Letters to the editor: 13 December 2015

Readers react to the latest Jerusalem Post articles.

Envelope (photo credit: ING IMAGE/ASAP)
(photo credit: ING IMAGE/ASAP)
Bashing Baskin
While we have grown used over the years to your columnist Gershon Baskin’s somewhat warped view of this corner of the world, in his latest contribution (“To those who oppose Israeli-Palestinian peace,” Encountering Peace, December 10), he has truly outdone even himself in parading a perspective that would be risible, if only he were not being serious.
For starters, he trots out a series of statistics for which he can produce no factual basis.
How does he justify a statement like “30% of Israelis... will oppose any agreement with the Palestinians,” followed by “of these, 99.5% are settlers, even though 80% of them would not have to leave their homes.”
Unless Baskin has an inside line to whatever the future holds, and at the same time somehow reads the minds of eight million Israelis, these statements are, to put it politely, sheer nonsense.
To make things worse, in his usual fashion he lays the blame for a lack of progress in reaching peace squarely on the shoulders of the Jews. There is not a single mention of whether Palestinians on their own would support an agreement that would cede swaths of land to Israel in exchange for Palestinian statehood. I have an opinion on this subject, but I at least have the modesty to regard it as just that – an opinion, unlike Baskin, who thinks he somehow has the facts at his fingertips. He epitomizes everything that is wrong with the left-wing, liberal opinion makers trying to distort the truth to meet their own ambitions.
Seeing the headline, “To those who oppose Israeli-Palestinian peace,” I first assumed it was an open letter to the Palestinian Arabs and their misguided leadership.
Amazingly, Gershon Baskin appears to believe it is the Israelis – who have accepted every reasonable and several not-very-reasonable proposals and made numerous overly generous offers to the Arabs – who oppose peace. Every offer and proposal was not only rejected by the Palestinian Arabs, but followed either by increased terrorism or all out war.
It would be difficult to find an Israeli who doesn’t want peace not only with the Palestinian Arabs, but with all our neighbors.
Not only isn’t that the case with the Palestinians, but recent polls confirm it would be considerably more difficult to find a Palestinian Arab who wants peace with us than to find one who doesn’t want peace.
The difference between us and them is that we all want peace even if we disagree about the best strategy for achieving peace and how exorbitant a price we are willing to pay. Clearly, the population would force the government, whether it wanted to or not, to accept any reasonable peace agreement.
In sharp contrast, Palestinian society has yet to reach the point where it is ready to consider peace with Israel, still insisting any peace must be without an Israel.
Until that changes, nothing Israel does will really make much difference.
Baskin would do better to direct his advice to this who actually oppose a peace between the Palestinian Arabs and Israel.
Double standard?
Regarding the story on house demolitions (“Shaked: We’ll demolish Jewish terrorists’ houses,” December 11), my question is when? When there’s another Jewish terrorist attack? This punishment should start now after the murder of the Dawabsha family. Is this, once again, one law for them and one law for us?
Tel Aviv
Playing Trump card
In Friday’s editorial (“No Trump,” December 11), you jumped on the bandwagon of the politically correct condemnation and labeling of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump as “odious” and a racist bigot. You cite the “overwhelming condemnation from across the political spectrum” in the US and the international community.
Are you, then, also accepting, and joining, that same “international community” that routinely blames Israel for every ill in the world, and especially in the Middle East? Same guys, same mindless parroting of the au courant, PC hatred of Israel and the Jews. Are those the people whose opinion you are now citing as morally correct? Stop and think. One may not agree with Trump’s idea, but it is not ipso facto crazy or bigoted. It is about common sense and safety, society’s first obligation to its citizens.
I believe it would be very difficult, undesirable, and certainly morally problematic, to do what Trump is proposing. But I also believe that the reaction to it has been largely knee-jerk, cover- your-political-backside demagoguery.
In time of war – and that’s what this is – it is an idea that is worthy of consideration, however unpleasant the prospect.
Trump may be an egotistical blow-hard, but criticism should be on the merits, not knee-jerk ad hominem political correctness.
Regarding the proposal in your editorial, whether or not our prime minister should in the future meet with any American presidential candidates is a moot point. But he must meet with Ben Carson, because if he declines to do so, he will be internationally condemned as a racist.
Tel Aviv
Do presidential candidates in America really mean what they say while campaigning? Hardly ever. Regardless, what Donald Trump said about not rushing to accept Muslim immigrants was certainly not politically correct, but therein lies his incredible support – and the incredible outrage/attention he receives.
The editorial, “No Trump”, is very condescending: i.e.
Trump’s scheme didn’t receive “overwhelming condemnation from across the political spectrum.”
In fact, his followers increased. Nor has there been “unprecedented reactions from all decent quarters.” Decency is not exclusive to just those who abhor Trump.
Perhaps Trump should have said “refugees from Muslim countries” instead of “Muslim refugees.” But Christians, Kurds, Yazidis, etc. from Syria aren’t jihadis; however, all jihadis are Muslims. In any event, Trump did point out correctly that the United States hasn’t been good at screening potential terrorists, especially one from Pakistan who spent a lot of time in Saudi Arabia (San Bernardino), or one who went to Russia’s North Caucasus region and returned radicalized (Boston).
As for our prime minister greeting only Republican presidential candidates, it’s the sensible thing to do, since one of them could be the next president.
What’s stopping Democrats from visiting? Unfortunately, Israel is way down on their priority lists.
So far, Trump is doing an excellent job of sucking up all the attention in the room. The Jerusalem Post is helping him to do it.
Alfei Menashe
Spreading praise
I have just read the wonderful article (“Exceeding expectations, December 11) about the international review of the 2014 Gaza operation, and my question is: Why was this not a bold front page headline? We continually get criticism from around the world on the excesses of the IDF. Here you have a group of international experts with extreme praise for the IDF and severe criticism of Hamas – truth for a change! Should this not be publicized to the nth degree? I think so.
Petah Tikva