June 30: Other places to probe

"If Friedman’s libel were true, there would be no Hizbullah in Lebanon and no Hamas in Gaza."

letters 88 NICE (photo credit: )
letters 88 NICE
(photo credit: )
Other places to probe
Sir, – I would like to suggest to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to propose a UN-led investigation into Turkey and its prime minister, who sent his goons and pro-Palestinian activists on the Mavi Marmara (“UN remains lukewarm toward the Terkel Committee, June 29).
Also, it would be a good idea to investigate Hamas about our soldier Gilad Schalit, whom it continues to hold after four years without letting the Red Cross visit, which is an international war crime.
And then, too, there’s Khaled Mashaal, the Hamas chief, who is now threatening to kidnap more Israeli soldiers and civilians.
Wrong trajectory
Sir, – The trouble with Sasha Pulakow-Suransky’s book on Israel’s secret relationship with apartheid South Africa does not lie in the facts but in the trajectory he tries to draw concerning Israel’s future, making out that it is on the way to becoming another apartheid state (“Leaden thinking,” Opinion, June 29).
It is important to note that even if Israel’s military cooperation with South Africa in the 1980s was “extensive and lucrative,” by the end of the decade South Africa had nevertheless lost its wars in Angola and Namibia. Also, the white population was decreasing, as many young people decided to seek their future elsewhere.
It was on February 11, 1990, that Prime Minister F.W. de Klerk began himself to dismantle apartheid by releasing Nelson Mandela from prison with the clear intent of handing over sovereignty to the black majority.
Hence, I cannot see how Israel prolonged apartheid after the 1980s.
However, I can see how Israel, since those 1980s, in stark contradiction to white South Africa, has maintained its Jewish majority (primarily through the aliya of close to a million Russian olim), and also its military capability. Perhaps if political scientists like Pulakow- Suransky would stop encouraging our adversaries to believe the Jews are soon to become a minority, the Palestinians would be more amenable to reaching a reasonable resolution rather than prolonging the conflict.
Keep ducking
Sir, – There are two entities that are universally accepted as being above politics and transcending borders – the Olympic Games and the International Red Cross. Yet the Olympic Games will forever have the bloody stain of Munich, while the Red Cross currently bears the flashing red light of four years with no visits to Gilad Schalit.
Moral: We must (with God’s help) stay on the highest alert.
Neither the World Cup (“West Bank Palestinians prefer World Cup to rock throwing,” June 29) nor any such universalist endeavor can or will guarantee our security.
Some strategist
Sir, – Our defense minister says that an agreed upon “diplomatic horizon” is necessary to ensure a long-term “special security relationship” with the US, as well as Israel’s military superiority in the region (“Barak calls for diplomatic initiative to secure long-term ties with US,” June 29).
If I were Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and wanted to torpedo the US-Israel special relationship and render Israel susceptible to attack, what would I do? I’d make sure to continue saying no to every offer of peace. The only way for there to be a peace agreement is for us to stop blaming ourselves and insist that the US put the blame where it belongs.
What kind of strategist is Barak?
Who’d be left?
Sir, – I expected an avalanche of outrage in your Letters section in response to Thomas L. Friedman’s outrageously defamatory characterization of Israel fighting by “Hamas Rules” (“War, timeout, war, time...,” June 28).
If Friedman’s libel were true, there would be no Hizbullah in Lebanon and no Hamas in Gaza.
Shame on him.
Bold, concrete steps
Sir, – Your editorial “Misdirected castigation” (June 25) takes note that “there is much that Netanyahu could do to improve Israel’s international standing.”
Here are some bold, concrete steps: Israel could renounce its claim to – although, of course, not its occupation of – east Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. It could stop calling the occupied territories “disputed” and acknowledge that, except for some small swaps, they are Palestinian. It could begin the process of removing all settlements except for the large, adjacent blocs that in practically any final agreement it would keep.
Israel could also formally resubmit the proposals Ehud Barak made at Camp David and Taba, which have since been removed from the table. It could simultaneously announce its willingness to negotiate on the basis of the Arab League peace plan.
Together, these steps would stun the Arab and Western worlds, lift Israel upward to breathtakingly higher moral ground, help moderate Palestinian and Arab leaders (while inflicting serious damage on Hamas and extremism), and shift everyone out of the immobilized and ruinous status quo and back into the peace process.
They would make Netanyahu Israel’s Anwar Sadat. And they would not mean a single iota of harm for its security.
JAMES ADLER Cambridge, Massachusetts
‘Useful idiot’ inadequate
Sir, – Regarding “Let the flotillas through” (June 25), I am surprised that Larry Derfner does not recommend that all of us just take a loaded revolver and blow our brains out.
For heaven’s sake, Jerusalem Post, at what point will you consider the rants of this token leftist not worth publishing? After a while his ignorance about jihadi ideology stops being amusing and becomes grotesque.
Even Lenin’s term “useful idiot” has become inadequate.
Sir, – Larry Derfner seems to have missed the point: Except for Israel’s desire to prevent the free flow of arms to Hamas, the flow of humanitarian goods has been increased by 200%.
No sovereign state can allow its sworn enemy unlimited access to the most advanced arms without making every attempt possible to prevent the flow. A super-strong Hamas not only threatens Israel, but undermines the Palestinian Authority and Egypt, both of which are interested in seeing the uninterrupted flow of arms through the tunnels stopped.
The so-called “freedom flotillas” have been hijacked by terrorist organizations whose main goal is to undermine the security of Israel.


Who does he think he is?
Sir, – Carl Djerassi tells the Post’s Barry Davis (“Taking the pill literally,” June 25) that his art donations have included “none to the Israel Museum, which would be a natural home for them. It’s a shame there is no interest in my literary work here.”
Djerassi’s art collection may be excellent, and for all I know, so may his literary work, but as long as he has the chutzpah to condition his art donations on the publication of his writings, I think the country can get along without both.