August 7: I beg to disagree

I disagree that it is "galut mentality" to require that Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims recognize Israel as the legitimate homeland of the Jewish people and not interlopers in the region.

letters 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
letters 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
I beg to disagree Sir, - Though I do not disagree with Alfred Inselberg (Letters, August 4) that it is we Israelis who will define ourselves as a Jewish state, I disagree that it is "galut mentality" to require that Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims recognize Israel as the legitimate homeland of the Jewish people and not interlopers in the region; that we are here by historic right, and not sufferance. Until there is that recognition, I do not believe we will ever be able to achieve a reconciliation and permanent peace. The sixth Fatah General Assembly confirms that position - perhaps not so clearly in its "political program," but certainly in its "internal order" (see Pinhas Inbari's "Will Fatah give up the 'armed struggle'"? August 5). As long as the Palestinian and Arab refusal to admit to our right to be here persists, the ultimate goal will remain, in their words, "the elimination of the Zionist entity." Palestinian and Arab recognition of Israel as the State of the Jewish people is important if we are ever to achieve peace. EPHRAIM I. ZIMAND Jerusalem Payment in kind Sir, - The third anniversary of my aliya coincides with Fatah's sixth general assembly held in Bethlehem ("Fatah gunmen who attacked Israelis allowed to attend... general assembly," Monday, August 3). What an irony that I should find myself in agreement with two Palestinian terrorists. Abu Usba said he was "surprised that Israel had permitted him to enter the West Bank," while Sultan Abu Ainain "expressed surprise over Israel's decision to allow him into the West Bank despite his past as a 'military commander.'" Usba intends to remain here and obtain residency; Ainain, along with his colleagues, supports the "option of armed resistance against Israel [to achieve] Palestinians' national rights." Both men committed horrible acts of murder against Israeli citizens. I love being home in Israel. Yet I ask: What are we doing in the name of "diplomatic gestures" - and to whom; and for what? Would I give permission to a group of murderers, rapists or kidnappers to rally in the backyard of my recently purchased home? Until President Mahmoud Abbas and all branches of Fatah renounce terrorism, acknowledge Israel as a Jewish state and eliminate incitement against Israel in their rhetoric, schools, textbooks and media, I would not help to foster any of their so-called assemblies, and I would not stop building in east Jerusalem and the West Bank. After three years of living here, I feel I can say: Let's give these representatives of the Palestinian people a surprise they deserve. Let's treat the Palestinian leadership in kind for the words they utter and the plans they hatch. To my government, I would say: Surprise me on this, my third anniversary. Stand up and protect our country's sense of dignity. Protect the backyards of all our cherished homes. JOANNE JACKSON YELENIK Beit Shemesh Insulting, this was Sir, - It is admirable that so many people are leaving their countries of origin and coming to live in Israel ("Netanyahu: Soon Israel will have more Jews than the Diaspora," August 5). However, your sub-headline stating that "89 UK olim also arrive[d]" seemed like an afterthought, and is an insult to the UK olim. On a percentage basis, there are 10 times more Jews living in America, which makes the UK contingent equivalent to 890 from the US - which "only" sent 238. H. KOPPEL London