Everyone’s an Elizabethan
The gracious reporting by American media following the death of Queen Elizabeth II is both gratifying and somewhat amusing, in that the American constitution was written following a successful war to separate from the British crown. As noted in the fine tribute in the Sept. 15 WJW, “Queen Elizabeth II” (Editorial), she “was regarded by many Americans as The Queen.
The tribute also noted that the queen had never visited Israel, possibly attributing this to an echo of hostility to the Jews of pre-state Palestine. The attribute may well be true, but any hostility certainly never came from the queen, but almost certainly from the British Foreign Office.
Having had the pleasure — and it was an honor and a pleasure — to have served as a minister in the British Embassy in Washington, I became acutely aware of how differently the British Foreign office viewed Israel compared to Arab nations.
As a schoolboy, I lined up for several hours to see Elizabeth’s father, King George VI, lying in state before his funeral, and understand fully those who have done so now for Queen Elizabeth. The world has lost a great lady.
A Non-POLITICAL HOLOCAUST
The best thing about “Ken Burns’ ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ asks hard questions” (Arts & Culture, Sept. 8) is that it puts paid, once and for all, the evergreen politicization of the Holocaust by Rafael Medoff.
In diatribes with the trappings of scholarship, Medoff has consistently sought to vilify Franklin Delano Roosevelt for failing to save more Jews — to the end of severing American Jews’ long-standing ties to the Democratic Party. Burns concludes, in the context of the widespread antisemitism of the time, Roosevelt was mostly acting within his means as a politician — “He could not weave a magic wand.” Not what today’s right-wing Jews would like people to think.
Hamas is the threat to focus on
Although it is foolish and dangerous for anyone to wish for a two-state solution any time in the near future, it is even more foolish and dangerous for the Lapid-led government to not see that a Hamas takeover in the West Bank, rather than a Netanyahu-led victory in Israel, is the bigger threat to long-term Israeli security (“The Catch-22 of the West Bank,” Editorial, Sept. 15). The United States and Israeli governments should therefore provide as much economic and non-military aid to the Palestinian Authority and its citizens in the West Bank as it can.
To sum up, it is most foolish and dangerous for the Israeli government, as well as all supporters of Israel, to believe that a goal to achieve solutions that just might enable future generations of Israelis and Palestinians to live in a world of reduced violence, should never
Barry Dwork’s letter insightfully warns that a Hamas takeover of the West Bank, and its overthrow of the PA regime headed by aging Mahmoud Abbas, is quite likely in the near future unless Israel takes effective counter-measures. The letter also rightly warns that “it is foolish and dangerous for anyone to wish for a two-state solution any time in the near future.”
However, Barry Dwork apparently sees the PA as a positive force for good by suggesting that the U.S. and Israel should “provide as much economic and non-military aid to the Palestinian Authority and its citizens in the West Bank as it can..” Perhaps Mr. Dwork does not understand that:
1. U.S. law (the Taylor Force Act) bans any significant aid to the PA until such time as it ends its “pay-for-slay” system whereby Palestinian terrorists and their families are paid a significant stipend; the amount of the stipend increasing based on how many victims were killed by the terrorist.
2. The position taken by PA leaders is that the Jewish people have no historical connection to the land of Israel and, therefore, are not entitled to a Jewish state (albeit, they deceitfully pay lip service to a so-called two-state solution).
3. The PA is an authoritarian regime that rules over West Bank Palestinians with an iron fist of fear and intimidation. It has never developed the democratic institutions necessary to form a just and stable government.
4. The Fatah-controlled PA and its military wing — the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade — are responsible for killing more innocent victims in terrorist attacks than is Hamas.
For all these reasons, the PA as presently constituted is just as much a threat to peace and order as is Hamas. Israel now faces a terrible dilemma with terrorist attacks against Israelis exponentially increasing, and warring Palestinian factions now close to civil war as Mahmoud Abbas’ reign becomes more and more tenuous. Is it any wonder that a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is nowhere in sight?
In reference to my preceding comment, there is a fifth reason why throwing money at the PA will not solve the problems endemic to that failing Palestinian entity as follows:
5. The PA and its leadership are corrupt to the core. For instance , a bipartisan bill was recently marked up in the House Foreign Affairs Committee (HR 2374: the Peace and Tolerance in Palestinian Education Act) to hold accountable both the PA and UNRWA (the UN agency assigned to care for Palestinian refugees) for using textbooks and other educational materials in Palestinian school curricula that incite hate, anti-Semitism and violence.
Both the U.S. and European Union nations have been, up to now, using taxpayers’ hard-earned money to pay for the reprehensible production and distribution of these incendiary materials to Palestinian schools in the West Bank and in Palestinian refugee camps.