March 18, 2018: Douglas to Schumer

Bach, Arab Israelis and Entebbe.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Bloomfield on Schumer
Douglas Bloomfield’s contention (“Schumer is wrong about settlements,” Washington Watch, March 15) makes sense only if you assume, as Mr. Bloomfield appears to do, that peace is synonymous with a fully independent Palestinian Arab state.
Apparently, it isn’t an assumption that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shares. It certainly wasn’t an assumption that prime ministers Menachem Begin or even Yitzhak Rabin shared.
And is it shocking if US Sen. Chuck Schumer, too, suspects that an independent Arab state in Palestine would endanger Israel? Mr. Bloomfield might be tired of hearing that the settlements are a defensive asset. “Ancient history,” he says. But the call for an Arab state from the river to the sea is not ancient history; it is daily news.
Even though I completely disagree with Douglas Bloomfield’s contention about settlements, I’ll address only two points I believe he must substantiate. If he can’t, why should anyone believe what he writes? Point One: “Most American Jews don’t share [Senate Minority Leader Chuck] Schumer’s enthusiasm for settlements....” There are roughly 6 million Jews in the United States. How did he arrive at “most”? He spoke to 3 million-plus Jews? If he got this figure from some publication, how was this “research” conducted? Point Two: “A majority of American and Israeli Jews oppose annexation....” There are roughly 12.5 million Jews in America and Israel combined.
Same question. More than 6 million Jews oppose annexation? I challenge him to substantiate his “findings.”
I believe this is part of the false, or “fake,” narrative that Mr. Bloomfield and others on the Left are attempting to perpetuate in an effort to push their agenda. He hasn’t presented any facts – only unsubstantiated gut feelings.
This is not credible journalism.
Tzur Hadassah
Not all were right-wingers
I usually ignore whatever Gershon Baskin writes because I don’t want to waste my reading time. But “In Maryland, taking on AIPAC” (Encountering Peace, March 15) made me glance at the column long enough to laugh out loud at his characterization of the conference as having been “taken over” by right-wing Jewish voters who “swallowed with drunken pleasure the redesign of the Middle East....”
My two granddaughters, in their mid-twenties, were there. Both were avid supporters of Hillary Clinton – and one thoroughly detests President Donald Trump. But they are both passionate Zionists! And AIPAC members! They and their friends are the future of AIPAC, not Mr. Baskin.
The 18,000 pro-Israel activists at the recent AIPAC conference mentioned by Larry Snider, president of the Interfaith Community for Middle East Peace, in “The good, the bad and the PM” (Comment & Features, March 11) no doubt were also impressed by our achievements, as so eloquently expressed by Mr.
Showmanship himself, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. No doubt they enjoy a good show, and that’s exactly what they got.
However, this is not bringing us the security and peace we need and deserve.
Snider writes of the “seeds of peace that must be both planted in their season and harvested in the future by two peoples who each have an investment in something better” and who should be “finding and underlining things that two peoples have in common, to begin a conversation that enunciates two histories that carries both sides forward to a better more convivial place.”
These are just the same platitudes that are rehashed over and over. We have no obligation to invest in a future for our enemies – and certainly not in the Jewish land. Rather, we have an obligation and, indeed, a duty to clear the land from the illegal occupation by our enemies.
(Call them what you will, but they remain our enemies.) What we should be talking about is how to take back what has already been surrendered, as only when the whole land is returned to its rightful owners, living according to the laws and commandments as handed down to us at Sinai, will there be peace and security.
The ‘return’ of Bach
I see from your newspaper that “Bach is back” (Arts & Entertainment, March 15). As a music lover, I ask: Did he ever go away?
Don’t give them a platform
Before José Padilha felt the need to tell the hijackers’ stories in 7 Days in Entebbe (“‘7 Days in Entebbe’ plays down Israeli heroism,” February 21), perhaps he should have visited the monument to the victims of Flight 93 near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. All the information about these 9/11 hijackers consists of their names, the country on their passports and their seat numbers. We learn nothing else about them and they are not counted among the dead. Nor should they be.
I have read everything I can about the Entebbe operation. I’ve read accounts by soldiers, politicians and hostages. I know the logistics, the politics and the negotiations. I’ve even met a few of the commandos. About the terrorists, all I know is there were four on the plane and four more waiting for them in Uganda. I care to know nothing more.
When you begin to terrorize people, you lose the right to tell your side of the story. To tell the terrorists’ side is to give them exactly what they seek – a platform. If you give them this platform, you are nothing more than an enabler.
Houston, we have a problem
On a recent ski holiday in the French Alps, I was astonished to find that “Jerusalem,” a lovely run in the Three Valleys, had been downgraded from a red (intermediate slope) to a blue (beginner slope). Since the French Foreign Ministry refused to comment, I do not know if there was a political motive behind the change.
I noted another status change with definite political implications.
While strolling down a narrow path among some of the world’s most beautiful scenery, I came across a trio of well-dressed young women. I stopped to let them take some photos.
They spoke good English and we exchanged the usual polite tourist remarks.
I asked where they were from. Palestine, they replied.
This was a welcome opportunity to speak to a Palestinian. They were obviously middle-class, educated and able to afford an expensive holiday.
They didn’t seem to be suffering too much. From where specifically, I asked, not yet revealing that we were neighbors. Ramallah? Perhaps Jenin? No, they were from Akka.
For a moment, I was confused. Then I realized they meant Acre, which I had always believed to be in Israel. At this point, I switched to Hebrew and said I was from Rehovot. They replied, in English, that they had never heard of Rehovot.
Three young women, born, educated and living in Israel, saw no problem in telling a complete stranger they thought was an Englishman that they came from Akka, in Palestine. Acre.
Not somewhere in the West Bank, not disputed territory, not a settlement, but the heart of Israel proper.
There was no point in any further conversation.
I wished them a good day and continued my stroll, but Houston, if these women truly represent Israeli Arab thinking, we have a big problem.