Regarding “A new vision for the region” (September 16), after the Israeli victory in the Six Day War of 1967, the Arab League met in Khartoum and passed a Resolution known as “The Three No’s” – No peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with Israel.
The latest Arab league summit reverses the situation into “The Three Yes’s” – Yes to peace with Israel, yes to recognition of Israel, yes to negotiations with Israel.
Despite this, the Palestinian leadership still refuses to face reality.
The Palestinian leadership can be compared to the volume switch on your TV. You can turn the volume up or down, but it really makes no difference to the picture.
The peace plane has left the airport and the PA is not on board. The days of the Three No’s are over.
The headline “We mark the dawn of a new Middle East” (16 September) arouses the sobering thought that The New Middle East was the title of a 1993 book by former prime minister Shimon Peres.
Let us hope and pray that the title has more meaning today.
I, like many others, have on occasion written letters to this column to criticize or complain about governmental issues.
It seems only fair, therefore, to write to express my pride in hearing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks during the peace signing ceremony at the White House in Washington on September 15. He was clearly at ease diplomatically, and his interactions with the president of the United States and the representatives of the UAE and Bahrain were felicitous.
But it was when he quoted King David’s psalm for peace while making Jerusalem Israel’s capital forever, and described on a personal level the pains of war as opposed to the promises of peace, that the prime minister was most eloquent.
It was especially telling, when, as we go into lockdown here in Israel, he reminded the world that while coronavirus will eventually pass, this peace agreement will reverberate for us all in the years to come.
It was a hopeful message in the week of Rosh Hashanah.
At the very moment Israel was signing treaties with two Arab states to advance the cause of peace for all people in the region, Gazans were busying themselves by firing missiles at civilian targets, injuring six innocent victims (“6 injured in rocket attack on South,” September 16).
I call on our new friends – the UAE and Bahrain – to condemn this and all such criminal acts of unprovoked violence and aggression, and to begin showing support for the justness of Israel’s cause at the United Nations.
During the lawn-signing ceremony between Israel the UAE and Bahrain, I couldn’t help but get a sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach, as previous ones have always been bittersweet – what with Israel trading away precious land for an obscure peace arrangement. The feeling came upon me, and I’m sure many others, once again until I realized we were not giving anything away but instead, hopefully gaining new friends.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with all the personal issues surrounding his tenure now, has once again proven that overall he is the best representative we could have to strengthen and embellish our stature and world standing. Of course these new agreements are convenient for our new allies as they face the Iranian threat, but it doesn’t diminish what our prime minister has helped to achieve.
Just as in sports, where one can have a team of superstars to succeed, the team still needs a head coach to pull them altogether into a cohesive unit and Netanyahu is the best we have to accomplish this.
In “Trump’s Balkan agreement does Israel more harm than good” (September 15), Arthur Koll makes some excellent points regarding Israel’s hesitation to recognize Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence from Serbia. However, I am a bit confused by references to Israel’s recognition of Kosovo as something that would encourage the Palestinians to follow suit. Isn’t it the other way around?
The PLO declared independence in 1988 and was recognized, almost immediately, by 78 countries. Currently, nearly 200 UN member states recognize the Palestinian state, as do a number of international organizations. Of course, this flurry of recognition doesn’t mean that the Palestinian state could survive without Israel’s collecting its taxes, supplying its water, or providing medical care to its people. The nebulous nature of “recognition” is an excellent reason for Israel’s refusing to return to the 1949 armistice lines, as demanded in the Arab Peace Initiative, in return for “recognition.”
I hope that Kosovo is more of a real state than the Palestinian state has proven to be. And I hope that states that have now normalized relations with Israel will be able to convince the Palestinian leaders to start building a real state within realistic borders, co-existing with the nation-state and homeland of the Jews, where their people can provide a better future for their children.
TOBY F. BLOCK
Abraham covenant revisited
I totally agree with the article by Nave Dromi “It’s time to ‘normalize’ the Temple Mount” (September 14) without delay.
One observation that Dromi overlooked is the amazing constant relevance of the Torah.
This week we read in the news about the Abraham covenant, and this Saturday on Rosh Hashanah Jews around the world will read “Abraham took flocks of cattle and gave them to Avimelech and the two of them entered into a covenant” (Genesis 21/27) – The original Abraham Treaty.
Now appearing at a Kotel near you
I would like to say “Bravo” to Walter Bingham on his courageous article “Religious life in Jerusalem and Women of the Wall” (September 13) Also kudos to Norman Derovan and M. Leventhal who wrote letters praising Mr. Bingham’s article. I’d like to add an idea to the mix. If the WOW were ignored during their monthly performance, maybe they would stop and leave us all in peace. There’s no enjoyment performing if there’s no audience.