January 8: Clear preference

Israel does not rule over the Palestinians. They enjoy complete autonomy except in matters of security.

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Clear preference
Sir, – Your editorial of January 6 (“Kerry’s efforts”) is disingenuous and misleading.
If a majority of Israelis are in favor of a two-state solution – which cannot be proved by quoting one opinion poll – there is certainly no majority in Israel in favor of a return to the pre-1967 lines, the division of Jerusalem and the uprooting of tens or hundreds of thousands of Jews from their homes.
If the choice is between maintaining the status quo or making suicidal concessions to the Palestinians that will lead to the creation of another Islamic terror state like Gaza – but this time threatening the very heartland of our country and seeing Palestinian police on the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem – I believe a vast majority of Israelis, including some Israeli Arabs, would prefer the status quo.
Moreover, the editorial writer uses demagoguery in his arguments that Israel must not rule over another people in order to remain a Jewish and democratic state.
Israel does not rule over the Palestinians. They enjoy complete autonomy except in matters of security.
If I personally have to choose between being unethical but alive, and highly moral but dead, I think I would prefer to remain alive.NAOMI SCHENDOWICH Jerusalem
Sir, – Israel’s neighbors are very cunningly hiding behind the “Palestinian” cause in order to sow divisiveness and faintheartedness within Israel. The single-minded objective of these states, that of destroying the State of Israel, has not changed by one iota during their hundred-year conflict with the Zionists.
None of the leaders of these states, for fear of being overthrown or worse, has shown the faintest will or desire to achieve a lasting peace with Israel via the ongoing “peace” process between Israel and the Palestinians.
Both sides are merely shadow- boxing in order to please the current occupant of the White House. In addition, the US and Europe have their own reason for pursuing the current peace talks: They are absolutely terrified of another boycott of the West by the Arab oil exporters.
Israel must therefore stand resolutely against the brewing storm and not allow itself to be dismembered.
ROY RUNDS Tel Aviv It’s in the Bible Sir, – I simply cannot fathom the logic of our government’s negotiation tactics.
We demand that our Arab neighbors recognize Israel as a “Jewish State.”
The essence of our Jewish identity derives from our close association with God’s promise to us, the Torah and its laws.
Starting with Abraham, God commands: “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you.
I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
God’s promise of Jewish return and redemption in Zion is the one consistent theme throughout the Bible.
This land is ours because God gave it to us.
But we must be deserving: Jews must live according to God’s laws of Torah, one of which is the command to return to Zion. As Jews, why else are we here? How then, can our leaders negotiate away any part of this promised land and still demand that Israel be recognized as a Jewish state?
Sir, – Has anyone noticed that as the US pushes its hardest to get Israel to give up the West Bank and east Jerusalem – contrary to what is written in the Bible, the Balfour Declaration and the British Mandate – it is suffering the worst freeze in a generation? Is this plague of Biblical proportions a warning to those who want to tear apart the Land of Israel? JOSEPH FELD London Some ‘statesman’
Sir, – It’s rather a shame that Benjamin W. Corn (“Meaningful conversations are never futile,” Perspectives, January 6) did not check out if there were any locations already bearing the name of Ariel Sharon. He would have found that the massive Hiriya landfill dump adjacent to the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway – which cannot be missed by anybody who commutes between the two cities – was rehabilitated to become the “lungs” of the Dan Region. It was named Ariel Sharon Park.
Corn’s suggestion to name Route 1 after Sharon would be an insult to the people of Gush Katif, whom Sharon forcibly evacuated from their homes, together with their dead, in the unsuccessful disengagement of 2005.
Some eight years later, these Jewish refugees are still not properly housed or fully compensated.
They and their children are still traumatized by the event.
As if this were insufficient, the citizens of Sderot and its vicinity are subject to rocket attacks from the Gaza area that were unilaterally evacuated by Sharon, who claimed that this would result in a quiet border.
So much for “statesman!”
The paramount issue
Sir, – Daniel Steiman (“The settlements are illegal under international law,” Comment & Features, December 30) points out that the only basis by which Israel could make a legal claim to parts of the West Bank would be if they were required for purposes of security, and he suggests that this is not at all what is being claimed.
If we think back to the end of the Six Day War, we might recall that Israel could use the newly captured territory as a bargaining chip: make a deal with the adversaries whereby the Arab states regain territory they had lost in exchange for a permanent peace.
Under the “Alon Plan,” Israel would return most of the West Bank but retain certain key areas required for security. The Arab League responded with a complete rejection of any peace deal or, in fact, any recognition of Israel at all.
After several years, Israel began it’s own exploration of how such a plan could be implemented, with special concern for security, and it began to gradually develop and implement a plan roughly along the security lines laid out under the Alon Plan.
The government has since guided settlement development along lines that roughly conform to the plan’s requirements for security. In addition, Israel’s negotiations with the Palestinian Authority are broadly following these same concerns.
Sir, – I would very much like to know how you select articles for your op-ed pages. Is it on content, or does the author’s pedigree count? Clearly, Daniel Steiman has a political agenda and is not a legal expert of any serious importance, yet you publish his article as if it were an incontrovertible legal assessment, not merely an opinion piece.
To my thinking, such commentary should be relegated to the letters section rather than be given the credit it clearly does not deserve.
GIDEON HACK Zichron Ya’acov