Friday, October 26, 2007

My Letter in the Int'l Herald Tribune

It's been a dry spell for a while but I have a letter published in the International Herald Tribune:

Henry Kissinger warns: "If either America's Arab or Israeli friends are asked to take on more than they are able to withstand, there's the risk of another, even larger blow-up" ("Bold script, weak actors," Views, Oct. 24). I suggest that the concessions Israel is being asked to make are too bold and will leave Israel too weak.

Kissinger's own experience in Sinai with the Egypt-Israel peace agreement is an example. Currently, Egypt is facilitating deliveries of weapons into the Gaza Strip. Very few, if any, of the smuggling tunnels have been shut down. True, Egypt is not engaged in a major war with Israel. But this isn't peace.

Yisrael Medad, Shiloh, Israel

Here's one that didn't make it, sent on Oct. 17:

Daniel Levy asserts that the world must recognize that anti-American mobilization and support for jihad are facilitated by "the role of Israeli occupation" ("How about a peace lobby?", Oct. 16).

However, the roots of jihad from which we currently suffer are totally disconnected from any such "occupation", which is claimed began in 1967. To highlight but one aspect: Hassan al-Banna, who died in 1949, and who established the Muslim Brotherhood in 1928 and Pakistan's Syed Abul Ala Maududi who founded the Jamaat Islami in 1941, sought to restore the Islamic ideal of the union of religion and state. Their enemy was the west which they they blamed for the decline of Muslim societies by separating religion and politics.

Furthermore, prior to 1967, Israel neither "occupied" territory nor had established any Jewish communities in "conquered" areas but still there was Arab terror throughout 1948-1967. I would suggest that Arab hostility and Islamic extremism acts independent of any specific Israeli policy but, if anything, rather rejects Israel existence totally and unequivocally without regard to any geographical dimension.

And another, from Oct. 4:

No one knows how many are the "many Jews" for whom Jacob Bender claims to speak in his opposition (letter, Oct. 3) to the Jewish communities established in the disputed territories Israel controls since 1967. I write as one of over 400,000 Jews in these areas, including Jerusalem's eastern neighborhoods.

We need recall that no Jew lived in a "settlement" nor was there any "occupation" during the years 1948-1967 in these areas of Judea and Samaria but Arab fedayeen terror existed and peace was the furthest goal of any Arab entity. The PLO was founded in 1964, three years before the war. Any further retreat through disengagement will result in many of Israel's towns facing the security threat of Qassam rockets and, at Ben-Gurion Airport, even worse.

The term "illegality" can not be applied to places, like my home of Shiloh, for it was here that the Jewish people created its culture, history and religion and became a nation, where our kings, priests and prophets walked, deliberated and acted. Bender is misrepresenting Judaism and the Jewish people.

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