October 19: Senseless vote

It was frightening to see echoes of the “old hatred” during the debate where “Palestinian children” were referred to as if they had been targeted by Israel.

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October 18, 2014 21:32
Letters

Letters. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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Senseless vote

Sir, – In light of the vote to recognize Palestine in Britain’s parliament, it seems that a marginal majority of MPs (most did not turn up to vote) now support the Palestinian propaganda narrative against Israel, shoveled out by the Hamas health ministry and gladly relayed by the BBC and other news agencies during the recent Gaza conflict.

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It was frightening to see echoes of the “old hatred” during the debate where “Palestinian children” were referred to as if they had been targeted by Israel. It is a shining black lie that anti-Israel groups will be thrilled with.

It is also telling how little the MPs who voted for the resolution understand the Israeli mind.

Far from “sending a message” and influencing the Israeli government, the vote will make Israelis hunker down and listen less to the British.

Our belief in the UK upholding the strictest standards of justice has been shattered. This vote directly conflicted with international agreements, not to mention the Oslo framework. It clearly showed Israel that any agreement it signs, even with the promise of international support, will not be upheld by those very countries that promise to do so.

HAROLD MILLER
London



Sir, – Perfidious Albion!

JACK SHEBSON
Jerusalem

Sir, – With regard to “Israeli leftists urge Brits to recognize Palestinian state” (October 14), as would be expected, left-wingers are urging our enemies to destroy us at the same time they claim to be the only ones who worry and care about Israel’s well-being.

LOIS GREEN
Kadima

Art of ‘schnorring’

Sir, – By extracting a pledge of $5.4 billion from the international community (“PA prime minister praises UN for its help in Gaza,” October 14), the Palestinian Authority has demonstrated its virtuosity in the ancient art of schnorring. Perhaps if it campaigned for a state of Schnorrerstan it would find it easier to obtain universal recognition.

ALBERT JACOB
Beersheba

Feckless leaders

Sir, – The world looks on as the Kurds fight ISIS in northern Syria (“Islamic State suicide bomber strikes in Kobani,” October 14). The air strikes are a joke and are only being done so that US President Barack Obama can claim he did something. The Turkish army is sitting across the border doing nothing because the Turks really don’t care about the Kurds.

The Kurds are good fighters and could certainly defeat Islamic State if they had the proper weapons. They’ve been promised weapons, but those that were delivered had to go through Baghdad first (and how did that work out?).

The western powers are as feckless today as Neville Chamberlain and the French were in the late 1930s. (We all know how that worked out. The cowards who were worried about losing a few hundred lives instead let Hitler do what he wanted until he went too far in 1939 and invaded Poland. The desire to save a few hundred lives resulted in the loss of many tens of millions of lives by the time World War II was over.) How many lives will be lost this time because of the fecklessness of Obama and other world leaders?

JOEL BLOCK
Haifa

Seeing ‘settlers’

Sir, – Susan Hattis Rolef did it again (“A nostalgic visit to Haifa,” Think About It, October 14) – she turned what was an otherwise interesting column into an opportunity to throw a totally uncalled-for punch at “settlers.”

Not only was it uncalled for, her jab was irrelevant to the piece when she wondered if “settlers” considered Haifa part of Israel, which they do. I wonder if she considers Shiloh, Beit El, Hebron, Eilon Moreh, Bethlehem, Sussia, Efrat and many other places not to her left-leaning liking to be part of Israel.

JUDY LEV
Ra’anana

Sir, – If Susan Hattis Rolef would take a look around Jerusalem, she would see Jews and Arabs dining in the same restaurants.

They also shop in the same malls, use the same public transportation and receive medical treatment in the same facilities “as if there was nothing more natural than doing so.”

As for “radical settlers” being nowhere in sight in Haifa, I wonder what superior powers of perception she uses to identify “settlers” and the extent to which they are “radical.”

LAURA WOOLF
Ma’aleh Adumim

Change the disc

Sir, – Your October 10 editorial “A matter of values” criticizes Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s rebuff to the White House’s constant criticism of building plans in parts of Jerusalem.

You say it’s not nice for an Israeli leader to say that President Barack Obama is acting against American values. I disagree and think Netanyahu has in fact been far to gentle and polite.

When the White House spokesman listed examples of American values (supporting Israel, partially funding the Iron Dome anti-rocket defense system, etc.), he was right. Those were good examples. That’s why it’s all the more baffling and does a great injustice to those same American values to claim that Jews living in Judea or Samaria or Jerusalem are somehow “illegitimate.”

The prime minister has to finally speak the only language the Europeans and Americans will listen to and understand: international law. He has to decry the great injustice being done to the Jewish people every time they call Jewish “settlements” illegal or illegitimate. He has to say and explain that these communities are very much legal according to international law based on the 1922 League of Nations Mandate for Palestine, which recognized and acknowledged the deep and ancient connection of the Jewish people to all the Land of Israel (called Palestine by the Romans when they exiled the Jews from their homeland 2,000 years ago).

The late Edmund Levy and others have written extensively explaining the details of why all Jewish settlement activity is very much legal according to international law. This is a great diplomatic tool that our government is failing to use and exploit.

Every time Obama or Secretary of State John Kerry or UN Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon criticize Israel for building a new home in Jerusalem and our government doesn’t answer back saying they are wrong from a legal perspective, it’s as if we’re admitting that they are right. It’s time to change the disc.

LARRY BIGIO
Zichron Ya’acov

One or the other

Sir, – In “An open letter to Mahmoud Abbas” (Comment & Features, October 6), Yoram Dori condemns the lies in the Palestinian Authority president’s speech to the UN as a “pure, malicious and evil act.” I agree totally. But I could not believe what I read at the end: “Finally, Mr. Abbas, please note that your inappropriate speech... won’t stop me and many other people in Israel” from continuing to seek peace.

To use the word “evil” synonymously with “inappropriate” is absurd. The speech was either one or the other. My understanding of Mr. Dori’s message was as follows: Mr. Abbas, no matter how many absurd lies you tell or what hateful and murderous actions are taken by your regime, you will pay no penalty nor endure any sanction.

And if you do sign a peace treaty with us, we’ll expect you to break it – and that will be fine with us because we love peace.”

How can we negotiate and accept the word of someone who tells such egregious lies? Since Mr. Dori cannot distinguish between “evil” and “inappropriate,” he should go to the dictionary to look up “egregious.”

GEORGE LEBOVITZ
Jerusalem

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