The article by Alan Baker headlined “The EU’s disproportionate fixation with Israel” (December 29) is spot on in its condemnation of the latest confidential policy statement of the EU. This statement, dated June 2022, is titled European Joint Development Program for Area C, and is really a misnomer. It goes on to define what the EU considers a joint development program as follows: “Defending the rights of Palestinians living in Area C as part of a future Palestinian State in line with the Oslo Accords.”
Considering all the problems in Europe, it is quite remarkable that the Palestinians are even on the EU agenda. This alone tells a story of EU priorities. One may rightfully ask what has the EU got to do with Area C of the Oslo Accords?
The short answer to this question can be found in the following: Firstly, the EU still considers itself to be the arbitrator of how the Middle East should be run. The EU is living in the past and greatly exaggerates its own importance in world affairs. Secondly, the EU is dependent on oil from the Middle East. This dependence will continue well into the foreseeable future. However, the Palestinians do not produce a single barrel of oil and supporting them will not get the EU any preferential deals in acquiring oil.
Thirdly and most importantly, Christianity has never come to terms with the fact that although Jesus was Jewish, he was not accepted by the Jews as a prophet and was rejected as the Messiah. Christianity also has a hard time accepting that God promised the Land of Israel to the Jews. This is the crux of the matter.
It is time for the EU to get out of its role of supporting NGOs that actively collude in violating the Oslo Accords, by building Palestinian homes in Area C of the West Bank. Perhaps it is time for the EU to reconsider the political and financial costs of promoting a nonviable Palestinian state, the main aim of which would be the destruction of Israel. There are enough failed states in the Middle East without trying to create another one.
It should be noted that in cities controlled by the Palestinians, the Christian population has declined. The only country in the Middle East where the Christian population is said to be increasing is Israel.
If the EU wants to promote democracy, the rule of law, religious freedom, press freedom, LGBT rights and all the other human rights that it cherishes, supporting the Palestinians is counterproductive. The EU should reverse its blatant pro-Palestinian agenda.
Despite all this
As we move into the new secular year, we need to look around us and realize, appreciate and take pride in our amazing people, in our amazing State of Israel.
As a number of articles in The Jerusalem Post on January 1 pointed out so clearly, we are attacked by the United Nations (“Israel rejects UN vote seeking ICJ declaration”), which throws us at the legal mercy of the International Court of biased Jew-hating legal academics; we are existentially threatened by Iran (“Will world hold Iran to account in 2023?”); we are accused of apartheid and our right to exist as a Jewish state is publicly denied (“Rebutting the apartheid slander”), and the list goes on and on.
Yet, despite all this, we still had the fourth-best-performing economy in 2022 among a list of OECD countries; the shekel became the strongest currency in the world; we led the world in COVID control; we lead the world in hi-tech innovations; countries clamor for our super-advanced defense systems; and to top it all, we feature almost at the top of the world’s scale of “happiest nations.”
So let us feel justifiably proud that in the space of under 75 years, we are where we are, and let us put all the other problems which are discussed in the newspaper into the correct proportion and then say, “yes, we are an amazing people.”
Instant Palestinian state
I think that the editorial calling for Jordan’s latest threats toward Israel to be taken seriously has it exactly backwards (“Taking Jordan’s warning seriously,” December 30). It is Jordan, not Israel which needs to step carefully lest history be repeated.
That history includes Jordan participating in the Arab attack on Israel at the start of the 1967 Six Day War, which resulted in Jordan being kicked out of Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria, thus ending its illegal occupation.
Jordan’s threatening king would do well to remember that Israel rescued Jordan from the terrorists of Black September and the Syrians in 1970. Jordan has relied on Israel as a counterweight to expansionist regional tyrants since then, and the survival of the Jordanian monarchy in the face of its restive Palestinian population depends in part on a continuation of peace between Jordan and Israel.
Should the king’s latest threats come to pass, his ridiculous statements about how his shambling wreck of a military is ready for conflict with Israel would be easily shown to be hollow boasting. If his regime fell and Jordan was then taken over by its Palestinian population, voila! You’ll have your instant Palestinian state! There is something to be said for this version of the “two-state solution.”
The king’s threats about changes to the Temple Mount status quo are equally despicable. It is precisely this kind of calumny that antisemitic Islamists have used to precipitate pogroms for the past century. For a supposedly respectable ruler to traffic in it, does himself, his reign and his country no credit.
DANIEL H. TRIGOBOFFWilliamsville, NY
Regarding “Into the ghetto” (December 30): Once again the media have grabbed and twisted words in order to cause maximum hate and chaos.
Minister Orit Struck said that if a particular procedure was against the religious beliefs of a physician, such as a sex change operation, or disconnecting a patient from a ventilator which would be seen as unethical, then under proposed legislation, they could refuse to continue to treat them.
This is completely different from treating an Arab or gay individual who is suffering from appendicitis, multi-trauma or any other illness. The press should stop this kind of incitement.
FREYA BINENFELDPetah Tikva
I am very puzzled as to why religious people would feel that their family life is threatened by the presence of gay people in the world. Is it because straight people have made such a success of marriage with an ever-increasing divorce rate? Is it because gays serve in the army even in combat units, whereas their political and spiritual leaders do not?
Is this emasculating? Is it because we educate our children to be true to themselves and not to hate differences in others?
Are they also against the widespread shielding of rapists of children? All too often non-rapists utter irrelevancies about how learned the perpetrators are, or blame the victim and so become perpetrators themselves. And yet is it the gay community which is targeted for opprobrium.
It is time for the religious community to take off the sepia-tinted glasses and to introspect.
Regarding “Appropriate international response” (December 29): International recognition of a Palestinian state to penalize Israel for establishing settlements on disputed land, aside from being rather juvenile assumes Israel rejects the reality of Palestinians having their own country. It’s an erroneous assumption.
It is the Palestinians who reject the existence of a Jewish state, and settlements or no settlements, there will be a constant intifada until the Palestinians cease inciting their children to hate Jews and Israel. The constant competition between the PA and Hamas to see who hates Israel more (Hamas is winning but not by much) is also dooming hopes for peace.
Blaming Israeli settlements for the conflict is Palestinian PR. It is the existence of Israel that is the real problem.
Gershon Baskin is calling for a coordinated-support response from the bulk of the international community in favor of the Palestinians. Let’s reflect for a moment on the subject of his flag waving, which has now entered a phase of complete overdrive.
He is asking OECD countries, a unique forum of democracies, to show their unequivocal support for an entity which hasn’t held an election for 17 years; this along with actively promoting a school curriculum in which hatred of the other (in this case Jews) is trumpeted. And there is an added bonus – the issuing of stipends to those and their families who go out of their way to cause murder and mayhem against Jewish Israelis, when or even if not the opportunity arises.
All this takes place against a backdrop of a democratic nation (too many elections) that has bent over backwards to offer land-for-peace reconciliation terms on a number of occasions, but has been left thinking that nothing but handing over all of its territory will suffice for these recalcitrant interlocutors.
I believe the democracies in question have also performed due diligence on the subject and their walking away from the issue in favor of the status quo speaks volumes.
STEPHEN VISHNICKTel Aviv
As the year drew to a close, Douglas Bloomfield once again chose to dedicate an entire column to demonizing his favorite villains – the Republican Party in general and Donald Trump in particular (“Loser of the year blames the Jews,” December 22).
Whether any of his specific allegations are accurate (many are not) is beside the point. The more important issue is whether his continued obsession is of any value, and why the Post continues to publish his tirades.
During a recent visit to the US, I saw firsthand a country struggling with massive inflation and product shortages (even as Congress passed another huge spending bill that will only exacerbate these problems); five million immigrants who crossed the border illegally in the past two years (the spending bill explicitly prohibits use of any funds to improve border security); woke armed forces which are woefully unprepared to meet the looming challenge from China; and a president who shows frightening signs of declining mental acuity.
For some reason, none of this seems of interest or importance to Bloomfield. Instead, he consistently dedicates his valuable column inches to advancing his single-minded vendetta against someone he argues is a worthless human being with no legitimate political future.
The Post does its readers a grave disservice by enabling Bloomfield’s compulsion. In an ever-changing and perilous world in which continuing warm relations between Israel and the US are no longer assured, we need to look forward rather than backward. Bloomfield has long since proven that he is neither interested in, nor capable of, offering thoughtful and objective discussion of vital US issues. The Post can and must do better.
EFRAIM COHENZichron Ya’acov