November 8: When losers win

Whenever did losers set the conditions for a peaceful end to hostilities?

letters 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
letters 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
When losers win
Sir, – I am confused. Your lead headline on November 5 says “PA gives US 2 more weeks to get direct talks restarted.” I seem to remember that the UN suggested that British-mandated Palestine be divided into an Arab and a Jewish state, and that the surrounding Arab nations, with the full agreement of the local Arab population, refused.
Now, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and the PLO have the chutzpah to dictate terms. They expect the nations of the world to impose on the State of Israel what they tried to achieve and could not by wars and terror.
It is odd that Israel is looked upon as the one that is intransigent and the one that should make concessions, while the Arabs refuse to retreat from any of their demands without any negotiations. They are demanding that America and others impose a solution to the problem without the Palestinians having to make a single concession or feign even the semblance of negotiations.
Whenever did losers set the conditions for a peaceful end to hostilities?
Beit Shemesh
Facts are important
Sir, – Referring to the possibility of compromise with the Arabs involving the lease of land from a future Palestinian state, Caroline B. Glick, in “We are not for sale” (Column One, November 5), says “given the depth of Arab hatred of Jews, in all likelihood, it will remain the case in 40 years and in 99 years.” This pessimistic prophesy seems to conflict directly with an article in the same issue by Yaakov Katz (“PA more interested in economy than violence, IDF general says”).
The contrast is startling. Glick is speculating and guessing about the future, while the general is relating to facts on the ground as they appear today. The job of our prime minister is to find a way to take advantage of the economic turn-up in parts of the West Bank while securing an agreement that will take into consideration Glick’s concerns.
Sir, – Caroline Glick is absolutely right about this country’s dangerous tendency to “gamble” with the West on Israel’s integrity and security. Many people here, including myself, will be supporting farright candidates in the next election if this continues.
The prophets indicate, on close reading, that the enemies of Israel are like coals that burn only because they obtain oxygen from the world. Take away that support and they turn to cinders.
I am hoping the current leaders of Israel understand this.

Make it universal
Sir, – In your editorial “Universal outrage” (November 4), you appropriately express indignation over the hypocrisy and futility of Britain’s universal jurisdiction laws, as well as frustration over its inadequate attempts at ameliorating the situation.
Why haven’t any Zionist British Jews attempted to press charges against various Palestinian, Arab or Muslim officials who visit the UK on a regular basis? If officials were to proceed with the indictment, Britain would lose face in the Middle East. If they refused, their duplicity would be exposed for all the world to see.
I suspect that such an endeavor would hasten the repeal of this noxious legislation.
Annandale, Virginia
Remember the past
Sir, – It is important to note that Article VIII of the 1949 Israel-Jordan Armistice Agreement provided for arrangements affording Jews “free access to the holy places” in Jordanian-held Jerusalem. Thus, from 1949 to 1967, freedom of religious worship at the Western Wall was denied in violation of a signed agreement, and not “cancelled” by the vicissitudes of history, as implied by Shmuel Rabinowitz in his November 4 op-ed piece “Renewing the old: ‘A timely act – how appropriate.’”
Whenever Israel approaches the negotiating table, it must recall the fate of past agreements.

Selective reasoning
Sir, – David Newman is a classic example of those who dwell in ivory towers and write op-eds complaining about Israeli actions while conveniently forgetting to consider actions by Palestinians (“Racism in the name of religion,” November 2).
He starts by citing other cities and the uproar there would be if they banned Jews. Has he never heard of the “gated communities” in Britain, whose residents are very choosy and selective in the choice of neighbors?
His main complaint is against the chief rabbi of Safed for proposing “religious sanctions” against Jews who rent or sell apartments to Arabs. However, the rabbi never threatened them with “death,” as the PA and others do to Muslims who sell land to Jews.
If Newman feels so strongly that Arabs should be free to move into Jewish areas, what about the reverse? Why do his “liberal” friends object to Jews moving into Arab areas, especially when our liberal high court finds that they were owned by Jews, as happened in Silwan?
Sir, – David Newman did a great number on the chief rabbi of Safed without a fair discussion, and ignored (or agreed) that any land designated as “Palestinian” be Jewfree so as not to contaminate the Muslims.
Newman is quick to beat his chest about Jewish racism, but seems to accept Arab racism. He wouldn’t be welcomed by the chief rabbi either, considering his selfhatred.
God knows
Sir, – I’ve long wondered why European countries are allowing Islam to gain inordinate power, which, with their own super-low birthrates, will likely result in Sharia law in one or two generations. I always believed that the answer was shortsightedness, but Caroline B. Glick’s answer of anti-Semitism (“The Age of Dissimulation,” Our World, November 2) is a better explanation.
Yet while anti-Semitism is an undeniable phenomenon, it is completely irrational. The numerous and varying reasons given for anti-Semitism are selfcontradicting and conflicting. And so Glick’s revelation is of little help. She has answered a question with an even more puzzling question.
Only the belief that God ultimately controls the world can bring any solace.
The truth on narratives
Sir, – Several readers have commented about your October 27 editorial (“Truth over ‘narrative’”). I’d like to add that the term “narrative,” by definition, refers to a subjective viewpoint. Unlike the word “history,” which at least aims at some kind of objective truth, a narrative carries no such requirement – it is how someone or a group presents an opinion or view.
A narrative can be what someone believes, how someone wants to present himself, an effort to influence others, etc. In the case of the book Learning Each Other’s Narrative, what is being offered is the authors’ narration, not necessarily that of the average Israeli or Palestinian, nor the private opinions of these people.

Wrong McCarthy
Sir, – The fascinating article about Harry Houdini and Appleton, Wisconsin (“A magical holiday in Houdini’s hometown,” October 24), contains a grievous error. Sen. Eugene McCarthy was from Minnesota, not Wisconsin. The writer confused him with the notorious Sen. Joseph McCarthy, who grew up on a farm near Appleton.