March 22: The US and annexed land

It is difficult to understand the US attitude toward Israel annexing territory after defeating enemies who attacked it

The US and annexed land
Sir, – In the corps, we sang, “From the Halls of Montezuma,” a phrase commemorating the Marines fighting in the US-Mexican war from 1846 to 1848. The cause of this war was the unilateral annexation of Mexican Texas by the US. Mexico lost the war, and America gained the annexation of Texas, California and New Mexico.
In 1998, the US warred with Spain and, as the victor, annexed the Spanish flag colonies of Cuba, the Philippines, Puerto Rico and Guam.
Given its history of annexation through just wars, it is difficult to understand the US attitude toward Israel annexing territory after defeating enemies who attacked it (“US, Israel tone down spat,” March 21). The lands involved are Israel’s territorial rights by ancient and modern treaties and by the Book of Books.
Going nuclear over... Jerusalem?
Sir, – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrives in Moscow urging Russia to delay the commissioning of a nuclear power plant in southern Iran (“US, Russia nearing deal on nukes,” March 21). At the same time, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin announces that this plant will go on line this summer (“Putin: Bushehr reactor to go online by summer,” March 21).
The reactions from the US? Expressions of a “slap in the face,” “an insult,” or “diplomatic stupidity” are nowhere to be heard. Contrast this with the mighty kerfuffle caused by a statement from a mid-level Israeli bureaucrat upon Vice President Joe Biden’s arrival Jerusalem, that 1,600 residential units would be built in east Jerusalem.
The planned-apartments statement made the US administration go a lot more nuclear than the Putin announcement on the Bushehr project. I wonder why.
Building in Tel Aviv
Sir – So the prime minister says that building in Jerusalem is no different than building in Tel Aviv (“‘Israel won’t change its policies,’” Online Edition, March 21). Then Obama will send Hillary Clinton to say “Good point. Stop building in Tel Aviv, too.”
Let’s get this man’s position out in the open.
Sir, – Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu proclaims, “Building in Jerusalem is like building in Tel Aviv.”
No, Bibi, I don’t think so.
There’s this thing called a Green Line, and in Jerusalem, Israel is building beyond that Green Line. Not so in Tel Aviv.
And there’s international recognition that Tel Aviv belongs to Israel, versus only Israel recognizing its sovereignty over “greater Jerusalem.” And of course, there’s the question of where “greater Jerusalem” stops; it seems to keep changing. Just how far toward Ramallah, Jericho and Bethlehem will Israel claim as “greater Jerusalem” as it continues to expand for Jewish-only “natural growth”?
No, Mr. Netanyahu, building in Jerusalem is not like building in Tel Aviv.
JUDY BAMBERGERO’Connor, Australia
To live by the laws
Sir, – Rabbi Ya’acov Litzman dictates building the new ER 300 meters from the main hospital building, delaying reinforcement of the hospital, defying medical, engineering, archeological and scientific opinions and facts (“IMA: Reject Litzman’s plan for Ashkelon’s Barzilai,” March 19). Rabbi Litzman has apparently forgotten the basic Jewish concept of “vahai bahem” – to live by the laws, not to die by them.
And here we are, standing by and arguing while Kassams are flying again.
Why all this apathy by the people of Ashkelon and the surrounding area – and for that matter, all of klal yisrael? Are we not interested in their health, welfare and safety?
And all this on account of some 2,000-plus-year-old bones. Is it better to have a larger cemetery of thousands of new bones?
Equal treatment...
Sir, – To add to Liat Collins’s recent excellent article condemning Israel Apartheid Week (“Not black and white,” March 7) I would like to share one of my many personal experiences that illustrate the absurdity of the malevolent “apartheid” claim.
My daughter spent a month in Hadassah-University Hospital, Ein Kerem, with pregnancy complications. The day eventually arrived for the Caesarean delivery of her twins, and she was taken to the delivery suite, prepared for the procedure and wheeled into the operating theater, while her family waited anxiously outside. To our surprise, she was wheeled out after only a few minutes and an Arab woman was taken in instead. A nurse explained that this patient’s situation was more urgent and her Caesarean must be performed first.
Despite the tension of my daughter’s long wait, we knew that decisions are and must be made only according to medical considerations. However, it doesn’t require much imagination to envision what various NGOs and the international press would have made of the story if the opposite had occurred, and a Jewish woman had taken the place of an Arab one.
...and equal bans
Sir, – I wonder if the city of Kassel in the German state of Hesse would also ban a Palestinian flag if a similar event took place, with a similar excuse, insisting that this flag would disturb pedestrians (“German city bans Israel flag – again,” March 21).
JOYCE KAHN Petah Tikva
Hang in there, Israel!
Sir, – Your decision to build housing units in Ramat Shlomo is entirely justified, and we vehemently disagree with our current government’s position of opposition to your recent announcement (“Crime and punishment,” March 19). Yesterday, we wrote a letter to President Obama registering our deep disagreement with recent statements made by himself, Biden, Clinton and others in the administration.
The US has recently lost its way in many areas of our foreign and domestic policy. We are deeply distressed to see the retrograde position the administration has taken.
We urge the Israeli government to not succumb to US pressure regarding this matter. We are deeply committed Christians and love the nation of Israel, and wish you strength and God’s love as a people and nation.

RANDALL and ARLENE BEMIS Chatsworth, California
Sir, – My wife and I spent eight days in Israel last month. We love Israel and we know those who bless Israel will be blessed and those who curse Israel will be cursed.
Obama is so out of touch with the majority of the people in the United States. He wants national health care, and the majority of the people don’t. He doesn’t support Israel, and the majority of the people here are ashamed of the way he treats it.
We support you! We pray for the peace of Jerusalem and Israel.
Sir, – Considering the current unpleasantness that has resulted from President Obama’s attempt to govern the State of Israel, I feel obliged to speak a word of reason to the citizens of our staunchest Middle-East allied nation.
I am sure you are aware there are a great many wild-eyed, flag-wavingChristians over here, grateful to you in knowing that without you,there would not be an us.
Do not forget we are here, and we are,without question, among the vast majority of the American populace whostaunchly support the Israeli people and their elected governmentrepresentatives. If I may be so bold as to speak for the US majority, Iencourage you to stand strong against your enemies and do not yield aninch. Do what is right in the eyes of our Heavenly Father, regardlessof what someone from the White House might have to say.
Brighter days are ahead.Hang in there.
JAMES Mentone, California