June 26, 2020: Yes annexation; No annexation

Readers of the Jerusalem Post Magazine have their say.

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

It is almost impossible not to see some articles and news about annexation, sovereignty and the like these days. This past weekend, the wonderful Michael Freund courageously stated in his column that Israel should simply annex and not give a Palestinian Authority state (“Yes: annexation, no Palestinian state,” June 19). So many have been insisting that one automatically means the other, with the proposed Trump peace plan and all. But the question must be asked: Mah hakesher? (What’s the connection?)
We need to worry about our land and our safety first and foremost. Annexation or better, sovereignty, is something that should have been done in ‘67 – coulda, woulda, shoulda as the saying goes. There would have been issues, but they would have been dealt with. Just like the issues that were dealt with worldwide when countries much larger than Israel annexed territories and claimed sovereignty in their regions, disputed and all.
Israel’s big delay since 1967 was a big mistake and needs to be rectified. Time and time again Israel has caved to political drivel which held it back from correcting the wrong. This is the same drivel that is clouding many people’s minds and thoughts today, many shockingly so. Just when will the time be right?
In the powerful words of Ethics of Our Fathers: If not now, when?
On reading Herb Keinon’s article about Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the seventh Lubavitcher Rebbe (“Twenty-six years after his death,” June 19), I was most impressed by his answer to the question ‘Are you a Zionist?’: “If Israel is a state of Jews, then I am not a Zionist, but if it’s a Jewish state, then I am a Zionist.”
One would think that having been returned from exile by God to build and settle the land for the Jewish people according to His laws, that’s the answer one would expect from all Jews. Its not as though there has ever been any ambiguity about God’s commandments to us. Otherwise, we might as well be living anywhere in the world. Would that more of our people had the same answer, what a different situation we would be in today in Israel.
In Michael Freund’s article, the question of our sovereignty, even a small part of it, depends on the goodwill of US President Trump and this opportunity must be taken, but who gave President Trump the right to tell us how much of the land given to us by God, he will allow us to keep? And this question arises only because we are a state of Jews, Christians and Arabs instead of what God intended for us – to be a Jewish state.
Sovereignty throughout the land is why we are here and that sovereignty must be by Jews for Jews.

In his column, Michael Freund overlooks or downplays that annexing parts of Judea and Samaria has many potential negatives.
These include making a resolution of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict even harder, if not impossible; ending the long-running successful cooperation between PA security forces and the IDF to curtail Hamas and other terrorist groups, making terrorism and another disastrous intifada more likely; weakening relations between Israel and many other nations, including the EU, which has threatened a very negative reaction to annexation; undermining current peace agreements with Jordan and Egypt; lessening support for Israel among American Jews; and widening divisions between Israel and US Democratic politicians.
No wonder there is widespread opposition to annexation, including from Commanders for Israel’s Security, which includes “the overwhelming majority of retired IDF generals and their Mossad, Shin Bet and police equivalents”; most American Jews; almost all US Democratic politicians, including presidential candidate Joe Biden; and a strong majority of world leaders.
This is an especially bad time for annexation, as it is urgent that nations work together to combat the coronavirus pandemic and the potential climate catastrophe that climate experts are increasingly warning about.
In summary, annexation is a terrible option for Israel.
Moshav Shoresh

Reading Herb Keinon’s article on the Lubavitcher Rebbe brought back a host of very positive memories. From 1962 to 1966, I attended Brooklyn College in the evenings. During the day, I was a student at Yeshiva Netzach Yisrael. The Lubavitch world headquarters are at 770 Eastern Parkway; the yeshiva was one block away at 881. The many times I had to interplay with the Lubavitcher Hassidim all were quite pleasant.
Most memorable, however, was when I went to 770 for hakafot (dancing) on Simhat Torah. Each hakafa lasted close to an hour (I kid you not). How did those dancing in the circle know it was time to end? The Rebbe standing by his seat, his right hand in a fist, would raise his index finger and lower it. The dancing and singing stopped instantly! I kid you not (again).
That, I believe, describes quite succinctly the influence Rabbi Schneerson had on his followers.
Tzur Yitzhak
“The looting – and – muting of America” (Stewart Weiss, June 19) literally made my Shabbat. It was spot on and pinpointed the problem with facts, humor and inspirations. I really giggled and had to call a friend immediately after reading, “What’s next. Will the mobs demand that the White House be repainted?!”
I then could continue on to read “The Talk” that parents should give to their children. As a professor emerita of developmental psychology I found the advice sound and very important.

Hadassah Chen’s piece (“The quiet after the storm,” June 5) was magnificent! Yes, the masks are on our faces, but off of our souls for those who care to find out who we really are.
It has come to my attention that there is a particular letter writer whose long missives are published with alarming regularity (“Polite pedalers,” Letters, June 19).
It seems the Magazine’s Letters editor is enabling someone who suffers from RP Tyler syndrome.
This syndrome is expertly described in Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman (CORGI edition, 2019 reissue, pages 319-320), and I quote: “RP Tyler knew the difference between right and wrong; there were no moral grays of any kind in his life. He was not, however, satisfied simply with being vouchsafed the difference between right and wrong. He felt it his bounden duty to tell the world... RP Tyler’s chosen forum was the letter column of the Tadfield Advertiser.”
Continuing to display the effects of this syndrome, could result in this Letters section being subjected to accusations of lacking in diversity – and we wouldn’t want that, would we?
Petah Tikva
The Magazine’s Letters editor responds: Fair enough. Your impassioned epistle will be taken under advisement.