December 5: Logic of E1

The Clinton Parameters never endorsed specific territorial arrangements over others, and explicitly insisted on contiguity.

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Logic of E1 Sir, – Your December 3 editorial “The logic of E1” defended the Israeli government’s decision to advance construction in this contentious area by stating, among other points, that “the 2000 Clinton Parameters called for Israel to be compensated for the partitioning of Jerusalem by annexing Ma’aleh Adumim.”
The formal Clinton Parameters never endorsed such specific territorial arrangements over others, and they explicitly insisted on contiguity for both sides.
Although the Post is technically correct to point out that building an access road for Palestinians could (somewhat) mitigate this risk, it is patently obvious that settlement construction in E1 would still seriously degrade the character of contiguity for a Palestinian state.
As such, settlement growth in E1 undermines the two-state solution, no matter what the excuse. That is why America, across both Democratic and Republican administrations, has consistently opposed building there as a short-sighted obstacle toward peace.
DAVID ANDREW WEINBERG Washington The writer serves as a non-resident fellow with UCLA’s Center for Middle East Development
Sir, – I am a citizen of both Israel and the US who loves both counties and has no doubt in the justice of the Israeli positions in the ongoing conflict with the Palestinians. This includes the recent military action in Gaza, the belief that at present Israel has no Palestinian peace partner, and support for certain construction in the so-called settlements.
However, with the timing of the announcement on building plans for E1, the government once again has made me ashamed to be an Israeli.
We should care more about supporting our few friends in this hostile world, and less about punishing our enemies. It is clear to me that Israel has learned well from the Palestinians – and now clearly outdoes them – by “never missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity.”
Although I shudder to think of the consequences, in my judgment it would now be reasonable for the US to stop using its veto power in the UN Security Council and merely abstain on one-sided, anti-Israel motions, at least until the Israeli government chooses to be a partner for peace with America.
Sir, – While additional building in Judea and Samaria is always welcome, a much more reasonable response to the PA would be a formal abrogation of the ill-fated Oslo Accords.
The PLO, with whom the accords were signed, undertook a number of obligations. Among other things it agreed to rewrite its covenant, refrain from violence, stop teaching Palestinian children to hate Jews and Israel, and negotiate a border directly with Israel without preconditions.
None of these conditions were fulfilled – not even attempted.
Therefore, there is no reason for us to continue with this farce any further.
It is time to face reality and force the rest of the world to face reality by stating the obvious: admit that Oslo was a colossal failure from the start and formally assign it to the dust heap of history.
STEPHEN COHEN Ma’aleh Adumim
Siege or not Sir, – Without any consideration of the reality we live in, Ariel Harkham’s theoretical hogwash (“Trapped under the Iron Dome: Israel’s siege mentality represents a fundamental strategic failure,” Comment & Features, December 2) is beyond understanding.
As evidenced by the recent nonsensical anti-Israel vote in the UN General Assembly, listening to his reasoning would be be tantamount to an ant wanting to destroy an elephant.
Little Israel, surrounded by millions of hostile Muslims supported by a multitude of misinformed supporters worldwide who only have their own self-interest at heart, has no desire to conquer. Contrary to what Harkham says, Israel has a superiority of arms and the ability to defeat its enemies, as has been proved in the past.
It is very difficult indeed to fight an enemy that is happy to lay down the lives of its people.
We have no desire to defeat or destroy them – all we want is security and to live in peace as good neighbors.
The dissemination of true facts must be greatly enhanced, and the blatant lies of our enemies must be shot down in flames so that the world will know the truth. It may take time and we no doubt will have further rounds of terrorist activity, but we must remain committed and united.
MIKE AYL Ashkelon
Sir, – I would like to endorse Ariel Harkham’s article. It is time that Israel shed its galut (diaspora) mentality.
There is so much Israel-bashing out there that it doesn’t matter what we do. The international community will always condemn us.
The UN is speedily becoming more and more of a nonentity.
There is no point in pandering to it. We need to be bold, perhaps taking a leaf out of Iran’s playbook by thumbing our nose at it. It is only the Security Council that wields any power – and that, too, is rapidly dissipating as the failure to solve the Syrian problem has shown.
Somehow we will have to create a new body, one that will be able to serve our values better than the present self-serving gaggle of jabbering automatons that self-importantly strut on the UN’s stage.
Sir, – I really object to Ariel Harkham’s conjecture that Iron Dome is a symptom of a siege mentality.
From a strictly military point of view, it has proved itself a highly successful weapon. It allows the IDF to structure its actions without leaving the populace vulnerable.
The choice of the government to limit its response in the recent action to aerial bombardment was political. I think it is pretty clear to just about anyone outside the Gaza Strip that the IDF could obliterate it and kill tens of thousands in a matter of hours.
Sending in the ground forces might have done a better job, but the only real solution would be to reoccupy the entire Gaza Strip at the cost of God knows how many Israeli soldiers’ lives.
I am most definitely aggrieved by Harkham’s insinuations that the Israeli public lacks “vigor” and has failed to exercise its opinion to get the government to act. He appears to have missed the conclusion that most Israelis have come to: Gaza is a long-term problem that must be coped with, and so long as the Gazans think they can really hurt us with their ragtag junk, we will have to bash their heads every so often.
To impose a “final solution” would be only a painful chimera.
Picking bones Sir, – I am deeply ashamed by the Dry Bones cartoon in the November 30 Jerusalem Post. I am appalled and frightened by the text – by its tone of arrogance and ridicule, and by the presumption of agreement on the part of the reader.
This large, blaring cartoon demeans the Palestinian people, as well as the Israelis the writer assumes he represents.
I am alarmed that the Post printed this. I ask you to apologize to your readers for publicizing such a mocking, insulting, racist, ignorant and dangerous text in the guise of humor.
As the color of the cartoon reveals, this is truly yellow journalism.
Sir, – Congratulations on Dry Bones’s brilliant quiz! It should have been published on the front page, with copies distributed at the United Nations and covered in all the social media on the Internet. Well done! LYNETTE LEVIUS Netanya