June 15: Illusions of peace

Sir, – Gershon Baskin (“Despite it all, still committed to peace,” Encountering Peace, June 13) is under illusion that Israel.

Illusions of peace
Sir, – Gershon Baskin (“Despite it all, still committed to peace,” Encountering Peace, June 13) is under the illusion that Israel, according to the Oslo Accords, agreed to freeze building in the disputed territories in return for the Palestinian Authority’s improving security there. This is not true.
Israel agreed to reduce checkpoints and give greater freedom of movement in return for improved security. It never gave up its legitimate rights to build there.
The PA agreed to stop the incitement and anti-Semitism in the Palestinian media and educational system, but has failed to comply.
In addition to the billions of dollars of aid received from the US and Europe, as well as the economic benefits, water resources and electricity it receives from Israel, the PA refuses to come to the negotiating table. Instead, it makes further demands for a settlement freeze.
Swap the disk
Sir, – Regarding “Gov’t says wave of condemnations over settlements will pass” (June 8), this government needs to understand that it has to make the case strongly and repeatedly in all forums, to the Americans, the Europeans and the entire world, that Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria is in fact legal according to international law.
It has to “swap the disk,” change the vocabulary and make the international community understand that it is a great injustice when it keeps applying the word “illegal” to the word “settlements.” If the government doesn’t do this, the condemnations will just continue.
LARRY BIGIO Zichron Ya’acov
Join the Alinskyites
Sir, – Having been a student of Saul Alinsky, it is vital to respond to Caroline B. Glick’s “Defeat the Jewish Alinskyites” (Column One, June 8).
Alinsky’s approach was to universalize, humanize and empower a cause by using creative tactics and building coalitions. Any side of the political spectrum can use this approach. What Glick should write about is the tragedy of Israel’s national camp not using this approach.
A case in point: The groups that make up Israel’s national camp could become heroes of the country if they were to a coalesce with other concerned groups to fight police brutality, police abuse of women, police violence against minors, police destruction of private possessions, police removal of badges, police bullying of reporters, police smashing of cameras, police use of horses and police employment of forced strip searches, and to create a broad-based universal demand for civilian oversight of the police.
Since the cardinal principle of Israel’s national camp is the Jewish right to purchase land west of the Jordan River, as mandated by the League of Nations and ratified by the UN, it could invoke the Alinsky principle of “teaching self-interest” to the whole of Israel as to the vital importance of holding on to the mountainous region to protect the coastal plain, especially since 95 percent of Israel’s Jews do not live in Judea and Samaria, and many have little idea as to where the “West Bank” even is.
Now that one million Israelis have lived though the traumatic experience of aerial attacks from Gaza, the time has come for the national camp to ask everyone if they would want to live under similar attacks from Judea and Samaria.
The refusal of Israel’s national camp to coalesce with anyone outside its closed circle will lead to failure. Instead of denouncing the Alinskyites, learn from them.
CLARIFICATION The “creativity measure” mentioned in “Enjoy your books while you can afford it!” (Comment & Features, June 12) is the annual number of new books published in a country per 1,000 capita, and not per capita.