Jan 16: More on Sharon

Today, seeing all that is happening in Syria, Libya, Iraq and elsewhere – with no Ariel Sharon to blame – your politically correct statement could not appear more incongruous.

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS)

More on Sharon

Sir, – In your January 13 editorial “Sharon’s legacy,” you write that Ariel Sharon “bore a great measure of the responsibility for the massacres at the Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps by Christian Phalangists.”

Today, seeing all that is happening in Syria, Libya, Iraq and elsewhere – with no Ariel Sharon to blame – your politically correct statement could not appear more incongruous.

Sir, – My condolences on the passing of Ariel Sharon. But the thing I know most about him is that he was responsible for many people being killed, Palestinians and Lebanese, during his term as defense minister. So why mourn his death? I don’t mean to be offensive or sarcastic, but this is what I know about Sharon. I may be wrong.

A. MEDINA Cape Town

Sir, – Your article “Swedish tabloid compares Sharon to Hitler and Stalin” (January 14) includes an incorrect quote from me.

In the Expressen piece, I say that the military methods of Sharon in the 1950s and ’60s almost can be compared to those of Hitler and Stalin [my italics].” Your version omits both the qualifying word “almost” and the fact that I was referring solely to the military methods of Stalin and Hitler, not to them personally.
In addition, this was just one of several comments I made about Sharon, others being, for example, that he was “an extremely talented military strategist,” “a father of the land” and “after David Ben-Gurion the most important politician in the 65-year history of Israel.”

Stockholm The writer is an editor at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs Sir, – It is with great fondness that the southern African oleh community remembers Ariel Sharon (“Sharon: The life of a Lion,” January 12), for it was he, as minister of housing, who literally “bulldozed” a housing project on behalf of our community.

It was in the early 1980s. The late Julius Weinstein, then chairman of the South African Zionist Federation, called his friend Sharon from Johannesburg and said: “If you realistically expect South Africans to come on aliya, offer them good land with a sea view.
South Africans are very particular about sea views. This will make our job marketing aliya much easier.”
Arik’s response was: “Nu, when you are next in Israel I will take you to a site ideal for your landsmen. You’ll find it irresistible.”
When Julius was next in Israel, Arik schlepped him to a tract of land near Kalkilya. “Not bad, Arik,” he said, “but where is the view of the sea?” Sharon replied: “Aren’t you a visionary? Look beyond.
Remember Herzl. Tell ’em when they build their nice double-story houses with balconies they will have a clear view of the sea.”
Sharon gave a new, literal, meaning to the term “visionary,” and the rest is history, as South Africans were one of the first groups to settle in the new town of Kochav Yair.
Sharon’s nickname “Bulldozer” was well deserved. He knew how to get things off the ground! DAVID E. KAPLAN Kfar Saba The writer is a former chairman of Telfed (South African Zionist Federation in Israel) Sir, – In “Sharon: The life of a Lion,” the photograph of Ariel Sharon, Menachem Begin and the second- lieutenant from Sayeret Golani taken in June 1982 after the battle for Beaufort Castle erroneously identifies the young soldier. His name was Tamir Masad. He was my daughter-in-law’s brother. To our great sorrow, as a major in the reserves he was killed with two other soldiers on October 27, 2002, while trying to subdue a suicide bomber in Ariel.

Tell us, please

Sir, – With regard to “Hamas minister: Israel has another eight years left” (January 14), what an amazing statement from Hamas Interior Minister Fathi Hammad.

Not five or six or seven; he knows it is eight.
I would love to learn how he worked it out.

Sir, – Biblical history has often recorded that the same person who tried to bring about the demise of the People of Israel ended up hanging from the very gallows he built for them.

Be careful what you wish for, Fathi Hammad. History has been known to repeat itself. Am Yisrael chai (The People of Israel lives) because the God of Israel has declared it so! C. BRENDER Jerusalem Below the belt Sir, – Khaled Abu Toameh’s “Abbas: No recognition of ‘Jewish’ state, no peace without Jerusalem” (January 12) enraged me.
The PLO’s unelected Mahmoud Abbas has not changed his position on a single thing. We let out all those terrorist murderers with blood on their hands for nothing, and got in return not simply a slap in the face, but a series of body blows, all below the belt.
US Secretary of State John Kerry thinks he can apply Marquess of Queensberry rules to Arab terrorists and stratagems, stupidly giving Abbas a go-ahead for a threat to start another intifada.
I just read that we will be supplying gas to the Palestinians for the next 20 years. How about cutting off the gas, electricity and money to see how independent they are. They might just come to the table and want to make peace.

Comic relief

Sir, – Concerning “Tibi derides Liberman as an ‘immigrant’” (January 10), the Philistines (from Crete) and Romans (who misnamed Judea as “Palestine” in 132 CE) must be uproariously laughing in their graves over Tibi’s “ancestral home” buffoonery.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman might have arrived as an immigrant, but Tibi’s ancestors were not exactly peaceful pilgrims.
They stormed in as conquerors, killing, pillaging, forcefully converting, destroying and burying Jewish ancestry. Even Taibe, Tibi’s hometown, stands on the ruins of Timnath, later called Tibneh by the Byzantines. That’s why when you dig there you will find that even the land speaks Hebrew.
In 1949 Jordan transfered some Arab towns, including Umm el-Fahm and Taibe, to Israel even though they were not within the agreed cease-fire lines. Their inhabitants were furious. Now Tibi is turning into a Zionist, insisting on remaining an Israeli rather than becoming a Palestinian.
Let’s thank him for this comic relief.

Send him an invite

Sir, – In his well written column, Pinchas Landau (“Champion or chump?” Business & Finance, January 10) explains why the governor of the Bank of Japan did not deserve his award and was in fact causing great harm to Japan’s economy.

I would humbly disagree.
Haruhiko Kuroda’s weakening of the yen has had a major impact in revitalizing Japan’s exports and in turn is benefiting millions of Japanese employees.
I believe Israel could benefit by following Japan’s example, as not only would a weaker shekel help exports, but higher import prices could aid and encourage local industries, in both cases enabling more employment and higher salaries.
It is true that this might risk upward pressure on inflation, but I think that can be controlled. A bigger risk is allowing pride in a strong currency to outweigh economic realities.
Perhaps the new governor of the Bank of Israel would consider inviting Mr. Kuroda to visit and share his experience.

CORRECTION Jeffrey M. Hausdorff, another winner of the prize mentioned in “Yaakov Kirschen, ‘Jerusalem Post’ cartoonist, wins Bonei Zion award” (January 14), is the director of a laboratory at the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, and not as stated.