December 18: Derfner astonishes

A policy of political strength is exactly what the democratic world (and the Muslim world) respects.

letters (photo credit: JP)
(photo credit: JP)
Merely an excuse
Sir, – Regarding “Arab League decides to turn to UN for resolution against settlement building” (December 16), when Yasser Arafat signed the 1993 Oslo Accords, which officially were a declaration of principles on interim self-government for the Palestinians, there were no pre-conditions and no mention of a stop in settlement building.
Today, the issue of settlements is just an excuse, and it is obvious to all that the other side is running out of excuses.
Making assumptions?
Sir, – I have come to expect anti- Semitic articles in the world press, but not in The Jerusalem Post.
In “Winners, pay up!” (December 16), there was no mention of anyone’s religion or mode of practice with the exception of one who is assumed to be an Orthodox Jew based on her former place of residence.
We need unity if we are to have a future.
AVRAHAM BERGER Jerusalem/New York
Need for Kadima
Sir, – Referring to “Conversion bill passes first hurdle – but could it break up coalition?” (December 16), would that be such a bad thing? It is my feeling that without Shas (and perhaps Israel Beiteinu as well), Prime Minister Netanyahu could put together a much better and abler coalition with Kadima (giving it, of course, its fair share of the goodies). That way, Labor could remain inside without constantly having to apologize.
Or, perhaps it’s time to go to new elections? Surely, a new government with Likud and Kadima sharing power, and without Shas and Israel Beitenu, could do a much better job than the present government.
Right now, everyone seems to know the right thing to do, but no one is ready to do it. Is that a government?
Derfner astonishes
Sir, – I have just read Larry Derfner’s column (“Goodbye Obama, hello world,” Rattling the Cage, December 16) and was astonished to learn that Israel has so many friends – indeed, virtually no enemies at all. That Argentina and Brazil deserve our gratitude for recognizing a Palestinian state. That the 26 former EU leaders are great supporters of Israel. That delegitimization is a function of Israel’s known paranoia.
Clearly, the only enemies Israel has are its own elected government and those who support it.
Sir, – When Larry Derfner writes “the whole democratic world has recognized the Palestinians’ right to statehood within the pre-1967 borders,” he does violence to the truth.
The 1948 cease-fire lines never evolved into recognized and internationally accepted borders. The Khartoum Conference after the Six Day War confirmed this with its “three no’s,” and just last month PA President Abbas said the Palestinians would never accept Israel as a Jewish State.
I would argue that Israel’s assertion of sovereignty over these historic lands is as reasonable as the Arabs’ claims. Further, a policy of political strength is exactly what the democratic world (and the Muslim world) respects.
Sir, – Regarding Larry Derfner’s latest column, a return to the 1967 border would put Ben-Gurion Airport within shoulder-held missile range.
The Palestinians already have their own country. Jordan is within the legal borders of Palestine, according to international law. It is large enough to easily absorb all the Arabs living in Judea, Samaria and Gaza.
On the bright side
Sir, – In your December 16 paper, you report that a “Jewish complex in east Jerusalem may end up in Palestinian hands.” This could be the consequence of the developer’s willingness to sell to a Palestinian businessman, who might market the unsold units to Arabs.
Bemunah, a national-religious developer, is presently attempting to buy the remaining land to prevent the isolation of the project’s present Jewish population. Perhaps, had the unfortunate letter by municipal rabbis adjudicating that Jews not sell or rent property to Arabs been couched in positive terms, whereby Jews should strive to settle their homeland and not bow to financial enticement, it wouldn’t have led to such violent criticism.
In the previous day’s paper, Ray Hanania recalled that in his neighborhood in Chicago, after the first family of blacks moved in, the white people, Jews and Arabs alike, sold their homes to get as much money as possible and then move (“A life with no shame,” Yalla Peace). When they did so, “it was with a heavy sense of shame.”
The efforts of Bemunah emphasize pride and the avoidance of shame.
It could happen
Sir, – Regarding “Between open discourse and silenced opposition” (Comment & Features, December 15), I thoroughly endorse free thoughts and free speech, as well as protests against illegal actions by the government or anyone else.
But what will happen if Saudi Arabia decides to bankroll thousands, tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of Arab Muslims to purchase houses and land in Israel at twice the value (or even more) of the properties? What will happen to our Jewish and democratic country? I don’t think this is scare-mongering.
It is a true statement of what could happen.
Petah Tikva
Beautiful but tiresome
Sir, – Alon Pinkas writes so beautifully (“The speech Obama should make in the Knesset next year,” Comment & Features, December 14). Ultimately, though, his piece is a tiresome reiteration of the fantasy of the Left, and here’s why:
1. While it imagines Israel’s connection with the US based on a shared sense of manifest destiny, one must remember that the US created its own doctrine only 200 years ago – and then promptly murdered or exiled anyone in its way. Pinkas’s notion is that Israel should divide its tiny country and continue to provide a state for its own Arabs, while making the West Bank judenrein despite the fact that our manifest destiny was not selfcreated, but ordained by God and is over 3,000 years old.
2. The notion that President Obama could make reliable promises to Israel has been dashed, most notably by WikiLeaks.
Not only has he reneged on the Bush letter of understanding and proved unable to put Hillary Clinton’s promises to Israel in writing, but the recent leaks have shown the continuing and pandemic duplicity of the State Department.
3. Finally, even Pinkas cannot conjure up the notion that our Palestinian “partners” would recognize us as a Jewish state and pledge to live in peace. When the Palestinians realistically commit themselves to peace, demilitarizing and recognizing us for what we truly are, it will not take a speech from the American president to obtain an agreement.
Bad comparisons
Sir, – Tzahi Hanegbi’s equation of the failure of the soccer team, the failure of the computers and the failure of the police (“The ‘mehdal’ we urgently need to fix,” Comment & Features, December 13) may be a strong indication as to why he has been ousted from the political arena.
If he is unable to distinguish between losing a soccer match and losing a rapist, his values and judgment are truly warped.