August 12, 2019: Palestinians say West Bank not theirs?

Readers of the Jerusalem Post have their say.

Letters (photo credit: PIXABAY)
(photo credit: PIXABAY)
Regarding “Land for Peace” (August 11), in December 2016, the lame duck Obama administration allowed UNSC 2334 to pass, claiming that all of Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem (including the Old City, the Jewish Quarter, Temple Mount and Western Wall) are “occupied Palestinian territories.”
Yet the Palestinian National Charter of 1964 defined Palestine as the pre-1967 territory of the State of Israel – specifically excluding the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem, claiming they belonged to Jordan. When the area was part of Jordan, the Palestinians affirmed they did not want that land.
In 1967, Israel ended the Jordanian occupation of Judea and Samaria (that had started in 1948). In 1968 the Palestinians changed their charter to claim Judea and Samaria (besides, of course, the rest of Israel).
Because the Palestinians themselves positively affirmed in 1964 that Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem were not part of “Palestine,” UNSC 2334 is flawed in calling those territories “occupied Palestinian land.”
The Palestinian claim that what they previously considered to be Jordanian land now is Palestinian shows that Jordanian and Palestinian land are the same – they just draw the borders wherever they want. As long as the land was controlled by Arabs the Palestinians did not care that the land was not Palestinian. They only started claiming the land when it was controlled by Jews.
This proves there is no difference between Palestinian Arabs and Jordanian Arabs. They are the same people. What matters to them is Arab, not Jewish rule. If the Palestinians were happy that Jerusalem was controlled by Jordan and did not demand independence before 1967, that means they should be happy to live under Jordanian rule today.
Any just solution to the conflict should take this reality into account and not be fooled by manufactured narratives.

PA rewards killers handsomely

“PA has paid almost NIS 3.2 million to Sbarro terrorists” (August 9) reminds us that the barbarians that carried out that heinous crime 18 years ago have prospered greatly from their murderous actions.
It also appears that the passing years have done nothing to change the mind-set of the Palestinians, as demonstrated by their welcoming last week’s slaying of yeshiva student Dvir Sorek just prior to his 19th birthday.
It is the paramount duty of any government to protect its citizens. Therefore in respect to the forthcoming election, unfortunately it will once again (and with clear reason) see the public place defense as a priority and will therefore seek a party that can best meet that need.
On another topic, regarding “How pro-Palestinians manipulate facts” (August 9), drawing from his deep knowledge on the subject, Manfred Gerstenfeld clearly identifies numerous instances of veiled and not-so-veiled outpourings of antisemitism from politicians, mainly on the Left, in various countries around the world.
Much of their rhetoric is couched in overtly sympathetic tones for the “plight of the Palestinians” laying blame directly at the door of the “mighty Israeli aggressor,” which in panders in many instances to their base following.
I join him in imploring our prime minister, the government and ministries to be more proactive in outing these one-sided calumnies – which one would think should already be a priority for our embassies abroad, and to have pre-prepared action to fight the good fight against these individual perpetrators of false narratives.
Tel Aviv


Would somebody please explain why the headline of the August 9 Jerusalem Post reads “Manhunt underway for terrorists who killed soldier”? The word “soldier” describes a person in uniform, carrying arms. This was a yeshiva student, carrying religious books, which conveys an entirely different message.

Is intermarriage okay after all?

Regarding “Intermarriage in America” (August 8) by Professor Leonard Saxe, which seeks to put a positive spin on intermarriage in the US, I have a few questions (there are many more, but I will restrain myself).
• How much of the claimed increase in the US Jewish population is due to the high birth rate among Orthodox Jews?
• How does the Pew report cited identify who is Jewish?
• How many of the children of intermarried couples are Jewish according to normative Halacha?
• How is participation in Jewish life defined and measured?
Saxe is correct in saying that “Intermarriage has been one of the consequences of acceptance” by the non-Jewish world. A century ago, German Jews were assimilating, intermarrying and even converting to Christianity in droves. We all know where their complacency led them.
In this sad month of Av, we pray that all Jews return to the fold and unite in seeing the true light of the Almighty.

Leonard Saxe would have us believe that intermarriage is not the tragedy of American Jewry unparalleled in our history or that we are facing a mass disappearance of millions of Jews who are in very advanced stages of assimilation. In fact he says we are growing to an astonishing 7.5 million.
Saxe utilizes the wizardry of words and flowing phrases to convince himself that fiction is fact. “Cross-generational engagements” and “Comprehensive life-span developmental approach,” whatever they mean, will not stem the flow of Jews out of Judaism there.
American Jewry is bleeding profusely. It’s a bit too late for “Jewish education and community building” to stop the flow. That might have helped 50 years ago if spiritual leaders would have observed the vibrancy, vitality and growth of the Torah-observant community.
Rabbi Rafi Peretz was absolutely correct when he likened intermarriage to “a second holocaust.” The six million kedoshim lived as Jews and died as Jews. More than 50% of American Jews don’t even know how to live as Jews.
Intermarriage is a terminal illness, and has to be treated as such. Only aggressive measures may yet save some. The non-observant movement must make a quantum leap in a return to Torah and tradition. Nothing less will be effective.

Oops. Forgot to mention...

As inaccurate, as biased and as one-sided as Gershon Baskin’s weekly op-eds are, they do serve one important purpose: by printing them, The Jerusalem Post demonstrates – hands-on – the freedom of the press, the liberty and the democracy that is Israel.
In “The sun will come up tomorrow, maybe” (August 8), Baskin concludes that the Palestinian Authority’s repeated energy failures are entirely Israel’s fault. He is careful not to mention the hundreds of millions (billions?) of dollars and euros that sympathetic Western countries donate for Arab social welfare and infrastructure are diverted (read: stolen) by the West Bank and Gaza authorities and used instead to buy weapons, to build terror tunnels or to pad private bank accounts.
Israel’s battle against Islamic terror is the battle for the future of the USA – and for Europe’s future too.
Moshav Shoresh

The two commentators, Gershon Baskin and Douglas Bloomfield, beautifully complement each other together filling almost a full page of The Jerusalem Post (“The sun will come up tomorrow, maybe” and “The peace scam,” August 8) respectively.
These two never have anything positive to say about Israel or negative about the Palestinians. Their mind-set can be summed up in a single phrase “Israel bad – Palestinians good.” Israel is the “evil occupier” to be blamed for all Palestinian woes. In their so-called quest for peace in Israel’s best interests (so they claim), no mention is ever made of the Palestinian demand of the to import millions of so-called Palestinian “refugees” into Israel (read the end of Israel), no mention is ever made of the terrorist state of Hamastan in Gaza, or the Iranian-backed Hezbollah in Lebanon. These two are the masters of terror tunnels intended to kill as many women and children as possible – true “freedom fighters.”
No mention is made of the existential Iranian threat to “wipe Israel off the map” as soon as possible. What do we have to do to get rid of these two from the pages of the Post to be replaced by opinion writers with at least a semblance of objectivity?

Bring Ethiopian Jews home

Joseph Feit correctly points out that there is a valid and well-accepted history of welcoming Ethiopian Jews into the recognized Jewish community (“Spanish Conversos and Ethiopian Jewry,” August 5). Although one can find a reason to reject and turn our backs on the Jews stranded in Ethiopia, the real task is to seek legitimate reasons for welcoming them into our midst.
The Jews of Gondar and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia are living as Jews. When my wife and I visited the Jewish community of Gondar in July, we were moved by the fact that for regular the daily mincha service, the synagogue was filled with over 1,100 men and 700 women. 70% have first-degree relatives living in Israel. The Jews of Ethiopian origin already welcomed on aliyah were deemed Jews; their close family in Ethiopia must also be considered Jews.
The challenge for us in Israel and the Diaspora is to sustain our fellow Jews while they wait for the Israeli government to issue aliyah visas to them. They live in one-room shacks with neither plumbing nor electricity and have little to eat! The North American Conference on Ethiopian Jewry (NACOEJ) feeds nearly 1,900 children a day for sic to eight weeks as part of a kaitana (day camp) program. We give them a boiled potato, hard-boiled egg, banana and roll. My wife and I were pained to see many of the children dividing their food so that they could take some home for dinner.
We need to petition the Israeli government passionately to implement the wise policies that Feit suggests – and we all must accept the responsibility to care for Ethiopian Jews while they wait for permission to make aliyah.
President, NACOEJ

Moving legal target

Your analysis (“Why can’t Israel kick public corruption?” August 6) fails to recognize defects in Israeli public corruption jurisprudence as an answer to this question.
Consider these factors. First, bribery is an undefined term in the Israeli criminal code, as the relevant statute reads “a public servant who receives a bribe…” thereby enabling unanticipated statutory application.
Second, even though no law prohibits a public servant from receiving a gift, Judge David Rozen wrote on Pages 6-8 of the Holyland case that bribery can be presumed when a public servant receives one, when no direct or circumstantial evidence of bribery exists.
Third, a public servant can be convicted of breach of trust for activity not prohibited by a criminal statute should a judge decide it is in the public interest.
Thus, under Israeli public corruption jurisprudence, activities not prohibited by a criminal statute readily become crimes, generating wrongful investigations, indictments and convictions.


Attorney at Law

Ban on assault weapons

Regarding “Multiple dead in shooting in El Paso” (August 4), US President Donald Trump advised that he was in favor of “meaningful background checks”’ but would not hear of a ban on assault weapons.
Israel and other civilized countries not patriotically burdened and indoctrinated with the United States Second Amendment right to bear arms, do not allow for the purchase of semi- or automatic weapons.
Trump also informs that he will consult with the NRA to get their idea on effective gun control. Were it not, as seen in the past, so tragic, one would have to suggest hilariously that he consult the fox on the best way to build the fence to the hen house.
Zichron Yaakov

Unelected officials’ powers

In his analytical piece “Forget fights over the High Court – the comptroller revolution no one saw coming” (August 7), Yonah Jeremy Bob apparently believes that when unelected officials take on additional powers there isn’t a problem. It’s when they relinquish those powers that we have a problem.
Similarly to Aaron Barak’s changing the rules of, among other things, who can file a complaint to the High Court of Justice and what are valid matters that can be brought before it, about which most were silent, when there is an attempt to return to the status quo ante, the media is up in arms. So is Matanyahu Englman’s intention to abdicate the powers taken by Micha Lindenstrauss. Some 12 years ago, there was a cause for the media to raise an alarm, but his taking them didn’t bother the media. Nor does the general condition that political party hacks decide who the elected officials will be.
Our current political situation is a direct result of Mapai and Mapam decisions as to how they are to be elected. The fact that no member of the Knesset feels any obligation to an ordinary citizen who has no power in that member’s political party is one of the unfortunate outcomes of the way the people who set up the mess we have as a political system were raised and educated.
Unfortunately, they mostly came from Eastern Europe, which hadn’t had a properly-functioning democratic system, and still has problems in that regard.
Since the people who have the power to change the system are the people who most benefit from it now, the chances that Israel will have a representative government responsible to its citizens is unlikely. For better or for worse, the media will probably continue to be unable to make the situation conform to Western standards of civic responsibility on the part of the elected officials.
Petah Tikva