September 30: Can’t settle for less

Gal-On is either devoid of a fundamental knowledge of history or suffers from a common spell of Jewish insecurity.

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September 29, 2014 22:00
Letters

Letters. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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Can’t settle for less

Sir, – The leader of an insignificant party in the Knesset, Zehava Gal-On, finds the UN tirade by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas satisfying in that he demands the “end of the occupation” (“Meretz stands with Abbas while leading MKs slam speech,” September 28).

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She is either devoid of a fundamental knowledge of history or suffers from a common spell of Jewish insecurity.

UN Resolution 242 is absolutely clear in that any withdrawal from the West Bank is conditioned upon a border agreed to by all. In order to secure a peace treaty, Israel will need the following:

• Recognition as a Jewish state • Jerusalem as the capital of Israel alone • Total demilitarization of Palestine (i.e., the West Bank and Gaza Strip) • Complete revocation of the PLO and Hamas covenants • Fulfillment of all unfulfilled Oslo commitments • No return by refugees or hard-core prisoners.

Given the outright rejection of so many generous offers by Israel, as well as the intifadas, suicide bombings and rocket attacks, how can we consider less?

ALEX ROSE Ashkelon



Replying to the PM

Sir, – In reply to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s Rosh Hashana letter to Jewish communities around the world (Comment & Features, September 28), weakness and concessions to the enemy caused the brutal murder of our three teenagers and the deaths of our brave soldiers in Gaza – which is Jewish land that we surrendered to our enemies.

While the prime minister assures Jews everywhere that Israel will continue to stand by their side (because Jews everywhere must be able to live proudly and without fear), he refuses to change the status quo at the Temple Mount, our holiest site. It is there that Muslims are treated with deference and respect while Jews are humiliated and treated like criminals, unable to pray or even move their mouths, as this would offend the Muslims. When the Arabs there threaten to riot – which they regularly do – the police immediately force the Jews to leave the compound, never the Muslims.

I would say this to the prime minister: Before making promises to others, make sure your own people in their own land are able to live proudly and without fear, something we are unable to do while our leader refuses to confront and destroy Israel’s enemies. Only then will we see a secure and enduring peace.

Lastly, sir, please do not insult our intelligence by harping about how you left the government of Ariel Sharon when the decision was made to surrender Gush Katif. The fact is, you did not walk out before the final decision was made, when you probably could have changed the course of history and stopped what turned out to be a major, ongoing disaster.

I wish the prime minister a shana tova – a year of facing up to the truth with faith, courage and pride in building the one and only Jewish state for the one and only Jewish people, as was ordained by God.

YENTEL JACOBS Netanya

Views of a court

Sir, – Contrary to the tone and content of your editorial “Potent message” (September 28), the High Court of Justice ruling that imprisonment without trial is unconstitutional is almost a no-brainer.

Basic Law: Dignity and Freedom of Man was enacted by a special majority in the Knesset “to protect the dignity and freedom of man, and to entrench in a Basic Law the values of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.” It states specifically that you may not take away or limit the freedom of a person by imprisonment, arrest, extradition or any other means.

Yes, there is a problem with illegal immigration, but we must find a solution without injuring our democracy or basic human rights. We were strangers in the land of Egypt! The Supreme Court did not usurp power to declare legislation unconstitutional; the purpose of constitutional legislation is to authorize courts to require compliance. The Supreme Court is doing its job. Until the Knesset does its job and enacts a full constitution, the Supreme Court must enforce what exists.

You complain that “the highest court in the land has been entrusted with the power to replicate itself....” Judges are selected by the nine-man Committee for the Selection of Judges, which includes only three judges.

Your silliest claim is that the Supreme Court is “a small band that reflects the viewpoint of a tiny (and shrinking ) minority – the Left.” Israel is not ruled by court judgments, which can only determine whether the “how” of implementing policy is legal. If the policy of the government is to keep out illegal immigrants, it must find a way to do so in accordance with the law. The concept that human and civil rights are the exclusive territory of the Left gives the Left far too much credit.

I do not expect an editorial in a paper I read to be a diatribe against the top court of the land and the rule of law.

BRIAN D. WINE Jerusalem
The writer is an attorney

Sir, – Kudos to your editorial board for its unambiguous condemnation of the latest thwarting of the will of the Israeli people by the Supreme Court.

One of the great pillars of Israeli political discourse is the great premium the Left puts on the concept of Israel as a democratic state. There is rampant hand-wringing about the perceived threats to that democratic status by, among others, the religious and the nationalist sectors.

Ironically, of course, the Left not only turns a blind eye, but cheers wildly when an unelected, unrepresentative Supreme Court carries out the Left’s agenda.

The Court is a self-perpetuating, left-wing oligarchy, completely divorced from the warp and woof of both the citizenry and its elected representatives.

The interest of the Left in the representative process applies only when left-wingers can hide behind it to defeat outcomes or policies they oppose.

In such cases, it’s all about protecting the rights of minorities and worrying about the great unwashed running amok over cherished ideals. When the Left is in control, process goes out the window; it’s all about the results.

I am sure that the Supreme Court sees itself as the last bastion of progressive sanity in Israel.

The justices are very willing to act however they choose regardless of the will of the people.

But let’s not have any illusions: This is not democracy; this is benign despotism.

DOUGLAS ALTABEF Rosh Pina

Bad news/good news

Sir, – I recently received a letter from England. There was a large “IS” on the canceled stamp (see photo). Was this for “Islamic State”? Do the Brits know something we don’t know? Are they preparing for the takeover? Now I’m really scared! The good news is that the queen isn’t wearing a burka yet.

GERALDINE THEMAL Kiryat Tivon

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