March 5: The fruits of apartheid and the Red Cross

How many people can Israel convince that it is not an apartheid state?

The fruits of apartheid...
Sir, – The editorial “The apartheid libel” (March 3) identifies correctly that the purpose behind the anti-Israel apartheid fest currently taking place in 40 cities is to tell the world that the Jewish state must be dismantled because the Jews stole the land from its rightful owners. While the statement is clearly false, the question is how many people you can convince that it is not.
The question is pertinent if one looks at what happened in South Africa. Nelson Mandela, in his book Long Walk to Freedom, writes that when in 1941 he and Gaur Radebe – both ANC members – were article clerks at the law firm  Witkin, Sidelsky and Eidelman in Johannesburg, Radebe often chided his white employers for their treatment of  black Africans. He would say to them, “You people stole our land from us and enslaved us. The situation should be reversed, and one day it will, and we will dump all of you into the sea.” Mandela writes that the Jewish lawyers kept quiet; they simply did not know how to answer back.
It would be naïve to believe that this could not happen here – unless, of course, Israel learns to answer back.
    DR. LILY POLLIACK    Jerusalem
... and the Red Cross
Sir, – At first glance, the “humanitarian” effort of the International Red Cross to transport apples grown by Golan Druze to Syria appears to be quite a benevolent effort on the part of the IRC (“Golan apples sent to Syria,” March 3). A more critical reading, however, raises the question of whether the same altruistic effort would have been made on behalf of any other Israeli product that, for example, was trying to penetrate a market where the “Made in Israel” label was anathema.
    ZEV CHAMUDOT     Petah Tikva
Sir, – Hurrah for the International Red Cross overseeing the transportation of 10,000 tons of apples from the Golan to Syria. That is their true calling.
If only they would broaden their role to include visitation rights to Gilad Schalit. Still, as they say, an apple a day keeps the Red Cross away.
    PESSY KRAUSZ     Jerusalem
Free gifts
Sir, – Dr. H. B. Mitchell interestingly cites national heritage sites outside sovereign borders such as the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (“Riots over Hebron,” Letters, March 3). The Jerusalem War Cemetery on the Mount of Olives has a tablet above the main entrance that states “Jerusalem War Cemetery – the land on which this cemetery stands is the free gift of the people of Palestine for the perpetual resting place of those of the Allied armies who fell in the war of 1914-1918 and are honored here.”
At the time, Jerusalem was under military occupation by the British Army until the Mandate for Palestine was granted by the League of Nations in the 1920s.
Yet according to the CWGC, this land was provided free of charge by “the government of Palestine.”
    DR. COLIN L LECI     Jerusalem
A belief in values
Sir, – Rabbi Shmuley Boteach always has something of interest to say, and his latest article focuses on the lack of values that have now become a disturbing factor in American life (“Why America is depressed,” March 3). Young people are extremely depressed because there are no job opportunities and no hope that most young people will receive better opportunities in the future. The American system is such that one is marked by one`s job, one’s position in life. This is how one is defined, and obviously there is no guarantee that you are a person in your own right.
It is not only more quality education that is needed. What is needed isa belief that life has a purpose, that there is a Creator and that eachindividual person is valued by God and by man. The Declaration ofIndependence should be restudied for its moral purpose and its clarityof vision. America needs a belief in its future and could well emulateIsrael in being proud to be a nation that serves mankind.
    THELMA SUSSWEIN     Jerusalem
Thetelephone number for reservations for the March 9 IBCA event withJustice Minister Yaakov Neeman is (09) 833-5394, and not as previouslypublished.