Letters to the editor January 19, 2022: Anarchy in the Negev

Readers of The Jerusalem Post have their say.

Letters (photo credit: PIXABAY)
(photo credit: PIXABAY)

Regarding “The right to plant” (editorial, January 14), the violence by Bedouin in the Negev reflects what in Yiddish is called a hefker velt, a lawless world. The stoning of cars and placing of rocks on train tracks to cause mass casualties last week compounded by thefts from army bases and the building of sprawling illegal villages over the years indicate the Israeli government has lost control over a large part of the country. Above all, how on earth has the Bedouin population in the Negev multiplied a staggering 20 times since 1948 when it was only about 11,000? Is it due to polygamy or spouses brought in illegally from across the border?

I once saw a harrowing Israeli documentary Death in the Terminal, about a Bedouin who murdered an Israeli soldier in the Beersheba bus station in 2015. An Eritrean asylum seeker who was mistaken for the second terrorist was beaten by Israelis and died of his wounds. When Pierre Trudeau, the former liberal prime minister of Canada, had to confront in 1970 the kidnapping of a British diplomat and the kidnapping and murder of a Quebec minister by Quebec separatists, he invoked the War Measures Act, a suspension of civil liberties to deal with this major crisis. Israel must be uncompromising with the anarchy in the Negev.



Eminent domain

Regarding “Palestinians threaten to set fire to themselves to stop razing of their Jerusalem home” (January 18), why does no one ever seem to comment on the illegality of Arab states going to war to prevent the emergence of a Jewish state in the Jews’ ancestral homeland? Why does no one ever suggest that, had the Arab leaders chosen to help the Arabs of Palestine get ready for self-rule, the first-ever-to-exist Arab state of Palestine could have been born alongside the modern State of Israel in the 1940s?

Why are we told that Israel captured eastern Jerusalem and annexed it when the truth is that Israel liberated eastern Jerusalem from an illegal occupier, Jordan, which had ethnically cleansed the area of its (majority) Jewish population, destroyed dozens of synagogues, and desecrated countless Jewish graves? Why is it not mentioned that Israel asked Jordan to not ally with Egypt and Syria in a war instigated with the open intent of destroying Israel and annihilating her people? And that the Jordanian occupation was ended only after Jordanian troops fired on Israeli-held western Jerusalem?

Why aren’t we told that the Arabs who fled western Jerusalem, during Arab-initiated violence, were moved into homes from which Jews had been expelled by the Jordanian occupiers? Why don’t media reports of the current dispute note that Israel allowed the Arabs to remain in the formerly Jewish homes as owners if the Jordanians had transferred title to the new (Arab) occupants?

It seems that the siblings mentioned in this article are among these owners. It also seems that Israel wants their land to build a school that will serve Arab children. This is a matter of eminent domain. The only questions that need to be addressed by the court are whether it’s necessary for the school to replace the homes on that plot of land and what is the appropriate level of compensation that the owners should receive from the state if, indeed, the houses must be torn down to allow the school to be built.



Between law and morality

Supporters of Netanyahu need not feel betrayed by the pending plea-bargain deal (“Netanyahu green-lights formal talks on plea deal under A-G’s conditions,” January 18). There is no contradiction between Netanyahu’s iteration of innocence and his expected admission of guilt. There is a clear distinction between law and morality. While the law includes moral principles, not every action deemed illegal is necessarily immoral. “Yes I did try to get favorable media coverage. That is what ‘campaigning’ is all about. However, there was no deal. I did not believe that there was a law against it. If the judiciary rules that what I have done violates the law of the State of Israel, then I plead guilty, have remorse and will know better in the future.”

Go for it Bibi! Give the family and the country a break! There are many more important issues ahead of us. May we be given the wisdom to find our way forward.



As a fairly recent olah, I am usually reluctant to weigh in on the political scene in Israel. However, when Netanyahu’s proposed legal-plea deal is compared to Nixon’s pardon, I, having lived through that entire process in the US feel that I must object.

The Watergate break-in and theft was a police matter from the beginning, the investigation in complete public view, and the White House cover-up exposed on television (with a collective gasp from the public) with the revelation of the existence of the infamous Nixon tapes.

 This is in no way comparable with the amorphous charges that have been lurking over the Netanyahu family for decades, including the purported extra expenditures on food products and cigars for the official residence. Whatever other accusations are on the table, they are obscured by the expression of such virulent hatred on a personal level that seems to override legal and political considerations.

Whether the Netanyahu family decides to go forward with a plea arrangement or not, it behooves us to speak and write with respect about a leader who has served Israel long and well.


Beit Shemesh

One people

The title of the editorial “Jewish Solidarity” (January 17) hit the proverbial nail right on the head! However dispersed we are geographically, however multi-faceted we are by religious denominations (ultra-Orthodox, Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, etc.), at the end of the day, we are one people. If a fellow Jew requires my assistance, I gladly provide it, regardless of his or her “denomination.”

We are all of one faith, and must never lose sight of that. I look forward to the day when all Jews reside in our homeland – Israel, and all of us bear responsibility for every other Jew. May it come quickly in our time!


Tzur Yitzhak

Pipe dreams?

Regarding Shmuley Boteach’s latest, “Denying antisemitism in Texas” (January 18), when I started reading, I was at first expecting Shmuley to say that he personally knew Malik Faisal Akram and had studied Bible with him while he was at Oxford, like he did with so many others. After all, Mr. Akram was a British citizen.

To my great surprise, I actually agree with most of Boteach’s points in his article except for his last point about reaching out to our Muslim brothers and sisters. First of all, the Muslims are our cousins and not our brothers.

Secondly, the way that I see it, Islam is not one of the world’s great religions, but rather should be considered to be one of the world’s great political movements, aspiring world domination. Ever since they were turned back in 732 AD by Charles the Hammer from their attempt to conquer all of Europe, the Muslims have been trying to right that wrong and take over Europe and then the rest of the world.

Europe and especially England are doomed to Muslim domination just from the influx of Muslim immigrants welcomed there. Mohammed is one of the more popular names these days in England. It seems like it’s only a matter of time until Muslims take control of the European continent.

Our Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, Hezbollah, Iranian, Iraqi, and even Turkish neighbors have no intention of repudiating Muslim terrorists who threaten Israel and Jews worldwide. Rather, they finance these acts of terror everywhere in order to eradicate the Jews.

Thank God for the Abraham Accords reached through the great efforts of former president Trump. Hopefully, more of our Arab neighbors will come aboard and then, just maybe, with our help, the entire region will be able to squelch these terrorist organizations for good.

Then, once the worldwide Muslim religious leadership finally recognizes the futility of trying to destroy Israel, and starts to preach normalization and recognition of Israel, maybe then we can finally have true peace in the Middle East for the generations to come. 

I know... pipe dreams.


Ma’aleh Adumim

Wise decision

Regarding “Abbas calls off PLO conference to avoid ‘confrontation’ with Israel, Washington” (January 16), Mahmoud Abbas canceled the Palestinian Central Council (PCC), also known as the PLO Central Council, because the whole “Palestine” concept is a mess.

There is the Palestinian Authority (PA) which represents the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). The PLO was created by the KGB in 1964 and signed the Oslo Accords in 1993.

The PLO was formed to drive the Jews out of Israel. Gaza and the West Bank were not part of its mandate as they were under Egyptian and Jordanian occupation.

The PLO’s Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, is a Marxist-Leninist faction, and is second in size only to Fatah within the PLO.

There is the Palestine National Council (PNC), the Palestinian parliament in exile and it elects the PLO Executive Committee.

And, of course, there is Hamas which rules Gaza with an iron fist and is sworn to kill every Jew in the world.

Last spring, Abbas canceled the elections he expected to lose, angering Hamas, which flexed its muscles by firing 4300 rockets at Israel, 100 of which landed in Gaza. That didn’t end well for Gazans. Now Abbas canceled the PCC, probably a wise decision. Better to rule as a dictator, as he has for the past 16 years.



For ourselves

Why are we always so worried about what others think of us, even when it should be obvious that said worry is totally unjustified and very wrong (“Diaspora Jewry opposes partitioning the Western Wall,” January 16)? As the article by Sol Werdiger states, the majority of those who want to change our traditions have not even visited, far less, live in the Jewish land. When the Women of the Wall “pray” at the Western Wall, it looks and sounds more like a black southern church prayer group.

It is unthinkable that we should try to appease those who would in fact loosen our connection to our holy traditions and laws. Appeasement in any form, whether over religion or enemies sworn to our destruction, doesn’t work as anyone willing to open their eyes and mind would clearly see. If we are not for ourselves, then no one else will be and if we are for ourselves, then we might just survive as the Jewish sovereign state for and of the Jewish people, living according to the laws and commandments given to us by God who returned us to our historic land for that purpose: one land – one people.



Acting in concert

The article “Coalition crisis looms over Negev tree planting” by Gil Hoffman (January 12) begs the question as to why we in Israel insist on shooting ourselves in the foot. The fact that former prime minister Netanyahu saw fit to postpone the planting some two years ago coupled with the fact that the related article on the tree planting mentions that “several Likud MKs visited and participated in the planting” speaks volumes.

This makes it obvious that this is a politically manufactured crisis suggesting possible collusion between the JNF and the Likud, designed to embarrass the Bennett government and cause a rift in the coalition. Surely the JNF has an obligation to act in concert with the government of the day, and not in terms of other non-governmental interests.

While the political intent to put Bennett and his coalition under pressure probably falls under the belief that all is fair in war and politics, neglecting to consider the chain reaction the tree planting was obvious to set off was highly irresponsible and dangerous. We now have a situation where Hamas, ever-present to cause  embarrassment and harm to Israel while presenting itself as the defender of the Palestinian people, has grabbed the opportunity to get itself in the headlines with threats against the “occupier.” This is all a load of nonsense as the Jewish people are the legal and rightful owners of the Negev, while Hamas, by making this statement, is laying claim to all of Israel, which has always been its stated, but internationally ignored policy. Hamas thus seeks to use this ill-considered action by the JNF and the Likud to present itself as the protector of Bedouin interests in Israel. 

The Likud and the leadership of the JNF have an obligation to act responsibly and in the best interest of Israel, rather than in their own narrow political interests. Prime Minister Bennett and his government should waste no time in calling the JNF to order and putting an end to this artificially created crisis.


Kfar Saba