October 21: Readers respond to recent ‘Post’ opinion pieces

Maybe the sole reason for Palestinian frustration is the way they are treated by their own leaders.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Yossi Melman (“Suicidal uprising,” Intelligence File, October 16) suggests that the common denominator in the current wave of terrorism is what the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) has called a “zeitgeist.” His reasoning? “The prevailing mood among Palestinians is of desperation and frustration.”
He adds that there is “no hope that their situation and conditions will someday change and they will be free.”
There seems to be a jump in reasoning in explaining how adolescent Palestinian boys are motivated along the lines of ideology rather than what more readily appear to be such factors as personal self-doubts or anticipated images of heroism among peers and families, factors that seem to be so much more evident in the TV scenes of stone-throwing and retreating in the face of Israeli soldiers.
This is not to say that there are no issues between Israelis and Palestinians, but the point is to be clear about what is occurring and how it can easily be manipulated by propaganda.
How does a seasoned reporter like Yossi Melman come to the conclusion that all we have to do is make concessions to the Palestinians by leaving the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and destroying long-standing towns (otherwise known as settlements), and the Arabs will live in peace with us and no longer be frustrated with their lives?
Does he not remember the results of Oslo, our departures from Gaza and Lebanon, or any other concessions we have made? Can he find the State of Israel on a Palestinian map? Does he not read the Arab press, which says Haifa, Jaffa and Tel Aviv are “occupied”?
Maybe the sole reason for Palestinian frustration is the way they are treated by their own leaders. Where has all the money gone that they have received from governments around the world? Obviously, it did not go to building a nation state.
Amotz Asa-El’s “Great forgeries of our time” (Middle Israel, October 16) deals with the very heart of the Israel-Arab conflict, which is the propagation of lies.
Since the 1920s, when the conflict got under way, falsehood in its many forms has been used to stir up passions of the local Arab population. One of the lies that set the stage for generations of hatred and bloodshed was the warning by the grand mufti, in 1929, that the Jews were planning to take over the Temple Mount.
To show just how far-fetched this lie was at the time, the British Mandate authorities, answering Arab demands, prohibited Jews from putting up a partition made of cloth to separate men and women worshipers.
That’s how powerless the Jews were. And the lie is repeated today, with the same incendiary results.
Tragically, all the falsehoods are believed by most Arabs and Muslims. The gullibility extends to much of the Western world.
The results are always dreadful – mainly for the Arabs themselves.
As long as the falsehoods continue, any talk of peace is futile because untruthfulness banishes trust. In addition, the continuous incitement, based largely on lies, breeds ever more contempt, hatred and fury against the Jews, making any chance of reconciliation impossible for the foreseeable future.
All who call for peace must demand of all parties greater understanding of the meaning of truthfulness and adherence to all its principles. They must also demand an end to all incitement. Meanwhile, decent people should expose and condemn the falsehoods and racist incitement whenever they emerge. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his colleagues make this easy.
Regarding Ben Caspit’s “In the end it will all blow up” (Observations, October 16), the real status quo is the decision to defer any intellectually honest and defined discussion about why are we here. What is a Jewish state? Why does the Green Line change anything? Our national ambiguity about these issues is the direct cause of many of our problems.
While we might not all be able to agree, if we can respect one another at least when goals are defined, we can evaluate our actions by their results and refine future decisions.
At a time when so many of our soldiers and police are putting themselves in harm’s way, it was outrageous to see “Palestinians want hope, not just cycles of revenge” (October 11), and on the front page of the Comment & Features section, no less.
Hayat Al-Hakim is not happy with the “occupation” and wants it ended. He loves Hebron and the friendly people there who love and care for one another. The checkpoints make him feel as if he is living in an open prison and cause him to come late for class.
The people might be friendly and loving, but not toward Jews. In fact, in the entire article, there is no mention of Jews although a Jewish presence has existed in Hebron from time immemorial. Has Al-Hakim considered that if there were no violence or terrorism, there would not be a need for checkpoints? He writes of his brothers. The older one was out having fun and came home bloodied, beaten by soldiers. An unsubstantiated claim. Another brother was shot by a rubber bullet on his way home from school, as there had been clashes between Palestinian boys and soldiers. Was his brother a participant in the clashes? Then there is the claim that the first brother, described as “the most peaceful guy I know,” had his hands broken by the IDF. No suggestion of any wrong-doing. Maybe he is a peaceful guy at home. The Nazis were probably also nice guys at home, though around Jews they were sadistic and ruthless.
The Palestinians, the perpetrators of the current terror and violence, have a knack of portraying themselves as innocent victims. Al-Hakim presents himself and his brothers as victims of the occupation and victims of assault by the IDF.
The Jerusalem Post can make better use of its space, with priority given to items expressing support and appreciation for the men and women risking their lives in our defense.
Residents of the disputed territories should have an address to which they can turn with any complaints they have against IDF personnel, an equivalent to the ombudsman who handles civilian complaints against government departments.
If an accusation is found to be justified, the soldiers concerned should be suitably punished.
Such a complaints section might already exist, for all I am aware. The important thing is that a complaint should be submitted immediately, when the accused personnel can be easily located and identified, not decades later via a newspaper.
Yet one sentence in particular made me feel that the entire piece was suspect. Hayat Al-Hakim asserted that soldiers had beaten his brother until they broke his bones, saying: “I just gave him a hug and started crying.” No one who cares for another person hugs him if his bones are broken. It would just add to his physical pain.
The situation is grotesque.
You have a society of Morlocks attacking Israelis while the whole world of Eloi criticizes us for protecting ourselves.
In his novel The Time Machine, H.G. Wells did not have to write about year 802701. It is happening in 2015.