Letters, the Week of Aug. 25, 2016

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Readers discuss the DNC and Israel.

Plenty of Jewish Issues on Democratic Side
I write in response to Rachel Kurland’s misguided observation that the Democratic National Convention “had little about ‘Jewish’ issues” merely because the State of Israel was not mentioned in every convention speech (cover story, Aug. 4).
While the safety and security of Israel is certainly an important issue to many American Jews, it does not define the universe of “Jewish” issues. Surely treating every American equally, protecting the planet from scientifically proven environmental threats, improving economic and educational opportunities for all Americans, keeping our promises with other nations, and providing health care to citizens regardless of their financial standing qualify for the “Jewish” issues label. These examples of Democratic values stand in stark contrast to a Republican platform that includes expulsion from the country based on one’s religion, economic policies favoring the rich over the poor, disregard for the environmental health of the planet and institutionalizing discrimination against the LBGT community.
The Republicans do not get to claim they have secured the Jewish values vote merely because they can work the State of Israel into stump or convention speeches.
Andrew Goldman | Malvern
Legally, the Land Is All Israel’s
In his July 7 op-ed, “Love of Country, Critical of Policies,” Nathan Farbman states that “Israel recognizes the Green Line, and natural growth is legitimate, but continued expansion into the territories is not.” I submit that this is a flawed statement of fact and is not supported in law.
It is well known that the “Green Line” represents nothing more than the demarcation of where fighting ceased at the conclusion of war in 1948. Moreover, U.N. Security Council Resolution 242, adopted Nov. 22, 1967, states that Israel is to withdraw “from territory” in the West Bank, but not from “the territories.” The notes supporting the passage of that resolution make clear that Israel was never expected to relinquish all of the captured territory, since Israel would thereby be denied defensible borders.
Additionally, it was noted by Zalman Shoval that, pursuant to the Oslo Accords and Wye River Memorandum, Area C was never to be included in a so-called Palestinian state, but was reserved for Israeli expansion as necessary. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, based upon the research and writing of the late Howard Grief, a Jerusalem attorney, the United Nations never possessed the authority to partition Palestine and, in point of fact and law, Israeli sovereignty encompasses the whole of Palestine, including the territory now known as the West Bank.
Although the Balfour Declaration included the phrase that the indigenous people were to enjoy “religious and civil” rights, it never included any reference to “Palestinians” or to a Palestinian state in land reserved for the “Jewish people.” The State of Israel possesses the legal right to settlement anywhere within the confines of what was once known as “Palestine.”
Arthur Solomon Safir | Retired N.J. Deputy Attorney General

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