August 21: Reality politics

Help or hindrance? Change the rules; Not so bad off; Didn’t work then; Bo-ring!

letters (photo credit: JP)
(photo credit: JP)
Reality politics
Sir, – That the US is urging Israel to apologize to Turkey for the Mavi Marmara incident would be laughable if it weren’t being done in all seriousness (“Erdogan: Without apology, Israeli-Turkish ties will not be restored,” August 18).
Turkey wants to expunge its sorry record when it comes to dealing honorably with Israel. It wants to wipe clean what happened with Armenia. It wants recognition as a real force in the Middle East.
It would be better for us to say to Turkey that while we cannot apologize, we will not hold it responsible, and might as a humanitarian gesture pay money to the families of the dead. This would be reality politics.
Sir, – For over four centuries, until 1917, Arabs and other Muslims were ruled by the Ottomans.
The Turks considered themselves the aristocrats and the Arabs the lowest class.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan seeks to revive this. His principal obstacle is Israel.
We are the leading intellectual and military society in the region.
To succeed he must force us to submit (the meaning of “Islam”).
Israel should not be prissy in responding. Turkey massacred 1.5 million Armenian Christians.
It has banned the Kurdish language and treats its 10 million Kurds with disdain.
We must demand respect in a region where respect is key to calm, if not to peace.
Sir, – Turkey should be sympathetic and supportive of us for not apologizing. After all, it has never apologized for the Armenian genocide.
Telz Stone
Help or hindrance?
Sir, – In “Glenn Beck rally could spark violence, warn Arab MKs” (August 18), MK Muhammad Barakei is quoted as saying that there are “enough racists in Israel without importing them.” He should know.
It is inconceivable that members of the Knesset should be threatening violence when a speaker who loves Israel comes to this land.
Not far behind Barakei is MK Ahmed Tibi. In attempting to describe Beck as “a bizarre, conservative, neo-fascist comedian who is motivated by a hatred” of Judaism, Tibi inadvertently described himself.
Whether we agree with Beck or not, someone who has publicly expressed love of the Jewish people and their land has a right to speak in Jerusalem.
Sir, – Don’t we have enough “events?” Do we really need another, led by Glenn Beck? I could almost agree with MK Ahmed Tibi, except for the word “comedian.” That Beck is not.
Mr. Beck, we have enough of your type here. Go home!
Sir, – When the Fogel family of Itamar was murdered by terrorists, Glenn Beck reported it and devoted many segments of his television shows to honor their memory. Other non-Jewish media barely mentioned it.
Beck has a mission: to expose bias against Israel, including hidden and non-reported facts regarding current and past anti- Semitism. He is a consummate teacher of history, which is why there are so many references to Hitler and the Holocaust in his shows.
A better friend to Israel you will not find. He should be honored as a Righteous Gentile.
Change the rules
Sir, – Further to the amendments to International Humanitarian Law proposed in “Human shields: Back to reality” (Comment & Features, August 18), the outlawing of unguided missiles and projectiles is now fully justified.
In the recent past, 8,000 or more such missiles were hurled into Israeli territories. According to my recollection, only two or three touched military targets.
The rest killed, maimed, traumatized or caused material damage to the civilian sector, as doubtless was their purpose.
It is time to prohibit such weaponry, and to define their use as a crime against humanity.

Sir, – Amnon Rubinstein and Yaniv Roznai are right to argue for changes to International Humanitarian Law so that people are held accountable for the use of human shields. However, I strongly doubt such people would be concerned.
They are usually unidentifiable, and therefore unlikely to be brought to trial.
I would advocate that the counteracting parties be allowed more freedom to respond.
Not so bad off
Sir, – After reading the piece by the Norwegian ambassador to Israel (“Norway is pro-Palestinian – and pro-Israeli,” Comment & Features, August 18), I wonder whether The Jerusalem Post now regrets its recent apology.
Now we know that Norway contributes “around 100 million euros a year to the Palestinian Territory....” Multiply that by the number of other Western countries helping to fund the PA and it is obvious that the Palestinians are doing pretty well.
Didn’t work then
Sir, – Regarding “Goodwill gestures to PA may circumvent plans to unilaterally declare statehood, defense officials say” (August 17), how come such gestures did not work when we gave the Palestinians control over our holy sites, released their prisoners from jail, took down roadblocks, stopped the construction of Jewish homes and threw 10,000 Jews out of their homes and businesses? The list is endless.
Our enemies know well that we lack the faith and courage to take the necessary steps to regain control of our sovereignty. What saddens me is that we have done this all by ourselves. No one did it to us.
Sir, – On your front page we read the “Goodwill gestures to PA may circumvent plans to unilaterally declare statehood, defense officials say,” while on Page 2 we read “Abbas: We’ll seek recognition despite US, Israel opposition.”
Although initially it appears totally ludicrous, it is an indication of a mind-set fraught with grave consequences.
The officials who are proponents of goodwill gestures – despite their utter futility and Israel’s long, bitter experience – include Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz. They are in favor of removing more checkpoints and the release of Fatah prisoners from Israeli jails. On whose side are they?
Petah Tikva
Sir, – I read with great interest Seth J. Frantzman’s “The boring Jewish state?” (Terra Incognita, August 17). Of course we are becoming boring! Hasn’t Frantzman noticed that nothing changes here and hasn’t for years? The inference is that only social issues (those promoted by the perfidious Left) attract intelligent people from overseas, while the fact that the majority of our visitors are either from the US Bible Belt or merely coming for the sea, sun and amazing night life is ignored.
I spent 12 years arranging visits to this country for journalists and opinion-shapers. We showed them the land (precious to both Jews and Arabs) inside and outside the Green Line, warts and all. We did this while right-wing leaders were in power.
At least 90% of the reporting was positive. If these visitors did not become Zionists, they at least went home with a greater understanding of the unique mosaic called the State of Israel.
What Frantzman is essentially saying is that someone responsible for Israel’s image is not doing his job.
Tel Aviv