December 9: That E1 again

How about a deal – we will build one building for each missile the Palestinians send in to destroy us. We fill the quota, then we talk!

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS)
That E1 again
Sir, – It is a fitting theme for Hanukka, when we celebrate the poorly equipped Jews soundly defeating impossible odds and a super-power, that a piece of native Jewish land in the West Bank called E1 – on which no one is currently living – is proposed as a new neighborhood to ease an acute housing shortage (“PM in Germany: E1 construction would not bring an end two-state solution,” December 7).
It would not divide the West Bank and would not under any circumstances form part of any theoretical second Palestinian state (the first being Jordan).
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has done something unusual, something very brave, something an Israeli leader has not done for many decades: He has made a stand for the moral, ethical, legal and historic rights of the Jewish people to develop Jewish land for young couples and growing families.
Netanyahu deserves all our support, whatever our beliefs. If we can come together as a people and emulate just one percent of the courage and stamina of the Maccabees, we will truly be worthy of the land of Israel for eternity.
Sir, – My blood is boiling! How dare the international community condemn us for planning to build very necessary housing in our capital! Where were the international community’s condemnations when rockets were flying down on us? Where were its condemnations against Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas when he totally abrogated the Oslo Accords – for which the Europeans were guarantors – by unilaterally going for statehood? They either voted for statehood or they abstained! To make matters worse, a US State Department spokesman had the gall to say that we complicate efforts to resume direct negotiations (“Obama administration slams Israel on new settlement plans,” December 4).
We complicate efforts? How dare they! Where was President Barack Obama all this time? Why didn’t he charge his secretary of state to do as James Baker did so many years ago and threaten the international community by withholding money for the United Nations? That got everybody’s attention! Guess who backed down? I say congratulations, Bibi. You and your cabinet finally made the right decision. Keep strong! Don’t cave in! We are behind you!
Sir, – Christians and Muslims are killing each other in Nigeria.
Sunnis and Shi’ites are killing each other in Iraq, Libya, Tunisia and Syria. Violence is flaring in Egypt between secularists and the Muslim Brotherhood. There’s non-stop Taliban savagery in Afghanistan. Hamas is spending all its aid money on rockets to try and destroy Israel – and the whole world condemns us for building houses for people to live in? I feel like the boy looking at the king’s new clothes. Am I missing something?
MICHAEL DAVIDSON Harrow on the Hill, UK
Sir, – Fascinating how the declining West deplores our moves to build housing for our citizens in our capital. The reason? It makes the division of Jerusalem impossible, which I, foolishly, thought was a matter for negotiation, not a foregone conclusion.
I suggest that the UK, France and the rest make a deal and share their capitals with their own Muslim populations (while they still can). In two generations the indigenous people of these benighted lands will be a minority and succumb to the demands of the new majority.
We, however, will never yield to a people for whom compromise is impossible and who offer us nothing in return for the capitulation they and their fellow-travelers demand as justice.
At least the Arabs have red lines. Do we? If we do, why do we never express them loud and clear to the entire world, as do our enemies?
Sir, – As European Union states and the US complain over Israeli government decisions, they might reflect on their own recent behavior.
If EU states wished to have an influence over Israeli decision-making, their UN ambassadors ought not have abstained or supported the resolution recognizing a Palestinian state in defiance of long-accepted criteria for statehood. Indeed, listening carefully through their headphones, they should have walked out, one by one, during the speech given by Mahmoud Abbas, his rhetoric far-removed from the language of peace and reconciliation.
As for the US, if it wished to have greater influence over events, its government might be better advised to base its policies on reality – in this case, by responding to the UN resolution with a long-overdue declaration that Jerusalem is located in Israel, not in Nevada, not in New Jersey, not in Nepal. At the same time, the US, initiating a politics based on reality, could also note that Jerusalem as it is (rather than as some might wish it to be) is indeed the capital of the State of Israel – another fact easily established by observation.
Sir, – How about a deal – we will build one building for each missile the Palestinians send in to destroy us. We fill the quota, then we talk!
Cut elsewhere
Sir, – Holocaust survivors are justified in condemning the Finance Ministry’s “suspension” of their benefits for medical expenses (“Holocaust survivors protest budget shortage,” December 3).
May I suggest that the ministry find other ways to overcome its financial problems. It can start with a two-thirds cut of the exorbitant wages, perks and pensions received by politicians, past and present. It might also be a good idea to end the perks to prime ministerial wives, and to demand that Aliza Olmert return the NIS 1 million a year she demanded from the Knesset’s Kadima-majority Finance Committee when her husband was prime minister.
Ono Wait it out
Sir, – The front page of your Comment & Features section of December 3 had two articles: “A fresh policy in Syria: No-fly zone” and “The Syrian people need urgent help from Israel and Turkey.”
The first argued that the US and Israel should together set up and enforce a no-fly zone over Syria, grounding that country’s air force and stopping its attacks on the rebels. Could anything be more effective in uniting the Syrian population? The factions would forget their differences and instantly come together to resist the “colonial aggression.”
The second article, advocating joint action by Israel and Turkey, is even less practical. Given Turkish Prime Minister Recip Tayyip Erdogan’s oft-expressed enmity toward Israel, the chances of this happening are right up there with my chances of being elected pope.
Even if I’m wrong, both articles ignore the likely outcome of the rebellion. The faction guaranteed to be best organized and most numerous is the Sunni religious faction. It is the religious factor that came to the fore in Iraq, threatening any hope of real democracy. Whether your correspondents like it or not, the same is the near-certain outcome in Syria – unless the various warlords split the country into separate fiefdoms. Either outcome would be problematic for Israel.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his government have taken exactly the right approach – do nothing and await the outcome. If anyone should be concerned about the tens or hundreds of thousands of Arabs suffering in Syria, the Arab League and its component states should be in the forefront. Their deafening silence says all that needs to be said.