November 1, 2016: Amona questions

Where were the landowners when the government and communities announced their building plans?

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Amona questions
Regarding “A-G: I won’t block demolition of Amona if push to legalize advances” (October 31), I have what I believe are interesting questions regarding Amona and other such outposts and settlements.
Where were the landowners when the government and communities announced their building plans? Where have they been for all the years since then? When and how did they suddenly discover that they were the “rightful” owners of these lands? Is there no relevance to a statute of limitations on previously unclaimed lands? If these people truly own the land, they should have spoken up when the homes were being built. They should be grateful that the government is willing to compensate them for what might prove to be false claims.
Petah Tikva
The Attorney-General’s Office makes a legal-based announcement about its inability to defend the Amona bill, and cabinet ministers Uri Ariel and Ze’ev Elkin cry “extortion.” So what do they call Ariel’s recent announcement that if the bill doesn’t pass, his faction might not vote for the state budget? What do they call the Campaign to Save Amona’s warning that ministers will “pay with their seats” if the community is not legalized? Maybe I’m crazy, but such statements sound like extortion to me, and only because these people might not get their way.
This hypocrisy offers a new illustration of the age-old cliché “You can dish it out but you can’t take it.”
Hatzor Haglilit
Scary to watch
With regard to “FBI reopens Clinton email controversy” (October 30), the US election, which has been totally bizarre, takes another twist that could suggest to undecided or independent voters that Hillary Clinton in the White House would be a recipe for corruption.
Indeed, one could suspect that if there is evidence of criminality in the new emails, this would be a bombshell completely overshadowing any of Donald Trump’s shocking behavior, inaccuracies and lies.
Trump in the White House is, to my mind, unthinkable. Mrs.
Clinton, slightly less so – she, at least, has a history of 30 years of public service. He has none.
As has been said so often, people get the leaders they deserve. However, I cannot believe that anybody deserves Trump.
If the campaign were not so fraught with what can, at best, be termed disgusting campaign rhetoric from both sides, it might be fun to watch. With these two flawed of candidates, it is just scary.
Between them, the four US parties with presidential candidates on the ballot haven’t managed to select anyone who has any chance of being an effective leader, regardless of the issue.
The question then is whether there is an intelligent way for Americans to vote. The answer lies in the elections for Congress.
Democrats will support Hillary Clinton, whatever she does, while significant numbers of Republicans are on record as being opposed to much of what Donald Trump stands for. This means, unambiguously, that voting Republican in congressional races is the intelligent choice: A Republican Congress would act as a check on Clinton or Trump, while a Democratic Congress would only check Trump.
Getting the checks and balances back into the system is essential for the success of American democracy.
Framingham, Massachusetts
On pages 18 and 19 of your October 30 issue, four of the six opinion pieces are devoted to a torrent of criticism of Donald Trump, and the fifth warns us that the “safer choice” (i.e., Hillary Clinton) has problems of her own.
A quick look at the sources for each one shows The New York Times. Can you explain what appears to be a total commitment to one biased source when there would seem to be many other possibilities to correct this imbalance? As a recent oleh from the New York area, it’s a painful reminder why I canceled our decades-old subscription to the Times several years before making aliya.
Russian support
Caroline B. Glick’s “Checking Obama” (Column One, October 28) correctly calls for Israel to practice realpolitik to gain Vladimir Putin’s support for Israeli interests on the UN Security Council. But she omits how Israel’s large and mostly unexploited natural gas resources could be the decisive chip in such a bargain.
Putin has made several brief visits to Israel to discuss the development and distribution of the gas. He is manifestly interested in ensuring that it does not outflank his own country’s monopoly of natural gas supplies to Europe, just as he has committed troops to ensure that Qatari gas does not cross Syria to challenge this monopoly.
To accommodate Putin’s strategic needs, Israel will need to pledge its focus for now on the internal use of its gas resources to gain the Russian vote.
Need radical stance
With regard to “Netanyahu recalls envoy to UNESCO for ‘consultations’” (October 27), we, the Jewish people, in our wisdom, initiated many things.
For one, monotheism. We were copied by the Christians and subsequently by Islam. Some religions adopted our 10 Commandments and even used this as the basis for their legal system.
(Islam did not. Pity.) Even though these are undisputed facts in the eyes of many in this world, at every turn we are vilified and denied the right to our existence as a nation.
To this very day, our “Palestinian” adversaries claim everything and echo our proclamations on almost every thought we espouse. Check this in all the recent history of the Jews and Muslims. There are numerous examples reported by the press, almost on a daily basis. The main example now is the Temple Mount, giving it an Arabic title.
It seems that in order to solve the stalemate that has resulted, a very radical stance is needed to finalize the issue.
Tel Aviv
Two-state catastrophe
The United States and many other nations are obsessed with imposing a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The phrase “two-state solution” appears so frequently in Israeli and foreign newspapers that a specific reference is not needed.
It envisions two states living side by side in harmony and mutual cooperation.
In case anyone missed it, there already exists rock-hard experimental evidence that shows the likely outcome of such a solution.
It is called Gaza. The evidence includes three wars, continued rocket attacks by Hamas, tunnels being dug right under our noses, and surely more to come.
In the case of Hamas, we know exactly where we stand, yet many think that the case of the West Bank is entirely different and, as such, is amenable to a two-state solution. One has only to look at the actions and words of the Palestinian Authority’s upper echelon to realize the folly of such a notion. Their constant condemnation of Israel in venues such as the UN, their praise of attacks on Israeli civilians by “martyrs” and their unwillingness to negotiate even when most of the West Bank is offered to them are just a few examples.
It will require a monumental change of attitude by the PA and its constituency for a fair and balanced two-state solution to have an even remote chance of success. Until then, a better name for such an experiment is “two-state catastrophe.”
Tel Aviv