July 25: Important recognition

While Palestinians must not be allowed to define the exact character of a Jewish state, it is absolutely essential that they accept the fact that Israel is and will continue to be the homeland of the Jewish people.

Important recognition
Sir, – Uri Savir (“September’s Spring,” Savir’s Corner, July 22) says the call for Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish state is a “futile demand” and asks rhetorically: “Since when do we need Abbas’s hechsher (stamp of approval) for being Jewish?” Two Post news articles appearing the same day suggest the crucial importance of this demand.
According to “Poll: Palestinians seek normalcy over statehood,” two-thirds of the respondents to a recent survey conducted in the West Bank and Gaza Strip believe the real goal should be to start with a two-state solution and then move to a single Palestinian state. And “Palestinian unity talks to resume” reports that the PA and Hamas have decided to renew their efforts to reach agreement over implementation of their reconciliation accord.
While Palestinians must not be allowed to define the exact character of a Jewish state, it is absolutely essential that they accept the fact that Israel is and will continue to be the homeland of the Jewish people. Failing that, the majority of Palestinians will treat any peace deal as a temporary way station on the road toward Israel becoming just another component of the Palestinian state.
By seeking rapprochement with an organization that proudly urges annihilation of the “Zionist entity,” the PA leadership shows that it agrees with the majority of Palestinians on this issue.
This is not a hypothetical hechsher with no practical significance.
Rather, it is the bedrock on which any future agreement between the two people must stand. Until the Palestinian people and their leaders are willing to make this leap, the long-term viability of any peace deal is doubtful.
Zichron Ya’acov
Sir, – Do I understand correctly that Uri Savir, the current president of the Peres Center for Peace, will be a permanent contributor to the op-ed page? Savir, who was Shimon Peres’s director-general at the Foreign Ministry, is a professional peace processor who, together with his lifelong patron, was an author of the disastrous Oslo Accords. As such, he is a failed diplomat whose naïve policies led directly to Yasser Arafat’s terror war, which brought unprecedented death and suffering to Israeli civilians.
What sage insight could he possibly provide to readers of The Jerusalem Post? Inviting Savir to pen a column on the peace process would be akin to asking former chief of General Staff Dan Halutz to write about defense strategy on the Lebanese border.
Surely your readers deserve better.
Tel Aviv
Do it yourself
Sir, – To expect the Israeli government to do a great job of hasbara is highly optimistic (“Amateur night,” Letters, July 22). The video put out by Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon is about as much as one can expect, particularly since all previous Israeli governments failed to establish valid Israeli claims over Judea and Samaria.
I would like to draw your readers’ attention to a private initiative on Facebook. Like for Israel (www.facebook.com/likeforisrael) is a new global Internet task force that aims to connect pro- Israel activists around the globe from all walks of life, political circles and associations to strengthen Israel’s online presence and battle its accelerating deligitimization.
There are already 48 groups within this one site covering various global regions and languages.
If the Iranians and Arabs can organize themselves through social media, so can we. Be proactive rather than wait for the next anti-Israel offensive.

Undeniable facts
Sir, – Finally we are presented with facts that should be directing Israeli policy.
In his well-thought-out “Giving terror statehood” (Comment & Features, July 22), Adam Haskel presents us with several undeniable facts, the principal one being that the Palestinian Authority has lied to us at every opportunity.
As the PA claims that Israel is “occupying” the West Bank, why don’t we truly behave like occupiers? We should revamp the PA’s entire education system before the next school term begins, and issue rules for the mass media that would impose heavy fines for anti-Semitism in any form.
As our sages said: “Who will be for us if we are not for ourselves?”
Innocent introduction
Sir, – So the Post has a new column – A (Not So) Innocent Abroad.
In his virgin effort (“Please allow me to introduce myself, July 22), Daniel K. Eisenbud states that he is from New York City, unable to recite a single prayer in Hebrew, cringes whenever he must step into a synagogue and “sports several prominent tattoos that make my mother want to vomit.” But not to worry – he is “as Jewish as they come.”
Okay, I’ll bite. Truth is Dan, you are as Jewish as they come if your mother is Jewish. The real question is, will you be “Jewish as you go?” That takes growth, effort and self-inspection.
Making aliya is a first step.
Being Jewish at heart is not the same as being Jewish in soul. So Daniel (“Dan” to your friends), welcome to Israel! I am truly happy you are here. I’ll be watching you (maybe).
Sigh of relief
Sir, – Please, keep David Brinn writing about music and musicians.
He is the best for me, and for many people who can’t go to these wonderful programs (“Simon wows Ramat Gan,” July 22).
I hope his new job as managing editor of The Jerusalem Post doesn’t take him away from the music.
David Brinn responds: Rest assured, Mr. Greenfield, that wild horses couldn’t keep me from continuing to write about music.
So why come?
Sir, – Am I the only one surprised/ disgusted/ticked off about the attitude of aliya candidate Brian Schaefer (“The uphill battle,” Comment & Features, July 20)? In his piece he states that “making aliya does not necessarily mean I am committed to living here for the rest of my life....” Exactly what does it mean, then? You want to try out life here? Come for a year. But aliya? For no strong reason? For what? So you can suck off the Israeli taxpayer while he/she subsidizes your living expenses and pays for all kinds of tax breaks? So maybe you can see how it compares to life in southern California? Give me a break. One comes on aliya from the West with the strongest possible commitment to never return, except as a tourist. Otherwise, why come at all?
Don’t blame us
Sir, – In his July 20 column (“Coalition seeks to discourage Christians from fleeing Middle East,” Yalla Peace), Ray Hanania would like to hold Israel partially responsible for the population decline of the region’s Christians, specifically for their large-scale departure from the West Bank. But it is the Muslims under the Palestinian Authority, not the Israelis, who have scared Christians out of Bethlehem and Ramallah.
Inside the Green Line, where Israel does not allow Islamic triumphalism to run wild, the Christian population has not declined at all. In fact, according to Chart 2.2 in the Central Bureau of Statistics’s 2010 Statistical Abstract of Israel, it has risen since the Oslo Accords by tens of thousands.