September 20: Settlements and rockets

The Palestinians say that talks cannot go on while Israel is building in the settlements.

Settlements and rockets
Sir, – The Palestinians say that talks cannot go on while Israel is building in the settlements (“On backdrop of protests, PA says no progress made in talks,” September 16). Netanyahu should say that the talks cannot go on while rockets are falling in Israel (“Two phosphorous shells fired from Gaza,” September 16).
If Abbas cannot stop the firing of the rockets, he will not able to deliver peace, either.DR. JOSEPH M. SCHWARCZ Omer
Not their fiefdom
Sir, – Regarding “Netanyahu and Barak join long list of Hanegbi proponents” (September 16), I simply can’t understand all these pols rushing to Tzahi Hanegbi’s defense, as if without him, the nation’s ship would go under! It’s high time these pols discovered that our land is not their personal fiefdom, and they can’t do as they wish.
Respect for all
Sir, – I agree with Mordechai Lipman that haredim who visit a rabbi’s grave in Uman should take the opportunity to also visit the memorial only a few kilometers away for 30,000 people, mostly Jews, murdered at Babi Yar (“Uman yes. So why not Babi Yar?,” Opinion, September 16).
But why is he reticent about, for example, non-haredi Jews visiting England who skip the site of the York massacre? Or who sit on Costa Del Sol’s beaches without traveling to memorials to victims of the Inquisition? He also singles out haredim for a lack of prayers commemorating the Holocaust. Actually, most of our prayers were not written by haredim. One might as well ask whether Lipman has written any prayers about the Holocaust.
Let’s put our own house in order before we blame others for not being more perfect than us.
Not much savings
Sir, – Unfortunately, your correspondent Cyril Atkins does not accurately reflect the reality of the effects of switching out of daylight saving time nearly two months early (“Myths of DST,” Letters, September 16).
The very large office complex where I work has been carefully designed to make maximum use of natural light, so that power is not wasted for lighting during daylight hours. Now, with the lapse of DST, every office has its lights on for an extra hour, which is costing thousands of shekels.
Some towns have introduced the sensible policy of switching down street lighting after midnight, and here again, the longer evening is costing them an hour of lighting. Multiply that across the country and you easily get to the millions we are told we’re wasting.
Mazkeret Batya
We’re on the map
Sir, – Ray Hanania’s column (“Palestinians have already recognized Israel,” Yalla Peace, September 15) raises an interesting point that may not be immediately obvious.
Hanania says that many Israelis refer to the unallocated territories as Judea and Samaria. This, he goes on to say, is an “...offensive term... equivalent to ‘Zionist state’ used by many Palestinians....’” I have a copy of The World Wide Atlas published in Edinburgh, Scotland, by W&AK Johnston in 1909. Page 51, a map of Asia, includes the Arabian peninsula as part of the Turkish Empire.
Page 61 is a map of Palestine, in which Judea and Samaria are clearly labeled and marked. Thus, their recognition is independent of any pro-Zionist propaganda.
The terms have historical validity.
I know of no atlas with a map called “Zionist State.”
I believe it is Hanania’s wish to be conciliatory and constructive.
He would do well to remember that in many instances it is not what you say, but how you say it, that is most likely to “win friends and influence people.”
Appearances count
Sir, – Alan Baker writes that Israel’s demand that the Palestinians recognize our country as a Jewish state is as meaningless as the Palestinians’ demand that we halt building in the territories (“Illusions and manipulations,” September 15). Well, right or wrong, we did halt the building for 10 months. Let the Palestinians say Israel is a Jewish state for 10 months! That would be a good beginning.
But can they deliver?
Sir, – Gil Troy (“Both Israelis and Palestinians should atone collectively,” Center Field, September 15) makes it sound as if the Palestinian Authority would surely apologize for its terrorist past if not for the barrier of embarrassment.
The leaders of the PA can never apologize for terror, for the same reason that Domino’s can never apologize for pizza. It’s what got them where they are today, they like it, and they don’t know how to do anything else.
Giving ‘Time’ a pass Sir, – Larry Derfner (“Why ‘Time’ magazine is not anti-Semitic,” Rattling the Cage, September 15) may have a valid point in his denial of anti-Semitism in the Time cover story, “Why Israel doesn’t care about peace.” However, what he fails to accept is the sensitivity we Jews legitimately still harbor toward criticism of Israel and Jewish topics in general.
It’s true that the Israeli public has achieved a certain degree of normalcy in pursuing comforts and consumerism inherent in a free-market economic environment, primarily as the result of a miraculous economic success story. Yet for a magazine with the reputation of Time to publish this type of negative assessment at this particular time shows a lack of understanding of Jewish feelings.
How can just a decade or so of relative normalcy compare to millennia of severe physical and spiritual persecution? Perhaps after a century or two of peace and prosperity, we Jews will feel secure enough to embrace this type of criticism without throwing conniptions.
Ganei Tikva
Sir, – Larry Derfner claims that Israeli materialism is a fact and that old ideas of early Zionism have now been replaced by modern economic realities. But the outrageous cover and the main thrust of the Time article – that Israelis love money more than peace – is the classic accusation used by anti- Semites throughout history.
At this crucial time, when Israel is being pressured to make more and more concessions, taking risks and endangering lives, Time throws more oil on the fire of world-wide anti-Jewish hypocrisy and distortion.
Sir, – The canard about Jews and money is one we are sensitive to, and for good reason. If the cover of Time had said “Why Israel doesn’t care about skin cancer,” and then shown Israelis lying on the beach, I assume most of us would not have had a problem.
Even the reporter who wrote the article claimed in an interview afterwards that he hadn’t been responsible for the cover, and said he might now have to move to Ramallah. As opposed to Derfner, he thus shows the sensitivity that was lacking at Time.
Ma’ale Adumim
Live opportunity
Sir, – The rising water level in Dead Sea Works Lake No. 5 (“Gov't scrambles to save Dead Sea hotels,” September 14) is caused by the accumulation of salt. Since table salt retails for NIS 1.83 per kilo ( or NIS 1,830 per ton), there would seem to be a valuable commodity going begging.
Apart from the cost of dredging, the salt would have to be processed. The Dead Sea Works, with its existing infrastructure, is the obvious body to do this, particularly as it is producing the salt. Otherwise, the problem could become an opportunity for some entrepreneur.
Beit Zayit