December 13: EU and E1

Abbas wishes to reconcile and unite with Hamas, whose raison d’etre is the destruction of the State of Israel. Thus, it follows logically that our destruction is a goal commonly shared by both Palestinian factions.

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
EU and E1
Sir, – The European nations have hyper-reacted in a totally inexplicable manner to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s intention to authorize the building of 3,000 housing units in an area that, even if there were a peace agreement, would revert to Israeli control (“EU: Our treaties with Israel apply only to pre-’67 lines,” December 11).
Their protestations are based on the contention that this would constitute a threat to the “peace process.”
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas wishes to reconcile and unite with Hamas, whose raison d’etre is the destruction of the State of Israel.
Thus, it follows logically that our destruction is a goal commonly shared by both Palestinian factions.
Moreover, a few days ago in Gaza, Khaled Mashaal, political leader of Hamas, gave a speech from which the logical deductions can only be that there is no peace process, that there never has been a peace process, and that there never will be.
Yet the Europeans immutably and blindly persist in overlooking and ignoring the reality, and in placing all culpability on Israel, which is the only side that has expressed a desire to initiate a meaningful peace process with the goals of mutual compromise in an effort to resolve the conflict.
This is truly a theater of the absurd.
Sir, – Our prime minister says that “when Palestinian leaders openly call for the destruction of Israel, the one and only Jewish state, the world is silent.”
Why should Binyamin Netanyahu think the world would do anything to help Israel when he and his government have continually ignored the world’s censure for his building of new settlements? STUART DOVE Jerusalem Sir, – Prime Minister Netanyahu is miffed at the international community for not being more sympathetic to Israel. While his frustration is understandable, Israel’s negotiating posture has complicated its situation.
Officially, the Israeli government supports the two-state solution, a compromise that is contingent on Palestinian recognition of Israel. There are two major problems with this approach.
First, the Palestinians will not recognize Israel. To do so would betray a fundamental tenet of Islamic morality, which is about unlimited control over land.
Second, even hinting at territorial compromise prior to recognition opens the door to endless pressure from other countries that have vital strategic and economic dependencies on Israel’s enemies. Now, virtually every new Jewish home can be labeled an obstacle to peace by the insincerely concerned.
Israel needs to take a step back and insist that there will be no more talk about grand solutions until there is credible recognition.
The current diplomatic formula may be morally appealing to the Western mind, but it is not very practical in a Middle Eastern context.
DAVID KATCOFF Jericho, Vermont
Sir, – It appears the European Union will be requiring Israel to label products made in the Golan Heights, the West Bank and east Jerusalem as having come from there. I suggest that the labeling be: “Made in Israeli-liberated territory.”
JDC responds
Sir, – There has been an understandable uproar regarding allegations made against JDC on the television program “Vacuum” (“Ethiopian birth control?,” Editorial, December 11). But lost in the media fallout are the fuller facts of the story, and setting the record straight is of utmost importance to us.
Over the past 23 years, JDC’s medical services in Ethiopia have had one clear focus: securing the health of Ethiopian Jews and, later, Falash Mura candidates for aliya. Thousand of patients – including women and children – benefited from pre-natal and neonatal care at our clinics. The result is that thousands of Ethiopian-Israeli adults now live safely in Israel thanks to the superb medical care they received at JDC clinics in Ethiopia.
We are proud of the family-planning advice we offered at these clinics, part of an overall approach that empowers women and other patients to take control of their own healthcare. But we should be clear: We offered family planning advice only to women who requested it. We would never do otherwise.
Participation was, and is, strictly voluntary. Participants chose their preferred contraceptive after receiving a full medical explanation of the options available.
They have always chosen when to discontinue contraception.
This medical team, which I oversaw, had no connection with, nor power over any of the patients’ rights to immigrate to Israel. We would never, nor could we, pressure women to take contraceptives as a condition to go to Israel. At no time did we receive instructions from JDC or the Israeli authorities to “coerce” patients into engaging in family planning through the Depro- Provera injection.
The issue of family planning in Ethiopia and for women independently controlling their healthcare choices is one that has been visited many times.
When seeking out options and taking advantage of what is offered, we have found an overwhelming satisfaction with the choices made and a deep appreciation for the highest standards of informed choice that are the basis of the medical services we provide.RICK HODES Jerusalem
The writer is an MD and medical director of AJJDC-Ethiopia
No thanks
Sir, – If “Strategic errors and challenges” (Encountering Peace, December 11) is the “Baskin peace plan,” God help us for his naivety because the price we pay will be very bloody.
Assuming we follow Baskin’s dangerous route and grant Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas his state along the pre-1967 lines, and then the Palestinians hold their long overdue elections and Hamas wins, what then? After all, Hamas got a majority vote in 2005. They are not less popular today.
A Hamas-controlled “Palestine” means a two-kilometer, 15-second missile flight to Kfar Yona, where my grandchildren live.
Who will take responsibility then? Baskin? I don’t think so.
We haven’t seen any Israeli politicians apologize for the Gaza withdrawal, which led to thousands of rockets falling on Israel.
Now Baskin wants to turn Kfar Yona into a central Sderot.
Thanks, but no thanks.
Credit where due
Sir, – While David Harris claims that US President Barack Obama’s hostility toward Israel has proved false (“It’s time to throw the Obama smears ‘under the bus,’” Comment & features, December 9), it should be noted that Obama owes a huge debt for his reelection to an Israeli.
A former chief designer for the Israel Air Force, now living in the US, is considered the father of the unmanned aerial vehicle. His invention has enabled the Americans to kill much of the al-Qaida leadership and other terrorists in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen, thus saving many casualties among US forces.
This undoubtedly was a key factor in Obama’s re-election.
Hat trick
Sir, – We readers, or at least most of us, tend to concur with the sentiments expressed on Sheikh Tayseer Tamimi’s headgear (“Radical W. Bank leader mulls run for PA president,” December 12), but for some reason I think somebody at The Jerusalem Post got snookered by an image from the Internet.
The Editor responds: It was indeed a poor choice of photos. The Post apologizes to its readers.