February 3: UN hypocrisy

Instead of wasting his time in Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian territories, Ban should be going to Syria and speaking out.

UN hypocrisy
Sir, – Ban Ki-moon honored Israel with a quickie tour, also visiting Jordan and the Palestinians to push for the so-called peace negotiations (“UN secretary-general says Israel should provide ‘gestures’ for Palestinians,” February 1). How hypocritical the UN is being once again.
I know that do-gooders and ultra-liberals still laud the United Nations. However, Moon and the Security Council have done nothing to sanction Bashar Assad of Syria, who has slaughtered over 5,000 fellow Syrians.
Instead of wasting his time in Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian territories, Moon should be going to Syria and speaking out.
The Syrian slaughter will continue as long as no one challenges it or the Russian commitment to that country.
Peres’s record
Sir, – Re-enacting the proverbial definition of insanity by attempting the same thing over and over with the expectation of different results, President Shimon Peres is touting Mahmoud Abbas and Salam Fayyad as peace partners (“Peres: Talks could help Israel benefit from ‘Arab Spring,’” February 1), as he once did for another Palestinian leader, the arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat.
In September 2001, at a time when the Palestinians were murdering and maiming hundreds of Israelis, it was Peres who championed Arafat as “the person who has the most influence on the ground.” We should understand by now that given his record, Peres hardly qualifies as the best judge of negotiating partners.
Peres fails to consider an obvious truth that continues to elude the so-called peace camp: Leaders come and go, and apparently so do peace agreements.
Even if he wants to set aside the real agenda of Abbas and Fayyad – who honored the mother of four convicted terrorists by having her present the PA’s defiant statehood application at the UN, and whose television station is now glorifying the brutal murderers of the Fogels – he should at least acknowledge that these two are not destined for long-term leadership, with Hamas or perhaps the Arab Spring’s more radical elements waiting in the wings.
JEFF DAUBE Jerusalem
The writer is director of the Israel office of the Zionist Organization of America
Sir, – Shimon Peres seems to be quite alone in his optimistic appraisal of the turmoil confronting the Middle East. The empowerment of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and Tunisia alongside the increased missile threats to us from Hezbollah in the north and Hamas in the south only serve to provide Israel with heightened security concerns.
Peres argues that an accord with the PA will strengthen it at the expense of Hamas. He seems to be totally oblivious of the reconciliation between them, with Hamas still insisting on the non-recognition of Israel.
Most neutral observers assert that if free elections were held in the PA today, Hamas would be the victor.
It is worth remembering that it was Peres who pushed for the ill-fated Oslo Accords and the peace partner Yasser Arafat.
Owning up
Sir, – Regarding “Former RBS chief Fred Goodwin is stripped of knighthood” (Business & Finance, February 1), it seems there is no way to punish anyone in a position of responsibility in Israel unless he or she is an outright felon. No one is willing to admit to wrong-doing, even when lives are lost.
Where are the morals and values? Yitzhak Rabin, our late prime minister, resigned in his first term over something far less damaging to our society than the Carmel forest fire tragedy.
The results for the Likud primary in Beit Shemesh were 77 for party leader Binyamin Netanyahu and 126 for challenger Moshe Feiglin, and not as reported.