adopt a proper implementation of
asymmetric warfare tactics and “that international opinion has to be taken into
consideration, that it will not tolerate massive civilian
Unfortunately, he fails to explain more recent conflicts,
such as the slaughter of tens of thousands of civilians in the final Sri Lankan
suppression of the Tamil uprising, the two-decades-long civil war in the Congo,
and the Darfur genocide. How many Goldstone Committees were convened to
investigate these events? How many times did the UN Human Rights Council condemn
them? The world doesn’t give a damn about massive civilian casualties – unless,
of course, the perpetrators are Jews... oops, Israelis.MORRIS KARLIN
Jerusalem Koppel’s wrong line
Sir, – I was very much dismayed by Ted Koppel’s
op-ed piece (“Olbermann, O’Reilly and the death of real news,” November
It was absolutely unforgivable to make a statement about Fox News’
Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity, claiming they are in the same criminal category
as Bernard Madoff. Instead of praising O’Reilly and Hannity for standing up to
the anti-Semitism spewing venom into every news broadcast, Koppel admonishes
Koppel’s analysis of the rebuke given to MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann is
almost self-serving. Liberals are very charitable to themselves but not at all
charitable to people with other points of view.
I personally get up in
the middle of the night here in Israel to listen to Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and
Bill O’Reilly because they speak the truth, whereas other broadcasters
No to eggheads Sir, – Gil Troy (“Settlement
subtleties: Not all are the same,” Center Field, November 17) rightly chastises
“Barack Obama and his egghead followers” for their unrelenting prattle about the
settlements as obstacles to peace.
It is high time to recall the late
Senator Jesse Helms’s sober declaration (Congressional Record S 6171): “There
were no settlements in 1948 to constitute an ‘obstacle to peace’ yet the Trans-
Jordanians invaded and the socalled ‘Green Line’ became a line marking the
farthest extent of the Trans-Jordanian invasion westwards. There were no
settlements in 1967 to constitute an ‘obstacle to peace,’ yet the
Trans-Jordanians invaded again!” KARL HUTTENBAUER
Caroline B. Glick’s November 16 Our World column (“What the PA buys with
American Money”) distorts a statement made in the Congressional Research Service
Report to Congress “U.S. Foreign Aid to the Palestinians.”
The report in
fact states “The level of U.S. assistance to the Palestinians – among the
largest per capita recipients of foreign aid worldwide – has fluctuated
considerably since it was initiated following the establishment of limited
Palestinian self-rule in the mid-1990s.”JANINE DADDARIO
The writer is coordinator of communications for the Congressional Research