August 8: Not humanitarians

The Crusades were not a humanitarian mission, rather the beginning of the actions that led to the Inquisition and the Holocaust.

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Not humanitarians
Sir, – With regard to “Hospital from Crusader period uncovered in Jerusalem” (August 6), the director of the excavation, Amit Re’em, is quoted as saying: “These righteous warriors took an oath to care for and watch over pilgrims, and when necessary they joined the ranks of the fighters as an elite unit.”
The crusaders murdered and massacred tens of thousands of Jews on their way to Jerusalem.
Then, in Jerusalem and the surrounding Holy Land, their aim was to get rid of all non-believers one way or another.
The Crusades were not a humanitarian mission. This historical period and action can be described as the beginning of the actions that led to the Inquisition and the Holocaust.
AHARON GOLDBERG Hatzor Haglilit No class at all
Sir, – With his childish boasting and patronizing statements – “I purposely got them wrong so that she could feel superior” – about Lisa Oz, who evidently knows a lot of scripture (“A week in Israel with Dr. Oz,” No Holds Barred, August 6), Shmuley Boteach shows once again that he has no class or modesty, and has an ego so weak that he must assure the reader that Mrs.
Oz bested him only because he purposely got some biblical quotations wrong. Pathetic.
Jerusalem Letting them go
Sir, – In “Why release 100 murderous terrorists?” (The Region, August 5), Barry Rubin has summarized why not. If there were ever a consensus for not releasing them, it is now.
The vast majority of Israelis realize that this “good-will gesture” on Israel’s part will not be reciprocated.
It undoubtedly will result in more terrorism. So why is our government going ahead with plans to free these murderers? It is obvious that US President Barack Obama is putting tremendous pressure on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in order to help cajole the Palestinians into face-to-face negotiations with Israel. Israel must respond by convincing Obama about the futility not only of the gesture, but also of his muchdreamed- about negotiations.
The two sides cannot agree at this time. After so many years of the demonization of Israel, is there anyone who still believes that the Palestinians will change face and recognize Israel as a Jewish state and take steps to prevent future terrorism? Would any Palestinian ever agree to a completely demilitarized state? It is not only foolish but illogical and insane to expect the Palestinians to agree to our security conditions. Releasing murderers will only aggravate the situation and whet the Palestinians’ appetite for more concessions.
This is what Obama must come to understand, and what every Jew, here and abroad, must try to make clear.
RON BELZER Petah Tikva
Sir, – Barry Rubin concludes his piece by writing: “There is simply no proper motive for following such a terrible policy.”
Of course, there is an improper motive for doing so, not usually attributed to our prime minister – to be rewarded with the Nobel Peace Prize.
Since this would be US Secretary of State John Kerry’s prize in any case, the real question is the emotional one: How can Netanyahu, with a policy that puts Jews at risk, dishonor a beloved brother who gave his life saving Jews at Entebbe? SIMCHA RUDMAN Jerusalem Sir, – I have read with interest Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s comments that for Israel, peace talks with the Palestinians are vital.
From his Bar-Ilan speech in 2009 supporting the two-state solution, to the settlement freeze in 2010 and his agreeing to talk now, Netanyahu has shown he wants peace. So far, the only thing stopping him has been Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s rejectionist stance.
By having refused to talk to Israel without preconditions, Abbas robbed the Palestinian people of the chance for a peace they deserved. Hopefully, the coming negotiations will lead to a peace the majority of Israelis and Palestinians want.
Netanyahu has shown he is a man of peace. I hope that for the sake of all Palestinians and Israelis, Abbas shows the same commitment.
STEPHEN HOFFMAN St. Albans, UK Togetherness
Sir, – I am writing an alternative response to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s comments at the Knesset toward MK Jamal Zahalka and other Arab legislators (“PM to Arab MKs: You weren’t in Israel before us,” August 2).
The prime minister should have said: Brother, we have been here together all this time, and we will continue to be here together.
Face the facts
Sir, – David M. Weinberg’s highly commendable “Only if Israel gives a bit more...”
(Observations, August 2) should be sent to both US and Israeli leaders. If only the decisionmakers had the courage to face the facts as outlined by Weinberg.
The term “disputed territory” for Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) is a total misnomer and misleading. The whole of biblical and ancestral Palestine, from the Mediterranean to the borders of Iraq, was promised as a state for the Jewish people under the Balfour Declaration of November 1917. In 1920, at the San Remo Conference in Italy, this undertaking was confirmed by the Allied victors from World War I – the US, UK, France and Italy. In 1925 this commitment was confirmed by the League of Nations, and later it was reconfirmed by the League’s successor, the United Nations.
In 1922, Britain arbitrarily chopped off 70 percent of the land in favor of the Hashemite king, Abdullah I, leaving the Jews the territory between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River, including the West Bank.
In a war of aggression initiated by six Arab armies against Israel in 1948, the West Bank was captured and occupied by Jordan, but liberated by Israel in the 1967 Six Day War.
This is not a case of disputed territory. Israel has taken nothing from the Arabs or the Palestinians.
It simply has taken back that which belongs to it. Should there be a genuine peace treaty in the future, Israel will magnanimously cede 90-95% of Judea and Samaria for the establishment of a state called Palestine for the Palestinian people.
SMOKY SIMON Herzliya Pituah
Why listen to him?
Sir, – Prof. Alan Dershowitz was appointed Jonathan Pollard’s lawyer in the late 1980s, according to Dershowitz’s book Chutzpah. Today, some 25 years later (“Why won’t the US free Pollard?” Observations, August 2), he appears to overlook the fact that he failed his client, who is still languishing in prison.
The professor has the temerity to suggest that the Israeli cabinet agree to release 104 barbaric terrorist murderers with Jewish blood on their hands to commence negotiations with the Palestinians. In order to make this more palatable, he has argued that if the US would release Pollard – as much as those of us who have arduously campaigned on his behalf for over 25 years would welcome it – he expounds that we Israelis would consider it a sign of encouragement and agree to make even greater sacrifices.
We are not a vassal state of the US. Going on past form, such agreements are nothing less than a farce, as Dershowitz well knows but refuses to acknowledge. His prominent work for Israel advocacy does not give him or any other Jew who lives outside Israel the right to tell us we should be prepared to make sacrifices. It is our necks on the line.
Dershowitz professionally failed Pollard. We don’t need him now to advise us and fail the Third Jewish Commonwealth.