September 11: Suspicions in Netanya

In most of the world, it is almost impossible to get to a synagogue if one cannot go by car; hence, the copious car parks adjacent to these institutions, especially for elderly observers.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Suspicions in Netanya

It comes as no surprise to residents of Netanya that our mayor and some of her cronies are suspected of corruption (“Netanya mayor arrested in major corruption probe,” September 8). One only has to look at the monstrous, multi-storied apartment blocks being built inside the boundaries of the Winter Lake Nature Reserve.
It will be interesting to follow this investigation, but I am sure that in the end, it will come to nothing and the suspects will carry on laughing all the way to the bank.
Netanyahu a fraud
Regarding “Rare Israeli-Palestinian parley in Jericho” (September 8), I wonder just what Minister Without Portfolio Tzachi Hanegbi (Likud) thinks will happen with the further concessions we make to our enemies. No matter how many handshakes and false smiles there may be, they are enemies, and it looks now like Japan is also trying to get a foothold in our land.
How pleased this government is when someone, anyone, is prepared to smile at us and even shake our hand. That the delegations could explore ways to advance economic, industrial and agriculture issues that touch people’s lives is an “excellent basis for continued diplomatic contacts,” Hanegbi says.
Mr. Hanegbi, we have been there and done that, and one would hope that by now, it would be obvious that the economy is not the problem. The problem is that we, the Jewish people, exist on “their” land.
Turning Jericho into an economic pipeline for the production and export of Palestinian products to the larger Arab world, with Israel contributing $50 million and helping facilitate the construction of a new road to the Allenby Bridge border crossing – a Palestinian-only road – is just another step toward Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s goal of the twostate solution to which he has fully committed himself.
The thousands of deaths (and still counting) among our people at the hands of the enemies he continues to support seem to just wash over him. Netanyahu’s arrogance and lack of moral character leaves much to be desired, especially in light of the many promises he has made – and subsequently reneged on – to build the land for the Jewish people and never support a state for the Palestinians. He is a fraud.

Dubious distinction
Douglas Bloomfield cites Republican obstruction of the things Hillary Clinton would want to implement if elected as being the threat to her term of office (“GOP promises Hillary more gridlock,” Washington Watch, September 8). Respectfully, that isn’t the worst threat she might face.
It only takes a simple majority of those present and voting to impeach a president. The grounds for impeachment listed in the Constitution are “treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” The Constitution does not stipulate that these must have been done during the term of office. As a result, a Republican-controlled House of Representatives could decide to impeach Clinton for what she did as secretary of state or thereafter (e.g., violation of the Espionage Act, perjury or whatever).
Whether there would be a two thirds-majority of senators voting to convict is questionable, but if there were to be an impeachment, Hillary Rodham Clinton and William Jefferson Clinton would add another distinction to their record: Not only would they be the only husband and wife elected president of the United States, they would be the only couple to be impeached by the House of Representatives.

Petah Tikva
Kuttab dishonest
With regard to “Netanyahu, what would you have done if you were a Palestinian?” (Comment & Features, September 8), for many years, Daoud Kuttab has been a skillful propagandist for the Palestinian Arab cause.
But through it all, he has been fundamentally dishonest in his presentation of the historical picture, including the positions taken by the Palestinian leadership and people.
His claim that the Palestinians’ goal is to be “free like all people” contradicts the unrelenting message of hatred and rejection that the Jewish people and Israel have been presented with through the years by the Palestinian leadership and media. It is not Palestinian statehood that is sought, but rather the destruction of the Jewish state.
This rejectionism is the heart of the conflict and the major reason for the restrictions and difficulties Kuttab chronicles.
I did not know whether to laugh or cry when I read Daoud Kuttab’s piece.
Leaving aside the usual distortions, lies and half-truths – “holding 2.8 million Palestinians under the rule of the gun” and “preventing Palestinian refugees from exercising UN mandated rights,” to name but two – the answer to his question is very simple.
If I (and probably most Israeli Jews) were “Palestinian,” I would have accepted – in 1948, and certainly after 1967 – that Israel is here to stay, and sat down and come to a reasonable settlement of the conflict for the benefit of all concerned.
Inversion of history
In “Israel and imperialism: The big lie” (Comment & Features, September 7), Eli Kavon notes how Zionism is neither imperialist nor “white,” the ways it is portrayed by its detractors today. He calls for a struggle against this inversion of history. He is right because a series of big lies has been assembled to support it. For example, consider how Jews are regularly accused of having ethnically cleansed the land order to establish Israel.
The truth is that Palestinian Arabs were not displaced by Israel’s founding. Rather, Palestinian Arabs were displaced by the war they and their immediate neighbors chose to wage upon the Jews in order to prevent a Jewish state from emerging. That war stemmed not from Jewish attacks, anti-Arab racism or anything that Jews did or didn’t do; rather, it stemmed from Arab and Muslim supremacism that decreed that there could be no Jewish state of any dimensions.
Above all, land governed once by Muslims could not be yielded to non-Muslim sovereignty, regardless of the merits.
Virtually all Arab countries, during and after the emergence of Israel, depopulated their own societies of Jews through massacres, discriminatory legislation, confiscation of property and revocation of citizenship.
In this way, the Jewish population of the Arab world shrank from about 800,000 in 1948 to about 5,000 today.
Meanwhile, the Arabs of Israel have grown from the 160,000 who remained at the end of the first Arab-Israeli war, to the 1.5 million who are now citizens.
And the Israel bashers accuse Israel of ethnic cleansing!
New York
The writer is national president of the Zionist Organization of America.
Bible has no cars
Regarding reader Nachum Chernofsky’s letter about the Reform movement and driving on Shabbat (“From Reform dogma...” September 7), when the books referred to were written, there were no cars.
Even when the Sanhedrin last met, there were no cars.
In most of the world, it is almost impossible to get to a synagogue if one cannot go by car; hence, the copious car parks adjacent to these institutions, especially for elderly observers. Cut out these facilities and you cut attendance, as well as the work of rabbis and other synagogue employees.
The law of not riding on Shabbat is in reference to transport animals. In biblical times, they also needed a day of rest!
Tel Aviv