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Sunday, September 14, 2014

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UN vote on Palestinian status (1)

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The UN General Assembly has voted 138 votes to nine in favour of granting Palestine non-member observer status (“Canada votes against PA statehood bid,” Dec. 6). Part of Palestine is Gaza, which is controlled by the recognized terrorist group, Hamas. How many of the 138 nations would have voted in favour of Palestine had they been subjected to thousands of rockets being aimed at a portion of their civilian population on a daily basis for months and months leading up to the vote? I would have thought that such belligerence would be a bar to any type of UN membership rather than a ticket for admission. Now Palestine can be admitted as a member of the UN Human Rights Council, that bastion of human rights, with such members as Syria, Libya, China and Cuba.

The Palestinian Authority has been steadfast in its refusal to meet with Israel to pursue peace, notwithstanding Israel’s position that it will do so anytime anywhere without preconditions. Perhaps, now that it is a member, the United Nations can assert its authority and push the Palestinians to meet and pursue negotiations, which hopefully will lead to a two-state solution. 

Bert Raphael

Thornhill, Ont.

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UN vote on Palestinian status (2)

I just printed a list of countries that voted no, abstained and voted yes to a Palestinian bid for non-member UN status (“Why they stood with Israel,” Dec. 6). Sadly, more countries didn’t have the guts to say no, but at least 41 had the guts to abstain. In this day and age, when everyone is afraid of Muslim retaliation, they were brave. All I have to say is when Jews are planning vacations, charity donations, or feel they want to help the underprivileged, they should check this list before they decide where they want to spend their dollars.

I’m not surprised by the 138 countries that voted yes. Most of them were Arab countries and many were African. Ireland and South Africa don’t surprise me, either, because they are pro-Palestinian. But I was surprised that Austria, Denmark, Japan, Italy, bankrupt Greece and Switzerland voted yes.

As I write this, Ireland is planning, as I am sure other countries are, too, a boycott of Israel, so I say Boycott, Boycott, Boycott. They are doing it to us, so we can do it to them! I buy Israeli-made products whenever I can.

Linda R. Goldman

Toronto

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West Bank construction

Israel’s plans to construct 3,000 more homes in the West Bank is not in Israel’s own long-term best interests. This construction activity will block east Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank, making it less economically viable. This announcement has put Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas into an impossible situation, in which he will be unable to negotiate with Israel on a possible peace agreement. It will embolden militant Palestinians to give up talking to Israel and to resort to violence or to appealing to the UN for recognition. Canada’s Foreign Minister John Baird said, in the context of the recent Palestinian UN motion, “This [construction] will not advance the cause of peace or spur a return to negotiations.”

Israel Lyon, Chair

JSpaceCanada

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Iron Dome miracle

Ari Sacher’s letter (“Open letter of gratitude,” Dec. 6) of how the Tel Aviv anti-missile system, the Iron Dome, was set up and within hours downed an incoming missile, ranks right up there with all the other miracles of Jewish history.

Edward J. Farkas

Toronto

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