November 22: Be obstreperous

The West Bank, 35 miles wide and 90 miles long, is big enough for a terrorist base, not a nation state.

November 21, 2010 23:01
November 22: Be obstreperous

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Be obstreperous

Sir, – The headline “PM’s Office: Jerusalem not part of freeze proposal” (November 18) addressed a minor issue while ignoring the big one.

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 better.

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.

Our leaders, all of them, should take a special course on how to be obstreperous. It might save the nation.


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 costly.

Thick fogs are not a frequent occurrence here, so these ideas should be reconsidered in the interest of the economy.

Kfar 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 thinking.

It may be suitable for big countries with large armies.

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.


Sir, – Dr. Samy Cohen commits two almost unforgivable sins and thereby falls into a trap of his own making.

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.

Petah Tikva

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 casualties.”

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.


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 18).

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 them.

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 don’t.


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!”



Sir, – 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.”

Washington, DC
The writer is coordinator of communications for the Congressional Research Service

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