July 22: Diplomatic proposal

Since it is a given that the Palestinian proposal for unilateral statehood will pass in the UN General Assembly, it is not enough to ignore the proposal.

Amateur night
Sir, – Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, like Minister for Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Yuli Edelstein, has missed the point in his efforts to present Israel’s case (“Ayalon launches YouTube campaign to tell ‘The Truth About the W. Bank,’” July 19).
Their approach is archaic and without lateral thinking.
We live in a world of graphics and sound bites, not crude comments and winks. We have a lot to learn from our adversaries about presenting a case.
The friends I have abroad are getting desperate since they have no tools with which to present a balanced and rational case for Israel. They will not get much joy from the latest amateur night out.
The only way to really show us to the world is to use some of the budget the state comptroller says is sitting unused and bring opinion-setters here to meet ordinary people and hear their narrative. Then maybe people will really begin to understand the problem.
Ignorant fools
Sir, – I read with interest, and then mounting horror, the article written so eloquently by Nava Shoham Sohan (“Remember the fallen and what they died for,” Comment & Features, July 19). It was about rabbinical students at Boston Hebrew College who proposed that Israel’s Memorial Day be broadened to “open...our communal remembrance to include losses on all sides of the conflict in Israel/Palestine.”
As a 60-something former American now living proudly for over three years as an Israeli citizen, I would love to know what the reaction of the families of Americans who died in Vietnam would be if they were asked to share their memorial wall in Washington with the names of dead North Vietnamese and Viet Cong.
These students, who some day are going to be the leaders of some Jewish group or another, must be living in a cave and probably never visited this land.
Unlike the writer, I don’t see them as having “good intentions.” I see them as ignorant fools who know nothing and care nothing about the rich heritage of our land and religion.
Diplomatic proposal
Sir, – Since it is a given that the Palestinian proposal for unilateral statehood will pass in the UN General Assembly, it is not enough to ignore the proposal or simply lobby against it. Israel should announce, very publicly, that it will vote in favor – if the GA amends the motion to include all the specific provisions that we usually hear have been accepted by both sides. It should introduce these one at a time to ensure that each provision gets international endorsement.
There are three possible results:
1. The Arabs and their allies vote no. This is the most likely outcome. It would leave Israel no worse off but would embarrass both the UN and those states, especially in Europe, that have held Israel responsible for the failure of the peace process.
2. The amendments pass although the Palestinians declare they won’t accept them. This would prove once and for all that they are not interested in peace. It would also be even more embarrassing for those that have insisted Israel is at fault for the current impasse.
3. The least likely outcome is that the Palestinians accept the amendments and use the UN endorsement to make the case to their people that they have no other way of establishing a state.
Since the vote will put an end to the peace process in any event, it behooves Israel to demonstrate to the world which side has really been the obstacle to peace.
Weymouth, Massachusetts
News Corporation subsidiary News Outdoor Group sold its share in advertising company Maximedia to private investors in 2009, unlike what was reported in “Embattled Murdoch’s holdings extend to Israel” (July 21).