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Letters 150.(Photo by: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
July 16: Ask your driver
If you want to know what people are really saying, ask a taxi driver. The word in the street is that most people are incensed by Olmert.
Sir, – The fact that Ehud Olmert was found guilty of what is now being termed a lesser charge of breach of trust should effectively cause him to hang his head in shame and disappear from public life. However, he and his supporters seem to be treating the outcome as an unmitigated victory and there is talk of him returning to politics (“Olmert could pose threat to Netanyahu in election, poll finds,” July 13).

Although the poll seems to indicate a level of support for Olmert, I wouldn’t be too sure.

If you want to know what people are really saying, ask a taxi driver. The word in the street is that most people are incensed.


Too much to lift

Sir, – An anti-Semitic cartoon was awarded a first prize of 5,000 euros in the Iranian “Wall Street Downfall” competition (“Iranian Libel,” July 13). I wonder why the prize money wasn’t in Iranian currency.


Now what?

Sir, – The angry reaction by the Left to the Levy Commission report is appearing in the newspapers. No surprise there.

What is of interest is that in several pieces, including Hirsh Goodman’s “OK, you’ve won; now what?” (PostScript, July 13), leftist belief obliterates international law.

Goodman goes so far as to impugn the integrity of the commissioners in order to demonstrate the worthlessness of the commission’s finding that Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria are legal. This decision, based on international law, tears at the banner phrase “illegal settlements” and is so poisonous to left-wingers that they must pull out all the stops in order to refute it, as we see in this lamentation.

Goodman complains that “others [are] conveniently rewriting history and interpreting the law to suit their beliefs.”

Unfortunately, he doesn’t understand that he is among the “others.” Had he bothered to read the League of Nations mandate for Palestine, the San Remo Resolution and Article 80 of the UN Charter, he would not have written a column displaying his ignorance of applicable international law.


Sir, – Hirsh Goodman doesn’t want to live in a country where a third of the people can’t vote and have no rights. What does he think is going on in the Palestinian Authority today? Mahmoud Abbas was elected to serve as president until Jan. 9, 2009. He continues to rule as a dictator with zero accountability, which doesn’t seem to bother anyone – certainly not the international community, which continues to regard him as having been democratically elected.

Instead of weeping into his shrimp cocktail over the oppressed Palestinians, who have failed to create a functional civic culture despite the support and encouragement of the entire civilized world, Goodman should go to Syria and lecture its people on how lucky they are to be first-class citizens in their own country. Or to Lebanon. Or to Saudi Arabia.

Or to Libya. Or to Egypt.


Sir, – It’s very apparent that Hirsh Goodman is very frustrated because he wants a Palestinian state more than the Palestinians themselves. It’s curious that he and others always place responsibility for a successful Palestinian state upon us.

Maybe Goodman should be asking Mahmoud Abbas and others what they have done for the improvement of their lives.

Are we, the people of Israel responsible for everything?

Petah Tikva

Sir, – Oh no! Not again! I have visions of an Orwellian 1984 when Hirsh Goodman writes that “[demographer and former diplomat Yoram] Ettinger has been diligently counting and others conveniently rewriting history and interpreting the law to suit their beliefs.”

Does Goodman really believe that the only demographics to accept are those presented by the Palestinians? And who is it that has “really” been rewriting history? Perhaps saddest of all is his desire to “throw in the towel.”

How childish. I can’t have it my way so I quit!


Sir, – Hirsh Goodman concludes his column with an admission that’s easy to believe: “I just don’t know what to do about it.”

For him this is a reason to write. Why doesn’t the Post look for a columnist who knows?


Excellent analysis

Sir, – Your editorial “Curbing the influx” (July 12) is an excellent analysis of the matter of migrants and deserves to be forwarded to the Knesset.

It is time to open the eyes of our decision-makers.


It’s in the power

Sir, – Gil Troy (“Yes, there is no occupation – legally and historically, not morally or practically,” Center Field, July 11) writes that while Israel’s presence in the West Bank and Jerusalem may be legal, it is not morally or practically justified or smart. This leads one to conclude that laws in the international arena may not matter – only realpolitik and strength do.

Article 80 of the United Nations Charter specifically states that “nothing in this Chapter shall be construed in and of itself to alter in any manner the rights whatsoever of any states or any peoples or the terms of existing international instruments to which Members of the United Nations may respectively be parties.” In conclusion, by its own charter the United Nations cannot interfere in the issue of the areas known as Israel and Jordan.

UN resolutions, even Security Council resolutions 242 and 138, are illegal under its own law. Thus Israel, according to Troy’s thesis, can keep all the areas and develop them as long as it has the power to do so.

Hatzor Haglilit

Sir, – Gil Troy states first the confirmation of the British mandate over Palestine by the League of Nations, in which Jews were given the “rights to settle between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, given ‘the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine.’ Those rights remain.”

He follows this with, “November 29 will mark the 65th anniversary of the UN partition plan which due to the 1948 war was not fully implemented. This created a legally ambiguous situation in the West Bank....”

Oh, really? Even if his first statement were incorrect and the second true, the fact that the Arabs did not accept the partition plan and attacked the fledgling Jewish state meant the UN plan was no longer on the table and all the land reverted legally to the Jews. Because Jordan illegally occupied Judea and Samaria and Israel won it back in 1967 after the Jordanians initiated an attack, it once again legally belongs to the Jewish state.

Even I, no lawyer, know that this is defined in international law.

If Troy does not realize as yet that the Arabs want to take over the whole of Israel and will make no peace as long as Israel holds even an inch of the land, he is more naïve than I thought. Their demand that not a single Jew can live on Palestinian soil should make it perfectly plain to him what is in the minds of our enemies.

It behooves our government to hold on to all the territory and not apologize for doing so.

This land is our land, from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean, from the Golan Heights to the Negev desert (with apologies to Woody Guthrie).

Rishon Lezion
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