October 25: ‘Will’ renege?

To date I do not know of anything the PA has done to give Israelis the confidence that they want to live in peace with us.

‘Will’ renege?
Sir, – Regarding your report “If talks fail, we will renege on Oslo accords, PA warns” (October 24), I fail to remember what part of the Oslo Accords the PA has been keeping.
They are still inciting their people against Israel, they have not changed their curriculum in their schools, their maps do not show that Israel exists, they encourage martyrdom by honoring dead terrorists, and the list goes on. To date I do not know of anything the PA has done to give Israelis the confidence that they want to live in peace with us.
The time for our compromising is over. It is now time for the PA to realize that if they actually want to live in peace and provide their people with a decent life, they have to come to grips with the fact that Israel exists as a Jewish state and is here to stay, and they have to show by their actions that they, too, want to live in peace.
Livesaving curb
Sir, – Regarding your editorial “Regulating the health basket” (October 24): My husband is an insulin-dependent diabetic with very unstable blood glucose levels and suffers from hypoglycemic unawareness.
There is a small medical device that can monitor his blood glucose every 30 seconds.
It operates with bluetooth technology and is worn just as an insulin pump is worn.
The health basket has repeatedly denied my husband the use or purchase of this device.
Only recently has this device been allowed limited use by children. We are still unable to get it through our health fund.
My husband has had numerous emergency visits by MDA and visits via ambulance to emergency rooms. His condition is life-threatening.
Your editorial refers to “arbitrary decisions [of the Health Basket Committee] like excluding from the basket some of the latest most promising pharmaceutical innovations.” By sidetracking NIS 65 million for dental care, Deputy Health Minister Ya’acov Litzman has denied many people needed drugs and equipment.
The legislation to curb Litzman’s power would be a lifesaving measure not just for my husband but for many, many others in need of drugs and equipment to keep them well.
Tea and cake in Nablus of the 80s
Sir, – Yaakov Katz’s article “Quietly taking over” (October 22) reminded me of my visit to Nablus as director of BIPAC in the 80’s when I accompanied a top British journalist to Nablus.
We were to interview an outstanding Palestinian woman activist who had served eight years in an Israeli prison and a professor of note at the university.
The journalist was writing a column for The Sunday Times on life in the West Bank during Israel’s occupation.
We wandered freely both in the university and the shuk, finally arriving at the home of the aforementioned lady. We did not see soldiers with menacing guns pressed to their chest.
The atmosphere was calm.
The interview with N over tea and cakes was enlightening, since she said that the only way to peace and coexistence was through peaceful negotiation and compromise but not through violence.
The time spent in prison was for her a time for learning and contemplation. On returning home she had started a women’s organization for the wives and families of those imprisoned so that they could be better adjusted when they returned home.
So many years later we seem no nearer to what she and many of us had hoped for.
‘Borders Palestine on the north’?
Sir, – US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, referring to the Ahmadinejad visit to Lebanon, said, “When the Iranian president goes to Lebanon, and we know that they are supporting financially and in every other way Hizbullah, which is on the border of Israel and the border of the Palestinian areas [my emphasis], then that is a volatile situation” (“‘PM, PA Pres. want to be leaders who resolve conflict,’” October 15).
Interesting! In my many years of bringing Palestinian Media Watch material to the attention of Congress and the American public, one of my primary concerns has been the denial of Israel’s existence, to this very day, in Palestinian venues such as their media and schools.
When I read Clinton’s statement, it reminded me of one egregious example: a children’s crossword puzzle entry that asked for the “country bordering Palestine on the north.”
Lebanon was the correct answer (Al Ayaam, February 17, 2000).
Clinton should be more careful about what she may be subconsciously projecting will be the ultimate borders of “Palestine” – a de facto Arab state to replace, not just abut, Jewish Israel.
Palestinian puzzles, maps and rhetoric make clear this is their eventual goal.
JEFF DAUBE Director, Israel office Zionist Organization of America Jerusalem
‘Opportunity obstructed’
Sir, – Your story “‘No’ to UNRWA school ‘near Hamas base’” (online edition, October 22; headlined in the print edition “Israel rejects UNWRA plan for new Gaza schools ‘near Hamas facility’”) should have been headlined “‘No’ to UNRWA schools replacing former Hamas base.”
The Israeli authorities are denying UNRWA permission to build two schools in a heavily built-up residential area of Gaza City allegedly because the site of the proposed schools is next to a Hamas installation. This allegation by the Israeli authorities is completely false.
In fact there was a pre-Cast Lead Hamas base at the site in question (a former Palestinian Authority security base) which was completely destroyed by Israeli air strikes in Cast Lead.
When UNRWA subsequently, and with the support of the local community, made plans to build the two new schools and secured the site, Hamas removed the last makeshift shack they had established adjacent to the area.
There are over 5,000 children seeking an UNRWA education in the area of Gaza in question and because of the unavailability of land and building materials, there is not a single UNRWA school there. The destruction of the former security base presented an opportunity to build two new schools on the site of a former Hamas military facility.
What an extraordinary irony that this project is now being obstructed by Israeli officials.
Already 39,000 children in Gaza are being denied a United Nations education. With this regrettable episode, that number has now climbed to 44,000.
CHRIS GUNNESS UNRWA spokesman Jerusalem
It’s a sell-out
Sir, – A state may have no opinion other than that of its citizens. Members of Knesset are merely proxies whose responsibility it is to act on the wishes of the majority whose tax money they are elected to spend.
Hence, the spurious new bill to circumvent the Supreme Court’s ban on discriminatory handouts to kollel students (“Vote on controversial kollel stipend bill delayed,” October 24) is not only illegal; it is a patent lie when it declares: “The state sees a great importance in encouraging Torah study, which is a central value in the life of the Jewish people.
Therefore, we propose allowing a modest stipend for kollel students who have chosen to follow this path.”
The overwhelming majority of Israelis – especially those who pay taxes and serve in the IDF – are adamantly opposed to such stipends.
The basis of this nefarious legislation is purely the desire to hold on to power by selling out the public.
JJ GROSS Jerusalem
Is it good for the Christians?
Sir, – Regarding your report “‘Only Israel can uphold freedom of worship at J’lem’s Christian sites’” (October 24), severe persecution and lack of protection have resulted in the major drop in the Christian Arab population in the areas under PA control.
The recent conference at the Vatican tried to place the blame on the Israeli occupation (“Vatican synod calls for end to Israel’s ‘occupation,’” October 24), conveniently suppressing the hard facts on this persecution.
With the sharp drop in the Christian Arab population, positions at Christian holy places are being filled by Muslim Arabs.
What Drives Alfred Uhry?
What drives a production to use Vanessa Redgrave (outspoken enemy of Israel) to play the role of strongly-Jewish Miss Daisy? What drove Isa Goldberg and Alfred Uhry to omit commenting on this? What is driving a (probably heavily Jewish) audience to make this show one of the hardest tickets to get? CHARLOTTE SLOPAK GOLLER Jerusalem
Under the weather
Sir, – It is hard to complain about The Jerusalem Post because I like the paper very much. But I need to tell you that the subject we all talk most about nowadays is not discussed in it: The weather.
Veteran Israelis are used to the fact that summers here end in 50 days of alternating heatwaves and thunderstorms, after which they are followed seamlessly by hopefully wet winters. But this year, the waiting is not just for the rain. Where is our winter? Now, one could say that the problem with the weather is that it is largely unpredictable, that weather-wise experts greatly differ on what will be in a couple of months and that we can’t do anything about it anyway.
But that is all true for politics as well, and yet it has never stopped you from discussing that widely.