March 11: Usurping a site

The ethos of the PA is one of brazen, malicious deceit.

Usurping a site Sir, – It is not so surprising that the Palestinian Authority is trying to grab name recognition of the famous Church of the Nativity (“PA asks UN to register Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity under ‘Palestine,’” March 8). The ethos of the PA is one of brazen, malicious deceit.
What is very surprising, though, is that the Christian world has not raised a loud and justifiable protest.
Why hasn’t the Pope or any other Christian world leader spoken up in order to stop the Muslim-majority PA from usurping an obviously highly valued Christian site?
Israel and Iran Sir, – Finally! A Jerusalem Post writer who tells it as it is! Kudos to Jonathan Rosen for “Obama’s commitment to Israel” (Comment & Features, March 8).
US President Barack Obama is fully committed to Israel’s back and will not be dissuaded from this purpose! Three cheers for Obama!
Sir, – In your editorial “Iran and Israel’s Fate” (March 7), you quote President Obama.
“There should not be a shred of doubt by now: When the chips are down, I have Israel’s back.”
Does Obama mean that when Israel has attacked Iran (successfully or not) and retaliation has already decimated most of Israel’s major cities and strategic areas, he might consider some form of military intervention as a last resort to “cover our backs?” Don’t gamble with our lives, Mr. President.
Sir, – Please note that the statement “Levi Eshkol launched a preemptive attack in 1967...” (“Netanyahu: Israel has acted in its own interests in the past, even against American advice,” March 7) is incorrect.
The Israeli offensive began as a response to acts of war by Egypt (a shipping blockade), and by Syria and Jordan (shelling). It is important that the record be crystal clear on this point.
Sir, – Does anyone seriously believe Iran will use nuclear weapons on Israel? Get a map of Japan. Note the extent of ground zero for Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Superimpose this on a map of Israel’s major cities. Pretty difficult to contain the damage to Israel.
And what would be the result of such an attack? Iran would be bombed back into the stone age. However, I don’t imagine it will just sit by.
Why start World War III? Please don’t get us all killed by attacking Iran.
Salem, Oregon
Strategic placement Sir, – Congratulations on an excellent Purim edition (“The Jerusalem Roast,” March 8). But did it not occur to anyone on the editorial staff that the inclusion of just two or three carefully-sited articles in the rest of the paper might have had an even more profoundly humorous effect?
Sir, – My cats and I were thrilled by the news of the cat marathon, and some of them are starting to train by chasing each other around our house and garden.
Thank you for several great belly-laughs!
Historical fact Sir, – Not many are surprised that Meretz always finds fault with our prime minister, but one would think that Tzipi Livni would act more responsibly, more in line what is generally called a “loyal opposition” (“Opposition slams PM’s Holocaust comparisons,” March 7).
What comparison with the Holocaust did Binyamin Netanyahu make at the AIPAC conference that so upset her? He simply recalled the failure of the Allies, especially the US, to accede to the request of the World Jewish Congress to bomb the railway lines to Auschwitz and thus save Jewish lives.
For Livni’s sake, let us recall some history.
Bra in focus Sir, – I find the objection of Women’s International Zionist Organization (WIZO) to a bra ad (“Bra commercial cited as ‘most sexist ad’ of 2011,” March 7) rather puzzling.
Of course it’s sexist. Women’s lingerie is inherently sexually appealing to men. And a good thing, too. This is because human sexuality is of utmost importance for the existence and continuation of the human race.
The simple and beautiful fact is that men and women are hard-wired primarily for sex, a fact that even the Torah acknowledges through the injunction for us to be fruitful and multiply.
Perhaps the women’s organization should focus more on the Zionist part of WIZO and less on the women’s part.
Right, and wrong Sir, – Ray Hanania’s March 7 column (“A Grim fairy tale on Iran” (Yalla Peace) demands both praise and criticism.
Hanania claims the Shah was more despotic than Saddam Hussein or the Assads, father and son. This might be so. And there might be a heaping dose of truth to his assertion that, at least in part, it was the West’s embrace of the Shah that set in motion the existence of present-day Iran and its hatred of the West.
But to expand that line of reasoning to incorporate the Arab- Israeli conflict defies fact.
For one thing, the Palestinian people have suffered under their own rulers, just as other Muslim people have. For example, the EU and the US have contributed billions for the building of their state, but where have those billions gone? Refugee camps of poverty and squalor continue to exist. Is there true freedom of the press in the territories controlled by the PA? And when are the Palestinians going to take responsibility for their own mistakes and weaknesses instead of forever casting blame on others?
RICHARD JACOBS Haifa Time to listen Sir, – Can it be that a real dialogue is taking place right on the pages of The Jerusalem Post, with people talking and listening to each other rather than at each other? One month ago, you published a letter I wrote in response to a column by Gershon Baskin in which I suggested that he stop blaming the Jewish towns and villages in the West Bank (often called “settlements”) for preventing the emergence of a Palestinian state, and instead tell the Palestinians to “pursue diplomacy and state building without any reference to Jewish residents in their future state.”
Behold, in his most recent column (“The Palestinian challenge,” Encountering Peace, March 6), Baskin calls on the Palestinians to “create their state on the ground... a peaceful, democratic and economically developing Palestinian state.” Not once does he mention the word “settlements” or blame them for retarding Palestinian state-building.
I have very little hope that Palestinian leaders will listen to him. Why should they? They have more interest in keeping the conflict alive than in solving it. But it is a sign of hope that Baskin and people on his side of the aisle begin to speak out with the truth. This could create a dynamic that accelerates the becalmed diplomatic process.
If Baskin did read and act on my letter, I am humbled. If it is just a coincidence, I am astounded. In any case, perhaps all of us should take some time off from talking and do some listening.