June 14: Let's imagine

Of all the arguments put forward against the continued existence of the settlements in the West Bank, Larry Derfner's are the most ridiculous.

letters 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
letters 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
OK, so let's imagine… Sir, - Of all the arguments put forward against the continued existence of the settlements in the West Bank, Larry Derfner's are the most ridiculous ("Imagine Palestinian settlers in Israel," June 11). However, using a similar type of argument, I would like to suggest to him the following: Imagine what the status of Jews in pre-Independence Palestine would have been had Israel been defeated by the Arab armies in 1948; or by the Arab states who vowed their intention to obliterate the Jewish state in 1967. Imagine what would have happened to the Jewish populations of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and all the other Jewish towns and settlements in Israel. Imagine the Palestinian occupiers of Israel permitting the few surviving Jews access to highquality health care, to primary, secondary and tertiary education, to electricity, fuel and food imports. One could continue these facile arguments indefinitely. MONTY M. ZION Tel Mond …the situation reversed Sir, - Does Larry Derfner not understand that the checkpoints are there to keep would-be murderers from attacking us? When women pretend to be pregnant, hiding explosives under their robes, and "ambulances" packed with bombs and firearms keep cropping up, it is regrettable that we have to ask the espresso-drinker and blogger software engineer to show his credentials to prove he is not one of those with our destruction on his agenda. As for "not knowing what it is like" - people living in Sderot, for example, know that very well, being long on the receiving end. They are "doing it to us": They bomb our buses, blow up our restaurants and send their teenagers (who could also, come to think of it, be in a "bad mood" that day) to kill and maim. Of course we consider them to be people, too. But they are people who voted into power a government dedicated to our destruction. Until this changes and, as Mr. Derfner put it, "between the killings," we have to keep the power to prevent them from carrying out their evil intentions. As for the quote from Hillel, it goes both ways. MARCELLA WACHTEL Jerusalem Sir, - Larry Derfner should read Evelyn Gordon's "It's the reciprocity, stupid" (June 11) again and again until he understands why we have those checkpoints. Regrettably, experience has proven that we must inspect every Arab vehicle because the most innocent-looking person could be exactly the opposite. Yes, for the truly innocent ones it's very hard - although Israelis can also get stuck in traffic jams leading up to the checkpoint; but the Palestinians have brought the situation upon themselves by not uprooting the terror. If our soldiers have to be there, it is to protect us and Arab citizens too, as suicide bombers do not differentiate between Arabs and Jews when they blow themselves up. Nor, by the way, do they ask if their victim was a leftist, a defender of Arab rights. To them, he's still a Jew. BATYA BERLINGER Jerusalem Sir, - Larry Derfner has some nerve sympathizing with the Palestinians' checkpoint hassles merely two days after another little known-Islamic terrorist group tried to kidnap and blow up Israeli soldiers using suicide bombers and horses, of all things ("Terrorists use bomb-laden horses in failed Gaza border assault," June 9). He knows very well why Israel has established checkpoints, and he knows that if we didn't have a reason to have them, we would dismantle them all immediately. Derfner asks how we, as Israeli Jews, would feel if 300,000 Palestinians came to live in Israel. What about the more than one million Arabs who already do live in Israel? Has he forgotten about them? We do live side by side with Arabs, who enjoy full rights as citizens of Israel and receive full benefits. There are massive Arab cities, as well as scores of villages scattered throughout the country. But no sane person can imagine Israeli Jews - or any Jews - living in a Palestinian state. For one thing, the Arabs would never allow it. CHANA PINTO Ra'anana