Sir, – With regard to “Settler leaders decry potential PA state with
interim borders” (September 9), you report that according to Bayit Yehudi’s Uri
Ariel, the party had “agreed to the negotiations; the issue was not the talks,
but rather the topic of the conversation between the two sides.” Ariel then is
quoted as saying: “We oppose the expulsion of Jews.”
Big mistake. What
did Bayit Yehudi think was going to be the topic of discussion? Has Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu not made it clear enough that he is going along with
US President Barack Obama’s vision for Israel, which is to relinquish our land
to our enemies (of course, for the paternal reason of keeping us safe)? How can
there not be the expulsion of Jews? That is exactly what “painful concessions”
The Arab world is in turmoil, yet we are negotiating a withdrawal
to the “Auschwitz borders,” where we have no chance of survival. This has
already been arranged between US Secretary of State John Kerry and Palestinian
Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
Our swan song has already been
Netanya Dangerous era
Sir, – As noted by Barry
Rubin (“A new era in the Middle East,” The Region, September 9), “55.5 percent
of the Israeli people – and 63% of Israeli Jews – said they were against Israel
agreeing to return to the 1967 lines....”
Taken together with several
other recent op-eds and views expressed by writers suggesting that the
much-vaunted “peace talks” will not culminate in the stated objectives, once
again the lack of wisdom in preconditions, in particular the release of
hard-core terrorists, comes into question.
Why did Israel agree to
preconditions? Was Oslo not a sufficient demonstration of Israel’s sincerity?
Were we to evaluate the commitments made during each of the previous eras of
negotiation, the findings would clearly point to failures on the part of the
Palestinians to meet the given objectives.
As for a new era, a revisit to
Michael Widlanski’s Can Israel Survive a Palestinian State?, written in 1990,
illustrates how there is nothing new in the arguments concerning the
The expectations were selfevident all along.ALEX ROSE
Sir, – I am a long-standing follower of Barry Rubin and have almost
always found his columns informative, lucid, to the- point, logical and
However, this column leaves me feeling incredulous – all,
but all, of Rubin’s momentous discoveries have been out there since Barack Obama
began campaigning for the office he currently holds.
Having spent his
most formative years in Indonesia immersed in Islam and studying the Koran;
having been a congregationalist for 20 years in the church of
Jeremiah Wright, an avowed racist, anti-Semite and anti- American
(“God damn America”); and having been a far-out leftist while at university, the
elements that constitute Obama were in place for all to see. His actions as
president were not difficult to predict or discern.
No, Mr. Rubin, you
have discovered nothing new. I am very dismayed that someone as erudite as you
thinks he has.
Haifa Lingua politica
Sir, – There are not
too many people who can casually refer to Gustave Flaubert’s minor masterpiece
on clichés, but Liat Collins is one of them (“Defining experience,” My Word,
She knows that clichés are the true language of
A friend and I have been compiling a similar list for
Americans, and we noted a few equally applicable to Israel:
coalitions – always cobbled together
• Mayors – ebullient
• Fighters –
• Scholars – distinguished
• Sources – well-placed
• Print – dying
• Heat – blistering, particularly when political in nature
• Pundit – whoever is
Shaker Heights, Ohio Looking at Syria
Sir, – As
we learned last week (“The more, the merrier,” September 3), there are now over
eight million people living in our beautiful country.
As a citizen, I
feel I can state for myself, and perhaps for the majority, that we are very
concerned over the prospect that Syria, Iran and Hezbollah could be formulating
an attack on us in the very near future. This amounts to living in a state of
clear and present danger.
To Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu I ask:
Please don’t let enemy states mount an attack on our country without you first
informing and preparing us in advance.
The lessons learned from the Yom
Kippur War, exactly 40 years ago, can and should be applied once again. Let us
not underestimate the intentions of our enemies by downplaying their
capabilities. Without sounding alarmist, a war on our northern border could very
well develop into a confrontation of epic proportions between East and
Syrian President Bashar Assad said in an interview that attackers
and their allies can “expect everything.” He didn’t rule out the use of chemical
weapons on his part.
Mr. Prime Minister, why not simply take Assad at his
word? To him the stakes are the same: Whether he is attacked now or a waiting
game is played out, he is obviously not prepared to go down without trying to
take some of us with him.
Remember one thing: Every battle is won before
it is ever fought.
Sir, – In the early 18th
century, the consummate British politician Robert Walpole had for years been
trying to avoid war by tolerating increasing Spanish naval harassment of British
However, in 1739 he was forced to declare war on Spain after a
Robert Jenkins turned up in Parliament with one of his ears
in a bottle, torn off, he claimed, by Spanish coastguards.
war was known as the War of Jenkin’s Ear. It precipitated Walpole’s
A year ago, during an election campaign, US President Barack
Obama declared red lines beyond which he would not tolerate certain Syrian
Having shot his mouth off, he now needs to save another part of
his anatomy. Are we about to enter the War of Obama’s Face? ROCHELLE VEEDER
Sir, – With regard to “At Syria vigil, Pope Francis calls for peace in
the Mideast” (September 9), is it a coincidence, or is God speaking to us when
Jews and Christians fast on the same day? The pope calls for peace and we mourn
the death of Gedalia.
May this new year answer all our wishes for peace
and give us safety.MADALYN SCHAEFFER
Jerusalem Expat query
Sir, – I have
been reading letters from immigrants to Israel boasting of their successes
following two op-ed pieces that appeared in your Comment & Features pages –
“Why I (still) haven’t made aliya” (August 15) and “Why I’m leaving Israel”
I wonder if anyone can explain the vast number of
native-born expatriate Israelis. I believe it’s close to a million, matching the
million olim who have returned to their countries origin.PAUL HARRIS
Aviv CORRECTION Due to an editing error, the letter “Nutty or not” (September 4)
said that “the numerical value of the Hebrew word for nut equals that of the
Hebrew word for good.” It should have said “the numerical value of the Hebrew
word for sin equals that of the Hebrew word for good.”
The Letters Editor
apologizes to the writer.