Trump’s big chance
US President Donald Trump has met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and will be visiting Israel later this month (“In Abbas meeting, Trump declares new peace process for Middle East,” May 4). As he is so keen and committed to broker what many call the peace deal of the century, Trump truly has the opportunity of making history and emerging as the president of the century.
The consensus of Israeli and Diaspora Jewish opinion is in favor of a Palestinian state that will have to be demilitarized, except for domestic policing purposes. The US, EU and Israel will all provide the new state with economic and diplomatic support.
Concerning Jerusalem, Trump has to make it clear that neither Abbas nor anyone else will be allowed to falsify or distort 3,000 years of Jewish history.
Needless to add, there will be no right of return for Palestinian refugees, and borders can be settled by means of fair swaps of land.
The leadership in the Gaza Strip should be pressed to terminate its current policy of national suicide. It, too, can benefit enormously from the fruits of peace. It could be a principality within a state of Palestine, like Wales in the United Kingdom.
What an opportunity for Donald Trump to achieve a momentous and diplomatic victory and legacy!
Regarding your May 4 editorial “Same old Hamas,” I agree.
There’s nothing new, and it’s futile to think of any real change in Hamas’s ultimate goal: the destruction of the State of Israel and its Jewish population.
Having said that, in a future editorial, please describe to us the strategic plan of our own leadership. You might have to headline it “Same old Bibi.”
As long as it’s the same team, the score will not change unless unforeseen circumstances make it necessary – which is always a possibility in this volatile region.HENRY WEIL
They are moved
With regard to Gil Troy’s “Jewish gut check: Did Diaspora Jews feel moved about Israel this week?” (Center Field, May 4), I am older than Prof. Troy, so I recall another reality.
In the 1940s and 1950s, in my hometown in the southern US and among my friends, I was the only person who observed Shabbat and one of the few in their teen years to be committed to Israel.
The climax came during the 1956 Sinai Campaign, when I was in college. I went to the weekly meeting of my fraternity.
Our group had southern Jews as well as a few from the North. I asked the chapter to authorize a donation to the local Jewish federation to assist the State of Israel. The reaction? “Geffen, you are nuts! Why should we help Israel? They chose to live there – let them help themselves!” Today, almost six decades later, my fraternity, through its national office and local chapters, works very hard for Israel.
At my alma mater, 12 academics teach Jewish studies.
Chabad reigns throughout the US – and at my old school, too, drawing in large crowds to study, and bringing these students to Shabbat and holiday meals and courses.
Prof. Troy forgets the lack of interest about Israel in the past.
Now he labels the current generation as being not committed.
The Birthright experience has changed the perception of half a million students and others in their early 20s.DAVID GEFFEN
I am a Jewish man, an attorney with 35 years of practice in Manhattan. I became acquainted with The Jerusalem Post
because I stay at the King David Hotel when I visit Israel twice yearly. I enjoy reading the Post very much and recently subscribed to the International Edition.
I particularly enjoy Liat Collins’s writing.
I perform Sar-El volunteer service every time I’m in Israel. I and others volunteer on army bases. We live in barracks, eat in mess halls and live like IDF soldiers, albeit for only a few weeks.
I’m so pleased to be a regular subscriber to the Post and feel closer to Israel.
Not really friends
With regard to German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel’s recent behavior (“PM sets policy: We won’t meet diplomats who meet with Breaking the Silence,” April 26; “German FM fishes for antisemitic vote in row with Israel,” April 30), Gabriel has basically disqualified himself from holding office at such a high level.
As for the upcoming visit of German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier (“No word yet on whether German president will meet with Breaking the Silence,” May 1), Steinmeier is no better, since he very publicly refused to congratulate Donald Trump on winning the US presidential election. That was churlish behavior for someone about to take up a similar post.
We must also be worried about the third member of the SPD “triumvirate,” Martin Schulz, who, in his 2014 address to the Knesset as European Parliament president, made false claims about water distribution in the “West Bank,” something that must surely still ring in people’s ears. (More recently, when Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas addressed the EU and accused Israel of inciting people to poison wells, Schulz described it as an “inspiring” speech.)
There is sparse empathy for Israel among German politicians – the constant claims of being a “friend” come solely from feelings of a historical and moral obligation to right a wrong perpetrated 80 years ago. The German word wiedergutmachung, for the reparations post-war Germany was forced to pay, is very apt.
You published the Reuters report “Pope heads to Europe as Christians flee Middle East” (International News, April 28).
Two of the middle paragraphs were wrong and anti-Israel.
One relied on Palestinian data saying Israeli administrations had convinced many local Christians to move abroad. The other stated that Christian migration from the Israeli-administered West Bank has been a constant trickle.
Since when is unverified Palestinian data a reliable source for an international news article? If any efforts were made to encourage emigration, fundamentalist Muslims would logically be the target.
Contrary to the impression given in the article, it has been Muslim Arabs who persecute Christian Arabs. One example is Bethlehem, where Muslims have long hounded and evicted Christians.
Why does a Jewish reader of a Jewish newspaper in a Jewish country have to accept the casual antisemitism of a Vatican reporter for Reuters?J.W. KRASNER
Jerusalem Teach your children
Just before Independence Day, I traveled from Beit Shemesh to Jerusalem via Ramat Beit Shemesh Bet.
As I approached a roundabout, one of a group of young hassidic boys standing there approached my car and asked me if I wanted a flag. Knowing a hassidic boy did not need one, I said yes. He approached my car and proceeded to... break off the flag that was already on my rear window, and ran away.
I am a proud olah of almost eight years and I know that there are differences of opinion among certain groups. However, I know there is one Torah, and wantonly destroying someone’s property is not indicative of a Torah Jew.
We cannot blame the Arabs for what they are teaching their children if we are teaching our children to hate their fellow Jews.ROZANNE POLANSKY