Israel Story

As the two people who are spearheading the arrangements and promotion of the Israel Story’s “Mixtape” performance commemorating Israel @ 70 at the Kaplen JCC on April 24th, we are delighted that Joanne Palmer wrote an extensive, in-depth feature in this past week’s Jewish Standard about this extraordinary, creative podcast that has become a sensation in Israel and North America and has grown into an exciting multimedia production. We are proud that our synagogue, Congregation Beth Sholom in Teaneck, is the lead sponsor of this sensational program. We are very pleased that a number of other congregations have stepped forward as sponsors and donors. Our special thanks go to Temple Emeth in Teaneck, Temple Sinai in Tenafly, and the JCC of Paramus for their financial contributions and to the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades and the IAC for their support, as well as to a number of people who have made gifts to help us bring this program to Bergen County. Please note that the correct ticket price is $15 for all adults and $12 for teens under the age of 18.

We hope to greet many readers of the Jewish Standard at the performance of April 24th. You can buy tickets online at the www.jccotp.org; type Israel Story into the search box at the top.

Elaine R. S. Cohen, Eric Segal
Teaneck

Terrorists in Gaza

I feel that Israel is making a mistake by resorting to lethal force to contain the violent terrorists (using civilian cover) at the Gaza border.

In my opinion, a better reaction might be to employ large quantities of non lethal anti inflammable foam similar to that used to combat forest fires and airport disasters. Helicopters can be used for this purpose.

The enemy is quite aware that they cannot overrun Israel. Their goal is to create a public relations disaster for the Jewish State. They must not be allowed to succeed.

Jerrold Terdiman M.D.
Woodcliff Lake

More on the occupation

Why is there an occupation that must be ended? (“How to end the occupation-continuing the debate,” April 6) It is because you have a group of people whose occupiers (Jordan, Egypt) instigated a war against a neighbor (Israel) , the occupiers lost control of the lands they controlled and the natives (Palestinian Arabs) now in control of the land refuse to negotiate a peace treaty with the victors.

Rabbi Meir presents two factors as the reasons for the occupation. The first is the desire for more defensible borders and the second is the push from “far-right nationalistic and messianic groups” for a “Greater Land of Israel.” He omits a third and most telling factor, there is no one in power on the Arab side willing to seriously negotiate until the final signing of an agreement to recognize the Jewish State of Israel, and to end the state of war with guarantees of a secure and enduring peace. It appears that those agreeing with Rabbi Meir philosophically or ideologically fail to recognize and admit that both the PLO and Hamas still pledge to destroy the State of Israel.

The Israeli occupation of the disputed territories, according to Rabbi Meir, is both immoral and inhumane. When one honestly examines the restrictions implemented by Israel, one must admit that they were based on real-life situations. Arab sniping at civilian buildings led to the construction of the first walls. As more different types of attacks took place, additional restrictions were implemented. Unrestricted road travel enabled some terrorists to use their vehicles to institute attacks. This caused Israel to close certain roads to non-Israeli drivers. Cars with Israeli plates are allowed on these roads whether their drivers are Jewish, or belong to any other religion. Checkpoints are set up to control traffic on foot and vehicular in very few areas.

The rabbi complains that Israel does not maintain a “humane occupation.” Is that term an oxymoron? Occupations can only be more or less moral to those who are occupied. It is easy to write that “security should not trump the numerous human rights violations” committed by Israel as long as one is not subject to the reasons why security restrictions have been implemented. Is stopping a person for ID inhumane? Searching a bag or backpack? Refusing entry to a specific area?

Those living or traveling in the disputed territories are subjected to various laws; Israeli, Palestinian Authority, Israeli military, Jordanian, even British or Ottoman. The rights and ability to vote is restricted according to citizenship. In the U.S. a resident of New Jersey is not allowed to legally vote in a New York election. Why should a non-citizen or resident of Israel be allowed to vote in an Israeli election? Palestinian Arabs vote for their Arab leaders. Why should they vote in Israeli elections?

We now learn how the West Bank Arabs are suffering because Israel does not supply them with unrestricted water supplies. The Arabs are forced to buy water from rusted water tankers. The P.A. has been given billions of dollars in aid. Why not force the water companies to maintain clean tanks to transport water? Why not buy new trucks or build water supply systems for their people?

If the Palestinian Arabs want to end the occupation let them find and support leaders willing to take the actions necessary to sign a lasting peace treaty. Let them give up the ideology to destroy Israel and the Jewish people. Let them recognize that Israel and the Jewish people were living in and governing themselves in the area for thousands of years.

Rabbi, to finish your discourse with a quote from B’tselem does not add to the validity of your arguments.

Howard J. Cohn
New Milford

Occupation yet again

There has been talk of “Palestinian” rights ad nauseum in this paper and in the Jewish community for decades. However, there has been scant discussion of Jewish rights. As a people, if we do not first and foremost concern ourselves with our own interests, we cannot expect anyone else to care to do so.

There has also been talk of “occupation” ad nauseum as well. Jews cannot “occupy” Judea. Finns cannot “occupy” Finland. The Japanese cannot “occupy” Japan. It is simply a semantic, anti-Semitic argument to delegitimize the rights of the Jewish people. Sadly, a lie repeated often enough appears to become the truth. Lies that should not be repeated by Jews. The clear fact is that the Jewish people have the right to the entire Land of Israel, no different than the Holocaust survivor straggling into his Polish hometown had the rights to his property which was taken over by someone else.

The solution to a complex problem is many times the simplest one. The hand-wringing and wailing over the “Palestinian” problem has defied solution because the simplest fact has not been grasped. Only one people can live in the Land of Israel. The PLO was founded three years BEFORE there was any “occupation.” Their desire was simply to eradicate Jews. Every territorial concession by Israel has been met with the death of Jews and persistent increased terror. The goal is to eradicate Jews.

The British sliced ¾ of the Palestine mandate and gave it to the Arabs. Then the Land was subdivided further, with the Jews receiving half of what was left. Therefore, the two-state solution is clearly a valid one. The “Palestinian” Arabs deserve their own home in a nation which is majority “Palestinian” Arab; with a rich history; and a royal family with members who are of “Palestinian” Arab descent. That nation already exists as Jordan. One border wall — instead of a ridiculous Bosnian-style separation — would separate the Jews from their enemies and give the Jews their right to safety. The left-wing Jewish self-flagellation and interminable soul-searching would then be over and even they could then focus on Jewish rights. And that is the solution to the “occupation.”

Scott David Lippe, M.D.
Fair Lawn