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israel and lebanon - Ilya Shlyakhter (notestaff) - letters to editors
August 10th, 2006
12:05 pm

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israel and lebanon
Supporting Israel

Re "Anti-U.S. Feeling Leaves Arab Reformers Isolated" (article, August 9), describing the problems that the U.S. faces today for supporting Israel:

The problem is not that we support Israel today when it is in the right, but that we supported it in the past when it was in the wrong.

We were wrong to support Israel’s building of illegal settlements. That has created the impression that we’ll stand by Israel no matter what it does. Now that Israel really needs and deserves our support, our ability to give that support is compromised.

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From:arpad
Date:August 10th, 2006 05:51 am (UTC)
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Just wondering. Is Jerusalem illegal settlement in your opinion?
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From:notestaff
Date:August 10th, 2006 07:48 am (UTC)
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No, and I doubt the U.S. could have prevented the building of Jerusalem.
From:to_the_editor
Date:August 10th, 2006 09:20 am (UTC)

Dialogue

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From: Yisrael Medad (yisraelDOTmedadATgmailDOTcom)
Date: Aug 10, 2006 3:15 AM
Subject: Dialogue

Dear Ilya,

I read this letter of yours published in today's NYT:-

The problem is not that we support Israel today when it is in the right, but that we supported it in the past when it was in the wrong.

We were wrong to support Israel’s building of illegal settlements. That has created the impression that we’ll stand by Israel no matter what it does. Now that Israel really needs and deserves our support, our ability to give that support is compromised.

I am quite well aware that the term "illegal settlements" has become 'settled" into political language and dialogue. But may I suggest your reasoning is wrong.

Israel removed itself from Lebanon in 2000 and the international community in the form of UNIFIL did nothing to prevent the Hezbollah buildup. That weakness had nothing to do with Israeli "illegal settlements".

Israel, last year, removed itself from Gaza. The new government wants to remove Israel from Judea & Samaria.

This is why a leftist or liberal or progressive should support Israel if they can't be for Israel simply because Israel is right and those who terrorize her are evil.

But, in any case, with no "illegal settlements" exisitng in 1967, why did Arabs attack Israel? Maybe the issue of "settlements" has nothing to do with the essence of the Arab/Muslim animosity directed against israel?


In dialogue,

--
Yisrael Medad
Shiloh
Mobile Post Efraim 44830
Israel
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From:notestaff
Date:August 10th, 2006 09:23 am (UTC)

Re: Dialogue

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Maybe the issue of "settlements" has nothing to do with the essence of the Arab/Muslim animosity directed against israel?

Maybe; though I think that while most Arabs _want_ Israel off the map,
many will accept (settle for) Israel minus the settlements.

But my point still stands that settlements are not vital to Israel's
security and existence, and the political capital and Arab goodwill
that the U.S. has spent tacitly supporting Israel's
settlement-building would be much better spent on supporting Israel's
efforts on truly vital fronts like the fight against Hezbollah.
From:to_the_editor
Date:August 10th, 2006 07:01 pm (UTC)

Re: Dialogue

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From: Yisrael Medad (yisraelDOTmedadATgmailDOTcom)
Date: Aug 10, 2006 2:07 PM

On 8/10/06, Ilya Shlyakhter <ilya_shl@alum.mit.edu> wrote:
>>Maybe the issue of "settlements" has nothing to do with the
>>essence of the Arab/Muslim animosity directed against israel?
>Maybe; though I think that while most Arabs _want_ Israel off the map,
>many will accept (settle for) Israel minus the settlements.

that is an option but hypthetical.
between 1948 and 1967, Israel had no "territories" and no "occupation" and certainly no "settlements". So, what was bothering the Arabs? How can dismantling "settlements" and withdrawing from "territories" solve the problems of that time when they wanted to infiltrate and kill Jews? You certainly knowthat the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) was founded in 1964 and its first terror operation was on January 1, 1965 - almost three years before the 1967 war. Please, just ask yourself, what "Palestine" were they desirous of 'liberating' then?

>But my point still stands that settlements are not vital to Israel's
>security and existence,

well, on this point I would say that the communities do contribute. they keep missiles away from Ben-Gurion airport, they prevent the recurrence in the future of the "Kassam syndrome" in the south and the Katyushas in the north. If there are no communities, there probably wouldn't be the IDF and you really don't think a UNIFIL in the territories would be more effective than in Lebanon which ostensibly is a real state with an army.
Of course, international law recognized in 1922 the right of Jews to "close settlement" in the area now called the West Bank and to reconstitute their national homeland there.

>and the political capital and Arab goodwill
>that the U.S. has spent tacitly supporting Israel's
>settlement-building would be much better spent on supporting Israel's
>efforts on truly vital fronts like the fight against Hezbollah.

well, it seems that within a day, Israel will agree to a ceasefire along the lines you think is worhtwhile to go. If, as I presume, the situation will not get better, I hope we can continue this dialogue.

Yisrael
From:to_the_editor
Date:August 10th, 2006 01:26 pm (UTC)
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From: Dina_ShlyakhterATvrtxDOTcom
Date: Aug 10, 2006 8:40 AM

Ja ne schitaiy poselenia "illegal" Resoliyzia OON, kotorai polnostiy
pro-arabskaia, ne imeet nikakog znachenia. No daze nezavisimo ot etogo, ja
imenno i zashishala bu Israek "no matter what", potomy chto napadat na
nego vsegda naidetsa komy, i v ogromnom kolichestve. Komy nyzna tyt igra v
blagorodstvo? I komy est delo do togo, chto seichas zashishat israel
sloznee. potomy chto yze zashishali ranshe? Razve voobshe v tom,
chtoproisxodit v mirovoi ozenke Israela, mozno iskat xot kakoi-to zdravui
smusl???????
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From:notestaff
Date:August 10th, 2006 01:27 pm (UTC)
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nu, esli nikakogo smysla net, to voobsche vsjo ravno chto delat'.
pis'mo bylo otvetom na stat'ju
"Anti-U.S. Feeling Leaves Arab Reformers Isolated"
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/09/world/middleeast/09arabs.html?ex=1155873600&en=7f7e2fc3a204ca48&ei=5070&emc=eta1
gde govorilos' kak mol amerike budet plokho za to chto ona sejchas
podderzhivaet izrail'. ja i napisal chto oshibka v podderzhke esli i byla
to ne sejchas a ran'she, a sejchas israel "deserves and needs" the support.
a ran'she dejstvitel'no byla oshibka. settlements ne kritichny dlja zaschity
izrailja, illegal oni ili net, poehtomu amerika zrja tratila svojo
vlijanie na zaschitu
prava izrailja stroit' poselenija. kolichestvo vlijanija ogranicheno,
i luchshe ego sberech'
dlja dejstvitel'no kritichnyh sluchaev vrode togo chto proiskhodit sejchas.

p.s.

>komy est delo do togo, chto seichas zashishat israel
>sloznee. potomy chto yze zashishali ranshe?

seichas nikomu, no v buduschem nado vybirat', gde zaschischat' a gde net.

kstati ja otpravil kuchu odnostronne pro-izrail'skikh pisem i oni ni
odno ne vzjali.
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From:aregjan
Date:August 10th, 2006 03:49 pm (UTC)
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I komy est delo do togo, chto seichas zashishat israel
sloznee. potomy chto yze zashishali ranshe?


Yesli ya pravil'no ponyal Ilyu...vopros v tom, chto vse politicheskie resursy byli potracheny na zashitu frontov, kotoriye absoljutno bessmislenny dlya obshey bezopasnosti Izrailya.


Razve voobshe v tom,
chtoproisxodit v mirovoi ozenke Israela, mozno iskat xot kakoi-to zdravui
smusl???????

Mozhno, i nuzhno. Inache ostaneshsya v polneyshey izolyatsii.
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From:vremyavpered
Date:August 10th, 2006 03:12 pm (UTC)
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ty znaesh', ochen' strannoe pis'mo.
ja ponimaju, pochemu NYTimes ego opublikovali, no mne ono ne ochen' nravitsja, chestno govorja. iz nego v pervuju ochenred' chitaetsha, chto Israel IS WRONG, a vo vtopruju -- to, chto ty hotel skazat'.

in my (very) humble opinion.
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From:notestaff
Date:August 10th, 2006 03:15 pm (UTC)
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zhalko, esli tak.
it does say that israel now is "in the right" and that today it "needs and deserves our support".
the many one-sided letters that said only that didn't get printed.
zhal'.
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From:notestaff
Date:August 10th, 2006 03:17 pm (UTC)
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p.s. they also printed it under the heading "From Israel, a Voice Against the War (4 Letters)", even though it's not against the war,
and omitted the reference to the article to which it was responding.
:(
oh well.
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From:vremyavpered
Date:August 10th, 2006 03:24 pm (UTC)
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yes, i've noticed.
i think partially that's because how your letter reads. i know what you're trying to say -- that if the bush administration had any credibility, it would be good for israel, but it's too late to build credibility now; but that's not how it reads :((((

it reads as an anti-settlement statement.
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From:notestaff
Date:August 10th, 2006 03:44 pm (UTC)
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nda...
i guess it's tied too closely to the article to which it was responding. the article basically says, "it's a problem for the u.s. that u.s. supports israel today so unconditionally". the letter starts "the problem is not that, supporting israel now is fine, the problem is..." out of context it does look like an attack on israel "na rovnom meste".

v obschem, vnimatel'nej nado byt'. too late for this one :((
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From:notestaff
Date:August 11th, 2006 01:59 pm (UTC)

comments sent to NYT letter editor regarding how this letter was printed

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From: Ilya Shlyakhter (ilya_shlATalumDOTmitDOTedu)
To: Tom Feyer (tomfeyerATnytimesDOTcom)

Only one of four letters under the heading "From Israel, a Voice
Against the War (4 Letters) " is actually against the war -- this
might look misleading on the page... it might be better in the future
to make sure that the letters match the heading they're under.

...
One other thing: your selection doesn't reference the article to which
I was responding ("Anti-U.S. Feeling Leaves Arab Reformers Isolated",
August 9), as it normally does. That put it out of context
unfortunately. The article said "supporting Israel now is a problem
for the U.S.". I wrote "supporting Israel now is not the problem, the
problem was supporting it in the past with regards to the
settlements". But without the original reference, my letter suddenly
sounds like out-of-the-blue criticism of the settlements. That's not
something I meant, especially given the current situation.
From:to_the_editor
Date:August 23rd, 2006 04:15 am (UTC)
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from http://www.grouchyoldcripple.com/cgi-bin/obscurecomments.cgi?entry_id=3452 :

the Israeli settlements made no difference. The land the Arabs want, and have wanted since 1948 is Israel inside the 1967 borders. Once again, they have made no secret of that. The PLO never changed the statement in its charter that its ultimate goal was the destruction of Israel. The only difference between Hamas and the PLO is that the PLO pretended that it wanted a two state solution. At least Hamas is honest about what they want. Even if we abandoned the Israelis and allowed the Arabs to butcher them all, it would not change a thing. They would still want to kill us all. Convert or die. That is what they want. That is what they do. They say it over and over again and unfortunately we have people on the left who refuse to listen. We have people on the left who want to surrender so we can have peace. There will be no peace until we eliminate them. It's the 1930's all over again.

Posted by Denny at August 10, 2006 12:12 PM
Ilya Shlyakhter Powered by LiveJournal.com