March 23: Share the burden

Leibler states that provisions should be made for Israeli Arabs to engage in a form of national service.

Share the burden
Sir, – Isi Leibler’s excellent, concise and comprehensive “Israeli Arabs – rights, obligations and loyalties” (Candidly Speaking, March 21) raises several important issues.
Leibler states that provisions should be made for Israeli Arabs to engage in a form of national service. These provisions already exist; the problem is that only a pitiful number choose to do it.
The fact that the overwhelming majority of them enjoy the freedom and benefits of citizenship without the obligations may explain, to a large degree, the antipathy against them, and Leibler proposes an intensive campaign to educate against prejudice.
This is not necessary.
Considering the stressful conditions under which we live, Israelis are probably among the least prejudiced and most tolerant people in the world. One must not confuse impatience with intolerance.
It is not reasonable to expect Israeli Arabs to be emotionally moved by our national anthem. But it certainly can be expected that they share the burdens of responsibility associated with citizenship.
Issues with Ray
Sir, – Ray Hanania (“Maybe Palestinians and Israelis need a break from each other,” Yalla Peace, March 21) makes the case for us to split. He’s probably heard the rising voices searching for an alternative to a failed two-state solution that is also not a one-state solution. There are many.
All of the advocates of these proposals have told me it is only a matter of time before the two-state idea is proven unrealistic.
This is not because Israel doesn’t want it, as Hanania tries to imply. It is because the Palestinians and the Arabs, in everything they say and do, won’t let it happen. Their refusal to recognize the Jewish State of Israel makes a two-state solution an impossible dream. Their incitement to hate and violence in anti-Semitic terms reveals that they are not for compromise or peace.
So when Hanania says he is not convinced that “Israeli leaders really want a resolution of the conflict that is based on compromise,” I say to him, “Come on Ray, give me a break!” We both agree, however, that the permanent solution would be placing the Palestinian Arabs in a state of their own, somewhere in the original district of Palestine, and as far away from Israel as possible so that they can be surrounded by their Arab brethren who, for decades, have been insisting how much they support their aspirations.
Sir, – Judea and Samaria, the names Ray Hanania finds offensive, are the biblical names of the territory he prefers to call the West Bank. Check any Tanach and you will find these names used over and over.
Many people today, whether American journalists, UN dignitaries or the thousands of Arabs who plan to march and “liberate” Jerusalem, are bothered by the names Judea and Samaria since they clearly show the history of the Jewish people in this land. It seems that what all of these people really find offensive is the existence of Jews here, period.
Sir, – As regards Ray Hanania’s “A grim fairy tale on Iran” (Yalla Peace, March 7), is Hanania biased or just plain ignorant of the facts? The Shah did keep a tight control on the population, but mainly on the ayatollahs. To compare Iran under his rule to Syria today, where the regular daily slaughter of civilians is being carried out by the army, is nonsensical. This was before Hanania’s time, but he should make the effort to study the history of this period.
I was present when the Shah distributed ownership deeds to the villages that had been cultivating their small holdings for the ayatollahs. I saw their gratitude.
The writer spent several years in Iran as a consultant for the Tahal water management concern