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Letters to the editor Week of July 26 - Part I

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Two states now (1)


What Arie Raif proposes in “Two states now, peace later” (July 5) is precisely what the Palestinians are demanding “now,” without specifying what will happen later: evacuation of settlements; Israeli withdrawal from the eastern part of Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount; abandoning most of the West Bank. But at least some Palestinian officials have the honesty to say that such moves will eventually seal the death of Israel, as Abbas Zaki, a member of the Fatah Central Committee, stated on Sept. 23, 2011, in an Al Jazeera interview: “Everybody understands that the greater goal cannot be accomplished in one go. If Israel withdraws from Jerusalem, evacuates the settlers and dismantles the wall, what will become of Israel? It will come to an end… If one says that one wants to wipe Israel out… it’s not an acceptable policy to say so. Don’t say these things to the world. Keep it to yourself.” Need I say more?

Salomon Benzimra


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Two states now (2)


Arie Raif in “Two states now, peace later” (July 5) espouses the typical left-wing view in relation to the peace-making process, which is blame the right wing, give away land to try to placate the enemy and hope that this will be sufficient to bring about peace.

As a civil litigation lawyer, I am an advocate of the mediation process. Mediation usually leads to a settlement. However, it requires the parties to come to the table without preconditions and with an open mind to bring about a resolution. It is absurd and ludicrous for Israel to come to the negotiation table by submitting to preconditions and furthermore being told what the ultimate resolution of such a negotiation is before negotiating.

It is clear from a historical perspective and from the comments of Palestinian leaders that any settlement is an interim agreement, as the ultimate goal still remains the destruction of the State of Israel. A resolution of this conflict will only come about once the Palestinians come to the realization that Israel is not a temporary but a permanent entity.

Arnie Recht


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Church report on ‘Israel/Palestine’ (1)


The CJN has published a number of articles relating to the August meeting of the General Council of the United Church of Canada, which will vote on a proposed church policy regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I recently wrote to the Rev. Mardi Tindal, moderator of the United Church of Canada, as follows:

“I take issue with many parts of the report [of the church’s working group on Israel/Palestine policy]… that delegates… will discuss in August. The report contains significant factual errors and distortions, which are unworthy of a respected body such as the United Church of Canada. The report contains a direct comparison of the Holocaust to the challenges faced by Palestinians. It questions Israel’s status as a Jewish state. It blames Israel’s presence in the West Bank as a primary contributor of injustice that underlies the violence of the region. The report makes no mention of Hamas and Hezbollah, which are committed to the destruction of the State of Israel and the annihilation of the Jewish People.

“Christians in Israel enjoy full rights as citizens. Your church should compare this to Saudi Arabia and other Arabs states where churches are simply not allowed. If you want to discuss oppression, why not deal with the plight of the Coptics in Egypt or the ongoing murders of Christians in Nigeria. The report’s focus on Israel as opposed to the abuse of Christians in the rest of the world smacks of antisemitism.”

Bert Raphael

Thornhill, Ont.


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Church report on ‘Israel/Palestine’ (2)


There is nothing fairly “balanced” about the United Church’s working group’s report on Israel/Palestine policy (“The United Church report,” Letters, July 5). The fact that the church would even consider studying the boycotting of Israel while ignoring all of the rest of the Middle East is blatant antisemitism.

Len Bennett


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