Letters to the Editor June 26, 2023: Is peace possible?

Readers of The Jerusalem Post have their say.

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

Is peace possible?

Regarding Neville Teller’s column, “Is an Israeli-Palestinian deal possible?” (June 20), despite all the killings, the Palestinian Authority and Israel are already in peace talks expressed by the Gaza Marine Natural Gas Field deal between Egypt, Israel and the PA. Hamas is very unhappy with this arrangement and its ire will further isolate it. 

This is different from the last gas deal that included Hamas. Apparently cutting Hamas out of gas revenues appears to be the strategy employed by all the actors to pressure it to accept the legitimacy of the Jewish state. This is part of a peacemaking strategy, or if not an actual strategy, an intention to negotiate. 


Calgary, Alberta

Neville Teller naively thinks there is some difference between Hamas and the Palestine Authority when it comes to the annihilation of the Jewish population of Israel. The enabling document of the PA is the 1964 PLO Charter, which mandates the annihilation of every Jew in Israel. 

Those annihilation clauses have never been revoked as per the requirements of Article 33 of the PLO Charter: public notice of a meeting to revoke, followed by a two-thirds vote to revoke at the meeting. Such a meeting has never occurred. There is no provision for oral revocation, not by Yasir Arafat nor anyone else. 

Unless, and until, the PLO publicly revokes those annihilation clauses in accordance with Article 33, only a fool would believe there is any difference in the antisemitic genocidal goals of Hamas and the PA.


Margate, Florida 

Tourists to Beersheba

Gil Troy most enthusiastically describes his visit to Beersheba’s “river park” and the “lake” with Tal Brody – they are there to imagine the construction of the Jewish National Fund’s World Zionist Village, which will become a great tourist attraction (“Creating joy from ‘oy’,” June 21). It’s good to be wildly enthusiastic, but JNF has probably bitten off more than it can chew.

 I’ve lived in Beersheba for more than 50 years. From a dusty town, it has turned into a major metropolitan center. The restaurants and malls are great. It even has museums and huge cinema centers – two within a kilometer of my home. It has a major university, several colleges, and a huge medical center serving more than half a million people. 

But a tourist attraction it still ain’t and it won’t become. It can’t support a single hotel. It can’t begin to compete with Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, the Galilee and Eilat. 

Concerning the so-called “river park,” there is no river – only a dried-out wadi. About 30 years ago, it rained heavily in Hebron and the wadi was filled with muddy water and Hebron garbage for a few days. The “lake” is not a lake; it is more like a large artificial pond. 

There is little attractive about it, few trees, no restaurant, nothing to attract people. And you certainly wouldn’t want to jump in and frolic in the water. 

The few times we’ve visited out of a morbid curiosity, we met only small groups of Bedouin. It’s true that Theodor Herzl said, “If you will it, it will come true,” but Herzl never visited Beersheba’s River Park. Some miracles never happen, except in Zionist dreams. 



The good and bad

Reading Tuesday’s paper (June 20) and seeing the tragic headlines of what happened in Samaria, four Israelis killed and four wounded, and then glancing down further – another headline caught my eye. “Smotrich: Herzog is a left-winger and not an honest on judicial reform.” I completely lost it! Smotrich had the audacity to criticize our president who is a “light unto our nation,” especially even more so now, with what is going on in the political arena. 

Fortunately, I picked up the other section of the paper, and saw the heading, “Creating joy from ‘oy’” by Gil Troy. Jokingly, I thought to myself, maybe he will put me in a better frame of mind, as the subheading was “The Zionist approach to overcoming challenges.”

Troy writes: “Most people, when they see an empty space, they see a bleak landscape, while Zionists see opportunities to dream big and build bigger.” So, when Troy reluctantly was invited to Beersheba on a mission and arrived at the edge of a lake in the desert, he met up with a group, who explained to him the future of what this was all about. He realized he was among Zionists. 

One has to read the article to understand the way David Ben-Gurion’s dream came true and everything else that we have accomplished in the past 75 years.

I also read the editorial about Israel’s humanitarian aid to Sudan and elsewhere around the world. Since 1958, Golda Meir’s era, we have been involved in benefiting the people of our world.

These articles, unfortunately, do not appear to the world at large. They should be sent to The New York Times, The Guardian and, of course, CNN and the BBC.



Eco doublespeak

Regarding the building of wind turbines next to Druze villages (“Druze clash with police over Golan wind farm,” June 22): Today we destroy the environment so that we can pretend to “save the environment.”

It is unclear whether wind turbines will ever make economic sense, or whether they will lower the production of carbon dioxide. They only produce electricity when the wind blows, so they’re unreliable. We don’t know how long they will be functional. They are costly both to manufacture and transport – costly in money and also in carbon. 

They need maintenance at least twice a year, during which they need to be lubricated with oil that leaks directly into the nearby ground. The Israel Electric Corporation pays up to 10 times the regular cost for the wind electricity produced, increasing the price of electricity for everyone. 

On the Golan Heights, and nearby on the foot of Mount Hermon, there are five Druze villages. Slowly and quietly the populations of these villages, which were part of Syria before 1967, were seeing the advantages of being Israeli, they were beginning to trust us. Now we’re destroying their homes for the sake of pretending to help the environment. 

The wind farms are ugly. They are noisy. They disrupt electronics. They kill birds. And we’re planning to put them next to these peaceful villages. It makes me ill to think about this betrayal. 

To those who are members of the climate change religion, I suggest that you build the wind turbines on the Tel Aviv beach and leave Druze villages alone!



Rothman’s outburst

MK Simcha Rothman’s outrageous outburst (“Settler rampages against Palestinians same as anti-reform protests,” June 23), comparing settler extra-judicial rampages across northern Samaria to lawful, peaceful (and highly inconvenient and effective) demonstrations against government policy, strips away any doubt about our country today. Israeli society has been hijacked by its fringes, ostensibly led by a hitherto broadly respected prime minister.

The once silent majority finds themselves in a battle for Israel’s soul: a battle they did not choose nor expect to confront. Reassuringly, the latent decency of most across the political and religious divide have joined together to try and save the day. 

Rothman’s dangerous equivalence between settler violence and peaceful protest is chilling. It leaves no doubt that consensus democracy, which has served us well, is in serious danger. Indeed, it was right-wing British prime minister Margaret Thatcher who concluded that “the veneer of civilization is very thin.”

After six months of inaction on virtually every policy for which the government won its mandate, we might well ask what democracy means to those in power. On second thought, why ask? 


Tel Aviv

No moral equivalence

David Weinberg writes an engrossing, well-thought-out article (“No moral equivalence,” June 23). I have more to add, although much of what he said is self-evident.

Starting with the undiplomatic attack on Israel by US Ambassador Thomas Nides: He did compare Arab “deaths” to Israeli murders, without a shred of conscience, in that both sides “lost people during the conflict.”

The Arabs he so “eulogized” left their homes in the morning with the intent to kill Jews. They were gunned up and stoned up and had cars prepared for ramming deaths, and set off to do the horrifying deeds. In addition, they were prepared to die if need be, so that monies would be paid to them if they lived; and/or to their families, if they didn’t. What kind of sick society prepares its children for murder?

Jewish civilians, however, woke up the same morning, most unarmed, with the sole intention of going to school, work, leisure activities, or just eating breakfast in a restaurant. Of course they weren’t prepared to die for any reason, especially not for money, and all were cut down in the prime of  their lives, including innocent children.

The United States has the unmitigated gall to tell us we must tamp down the responses to the terror and “step back” in our fight against “so-called” innocent Arabs caught in the crosshairs of the Israeli soldiers who conduct nightly raids to arrest or terminate Arab terrorists. 

They expect us to maintain the status quo, whatever that means. Therefore, we need to constantly and forcefully remind all the international actors that we will no longer sit back and hope that peace will descend upon us. 

Israeli soldiers do not put innocents in their sights; however, the terrorists do, using civilians, especially children, as shields. Arabs “celebrate the kidnapping and mass murder of Israeli men, women and children,” and happily dance in the streets and hand out candy when an Israeli is murdered. 

Are these really the people that the ambassador feels sorry for in their deaths? These families truly raise their children on hatred and a gross lack of morals.

Israel must step up the fight to stop the violent society living on our doorsteps. We must never let other nations and/or their ambassadors tell us how to protect our land and peoples. When all their houses are in order, maybe then the advice would be accepted. Until then, Israel must continue to maintain the upper hand in fighting terrorism and protecting its citizens, at all costs!