Maya Sion-Tzidkiyahu of the Israel-Europe program at the Mitvim Institute errs in interpreting international law (“Room for Israel, too? A European political community,” June 26).
Israel is not in violation of international law anywhere, including “outside” the “1967 lines.” Under international law, including Article 80 of the UN charter, which every UN member signed on to (but most ignore), Israel includes all of Mandatory Palestine.
Therefore, Israel builds towns and villages, not “settlements” and Israelis move into them if they so desire. Israel is not “transferring population to occupied territory.” Judea and Samaria were illegally occupied by Jordan from 1948 to 1967. When Egypt, Syria and Jordan launched an aggressive war against Israel, they were repelled and Judea and Samaria were reattached to Israel.
Sion-Tzidkiyahu ignores the Oslo Accords, under which the PLO was invited into Israel to work on establishing two states. The PLO was given control over parts of the disputed territories until borders between Israel and the first-ever Arab state of Palestine could be established. Those Arabs living under PLO/PA/Hamas areas are not Israel’s responsibility. They are jointly the problem of the PA and Israel where security is involved.
It is unclear whether there is an honest enough EU leadership to tempt Israel to join the EU political community.
Prime ministers may change, but unfortunately the childish rhetoric does not. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett says “our new rule is, whoever sends attackers, pays’ (“The Hamas observation tower,” June 24). Of course, were that statement true, there would not be an enemy who would even consider trying to attack.
Pnina Shuker is correct in her assessment that “there is arguably no greater symbol of Israel’s reluctance to go on the military offensive than the Hamas observation and sniper tower which overlooks the Israeli community of Netiv Ha’asara.” That is, no greater symbol other than the Temple Mount.
According to reports, the IDF preferred not to take out the whole structure because it would have endangered Hamas operatives on the ground. Past and present leaders would prefer to endanger the lives of Israelis rather than the enemy. Where is our Churchill ? Where would we be now were it not for his leadership in World War II: “We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.”
He did not send soldiers into battle with orders not to win, telling the enemy he would not destroy them, like Netanyahu in Operation Protective Edge. He did not, like Benny Gantz, proudly announce he had put his own men in danger to protect “civilian” terrorists and would do the same again.
We are at war and in war there is collateral damage. So far it’s all been on our side. We must be prepared to go to war with unconditional surrender of the enemy or prepare to once more be a wandering abandoned people with no land. The clock is ticking faster and faster.
Straight, tall and proud
When I read the article “Knesset defeats two motions to apply sovereignty to settlements” (June 23), I was unable to control my burst of laughter.
Do our government and politicians not know that we have sovereignty over all the land from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, including Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip? It is clearly stated in the Treaty of Serves (1920), The Mandate for Palestine (1922) and the Treaty of Lausanne (1923). Together, they clearly affirm the land is Jewish land in perpetuity and also make abundantly evident that the Palestinians are the Jews and only the Jews and cannot be applied to any other nationality. Palestinian Arabs is a misnomer and a bogus nation with no history whatsoever, created, by their own admission, only as a way to divest the Jews of their country.
It is about time that our government – be it Right, Left or Center – stand up straight, tall and proud and declare our right to all the land carved out for us under international law. I presume what they wanted was to apply Jewish law to our sovereign territory, which is something quite different.
I am still chuckling.
EDMUND JONAHRishon Lezion
It seems that Israel is more permissive that the United States. In your front page article “Knesset panel okays abortion reforms amid Roe v. Wade” (June 28), you have described the astounding advent of the “online abortion.” Isn’t it ironic that all those people who are pushing for free abortions are only here because they themselves were not aborted by their mothers?
What we are seeing here (and in the US) is the total lack of social and human responsibility as evidenced by, inter alia, the selfish and immoral demand of women to decide who is to live and who is to die. Nobody is authorized, by any moral standards, to play at being God.
The advent of the contraceptive pill has brought with it the release of the woman from her responsibility for the continuation of the human race. Intimate relations are no longer seen as being intended to create a family, to provide a continuation for ourselves, our values and our people, indeed as the only way to ensure the propagation of the species. Unfortunately, intimate relations are nowadays for the purpose of self-gratification, for the selfish and temporary pleasure of the parties. Gone is the sense of responsibility, which was an integral part of the pairing of male and female.
The question as to whether the woman should have the freedom to decide what is to be with her own body, has a corollary. It takes two to tango. What about the men? The male partner is given no choice as to whether he wants his child to be born or to be murdered in vitro.
So similar to meat
Regarding “Tnuva to establish R&D center dedicated to alternative protein” (June 23): As president emeritus of Jewish Veg and author of Vegan Revolution: Saving Our World, Revitalizing Judaism, I respectfully would like to ask a question. There are now many plant-based substitutes, with the appearance, texture and taste so similar to meat and other animal products that even longtime meat eaters can’t tell the difference.
Therefore, why continue an animal-based diet that contributes significantly to many life-threatening diseases, the massive mistreatment of farmed animals, climate change and other environmental threats to humanity, the very inefficient use of land, water, energy, and other resources, and increased risks of future pandemics and of accidentally violating laws pertaining to kosher food?
RICHARD H. SCHWARTZShoresh
No respect for teachers
In response to the article by Lola Edry – “Why I’m quitting my teaching job” (June 23): I can identify with her experience as a teacher in Israel. Discipline problems in the school are not a new issue.
I began teaching English in Israeli public schools in 1976. I was faced with the same discipline problems she has experienced. I also tried all kinds of creative activities, games and plays to entice the pupils.
I think that the problem of discipline in the schools, begins in the homes. The parents have no respect for teachers. They think they are less educated than them and don’t work hard enough. They think the teachers have too many vacations.
They are not willing to discipline their children at home and certainly don’t think it is their job to back up the teachers in school. There have been raises in salary through the years, based on education. Teachers have been encouraged to get degrees and take extra courses to improve their salaries.
Today, teachers are required to have a college education. They get paid more according to their education, but the pay is still low compared to other people with the same education. There is no back up for behavior problems and not enough recognition.
Therefore, today people no longer want to be teachers. They have learned that computers don’t talk back.
JUDY BELZERKfar Saba
‘The other shoe’ test
Here we go again. European Representative Sven Kuehn von Burgsdorff blames Israel for the Palestinian terror that rains down on us, in his words killing 20 innocent Israelis this year (“EU envoy: Palestinian terror not surprising, given suffering,” June 2). He puts responsibility on Israel for the burning hatred that is instilled in Palestinian children, not mentioning the role played by their educators, and asking what to expect when children live next to the separation wall.
He doesn’t bother to mention that the reason Israel built the “wall” was to stop the onslaught brought upon Israel during the Second Intifada. His criticism does not pass “the other shoe” test; that is, would it be OK for Israeli citizens to randomly terrorize innocent Palestinians, because of their actions? Of course not. Somehow the other side has the right to do this, either by being victims or having a lower standard of humanity.
Later in the article he tells the lie of “thousands of Palestinian being killed since 2008,” which he tells us includes innocent civilians and those involved in violent activity, with only a handful of the perpetrators being brought to justice. Nowhere in the article does it mention the source for this lie.
The giveaway is in the photo which accompanied the piece, where von Burgsdorff is shown with Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh. The envoy calls for action by the 27 member states of the EU and the Biden administration. We’ve been in this movie before, where Israel is expected to give more and more concessions, while the recalcitrant PA works only toward their policy of eliminating all Jews from “Palestine.”
In his article “Confronting the extremists” (June 2), Gershon Baskin engages in a classic case of moral equivalence. I am not a Jewish extremist, but it is obvious to me and I hope most readers, that there is no moral equivalence between Hamas on the one hand and Otzma Yehudit and the Religious Zionist Party on the other. Their views may diverge from the Center, but the Jewish religious extremists are a tiny percentage of the population of Israel, numbering in the hundreds, with little or no actual influence on events.
By contrast, Hamas is a terrorist movement with a trained army of tens of thousands which engages in murdering Israelis by firing rockets, mortars or fire balloons at Israel, and organizing and instigating terrorist incidents involving knives and guns. Compared to Hamas, how many Palestinians have these Jewish extremists shot, knived or bombed; the answer is none.
This is not to say that their views are acceptable or even respectable. However, many polls of Palestinians have consistently shown that a majority (varying from 60-90%) support the use of terrorism against Israeli Jews, while the reverse is never the case. Israeli Jews do not support the use of terrorism against Palestinian Arabs. The Israeli army is not called the Israel Defense Forces for nothing.
I know it requires a paradigm shift for the Palestinians to acknowledge that Jews have a right to sovereignty in what they have named Palestine. But, surely these Palestinian extremists who have fought and lost so many times against committed and superior Jewish forces, must at least glimpse at the reality that after 74 years of defeat, their own maximalist claims are doomed to failure.
Meanwhile the extremist Jewish parties are but a relatively new and small addition to the Jewish claims of sovereignty that are valid and accepted under international law.