May 1: Theater of absurd

What an excellent example of the Middle East as theater of the absurd: The Palestinian Authority reconciles with Hamas, a recognized terror organization.

Theater of absurd
Sir, – What an excellent example of the Middle East as theater of the absurd: The Palestinian Authority reconciles with Hamas, a recognized terror organization, whose admitted goal is the destruction of the State of Israel. All this while the PA moves forward with its request to seek statehood (“Hamas and PA announce ‘national unity’ deal,” April 28).
Please remind me: Why should Israel return to the negotiating table?
Mevaseret Zion
Sir, – I never believed that reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah was possible. Of course now that there is some agreement between the two factions and the formation of an interim joint government, Hamas has slammed the door on peace negotiations with Israel.
I can’t read Abu Mazen’s mind, but this Hamas-imposed peace talks embargo must serve his purposes.
And in fact the door slammed against peace talks with Israel now removes the mask the PA has worn for a long time regarding its true desire for peace negotiations.
I fear the PA objective of declaring statehood at the UN in September is indeed snowballing.
Nothing can stop it now. But measures will need to be taken to effectively undermine the creation of a Palestinian state.
Tel Aviv
Instinct for survival
Sir, – Yehuda Bauer, like his extreme-leftist cohorts, deliberately distorts the reason most Israelis support a right-wing government (“From radical Zionism to radical anti-Zionism,” Comment & Features, April 28).
While it is certainly true that the Jewish nation has a far greater historical claim to Judea and Samaria than to Tel Aviv and Herzliya, most Israelis would relinquish the heart and soul of their patrimony for genuine, lasting peace.
By now, however, it should be evident even to the Left that there is no Arab government whose longevity can be counted on, or any agreement that can survive its inevitable overthrow. One need look no farther than Egypt and Syria.
As for the Palestinians, the forked tongue with which their so-called moderates speak has never been more evident than now when, simultaneous with Bauer’s misbegotten analysis, Mahmoud Abbas is indulging in an orgy of hugs and kisses with Hamas, the sworn enemy of the Jewish people everywhere – even those in Tel Aviv.
Indeed, our nation’s tilt to the right is pragmatic rather than nationalistic.
As a scholar of the Holocaust, Bauer should be more attuned to what happens when we Jews lose our instinct for survival. Fortunately most of us have learned our lesson.
Sir, – Yehuda Bauer, in regard to a Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria, says that “there can never be security in a situation that invites constant conflict.” If that’s the case, how can Bauer explain the daily rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza? When Israel withdrew all civilians and soldiers from Gaza in 2005, rocket attacks increased by 500 percent. Any serious military expert will admit that even in today’s world of ballistic missiles, there is no greater strategic military advantage than physically controlling essential territories.
Instead of withdrawing in Judea and Samaria, the only hope for true peace and quiet is for Israel to re-assert control over all of the areas in question.
Have a safe trip
Sir, – Regarding “Beware of flying Arabs!” (Rattling the Cage, April 28), Jews aren’t out to murder Arab Muslims, but some Arab Muslims are out to murder Jews.
Witness the long line of atrocities, the most recent of which was the murder of little children in their sleep in the town of Itamar, simply because “they were Jews,” in the words of one of the apprehended Arab terrorists.
Yes, security profiling does fly in the face of democratic procedures, but sometimes extreme measures must be taken for safety. And it may be unfair to Arab air travelers, but it’s a situation they brought upon themselves with their tolerance of the extreme terrorism of their brethren.
Ganei Tikva
Pressure for Gilad
Sir, – How many of us agree with what Eliezer Whartman says in the advertisement he took out in the April 28 Jerusalem Post? What he says makes such sense in trying for the release of Gilad Schalit.
Everything else has been tried to no avail. Releasing hundreds of prisoners with blood on their hands is surely not the answer.
They will try again and kidnap another one of our precious young boys, each time demanding the release of another few hundred prisoners.
Whartman’s suggestion, of imposing the same treatment on imprisoned Hamas terrorists, only makes sense. But we are just laymen; we are not the politicians who decide what we should do and what is “correct.” Why should we be “correct” and have the Schalit family suffer any longer? This family, this son, is any one of us. It could happen to your family, your friends’ families, your nearest and dearest. They are not strangers in some other country – they are one of us. Their son is our son.
We cannot let this situation continue any longer than the unbelievable five years it has gone on.
Enough is enough. The powers that be must see this and act now.
Maybe if we all put pen to paper to endorse these suggestions, someone somewhere will do the right thing, and not the “correct” thing.
Herzliya Pituah
Sir, – I completely agree with Eliezer Whartman.
The only way Israel will get Gilad Schalit back without returning hundreds of killers is if Hamas wants rid of him. And the way to bring that about is to make them hurt. It is ludicrous that Hamas prisoners are pampered in Israeli jails and Israel facilitates the supply of goods, services and aid to the Gaza strip.
Hamas has declared itself Israel’s enemy. Until it declares it is seeking peace, it and its members should be treated as such.
Glasgow, Scotland
Lurching emotions

Sir, – As I read all the points Israel’s ambassador to the US makes in his essay for Foreign Policy magazine (“Oren pens essay challenging argument that Israel is US liability,” April 27), I couldn’t help but feel sad that he even felt the necessity to pen such a defense.
Then, on the same page, I saw “UN Watch spearheads campaign to oppose Syria’s election to UN Human Rights Council” and read about efforts to prevent what should be an even more obviously absurd and even macabre idea. At that point, just as Hillel Neuer mentions, I didn’t know if I should laugh at the total absurdity or cry at the tragedy.
It was then that I felt a little better and more appreciative of Oren’s motivation.
But then I sighed in sadness once again, because in such a topsy-turvy and morally deficient world, I wonder if any of those “foreign policy wonks who claim Israel is a US liability” will even bother to read Oren’s essay, let alone be swayed by his virtually foolproof arguments. It is much more likely that he will be preaching to the convinced, with the anti-Israel forces throughout the world, including many in the US government, remaining steadfast in their determination not to allow any facts, no matter how blatant or obvious, to spoil their pre-determined and pathological hate and loathing of not only the region's only stable, vibrant and successful democracy, but also, it would seem, the only truly moral and ethical state for miles around.
Hatzor Haglilit