September 1: What are the limits?

By participating in the flotilla in May, Zoabi made it clear that her pledge of loyalty to Israel means nothing.

What are the limits?
Sir, – I read Rebecca Anna Stoil’s report, “Zoabi: Try PM, Barak in international court” (August 31) with great interest. What are the limits of politicians’ professional ethics? MK Zoabi is traveling to Amman to testify before the UN Human Rights Commission against the prime minister of the country where she serves in the parliament.
If she has determined that there was unethical or criminal behavior on the part of Israel’s top political and military leadership, then she should petition the Supreme Court or use the legal system in Israel.
By participating in the flotilla in May, she made it clear that her pledge of loyalty to Israel, taken prior to assuming her seat in the Knesset, means nothing. Now, again, she demonstrates she is working as hard as possible to undermine the country by seeking “justice” outside of Israel.
Ariel: Under the terms of the Mandate
Sir, – I must take issue with your correspondent, Leonard Zurakov (“Not just ‘lamed-vav,’” Letters, August 31), when he says that until the Palestinians agree that Ariel, etc., should be given to Israel, we have no right to be there.
For his and it seems many other people’s information, the land on which Ariel is constructed – along with the rest of Judea and Samaria and, indeed, what is now called Jordan – was given to the Jews to form part of a Jewish Homeland under the terms of the 1922 Mandate for Palestine. This was ratified when the United Nations was set up after WWII. The Arabs rejected partition of what was then left of Mandatory Palestine in 1947, when it was to offered them.
This seems to be the problem: the failure by the left in general, and those artists mounting the boycott in particular – who seemingly have a conscience about Ariel but not Tel Aviv (which the Arabs claim as being no less Arab land than is Ariel) – to acknowledge that Israel has a legal, historical and moral claim to the whole of Judea and Samaria.
Accordingly, the construction of the town of Ariel among other towns in Judea and Samaria was well within Israel’s rights, since the land it covers never legitimately formed part of any Arab state.
Therefore, if in the interests of fulfilling conditions for a peace treaty with the Arabs, the government of the day decides (rightly or wrongly) to accept that there should be an independent Arab entity of some sort in some parts of Judea and Samaria, it will be because the Israelis, and not the Arabs, have ceded (whether permanently or temporarily) their legitimate claim to those lands, not the other way around.
NORMAN COHEN Ma’aleh Adumim
Nay to knives
Sir, – The new legislation to extend police authority to conduct body searches (“Bill would extend police’s powers to search people,” August 30) is one of the biggest steps to fight violent crime committed with prohibited dangerous knives.
For years the police have been unable to enforce the law and prevent tens of thousands of dangerous knives from being carried around, knives which have resulted in hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries. It is a serious crime just to carry a dangerous knife.
The police are here to protect the public. The Public Defenders Office, however, is apparently here to protect the constitutional rights of the transgressors who illegally carry prohibited knives and do the killing.
Islam and individual rights
Sir, – Justin Martin (“Private Islam, public protection,” August 30) cannot ignore the reality of Muslim intolerance in the Muslim world and, at the same time, insist that the rights of Muslims should be protected in the West and in democracies.
An individual Muslim in America cannot argue that his ways must be tolerated, and his mosques built anywhere, regardless of the contradictions between American freedom and Muslim repression in the world at large.
Democracy does not mean that anything goes in individual behavior.
We have the precedents of American law interfering with Mormon polygamy, Christian Science withholding medical treatment from children, and the use of snakes in religious ritual.
We are a nation of law, not individual whim. We decide to have chaplains in the army, and we decide who and what is a legitimate religion and what is a harmful cult.
Dress is under legal restraint even in a democracy. Nudity is not tolerated.
Complete covering of the face interferes with law enforcement and may be regulated.
Even democratic societies have the right to protect their cultural and value heritage.
Sir, – Unlike Justin Martin, I and many others fully support the duty of the government to intervene to prevent the abuse of religious rights to damage the rights and religious feelings of others.
In the year 2000 an incident with parallels to the Ground Zero mosque issue took place in the largely Moslem city of Nazareth, where stands the Church of the Annunciation. The Moslems of Nazareth demanded that they be allowed to build a mosque right next to the Church of the Annunciation.
The Israeli government refused to issue the permits, and Israeli Arab Moslems held demonstrations, riots, went to court, and complained right and left about how their religious rights were being violated.
Finally, after almost two years of controversy, the Israeli government issued a permanent and final injunction against the building of any Moslem religious site anywhere near the church.
My courteous word
Sir, – I am truly impressed with the British ladylike gentility of Liat Collins in commenting on the columnist Taki and his views of Israel in particular and Jews in general (My word, August 30).
Unlike Ms. Collins, I am not a British lady, but an old US Navy “tin can” sailor, and so I had better remain silent as to my real feelings regarding “Tacky.”
DAVID STAR Ma’aleh Adumim
People, not land
Sir, – Herb Keinon continues his adept reporting on the run-up to the relaunch of direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations (“PM won’t discuss construction freeze before negotiations,” August 29).
The fact that both sides are focused on land will likely be the killer in the negotiations. The Palestinians seem to have timed their acquiescence to direct talks (with a little help from their friends) for September, expecting that Israel will give them the excuse to scuttle the talks the moment it announces any building anywhere beyond the green line – yes, even in the neighborhoods of Jerusalem already mostly populated with Jews.
The best way to redirect this Palestinian-planned traffic accident and all the international blame that will be directed at Israel is to actively engage a new paradigm – not one of land, but of people.
No one has shown conclusively that contiguity cannot be constructed for both sides in creative ways without uprooting people.
At the same time, the discussion also can move to other important people issues: agricultural rights, water, subterranean mineral rights, energy projects – all affecting people, not whether either side obtains a square kilometer more or less.
Save our daughter
Regarding “Live-organ donation compensation law finally in effect” (Health Scan, August 29), we have a 39-year-old daughter who has been kept alive by dialysis for the past two-and-a-half years and who desperately needs a kidney.
Unfortunately, close family members are unable to donate, and we recently learned that because of high antibodies she has a very slim chance of receiving a kidney from a non-living donor.
We need someone with a blood type O, aged between 25 to 55, who is in good health and willing to save our daughter’s life by donating a kidney.
We appreciate the recent decision of the Knesset whereby live organ donors receive full financial remuneration and support.
If a reader can help save our daughter, please e-mail kidneydonor4tp@
Beit Shemesh