Letters to the Editor
Of platitudes and myths
In response to “For its own sake, Israel must be the 100th state to recognize Kosovo” (June 9)
I was embarrassed to read Adar Primor telling Israel to be the 100th country to recognize Kosovo − and for Israel’s own sake, no less. The article was a cheap rehashing of ‘90s-era platitudes and myths that referenced Slobodan Milosevic’s “nationalist speech” (which was quite the opposite) and described the Albanian goal as “the national aspirations of an oppressed people [who] suffered massacres, rapes and ethnic cleansing” − charges that have been debunked for more than a decade now.
The article was replete with Pristina-Washington talking points about Kosovo, and Primor even cited the long-ago-revised figure of “quarter of a million” dead in the Balkan wars. In arguing for a second Albanian state while Jews still struggle to keep their one, the writer resorted to projecting the Albanians’ uncompromising demands onto the Serbian side. He also respectfully quoted Kosovo’s notorious Prime Minister Hashim “the Snake” Thaci: “’[Kosovo’s] freedom will be a cornerstone of stability for the Balkans.’ From the perspective of five years hence, it’s clear: Thaci was right ... and Israel [was] mistaken.”
Because a mere five years provides all the hindsight needed? Five years, incidentally, during which the international overseers are still there and so Kosovo is still on good behavior.
Primor also couldn’t resist mentioning the monument that Pristina dedicated last month “to commemorate Kosovo Jews murdered in the Holocaust” at a Jewish cemetery − the same cemetery that had been unrecognizable for years until a group of students from the Dartmouth College Hillel were recruited to clean it up in June 2011 and that, now visible, was desecrated just five months later with swastikas and graffiti reading “Jews out.” The KLA, whose goals Primor champions, all but achieved “Jews out” in 1999, making the ceremony too much for one ex-Kosovo Jew to bear. Nissan Conforti − who left for Israel before the NATO attack − objected to the memorial which mentions that Kosovo Jews were taken to Bergen-Belsen. It does not, however, refer to the fact that Albanian soldiers arrested the Jews or that Serbian and Roma families had to hide Jews from Xhaver Deva, Hitler’s Albanian clone. What an ignorant offense to history.
Julia Gorin, Las Vegas
Export and survive
In response to “Israeli cabinet votes yea on natural gas export” (June 23)
The cabinet’s decision to reserve 60 percent of Israel’s natural gas for domestic use and export the remaining 40 percent seems eminently fair. A country like Israel must export in order to survive and grow economically.
Exporting natural gas will not only make Israel financially independent, it will enable Israel to enhance the quality of life for all segments of its population. We are always worrying about weaker elements of the population.
What a blessing it will be to know that future budgets will reflect surpluses that will − hopefully − allow us to do great things educationally and scientifically and enhance our military survival. What a blessing has been bestowed upon our remarkable country!
Thelma Susswein, Jerusalem
The state we dreamed of?
In response to, “Netanyahu to EU foreign affairs chief: If Hezbollah isn’t a terror group, what is?” (June 20)
I find it ironic that the article including our prime minister’s question − “If Hezbollah isn’t a terror group, what is?” − appeared alongside one by Nir Hasson that explains how victims of hateful “price tag” attacks by Jewish extremists are not eligible for compensation (“Arabs targeted in hate crimes left to cover costs, unrecognized by Israel as terror victims,” June 20).
If the perpetrators of these attacks are not terrorists, who is? How does the government justify such discrimination? How can we, the people who care, protest this injustice? Why does an Israeli receive disability payments due to back pains that restrict his ability to work, while Hassan Usruf and his family have to scrounge for funding to live, eat and pay rent, after he was brutally beaten up by Jews demonstrating “nationalistically motivated violence”?
Politicians Reuven Rivlin and Amram Mitzna, at a demonstration in Abu Ghosh following the attacks that took place there, said that those committing “price tag” destruction are terrorists and should be hunted down and convicted of their crimes.
Is this the “Jewish, democratic state” we dreamed of?
Judy and Stew Telman, Mevasseret Zion