September 15: You too, Charles?

As a physician, Krauthammer should know that a body cannot function with only half its heart.

You too, Charles?
Sir, – If we had any doubts of the yawning gap between Israeli Jews and American Jews, look at what Charles Krauthammer wrote in “Your bid, Mr. Abbas” (September 13).
I have no idea where he thinks the “broad-based national consensus for giving back nearly all the West Bank” might lie. We gave up Gush Katif. We put almost 10,000 productive people out of their homes and destroyed their lives. Most of them still haven’t got permanent housing five years later.
We did, of course, get a war when Hamas moved in and started raining missiles on our heads.
The downpour has been reduced to a drizzle, but still hasn’t stopped.
Krauthammer describes the unbearable situation of setting our soldiers against our own population thusly: “Jewish soldiers pulled the settlers down off the roof tops. If Israel is offered a real peace the soldiers will do it again.” But having the awful experience still fresh in our minds, I think Israeli soldiers won’t do it again.
There are more than 289,000 people living out there who saw what happened to the citizens of Gush Katif. Who would expect these people to put their heads willingly into the noose? The result, God forbid, could be civil war.
And as a little throw-away line, Krauthammer says “...if Israel gives up its dream of a united Jerusalem....” As a physician, he should know that a body cannot function with only half its heart.
I guess nobody living abroad can see or understand our lives here. Et tu, Charles. How depressing.
Who wants peace?
Sir, – In response to “Jewish NGOs: ‘Time’ cover story ‘insidious’” (September 13), most Israelis would strongly reject the personal assessment of Time’s Karl Vick of their desire for peace.
Israelis have spent 62 years fighting for their survival and seen generation after generation of their children killed in this ongoing conflict.
Vick may think that the absence of suicide bombings has made this a “quiet” year. However, Palestinian Arabs have fired 120 rockets from Gaza at Israeli towns and cities in the first seven months. On a daily basis, Israeli civilians are being shot, stabbed or injured by rocks.
What Israelis are tired of is the fruitless peace process, where it is evident that there is no desire for peace from the other side. Not from a PA president who stated on September 6 that he is unwilling to make any compromises, and who wasted nine months of a settlement freeze looking for excuses not to start direct peace talks. Not from a PA president who allows streets and summer camps to be named after Arab terrorists, who controls the local media but allowed the official PA TV to broadcast to its children on August 25 that “all of Israel is occupied Palestine” and glorify, on July 11, love of death and martyrdom.
Not from a PA president who on August 18 honored the mastermind of the Munich massacre of Israeli Olympic athletes.
These are not the ways to convince Israelis that we have a partner for peace.
So much snake oil
Sir, – Regarding “Class-action suit approved that challenges Megagluflex ‘cartilage building’ claims” (September 13), despite many years of advertising its product for people suffering from osteoarthritis, the manufacturer has been unable to establish the validity of its claims.
How much more skeptical should the people of Israel be of claims made by the US, the Quartet, Saudi Arabia and those behind the Geneva initiative that the Palestinians are indeed interested in the pursuit of peace? Not only is there no evidence to support these claims, but there are very clear signs that point in the opposite direction. These include the murder of innocent civilians and continued incitement in classrooms and mosques, in addition to the proclaimed intention of leaving the peace talks if their preconditions are not met.
Buyer, beware!
Half empty or full?
Sir, – I confess to being somewhat confused regarding your September 13 headline “First indepth poll finds Spain isn’t more anti-Semitic than rest of Europe.”
Is this good news or bad news? Maybe it isn’t “news” at all!
Not their call
Sir, – I agree with Caroline Glick’s statement (“A Prayer for 5771,” September 8) that “by introducing the demand that the Arabs recognize Israel as the Jewish state, our leaders are only making matters worse [and] are suggesting that the Arabs have the power to grant or deny that which is not theirs to give or take away.”
Indeed, why should we ask anybody to recognize the Jewish character of our state, as it was already done in the UN Partition Plan for Palestine 63 years ago? Let our government and the Knesset simply vote and proclaim that the country’s new official name be The Jewish State of Israel!
A reader’s wisdom
Sir, – Regarding “New Year’s wisdom” (Editor’s Notes, September 8), I would like to add my own suggestions for our beleaguered prime minister.
1. If the Palestinians continue to demand a complete freeze in all settlement building, including in Jerusalem, he should say “Fine, so long as it’s mutual.” If they want to keep using settlements as an excuse, then they should at least stop their own expansionism.
Jews claim the land, too.
2. Stop trying to get the Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. They always have great excuses that sound rational to the outside observer. Rather, demand that they acknowledge the deep and long historical connection of the Jewish people to this land. This would be much harder to deny.
3. Regarding the right of return of millions of Palestinian refugees, the prime minister should simply point out the larger number of Jewish refugees who fled or were forced to flee from Arab lands at the same time.
End of story.
LARRY BIGIO Zichron Ya’akov
Readers know better
Sir, – In your September 13 editorial (“A message for Hamas”), you wrote: “In a disappointing, though not unexpected, turn of events, Hamas... wrested control...
[and] intensified the barrage of rockets and mortars.”
I have to ask: How many editorials did you write in support of the Gaza withdrawal? I know that many of your letter writers correctly predicted what would occur, even if your editorial board did not.
Hence, this is why many of your readers (and many Israelis) do not support further disengagements, despite your efforts to suggest that most do. They’ve learned twice from their mistakes.
Teachers first!
Sir, – I would like to applaud Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar for announcing a shift in curriculum in elementary and junior high schools that will also include uniforms (“Sa’ar touts instilling ‘Zionist, Jewish’ values in school curriculum,” September 6).
Toward the end of the last school year, a pre-teen boy with suspected ADHD was referred to me. During the course of testing and general conversation, he told me about a new “lottery” he and his friends were playing. They were trying to bet which of the teacher’s straps was really her underwear. He also mentioned that one can “learn” about anatomy by going up to the teacher’s desk and asking her a question, or by asking her to help you at your own desk. Of course, the warmer seasons are more revealing! So, thank you Minister Sa’ar, but I truly believe the uniforms need to begin from the “top down.”
Teachers first!
The writer is director of the Neuropsychology Unit at the Shaare Zedek Medical Center.