September 19: The real issues

When we turned Gaza over to Fatah, we got Hamas shooting rockets at Israel on a daily basis.

letters 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
letters 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The real issues
Sir, – Regarding “100,000 kids went to Hamas summer camps” (September 15), Israel is in big trouble. This major problem is not being addressed at the peace talks.
When we turned Gaza over to Fatah, we got Hamas shooting rockets at Israel on a daily basis.
Netanyahu has to say we will negotiate with Fatah when it makes peace with Hamas, because if he doesn’t we will end up with Hamas in my neighborhood of Abu Tor, as well as in east Jerusalem and every other part of the country we give away.
Let’s start dealing with the real issues.
Not much of a win
Sir, – Pro-Israel forces won a rather hollow victory in the UK when the Trade Union Congress voted to continue its boycott of Israeli goods made in the West Bank, but did not extend the campaign into a full boycott of Israel (“UK union to maintain partial boycott,” September 16).
More troubling perhaps even than the boycott call was the motion for the TUC General Council to work closely with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign to “actively encourage affiliates, employers and pension funds to disinvest from, and boycott the goods of, companies who profit from illegal settlements, the Occupation and construction of the Apartheid Wall.”
The fact that European boycott groups like the Palestine Solidarity Campaign have publicly allied themselves with Islamic organizations such as the IHH, the Turkish “humanitarian” relief group that organized the illfated flotilla and has ties to Islamic extremist organizations, including Hamas, should raise our collective antennas.
The “unholy alliance” between far-Left and extremist Muslim groups is a growing and disturbing phenomenon. The boycott movement in and of itself has had a marginal economic impact so far, but its ties to extremist Islamist groups has strategic and security implications.
The vote in the UK highlights the insidious nature of the BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions) movement and the challenges it poses.
The writer is senior director of European affairs and special projects at The Israel Project, an Israel advocacy group.
UN used it, too
Sir, – Does Ray Hanania (“Palestinians have already recognized Israel,” Yalla Peace, September 15) think Jewish history in Israel began in 1948? This is when the term “West Bank” came into use, replacing the long-used biblical terms Judea and Samaria, which date back to the times of the kings of Israel after David and Solomon.
Hanania is offended that “many Israelis do not recognize the West Bank as the West Bank at all.” Well, why would we? It is a modern term to describe, seemingly, anything on the west side of the Jordan River. The terms Judea and Samaria were used even in UN General Assembly Resolution 181 on the proposed Arab/Jewish partition plan.
Sir, – Ray Hanania may have accepted Israel, but no Arab leader has. Nor has any Arab political party.
Hamas, needless to say, does not recognize Israel, and PA spokesmen repeatedly assert they will never recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Which raises a question: How will they recognize Israel as a non-Jewish state, and what meaning will that have? To assert, as Hanania does, that recognizing Israel as a Jewish state is a new precondition is ridiculous. It is surely obvious that if Israel is not a Jewish state, it is pointless. Millions of Jews have immigrated to Israel precisely because it is a Jewish state.
Why else would we have left the fleshpots of Europe and America to move to a struggling little democracy surrounded by a sea of hostility?
Ma’aleh Adumim
ZOA: No more freeze
Sir, – Your report regarding the pressure being exerted on Israel to extend the 10-month freeze on Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria (“Settlers shift pressure from Netanyahu to Obama,” September 14) incorrectly claims that even those American Jewish groups that support these communities are not fighting that pressure aggressively and seem resigned to an extension of the freeze.
Insofar as the Zionist Organization of America is concerned, this is completely untrue. Already last week, the ZOA issued a press release that laid out in detail our unqualified opposition to any extension of the discriminatory freeze on construction by Jews and only Jews in Judea and Samaria on moral, legal, historical and strategic grounds.
The ZOA has been in contact with the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office, members of the Israeli cabinet and Knesset, as well as the Obama White House and the State Department, while also urging members of Congress to exert their influence on the Obama administration and Hillary Clinton’s State Department not to pressure Israel to extend the freeze on Jewish construction.
We urge Prime Minister Netanyahu to abide by the promise he gave on November 30, 2009, when he said, “This is a one-time decision and it is temporary... just as it says in the cabinet decision and as I have personally stressed in both closed and open forums. We will go back to building at the end of the freeze.”
New York
The writer is national president of the Zionist Organization of America
Political, and how
Sir, – Caroline Glick (“A Prayer for 5771,” September 8) is either naive or pretending to be when she states that the rally in Washington, DC, organized by Fox TV host Glenn Beck under the heading of “Restoring Honor” was “decidedly apolitical.”
With Sarah Palin as the keynote speaker and the implicit ideology of the radical right of the Republican Party, it is difficult to see it as anything other than what it was – a demonstration of the power of the “Tea Party” movement in the broad sense. Politics is not only about electoral parties, but about conceptions of society.
I also fail to see why the belief that America is, and presumably will be and should be for all time, “uniquely qualified to lead the world” should matter so deeply to a proud Jew, Israeli and Zionist such as Glick – so much so that President Obama’s dissent from this “American creed” is in and of itself viewed by her as proof of his apostasy. There are serious, upright and moral people who would see such a belief as tainted with arrogance, if not a sort of moral imperialism and quasi-messianism.
Easy way out
Sir, – The Palestinians are far more comfortable in the role of victim than they are in being nation builders. Being the number one victim in the world’s consciousness has rewarded them with billions in aid, much of which has been siphoned off by corrupt leaders. A school system in the so-called refugee camps (which are nothing more than subdivisions) are run by UNWRA, relieving the Palestinians of this administrative burden. A huge bonus is the constant attention by the UN, which spends its time reinforcing and supporting the Palestinian struggle.
Why would the Palestinian leadership give up all this attention and financial support for a small country that has no natural resources and would eternally trail Israel in almost every respect? The present Palestinian leadership’s ace in the hole for sabotaging a peace agreement is its insistence that Palestinians be allowed to live in the Israeli towns that their ancestors inhabited. This deal breaker will ensure no peace and preserve their victim status.
Rancho Mirage, California