May 20: Ulterior motive

Reading about how a staff member of Doctors Without Borders planned to assassinate Prime Minister Ehud Olmert reminded me of how simplistic the view of Israel is from the outside.

letters 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
letters 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Ulterior motives Sir, - Reading about how a staff member of Doctors Without Borders planned to assassinate Prime Minister Ehud Olmert reminded me of how simplistic the view of Israel is from the outside. Visiting diplomats, aid workers and peace activists infuriated over getting a hard time from the IDF might read this article; or the stories about "pregnant" women with suicide belts under their dresses, or "ambulances" packed with explosives. Welcome to Israel. ("Shin Bet foils attempt to kill Olmert," On-Line Edition, May 17.) JOHN LALOR Dublin Can't compare Sir, - I was offended by Tommy Lapid's "Fixing the blame for the July 1976 'Entebbe fiasco'" (May 17). He has a serious problem if he can't see a difference between the Entebbe rescue and the Second Lebanon War. The plane was hijacked on June 27, a full week before the rescue. There was ample time to prepare. Therefore I am certain that if the rescue had failed there would have been no condemnation for being unprepared and ill-advised. The Second Lebanon War started without any forethought or planning. It was a shoot-from-the-hip response, and the results were directly caused by our leaders' inexperience and arrogance. SUSAN SHAUL Nitzan 2 Sir, - Apparently my definition of "luck" differs from Mr. Lapid's. Mine includes much forethought, lots of homework, hard work, practice and study. Only then do you arrive at a situation that you may term "lucky" - what we had at Entebbe. What happened this past summer wasn't a lack of luck, but a lack of everything that goes into the "lucky" mix. Thank God, it seems we have learned our lesson and the IDF is returning to the basics, enhancing our chances of being lucky in the future. STUART PILICHOWSKI Mevaseret Zion Aroma of failure Sir, - Micky Goldstein's May 16 cartoon depicting our PM apparently reeking like days-old trash while flies swarm about his head said it all. DAVID STAR Ma'aleh Adumim Proud associate... Sir, - As the Hadassah Convention convened in Nashville, at the start of the Second Lebanon War, President June Walker called an Emergency Solidarity Mission, and 63 of us answered. We spent a night in Haifa, visiting wounded soldiers at Rambam hospital; dodged Katyshuas; and visited Hadassah facilities which had taken in hundreds of displaced family members and new immigrants from Ethiopia. We provided funds to Rambam Hospital, and to the mayors of Haifa and Sderot. We bought toys for kids having their summer camp in a parking garage in Haifa, and even funded a pizza party for the kids at Neurim. I am proud to be a Hadassah Associate, and found it especially poignant celebrating Jerusalem Day last week, remembering the 78 Hadassah doctors, nurses and others killed in 1948 trying to relieve the hospital on Mt. Scopus. I look forward to coming back to Israel soon ("A banner occasion, photo, May 17). BOB TANKEL Dunedin, Florida ...of the city of light Sir, - Jerusalem Day was, unfortunately, not given the proper accolades and lacked the excitement it should have had. Jerusalem remains a symbol for this nation, and the world, a beacon of hope and light. All three monotheistic religions revere it, but only the Jewish people are so intertwined with its past, present and future. During 2007, marking 40 years since the city's unification, let the Knesset proclaim Jerusalem Day the greatest of national holidays, celebrating our rendezvous with history, tradition and true love of national identity ("Still no vision for Jerusalem," Anshel Pfeffer, May 16). TOBY WILLIG Jerusalem For the record> Sir, - Your editorial "Jerusalem and Peace" (May 14) stated: "That legal situation is confirmed by the fact that between 1948 and 1967, only two nations, Britain and Pakistan, recognized Jordan's illegal occupation of the West Bank, including part of Jerusalem." Between 1948 and 1967, the UK did not accept Jordanian or Israeli sovereignty over any part of Jerusalem lying within the corpus separatum as stipulated in UN General Assembly Resolution 303 (IV) of 1949. While we recognized Jordanian sovereignty over the West Bank when it was annexed by Jordan, our position was always that Jordan only had de-facto control over East Jerusalem, and Israel had de-facto control over West Jerusalem. The UK position was formally expressed in April 1950 in a statement extending simultaneous de-jure recognition of both Jordan and Israel. That statement did not recognize sovereignty of either Jordan or Israel over the sectors of Jerusalem within the corpus separatum. In the British view, no such recognition was possible before a final determination of the status of this area. Today, the UK believes that the city's status has yet to be determined, and maintains that it should be settled in an overall agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. KAREN KAUFMAN Press & Public Affairs Officer British Embassy Tel Aviv Avner on Begin Sir, - Kudos to Yehuda Avner for "Menachem Begin, The great emancipator" (May 17). One started with the first paragraph, and could not put the paper down. The election of Begin on May l7, 1977, "which changed the nation and empowered Sephardi voters," will stay in many people's minds mainly because of ambassador Avner's superb writing. JENNY WEIL Jerusalem