July 26: Apologize? For What?

Finally, we had a prime minister who conducted himself with the confidence and stature one expects from the head of a sovereign country.

Israeli and Turkish flags 311 (R) (photo credit: REUTERS)
Israeli and Turkish flags 311 (R)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Apologize? For what?
Sir, – When Binyamin Netanyahu addressed the US Congress, it was the first time in the 15 years I have lived in my beloved Israel that I felt really proud of our prime minister.
Finally, we had a prime minister who conducted himself with the confidence and stature one expects from the head of a sovereign country.
But reading “Israel, Turkey have another month to reach deal as UN report deferred” (July 25), my heart sank.
It is my hope that our prime minister will not give in to outside pressure, particularly American.
After the whole world saw him receive one standing ovation after another during his speech to Congress, for him now to be going cap in hand to pacify a country whose leader is certainly no friend would be a betrayal, not only of our wonderful soldiers, but of our whole nation.
Sir, – Your report says that according to diplomatic officials, an Israeli refusal to apologize to the Turks will not only result in Turkish wrath, but US anger. My answer has to be, so what? Turkey insulted President Shimon Peres in Davos and there was no apology. US President Barack Obama insulted Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and there was no apology. Yet we are being asked to not only apologize, but pay compensation because our soldiers – who were being beaten with iron bars and threatened with lynching – had to shoot to save their own lives.
It seems to me that no matter what threats we are under, we are accused of disproportionate response.
Dastardly deed
Sir, – Whoso looks down upon his or her neighbor does so at the risk of his or her humanity.
Men, women and children all belong to the same race – the human race.
Only a madman would assert otherwise. And a madman did the other day (“Norway police seek survivors after gunman’s killing spree,” July 24).
No matter how much this demented soul, this murderer of innocents, mentions Israel and Zionism in a positive manner in his so-called manifesto, his dastardly deed has tarnished all that is good and sacred in this life.
Anders Behring Breivik has raised the cold, callous, deranged and ugly head of the terrorist once again in our times.
YOEL NITZARIM Skokie, Illinois
They’re not news
Sir, – How very sad and tragic to read “Aid groups unable to reach 2 million drought-hit Somalis” (July 24).
The world knew (and knows) that there is no famine in Gaza.
Yet the world is disinterested in Somalis because they don’t make news, and that is the reason there are no flotillas or “flightillas” going to their aid.
I think it is time UN Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon drew attention to this fact.
Hate speech? Not!
Sir, – I take issue with two matters Steve Linde dealt with in his Editor’s Notes column of July 22 (“Halting the hatred”).
1. Yitzhak Rabin’s assassin was not influenced by “hate speech.”
By assassin Yigal Amir’s own admission, eliminating Rabin was a conscious decision to stop the Oslo Process. If he was influenced, it was by Rabin’s own security apparatus – viz. the Shin Bet’s own Avishai Raviv. It is high time that intelligent people stop hurling the epithets as it is simply incorrect and hurtful to smear a whole populace that was (correctly, as it turns out) against that process.
2. To stop advertising by Yad L’Achim simply because Messianics do not like it is perverse, to say the least.
Are we now to start encouraging missionary activity by not warning naive Jews about the missionaries’ evil intentions simply because Evangelicals and Jews for Jesus do not like it? If some Evangelicals support Israel only because they see us as a target market for Christianity (which is not the case with Pastor John Hagee and television personality Glenn Beck), we can do without their “love.”
Have we not lost enough Jews already through conversions to other religions, not to mention the murder of a third of our most religious Jews during the Holocaust? We have to fight that terrible trend and Yad L’Achim is one of the organizations doing just that.
Noisy wheels
Sir, – If injustice is being done to the people of Nabi Samwil (“Race against space, Comment & Features, July 22), this by all means should and can be corrected.
The Israeli judicial system is partial to the Arab cause – to the detriment of the State of Israel.
The Israeli Left fights with all its might to champion Arab rights – to the detriment of Israel. The “international community” favors the Arabs – to the detriment of Israel.
A simple solution for Nabi Samwil would be to make it part of Jerusalem, with all the accompanying rights and privileges. A bi-national state is definitely not the answer; Khaled Diab is surely well-informed enough to know what happened to the bi-national state of Lebanon.
As for the conclusions concerning Area C of OCHA (the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs), well, anything a UN body concludes regarding the Arab-Israeli situation is most certainly suspect. Just ask settlers if settlements are given building permits with ease.
While Palestinians continue to whine, France launches economic projects for Arabs, a Palestinian National Trail is opened, etc. etc.
Noisy wheels certainly get the most grease.
Equal treatment
Sir, – OC Central Command Maj.-Gen. Avi Mizrahi characterized settler attacks on Palestinian residents of the West Bank as “terrorist activities” (“Maj.-Gen.
Mizrahi: ‘Price-tag’ attacks constitute terror,” July 17.
Israel Beiteinu has proposed a law to strip convicted terrorists and their families of state-paid allowances (e.g., pension, welfare, etc.). Would this law apply to the heavily state-subsidized Jewish terrorists and their state-paid rabbis? That would be a joy to behold!
JUDY BAMBERGER O’Connor, Australia
A wake-up call
Sir, – We are losing control of our government. I could now face litigation if I decide to boycott goods and services from West Bank settlers. I could come under investigation if I am a member of a left-wing organization that protests too loudly about the government’s treatment of Palestinians.
What is next? The banning of all leftist parties? Cheap housing in Umm el-Fahm because the residents there have disappeared? A gulag in the Negev because I do not agree with the government? This is how fascism starts – legitimate, elected and democratic governments making laws against those who may oppose them. I did not make aliya for this.
Wake up Israel! Whether you are on the Left or the Right, Jew or Arab, it is time we take back our government or we will soon be living in the Land of Big Brother, not the Land of Israel.
DAVID WIDZER Pardes Hanna-Karkur
B’Tselem writes
Sir, – B’Tselem states the following regarding “Agents of influence,” published by The Jerusalem Post on January 7:
1. B’Tselem believes its facts to be accurate on the matter of the Palestinian shepherd who submitted a police complaint.
2. Footage showing settlers attacking a Palestinian home was filmed by a B’Tselem cameraperson from inside her house, separate to the male cameraperson seen outside.
3. B’Tselem disputes the claim that its figures for the death toll in Operation Cast Lead are contradicted by an assessment by a Hamas official.
Jerusalem The writer is press officer for B’Tselem