Letters to the Editor May 18, 2022: Refusing to negotiate

Readers of The Jerusalem Post have their say.

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

Refusing to negotiate

The most important point in Alan Baker’s excellent article “The two state solution” (May 17) is that the conflict must be settled via negotiation. Every time we hear that building in the “settlements” or Israel’s response to attacks on her people endanger the two state solution, we should be telling the world, “No. Palestinian intransigence is the problem.”

Both Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas flatly rejected Israeli proposals that could have seen the creation of the first-ever-to-exist Arab State of Palestine on essentially all the disputed land, even with the possibility of shared governance in parts of Jerusalem.

It has been nearly three decades since the Oslo process began. During much of that time, Palestinian leaders have refused to negotiate. Even when they do agree to come to the table, they take the stance that only one party (Israel) needs to make concessions and that the signing of a peace treaty will not end the conflict. In short, the Palestinian leaders are not negotiating even during “negotiations.”



How much longer must we endure this false notion that somehow there can be two states, one Jewish and the other Arab living in peace side by side here in greater Israel?

The so-called Palestinian Arabs don’t want it. They want an Arab state from the “River to the Sea.” Besides, they already have their state; it’s called the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

Only when the Arabs give up the fight to conquer Israel will there be true peace in this region. But that will never happen. The Arab Muslims are still trying to right the wrong of losing Europe to Charles the Hammer in the eighth century!

These days though, the Muslims are conquering Europe by means of immigration. They don’t need to invade from the outside, but will soon be successful at taking over Europe from within, especially when Muhammad is one of the most popular names in Britain today.

I remember an episode of Fauda, a few years back, where the son of an official of the PA drifts toward becoming a member of Hamas. His father takes the son to Tel Aviv, showing him the Tel Aviv skyline and says to his kid, “Do you think that you can conquer all this?” or words to that effect.

But as futile as it all seems to be, personally I doubt that the so-called Palestinians will ever give up their quest to destroy Israel and all the Jews therein. We here in Israel need to remain strong to withstand the violence and abuse from some of our “cousins” here and in the rest of the world.

We need to expand the Abraham Accords by working to include more Arab states of the region and continue to make the so-called Palestinians and their claim to our land superfluous.


Ma’aleh Adumim

Retreat from folly

Kudos to your reporters Tovah Lazaroff and Khaled Abu Toameh (“US slams Israel’s push to advance settler homes,” May 8) for opening a path to a clearer understanding of the critical distinctions between the catch phrases: expanded settlement, new settlement building, new settlements, etc. In fact, no new settlements will be established to coiffe the 3,988 new homes to be built.  President Biden must know this, but wishes to ignore it so as not to weaken his claim that even this moderate Israeli policy “deeply damages the prospect for a two state solution.”

Despite what the Israeli Left would fear and some on the Right would welcome, the policy of expanding existing settlement in Judea and Samaria, but not the number of towns, does not meaningfully deter the eventual achievement of a two state solution. The catch phrase “two states for two peoples” has become so cliché that it tends to limit creative thinking about solutions.

It would be better to analyze the situation on the ground in wider terms and also with certain other paradigms: two governments in one land; the place of Jordan in such an equation in terms of federation or confederation; the fact that a Palestinian Arab state already exists under the executive, legislative and judicial control of the Palestinian National Authority. The issue here, therefore, is one of the level of sovereignty such a state should have but not whether it already exists or not. There are many states in the world with limited sovereignty.

The claim that territorial contiguity is at issue is not as critical as it might first appear. It, in fact, may be achievable with modern engineering technology. This would require a paradigm shift away from “land” to “people.” It would be interesting to mount a study of how the Gush Etzion settlements and the surrounding Arab towns are faring within and among themselves in terms of interconnectivity and how even that might be improved.

With over 500,000 Jews in some 200 towns living today in the administered territories, there is no chance under heaven for the transfer of even a part as was accomplished in 2005 so traumatically when “only” 8,000 were expelled from a mere 21 towns in Gaza.

President Biden would do well to retreat from folly, face such reality squarely and plan with Jerusalem, Ramallah and Amman how to expand interconnectivity for Palestinian Jews and Arabs within Judea and Samaria on the West Bank of the Jordan; all the people of this one land, already with its two governments, deserve nothing less.



Grind to powder

Regarding “Israel mulls deporting families of terrorists to Gaza” (May 17): The ultimate threat has always been typified by the phrase “your money or your life,” and is based on the presumption that a person would give anything to save his life. However, in the age of Islamic fundamentalism, this threat has lost its power, since death as a terrorist has become an ideal in itself. 

Consequently, another method of deterrence needs to be employed which would cancel this ideal and make the terrorist think twice. The consequential suffering of his loved ones is indeed the most obvious choice, as the justice minister has now proposed.

The immediate cancellation of social benefits to the families of the terrorists is an absolute essential, and a way must be found to overcome any legalistic objections to deportation of the immediate family to any place over the border. The demolition of the house of the terrorist is also essential and if he lived in only one floor, the entire building should be demolished. He will thus know the extent of the suffering he is causing his friends and neighbors – all of which is nothing compared to the suffering and anguish he will have caused to the families of the victims of his acts.

All the above steps should be announced in a public statement of government policy. The statement should be publicized widely so that all will know what is to be expected if a terrorist action is perpetrated – “don’t say we didn’t tell you.” Such public warning will also give backing for any resistance to court applications by the family or neighbors of the terrorist, attempting to cancel any of these punitive steps. 

Let us hope that the justice minister succeeds in his attempts to enact these provisions and does not just “mull” them. (“Mull” is defined in the Oxford Dictionary as “to grind to powder.”)



Basic Jewish teachings

In response to the article asking, “Can we eat healthy and protect the environment at the same time?” (May 16), as president emeritus of Jewish Veg and author of Vegan Revolution: Saving Our World, Revitalizing Judaism, I want to answer with a resounding yes!

Through a vegan diet we can do both, and it is much easier to do that today. In addition to a huge range of healthy whole plant foods, there is an abundance of plant-based substitutes with appearance, texture and taste so similar to meat and other animal products that even longtime meat-eaters can’t tell the difference.

Many peer-reviewed studies in respected medical journals demonstrate the many health benefits of vegan diets. They have many other positives, including reducing the current massive mistreatment of animals, reducing the current very wasteful use of land, water, energy, and other resources, and reducing chances for future pandemics.

Most importantly, moving away from animal agriculture would permit reforestation of the vast areas now used for grazing and growing feed crops for animals. This would sequester much atmospheric CO2 and reduce it from its present very dangerous level to a much safer one.

Also, moving toward a plant-based diet would be consistent with basic Jewish teachings on preserving our health, treating animals with compassion, protecting the environment, conserving natural resources, and reducing hunger.



There is no dispute

In his article ”Nides and I” (May 15), Uri Pilichowski gives us a look at Tom Nides. However, as the American ambassador to our country, he should have boned up on what is legal or not in Israel. By his not visiting the perfectly legal towns and villages in Judea and Samaria and not recognizing the Jewish right to build there, he is playing the Palestinian card that Obama passed to Biden, the false claim that the land is Palestinian land.

I cannot stress enough that the League of Nations’ Mandate for Palestine, which was passed on to and ratified by the UN, is still in force. All the land west of the Jordan River belongs to the Jewish people in perpetuity, unless we give it away.

If the Palestinian Arabs don’t like it here, they have Jordan where the greater number of their Palestinian Arab brethren reside, and from where most of the “West Bank” Arabs came in1948 to resettle the area, illegally occupied by the Jordanians and to which they since have abjured all claim. This attitude is what makes our politicians fear to lay claim to the territory, afraid of how America and the world will react, so they call it disputed territory. There is no dispute. 

The world body returned the lost land to the Jews in perpetuity and the Palestinians, who made themselves a nation only in the 1960s, have no political rights here whatsoever. All they want is to drive the Jews out of their land and refuse all attempts at mediation and will continue to do so forever.


Rishon Lezion 

Slandering of Israel

The Palestinian refusal to jointly investigate the death of Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh says it all (“IDF probing death of Al Jazeera journalist,” May 12). If the bullets did not come from IDF guns, then the Palestinians lose a wonderful opportunity to call for an international investigation into Israeli brutality, one that the UNHRC will no doubt be eager to carry out.

Another mystery is who called reporters to the scene. Surely Israel didn’t call the journalist pool and announce its plan to go to Jenin, so it must have been the Palestinians whose propaganda template is to call reporters to cover what the Palestinians hope will be acts of brutality inflicted by Israeli security personnel.

This is the same strategy used by Palestinian rioters who assembled the press prior to initiating a riot at the Temple Mount on May 7. It should be noted that only pro-Palestinian reporters are called to the scene. Israel claimed that Palestinian guns were shooting indiscriminately all over the place yet Al-Quds reporter Ali Samoudi said there were no shots coming from the Arab side.

No doubt the refusal by the Palestinians to assemble video and do the forensics will permit Palestinian victimhood workers to carry on their slandering of Israel.