September 28: More Olmert fallout

What would Begin would think of Olmert’s current advice to hand over control of the Holy Basin to international trusteeship?

More Olmert fallout
Sir, – A source close to Ehud Olmert says that according to the former prime minister, “There would be complete and unlimited access for all believers” under an international trusteeship for the Holy Basin (“Olmert urges ‘int’l trusteeship’ for Holy Basin, which would involve relinquishing sovereignty over Western Wall, Temple Mt.,” September 24).
Really? Once Israel gives up sovereignty, it will have no say in who can access the Kotel and Temple Mount. The only government to ever guarantee access to these sites is Israel’s.
We should say this loud and clear, and insist on our sovereignty at least for these reasons.
Sir, – Ehud Olmert’s recent autobiography, as well as his op-ed piece in your newspaper (“The terms of an accord,” September 24), suggest that despite facing several criminal charges, he has his sights set on a return to politics.
I cast my mind back to an encounter with him in 1982, when we were entering the Jerusalem apartment block where we both lived. When I inquired as to how he was, he replied: “How can I feel on this most tragic day in the history of Israel, with the forcible eviction of Jews from their homes in Yamit by the IDF, acting on instructions from prime minister Begin?” Olmert had, of course, voted against the withdrawal from Sinai.
Regarding his subsequent change of views, he went on record as saying: “I voted against Menahem Begin. I told him it was a historic mistake, how dangerous it would be, and so on and so on. Now I am sorry he is not alive for me to be able to publicly recognize his wisdom and my mistake. He was right and I was wrong. Thank God we pulled out of Sinai.”
My thoughts are what Begin would think of Olmert’s current advice to hand over control of the Holy Basin to international trusteeship, and to establish east Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state.
Sir, – Ehud Olmert’s op-ed piece is a reminder of why he is no longer prime minister. The voting public rejected his beliefs, identifying him as one who does not understand what a supermajority of Israelis now realizes: This land is part of the Jewish DNA.
TUVIA BRODIE Ma’aleh Adumim
Sir, – I find it incomprehensible that a paper like The Jerusalem Post gives a platform to Olmert. While innocent till proven guilty, this is a former prime minister whose moral integrity is questionable at best.
Olmert is on trial. He is responsible for Israel’s defeat in Lebanon. It was Olmert, like Ehud Barak when he was prime minister, who offered to give away virtually the entire State of Israel in return for a peace we would never have.
Shame on this paper!
IAN KEMP Nahariya
Sir, – I was dumbfounded to see the Post give front-page coverage in both the news section and the Frontlines section to a totally discredited former politician who has been indicted multiple times for fraud, financial irregularities, bribe taking, double/ triple billing, and various and sundry other crimes.
Olmert is desperately trying to divert attention from the ongoing trials and investigations by playing peacemaker. Why you see newsworthiness in his notso- recent embrace of a radical- Left agenda and the regurgitation of his recycled plans for Israeli unilateral capitulation to our Palestinian “peace-partners” is beyond me.
Sir, – One would have thought that an ex-prime minister who is fighting so many accusations of fraud would at least have the sense to keep a low profile.
He had his chance. If the PA was unwilling to accept all the goodies he was prepared to give away in exchange for peace, his latest proposition is unlikely to be greeted by the Palestinians with any enthusiasm.
In any case, the idea that we relinquish sovereignty over the Kotel is totally repugnant to anyone who has the slightest feeling for our history.
Shame on him for butting in when such delicate negotiations are going on. Shame on your paper for giving him the frontpage space to publicize his nonsense.
Not my leader
Sir, – What gives Gil Hoffman and Jonah Mandel the authority to decide who is the “leader of Sephardi Jewry worldwide?” Rabbi Ovadia Yosef’s opinions are valued by many, but he is the leader only of Shas and of some Sephardi haredim. He is not considered the “leader” by me or by any of my Sephardi family and friends.
Bring those Americans
Sir, – In your Succot Supplement there was an interview with Minister of Diaspora Affairs Yuli Edelstein (“The ‘national explainer’ explains,” September 22). One of the questions was whether he thought all American Jews should make aliya. His answer was that Israel has been good for him, and those who wish might try to see if it would be good for them.
His answer is not Zionist, which deems aliya to be a blessed, healthy necessity for Jews who, as a minority among nations, find frustration and tragedy in keeping their Jewish identity.
It seems that Israeli governments over the years have adopted Edelstein’s laissez-faire attitude toward American Jewish aliya. They have refrained from intensely campaigning for American Jews to return, and they have not planned or built the infrastructure necessary for mass American aliya. Perhaps the reason is a reluctance to create friction with the American Jewish establishment, which fears for its status.
The shameful statistic is that of five million US Jews, only 3,000 a year make aliya. An aliya of 100,000 a year would bring needed skills for our economy and democratic attitudes.
We must influence our establishment to wake up to this opportunity and necessity.
Ramat Gan
No one’s listening
Sir, – As a Jewish leader, Tzipi Livni (“Time for a new Jewish conversation,” September 22) must be heard. But is her message worth listening to? The news from the Diaspora, for many years, is that of rising intermarriage and rising anti-Semitism (in her so-called “vibrant communities”), and the vast majority of the world’s Jewish leadership has not addressed these issues with any great success.
Livni, when in power, failed to put these problems on her own agenda (and fails to do so now when in opposition).
Let her start with a New Year’s resolution on fairly easy issues: to back wholeheartedly those who have already made aliya, and to strengthen traditional Judaism.
Her platitudes are for naught and fall on deaf ears.

Nothing to lose
Sir, – Caroline B. Glick titled a recent column “Who Lost Turkey?” (September 21). The answer is no one.
Turkey was never a Western or secular country. Ataturk’s reforms did nothing to transform its true essence. Indeed, the 1955 Constantinople pogrom, the forced deportation of millions of Kurds and actions it took during its invasion of Cyprus in 1974 are just a few examples of what Turkey was and is. Genocide, ethnic cleansing and hostility to, and intolerance for, non-Muslims and non-Turks are hallmarks of Turkish history and the reasons why the Balkans and the Middle East, areas once dominated by the Ottoman Empire, are among the most troubled regions in the world.
No better current example of Turkey’s intolerance and hostility to others can be found than the Grey Wolves, its modern equivalent of the Black and Brown Shirts of WWII-era Italy and Germany.
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania