June 18: Why, oh why?

50 international aid groups and UN agencies should have asked Gazans to drop their threat to destroy Israel

Why, oh why?
Sir, – Why, oh why, did the 50 international aid groups and UN agencies that “issued a joint appeal... calling on Israel to lift its blockade of the Gaza Strip” (“Violence erupts on Gaza Border,” June 15) not ask the Gazans to drop their threat to destroy Israel? And why, oh why, did the same groups not ask the Gazans to stop the terrorism coming from Gaza and the arms build-up there?” If the aid group were to get a positive response and action on these questions, that could be a real aid to resolving all the problems, ours and the Gazans’.
Still in effect
Sir, – I was delighted to read the interview with Dr. Jacques Gauthier (“Forget politics! Who has the legal right to Jerusalem?,” June 15). However, I was disappointed to see that the emphasis was so heavily on our capital.
The article only touches on the rights under international law – just as important – to the whole of Palestine. According to your notes of the interview, “The San Remo military and political leaders agreed to all of the Jewish representatives’ requests.”
Gauthier is right in clarifying the legal position in international law whereby San Remo has not been superseded by any other event. This means that there are no “illegal” settlements and no “occupied” territories.
Why do our government and allies not shout out this fact loud and clear instead of kowtowing to the concept of the two-state solution, which would in fact bring about the final solution?
Sir, – The tragedy is that Minister for Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Yuli Edelstein and other opinion-setters do not stress, and may even not be aware, that the decisions at San Remo actually created the Jewish state.
The history of Zionism, which factually is the messianic dream being converted into political reality, can be encapsulated very simply: In 1897 Herzl conceived the Jewish state. In 1917 the Balfour Declaration endorsed the concept.
In 1920 the League of Nations, the victors in World War I, decided unanimously at San Remo to give the mandate of Palestine to Britain for the purpose of “establishing a national home for the Jewish people.
This homeland included all the mandated area on both sides of the Jordan River; the fact that Britain did not carry out its function does not invalidate the established fact.
In 1947 the UN endorsed the decision struck at San Remo although on a reduced scale. In 1948 the Jewish state became a reality but ever since has been opposed to the point of its enemies trying to destroy it on an ongoing basis through war, terror, false propaganda and boycotts, divestment and sanctions.
Due to this hostile attitude, the misfortunes that some of our inhabitants and neighbors complain about are 100 percent the fault of those who wish for peace without Israel instead of with Israel.
Tel Aviv
Peres and the medal
Sir, – Regarding “Obama embraces Peres at medal ceremony” (June 15), I think it was inappropriate for President Shimon Peres to accept the Presidential Medal of Freedom from US President Barack Obama – not while Jonathan Pollard still languishes in prison, his 27th year.
Accepting this award should have been postponed until Pollard tasted his own freedom. As it happens, the pardon should in any case occur in early November; a week or so before the US elections, when Obama can extract the maximum PR value from his cynical bid to recoup lost votes from the Jewish electorate.
Sir, – Thanks for your story on President Shimon Peres and his triumph in Washington.
One thing I must say about Peres: He always has something new to offer. So,when Obama jumped up to adjust the microphone, Peres looked at him as if to say, “Thank you. You owe me. I appreciate the payback.”
And that is Shimon Peres. No matter what gaffes he might make (and he has made a few) he always ends up on his feet, standing straight up! At this stage he can do no wrong, to my mind.
History lesson
Sir, – After reading “Feigning concern?” (Frontlines, June 15) it feels like history is repeating itself – the Spanish civil war now is the Syrian civil war.
Back then, the democratic West did nothing to help the elected government of Spain and its supporters.
Only Communist Russia and volunteers from those Western countries, including the US, came forward. The democracies considered which side was the greater threat and chose the wrong side. Look what happened: World War II.
Today in Syria it is the Assad clan, from a minority sector, that is in control, just like it was and is in Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan and a number of other Muslim nations. Talk by the Western democracies will not stop the bloodshed. It will only embolden Iran, Syria’s main backer, to continue reaching for the atomic bomb and destabilizing Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. One needs only to review history.
When things look like they are repeating themselves, don’t make the same mistakes.
MURRAY JOSEPH Kiryat Motzkin

Their own fault
Sir, – With regard to “45 years since the Six Day War” (Savir’s Corner, June 15), may I suggest that Uri Savir read Shimon Peres’s book. In fact it should be compulsory reading in schools and universities.
I think it’s about time he and all who believe that Israel is responsible for the woes of the Arabs come to understand that it is not our fault. Let their leaders take responsibility.
Lady Catherine
Sir, – As sure as chickens come home to roost, the European Union is in meltdown mode financially, spiraling downward toward an ominous and critical denouement and, hopefully, so immersed in its own survival as to deflect its animosity toward Israel for the time being (“Dreamy foreign policies,” Column One, June 15).
The EU’s foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, together with her vacuous facial mien and pretentious narcissism, continues to lambaste Israel, incorporating her severe lack of judgment and objectivity and seemingly trivializing the murderous havoc elsewhere in the Middle East.
It seems inevitable that the noxious, intellectually challenged and myopic Lady Catherine will return to her former aristocratic non-entity within the confines of her county in the not too distant future. Insh’allah!
Not bleak at all
Sir, – Hirsh Goodman (“New divides for a cohesive nation,” PostScript, June 15) paints a very bleak and depressing picture of Israeli politics.
And what does one see looking at the “enlightened” democracies of Europe? A Europe that is on the brink of a major financial meltdown. Looking at America one sees a nation owned by the Chinese. From Libya to Iran we see nations regressing into a whirlpool of radicalism, oppression and intolerance.
What does one see here in Israel? One sees a vibrant democracy, an economic miracle and a nation that is on the cutting edge of every innovation known to mankind. One sees the finest doctors, lawyers, engineers, scientists, military officers and other professionals. We are witnessing the unfolding of the greatest narrative ever told despite the low level of our politics.
Maybe it’s time for Goodman to separate the trees from the forest.