letters to the editor 88.
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Lack of integrity
Sir, - Re "South African minister in spat with Jewish weekly over Israel-Nazi comparison" (November 23).
I have the unfortunate distinction of being the nephew of Ronnie Kasrils. Having held my tongue publicly despite his continuous diatribes against Israel and the Jewish people, I have finally succumbed and hereby put pen to paper.
Had the South African Jewish Report permitted Kasrils to answer Anthony Posner's pertinent questions, it would have given him a platform to demonstrate both his lack of integrity and his irrelevance. Kasrils lacks the integrity to admit that what he really advocates is the dissolution of Israel as a Jewish state and not just a two-state solution.
His views are irrelevant because in order to carry out his real aim, the 6 million Jews who live here would have to be destroyed - something which however much it may irk him and his ilk, Israel and the Jewish people will not allow to happen.
Instead of preaching ethics to Israel, Kasrils, a lifetime admirer of Joseph Stalin, would do well to worry about his own country's ills, particularly the poverty and suffering of the black masses who go hungry while the new political-economic elite prospers as it rides on what Desmond Tutu once referred to as the "gravy train."
Sir, - As an Israeli citizen born and educated in South Africa, I was disgusted by Ronnie Kasrils referring to Israeli treatment of Palestinians as analogous to Nazi actions against the Jews.
There are, in fact, many Israelis who criticize and dislike our government's treatment of Palestinians, but, despite his protestations to the contrary, Kasrils' need to liken this to the totally abhorrent Nazi treatment of Jews can only be explained by Jewish self-hatred.
On a more factual basis, he must recognize that we are not a colonial power, but a nation that has had to fight recurrent Arab efforts to wipe us off the face of the earth, and that our determined efforts to prevent this may involve actions that harm Palestinian civilians.
He should take note of the IDF's recent calling off of a proposed attack on a terrorist's home in order not to harm the human shields. What other country, including the one he serves, would show such a degree of humanity?
MONTY M. ZION
Sir, - Like so many on the Israeli Left, Larry Derfner has confused his arguments ("Wise men and rednecks," November 23).
One does not make peace with one's enemies, one makes war on them. One, however, can make friends with one's enemies provided that those enemies are of a like mind. This is what the Israeli Left has always failed to recognize - our Palestinian and other Arab enemies want neither our friendship nor peace with us, they just want us dead.
KENNETH S. BESIG
Sir, - Larry Derfner defends Jimmy Carter against the charges of being an anti-Semite, based on the fact that he brokered the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt (one of the few achievements of his unsuccessful presidency) and that he believes that God and international law (since 1948) recognize the right of the Jews to have a state in the land of Israel.
But this does not contradict Carter's antipathy toward Israel. The historian Joshua Muravchik wrote the following about Carter's book The Blood of Abraham: "It is woven of twisted facts and virulent hostility against Israel. It claims, for example, that Israel attacked Jordan in the 1967 war (the reverse is true), and that the PLO was founded in 1964 to fight 'increasing Israeli encroachment on lands and rights of the Arabs' whereas the PLO itself explained that the reason for its founding was that 'the partitioning of Palestine and the establishment of Israel are illegal.'"
Carter's last book, showing his face superimposed over a picture of the security fence, with a crowd of Palestinians behind it, is no better.
With friends like Carter, we don't need enemies.
Whom to protect...
Sir, - Father Peter Dougherty and Sister Mary Ellen Gundeck obviously know the address of terrorist leader Muhammad Baroud ("Human shield at terrorist's house: US nun, priest," November 23). Do these "do-gooders" also know the addresses of the Zahavi, Yosefov and Yaakobov families in Sderot so they can at least pay condolence calls on those who lost innocent civilians to Kassam rockets from Gaza?
They would do more good if they came to Sderot and sat in the homes, schools and businesses that are under daily Kassam attack.
These pious Catholic clergy from Michigan (the American state with the largest Muslim population) ought to know that their Gazan hosts are now attacking "the Saturday people," but will eventually will go after "the Sunday people" as well.
Sir, - I suggest to those priests and nuns who are providing human shields for terrorists in Gaza - trying to keep our defense forces from targeting the terrorists - that they should instead come to Sderot and protect our children from the ruthless terrorists who target them, along with other civilians, with Kassam rockets.
SARA LEE WOOLF
Ramat Beit Shemesh
...Protect us all
Sir, - Re "IDF plans large-scale Gaza operation" (November 23).
Government officials are reported as saying that while the Kassam rocket fire was extremely painful, it did not pose a strategic threat to the country.
I always believed that the Israeli government protects the lives of all of its citizens. Is Sderot not a part of Israel? Are Sderot's citizens' lives, limbs and mental health worth less than those of citizens of Jerusalem or Tel Aviv? If there is no strategic threat to the country, why did the Knesset allocate NIS 5 million to fortify the Knesset building against Kassam attacks?
This is a terrible state of affairs. It is telling the public that the lives of government officials are worth more than those of the ordinary citizens they are supposed to protect.
Sir, - I didn't know France was the only country to represent the UN in southern Lebanon. Now it has authorized its troops to fire at IAF jets because they feel threatened ("France authorizes troops to fire at IAF jets over Lebanon," November 23).
In the first place, if UNIFIL did its job to protect southern Lebanon, then maybe Pierre Gemayel might not have been assassinated. I don't trust the UN to stop any terrorist group. It is easier for it to blame Israel than to stand up to terrorism.
As a citizen of Israel, I am grateful that the IAF is protecting my country. We are the ones who are being attacked, and I feel more threatened than the French troops. At least they have weapons; I am unarmed.
Man of principle
Sir, - Those of us who live and travel in Judea and Samaria have always said that if it were our politicians' neighborhoods being threatened, they would look at things differently.
Amir Peretz, of Sderot, has proven us wrong. The fact that his home town has borne the brunt of the attacks these last months has not brought about a change of attitude from him.
I guess we can just call him a man of principle. He doesn't believe we should use force against those attacking us, and even attacks on his own home turf has not changed that.
Explain it to me
Sir, - We Jews invented socialism. We gave the world the six-day week. We gave the people Christ, Marx and Trotsky. We gave the world perfect communism in the creation of the kibbutz.
So why are today's socialists, almost to a man (or woman), utterly opposed to Israel? What is this new socialism that rejects the creators of left-wing philosophies, while lauding and supporting Arab countries which are about as socialist as Attila the Hun?
I look forward to someone far cleverer than I explaining this to me.
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