April 13: Is Adams just being gullible?

If Hamas truly has peaceful intentions, then it would immediately release its captive, Gilad Schalit.

letters 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
letters 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Is Adams just being gullible? Sir, - If Hamas truly has peaceful intentions ("Gerry Adams to 'Post': Hamas is not al-Qaida or Taliban; it wants peace," April 12), then it would immediately release its captive, Gilad Schalit, whom it is holding against international law. Otherwise, all Mr. Adams is indulging in is yet another case of a British MP supporting terrorism, as Hamas is a designated a terrorist organization. PETER SIMPSON Jerusalem Oath could help end conflict Sir, - I agree with those who argue that transferring portions of Israeli land inhabited by Arabs to a future putative Palestinian state in exchange for areas of the West Bank inhabited by Israeli Jews would be a good approach. But such an exchange cannot be carried out without a plebiscite of the Arab inhabitants of those portions of Israel. After all, they have human rights that include choosing which country they belong to. If they vote to stay within Israel and are required to take a loyalty oath, it would go a long way toward settling the conflict. This is one idea that should be borne in mind until the Palestinians in the West Bank have reached the stage of development where they can come to terms with Israel as a Jewish State and drop their real plans to destroy us. JACK COHEN Netanya Lieberman's outlook well grounded Dear Sir, - In "The Threat from Within" (April 7)‚ Larry Derfner claims that Avigdor Lieberman's support of Meir Kahane during his student years makes him even more dangerous than Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Unlike the last two elections, of Sharon and Olmert, the Israeli electorate this time knew exactly what it was getting when it voted for Lieberman. He's never minced words. These voters have seen every initiative, from Oslo to Annapolis, fail on false assumptions paid for in Jewish blood. Meanwhile, Kahane's doctrine of separation remains as valid today as it ever was. Tragically, it continues to be re-validated with each new attack on innocent civilians, whether by bomb, tractor, knife or axe. Israel is a lot safer with leaders grounded in Kahane's harsh realism than the utterly discredited fantasies of Oslo. ZALMI UNSDORFER Chairman, Likud-Herut UK London The real villain Sir, - Islam is identified worldwide with mass terrorism, kidnapping, torture. blackmail, piracy and limb-lopping. It is similarly identified with enslavement, not only of indigenous non-Muslim populations but of women in general. How is it then that in Britain it is Israel that is demonized while Islam is thought of as the hard done-by good guys? Is this due to an anti-Semitic media or terrible Israeli PR? Or both? This is a very serious and deteriorating situation that should be worrying the Israel government. But is it? DOV AARONS London 'Post" can do its part, too Sirs, - David Horovitz decries the publication of unsubstantiated news in the Israeli press ("Home truths about Gaza," April 10), which then goes on to be headlined by the foreign media, with the implicit assumption that if it is negative about Israel and published by the Israeli press it must be true. As one of the two major English-language papers in Israel, the Post is in a unique position to counter such reporting and at the same time reduce cynicism among the general public about the reliability of the media. Instead of publishing something that cannot be verified or attributed - such as the (false) reports of wanton IDF killings of Gaza civilians - it could report on rumors to this effect and an investigation. I believe that achieving a reputation for complete reliability could actually gain readership and help Israel in its struggle against the lies of its adversaries. COLEMAN BROSILOW Rehovot Subtle message, then and now Sir, - Caroline Glick pointed out that Vice President Joseph Biden told CNN that "Israel would be 'ill-advised' to attack Iran's nuclear installations" ("Surviving in a post-American world," April 10). Israel faced a similar situation in 1967 when its Arab neighbors girded for war and promised the destruction of Israel. Then-president Lyndon Johnson promised an international flotilla while warning Israel not to attack on its own. But the US was unable to initiate any international action and reversed its position, letting Israel know that it would have to handle the problem itself. The result was the Six Day War. In effect, America and the West are telling Israel to tough it out on its own. This can easily be interpreted to mean, "Go ahead and do it, but you're on your own." STEVE KRAMER Alfei Menashe Reverse climate change through diet... Sir, - With Israel now facing the worst drought in its history, and with the Israel Union for Environmental Defense projecting that global warming will result in an average local temperature increase of three to 11 degrees Fahrenheit, a decease in average rainfall of 20-30 percent, severe storms and the flooding of Israel's coastal plain, your April 10 article (The Jewish people's new challenge - climate change") was very appropriate. It was good that the article indicated that plans are being made by Jewish groups to address the issues. However, the importance of dietary changes appears to be off the agenda so far. In a 2006 report, the UN indicated that animal-based agriculture emits more greenhouse gases (in CO2 equivalents) than all cars, planes, ships and other means of transportation combined, and that the the number of farm animals is projected to double in the next 50 years. Hence, a major shift to plant-based diets is an essential part of responding to global climate change. RICHARD H.SCHWARTZ, Ph.D. President, Jewish Vegetarians of North America, and Director, Veg Climate Alliance New York City ...or ignore it... Sir, - The Jewish response to global climate change should be one of extreme skepticism. We are taught to ignore false prophets, and that one way to distinguish between the false and true is to see if their prognostications come about. Proponents of the theory of climate change forecast 10-15 years ago that the Earth would continue to warm at an ever increasing rate. The average global temperature peaked in 1998 and has remained virtually constant; hurricanes have been quiescent lately and sea levels have not risen perceptively. Skeptics have also noted that global temperatures have been going up and down for centuries, long before human activity could have had any effect - but these facts have been conveniently ignored. It is time that reputable newspapers like The Jerusalem Post stop treating doubtful hypotheses as fact. STEPHEN COHEN Ma'aleh Adumim ...but don't blame Judaism Sir, - The various positive plans and programs regarding global warming that you describe represent an exciting initial response by some Jewish groups to these sober challenges. I however was completely taken aback by the infelicitous statement of Yosef Abramowitz, president of the Arava Power Company, who stated, "This is really a chance for us to determine whether Judaism still has anything relevant to offer our world or whether our role in history is done." Mr. Abramowitz should appreciate the fact that Judaism's relevance and its eternal moral and ethical message, which has served as a basis for the world's monotheistic faiths, do indeed form the basis for man's awareness of his responsibility toward his fellow man and toward global well being. ZEV CHAMUDOT Petah Tikva Great setting for diamonds Sir, - As overseas administrator of the Yeshivat Hesder in Kiryat Shmona, I was intrigued by your report about the Yahalom Unit ("Diamonds in the Rough," April 10). Few people will be aware that during the Second Lebanon War, after a number of soldiers had been killed by a rocket that landed just outside Kfar Giladi, the Yahalom Unit needed somewhere safe to stay before crossing into Lebanon. The only place open, functioning and large enough was the Yeshivat Hesder in Kiryat Shmona. The unit used the yeshiva's dining hall for last-minute training exercises and was provided with meals, beds, cell phone chargers and showers, while the Hesder students, all of whom had remained to help local citizens during the emergency, bunked down in classrooms. Needless to say, a special relationship was established between the Yahalom Unit and the yeshiva, and remains to this day. LINDA STERN Overseas Administrator and Liaison Officer Yeshivat Hesder Kiryat Shmona