October 31, 2018: Land for words

Readers of the Jerusalem Post have their say.

By
October 30, 2018 18:49
Letters

Letters. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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Land for words

Regarding “Gov’t accuses PA of torpedoing peace after vote to not recognize Israel” (JPost.com, October 30), most people do not realize that the PLO never ratified the Oslo Accords when the PLO was supposed to have recognized Israel in the first place.

Pinchas Inbari, one of the few Israeli correspondents covering the PLO in Tunis at the time, writing for the left-wing Hebrew newspaper Al HaMishmar, broke the story that Arafat announced in Tunis that he could not get a quorum of the Executive Council of the PLO to ratify the Declaration of Principles of the Oslo Accords.

Al HaMishmar ran a headline story on October 7, 1993 that confirmed that the PLO did not ratify the peace accord that Arafat and Abbas had signed together with Peres and Rabin only a few weeks before, with US and Russia as co-signers. The rest of the Israeli media, however, did not report that the PLO never ratified the accord.

 Why is this important? According to Israeli law, since the PLO never ratified the Oslo Accords or renounced terrorism, the PLO and Fatah were not stricken from Israeli law books as “terrorist entities,” a status that the PLO received on March 1, 1980. If you check the law books today, you will find that the PLO is still defined in Israeli law as a terrorist entity, because the PLO never ratified the Oslo Accords.

The same goes for American law. In March 2002, the US government designated the Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigades of the Fatah as a terrorist organization. That terrorist designation was never changed. Under US law, any government that aids and abets an organization defined as a terrorist organization will forfeit US foreign aid assistance.

DAVID BEDEIN
Director, Israel Resource News Agency


The decision of PLO Central Council to suspend its recognition of the state of Israel underscores the recklessness of giving away real assets, such as land, for agreements and promises that can be revoked at any time by the other side.

Egyptian president Anwar Sadat said it best. Incredulous that Israel was willing to give up the entire Sinai – three times the size of Israel, including an oil field with vast untapped reserves – Sadat is reported to have gleefully remarked, “Poor Menachem. I got back the Sinai and the Alma oil fields, and what has Menachem got? A piece of paper.”

FAY SULLIVAN
Beit Shemesh



Pittsburgh points

After reading for weeks about the rifts between the non-Orthodox Jewish communities in America and our brothers and sisters in Israel, the killing of our fellow Jews in Pittsburgh, USA is a sad reminder that there is no place for rifts among us. We are one people, and just as our hearts bleed when someone in Israel is murdered because he or she is Jewish, so do we all feel the pain when Jews are murdered in the US.

We must let the world know that all Jews are brethren. If you harm anyone of us, we will all rally against you, even though we are small in numbers. This has been our tradition for thousands of years and has kept us in tact as a people. We value freedom and the dignity of man, who was created in God’s image.

We are citizens of the world and we are Jews and we do all that we can to make the world a safe, loving and tolerant place for all.

ELIAS HERSCHMANN
Miami Beach


Regarding “A history of antisemitism” (October 30), upon reading that Jewish American writer David Simon blames Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the Pittsburgh massacre, it was expected that the Left would use this tragedy to bash US President Donald Trump, because they always blame him for anything they can, despite the fact that Trump, with his numerous Jewish advisors along with his Jewish daughter, son in law and grandchildren is arguably the least antisemitic politician in Washington.

To blame Netanyahu for the murders, claiming that he helped Trump to become elected, is so far-fetched, it is shameful. And to tell Education and Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett to “go home” can only be described as anti-Zionist. US and Israeli society will benefit when people accept that blaming a large section of the population for a crime committed by an individual is completely illegitimate. Divisive rhetoric serves only to fan the flames of disunity.

SHARON LINDENBAUM
Rehovot

Regarding “Pittsburgh shooting reveals lack of security measures in US synagogues” (October 29), as a Jewish US citizen, I resent the implication that Jewish houses of worship require continued presence of armed guards. This country was founded in 1776 with religious liberty for all. Yes, antisemitism reared its ugly head again in recent years in Europe and the US. With enough incitement, the horrific Pittsburgh incident occurred.

But it’s not the standard lifestyle here. Gun radicalism and dehumanizing the religions of others created this creature of hate – another sign of irresponsible leadership. Armed guards are not the answer; in 2018 we aren’t living a frontier life in the wild west. Carefully crafted bipartisan gun laws are the answer, separate from NRA input, along with addressing the US citizenry with civil words and gestures. Jews and others can and will continue to pray in synagogues, temples, shteebles, home minyanim, churches and mosques – in freedom. All are welcome.

I wish that more would attend services both in the US and Israel, but that’s another story.

SANDY WASSERMAN
Plainview, NY


Horrific events bring out the best and the worst of humanity. In the aftermath of the Pittsburgh massacre, officials and citizens came out in force to condemn the attack and console the congregation. Others, in unseemly, hyper-partisan haste, sought to politicize that tragedy. Thus, that offensive letter to President Trump from “Bend the Arc” local acolytes of Alexander Soros and Peter Beinhart: “You are not welcome in our city.” Or, David Simon, channeling his hatred, tweeting to Education and Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett: “Go Home.”

Abe Foxman wisely counseled, “Trump is part of the problem but not the problem.” It was demonic Jew-hatred, not intemperate, nor ill-phrased, words, that incited mass murder.

Jews do not lack for enemies. Antisemitism, whether on the Left or Right, masquerading as anti-Zionism, or unclothed, is once again fashionable. Perhaps after this bitter shock, American Jewish critics of Israel will not be so dismissive of the security threats Israel faces daily, or be so quick to blame Israel, not Palestinian intransigence, for the lack of peace. Jews everywhere need to unite against real, not imaginary, enmity. To paraphrase Pogo: We have seen the enemy, and, though I’m hardly a fan, it isn’t Trump, and it isn’t us.

RICHARD D. WILKINS
Syracuse, NY

With the hateful violent assault on innocent synagogue attendees by one human being against dozens of other human beings, I’m thinking that humankind could really use an evil alien invasion of the Hollywood movie sort.

It would need to be one in which all of us sub-groups of the human race are essentially forced to unite, attack and defeat the creepy invaders. The latter – who would be the new (and hopefully last) Them – would have to be unlike our humanoid type, indeed as far as possible from being anything remotely like one of our Team Terra.

In the 1996 blockbuster film Independence Day, the most memorable of unusual allegiances against the invading genocidal alien race involved Israeli fighter pilots seen working alongside otherwise-enemy Iraqi fighter pilots (both nations’ flag signage is visible on the planes), all refreshingly allied in a fight against a new common adversary.

Admittedly, though, I also wonder what would happen, say, some five decades later, after all signs are long gone of the violent ET invasion we had victoriously overcome – when the politics to which we humans are so collectively prone return to the fore.

FRANK STERLE. JR.
White Rock, B.C., Canada



Jordanian reality check

Harry Brown was right (“Jaundiced perspective, Letters, December 29) in criticizing the hypocrisy of Dr. Munjed Farid Al Qutob’s praise of the King of Jordan for his declaration to end the land-lease agreements and to “reclaim sovereignty.”

Interestingly, Al Qutob claimed that Jordan has cherished the “sacredness of Islamic and Christian holy shrines” but did not include Jewish shrines. As Brown pointed out, these were deliberately destroyed and profaned by Jordanian soldiers. Perhaps Al Qutob does feel some shame?

However, Al Qutob does not seem to understand the nature of leasing. The status quo does not deny Jordanian sovereignty of those areas. They are undeniably Jordanian and Israeli farmers pay to cultivate them.

Last week, together with friends from Beit Shemesh, I visited the northern of these two areas, Naharayim. On the border is an ornamental gate that was guarded by two Jordanian soldiers who detained us for half an hour until they obtained permission from a senior officer. Only then were we able to proceed to see “the Island of Peace,” the beautiful memorial garden for the seven Beit Shemesh schoolgirls who were brutally murdered there in 1997 by a Jordanian soldier.

His release from prison last year was greeted with wild celebrations by Jordanian sympathizers who obviously consider him a hero.

ALAN HALIBARD
Beit Shemesh


Scoreboard

Is it mere coincidence that shortly after the Real Madrid football club hosted anti-Israel activist Ahed Tamimi that their sporting success went into a tailspin, culminating in a 5-1 drubbing at the hands of rivals Barcelona?

DAVID S ADDLEMAN
Mevaseret Zion

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