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Letters Week of Aug. 11, 2005

August 11, 2005
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If Rubin, Pipes and ZOA Agree, It Can't Be 'Stupid'

We at the Zionist Organization of America are disappointed that Jonathan Tobin has resorted to name-calling of the oldest pro-Israel group in the United States (A Matter of Opinion: "It's the Act That Counts!" July 28).

Tobin is opposed to our opposing both the unilateral giving away of the 12 percent of Gaza that Israel still controls and the forced removal of 9,000 Jews there. Rabin gave away 88 percent of Gaza in 1994, where 1 million Arabs live, thereby eliminating any demographic issue that Tobin claims exists.

Tobin claims that ZOA's opposition to the Gaza plan "will aid the killer's cause" because it will have "American Jews tear themselves to pieces."

How is that possible when Israel's enemies support giving away Gaza to the Arabs?

ZOA opposes the Gaza plan because we agree with outgoing chief of the Israel Defense Force, Gen. Moshe Ya'alon, who said that "the plan will blow up in our faces" - and cost more Israeli lives, not less.

ZOA recognizes that Israel will make all final decisions, but we have a right and even a duty to voice our opinion.

But what really led Tobin to go off the deep end was when ZOA highlighted the fact that even left-wing Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Trudy Rubin said the plan "will reward terrorism, harm Israel's security and strengthen Hamas."

Even though we have disagreed with Rubin for years, on this point, we agree.

We understand that Rubin wants Israel to make major concessions. But even she understands it shouldn't be done in this unilateral manner.

For saying so, we were called "incomprehensibly stupid." Can't we agree with people on certain points, even if we disagree on most others?

The distinguished Mideast scholar Daniel Pipes also highlighted Rubin's Gaza column, saying that "in over 20 years that Rubin has covered the Mideast, I don't ever remember agreeing with her until today."

I guess the ZOA is simply as "incomprehensibly stupid" as Dr. Pipes.
Morton A. Klein
National president
Zionist Organization of America

The Duty? To Back Israeli Majority, No Matter What!

Regarding the controversy over those who oppose the policies of the current government of Israel ("Right Feels the Heat Where Left Once Stood," July 21), I would say only this: It is the duty of American Jews - and all others in the Diaspora - to back the majority of the Israeli electorate, no matter what political party or prime minister they place in power.
Herb Shapiro
Philadelphia

Arabs Will Discover That Murder Brings Rewards
Jonathan Tobin seems to be trying to have it both ways on the Gaza retreat ("It's the Act That Counts!" July 28). I think he misses the big picture.

Let us stipulate that it appears impudent to tell citizens of another country to fight, and that Gaza is not the core of the biblical heartland.

But liberals and conservatives alike have easily reconciled themselves to the ethnic cleansing of Jews.

Remember: Israel will not receive a peace treaty, as it did prior to the Sinai withdrawal, nor an empty promise of good behavior, as it did at Oslo.

Rather, Israel will have accepted the Muslim-Arab claim that it is impossible to allow the world to live in peace when even a mere 1 percent of the local population is Jewish.

Terrorists are preparing to celebrate the Gaza retreat, putting it on their résumés. Moderate Muslims are undermined, as we show that more can be achieved through mass murder than through dialogue. The Gaza retreat is antithetical to America's war against jihad.

We must protest not just as Jews, but as Americans.
Hal M. Switkay
Swarthmore

How Can Church Allow the Murder of Innocents?
The United Church of Christ's resolution against Israel (Editorial: "Church vs. Church," July 7) was offensive, but one report I read said that one Jewish groups's response was that such a move doesn't destroy an entire relationship.

Such a tepid response only gets tepid results.

I would say this to the United Church of Christ: The security barrier is being constructed to make it difficult for murderers to continue their longstanding practice of going to crowded places with bombs strapped around themselves to kill and maim innocent people.

If and when the Palestinians find a way to control and stop the murderers in their midst, then and only then will the removal of the wall make sense. Until the Palestinians change, it is a necessary and logical part of the landscape.

The church's position - to remove the wall while the murderers still roam the area - is to put innocent people at risk.

That's unconscionable. It's something Christians professing to love peace should be against. The church's resolution gives cover to and minimizes the abhorrent behavior of the Palestinians.
Peter R. Waitze
Bensalem

Terror: An Epidemic That Seems to Be Spreading
Poor Tony Blair, longtime champion of the "Palestinian Arabs," whose country has now joined other victims of Islamist terror (A Matter of Opinion: "The Nightmares Out There Are Real," Aug. 4).

No one in the West used more prestige to deter Arabs from a terror attack. Blair constantly lectured the world for the need to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian issue, naively thinking that if only there were a Palestine, that Muslims would not blow up Christians and Jews.

Instead, what we have is an epidemic being spread through the world by the poisoned words of Arab clerics.

Imagine what venom could result in young people from all socioeconomic classes killing themselves along with others. Just as you cannot scream fire in a theater, no one has the right to encourage impressionable young minds to murder.

England is attempting to find one or two people connected with this tragedy, somehow thinking it's the work of some isolated group of deranged citizens. But you'll never halt this epidemic by killing the delivery boys, but by attacking the disease at the source.
Nelson Berman
Cherry Hill, N.J.

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