September 22: No to Quartet

In 1967 we defeated an Arab attempt to wipe us off the map, today we find ourselves dickering with the PLO, a certified terrorist organization.

By JERUSALEM POST READERS
September 22, 2011 00:09
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letters. (photo credit: JP)

 
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No to Quartet

Sir, – September 20’s main article (“No compromise on ‘Jewish’ state, say Israeli officials”) tells us the Quartet wants us to agree to talks “on the basis of the pre- 1967 lines with mutual swaps.”

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This is shocking and humiliating. We would be capitulating before negotiating.

UN Resolution 242 gave us complete control over the West Bank – in 1967 the IDF stood on the banks of the Jordan River, not on the 1949 armistice line. This should be our minimum demand.

Our second demand should be that we erase all hostile references to Jews and Israel from Palestinian textbooks and course work, and similarly censor all mass media.

As I recall, in 1967 we defeated an Arab attempt to wipe us off the map, and today we find ourselves dickering with the PLO, a certified terrorist organization. Have our leaders lost their minds?

CHAYIM SEIDEN
Jerusalem

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Dismayed, sickened

Sir, - I was utterly dismayed and even sickened to read on your front page that some in our senior IDF echelons are even now proposing goodwill gestures toward the Palestinians (“IDF readies gestures to minimize violence after UN bid,” September 19). This is especially perplexing when we read of the determined efforts by the Palestinian Authority to seek UN membership, and its adamant refusal to recognize Israel as a “Jewish” state.

Have we learned nothing? Surely, common sense informed by bitter experience should have long ago convinced us not only of the utter futility of these gestures, but of the heavy price our citizens often have to pay.

Palestinian violence cannot be bought off! It must be made unthinkable by the strength of our preparedness and determination to oppose it. Evil cannot be vanquished or appeased by gestures of goodwill – it must be confronted by implacable might and the righteousness of our cause.

In ancient times, when Israel was to go into battle, the high priest exempted those who were faint of heart. Are we now facing a situation where those who are in charge of our defense forces are similarly stricken?

ZEV CHAMUDOT
Petah Tikva

A new name

Sir, – I am probably naive and not well enough informed as to the mechanics implicit in the following simplistic suggestion, but here it is: Why can’t the Israeli government formally and legally change the name of our country to the “Jewish State of Israel,” similar to the “Islamic State of Afghanistan?” Our seat in the United Nations would bear that name. It would be a fait accompli and we would not have to force other states or peoples to recognize us as such.

When and if the Palestinians finally come to the negotiating table, they would have to negotiate and sign any agreement with the “Jewish State of Israel,” which implicitly entails recognition.

MICHAEL SCHNEIDER
Ra’anana

Never enough

Sir, – The failure of the Palestinians to come to the negotiating table is truly a sad reflection on the morality of the Western nations (“The failed policies of the West,” The Region, September 19). The pundits can say they really would like peace between Israel and the Palestinians. However, the facts indicate that the leading Western nations – Russia and the United States – want Israel to make all the concessions.

No one has ever insisted that prior to getting billions of dollars from donor countries, the Palestinians examine their textbooks and media for hatred. No one has ever insisted that Hamas be kept out of a state living side by side with Israel. No one has ever insisted that a priori this state be absolutely demilitarized.

No matter what Israel is ready to do, it is never enough.

THELMA SUSSWEIN
Jerusalem

Jewish values in danger

Sir, – With regard to “Choosing to be an isolationist in my backyard” by Tzirel Shaffren (Comment & Features, September 20), extremism, whether in haredi Judaism or Islamic fundamentalism, can cause situations that are contrary to the teachings of the Torah or the Koran.

One can find misinterpretations in all the holy writings of civilization. It is therefore incumbent on scholars of these texts to speak out when extremists try to impose their exclusive views on the rest of us.

What is happening in Beit Shemesh is as dangerous to Israeli society and Jewish values as any Arab terrorist attack that sees the murder of Jewish children asleep in their beds, as recently happened at Itamar.

HAIM M. LERNER
Ganei Tikva

Naked by choice

Sir, - The attack on Spencer Tunick by Mickael Laustriat (“Tunick and a lost bet,” Letters, September 20) does not seem to take account of the fundamental difference between the situation of Jews in the Shoah and those of us who participated in the Dead Sea event (“1,000 Israelis ‘connect with nature’ at Dead Sea,” September 18).

Before deciding to take part, I too thought about why Jews were naked in the past. To me the distinction is crystal clear: Jews in the Shoah had no choice. Jews in Israel today choose, voluntarily, to use nakedness to demonstrate that we live, as Jews, in a free and open society.

Wouldn’t God be happy that this generation of Jews has that freedom?

ANTHONY A CORRE
Eilat

Sir, – After reading the opinion that hearing a woman sing is “akin to seeing a woman naked” (“Rabbis differ over women singing in army,” September 16), I was relieved that when 1,000 Israelis removed their clothes to be photographed at the Dead Sea, there were no reports of anyone singing.

YONATAN SILVER
Jerusalem

Don’t market safety Sir, – Not all of our services need to be privatized (“In defense of MDA, Editorial, September 18).

This is particularly true for emergency medical services. Fact: Most, if not all, major US medical emergency services are run by local authorities.

In the past, emergency services in the US were in private hands.

When ambulances from different companies arrived at the scene of an accident, the crews fought for authority and priority. The injured sometimes died waiting.

In the event of mass catastrophes and casualties – with which we are all too familiar – how would the private emergency services coordinate the treatment and movement of patients? Would they remove them to favored hospitals instead of the nearest best facility? And what about training and coordination with other emergency services? All emergency services – medical, fire and police – should be integrated and coordinated by the IDF’s Home Front Command.

CHIEL WIND
Holon
The writer is a physician

Fraying lungs

Sir, – I was at a recent wedding at Moshav Shoresh, where the whole evening was an asthmatic nightmare. The ceremony held outside was hard to see through the clouds of smoke. When we went inside for dancing and comestibles, our meal was accompanied by the usual decibels of music, but also by clouds and clouds of smoke.

When I brought this up with the banquet manager (who, by the way, walked around smoking), he said it was a private function and as such the laws regarding smoking in public places did not count.

Perhaps one of your readers could put me straight on the exact wheres and wherefores of this law so I’ll know next time whether I should slip a facemask or two into my handbag (along with my earplugs) to preserve my already fraying lungs.

NATALIE GILBERT
Jerusalem

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