Letters to the Editor

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail

Ambiguous language

Thank you for taking the space to print the full text of the Geneva Accords. It is critical that an important document such as this be fully available to the Israeli public.

But I found at least one element in the proposed treaty extremely confusing. In the opening section, under the subtitle "Affirming," the document states the phrase, "the right of the Jewish people to statehood." As this is one of the most significant issues between the Palestinians, the Arab world and ourselves, I found the ambiguous nature of the statement surprising and troublesome. I could well imagine Yasser Arafat "affirming the right of the Jewish people to statehood," in say Uganda, Birobidjan or even Montana.

What is equally confusing is that "the right of the Palestinian people to statehood" is equally nonspecific. Of course Ariel Sharon and even Yitzhak Shamir could sign this statement, seeing Palestinian statehood on the east side of the Jordan river or maybe somewhere in Iraq, or better yet, on the moon.

I cannot help wondering why on this historically critical issue the negotiators chose such complete ambiguity. If this document is to truly contribute to the solution of our difficult problems, it needs to be more specific and honest in its details.

Yoram Getzler

Moshav Aminadav

The outposts should remain illegal

Regarding "Lies and waste," Haaretz editorial, October 29

The editorial tells us "about a Defense Ministry decision, made public this week, to grant semi-official status to a long list of illegal outposts in the West Bank and Gaza." As a result of this decision, these outposts will be entitled to security protection by the army as well as many civil services, including education, electricity, communication and other services.

It is unthinkable that a decision of this magnitude, with its enormous political and economic consequences, can be made by one man, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz. This decision must be immediately rescinded. Any change in status of these illegal outposts must be made by the entire government.

Eli Ruden


The denial of reality

Regarding "What suffering? The fabric of life is not torn," by Akiva Eldar, October 28

This article by Akiva Eldar brings into sharp focus a very troubling phenomenon of our present political/security situation: denial. A blinding example is Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz's refusal to see the reality and horror of the life we are imposing on the Palestinians. This helps us all to shut our eyes, to convince ourselves that all is done "for good reason." This denial of reality is assisted by the promulgation of new regulations which impose restrictions and further harassment on the lives of those Palestinians living along the "security" fence: If you do not fulfill the requirements of these regulations, then you are in trouble - even if fulfilling them is made impossible by the actions of the security force.

In Victor Klemperer's World War II-era memoirs "I Shall Bear Witness," Klemperer records the language used by the German regime, which changes according to how situations are presented to the people. He also describes the gradual ramifications of the "rules" which govern the lives of the Jews, and to all the citizens. These rules and this language are accepted by all.

Out of our fear and consequent need to feel strong, we are being drawn into fascist behavioral patterns. If we cannot be honest and face the reality of the situation that we have gradually come to accept without questioning, then we are all guilty and involved.

I am increasing troubled by this slippery slope we are on and ask myself, "How can I change this?" Only by raising my voice and calling attention. Thank you Akiva Eldar, Gideon Levy, Amira Hass and others for doing just that: We readers of Haaretz cannot plead ignorance.

Gillian Hirsh

Tzur Hadassah



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN


בנימין נתניהו השקת ספר

Netanyahu’s Israel Is About to Slam the Door on the Diaspora

עדי שטרן

Head of Israel’s Top Art Academy Leads a Quiet Revolution

Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

Skyscrapers in Ramat Gan and Tel Aviv.

Israel May Have Caught the Worst American Disease, New Research Shows

ג'אמיל דקוור

Why the Head of ACLU’s Human Rights Program Has Regrets About Emigrating From Israel


Netanyahu’s Election Win Dealt a Grievous Blow to Judaism