May 28, 2018: Royal Reminder

From the royal wedding to the plights of the EU.

Letters 150 (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Letters 150
(photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Royal reminder
Regarding “Prince William’s trip to Israel set for June 25” (May 27), in order to maintain national self-respect and historic consistency, and given the risk of creating a diplomatic incident, the government of Israel should explain to the Royal Household that there are no “occupied Palestinian territories” for Prince William to visit. There are only Israel and the rest of the area given to Great Britain by the League of Nations in July 1922 as a mandate to establish a “national home for the Jewish People.”
The fact that Great Britain betrayed that trust, including closing the entrances to Palestine while millions of Jews were trapped in Europe, may be embarrassing and uncomfortable, but it remains a historical fact. The “Palestinian” people did not exist until the Palestinian Covenant of 1964. Until then, the Arabs here considered themselves to be living in southern Syria. The area was only “occupied” illegally by Jordan until the Six Day War when it was liberated by the internationally recognized legal owners.
One of the characteristics of the Jewish people is a long, historical memory. Sometimes it is incumbent upon us to remind others of facts that have defined us and our national behavior.
Dueling visions
The article (“ICC won’t hesitate to probe alleged Israeli war crimes,” May 23) describing the cynical move of the “pay-for-murder” PA urging the International Criminal Court to investigate Israeli “war crimes” calls for the truth. Israel’s actions to protect its citizens from genocidal mobs of Gazans demands that the world be reminded of Hamas’s stated aims:
“Israel, by virtue of its being Jewish and of having a Jewish population, defies Islam and the Muslims... Muslims will fight the Jews until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: ‘O Muslim! there is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him... I indeed wish to go to war for the sake of Allah! I will assault and kill, assault and kill, assault and kill.’”
How can the global press equate a people whose charter calls for murdering Jews with a people whose Declaration of Independence (see below) calls for peace with its neighbors?
“The State of Israel will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture... We extend our hand to all neighboring states and their peoples in an offer of peace and good neighborliness, and appeal to them to establish bonds of cooperation and mutual help with the sovereign Jewish people settled in its own land.”
Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar admitted that 50 of the 62 people killed were Hamas operatives. Hamas’s stated aim was “taking down the border with Israel” and “tearing out the hearts from their bodies.” They admit busing women and children to the border fence to put them in front of the crowd who wish to demolish the fence, as Hamas knows that our soldiers hesitate to attack women and children.
 Using civilians as a human shield is a war crime. Why does Israel not ask the International Criminal Court to indict the Palestinian Authority for War Crimes (and other terrorist crimes for which they incentivize their people with massive financial rewards)?
Let’s see some real action by our country and its leaders. Attack is the best form of defense!
No military solution
Regarding Elan Journo’s article “It’s past time to bury the Israeli-Palestinian peace process (May 27), while he is correct in arguing that Palestinian attitudes and actions make obtaining a resolution difficult, Israel needs a comprehensive, sustainable two-state resolution of the conflict to avert continued and possibly increased violence and diplomatic criticism; respond effectively to its economic, environmental, and other domestic problems; and remain both a Jewish and a democratic state.
This is also the opinion of many Israeli strategic experts, including all the living retired directors of Shin Bet, Israel’s General Security Service, as indicated in the Israeli Academy Award-nominated movie, The Gatekeepers.
Most Israeli security and military experts believe there is no military solution to the Israel/Palestinian conflict, so diplomacy must be stressed if Israel is to have a chance at a decent future. Israel should put a comprehensive peace agreement on the table that guarantees Israel’s security as much as possible. If the Palestinians then do not negotiate in good faith, this will show the world who the real obstacle to peace is, and this would be beneficial for Israel and, among other benefits, help young Jews who are being challenged on college campuses in the US.
Professor Emeritus,
College of Staten Island
1,000 hells
Regarding the editorial “Israel and the EU” (May 25), Minister Yuval Steinitz is quoted as saying “the EU can go to a thousand hells.”
I fully sympathize with the minister’s frustrations. From its very inception, the EU has been a bloated dysfunctional bureaucracy. From 1980 through 1995, I worked with many European bureaucrats whose only aspiration was a high-paying sinecure with the EU or EC.
The following is a simple example of this ossified bureaucracy. For more than 50 years there has been a committee working on a single standard electrical plug for the EU. As any experienced traveler can testify, one still needs a multiplicity of adapters needed to travel in Europe.
Just imagine how they handle more complex problems.
There may well be an understanding in many cases of friendship between countries that even if we call out our friends, we still have their best interests at heart.
Surely the point about Yuval Steinetz’s language about the European Union is that he, like myself, no longer believes the EU has Israel’s best interests at heart, whatever their protestations are to the contrary. Yes, trade is important to both parties, but then who would today say that Turkey’s President Erdogan has Israel’s best interests at heart – yet the trade continues.
When it comes to security co-operation between the EU and Israel, many regard the relationship as a bit one-sided, with Israel doing the giving the EU taking. With that in mind, Steinetz feels he can be more robust in responding to criticism of Israel’s handling of Gaza and for the EU’s continued support of the JCPOA with Iran despite the US termination.
Where has being diplomatic language gotten Israel in the past? The EU still funds NGOs that seek to boycott Israel and still funds a Palestinian Authority whose corruption is legendary and whose intransigence in the face of US President Donald Trump’s efforts for negotiation can only lead to further “nakba” for the Palestinians it is supposed to represent.
The gap between Israel and the EU in today’s world is widening – due to EU unwillingness or inability to change its views.
Tel Aviv
Israel bashing in the UK
With her close acquaintance of the media bias in the UK, Melanie Phillips got it right in “Going onto the front foot on the battleground of the mind” (May 26) with regard to the Israeli response to the latest demonstration of Israel bashing in the mainstream UK media.
Carrying on with her cricketing metaphor, we have to go after the bowler, using his spin to our advantage by disproving the fake news distributed by Hamas. Put the media on the back foot by pointing out their bias.
We need the courage of the leaders of UK Jewry to start adopting the same more aggressive stance shown lately in pursuing the antisemitism endemic today in the Labour party led by Jeremy Corbett, in speaking up for Israel, which under the guise of human rights and international law is being charged by the intelligentsia in the media and from the ivory towers of the universities as an oppressive colonialist power with no claim to its historic homeland.
Israeli representatives usually never get a fair chance to present their case on TV, and when they are allowed to do so, are usually confronted by aggressive interviewers, whereas the Palestinians get a free ride with very little challenging of their fake news. We need to present a united front, stressing our historical and legal rights to this small slither of territory, as well as the simple basic truth that there will never be peace until the Palestinians and their supporters agree to our right to self-determination in a Jewish state.
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Friday’s Magazine contained previously published puzzle pages. We regret the error.