November 25, 2019: Life after indictment

Readers of the Jerusalem Post have their say.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Life after indictment
Regarding “Netanyahu charged with bribery, fraud, breach of trust” (November 22), while a proud citizen of America and Memphis, Tennessee, I am also a proud Jew and ardent Zionist with a deep love and respect for our homeland, Israel, and offer the following suggestion to the members of Knesset and the leadership of Israel.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has served Israel and the Jewish people worldwide with great distinction, passion, wisdom, tenacity and an unbridled love. His economic, diplomatic and other accomplishments are too numerous to list; our standing in the international community – even with our Arab neighbors – has never been better. For this, there should be sincere gratitude shown to him by all of us.
However, it is now time for all political parties and their leadership, along with Netanyahu, to reach a compromise for the good of the State of Israel and Jews worldwide that shows democracy works.
I offer the following suggestion that I hope and pray will be enacted. The prime minister needs to step down in return for the Knesset voting for immunity for him. Blue and White, Likud, Yisrael Beytenu and others should then immediately form a unity government.
The winners in the above are the State of Israel and Jews worldwide!
Past chair, United Israel Appeal
This week the media and Israel’s judicial system has put Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on trial for wanting to remain as arguably Israel’s best prime minister. I’m certain that he’ll be found guilty – not that I think he is. If Israel had the jury system, his acquittal would be a foregone conclusion, but he has ruffled too many legal feathers to expect anything other than a jail sentence or a plea bargain to leave politics.
So Netanyahu, who has dragged Israel up from being an insignificant little country to one that can stand proud with the world’s best, has been charged with liking cigars and ice cream. OK, he’s not perfect, but who is? His imperfections pale into insignificance compared to the corruption of other MKs and what he could have carried out in his position.
Last week Sasha Baron Cohen claimed that social media, Facebook, Twitter, etc. now have much more propaganda power than Goebbels ever had, and their unelected CEOs have more power than many PMs. Israel is forever trying to be like all the other nations, and I think the modern unelected activist judiciary is a good (bad) example of this.
For me, Netanyahu’s indictment is a case of legality and justice being incompatible.
Legal by international law
“106 Democrats to Pompeo: Nix new settlement policy” (November 24), shows how very wrong 106 Democrats can be. There is no new settlement policy – only a legal opinion reached by a team of non-partisan international law experts who can no more nix their duly reached legal conclusion to please the Democrats than Newton could nix the law of gravity for them.
I appreciate the desperation of these Israel haters who find it easier to truck in terms like “illegal occupation” than to acknowledge reality, which makes it much harder for them to criticize/demonize Israel.
Kudos to the Trump administration, willing to proclaim the truth – almost alone in the world – knowing that this will expose them to attack from powerful anti-Israel and antisemitic forces in the US and around the world. Let’s hope this helps paves the way to a meaningful peace process based on reality, not lies,
Regarding “A grand gesture – for now” (November 22), Yaakov Katz’s analysis of the failure of two elections to produce a functioning coalition in the Knesset was spot on. However, I disagree with him regarding the importance of the US’s “settlements are not illegal” statement and on his putting the responsibility for resumption of negotiations on Israel.
It’s important for the world to be hearing the truth. Jordan’s illegal occupation of eastern Jerusalem, Judaea and Samaria didn’t create any Palestinian right to rule those areas. The Palestinians, themselves, admitted as much in the founding charter of the PLO (1964). Neither Jordan nor Egypt made any attempt to grant autonomy to the Palestinians between 1948 and 1967. Both Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas refused to negotiate on Israeli proposals for establishing the first-ever-to-exist Arab State of Palestine, even with the possibility of shared governance in parts of Jerusalem (2000, 2001 and 2008).
Relying on the consensus that it was illegal for Israelis to build on the disputed land, the Palestinian leaders have failed to develop the infrastructure needed for the creation of a viable state, have not prepared their people for peaceful co-existence with the Jewish state, and have continued to insist that Israel must take in millions of people (who claim descent from Arabs who fled Arab-initiated violence in the 1940s), even though those people have been raised in societies that highly honor and richly reward people for killing Jews.
What does Katz think Israel can do to change these things?
Atlanta, GA
In “Declarations don’t legalize the illegal” (November 23), I believe that Mr. Baskin does not want to be confused by the truth. For some reason he has completely discounted the San Remo Agreements of 1920. It was these agreements that established the “international law” regarding a homeland for the Jewish People.
Of course, the British, demonstrating their long-lasting hatred for the Jews, did their utmost to confuse the issue. However, the territory – including all of Israel, Jordan and more – was set aside for the Jews.
Judea and Samaria are all part of this territory, which is ours legally, under international law. Baskin’s declaration doesn’t illegalize the legal.
Kfar Aviv
In their November 21 articles, Gershon Baskin and Douglas Bloomfield make up facts to suit their arguments.
The settlements have always been legal. If the Ministry of Education had placed the Mandate For Palestine in the Israeli school curriculum, there would have been no arguments about whether the so-called “West Bank” belongs to the Jewish people or not.
In April 1920, the Middle East was divided at San Remo, giving Palestine to the Jewish people based on the Balfour declaration, a public statement issued by the British government in 1917 during the First World War announcing support for the establishment of a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine. The decisions of the San Remo Conference, accepted by the League of Nations, were later ratified by the United Nations in 1945. Not only does it state that the lands belong to the Jewish people, but that every possible help must be given to ensure that the Jews settle there.
Since then, Israel was prepared several times to accept a truncated state and give more land to the Arabs if they were willing to live in peace with us. Instead we got terror, wars and rockets. The UN made several vain attempts to divide the land in order to bring the two sides together, but no binding resolution was ever made to change the status of the land.
Jordan occupied Judea and Samaria illegally from 1948 to 1967 and we repossessed it when they joined in the war against us in that year to wipe us off the map. It is neither disputed nor occupied territory. It is sovereign Jewish land. There can be no dispute if it is legally ours and it cannot be occupied, as it belonged to no other country with sovereign title to that land.
This does not mean that the Arabs living there must become Israeli citizens or cannot be self-governing as an autonomy. They will simply have to give up the idea that the Israelis will disappear and the land will revert to Muslim rule. Those who refuse to accept this can move to the other state founded on Palestinian soil, called Jordan. The rest must learn to live side by side with Israel in peace.
May that time come soon.
Rishon LeZion
The present Palestinian leadership has shown us consistently since the Oslo Process that it is impossible for them to make peace with the Jewish state, Israel, in the reasonable future. After all this time, it makes no sense for Israel to continue to refrain from annexing Area C so that the Palestinians could one day have a viable state.
At this stage of history, I think the only reasonable peace plan is the formation of a group of separate Palestinian protectorates dependent on Israel as the protector. If the various entities separately make peace with Israel, then a closer connection to Israel, even annexation to Israel (which, I believe, the Palestinians would actually prefer), might be possible for them on a one-by-one basis.
It would not be “apartheid” because they are not Israeli citizens. They are hostile, virtually stateless Arabs living on Israeli land (yes, the land that used to be called “Palestine” in the Mandate period is now Israel, and Israel liberated the portion of the land that was under illegal foreign occupation when we were attacked in the 1967 war). Their deep hostility to Israel, which has been taught to them by their leadership, makes it impossible for Israel to absorb them as full citizens now. If they request Israeli citizenship as loyal citizens in the future, I believe their request should be considered in a positive light (there might be other considerations then that I can’t anticipate now).
The ideal outcome would be the original Zionist dream that the Arabs and Jews of Palestine would live together in peace in the State of Israel. Until then, Israel can offer them help toward that end.
Too compromised
Gil Troy’s passionate ode to compromise (“Pro-settlements, pro-peace and pro-Arabs in gov’t,” November 20) and his “craving for compromise” is the reason he wants Arabs in the next government. He of course takes a few swipes at Netanyahu’s “despicable-Arab bashing.” He is also even-handed by attacking Ahmad Tibi.
Compromise in this part of the world is a very dangerous and deadly idea to entertain. The Oslo Accords were a gigantic compromise that has cost us many lives. I don’t know if any other nation knowingly committed such a colossal and tragic compromise. We were promised peace and received war, we were assured tranquility and got terror. It was the folly of all follies.
Then we “compromised” again with the disastrous “Disengagement” from Gush Katif, from which we suffer to this very day.
Pray tell me how many compromises have the Arabs made in our 71-year history? Isn’t it high time they pick up the challenge of compromise? More to the point, what is their record on keeping agreements? Remember Arafat in the Johannesburg mosque? He made it abundantly clear that their commitments are made to be broken.
Troy’s history of 2019 is sorely lacking in the most basic facts of our lives here. His “compromise” compromises our safety and security here.
Troy writes that as a believer in “liberal democracy” he still counts heads 'because people count more than land.” That’s the old high-sounding moral statement that has been proven false time and time again. Ask yourself, “what land?” Why does our adversary want the land? Will it make it easier for him to attack us?
Just imagine if we had given the Golan to Syria.
Har Nof, Jerusalem
Merkel does Auschwitz
Regarding “Merkel to visit Auschwitz for first time,” November 24), am I the only one that finds it remarkable that only now in her 14th year as German chancellor is Angela Merkel for the first time visiting the site of the greatest barbaric happening in world history.
If she truly wished to show her administration’s empathy and openly acknowledge the stain that Hitler and his regime wrought on Germany, she would have made a visit to this most horror-ridden site early in her tenure.
It is no surprise that articles on the same page announcing Merkel’s visit gave unfortunate emphasis to the fact that antipathy to Israel and antisemitism are alive and well and living in Germany – and no doubt, regrettably, other European countries. Moreover, German political parties are celebrating the EU’s punitive branding of Israeli goods as Berlin denies that their UN ambassador is antisemitic amid intense criticism over his Israel comments.
The visit by Angela Merkel to a site that has such significant meaning to Jews and Israel may be part of an attempt to assuage overt criticism. Some may say better late than never. I say better never, unless such a visit is followed by true pro-active “never again” action.
Tel Aviv