June 29, 2020: Dissolving illusions

Readers of the Jerusalem Post have their say.

Letters (photo credit: PIXABAY)
(photo credit: PIXABAY)
Dissolving illusions
Regarding “Abbas hints at dissolving PA if Israel annexes land” (June 25), what a wonderful idea!
An added bonus: PA leader Mahmoud Abbas would finally become part of the solution and no longer part of the problem. He can return with his cronies to Tunis and leave his palatial 700-sq.m. mansion behind. Israel can then deal directly with the Arab clans and give them full autonomy with financial assistance.
Any “Palestinian Arabs” that refuse to live in Israel can choose to move to one of the two “Palestinian Arab” states: Jordan or Gaza. Israel can then declare sovereignty over all of Judea and Samaria and there will finally be peace in our time.
Most “Palestinian Arabs” will be happy to no longer be ruled by the corrupt PA and they no longer will have to be abused or pushed under Abbas.
Karnei Shomron
So PA leader Mahmoud Abbas is willing to give up his cushy job and big salary to prove a point? I don’t believe it for a minute. If he did, Hamas would take over his job in a second, and then where would he be?
On another note, the photo accompanying this article is disturbing. It shows a fully armed and helmeted soldier pointing what is no doubt, a loaded weapon at a man with a child on his shoulders. The soldier’s equally equipped partner is standing by just in case.
What does the soldier expect could happen? How could a man with a child on his shoulders possibly hurt him?
Is this the kind of relations we have with Palestinians? Is our attitude – the kind that says I am always in the right and you are always wrong?
Is might always right?
Wild Turkey
According to the astute Herb Keinon (“If it’s Turkey versus Egypt, Israel should brace for Erdogan unhinged,” June 24), we can expect a torrent of abuse from the man who sees himself as the heir to the sultans, while actually being the heir to Hitler. What will our government’s response be? Stopping imports (like cement)? Stopping exports? Don’t be silly – they will do what they always do... nothing.
On the other hand, we, the people do have a choice; we can refuse to buy anything from Turkey. All we have to do is read the label! We can also refuse to fly on their airline or go there for vacations. I have not bought Jamieson Whiskey for years, even though I like it a lot, as it is made in one of our most vociferous enemies, Ireland.
Today, I discovered that a cracker I adore is actually made in Lithuania, a country that has never admitted its role in the Holocaust. Sorry, Carmit, I will never buy them again.
We can make a difference. And if we can’t, at least we can feel we are not contributing to the welfare of people who would prefer that we disappear.
The message is clear: trying to appease Erdogan is the path to hell. Israel should proceed with extending sovereignty to whatever extent it considers appropriate without regard to what Erdogan wants or doesn’t want. The best response to Erdogan’s ranting is to make him irrelevant. Any attention paid to his opinion will only increase his political power.
Israel can’t stop Muslims from rallying behind Erdogan; the Muslim World will have to do that for its own sake.
Art with no heart
The disturbing article about the Judensau “artwork” in Germany (In Germany, several churches have perverse antisemitic sculptures from the Middle Ages,” June 28), reminded me of a visit to the Abbot’s Castle in Turin where, in an art exhibit, I was shocked to encounter a painting depicting a group of Jews drawing blood from a naked child. I could not walk away from this horror as a group of 10-year-olds arrived, guided by what appeared to be a teacher.
I have no idea what she told these children, but by the look of disgust and fear on their faces, am afraid that a new group of antisemites was just created.
Rishon LeZion
Et tu, Ehud?
In “The heavy price of annexation” (June 26), former prime minister Ehud Olmert contends that nowadays, in 2020, the Jordan Valley is no longer a strategic asset.
I respectfully disagree. Living near the border with Gaza in perpetual fear from terror tunnels, short-range rockets and mortars, explosive/incendiary balloons, mobs rioting at the fence and more, I ardently wish every day of my life for even a few kilometers of strategic depth to distance us from our malefactors.
I don’t recommend turning safe communities into vulnerable border areas like Sderot by rushing to forever lose the strategic depth provided by the Jordan Valley.
Alone at the altar
Rabbi Yitz Greenberg in “Trump, Kushner and Israel” argues that US President Donald Trump pursued favorable policies to Israel because he wanted to reverse the injustices done to Israel by previous administrations. He goes on to praise the Trump Team’s “Peace to Prosperity” plan for its incentives for both sides to come to the table to negotiate a final settlement.
One of the incentives he mentions for Israel is a “promise if the Palestinians do not close a deal within four years, the US will back Israel’s annexation of up to 30% of the West Bank.” He then blames Netanyahu for trivializing the “Deal of the Century” and exploiting it “to realize the dream of a right-wing minority” by proposing “to annex (extend Israeli sovereignty is his preferred language) 30% of the West Bank now while promising his right-wing base he will not negotiate for a Palestinian state.”
Greenberg is oblivious to the fact that the Palestinians were invited to give their input during the formation of the plan, but refused to participate in any way. After the plan was released, they refused to enter into negotiations based on the plan, leaving Israel and the US “standing at the altar with no bride to be found.” Both the US and Israel then agreed that there was no reason to wait four years for applying Israeli sovereignty to parts of Judea and Samaria. They were hoping the threat of sovereignty would bring them to the negotiating table.
It’s not too late for the Palestinians, by agreeing to negotiate, to prevent application of sovereignty and to force Netanyahu to accept a Palestinian state under the conditions of the plan. If sovereignty is applied by Israel and the Palestinians don’t get a state, blame the Palestinians one more time for missing an opportunity.
Regarding “Look us in the eye” (June 26) the three retired major-generals demonstrate their lack of understanding of the situation prevailing with the Arabs in Judea and Samaria. So I look them straight in the eye and state:
1) From the results of a recent covert operation, a reporter, with a camera hidden in is sunglasses, recorded a significant number of Arab residents of the area declaring they would vote for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rather than PA leader Mahmoud Abbas and that they would prefer an Israeli government where they could earn a decent living to the corrupt PA government that has abandoned its citizens. At a recent PA call to demonstrate against Israel’s government, few turned up.
2) Do any of these three wise men of Chelm believe that anyone who takes over the reins of the PA government after Abu Mazen will be more inclined to accept a state in the area with all the responsibilities it entails when, by not accepting, their coffers would overflow with the money pouring in from Europe and other suckers who think they can, through the PA, engineer the collapse of the Jewish state?
3) The land is our sovereign land to which we have legal title (refer to the Mandate for Palestine) and so there is no question of annexation. We are not taking over land that belongs to another nation. We are simply exercising our sovereignty to apply Israeli civil law to those areas.
4) We have heard these empty threats before when we applied Israeli civil law to east Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. The threats came to naught, as it will if our government has the mettle to take advantage of the situation.
Now it is time for the three of you to lower your eyes.
Rishon LeZion
Regarding “In any dispute, you look at the facts” (June 25), how refreshing to read such a clear, well-written article for a change! Facts. Not biased slanting of half-truths, total falsehoods, gloom and doom. One simple quote can make the reason for our untenable situation perfectly clear: It’s that “hostility to the very idea of Jewish people living in any functioning Jewish state remains the reason the reality on the ground has not changed.”
The sensible definition of insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result seems to have been completely forgotten. I cringe at the ineptitude of our bloated government in dealing with anything truly significant. Now I pray that my foreboding of its actions in unashamedly giving in once again to the threats and decisions of others that we’re not even worthy of deciding what to do about our own country and what is required for the safety and well-being of our people.
The supposedly enlightened nations will never accept our sovereignty over this precious country. Do we really want to prolong the agony and fight the same fights piecemeal again and again? Are we really prepared to uproot communities in Judea and Samaria or choke them off until they die a natural death? Have all the words, arguments and failed solutions offered previously taught us nothing at all?
Despite the immediacy of the coronavirus crisis, the preservation of our tiny strip of land as a Jewish country is equally crucial. Due to many mistakes made since the founding of the state, the only possible way out of the mess now is by asserting sovereignty over all of Judea and Samaria by vote of the Knesset, with citizenship of non-Israelis – including the right to vote – conditional on their passing tests in the Hebrew language and the history of Israel, as well as written agreement to abide by the rules and regulations of the country, including participating in the army or national service.
The article ends with another true statement: “If we are not for ourselves, who will be for us?”
The idea of extending sovereignty has generated a myriad of articles pro and con, but I have not seen one that discusses what life will be like for the Palestinians the day after they finally realize their dream and have their own state!
They have already declared that their state will of course be Judenfrei – i.e. Apartheid – just as the West Bank was from 1948 to 1967 and as are most Arab states today. Who will provide jobs for the Palestinians to replace those that exist today in Israel? They will do it themselves? Then why have they not done so already? The UN, EU, UK and others have already provided billions of euros to create the infrastructure needed for industries, homes, schools, etc. Do the Palestinians really want to live in a state with “law and order” similar to that in Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Yemen, etc.? The first thing that the Palestinians will probably do will be to rush to the UN to complain that Israel has stopped providing them with humanitarian medical care, electricity, water, sewage, etc.
In “Ignore the EU on annexation” (June 23), Rabbi Shmuley Boteach reports the declaration of EU foreign policy  chief Josep Borrell on his way to a meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council that Israel’s annexation plans are “the most important item on the agenda” – more important even than the insignificant problems of say, a pandemic that has killed hundreds of thousands of people around the world, or Iran acquiring a nuclear bomb capability, etc.
No need for surprise here. When Hitler’s generals begged him to divert necessary assets from concentration camps to the battle of Stalingrad because Germany was losing, it is well known that Hitler refused on the grounds that for him the final solution was the “most important item on the agenda.” They lost the battle, ultimately turning the tide of WW2in favor of the allied forces.
An anti- semite like Borrell can’t be bothered with small problems like a killer pandemic when – OMG – Israel may extend sovereignty to land that is and always has been theirs. One must always consider priorities.
Mask quantities
In “Coronavirus cases spike as more areas locked down״ (June 26), Public Health Prof. Sigal Sadetsky says, “I don’t think the issue is that people are not listening.”
Oh, really! Despite the threat of an NIS 500 fine, I still see many people walking in Jerusalem without masks, or wearing them below their nose, on their neck or even hanging from their elbows.
No wonder we have a “spike.” The public needs some “mask education” to protect others as well as themselves and help stem this pandemic.


Corona corollaries
In “Closures will not stop COVID-19” (June 25), Dr. Prof. Zeev Rotstein, director general of the Hadassah Medical Center, states, “If you shut down a community, you could triple the number of sick patients there. They infect each other.”
True enough, but by locking down, testing, and waiting two weeks, one can be 99% assured that the infection has been wiped out in that locale.
According to Rotstein, it is better to let those infected out into the general population, resulting in even more widespread infections. Perhaps he feels that the endangered (i.e. elderly) population should lock themselves up while everyone else can just takes their chances. This is a policy? This is madness!
When we were locked down, the daily infection rate fell to the low two digits. After opening the schools and synagogues, we now only have about 450 new cases a day – absolutely no problem, if you don’t care about the collateral damage. After all, as long as it’s not me!
Yitz Greenberg’s bio (June 26) should have read: The writer was a leading thinker, communal activist and Modern Orthodox Rabbi in American Jewry.  A recent oleh, he serves as president of the J.J. Greenberg Institute for the Advancement of Jewish Life, a division of the Hadar Institute of New York and Jerusalem.