Skeptical of church’s support for Israel
Ever since Rev. Alfred C. Forrest was moderator of the United Church more than 60 years ago, that church has assumed blatantly anti-Israeli policies (“United Church not against Israel, says official,” Dec. 13). Back then, it claimed that the Jews had stolen Arab land on which to create their state. Today that position continues based on the so-called illegal Israeli settlements in the traditional heartland of the Jewish people – Judea and Samaria – that was liberated from Jordanian control in l967. Both charges are patently false, as any objective analysis proves.
Yet Rev. Bruce Gregersen disingenuously maintains that the United Church is the only mainstream church that has affirmed Israel as a Jewish state and that “supports the existence, safety and thriving of Israel.” Unfortunately, such United Church policies as support for east Jerusalem as the future capital of yet another Arab state and the relocation in Israel of millions of voluntary Arab refugees and their descendants of l947-49 seriously question the United Church’s sincerity in affirming Israel as a Jewish state. As well, one has to view with extreme skepticism the church’s support for the existence, safety and thriving of Israel when it turns a blind eye both to persistent Islamic hatred, vilification and terrorism directed against Jews and Israel and the international divestment boycott and sanctions movement against Israel.
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Building Jewish homes
What is The CJN’s policy regarding letters of the editor? Can incorrect information be printed with nary a note from the editor? Smadar Meiri, in her letter “Settlement construction” (Jan. 3), incorrectly states that Israel is committed to freeze all building of Jewish homes in Judea and Samaria, including for natural growth, while having negotiations with the Palestinian Authority. This is absolutely incorrect. I hope that in the future, The CJN does not allow its letters section to be used as a vehicle for anti-Israel propaganda.
Yehudit Shier Weisberg
Canadian Legal Forum for Israel
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Rockets threaten peace talks
Letter writer Smadar Meiri is critical of Israel’s policies with regard to settlement construction (“Settlement construction” Jan. 3). She believes these policies are in contravention of UN Security Council resolutions 242 and 1515. She has, apparently, not read the part of Resolution 242 that calls for “every state in the area to live in peace within secure and recognized borders free from threats and acts of violence.” As well, she may have overlooked the part of Resolution 1515 that calls for “the cessation of all acts of violence, all acts of terrorism and the dismantling of the terrorist infrastructures.”
Rockets raining onto Israel from the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas are a much graver threat to peace talks – which the Palestinians refuse to attend, despite the pleadings to do so of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and others – than a democratic Jewish state planning to build a few dozen dwellings in disputed territories, the ownership of which is to be resolved in direct negotiation between the two parties.
Cote St.Luc, Que.
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West Bank construction
Settlements do impede peace, contrary to what Steven Scheffer says in his letter to the editor, “Settlements don’t impede peace” (Dec. 20). Punishing Palestinians for going to the United Nations for non-member observer status is not in peace’s best interest. The Israeli government’s announcing intentions to build more Israeli housing in the West Bank was clearly punishment.
Unfortunately, the Hamas leadership improved its credibility within the Palestinian community when it resisted Israel military might recently and forced at least indirect negotiations with western powers and a partial easing of the naval blockade of Gaza.
Yes, antisemitism exists in the Middle East, and most Palestinians would prefer to control all of the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, but antisemitism will not be eradicated by “crushing it at its source,” as Scheffer says. The Israeli government needs to demonstrate through its actions that a Jewish homeland in the Middle East can be a “win-win” situation for the region. There are many Israelis and progressive Zionists who are working toward a secure, democratic and prosperous Israel and Palestine.
Israel Lyon, Chair
JSpaceCanada Co-ordinating Committee
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The newly declassified CIA documents on convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard confirm just what many of us have known all along – that Pollard only gave Israel intelligence on its potential enemies, such as the U.S.S.R., Pakistan and Arab countries, and not the United States itself. This revelation refutes the argument of some American officials, including the White House, that Pollard gravely and irreparably harmed U.S. interests and should continue to be incarcerated, even after 28 years in prison.
Given that the median U.S. sentence for spying for an ally is two to four years, and that Pollard had agreed to a plea bargain, the only reason why he received such cruel and unusual punishment as an unprecedented life sentence is probably because he is Jewish. U.S. President Barak Obama should now do the right, honourable and humanitarian thing by pardoning the long-suffering and presently ill Pollard on compassionate grounds and ordering his immediate release from detention. Let poor Pollard, who has already paid his debt to society by serving more time than anyone else in American history for this sort of crime, finally go!