Land is permanent, peace is temporary

If it’s true, as Michael Cooper writes, that one must be either for the peace process or against it (“One state or two? There’s only one right answer,” Sept. 6), then I’m clearly against it.

Cooper says that land is precious, but peace is even more precious. I disagree. Land is permanent, but peace is temporary at best. In the Middle East, peace is maintained by being stronger than your adversaries, and convincing them that attacking you will cost them dearly. To deal from a position of strength, Israel needs all of its historic homeland, not just some of it.

Cooper says that if Israel takes over all the territories, it will have to grant the Arabs citizenship. But why? Hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Arabs have been living in refugee camps in Arab countries for three generations, and they’ve never been offered citizenship there, even though they’re ethnically, culturally and religiously indistinguishable from their hosts.

Why is Israel obliged to do more for the Palestinians, who are committed enemies, than their own fellow Arabs are willing to do for them? The Jews are a distinct people with a distinct language, religion and history. Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people, and citizenship for non-Jews is a privilege, not a right.

Martin Wasserman   |   Sunnyvale


Time bomb is ticking


Dr. Michael Cooper says that “With the higher birth rate among Palestinians and the level of Jewish emigration from Israel, one can foresee a demographic shift in the future that would find Israel without a Jewish majority.” Nevertheless, the doctor must know that even without the West Bank, Israel will still be facing the ticking demographic time bomb. The only difference will be, with the West Bank it will happen sooner. Without it, it will happen later — but it will happen.

The demographic question is not new. The late Rabbi Meir Kahane raised it decades ago. He had this answer. If the Israeli government gives away the West Bank, what will the doctor and others like him do in the future when faced with the same demographic time bomb? Finally agree with the late rabbi and transfer the Arabs out of Israel? Give away more parts of Israel like the Galilee? Take away citizenship rights away from Arabs? Or do they have something else in mind?

Neal Wohlmuth   |   San Francisco


Obama’s ‘utter fecklessness’


I heard Mr. Obama’s speech in Stockholm Sept. 4. He said that “shaming” Mr. Assad for murderously exterminating over 1,000 humans did not work. My gosh. Nothing exemplifies the utter naivete, the utter fecklessness, of this president than that mindset.

What does Mr. Obama expect? Does he expect this mass-murdering monster, after poisoning to death at least 400 children, will suddenly have pangs of conscience because of Mr. Obama’s moral sensibilities? Does Obama expect that his magical speaking powers will encourage Mr. Assad to tell the world he was a bad boy?

Sadly, perhaps it is a president with this mindset that explains why the world is snickering in disgust at Barack Obama and the America that elected him.

Scott Abramson   |   San Mateo