Letters to the Editor: Hot Potatoes

One of the key causes for the chronic failure of peace talks is the absence of dealing with Jerusalem and the Temple Mount first. These are the crux of the conflict...

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Hot potatoes
Sir, – Moshe Amirav (“Peace: The errors of the past,” Comment & Features, February 3) writes that UN Resolution 181 of 1947 “is still considered binding.”
Sorry. That vote was taken in the General Assembly, where resolutions are no more than recommendations.
Likewise Resolution 194, another General Assembly recommendation of no legal standing.
Worse, Amirav writes of the issues of the Temple Mount and “the refugee problem” as “such hot potatoes, it was thought advisable [at Camp David, July 2000] not to bring them up until all other problems were solved.”
He says “these issues jumped to the head of the queue” and, by implication, foiled the peace talks.
On the contrary, one of the key causes for the chronic failure of peace talks is the absence of dealing with Jerusalem and the Temple Mount first. These are the crux of the conflict, which has always been religious in nature. Unfortunately, negotiators for Israel are almost always non- and even anti-religious, and thus misperceive the conflict as “nationalist” when the Palestinian “nationality” has never been anything more than a hoax, a ruse and a smokescreen.
Peace will come when Islam undergoes a Reformation, an Enlightenment, and produces the equivalent of Nostra Aetate, the papal bull that came out of Vatican II and removed the deicide charge from the Jewish people.
It is Islam that denies Jews the right to freedom and independence, not a putatively Paleolithic “Palestinian” people.
Fighting back
Sir, – It is not newsworthy that Israel is being held to a different standard than other countries (“Danish bank boycotts Israel’s Hapoalim, Swedish bank asks for ‘clarifications,’” February 2). After all, why has Danske Bank, the Danish bank in question, not reacted similarly in other cases for the “ethical” reasons it touts? It is high time Israel asked its wealthy Jewish supporters to protest this manifest injustice. All high-net-worth individuals, fund managers, hedge fund principals, etc. should specify to their banks that if they do business with Danske Bank, they will remove all their funds. This will give a reality check to Danske Bank as well as others taking such a perverted and one-sided view against Israel.
It is time we put our money where our mouth is.
Petah Tikva
Sir, – Given the rising intensity of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, including Danish and Swedish banks, perhaps the time has come to fight back with an organized, worldwide Jewish economic counterattack.
If this sounds far-fetched, a quick look at history shows otherwise.
In fact, most social, economic and academic boycotts and discrimination against Jews were usually conquered by both informal and organized Jewish economic power. Whether the establishment of parallel social organizations like B’nai B’rith and the YMHA, major resorts and hotels or the power of major Jewish donors to some of America’s most prestigious universities and other institutions, Jews proved they could fight fire with fire and ultimately win.
Just look at what happened with America’s first 23 Jewish refugees fleeing the Spanish Inquisition in Brazil for New Amsterdam, today’s New York. Though the very anti-Semitic Peter Stuyvesant wrote to board members of his superiors in the Dutch West India Company in Holland to get their permission to expel this “deceitful race,” the refugees counteracted by appealing to Jewish shareholders in the company, resulting in the board ordering Stuyvesant to let the Jews remain.
Politics and diplomacy, negotiations and moral support are no longer sufficient to fight today’s more sophisticated and growing BDS movement. We must rally Jews the world over to stop these actions by hitting the perpetrators and sympathizers where it hurts: their pockets.
Hatzor Haglilit
None will be missed
Sir, – I can’t understand why anyone would be against the idea, floated by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, that some Jews could live in a Palestinian state. Far from being massacred, I think that suitable candidates for residency would be feted and adored.
I envisage settlers agreeing to home swaps with some of the wealthiest, most prestigious members of the elite in media, entertainment and the ivory towers of academia. Haaretz could shift its editorial, publishing and printing operations there, where I am sure it would find a congenial working environment.
There might be some religious conflicts should members of the Natorei Karta decide their conscience would allow them to be housed in one of these enclaves.
However, I am sure that any differences could be smoothed over by that consummate peacemaker, our by-then former president Shimon Peres, who no doubt would be willing and happy to host many stars of stage, screen and media, all eager to pass on their wisdom in conflict management.
It is possible that members of some political parties would be happy to move en masse, thus removing the problem of not passing the electoral threshold in future elections. And there are a great many foreign-funded NGOs whose backers would no doubt come up with generous financial support to relocate to “Palestine.”
On the whole, not a bad idea at all. Congratulations to Mr. Netanyahu for thinking of it. Should he solicit my advice, I’ve got a little list and none of them will be missed.
What hypocrisy!
Sir, – For the past few weeks the media, including The Jerusalem Post, have been reporting on the American demands of President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan not to release prisoners “with blood on their hands.” Obviously, this includes American blood.
These demands are in direct contrast to the tremendous pressure the Americans have put on the Israeli government to release terrorist prisoners, including those with “blood on their hands.”
Israeli blood. Our government caved and, kicking and screaming, it has released most of those prisoners, with another round coming soon.
What hypocrisy by our American friends! Conclusion: Spilling American blood is a crime and should be punished. Spilling Israeli blood is a mitzva and should be rewarded.
Shame on you, President Obama! Shame on you, Secretary Kerry! I.
Ramat Hasharon
No shortage
Sir, – The Knesset is presently debating whether to ban use of the common word for a member of the Nationalist Socialist German Worker’s Party, and many Israelis are upset at the prospect of losing a favorite insult in their arsenal. I would like to suggest alternatives, which in some cases might be more insulting.
You can call someone a “Roman,” as in ancient Rome.
The Romans killed at least two million Jews, destroyed our temple, exiled us and laid the land barren. “Amalekite” is the traditional enemy of the Jews. “Hellenist” isn’t bad. And how about “Persian?” The Persians destroyed the First Temple and caused the first exile, though they did let us return and rebuild, but with what is happening with them today, it might work.
“Philistine” is a popular insult.
“Christian” is probably the best.
Christians persecuted Jews for hundreds of years, what with expulsions, pogroms, forced conversions, massacres (“Crusader” has a ring) and the Inquisition (try “Inquisitionist”).
You can even combine two insults by calling someone a “Roman Catholic,” or spread it out among the Christian nations – “Spanish,” Portuguese,” “French,” “Russian” (use “Cossack,” a little better), “English,” etc.
If none of the above is appealing, you can always fall back on the traditional Jewish insult, “goy.”
Jerusalem/New York