October 28, 2015: The Op-ed by Ronald S. Lauder

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Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
 In “Israel’s chance to forge a two-state peace amid terrorism” (Comment & Features, October 25), Ronald S. Lauder writes about two prosperous and democratic states living side by side – Israel and a state of Palestine, which would give the people of Israel security.
Since the signing of the misguided Oslo Accords, events have shown us that any Palestinian state would most likely be a failed, totalitarian state relying on handouts from western countries. Our security can only be guaranteed by a firm governmental policy that gives our police and soldiers unprecedented permission to do whatever is necessary to deliver this security to the people of Israel, notwithstanding the directives of the UN, the US or European countries.
In addition, another million or so immigrants from the 100 countries that Mr. Lauder represents as president of the World Jewish Congress would add tremendously to the security of the State of Israel, not to mention their own personal security in a world that has become increasingly dangerous for Jews in the Diaspora.
It is distressing that someone with Ronald S. Lauder’s proven record of support for Israel relies on wishful thinking. Lauder says a “re-empowered Abbas” must demonstrate the courage of which he is capable. How is Abbas to be “re-empowered,” and when has he ever demonstrated courage in reaching accommodation with Israel? Even if he were personally committed to peaceful reconciliation, the PA president lacks the capacity to bind his entire people to a lasting agreement. He has concluded that the only way to retain his dwindling grip on power is to demonstrate ever more stridently (and dishonestly) his disdain for Israel and Jews.
Lauder wants to “avoid laying blame for what has caused the recent outbreak of violence,” citing “lone, disaffected Palestinians who are taking matters into their own hands.” He calls on Abbas “to rein in the extremists who are flaming [sic] the fire of violence.” Does he not recognize that Abbas himself has been the chief inciter, inspiring to violence those Palestinians who might have remained peaceful had it not been for his blatant lies? Asking Abbas to rein in the extremists gives him an undeserved free pass. It evinces an unwillingness to hold him accountable for his actions.
Lauder asserts that the billions of dollars Iran will gain from the nuclear agreement with the western powers is a threat to both Israel and “peace-seeking Palestinians.” In fact, the certain increase in Iranian-backed terrorism and the nearby chaos in Syria, Lebanon and elsewhere argue strongly against a hasty agreement. Gaza demonstrates the likelihood that an independent Palestinian state would become a launching pad for terror attacks against Israel’s major population centers.
Finally, Lauder lists the outstanding issues between the two parties. He fails to mention the most basic impediment to meaningful negotiations – the Palestinians’ adamant refusal to accept the right of the Jewish state to exist in peace. This is not a dispute over borders, settlements or the status of Jerusalem; it is a war for Israel’s very existence.
Only when the Palestinians wholeheartedly acknowledge the reality of Israel – not just a dry, written statement forced on Abbas from the outside – can we move toward real peace.
Zichron Ya’acov
As I read Ronald S. Lauder’s op-ed, I found myself asking the question that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu once asked when responding to a BBC reporter’s inane question: Are we living on the same planet? Lauder states that he does not want to lay blame on the causes of the violence, and then goes on to ignore them. I am bewildered by this appeal presented by the leader of the World Jewish Congress due both to its presumption that our government is responsible for not achieving peace, and for its request that we commit national suicide by giving away our most valuable national asset: our land.
It is time for leaders of the Jewish community in the Diaspora to show some real responsibility and desist from promoting this two-state nonsense.
Tel Aviv
I read Ronald S. Lauder’s op-ed in the hope of hearing something new, novel, creative and compelling, but was profoundly disappointed.Mr. Lauder repeats the stuff we’ve heard a thousand times over the years. A sampling:
• “What we demand is that the parties themselves come together to move the process forward.” Doesn’t he know that there is no process?
• “I call on President Abbas to rein in the extremists who are flaming the fire of violence.” Yet Abbas is the flame himself.
• “I urge [Abbas] to declare that he will recognize the Jewish state of Israel, accepting its existence alongside a state for his own people.”
Quite an original thought. How many more times must the Holocaust-denying figurehead and glorifier of terrorists be urged to do that? Lauder’s whole piece is a flight from reality, an inability or unwillingness to come face to face with the truth. The issues that divide us are not borders, settlements, the right of return or the status of Jerusalem.
Muslims hate and kill fellow Muslims who are not of their persuasion. They hate the “infidel” Jews even more. It all started a long time ago, before the so-called matters of dispute mentioned above.
I once asked Bernard Lewis, a recognized authority on Islam, why it was that people just don’t get it. I told him that if our political leaders would read his books, they would learn the truth. He responded in Hebrew by saying: “They have eyes and they see not, they have ears and they hear not.”
It is beneath the dignity of Israel to beg a sworn enemy to recognize or talk to it. We just have to be strong.
It annoys me when opinion pieces that are badly researched and clearly inaccurate appear in The Jerusalem Post. Since when has Ronald S. Lauder been an expert on politics and Israeli political issues? With all due respect to Lauder’s amazing and vital support throughout the years, this hardly makes him an expert on the current violence caused by religious incitement and, of course, social networks. Whoever is writing his articles has obviously never read any pieces by Palestinian journalists like Bassem Tawil and others whose work is based on knowledge and not wishful thinking.
It’s a great pity that a leading newspaper like The Jerusalem Post doesn’t utilize the talents of these Palestinian journalists, whose expertise and knowledge of the situation are far more accurate than those of so-called experts who might be Jewish leaders but have little understanding of the reality on the ground.
Ramat Gan
Ronald S. Lauder boldly states: “Rather than lay blame for what has caused this recent outbreak of violence, I am keenly focused on where we go from here.” This is another way of saying: “I don’t know or care what caused the problem, but I do know the solution.”
Beit Shemesh
Ronald S. Lauder has a point regarding one thing: “As history has shown, simply wanting peace is not enough; peace must be actively sought.” It is important for our leaders to never give up, no matter what the Palestinians do. At the very least, it looks a lot better than just saying no.