January 25: Let's Act the Role

The lesson for the day is to close down the humiliating negotiations that seek to delegitimize the Jewish state.

Let’s act the role

Sir, – Your January 24 editorial (“No partial solution”) stimulated my imagination and memory. I asked myself where we would be today if we had lost the Six Day War. Would we simply be on the other side of the negotiating table? Would we dare make demands of the Arab conquerors for the return of Israeli land? Would we insist they shelter our refugees? Would we demand a part of Jerusalem? Would we threaten them with a Jewish uprising? More than likely we would be scattered abroad – assuming that there were survivors from the blood letting.
Remember Hebron, 1929? Remember Turkish Armenia? Viewed from this perspective, our behavior as a nation that survived the 1967 Arab war of annihilation as the victors is nothing short of humiliating. We are “negotiating” with the PLO, a certified terrorist organization.
The Six Day War was with Jordan, Syria and Egypt, not the PLO. There was no Palestine.
There were no Palestinians.
Having been forced to return the Sinai to Egypt in 1979, the Arabs got back close to 90 percent of the land they lost in 1967. More than they deserved. What about peace? Hardly any Egyptians have set foot in Israel since that “peace agreement.”
Remember the intifada? That was a violation of the Oslo Accords. There is no such a thing as a peace with Muslims. Islam forbids long-term agreements with infidels.
The lesson for the day is to close down the humiliating negotiations that seek to delegitimize the Jewish state. It is the Palestinians who are not a legitimate nation. We and Judaism are, and have been the backbone of civilization from time immemorial. Let us act the role.
Delusion, not decision
Sir, – In “Palestinians killed Israel’s Labor Party” (Elsewhere, January 23), Benny Morris writes that this occurred because they declined to compromise on the notion of a Jewish state in the region.
While this has been true since 1948, it is like saying that the windmill foiled Don Quixote by declining to be a giant. These are cases not of decision on one side, but of delusion on the other.
A party splits
Sir, – In the wake of Ehud Barak’s coup against the Labor Party and formation of the Independence faction in the Knesset, a number of letters to the editor have stated the obvious – that he and his followers should resign their Knesset seats, which were won not by them but by the party, and be replaced by party nominees (“Return the mandates,” January 23; “A party splits,” January 20).
It is strange that only letter writers state this and not, for example, political commentators, who seem to find it natural that egotists can treat their Knesset seats as personal property – which they would be entitled to do had they been elected under their own names, and not as ciphers on a party list, a matter that has also been raised by letter writers from time to time.
Unfortunately, the only ones who can change this undemocratic state of affairs are those who currently enjoy the benefits – the MKs themselves. It is obvious that this is unlikely to happen.
Current events do, however, suggest a possible way to force the issue: If the Supreme Court were to rule that an MK who leaves his party is required to return his mandate, our parliamentarians might suddenly see some benefit and vote to effect it.
Perhaps somebody with a claim to standing in such matters, or a group with the word “democracy” in its name, should bring such a suit.
Sir, – Letter writer Efraim A.
Cohen articulates precisely the futility and grim reality resonating in our so-called “democratic process” by preventing voters from electing their chosen representatives within the mandated party system.
If the now-almost-dismantled Labor party chose electoral reform and honestly adhered to its aims by rousing and motivating the disenfranchised electorate, I personally believe this would go a long way to retrieving the low esteem prevalent within its constituencies.
Sir, – I certainly do not like the musical chairs practiced so often by our politicians when they move from one party to another, but at the same time I completely reject the attempt by reader Neil Schwartz to compare Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak to Mussolini.
Moreover, in these dire times, when Israel could be facing thousands of missile attacks on all fronts, we should remember the words, sometimes attributed to a former Communist, George Orwell, on the importance of sometimes having military men in charge of government: We sleep safely in our beds because rough men stand ready to visit violence on those who would harm us.
Kiryat Ono
Sir, – Regarding “Bye-bye Barak? So long Labor?” (My Word, January 23), for 40 years I have done my civic duty and voted in every election. I now look at the three biggest parties and think there is nothing to vote for.
Our MKs are untrustworthy – crooks, maybe, and running the country into the ground. The whole world hates us. I wonder why? See how US President Obama greeted our prime minister the first time he went to the US? Something like that never happened in our 62 years. Our government should be ashamed of this non-government.
Lock and load, Shmuley
Sir, – It is wonderful that Shmuley Boteach comes to the defense of a controversial American politician based on Jewish law (“Sarah Palin is right to use the term ‘blood libel,’” No Holds Barred, January 18).
If someone gets someone else to commit murder, in Jewish law only the killer is liable for punishment. Is the instigator innocent? Is incitement not a crime? Words (and pictures of gun sights) do kill.
Majestic pilgrimage
Sir, – Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has visited many countries across the face of the globe over the nearly six decades of her long and popular reign. I write this with much affection for a beloved monarch who has never swerved from the call of duty for her country and the British Commonwealth.
However, one of Her Majesty’s latest trips was to the United Arab Emirates, which begs the question: When will she visit Israel? Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East. It is the fabled promised land and the biblical Holy Land, the land flowing with milk and honey. Surely, as head of the Church of England, a trip to the land of the Bible would also be of spiritual significance? This could even be contemplated as a personal or religious pilgrimage much in the same way as popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI made pastoral visits to much acclaim.
Concerns over security and safety should be allayed with the high profile of Israel’s security being second to none in the world. In the light of a possible visit to the Republic of Ireland in the not too distant future, which is also fraught with political and security baggage, this should not be a worry.
Her Majesty celebrates her 60th year on the throne in 2012, and I couldn’t think of a better time to embark upon a Holy Land tour than in the year of her diamond jubilee. After all, the very word “jubilee” is a Hebrew term from the pages of the Bible. This would enable her to finally see with her own eyes the biblical cities of Bethlehem, Nazareth and Jerusalem in the footsteps of the King of Kings, and would surely be the jewel in her crown.
County Down, Northern Ireland