March 24: Speaking up for Israel

I could cry tears of joy – our prime minister has found his backbone! Or has he?

Speaking up for Israel
Sir, – I could cry tears of joy – our prime minister has found his backbone (“Jerusalem is not a settlement. It is our capital,” March 23)! Or has he? Because even if he truly says that line at the AIPAC convention today, will he hammer it home by carrying through and approving immediately all building in our capital? And, just as importantly, will he start declaring at every meeting with every foreign know-it-all like Mrs. Clinton that since we started taking “risks for peace” in 1993, the only results we’ve seen are over 1,000 dead and thousands of wounded from suicide bombings, 10,000 rocket attacks and countless rock-throwing incidents on highways, and a propaganda war in which Israel’s right to exist is questioned? We have given land, destroyed 8,000 lives in Gush Katif and Northern Samaria, and all we see for it is terror. Period.
If our prime minister cannot say, “We have taken enough risks for peace. Now we will sit tight until our enemies finally decide to start taking their own risks for peace,” then God help us – because nobody else will.
Too much friendly fire
Sir, – Too many of our wonderful kids are falling victim to friendly fire (“Soldier killed by friendly fire near Gaza,” March 23). With all the astonishing innovation bursting forth almost daily from Israel, is it beyond our wit to develop something to prevent this?  
Knocking on the wrong door?
Sir, – In this beautiful Pessah/Easter season, when compassion and mercy are supposed to be relevant to every major monotheistic faith, Noam Schalit is once again going and begging the United Nations Human Rights Council for his son’s release (“Noam Schalit to UNHRC: Demand that Hamas free my son,” March 23). He has appealed to human rights organizations all over and met with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, all to no avail. Mr. Ban has set the release of Hamas prisoners, terrorists and murderers all, as equal to the release of Gilad Schalit, a soldier deliberately kidnapped from inside Israel.
This is why the world is in such disarray. Ban, the human rights organizations and the supposed leader of the free world, President Barack Obama, all have the same myopic vision and cannot distinguish right from wrong. Everything is morally equivalent.
The leaders of the world have certainly forgotten the great saying that “he who kills an individual kills an entire world.”
Arafat and the Olympics
Sir, – Without doubting his good intentions and besides other considerations, even with respect to the peaceful Theodor Herzl, the president of Brazil – the country that will host the 2016 Olympic games – legitimates the instigator of global terrorism, including the massacre of Jewish athletes at the 1972 Olympic games in Munich (“Da Silva – who would not visit Herzl’s grave – lays a wreath at Arafat’s,” March 18). Even without taking sides, President Lula da Silva spoiled the historic opportunity to disapprove, in a global context, of the terrorist modus operandi and to demonstrate equal courage on this matter as on Iran.
Getting the lines crossed
Sir, – Judy Bamberger complains that Israel is building “beyond the Green Line” in Jerusalem (“Building in Tel Aviv,” Letters, March 22). Where would Ms. Bamberger draw this Green Line and why is it in fact so holy? The Jews were a majority in Jerusalem for over 100 years until they were violently driven out of the Old City by the Jordanians in 1948, suffering numerous casualties on the way. For the next 19 years the Old City was empty of Jews, until Israel’s miraculous win in 1967. Ms. Bamberger would like to sanctify a 19-year error of history at the expense of thousands of years of documented Jewish history, and disallow the Jews the right to return and build their homes and holy places.
As for claims of Jewish-only natural growth, all she needs to do is visit the city to see the Arab building going on in Jerusalem, legal and illegal. As to her worry about how far Jerusalem’s city limits will reach, is she similarly worried that rapidly-developing Ramallah might expand toward Jewish Jerusalem? Furthermore, if Jerusalem is so important to the Arabs, why did they not declare it their capital during all the years they had control over it? Why did they not develop it? They left it to remain a grimy backwater, and all they did was destroy as much evidence of Jewish connection to the Holy City as they could, destroying 58 synagogues, uprooting Jewish gravestones from the Mount of Olives, and preventing any access by Jews to Jewish holy sites.
J’lem building criteria
Sir, – Larry Derfner replies to a letter titled “Laying down the law” (Letters, March 21) that “any Jew can build and buy in all the neighborhoods of Jerusalem.”
That is not true. No one can build and buy in the neighborhoods of Jerusalem unless they have hundreds of thousands of dollars or millions of shekels to spend.
    SHARON ALTSHUL    Jerusalem
Barack Hussein Obama
Sir, – I would like to thank Liat Collins for her article, which lifted my spirits and made me feel proud again to be an Israeli (“Meanwhile in Jerusalem...,” March 21). At long last, somebody had the guts to say the truth regarding US President Barack Hussein Obama.
Please go on writing articles making us proud of our land, our homes and ourselves as a peace-loving nation.
Sir, – Liat Collins is clearly opposed to President Obama’s current policy regarding the settlement freeze, as well as unhappy with his handling of the dispute over the Ramat Shlomo announcement. However, in referring to the American president as “Barack Hussein Obama” while commenting on the bond between the Jewish people and Jerusalem, she reveals her true thinking. Referring to the president in that way is a rather unsubtle trick, normally used by extreme right-wing bloggers, to discredit him as an honest mediator by writing him off as some kind of secret Muslim who is out to destroy Israel.
President Obama is not trying to de-Judaize Jerusalem. He’s not demanding that Israel withdraw to the 1967 line, either. He just realizes, as many Jewish Israelis do, that the continued building of homes across the Green Line is viewed as a provocation by Palestinians – moderates and extremist alike. Any agreement that Obama mediates between Israel and the Palestinians will of course involve a certain amount of territorial compromise along the lines of the Clinton parameters, Geneva Initiative or the Olmert talks. Ramot, Ramat Shlomo and many towns over the Green Line will undoubtedly remain a part of Israel. The freeze is about saying that we as Israelis are committed to starting negotiations in good faith immediately, which involves not further perpetuating the main issues around which the conflict is centered.
Wrong mosque
Sir, – Just curious whether the “Indonesians for Al-Aksa” (March 21) inthe front page photo realize that the model they are following down aJakarta street is actually the Dome of the Rock – not Al-Aksa Mosque.
The editor writes: You are correct. The Jerusalem Post
apologizes for the error.