Letters to the Editor January 15, 2020: Criminal ICC

Readers of The Jerusalem Post have their say

Letters (photo credit: PIXABAY)
(photo credit: PIXABAY)
Criminal International Criminal Court
As a foreigner who lives in Israel, I read with joy and relief in “Bennett doubles down on Palestinian demolitions” (January 10) that finally an Israeli defense minister has begun with determination to stop the illegal building by the Arabs and the EU in Area C of Judea and Samaria (the so-called “West Bank”). But the EU does not like it, and even had the chutzpah to threaten Israel, that their relations would suffer if Israel continued to destroy illegal construction.
In the Oslo Accords, Judea/Samaria was divided. In Areas A and B, the Arabs have full civil rights to build and do what they want. In Area C, Israel has those rights. Yet EU countries managed to turn the whole agreement on its head. Now the Arabs are allowed to build in all three areas and Israel is forbidden from building even in its own Area C. When Israel does build some homes there, the EU and other countries scream that it is illegal. They forget (or don’t want to acknowledge) that deals that are concluded between countries and/or other international institutions become international law, and no court or Security Council has the right to abolish or change the agreement.
In this case, where the US and Norway played leading roles in the negotiations and our countries were witnesses, it is even more evident that they now have no right to change the clauses of the contract and to demand that Israel should not be allowed to build in their Area C and advance the illegal building of other powers on Israel’s land.
And the worst is that the International Criminal Court (ICC), which should heed the international law and protect law-abiding people, now follows the lead of the law breakers and neglects the provisions of the Oslo Accords – and even wants to attack the innocent, falsely accusing Israel of state of war crimes for building homes! The ICC has become itself a law-breaker – a really criminal Criminal Court.

Waterlogged warplanes
The two faces of Israel. One is the extreme hi-tech planes, likely the best warplanes ever in the history of warfare. The other, the storage of such treasure alongside a river – not as though there are tons of rivers in Israel. “Storms damage IAF fighter jets after hangar floods” (January 13) reports millions of shekels of damage to the precious aircraft. What were they thinking of?
To friends or colleagues who say that Israel is the unalloyed Start-up Nation, I joke that they obviously never had to get a driver’s license here. Although to be honest, our recent passport renewals, while including a number of frustrations, the new passports were processed and delivered by the Post Office in six days. There’s hope yet, I suppose.
Regarding your editorial “The Boneheaded and the brilliant” (January 10) and “Storms damage IAF fighter jets after floods” (January 13), a couple of years ago – with great fanfare – a program was funded by the Defense Ministry and the Ministry of Science to improve emergency readiness. While a proposal was funded to better examine the response of city management (local authorities) to extreme weather (and wartime), no proposals were funded to take advantage of actionable information already available through the recent addition of a total lightning network that covers Israel and surrounding Israel. Moreover, the Israeli Meteorological Service does not issue any “nowcasts” or severe weather warnings based on this data, nor does the hydrological service issue direct warnings in real time to those at most risk from floods, etc.
Tens of thousands (or more) of shekels have been wasted and lives lost because of a lack of readiness for and dissemination of weather warnings (e.g., the recent flood and lightning strike victims). While timely weather warnings cannot mitigate against poor drainage infrastructure, they can affect people’s decisions and save lives.
Until priorities change, we are stuck with being a third-world country when it comes to protecting ourselves from dangerous and life-threatening weather.
‘Commanders’ are not infallible
I’m of two minds about “It’s not just ‘leftists’ who support a two-state solution” (January 12).
I agree with Johan Naghi when he complains about the practice of accusing someone of being ‘leftist’ when they disagree with a point of view, and attack the person, or persons, instead of the argument presented.
However, I disagree with his conclusions that the two-state solution is the only way forward.
Yes, Commanders for Israel’s Security (CIS) have more than 9,000 years of combined experience and they are obviously concerned about Israel’s security, but that does not make their pronouncements infallible.
If you think of them as an impressive array of ex-leaders in an exclusive club, seemingly populated by like-minded members, then their proposals should not be viewed as impartial statement of fact, but as being influenced by their mutual bias.
They support Palestinian democracy but forget that it didn’t last long when Israel withdrew from Gaza.
I live in Modi’in, three kilometers from the Green Line, I don’t want Modi’in to become like Sderot just because Arab terrorists have persuaded the world, and the CIS, that they have better squatter’s rights than Israel’s legitimate legal claim to Judea and Samaria.
Johan Naghi complains that “Commanders for Israel’s Security” got called “extreme leftists.” What sort of complaint is that? Of course “Commanders” is an extreme Left group – a quick look at Google reveals that the group is promoted by the New Israel Fund, Peace Now and J Street.
Petah Tikva
Johan Naghi misses an important point. If Israel is to remain a Jewish and a democratic state, a specific kind of Palestinian state must arise as part of the two-state solution; it is absolutely necessary that the future Palestinian state be committed to co-existing peacefully with the nation-state of the Jews.
Hamas, of course, remains adamant that it would never accept such a condition. Nor has the Palestinian Authority wavered from its dream of a Jew-free Palestine alongside an Israel that has been converted into a Muslim-majority state.
The first step toward ending the Israel-Arab conflict must come by the Palestinian leaders admitting to the 5,400,000 Palestine “refugees” registered on UNRWA rolls that they will not be given the homes they claim their parents, grandparents, great-grandparents … lost in the wake of Arab-initiated wars against Israel. Then, Arab nations must rescind their laws barring Palestine “refugees” from citizenship and restricting their rights to land ownership and the choice of professions they may pursue. This will give the “refugees” the ability to choose between living in the new Palestinian state or in another country in which they share language, religion and ethnicity with other citizens.
A really nice added touch would be the Palestinian leaders’ agreeing that non-Muslim residents of their state should have full civil rights, just as non-Jews have full civil rights in Israel.
Atlanta, GA
Johan Naghi needs to be reminded (or informed) that there is already a two-state solution. Three-quarters of historic Palestine is the Palestinian-majority state they choose to call “Jordan.” The remaining quarter is rightfully in the hands of the State of Israel.
There is no need to create a third state – yet another Arab state where none has never existed before -- on the biblical ancestral lands of the indigenous people: the Jews.
Abbas’s interminable four-year term
In “As Abbas enters 15th year in power: Fatah officials jockeying for succession power” (January 12), your correspondent, photograph caption writer, and headline writer each erred in calculating the current length of PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s four-year term as Palestinian Authority president. The truth is even worse than they reported. Abbas, having been elected on January 9, 2005, and having entered office shortly, if not immediately, thereafter, is not entering the 15th year of his “four-year term,” he is actually entering his 16th year of said term of office.
Achieving dreams
Some told me it couldn’t happen, but then it happened" (January 13) is a truly heartwarming story of a female immigrant from South Africa who arrived in Israel in late 2012 with a dream to contribute in a special way to the IDF that was fully fulfilled in 2019.
It shows that one’s dream can be achieved through hard work, which in this case involved many twists and turns, but with determination and a never-give-up attitude, it looks like in “Y,” the elite intelligence Unit 8200 has found itself a special recruit that she herself and the nation should be truly proud of.
Tel Aviv
Confronting Islamic fanaticism
Reading “With Iran, we’re not dealing with a rational enemy” (January 13) was like reading my own thoughts put down in ink. I agree 100% with the writer.
As Barry Werner writes, Iran is not rational under the mullahs, because their basis for existence is Islamic Shi’ite religious fanaticism, envisioning ultimate war with Israel, the Sunni Arab and Western world to enable the 13th Mahdi to come and rule over everyone regardless of the cost – as seen in the past in the long and costly war against Iraq. They play chess and are very good at it, because it is the long game using proxies close and far to kill and destroy their enemies eventually at the their time and place they will become the main attacker.
As history has shown, religious fanaticism cannot be appeased, and eventually the free world must draw the line in the sand and defeat this enemy. Ultimately, it will prevent a terrible loss of human lives and destruction of property.
Kiryat Motzkin
So far away
I would suggest that Naama and Yaffa Issachar not get their hopes up (“Netanyahu tells Issachar: We are not abandoning you,” January 14). Excuse my cynicism, but didn’t Netanyahu also promise to bring home Jonathan Pollard? He is still in probation in America after nearly 40 years of hell there for giving Israel information that saved countless Israeli lives and which America had been duty bound to provide and didn’t. Pollard apologized many times for what he did, but to no avail. Pollard’s actions caused no harm to Americans while those who spied for enemy countries and did do great harm to the US got four to six years. It doesn’t seem to matter that Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump are “best of buddies.”
And there is the matter of the bodies of the two soldiers that Netanyahu left behind in Operation Protective Edge when he accepted Hamas’s final ceasefire without demanding their release. Their families, after so long, are still denied the right to bury their loved ones. Perversely, Hamas in the meantime is being amply rewarded with millions of dollars and truckloads of goods and Israel always returns the bodies of terrorists.
Of course it is always possible that Naama will be the lucky one as long as Putin is amply rewarded. Only Israel gives on demand.
Obama overkill
In his letter, “Impeach Trump for Israel’s sake?” (January 13), Jonathan Surasky writes, “Barack Obama mistreated Israel for eight years with his biased acts and disrespect for Israel’s leader.” He deserves a response because he fails to consider many important facts.
While, like every other US president, Obama was far from perfect, he did many positive things for Israel and Jews that should be recognized. Israeli experts agreed that strategic cooperation between the US and Israel had never been better. The Obama administration supplied funding for the Iron Dome missile defense system and for other Israeli defense needs that saved many Israeli lives.
Obama supported Israel with regard to the critical Goldstone report and the Gaza flotilla events. He helped save six Israelis who were trapped in the Israeli embassy in Cairo, in response to a frantic, middle-of-the-night call from Netanyahu
Until his final abstention, the Obama administration consistently backed Israel at the UN and helped prevent a declaration of a Palestinian state by the UN, an effort for which Obama deserved a “badge of honor” according to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Professor Emeritus, College of Staten Island
Jewish success and genetics
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach believes that genetics cannot be the underlying reason behind Jewish success – intellectual and otherwise. That would be racism (“The myth of Jewish privilege and intellectual superiority,” January 14). Jews are successful not because of an “intelligence gene,” but because they appreciate study, exercising the brain in a gym called Torah or even studying physics and maths, thinking out of the box, etc.
But couldn’t all these positive attributes be genetically linked? The science of genetics and its interaction with the surrounding environment is still in its infancy. If physical appearance can be so obviously and strongly linked to genetics, why not the brain, which is just a huge blob of nerves and synapses soaking up everything around it from conception to death?
The jury is still out on this question.
Emeritus Professor of Radiation Physics
Fighting back
I‘ve finally read an article on antisemitism (“Reflections from a Brooklyn Jew,” January 14) with which I can partially agree. Kudos to Daniel Edelstein on his suggestion for Jews to train in the martial arts, learn to use a gun – in brief, fight back physically and not only by talking and crying.
Jews have almost always been too passive in their physical response to antisemitism. That ended with the creation of the State of Israel, where we have developed a formidable military machine and the antisemites all around us know it and respect it and carefully watch their steps for fear of their lives.
The same will be true in the US. Fight back. You will instantly earn their respect and they will back off.