Wondering how so
In “Hamas will never be able to surprise us” (February 19), your reporter quotes Israel Navy Lt. Guy Banspach, commander of a Super Dvora patrol boat, as saying: “The IDF is either at war, or training for war. Even though we might not be at war right now, one can always break out so we must be prepared.” How so, I wonder?
Hamas is always the one to instigate the war, always the one that has the tunnels ready to attack us. It’s the one that sets the time for the temporary cease fire to which we always agree, even though this means we are leaving bodies of our soldiers behind.
Hamas has been surprising our governments since it was just a small band of thugs. Astonishingly, it has been allowed to grow into a strong and extremely lethal army that sets the tune and rhythm to which we dance along. It is therefore no surprise that it can set its own conditions, especially as it has been told by our prime minister that he has no intention of destroying it.
As for “Hamas: Release prisoners, we’ll release soldiers’ remains” (February 19), it seems that Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman told Hamas co-founder Mahmoud Zahar that the Gaza Strip could become the next Singapore if Israelis being held captive in Gaza were returned.
In an interview on the official website of COGAT (Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories), Liberman was quoted as saying “Let’s talk.” In return, he got what he deserved. In an interview of his own with Palestine Today, Zahar said: “If we wanted to turn Gaza into a Singapore, we would do so with our own hands and not as a favor to anyone else.”
At least the terrorists have their pride.
Getting a chuckle
It is increasingly distressing to witness what seems to be a leftward slide by The Jerusalem Post. However, I was momentarily humored by two separate items in your February 19 issue.
The editorial “Trump in denial” seemed to blame the US president for the rise in antisemitism in America. But the antisemitic acts are being committed mainly on college campuses by the Left, not by Trump supporters! Why not place the blame where it belongs – on the Democrats?
Then, in the news article “Reform Jews oppose Friedman as US envoy,” JTA quotes the president of the Union for Reform Judaism, Rabbi Rick Jacobs, as saying that David Friedman is not qualified to be an ambassador. That’s the same Rick Jacobs who is a champion of J Street, the New Israel Fund and a host of other leftist causes.
So one guy who is surely not qualified to be a rabbi is labeling an eminently qualified attorney as being unable to represent the views of his client, the president of the United States. That’s rich!
“Top US officials contradict Trump on two-state solution” (February 17) says that according to these officials, “the United States remains committed to a two-state solution.” This raises two questions: Why are US officials so adamant in sticking to a policy that has failed dismally for the past 50 years, and why does the US, together with the EU and the UN, have policies at all on the matter?
There is no US policy on the independence movement in Spain’s Catalonia. There is no US policy on the plight of Western Papua, which was illegally seized by Indonesia. There is no US policy on Scottish independence from Britain. So why is there a US policy on the Arab-Israeli conflict?
It was refreshing to hear President Donald Trump announce he was in favor of a policy that Israel and the Palestinians could agree on, whether it involved one state, two states or whatever. Nothing could be more positive in resolving the problem than letting the interested parties know that if they want a change, they must agree upon it themselves rather than rely on the vain hope that some external force will impose a solution in their favor.
It is well known that Israelis in general are averse to ruling another people but are even more averse to allowing an inimical state to be created that could or would threaten their security. Resolving this in a way that is acceptable to all the parties is difficult, but not impossible. However it can only be worked out by the parties themselves, without external interference.
Lately, there has been much discussion about Area C and the possibilities about annexing it to Israel. It comprises about 60% of Judea and Samaria. It includes all the Jewish settlements and approximately 100,000 Palestinians.
There are two possibilities: Area C is composed of several non-contiguous islands, or it is a contiguous, snake-like territory that meanders throughout Judea and Samaria by including all the Jewish settlements and avoiding Arab cities and villages.
In either case, how could it be defended by the IDF if trouble breaks out? How would residents living in the remaining 40% of Judea and Samaria be able travel from place to place without encountering Area C? If what I said is correct, I don’t see any practical possibility to annex Area C.
On an hourly basis, we hear statements that Israel should be a democratic, Jewish state.
“Democratic” I understand as rule by the majority, with the leadership having a understanding of the minority’s views. “Jewish” is where I have a problem.
Does this mean every male in Israel should lay tefillin every morning, and that every family should have a kitchen sink for meat and another for dairy? Or perhaps this means that the state should be one of mercy, justice and charity.
When this is solved, perhaps we can come to a modus vivendi with our neighbors.
YISRAEL (IAN) LAST
Denial vs abuse
With regard to “De-Judaization of the Holocaust, the two faces of Trump” (Observations, February 17), there is Holocaust denial and there is Holocaust abuse.
US President Donald Trump clearly didn’t write the unfortunate White House statement on International Holocaust Remembrance Day. His chief of staff, Reince Priebus, should have apologized and come down on a dud writer, who then should have been fired.
Of course, this would never have happened under former president Barack Obama, for whom polished words and protocol were all that ever mattered. But we Jews have learned to judge leaders by other measures.
Dr. Stéphanie Courouble-Share’s opinion piece, along with the histrionics of other Jewish leadership groups, is in stride with those who will use anything, from our greatest national tragedy down to the size of the man’s hands, to demonize, delegitimize and double-standardize the new US president. As these actions comprise Natan Sharansky’s famous “3D” test for antisemitism, Donald Trump might now feel as Jewish as I do – and I am the proud son of an Auschwitz survivor.
Praise for Frantzman
I am increasingly impressed by the quality and interesting content of the columns and articles that Seth J. Frantzman writes in The Jerusalem Post. His is one of the best columns in the paper.