July 15: Sauce for the goose?

Solana says the UN should impose its own solution if Israel and the Palestinians cannot agree. I thought the UN tried that in 1947.

letters good 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
letters good 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Sauce for the goose? Sir, - Spanish diplomat Javier Solana, the EU foreign policy chief, says the UN should impose its own solution if Israel and the Palestinians cannot agree ("Solana: UN should adopt two-state solution even without agreement," July 13). I thought the UN tried that in 1947, calling for the creation of two independent states with established borders. Unfortunately, one of the parties decided it didn't like the idea of a Jewish state in the neighborhood and set out to destroy Israel. Maybe I missed it, but I don't recall the UN stepping in to force the objecting party to accept a resolution (181) duly adopted by its members. Solana believes the UN should make its own determinations regarding the legitimate security concerns of one of its member states (Israel) and impose its will even if that country disagrees. I have a better idea: Recognizing that the Spanish government and Basque separatist movement (ETA) have so far been unable to reach a peaceful settlement to their long-standing dispute, I propose the UN declare the Basque region an independent state with established borders and accept the new state as a full UN member. What's that, Mr. Solana? The UN has no right to impose a solution on two peoples with arguably legitimate claims to the same territory, against the will of a UN member state, especially when one of the parties has used terrorism to advance its cause? Funny you should mention that... EFRAIM COHEN Netanya Our future, our call Sir, - In "Out of Africa" (Editorial, July 13) you quoted President Obama as saying in Ghana: "We must start from the simple premise that Africa's future is up to Africans - the West is not responsible for the destruction of the Zimbabwean economy over the last decade, for wars in which children are enlisted as combatants." Nowhere did you state the obvious: that Israel's future is up to Israelis, and that the West is not responsible for the Arabs' economy in the West Bank over the last 61 years, during which women and children have been enlisted as suicide bombers and human shields. It's time we stood up to American presidents and told them, as Menachem Begin did, that we are a sovereign nation that can't be told what to do. HOWARD GINSBERG Ma'aleh Adumim Selective angst Sir, - Re "US Rabbis call for monthly fast against Gaza blockade" (July 14): Why haven't these rabbis, who seek to end what they call "collective punishment" in Gaza, organized fast days to protest more than eight years of Kassams fired at Sderot and the Western Negev by terrorists from Gaza? With more than 75 percent of the children of Sderot suffering from mental trauma as a result of these attacks, you would think these Jewish "spiritual leaders" would do everything in their power to draw attention to the plight of their own people living in Israel. Alas, here you have a fringe group that has obtained significant media attention - which only strengthens our enemies' resolve and legitimizes their violent and murderous ways. JOSH HASTEN Jerusalem Sir, - Rabbi Brant Rosen does not understand why it is important for Arab governments and organizations to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. If they refuse this recognition, they make it clear they do not accept Israel as Jewish and want to end it. If, on the other hand, they do recognize Jewish Israel, then there is a chance for real peace, with each side accepting the other's permanence. RONNIE STEKEL Jerusalem Show some self-respect Sir, - So "Israel has 'no knowledge' of US deadline for settlement freeze" (July 12). And if she has - so what? Isn't it time we ceased behaving like a vassal state and displayed some self-respect? Israel today is prodded, pilloried and penalized by the US, the EU, the G8 and similar alphabetical combinations for one reason only: She resists demands for ceaseless gestures to those who for 60 years have tried to destroy her - and have not changed their aim one whit. For the past 40 years Israel has faced weapons more deadly than military attacks: a massive propaganda campaign funded by unlimited petro-dollars; and the invention in 1968 by Yasser Arafat of the "Palestinian people" as an additional weapon against Israel. The word "settlement" was first used by the League of Nations' Mandate, Article 6, which ordered the Mandatory Power to "facilitate Jewish immigration" and "encourage, in cooperation with the Jewish Agency... the close settlement of Jews on the land including State lands and waste lands that are not required for public purposes." That has never been rescinded. The obligations of the League of Nations were taken over by the United Nations. Today, "settlement" has been transformed into a dirty word - invariably coupled with the adjective "illegal" - for which there is no legal or other justification. Jordan's king Hussein, who in 1948 illegally invaded what was until then known as Judea and Samaria, renamed them the "West Bank" of his kingdom. Until Israel ejected him in 1967, Israel was a tiny, indefensible strip of land only nine miles across its narrow waist. Between 1948 and 1967, so the story goes, a notice displayed in trains running between Tel Aviv and Haifa read: "Please do not put your head out of the state." Propaganda is not only destructive to truth, it is perhaps the most serious threat to modern humanity. It certainly is to Israel. MEIR ABELSON Beit Shemesh Retribution Sir, - How crass the arithmetic: 15 years for 27,900 Jews ("Demjanjuk charged in murder of 27,900 Jews at Sobibor," July 14). Demjanjuk faces four hours and 42 minutes in jail for every murdered body and soul. DANIEL ABELMAN Jerusalem All you need is vox populi Sir, - Judging from the many letters you have published, many people are fed up with the demonstrations against the opening of the parking lot in Jerusalem ("We love Shabbat, but love other Jews more,"July 14). The sponsors of these riots are the Eda Haharedit, the same people who provide the widely used "Badatz" kashrut certification. Consumers who purchase products with this certification are providing millions of shekels annually to finance the activities of the Eda - including the objectionable demonstrations. Were the public to refrain from purchasing these products, the cans pilling up on the shelves would be returned to the manufacturer, who would in turn be persuaded to terminate his association with Badatz. YOSEF HAPAZ Gush Etzion Show-stopper Sir, - The 18th Maccabiah - wow! What a wonderful opening show ("18th Maccabiah kicks off," July 14). What a pity it was spoiled by the commentators, who, as in previous years seemed to be suffering from a dose of verbal diarrhea. They didn't stop talking. Why have them at all? The commentary from the stage in Hebrew, English and Spanish was excellent. Also, as in previous years, the speeches by the prime minister and president were in Hebrew, which thousands of our visitors did not understand. Why not in English as well? What a wasted opportunity. SYLVIA WEINER Netanya