Many political columnists have suggested that the one reason why Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lost a number of seats in the recent Israeli election is the fact that he made little effort to re-engage with the Palestinians on peace talks. The absurdity of this position is that the only precondition that Israel has placed on reopening peace talks is that the Palestinian Authority recognize the existence of a Jewish state. This, the president of the Palestinian Authority has consistently refused to do. Add to that the publicly stated position of Hamas, the rulers of Gaza who are soon to be reunited with the PA, that Israel must be wiped off the face of the Earth and that Palestinians are entitled to every inch of the State of Israel. It is ludicrous to suggest with that mindset that there is any point in Israel meeting with the PA. There is not one nation on Earth that would negotiate with a group publicly committed to destroying its population.
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Direct peace talks without preconditions needed
Smadari Meiri dismisses my reference to UN Security Council Resolution 242, which calls for “every state in the area to live in peace within secure and recognized borders free from threats and acts of violence” by noting that subsequent to the 1967 Six Day War, Israel promised to return areas of captured land in return for defensible borders and recognition as a sovereign state (Letters, Jan. 31).
Meiri should remember that on Sept. 1, 1967, 13 Arab states responded to such an Israeli offer with three nos: no peace, no recognition, no negotiations. As recently as Nov. 28, 2010, the “moderates” of Fatah formulated the three nos of Ramallah: no to Israel as a Jewish state, no to interim borders, no to land swaps.
Meiri asks what has Israel done since 1967, other than build settlements and vandalize Palestinian properties. Israel returned the Sinai to Egypt for a cold peace that is quickly thawing into a hot problem. The leader of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood government, Mohamed Morsi, who refers to Jews as bloodsuckers, warmongers and descendants of apes and pigs, does not sound like a good partner for peace.
Israel returned Gaza and received an ongoing barrage of rockets in return. One can only imagine the predicament that Israel would be in had it returned the Golan Heights. With the Iron Dome, land once again becomes a vital component as a security buffer. Peace will only be possible when the Palestinians appreciate its value and sit down with Israel for direct talks without preconditions.
Cote St. Luc, Que.
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Diversity of Israeli opinion
Kudos to The CJN for reporting the remarks of the leading Israeli academic Hanan Alexander, who said, “Israel will benefit from criticism” (“‘Abandon romantic fantasies’ of Israel: prof,” Jan 31). Despite being told by our communal leaders not to criticize the Netanyahu government, and despite Israeli NGOs and political parties other than Likud being described as “fringe radicals” or even “terrorists,” the paper has shown courage in impartially reporting the real diversity of Israeli opinion.
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Anshel Wise helped her family
I am writing in response to the SeeJN photograph with the caption headed “Anshel Wise’s cigar store and steamship office” (Jan. 31). My father, Louis Goldberg, came to Canada in 1924, leaving his wife and four children in Poland. After working for one year, he found himself short of cash and could not afford to bring his family to Canada. Anshel Wise became aware of this and lent him the remainder of the money interest-free. My father did in fact bring my mother and siblings back as a result of his generosity. My father paid the loan back and remained a faithful client of Wise’s for the rest of his life. Wise was an exceptionally generous, outstanding man.