Letters to the Editor February 3, 2020: Trump: A man, a plan...

Readers of The Jerusalem Post have their say

Letters (photo credit: PIXABAY)
Letters
(photo credit: PIXABAY)
Trump: A man, a plan...
Regarding “Ex-IDF intel. chief: Trump peace plan not even basis for talks” (January 29), Amos Yadlin is reported to have said that “the concessions for the Palestinians” were not enough to get them to agree to the deal.
But that is precisely the point! As The Wall Street Journal put it, “The diplomatic approach is unconventional. The US norm has been to arm-twist the Israelis and bribe the Palestinians with cash. Instead, the Trump Administration has supported Israel unapologetically – including by moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem – and wants the rest of the world to persuade the Palestinians to confront reality.”
It’s about time the Palestinians are asked to confront reality! In Islam, if the enemy is too powerful then it is permitted to go for a hudna (ceasefire). Perhaps the Islamic nations that welcomed Trump’s peace plan (Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Qatar and the UAE) can convince the Palestinians that this is just such a case. Since a hudna can last maximum of 10 years, this is temporary, so back-to-back hudnas i.e. “confronting reality” may be the best option.
MLADEN ANDRIJASEVIC
Beersheba
Former prime minister Ehud Olmert, of all people (“This party won’t end well,” January 31) should be keenly aware that offering Palestinian leaders essentially all that they claim to want does not lead to peace. The Trump administration plan is, at least, a shift in strategy, letting the Palestinian leaders know that they have maintained their intractable position too long.
When the PLO was founded in 1964, its charter stated that it made no claim on lands then occupied by Egypt and Jordan. Clearly, the PLO’s intent was the “liberation” of Israel. Why? Because Israel was ruled by Jews and that was an affront to those who believed that only Muslims should have sovereignty in the Middle East. Thus, as the first step toward resolving the conflict, it is of critical importance that the Palestinian leaders, and other Muslim leaders in the Middle East, accept the presence of the nation-state of the Jews.
There is no guarantee that the new plan will work. The millions of “Palestine refugees” on UNRWA’s rolls must be told that, after 70 years in limbo, they won’t be getting homes they claim their forebears lost in Israel. Palestinian (and other Middle Eastern) leaders will need to undo decades of anti-Jewish propaganda and their legacy of having rewarded people for murdering Jews. The leaders of Hamas and the PA will have to reconcile with each other. And the Palestinians will have to demilitarize until it is proven that they have abandoned their hopes of destroying Israel.
The problem is not the plan; the problem is the hole into which the Palestinian leaders have dug themselves.
TOBY F. BLOCK
Atlanta, GA
In the Deal of the Century, why are Gaza and the areas of Judea and Samaria conjoined? Why do they require contiguity?
Between 1949 and 1967, Gaza was an Egyptian-controlled area. Judea and Samaria were under Jordanian control. There was no traffic between them. All of a sudden, after losing the Six Day War, these areas are to be considered as one? Apparently, losing a war means winning concessions.
Most of the blame for this conception falls on the government of Israel. It chose to treat all of the occupants of the territories recovered in the war as one entity. Administratively, perhaps this had its advantages, but diplomatically and politically, it was a mistake.
I don’t see how this error can be corrected now, but, perhaps its implications can be limited if the Israeli government (may there be one soon) were to point out that Gaza is divorced from Israel (since our departure in 2005), so it should be taken off of the table.
HAIM SHALOM SNYDER
Petah Tikva
The reaction coming from Ramallah, Abbas and other Arab sources to the Trump plan for peace was only to be expected. Rather than grasp this golden opportunity afforded by the Trump administration with all the benefits it would entail, and provide a great future for the Palestinians, Abbas responded with “a thousand nos!”
Proof indeed that the Palestinians never wanted peace and never will want peace with Israel, yearning only to bring to fruition their long-held hope to drive the Jews into the sea!
DAVID S ADDLEMAN
Mevaseret Zion
Diplomatic efforts to help solve the Arab-Israeli conflict reached a dead end long ago. “I’m a colossal failure, and you made me one,” said then-president Bill Clinton to Yasser Arafat after it became clear that Arafat never seriously considered the offers made at Camp David in 2000.
The Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 asserted that every country has a right to designate its capital. Israel’s Supreme Court and Knesset are located there. But until the US Embassy was relocated (in 2017) as per US law, Abbas successfully pressured successive administrations not to move it, by threatening toddler-esque threats of “days of rage.” Sure enough, previous administrations rewarded this threat-based diplomacy by backing off from enacting US law.
Now we have a president who understands that a new diplomatic approach is needed. President Donald Trump realizes that the Iranian threat to the Middle East (and the world) must be the focus of diplomatic efforts by the US and the countries of the region.
All previous Arab-Israeli peace efforts failed, so if the Trump plan fails (as it well may, considering that the PA rejected it from Day One), no one should be surprised.
“Days of rage” diplomacy suggests the destruction of Israel, not compromise, certainly not a desire for a just peace, is what motivated Arafat and now motivates Abbas and Hamas.
 Old-style diplomacy never had a chance. Trump, wisely and hopefully, is trying a new approach, but the response from Abbas and Hamas will make it clear that Israel never had a partner for peace. It is time to stop catering to and thus facilitating Palestinian intransigence.
JULIA LUTCH
Davis, CA
Judea, Samaria and Gaza are contested territories whose borders will be determined if the PA and Israel reach a peace deal. Until that time, under international law, confirmed by the League of Nations, all the area of the British Mandate for Palestine is the Jewish homeland. Arab terrorism, with the collusion of the British, led to the UN’s Partition Plan, but this is no way replaced the established international law.
The Jews were willing to share their legal heritage, but the Arab League launched a war of extermination against them. The Arabs lost the fight and any legitimacy to make demands on Israel. Israel, in its naivety, did not vanquish their foes, but sued for peace. They were rebuffed and faced repeated attempt to destroy them. Still, Israel sued for peace over and over again.
Another peace proposal has been authored by the United States. Both leading candidates in Israel’s upcoming election, normally at odds, are in agreement with this plan, which will give the Palestinian Arabs more land in total than that beyond the so-called Green Line. Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar and Bahrain support the plan as well, indicating they are fed up with PA/Hamas corruption and violence. The Sunnis have more serious issues than the Palestinians, who were created by the KGB and Egypt in 1964. They worry about Iran. Israel is their ally in that fight.
Perhaps Abbas should dissolve the Palestinian Authority, as he is threatening to do, before the Arab League does it for him.
LEN BENNETT
Ottawa, Ontario
The latest “peace plan” has landed in our country – along with bunches of colorful lethal balloons. Which will be the first to blow up in our faces?
Since the beginning of the state, we’ve seen numerous peace plans come and go – the “Partition Plan,” James Baker, Bill Clinton’s, the Oslo Accord – which left us bleeding in the streets as buses blew up. We destroyed Gush Katif and all its productive farms and citizens, and received rockets and other threats that continue to this very day.
US President Donald Trump’s plan, wrapped in pretty ribbons, said all the things we’ve been yearning to hear, such as that the settlements are not an obstacle to peace and we can extend our sovereignty to the Jordan River. But when Netanyahu got excited and wanted it to happen now, Trump said two wait four years or so.
The plan looks dangerous, almost incoherent with maps of roads and tunnels crossing our little country. Who is going to control what? For example, the week before all this plan came out, our granddaughter and her husband put down much of their savings on a house in the Wadi Ara area. Who will this part of our land belong to now? Who will police it?
The Palestinians could have had their state any number of times, but always refused. They don’t want their own state; they want ours.
THELMA JACOBSON
Petah Tikva
Coinciding with the portion of the Torah being read in synagogues around the world,  the similarities of Pharaoh’s heart being hardened for the ultimate benefit of Israel is strikingly similar  to the Palestinians eighth rejection of a peace plan.
I can’t wait to see what happens when the 10th plan is being offered......
DAVID ZWEBNER
Jerusalem
Regarding PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s upcoming visit to the UN, I am put in mind of what Abba Eban had to say about this organization.
“If Algeria introduced a resolution that the earth was flat and that Israel had flattened it, it would pass with a vote of 164 to 13 with 28 abstentions.”

DAVID LEE
Jerusalem
Timely tip to Tiv Taam
The non-kosher chain Tiv Taam has announced a broad plan of price reductions in an attempt to improve its faltering sales. (“Tiv Taam to slash prices,” January 29). I would like to suggest an alternate business plan that has been eminently successful for food sellers, providers and manufacturers the world over, and particularly in Israel: Go kosher.
DR. SAMUEL DERSHOWITZ
Jerusalem
Death knell for American Jewry?
In “Joseph in Egypt is an American Jewish dream gone bad” (January 28), we read, “The [biblical] story of Joseph, which is seen by many as the classic success story for the Jewish experience in North America...” (28.2.20)
Seen that way by many? Not once in my life have I heard anyone make such a ridiculous analogy. But nothing will stay smug olim from ringing the death knell for North American Jewry.
Other Jewish communities, in other lands and at different times, have faced greater assimilation threats. The American Jewish community may become much smaller in coming decades, but it might also become more observant. Or it may morph into a style of belief and observance quite different from what we consider normative today. Wouldn’t be the first time.
The author should worry more about a living in a theocracy where religious tyrants force thousands to leave the country to get married, where “observant” Jews mock the soldiers who protect and defend them, and where the government seems hell-bent on remaining a Jewish state (whatever that means) while annexing lands that are home to millions of non-Jews.
CHARLES SMOLOVER
Wynnewood, PA

What about Pollard?
We all should be elated by, and grateful for the news (“Naama Issachar returns after 10 months in prison,” January 31), which by the way should not be diminished even slightly by the criticism from the Left regarding her flight home on the plane with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Who cares? What difference does it make? What matters is that she is safely home with her family and the people of Israel.
At the same time, we should feel sadness, empathy, and pain by what appears to be the continued abandonment of Jonathan Pollard by both our PM, by not demonstrating a continual full-court press for Pollard’s release throughout the PM’s multiple terms in office and by US President Donald Trump’s apparent lack of response to pleas from major US Jewish organizations and past US-appointed and elected officials for the commutation Pollard’s parole; which would bring relief to his wife Esther, during her current critical medical crisis.
We can only pray and keep up the pressure on both Netanyahu, regardless of the timing before the forthcoming Knesset election, and upon Trump, including his key “Deal of the Century” advisers, Kushner, Friedman, Greenblatt, and Secretary Menuchin, that the commutation is implemented now so that we can welcome Pollard with joy and expressions of gratitude for his sacrifice on behalf of Israel and the Jewish nation.
SIDNEY SHOLOM STRAJCHER
Jerusalem
Ill-timed indictment
Regarding “After indictment,” (January 29), I have rarely felt such disgust and disbelief as I did when I read that Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit presented his indictment against prime minister to the court on the very day, indeed the very moment, that our prime minister was representing the country in probably the most momentous diplomatic event in the entire history of our nation since its inception.
Why did Mandelblit have to undermine the brilliant representative of Israel during the ceremony in the White House? Could he not have waited till the next day? Was it so important for him to try to show “who is really the boss of Israel”? Where was the common decency of the man? I am ashamed at this despicable pernicious action by the attorney general.
LAURENCE BECKER
Jerusalem