Letters to the Editor February 5, 2020: Blue and White – and yellow

Readers of The Jerusalem Post have their say

Letters (photo credit: PIXABAY)
(photo credit: PIXABAY)
Blue and White – and yellow
Regarding “Right dismayed over Blue and White ad” (February 3), if a right-wing party had an ad campaign suggesting, let’s say, that Israeli Arabs somehow sully the blue-and-white flag, imagine the outrage! The indignant editorials, the threatened lawsuits, the international condemnations….
But when the Blue and White Party suggests that the ultra-Orthodox Zionists – Israelis who work and pay taxes, who are helping build the land, whose sons are overrepresented in combat units in the IDF and whose daughters give a year or two to national service – somehow turn the pure flag yellow and sully its purity, it’s seen merely as an example of negative campaigning.
Where are the editorials suggesting that the only thing that sullies the beauty of our blue-and-white flag is the hatred of Jews slightly different than they are that Blue-and-White is encouraging? Where is the outrage?
Beit Shemesh
While on a “good day” the political world does not always bring out the best in its politicians, election campaigns have historically exhibited the worst in what political expression and behavior has to offer.
Still, I was shocked to see Blue and White’s political dissent expressed through a mustard-soiled Israeli flag. There are ways to respectfully disagree with your political foes; this is disgracefully unacceptable.
Our flag stands for many things, but first and foremost it is the proud symbol of our country and our Jewish identity, a symbol of who and what we are. Sadly, I have seen our enemies soil our flag countless times, but witnessing members of a party running for the leadership of our country publicly soiling our flag is inexcusable!
Montreal, Canada
1,000 times “No!”
This week the official Palestinian Authority newspaper, which speaks for PA President Mahmoud Abbas, wrote that “Palestine (meaning all of Israel, including Judea and Samaria) must defended with blood (“Fatah on Trump’s Peace Plan: Palestine must be Defended with Blood,” JPost.com, February 3).
When on November 30, 1947 the Arabs of Mandatory Palestine rejected the offer of a country by the United Nations General Assembly, their leader, Nazi war criminal the Grand Mufti Amin al-Husseini, responded: “Murder the Jews. Murder all of them.”
In 72 years there has been no change in the rejectionist position of the Arabs – from the Grand Mufti to Abbas: the genocidal elimination of the Jews of Israel has been their express goal – the Arab version of the Wannsee Protocol.
Margate, Florida
The Palestinians and other Arabs who are enraged by the plan presented by US President Donald Trump should direct their anger at the European Union as a body and a number of European countries in particular.
It is mainly those Europeans, with their anti-Israel bias and willingness to ignore Palestinian terrorism and violations of laws and human rights, who have encouraged the extremist delusion that if only the Palestinians refuse to negotiate long enough, eventually the Europeans will hand them a state that will fulfill all their wishes and enable them sooner rather than later to drive the Jews into the sea.
By presenting the parameters that will be required in the real world for a resolution of the conflict, the US has done the world and the region a great service. The fact that the only possible outlines of an independent state of Palestine are obviously impractical should encourage further thought, perhaps leading to the realization that in fact the final arrangement should not be a separate state at all, but cantons affiliated with either Jordan or Egypt.
I have always been impressed by the fact that Rome – one of the most important cities in the Mediterranean world – hosts the capitals of two separate sovereign states: Italy and the Holy See (the Vatican). I have never felt that the presence of the Vatican in the heart of Rome in any way diminishes Rome’s status or significance as the capital of Italy. Furthermore, I regard Rome as the “undivided” capital of Italy, although I realize there can be debates over words.
Before US President Donald Trump made his proposal for the capital of Palestine to be Abu Dis, I felt that a demilitarized Palestinian government enclave within east Jerusalem completely surrounded by Israeli territory but with a road link to the West Bank would be a reasonable compromise. I am glad to see that Jared Kushner has said that the map is still subject to negotiation, although I realize that the location of the capital is more important than simply lines on a map.
Sometimes it is useful for the stronger party in a negotiation to grant the weaker party a dignified compromise. Even if the stronger party can force a solution, that can often lead to decades or generations of resentment or bitterness.
Ottawa, Canada
‘Deal of the Century’ or deceit of the century?” (February 3) bashes the Trump peace deal, favoring concerns and aspirations of the Palestinians.
Palestinian aspirations, as they trumpet to the world, are that all of Israel is Arab land, thus occupied territory; they will settle for it all – nothing less. Jews must be removed from every inch of the land and millions of “Palestinians” must be permitted to “return.”
During British rule, the Jews were Palestinians and the local Arabs were Arabs. Only in 1964/5 did the Arabs adopt the title of “Palestinian” to stake a claim to the land. Unfortunately for them, the Bible, League of Nations and UN had already given the Jews legal title to the land from “the river to the sea.” Not one of all the non-binding UN resolutions was accepted by the Arabs. Instead they subjected us to five wars. Having failed to rid the land of the Jews, they opened the political battlefield.
Military occupation is defined as when an aggressive state takes over the land of another state with the intention of holding on to it. While hostilities continue, the occupying state is forbidden from annexing the territory. This is what Jordan did in the so-called “West Bank” when it look over land belonging to the Jewish nation, illegally expelling all Jewish inhabitants and flooding it illegally with Jordanian citizens and then annexed it. In 1967, we re-took our own territory from an illegal occupier that used it to attack us. We cannot be occupiers in our own land.
By accepting the Trump peace plan, Israelis are prepared to give up part of their heritage to these non-people and give them a state they don’t deserve for the sake of peace, even though they will not accept it. Or should hundreds of thousands of Israeli Jews pack their bags and abandon their homes so that the concerns and aspirations of the “Palestinians” will be fully satisfied?
Rishon Lezion
US President Donald Trump has pulled off his biggest real estate deal ever, which of course is all that the Jewish land is to him – and apparently not much more to us (“Settlers welcome sovereignty, not Palestinian state,” January 29). We are asked to surrender 70% of our historic land to our enemies that still stand by their goal of destroying us; the status quo at the Temple Mount is to remain, which means, Jews are still to be secondary to the Moslems; east Jerusalem is to be the capital of a “Palestinian people” that does not exist.
US Ambassador David Friedman said that applying Israeli law is a process that will take time and clarified that Israel first needs to present detailed maps to a joint US-Israel committee before receiving official US recognition of the move. The US administration wants to work with Israel to ensure sovereignty plans do not go beyond map presented, and Netanyahu has also agreed to a four-year building freeze outside existing “settlements.”
Don’t they realize that we are being manipulated and humiliated? There is euphoria over Trump’s acceptance of our keeping parts of the land given to us by God, but what we have actually done is to make history as the people who arose from the Holocaust to rebuild their own land, sacrificing thousands in order to do it, and then surrendered it to our enemies.
Offers more generous to the Arab Palestinians than the current plan have been refused out of hand. In a negotiation, each side presents an opening position, and if it is an honest negotiation, compromises are made by both sides.
When Israel made offers in the past, the neighboring Arab nations and the Arab Palestinians replied with an all-or-nothing stance, even though the Arabs had no right to the territory, which was designated to be a Jewish homeland by the League of Nations, Balfour Declaration and UN recognition in 1947, as well as having been purchased through blood in defensive wars in 1948, 1956, 1967, 1973 and the constant terrorism by Arab Palestinians through “intifadas.”
Now, even before the plan was unveiled, the PA not only rejected the plan, it refused even to sit down to negotiations with Israel in any form.
Space prohibits further elucidation and therefore mention of the realities of the past century vis a vis Jewish-Arab relations cannot be delved into here. However, US President Donald Trump has taken a bold first step to bring at least a “cold” peace to the region. It should not be summarily rejected. Recognize both the positive and negative aspects of the proposal.
Build from there and spare future generations the futility of today’s situation.
Beit Shemesh
PA leader Mahmoud Abbas couldn’t be more right when he said, “Jerusalem is not for sale!” It’s not his to sell; it belongs to us.
Ramat Aviv
Coronavirus and PA: Dual threat
Two February 2 headlines point to a dual threat:
1) The coronavirus: “PM convenes emergency meeting as fear of coronavirus spreads,” and
2) The PA: ”Abbas: We’ll cut ties with Israel.”
The corrupt, incompetent Palestinian Authority is the weakest link in the State of Israel’s health security chain.
Over 50,000 workers, legal and illegal, arrive in Israel every day from the Palestinian territories. If and when the devastating virus reaches these territories, the rudimentary health facilities there will be incapable of adequately identifying, treating and isolating those infected and those at risk. Once the virus is here among us all and spreading, it will be of little use for Palestinians to fall back on Israeli health facilities and services then already stretched to the limit.
While Israeli Arabs are naturally the closest in contact with the territories, the threat is equal to all residents of our common land; the air does not discriminate between Jew and Arab, between citizen and non-citizen.
Even though PM Benjamin Netanyahu declared on February 2 that Israel is working with the PA to ensure the implementation of necessary health measures, such declaration does not remotely touch the magnitude of the threat to all. We need a total, countrywide health emergency here in the wake of the World Health Organization’s international declaration.
The looming crisis requires expanded Israeli-Palestinian cooperation, not less, if for no other reason than that Abbas not be branded by his own people as also a murderer. Israel and the PA should quickly issue a special joint appeal for international health assistance now for the territories as a concern of all. (I am a Public Health School graduate among my other qualifications.)
Why wasn’t Auschwitz bombed?
Why wasn’t Auschwitz bombed, really?” (February 4), Rich Brownstein’s response to my op-ed, ignores many facts and points of view regarding this controversy – some even dispelled in Yad Vashem itself. However, his main point, that America didn’t bomb Auschwitz because it was a racist country, not because no Americans were being killed there, is a distinction without a difference.
Brownstein wrote a book about the Holocaust and its betrayal in film, which I look forward to reading, yet he ignores three films that counter his arguments that I suggest he watch if he is interested in an open-minded approach to this issue:
1) The entire interview of Jan Karski conducted by Claude Lanzmann where Karski entreated FDR to bomb Auschwitz in 1943
2) An interview with George McGovern conducted in 1994 where McGovern talks about his mission to bomb “a factory in Oswiecim,” most likely Auschwitz III, during which interview he states that America had the technology to destroy the railroad bridges and railroads leading into Auschwitz and a moral obligation to do so, and,
3) The video on this subject in the Yad Vashem museum, which in part shows American fighter planes destroying German trains.
However, what is most disturbing to me, is that unlike my opinions, which are entirely my own, Brownstein identifies himself as a lecturer at Yad Vashem and he implies in his article that destroying the Nazis’ ability to use Auschwitz as a murder factory was not important because most Jews were already murdered by 1944. The issue has never been whether bombing Auschwitz would have stopped the Holocaust, the issue was whether thousands of lives would have been saved and that was clearly the case.
As far as the role of Jewish leadership both in Israel and the US, I defer to Rafael Medoff, Rabbi Haskel Lookstein and others, but my point, as expressed by Karski in his Lanzmann interview, was that FDR had no reason to bomb Auschwitz and save Jewish lives because the State of Israel did not exist at that time. This was eerily reminiscent of the famous response by Napoleon when told the Pope was displeased with his actions: “How many divisions does he have?”