Letters to the Editor

Ambassador Friedman Speaks the Truth

Occupation denial, and standing up for the public sector

Palestinians wait to cross the Qalandia checkpoint between the West Bank city of Ramallah and Jerusalem as they head to Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque for the first Friday prayers of Ramadan. June 2, 2017.
AFP PHOTO / ABBAS MOMANI

What occupation?

U.S. Ambassador David Friedman was entirely correct to speak of the “alleged occupation” of Judea and Samaria (“U.S rebukes ambassador to Israel: ‘No policy shift,’” September 10). Israel has already given away 40 percent of Judea and Samaria and all of Gaza. Indeed, Israeli withdrawals in 1995 led to most of Judea and Samaria’s Palestinians coming under Palestinian Authority jurisdiction and even led then-Environment Minister Yossi Sarid to declare that “The Palestinian state has already been established.”

Since the Hebron withdrawal in January 1997, 98 percent of Palestinian Arabs live in these ceded territories. These territories are governed by Palestinians, with their own legislatures, armed forces, police, hospitals, school system and municipal services. Israel’s writ no longer runs in PA-controlled areas. By no stretch of the imagination can it be said that Israel occupies the Palestinians’ territories. They are no longer subject to Israeli control, except with regard to some security issues. Facts are stubborn things and official policy does not always comport to them. But Ambassador Friedman spoke nothing less than the truth.

Morton A. Klein

National President

Zionist Organization of America

A little respect for public sector

Nehamia Shtrasler (“It’s the economy, stupid,” September 12) quite rightly stresses the importance of empirical evidence vis-à-vis the economy. However, his well-known worship of the golden calf of the free market caused him to make the totally unsubstantiated statement that “people in the private sector work harder (than public sector workers).” Does Mr. Shtrasler (echoing Thatcher and Trump) really think that the majority of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, paramedics, teachers, kindergarden teachers, social workers, sanitation workers, policemen, military personnel, firefighters etc. etc. don’t work their socks off helping the community? And remember their motive for helping is not driven by material incentives (like profit or percentages of sales) as in the private sector but are based on their moral incentives of serving and helping others. A written apology to the nation’s public sector workers is called for.

Dr. Gary Ginsberg

Jerusalem