September 11: Swan song

What did Bayit Yehudi think was going to be the topic of discussion?

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Swan song
Sir, – With regard to “Settler leaders decry potential PA state with interim borders” (September 9), you report that according to Bayit Yehudi’s Uri Ariel, the party had “agreed to the negotiations; the issue was not the talks, but rather the topic of the conversation between the two sides.” Ariel then is quoted as saying: “We oppose the expulsion of Jews.”
Big mistake. What did Bayit Yehudi think was going to be the topic of discussion? Has Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu not made it clear enough that he is going along with US President Barack Obama’s vision for Israel, which is to relinquish our land to our enemies (of course, for the paternal reason of keeping us safe)? How can there not be the expulsion of Jews? That is exactly what “painful concessions” means.
The Arab world is in turmoil, yet we are negotiating a withdrawal to the “Auschwitz borders,” where we have no chance of survival. This has already been arranged between US Secretary of State John Kerry and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
Our swan song has already been prepared.
Dangerous era
Sir, – As noted by Barry Rubin (“A new era in the Middle East,” The Region, September 9), “55.5 percent of the Israeli people – and 63% of Israeli Jews – said they were against Israel agreeing to return to the 1967 lines....”
Taken together with several other recent op-eds and views expressed by writers suggesting that the much-vaunted “peace talks” will not culminate in the stated objectives, once again the lack of wisdom in preconditions, in particular the release of hard-core terrorists, comes into question.
Why did Israel agree to preconditions? Was Oslo not a sufficient demonstration of Israel’s sincerity? Were we to evaluate the commitments made during each of the previous eras of negotiation, the findings would clearly point to failures on the part of the Palestinians to meet the given objectives.
As for a new era, a revisit to Michael Widlanski’s Can Israel Survive a Palestinian State?, written in 1990, illustrates how there is nothing new in the arguments concerning the conflict.
The expectations were selfevident all along.
ALEX ROSE Ashkelon
Sir, – I am a long-standing follower of Barry Rubin and have almost always found his columns informative, lucid, to the- point, logical and well-reasoned.
However, this column leaves me feeling incredulous – all, but all, of Rubin’s momentous discoveries have been out there since Barack Obama began campaigning for the office he currently holds.
Having spent his most formative years in Indonesia immersed in Islam and studying the Koran; having been a congregationalist for 20 years in the church of Rev.
Jeremiah Wright, an avowed racist, anti-Semite and anti- American (“God damn America”); and having been a far-out leftist while at university, the elements that constitute Obama were in place for all to see. His actions as president were not difficult to predict or discern.
No, Mr. Rubin, you have discovered nothing new. I am very dismayed that someone as erudite as you thinks he has.RICHARD JACOBS Haifa
Lingua politica
Sir, – There are not too many people who can casually refer to Gustave Flaubert’s minor masterpiece on clichés, but Liat Collins is one of them (“Defining experience,” My Word, September 8).
She knows that clichés are the true language of politics.
A friend and I have been compiling a similar list for Americans, and we noted a few equally applicable to Israel: • Political coalitions – always cobbled together • Mayors – ebullient • Fighters – bare-knuckled • Scholars – distinguished• Sources – well-placed • Print – dying
• Heat – blistering, particularly when political in nature • Pundit – whoever is speaking.
HAROLD TICKTIN Shaker Heights, Ohio
Looking at Syria
Sir, – As we learned last week (“The more, the merrier,” September 3), there are now over eight million people living in our beautiful country.
As a citizen, I feel I can state for myself, and perhaps for the majority, that we are very concerned over the prospect that Syria, Iran and Hezbollah could be formulating an attack on us in the very near future. This amounts to living in a state of clear and present danger.
To Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu I ask: Please don’t let enemy states mount an attack on our country without you first informing and preparing us in advance.
The lessons learned from the Yom Kippur War, exactly 40 years ago, can and should be applied once again. Let us not underestimate the intentions of our enemies by downplaying their capabilities. Without sounding alarmist, a war on our northern border could very well develop into a confrontation of epic proportions between East and West.
Syrian President Bashar Assad said in an interview that attackers and their allies can “expect everything.” He didn’t rule out the use of chemical weapons on his part.
Mr. Prime Minister, why not simply take Assad at his word? To him the stakes are the same: Whether he is attacked now or a waiting game is played out, he is obviously not prepared to go down without trying to take some of us with him.
Remember one thing: Every battle is won before it is ever fought.HARRY MOSKOFF Beit Shemesh
Sir, – In the early 18th century, the consummate British politician Robert Walpole had for years been trying to avoid war by tolerating increasing Spanish naval harassment of British merchants.
However, in 1739 he was forced to declare war on Spain after a certain Capt.
Robert Jenkins turned up in Parliament with one of his ears in a bottle, torn off, he claimed, by Spanish coastguards.
The ensuing war was known as the War of Jenkin’s Ear. It precipitated Walpole’s downfall.
A year ago, during an election campaign, US President Barack Obama declared red lines beyond which he would not tolerate certain Syrian behavior.
Having shot his mouth off, he now needs to save another part of his anatomy. Are we about to enter the War of Obama’s Face?
Sir, – With regard to “At Syria vigil, Pope Francis calls for peace in the Mideast” (September 9), is it a coincidence, or is God speaking to us when Jews and Christians fast on the same day? The pope calls for peace and we mourn the death of Gedalia.
May this new year answer all our wishes for peace and give us safety.
Expat query
Sir, – I have been reading letters from immigrants to Israel boasting of their successes following two op-ed pieces that appeared in your Comment & Features pages – “Why I (still) haven’t made aliya” (August 15) and “Why I’m leaving Israel” (September 2).
I wonder if anyone can explain the vast number of native-born expatriate Israelis. I believe it’s close to a million, matching the million olim who have returned to their countries origin.
CORRECTION Due to an editing error, the letter “Nutty or not” (September 4) said that “the numerical value of the Hebrew word for nut equals that of the Hebrew word for good.” It should have said “the numerical value of the Hebrew word for sin equals that of the Hebrew word for good.”
The Letters Editor apologizes to the writer.