More Olmert fallout
Sir, – A source close to Ehud Olmert says that according to the former prime minister, “There would be complete and unlimited access for all believers” under an international trusteeship for the Holy Basin (“Olmert urges ‘int’l trusteeship’ for Holy Basin, which would involve relinquishing sovereignty over Western Wall, Temple Mt.,” September 24).
Really? Once Israel gives up sovereignty, it will have no say in who can access the Kotel and Temple Mount. The only government to ever guarantee access to these sites is Israel’s.
We should say this loud and clear, and insist on our sovereignty at least for these reasons.BARRY LYNN
Sir, – Ehud Olmert’s recent autobiography, as well as his op-ed piece in your newspaper (“The terms of an accord,” September 24), suggest that despite facing several criminal charges, he has his sights set on a return to politics.
I cast my mind back to an encounter with him in 1982, when we were entering the Jerusalem apartment block where we both lived. When I inquired as to how he was, he replied: “How can I feel on this most tragic day in the history of Israel, with the forcible eviction of Jews from their homes in Yamit by the IDF, acting on instructions from prime minister Begin?” Olmert had, of course, voted against the withdrawal from Sinai.
Regarding his subsequent change of views, he went on record as saying: “I voted against Menahem Begin. I told him it was a historic mistake, how dangerous it would be, and so on and so on. Now I am sorry he is not alive for me to be able to publicly recognize his wisdom and my mistake. He was right and I was wrong. Thank God we pulled out of Sinai.”
My thoughts are what Begin would think of Olmert’s current advice to hand over control of the Holy Basin to international trusteeship, and to establish east Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state.MONTY M. ZION
Sir, – Ehud Olmert’s op-ed piece is a reminder of why he is no longer prime minister. The voting public rejected his beliefs, identifying him as one who does not understand what a supermajority of Israelis now realizes: This land is part of the Jewish DNA.TUVIA BRODIE
Sir, – I find it incomprehensible that a paper like The Jerusalem Post
gives a platform to Olmert. While innocent till proven guilty, this is a former prime minister whose moral integrity is questionable at best.
Olmert is on trial. He is responsible for Israel’s defeat in Lebanon. It was Olmert, like Ehud Barak when he was prime minister, who offered to give away virtually the entire State of Israel in return for a peace we would never have.
Shame on this paper! IAN KEMP
Sir, – I was dumbfounded to see the Post
give front-page coverage in both the news section and the Frontlines section to a totally discredited former politician who has been indicted multiple times for fraud, financial irregularities, bribe taking, double/ triple billing, and various and sundry other crimes.
Olmert is desperately trying to divert attention from the ongoing trials
and investigations by playing peacemaker. Why you see newsworthiness in
his notso- recent embrace of a radical- Left agenda and the
regurgitation of his recycled plans for Israeli unilateral capitulation
to our Palestinian “peace-partners” is beyond me.MORRIS KARLIN
Sir, – One would have thought that an ex-prime minister who is fighting
so many accusations of fraud would at least have the sense to keep a low
He had his chance. If the PA was unwilling to accept all the goodies he
was prepared to give away in exchange for peace, his latest proposition
is unlikely to be greeted by the Palestinians with any enthusiasm.
In any case, the idea that we relinquish sovereignty over the Kotel is
totally repugnant to anyone who has the slightest feeling for our
Shame on him for butting in when such delicate negotiations are going
on. Shame on your paper for giving him the frontpage space to publicize
his nonsense.GEOFFREY LANDAU
Jerusalem Not my leader
Sir, – What gives Gil Hoffman and Jonah Mandel the authority to decide
who is the “leader of Sephardi Jewry worldwide?” Rabbi Ovadia Yosef’s
opinions are valued by many, but he is the leader only of Shas and of
some Sephardi haredim. He is not considered the “leader” by me or by any
of my Sephardi family and friends.YEHUDHA DE OLIVEIRA
Jerusalem Bring those Americans
Sir, – In your Succot Supplement there was an interview with Minister of
Diaspora Affairs Yuli Edelstein (“The ‘national explainer’ explains,”
September 22). One of the questions was whether he thought all American
Jews should make aliya. His answer was that Israel has been good for
him, and those who wish might try to see if it would be good for them.
His answer is not Zionist, which deems aliya to be a blessed, healthy
necessity for Jews who, as a minority among nations, find frustration
and tragedy in keeping their Jewish identity.
It seems that Israeli governments over the years have adopted
Edelstein’s laissez-faire attitude toward American Jewish aliya. They
have refrained from intensely campaigning for American Jews to return,
and they have not planned or built the infrastructure necessary for mass
American aliya. Perhaps the reason is a reluctance to create friction
with the American Jewish establishment, which fears for its status.
The shameful statistic is that of five million US Jews, only 3,000 a
year make aliya. An aliya of 100,000 a year would bring needed skills
for our economy and democratic attitudes.
We must influence our establishment to wake up to this opportunity and
Ramat Gan No one’s listening
Sir, – As a Jewish leader, Tzipi Livni (“Time for a new Jewish
conversation,” September 22) must be heard. But is her message worth
listening to? The news from the Diaspora, for many years, is that of
rising intermarriage and rising anti-Semitism (in her so-called “vibrant
communities”), and the vast majority of the world’s Jewish leadership
has not addressed these issues with any great success.
Livni, when in power, failed to put these problems on her own agenda
(and fails to do so now when in opposition).
Let her start with a New Year’s resolution on fairly easy issues: to
back wholeheartedly those who have already made aliya, and to strengthen
Her platitudes are for naught and fall on deaf ears.HARRY ORENSTEIN
Nothing to lose
Sir, – Caroline B. Glick titled a recent column “Who Lost Turkey?”
(September 21). The answer is no one.
Turkey was never a Western or secular country. Ataturk’s reforms did
nothing to transform its true essence. Indeed, the 1955 Constantinople
pogrom, the forced deportation of millions of Kurds and actions it took
during its invasion of Cyprus in 1974 are just a few examples of what
Turkey was and is. Genocide, ethnic cleansing and hostility to, and
intolerance for, non-Muslims and non-Turks are hallmarks of Turkish
history and the reasons why the Balkans and the Middle East, areas once
dominated by the Ottoman Empire, are among the most troubled regions in
No better current example of Turkey’s intolerance and hostility to
others can be found than the Grey Wolves, its modern equivalent of the
Black and Brown Shirts of WWII-era Italy and Germany.GERASIMOS BOZIKIS