Letters to the Editor: The T-Word

When will we ever learn?

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The T-word
I am writing to discuss Herb Keinon’s “Only 12% of Israelis believe full withdrawal would end conflict” (March 28), which goes on to report about Israeli support for other possible solutions.
Nowhere in the world were the solutions suggested successful in ending the conflict between two different cultures, even when those cultures were very similar.
The conflict here is indeed between two cultures. This type of conflict has occurred many times during the past two generations and has been resolved successfully. The solution is always the same: the separation of the two antagonists.
After World War II, 30 million people had to address the problem facing Israelis and Arabs today. The common solution they chose (or were forced to accept) was the transfer of populations.
Germans, Poles and Czechs did it. Hungarians, Romanians and Bulgarians did it. Indian Muslims and Hindus did it.
Turks and Greeks did it. All these peoples now live in peace with one another.
Jewish residents of North Africa have moved to Israel, as have Iraqi and Iranian Jews, but Arabs expect to return to Palestine when they destroy Israel.
It defies common sense and a hundred years of Arab attacks on Israel to expect that some magic formula will be found to create two states living in peace where the populations will not really be separated. We have that now, with the reality being that Arabs have access to all of Israel while Jews are restricted when it comes to visiting Arab areas and Jewish holy sites, such as Rachel’s Tomb, the Cave of the Patriarchs and Joseph’s Tomb.
The polling avoids the recognition of the only solution that has worked in a conflict such as that between Israel and the Arabs.
When will we ever learn?
Expelling Jews
Regarding “AIPAC renews its focus on two-state solution, tries to shore up Democratic support” (March 28), the establishment of a Palestinian state would entail expelling hundreds of thousands of Jews from their homes, as demanded by the Palestinian Authority.
History is replete with expulsions of Jews, the most well known and infamous of which are England (1290,1394), France (1306), Spain (1492) and Portugal (1496). There is also a large number that involved fewer victims and gained less notoriety, such as, among others, Warsaw and Sicily (1483), Lithuania (1495,1915), Brandenburg and Naples (1510), Papal states (1569) and Italy and Bavaria (1593).
In all these instances, the Jews were expelled by other nations.
The first known case of expulsion of Jews by fellow Jews took place in 2005 when the residents of Gush Katif in the southern Gaza Strip were thrown out of their homes by order of the government of Israel. We are now living with the tragic results of that expulsion.
By promoting the next expulsion, AIPAC will join those who can best be described in the words of two eminent historical figures. Charles Maurice de Talleyrand, the famous French diplomat, in describing the restored Bourbon dynasty after the defeat of Napoleon, said that “they learned nothing and forgot nothing.”
Albert Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results.
Way off the mark
With regard to “Rivlin denies Olmert’s request for clemency” (March 28), I stand to be corrected, but can it be that Greer Fay Cashman is equating the offenses perpetrated by former prime minister Ehud Olmert with those of convicted nuclear spy Mordechai Vanunu, stating that Olmert on release will be permitted to travel abroad and give interviews, with such privileges denied the latter? Maybe I’m missing something.
Didn’t Olmert fall from grace primarily for personal gain (which of course cannot be condoned), and didn’t the other person commit high treason, thereby putting the whole nation in danger? I agree that the law should be administered fairly to all, but surely individuals and their cases have to be dealt with on their merit. In this regard, I would suggest that Ms. Cashman is way off the mark.
Tel Aviv
Trump and the Bard
US President Donald Trump not only suffered a personal defeat in the case of the health care bill (“Trump tastes failure as healthcare bill collapses,” March 26), it also showed the weakness of the Republican Party.
The fact that the Republican Party does not come together in its various factions means that it will have a very difficult role in both its domestic and foreign agendas. It is similar to our own coalition governments, which find out that one faction of the coalition can help bring down the government.
Although President Trump’s administration will be stable for four years in that it cannot fall, it could turn out to be impotent.
We in Israel will have to tread carefully and be psychologists in dealing with this administration.
We cannot say that we really know how to act with the American president. Perhaps the best idea is for Israel to follow Shakespeare, who had Polonius say in Hamlet: “To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.”
Out to pasture
US Vice President Mike Pence and Congress face the duty of immediately, mercifully retiring President Donald Trump to a comprehensive Obamacare home, something that’s crucial in order to revive the health and vibrancy of a great America.
Penticton, British Columbia
What a tragedy Education Minister Naftali Bennett recently asserted that within four years, all 11th graders in Israel would participate in Masa Israeli, a week- long journey enhancing Jewish identity and Zionism.
Does this include ultra-Orthodox, Christian and Muslim students? How does the state propose to enhance Jewishness and Israeli- ness without denigrating Christian- ness and Muslim-ness – by offering additional weeks on Christianity and Islam? Or will it expose every 11th grader to a meaningful discussion, analysis and reflection on the Palestinian Nakba, for example? How does any of this enhance a student’s sense of Israeli-ness? Cohesiveness? Unity? Nationness? Or is disunity the desired result? How can Israelis justify allocating funds from 100% of its citizens to promote the agenda of a mere 75% of its citizens? Masa Israeli emphasizes divisions between flavors and colors of Jews and ignores entirely the multiple cultures that constitute the citizenry of Israel. It promotes one view of a Jewish kingdom (and we know how ephemeral Jewish kingdoms are).
Religion first; nation nowhere.
What a tragedy – Israeli kids are being educated to be tribal, just like their parents and grandparents.
Will the government-sponsored hate cycle never end?
O’Connor, Australia
CORRECTION Regarding “The spring solstice and the bright side of life” (Comment & Features, March 28), in spring and fall it is an equinox. Solstices take place in the summer and winter.