May 5: Astounding how illiberal some 'liberals' can be

If Ms. Kreimer were truly a 'liberal Jew' as she defines herself, she would oppose any family, Jewish or Arab, being torn from its home.

letters to the editor (photo credit: )
letters to the editor
(photo credit: )
Sir, - Sarah Kreimer takes the extremist position that we can do justice to our Israeli Arab citizens only by relinquishing our Jewish state in favor of a Jewish "homeland" ("Moving on to 'stage-two' Zionism," April 30). Putting aside for the moment the probability that even this will not satisfy them, it is a shame that she does not demand the same values from the Palestinians busy building the democratic institutions for their state (or states) on our borders. She berates Israel for "restricting" Arab citizens, "limiting their development," and "Judaizing the Galilee and the Negev." But presumably the Palestinians in their new states will not have to cope with such minority problems since she calls for all Jewish towns and villages in their territories to be "jettisoned," - i.e., demolished and their residents transferred. The result would be a binational Jewish "homeland" side by side with a judenrein Palestinian state - hardly a fair and balanced approach. If Ms. Kreimer were truly a "liberal Jew," as she defines herself, she would oppose any family, Jewish or Arab, being torn from its home. She would be calling on the Palestinians to establish a binational Palestinian homeland which accepts, respects and honors its Jewish minority with no less vigor than what she demands of her fellow Israelis. DOUG GREENER Jerusalem Sir, - The British Jews who put an anti-Israel ad in the Guardian make a serious error when they propose a "one-state solution" because this would, in effect, remove the Jewish basis of Israel. Maybe it is understandable that they hold these views, living as they do in the comfort and relative safety of the West. But anti-Semitism is on the rise again, and where they live Jews need armed guards to protect their institutions. Here we have our army to defend us against the Palestinian terrorist organizations and others who seek to kill all Jews - a violation of human rights the ad failed to mention ("'Guardian' letter backing one-state solution divides anti-Zionist Jews," May 4). JACK COHEN Netanya Sir, - I find it odd that were I to try to set up an organization based on the proposition that Muslims are responsible for mass murder around the world and indulge in limb-lopping, torture, kidnapping, blackmail and threaten death to all who are not of their creed, I probably could not get a single Jewish academic to join me. And yet such an organization would be closer to the truth than the claims of this group of British, Jewish anti-Israel academics. DOV AARONS London Sir, - At 10 o'clock on Holocaust Remembrance Day I was in hospital, about to be examined by a young woman doctor. In dress, manner and command of Hebrew she was indistinguishable from the rest of the staff; but her name tag revealed that she was Arab. Soon after she entered the siren sounded; my son, who was with me, rose to his feet. The doctor looked at him enquiringly, and he explained. They both stood motionless for two minutes, and then routine returned. Over the years I have become familiar with three of the major hospitals in Israel, either as patient or visitor. In each of them I have been convinced that the percentage of Arab staff, patients and visitors is much in excess of the Arab percentage of the population. For three generations, the lies that have been spread about Israel are legion; but to accuse her of apartheid is one of the most monstrous - and one that can easily be dispelled by a visit, not only to our hospitals, but to our universities. MEIR ABELSON Beit Shemesh Sir, - Nadine Gordimer: "Hamas, despite its declaration denying the right of Israel to exist, must be part of these talks, for the very survival of Palestine and Israel, for them to be at peace in full independent states within justly agreed boundaries" ("Rejecting calls to boycott Israel, Gordimer urges talks with Hamas," May 4). They don't accept our right to exist - therefore we have to talk to them is a non sequitur par excellence. Ms. Gordimer does not seem to understand that it is impossible to make peace or negotiate with a genocidal organization that believes it a religious duty to subjugate us or destroy us and will never compromise one inch except as part of a deception to achieve its goal. Does she really believe that Article 7 of the Hamas Charter is negotiable? (Taken from hadith Sahih Bukhari (4:52:177), it quotes the Prophet: "O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him!" How long will the world's foremost intellectuals, including Nobel prizewinners, keep producing statements that show utter ignorance of Islamism? MLADEN ANDRIJASEVIC Beersheba No wonder Abbas is depressed Sir, - It was remarkable to read the Palestinian conditions for a peace agreement: Full withdrawal to the 1967 border, including what was Arab Jerusalem, and the return of refugees to Israel. Translation: unless Israel agrees to 1. uproot 500,000 people; 2. be the only country without a unified capital, and 3. turn itself into a Palestinian state, there will be no peace. No wonder PA President Mahmoud Abbas is depressed: Having failed to destroy Israel militarily, he is finding that his diplomacy doesn't work either ("Palestinian losing his authority," May 2). There's irony here: Abbas is threatening to resign and warns that failure to reach an agreement will mean a Hamas takeover. Yet were he to accept the Israeli offer of most of the West Bank, a toe-hold in Jerusalem and the return of refugees to a Palestinian state, he could continue as president for quite a long time and go down in history as the man who led his people to statehood. He needs to decide whether that is more important than the dream of destroying Israel. BARRY LYNN Efrat Arafat's spirit sets the tone Sir, - In "Once and for all" (Editorial, May 4) you complain about the Palestinian failure to appreciate Israeli concessions, but seem unaware that the Palestinians consider Israel and Israelis the root of all their evil and the source of all their problems, and thus will never thank us for anything. As regards the Palestinian failure to make any reciprocal moves, the Palestinians repeatedly ask why they should concede anything to Israel - the mass murderer of the Palestinian people, the rapist of their women and children, and the thief who stole their land. It is time we faced the fact that the Palestinian leadership and people will never concede anything to Israel or anybody else, that the Palestinian "struggle" will continue until our destruction, and that the spirit of that struggle, Yasser Arafat, will, as his picture posters point out in Jenin, Nablus, Ramallah and even Israeli Arab communities, "always be with you." KENNETH BESIG Kiryat Arba Sir, - B'Tselem spokeswoman Sarit Michaeli was upset that an IAF attack targeting terrorists caused a terrorist's bomb to explode amid an innocent civilian population. Well, that's where the terrorist's bomb was meant to explode, amid an innocent civilian population - ours ("Gaza family was killed when missile set off terrorist's bombs," May 4). DEBBIE SCHWARTZ Neveh Ya'acov This won't fly Sir, - You stated that the airport serving Rome is called Leonardo da Vinci, which is the name of one of the airports serving Milan. Rome's airport is called Fiumicino ("Rome terminal opens for Israel flights," May 4). SHARON LEVY Kiryat Motzkin