June 10: A bit of proportion

The US needs to understand, that world peace will survive this construction.

letters thumb (photo credit: )
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(photo credit: )
A bit of proportion Sir, - Charles Krauthammer's excellent "The settlements canard" (June 8) suggested that the Obama-Clinton team is acting upon advice from the "wise and honest" Saudi king. With the issue receiving obsessive attention from the new administration, Israel must proceed immediately with its most important building projects in Ma'aleh Adumim, Betar Illit and the Greater Jerusalem area - it is necessary oxygen for life and growth. The US needs to understand, that world peace will survive this construction. On the other hand, it might not survive North Korea's irrational nuclear activity and Iran's rush for atomic weapons. A bit of proportion is in order. SHLOMO FELDMANN Givatayim Sir, - Charles Krauthammer calls a spade a spade when he states that many of these growth areas are not settlements but Jerusalem suburbs which have expanded similarly to other cities of the world over many years. To take the Gush Katif evacuation as an example, the Arabs would not be satisfied even if Israeli citizens were uprooted from all "disputed" areas. We live in a tough neighborhood, and Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton should be aware that unless Palestinians are educated into democratic values of leadership and management and display the ability to govern themselves successfully, the past 16 years of conflict, death and destruction since the Oslo Accords will continue on into chaos and anarchy. JACK DAVIS Jerusalem A few facts... Sir, - The Jerusalem Post does a wonderful job of reminding everyone of our history and not just the Palestinians' version of it, but you are preaching to the converted ("Why Obama is wrong on Israel and the Shoah," Editorial, June 8). On international news programs we usually hear only the Arab version of events, which due to constant repetition has become the world's view - as in Barack Obama's Cairo speech, in which he implied that Jews came to Palestine only after WWII and were granted a state only as a result of the Holocaust. I'm sure most people feel as I do, that we've lost the propaganda war and are thus being forced to make concession after concession while the Palestinians sit back and wait for what they want without having to make any concessions at all. I shudder to think what Binyamin Netanyahu's speech at Bar-Ilan University next week will contain because all our leaders seem eventually to cave in to US pressure. But he could at least begin with a few short historical facts: the constant Jewish presence in the Land of Israel since biblical times; the Jewish majority in Jerusalem in the 1800s; the more than 60 synagogues destroyed in East Jerusalem after the War of Independence, when Jews were ethnically cleansed from the West Bank and Jerusalem; the drifting in of Arabs from the surrounding countries after the Jews drained the swamps and created work opportunities; and the fact that the Palestinian "Liberation" Organization was invented in 1964 long before a single settlement existed in the West Bank. It's an opportunity for Israel to throw in a few facts of its own - while people are listening. CECILIA HENRY Kfar Bialik ...of our own Sir, - President Obama did not mention the culpability of Arab states which forced hundreds of thousands of Jews to flee, leaving their property and wealth behind. Most of them settled in Israel. Perhaps the president does not know about this "exchange of populations," or perhaps we do not tell it often enough? MIRIAM APTER Tel Aviv War of words Sir, - In early 1967, the Straits of Tiran, an international waterway, were closed by Egypt for no reason other than hatred for the Jewish nation. Arab countries, led by Egypt, Jordan and Syria, planned to destroy our tiny country. After a bitter battle, their three armies were destroyed simultaneously; yet they tried once again, in 1973. After realizing they were in no position to win further battles, they started a new war - a war of words - calling Israel "occupier" and referring to "occupied territories." We did not rise one fine morning and start conquering land. The so-called occupied territories are a down payment for all the Arab wars waged simply in order to destroy Israel ("Mitchell seeks to ease tensions over settlement," June 9). N. SAMUEL Yavne They blow up horses, don't they? Sir, - Re "Terrorists use bomb-laden horses in failed Gaza border assault" (June 9): The deafening lack of condemnation of this terrorist tactic by animal rights organizations speaks louder than their oft-stated claims of being a peaceful social movement. Too many of these groups have been hijacked by those who portray Israel as a heartless aggressor occupying Palestinian land. Whereas every Israeli action is prejudicially examined under a microscope by the world's media, this terror attack was smugly glossed over by a sanctimonious world totally unperturbed by yet another attempt to kidnap Israeli soldiers. Most troubling was the claim by Ismail Haniyeh, head of Gaza's Hamas government, who praised the attackers as martyrs and said this terrorist-instigated violence confirmed Israel's "aggressive intentions" toward the Palestinians. Contrast the Gaza mentality concerning animals with Israel's compassionate initiative, which brought trucks loaded with food and medicine into Gaza in order to take care of sick and needy animals in distress. BLOSSOM & ISRAEL RUBIN Beit Shemesh Badmouthing rights untouched Sir, - Larry Garber can rest assured: The proposed Nakba legislation would not in any way affect his fundamental right to badmouth Israel or her leaders. Garber and the New Israel Fund may believe that all Israeli governments, from Ben-Gurion's through Rabin's and Peres's and on to Netanyahu's, colluded to systematically discriminate against the country's Arab citizens. They may also believe this was all done with the connivance of the judiciary and High Court of Justice. The Nakba legislation would not affect their right to believe these conspiracy theories. It would, however, stop annual demonstrations in which tens of thousands of Israel's citizens ritually burn her flag and call to "Kill the Jews." This, in spite of what Garber would have us believe, can only strength the rule of law and democracy in Israel ("Many narratives, not one," June 8). H.B. MITCHELL Mazkeret Batya Justice restored Sir, - For one who is often critical of governmental inconsistencies and injustices, I am pleased to tip my hat to our law enforcement for investigating and indicting the 12 Israeli Arabs in the lynching of Cpl. Eden Natan Zada ("12 Israeli Arabs charged in lynching of Shfaram bus shooter," June 8). I especially applaud the state's not bowing to Arab MKs' warnings "not to probe" this crime. With four years elapsed since the lynching, I assumed that the case had been buried in the name of political correctness. No citizen has the right to take the law into his own hands, and every alleged accused is entitled to his day in court and due process of law. It's good to know that justice still prevails in our land. ROBERT DUBLIN Jerusalem