Letters to the Magazine 407123

Readers weigh in on past issues of the 'Magazine.'

Envelope (photo credit: ING IMAGE/ASAP)
(photo credit: ING IMAGE/ASAP)
Those ‘unilateral moves’
In “Like lint in the dryer” (Grumpy Old Man, June 12), Lawrence Rifkin grumps about Israeli incompetence in trying to stop the BDS Movement from gaining further momentum.
According to Rifkin, the government should “consider unilateral moves” in order to “ameliorate some of the diplomatic pressure.”
These moves, he says, will eventually lead to the separation of the moderate section of BDS supporters from the movement’s imbalanced, if not deluded, agenda.
Unfortunately, unilateral moves – as necessary as they may seem – are perceived by our neighbors as a disorderly rout, and by anti-Israel boycotters as the ultimate admission of guilt. A daily dose of Palestinian media (in Arabic) can reveal the scorn with which such moves and gestures are met, and leave no doubt as to the future consequences of such steps.
Personally, I would rather have one less cellular operator than one less defensible border. I can only assume that Israeli athletes would rather have Palestinian Football Association president Jibril Rajoub’s red card in their faces than Black September’s red prince on their hotel balcony.
Activist rabbi
I read with great interest Rabbi Avi Weiss’s recent book Open Up the Iron Door (“Rebel with an eternal cause,” Books, June 5), which deals mainly with his relentless struggle on behalf of Soviet Jewry.
A number of years ago, my late husband and I went to Montreal to attend a wedding. It was then that I had the singular pleasure of meeting the renowned activist rabbi in person. However, what we talked about was not his blessed activities on behalf of Soviet Jewry, but his less-publicized efforts on behalf of imprisoned Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard, whom he has found the time to visit on a regular basis.
The busy rabbi’s relentless efforts on behalf of Soviet Jewry finally bore fruit. Alas, since our conversation more than a decade ago, there has been no change in Pollard’s deplorable situation.
One thing is certain, however: Rabbi Weiss continues his visits to another kind of Prisoner of Zion and his unrelenting efforts to finally gain for him his long-deserved freedom.
RACHEL KAPEN West Bloomfield, Michigan
New strategy
It would appear that on the whole, the Palestinians do not recognize Israel as a Jewish state.
Furthermore, most countries do not really recognize Israel as a Jewish state; if they did, they would not place impediments in the way of Israel to defend itself.
Why this situation exists is perhaps problematic. But one might hazard a guess that it arises because the narrative told by the Palestinians arouses more sympathy than the Israel narrative.
The Palestinian narrative is that they are the indigenous people, and the Jews colonial invaders from the era of European imperialism.
The Israeli narrative basically consists of the Balfour Declaration and the UN Partition Plan. One might say that to attain the sympathy of the world, Israel should basically eliminate those points from its hasbara (public diplomacy).
What should replace them? Perhaps the idea that the Jews maintained a continuity in their homeland during the past 2,000 years, and thus for the last two millennia the Land of Israel never ceased being a Jewish possession.
Therefore, it is the Jews who are the indigenous people, with the rights that the UN has determined for indigenous peoples. Accordingly, the Palestinians are the descendants of the invaders of Jewish territory.
If this became the accepted truth, perhaps sympathy would shift to the true indigenous people.
Maybe then, even the Palestinians might recognize the Jews as the true indigenous people and be willing to make peace on reasonable terms.
One might think that if a certain strategy has not worked, there could be occasion for a different strategy.
In “The ‘Altalena’ burns, alliances go up in flames” (History, June 19), a number of the photos had incorrect captions.
In addition, due to technical glitches, previously published puzzles appeared in the same issue. We apologize for the errors.
Write to: maglet@jpost.com Only a selection of letters can be published. Priority goes to those that are brief and topical. Letters may be edited, and must bear the name and address of the writer.