April 23: Carter's visit

Chamberlain said "peace in our time," and look at what he brought the world and the Jews.

letters 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
letters 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
'Post' readers address the Carter visit Sir, - Re the media attention given to Jimmy Carter's "study mission" to the region: Mr. Carter is perfectly aware of what Syria, Hizbullah and Hamas represent to Iran, and that makes his intentions in meeting with Hamas questionable. During the last 14 months of his presidency, Mr. Carter caused America and its citizens great humiliation at the hands of Iran's mullahs as a result of the hostage crisis - leading directly to defeat in his reelection bid. To restore their dignity and secure the release of their 52 citizens taken hostage in Iran, American voters opted for Ronald Reagan. Mr. Carter recently wrote a book strongly criticizing Israel. He meets with terrorist organizations - clear evidence of a lifelong anti-Israel obsession ("Hamas's apologist," Editorial, April 22). YAAKOV LEON Ra'anana Sir, - Jimmy Carter has violated the US Logan Law - if not its letter, then certainly its spirit. That law prohibits a private citizen, which Carter today is, from conducting foreign relations on behalf of the government, which he is trying to do. Calling his visit to the Middle East a "study mission" doesn't change that. As Abraham Lincoln once quipped, "If you call a horse's tail a leg, how many legs does it have? The horse still has only four legs.... " MILTON H. POLIN Jerusalem Sir, - I'm sure Jimmy Carter just loves all the coverage he's been getting this last week because he certainly doesn't get much in the States. Why waste good space on an irrelevancy? JAN GAINES Netanya/Stamford Sir, - So Jimmy Carter booked a "maybe" from the terrorist Hamas regarding acceptance of living side by side with an Israeli state. Have I missed something here? ("Mashaal's truce offer to Carter is meaningless," April 22.) THELMA BLUMBERG Kiryat Arba Sir, - It's deja vu all over again. Seventy years ago Chamberlain, returning from Munich, waved a piece of paper, said "peace in our time," and look at what he brought the world and the Jews. The Olmert-Livni-Barak triumvirate needs to tell the world we will not be Czechoslovakia II, but I doubt it will. MOSHE JOSEPH Kiryat Motzkin Sir, - If Jimmy Carter was so determined to talk to Hamas, why didn't he demand to see Gilad Schalit so he could then assure the world that Schalit is indeed alive and inform us about his health and prison conditions? ROBERT KOLB Woodmere Sir, - I believe we should stop visitations to Palestinian prisoners until access to Gilad Schalit is given. Such a step should make Hamas think twice before it threatens us about our soldier's fate. If the Palestinians can't visit their dear ones, they will crumble. ALEX LOVINGER Kfar Saba Sir, - I'm sorry, but whose emissary is Jimmy Carter? And why should we care what he thinks? He may be a decent human being and honestly want to see peace in the region, but he laid a wreath at the grave of Yasser Arafat, the greatest terrorist in modern history - who would have continued Hitler's work - and thinks that a reasonable solution to the regional conflict would be to broker a deal in which Israel returns militarily strategic territory gained during a defensive war to the aggressors not only of that war (1967) but of a subsequent one (1973). I guess life in Georgia is pretty boring. MATTHEW BERMAN Herzliya It's all denial Sir, - MJ Rosenberg's "Remember this: 78-22" should really have been dated April 1 and not April 15, except that "foolish" is too kind a word for the farrago of delusions and misstatements offered up in this so-called analysis. Rosenberg's view from far-off Washington is a classic example of the old saying that distance lends enchantment. It is not, as he asserts, right-wing powers of persuasion - in Israel, of all places, where the media is so solidly on the Left! - but cold common sense that has convinced the majority of Israelis to conclude that the Arab-Israel conflict is not a dispute over territory but rather the Palestinians' denial of Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state. The Palestinians have never accepted a two-state solution as anything but a temporary, tactical step in the staged elimination of the Zionist entity from the Middle East. Denial is embodied in the covenants of the PLO and Hamas; it is the burden of the education of Palestinian children; the message of official Arab propaganda and incitement; the ideological core of Islamic extremism. Denial was the reason why the term "Jewish state" was a sticking-point for so-called moderate Arabs at Annapolis. Denial is implicit in the Saudi Plan, when it insists on the Arabs' right of return, and denial is explicit in the call for Israel's extermination not only by Iran's Ahmadinejad but by his proxies in Syria, Lebanon and Gaza. A recent poll showed that "Most Israeli Jews back settlements, consider West Bank 'liberated'" (April 16). In other words, they have come to the conclusion that settlements do indeed constitute an obstacle - not to peace, but to the entrenchment of an empowered and implacable terrorist state in our heartland. GILBERT HERBERT Haifa Croatia's debt Sir, - As one who lost 68 relatives to the Holocaust of Serbs, Gypsies and Jews in the Nazi-puppet, "independent" state of Croatia, I was deeply shocked to read "Melbourne eatery hails leader of Nazi-allied Croatia" (April 16). The resurrection and glorification of Croatia's horrible fascist Ustashe legacy is proof that Croatians were never properly forced to confront the reality of the genocide committed against Serbian, Gypsy and Jewish civilians during WWII. Croatia was never "de-Nazified." It was also the primary reason that Croatia's Serbs sought their own independent state in 1990 to protect themselves from a repeat of history. Over 60 years later, many Croatians (including Croatian "intellectuals") still deny that hundreds of thousands of Serbians, Gypsies and Jews were slaughtered in Nazi-puppet Croatia's Ustashe-run camps such as Jasenovac, the third largest concentration camp in Europe. Until Croatia acknowledges, apologizes to and compensates the heirs of the victims of this WWII genocide, there will never be peace in the Balkans. MICHAEL PRAVICA Henderson, Nevada Hametz, privately Sir, - There is a simple solution to the hametz imbroglio. If you go into a store or retail establishment, there is always a door labelled "Private" or "Staff Only" or "Customers Not Allowed." It separates the public part of the store from the private part. So it is clear that there is a public area in a private store, and that under current law no hametz should be exhibited for sale there during Pessah. Customers who ask for bread during Pessah should be directed to enter the "Private" door and there be sold the hametz item in a private transaction. This is actually the current arrangement used in many stores in Israel, and it should either remain unchanged or be enshrined in law. As a secular Jew, I have no problem with this arrangement for those who cannot face eating matza for seven days, or demand the right to buy hametz privately ("Measure of a Jew," Letters, April 16). JACK COHEN Netanya Slaves to smoke Sir, - Re "Don't light up, rabbis warn. It's hametz!" (April 18): Bread of addiction? YONATAN SILVER Jerusalem