Letters to the editor December 3
Regarding your Nov. 12 editorial, “Sanction Lebanon for illegal arms,” I must disagree with the comparison of U.N. Resolution 242 and 1701.
The Chronicle claims that 1701 should be used to sanction Lebanon, after Israel seized a 500-ton arms shipment from Iran to Hezbollah.
The paper also emphasizes that Israel is never out of the spotlight for its occupation and actions, even though we are not the only ones responsible for all of the articles of 242.
Not one of the articles of 242, which call for withdrawal from occupied territories, has ever come close to being fulfilled. Neither has 242 affected settlement expansions since 1970.
Resolution 1701 calls for Hezbollah to neither rearm or use southern Lebanese villages to set up rockets or guerrilla bases, but it also requires Israel to cease from entering Lebanese territory, as we so frequently do by air; and as the respected Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported on Nov. 21. just last week did again.
Jews who live in Israel and abroad wish for security and peace, recognize that Hezbollah is a terrorist organization.
However, there are large numbers of Jews who also are concerned about the settlers terrorizing Palestinians by burning down orchards in the West Bank every time the Israeli army is commanded to take down a settler group’s mobile home on an illegal hilltop settlement. These same settlers also commit crimes by attacking our own soldiers who are following the commands of the government, as well as Palestinians and Peace Now activists.
The Palestinian police force and American trained Palestinian security forces who are loyal to their commanders and President Abbas have created law and order and almost the complete eradication of terrorism in the West Bank. The economic growth rate in the West Bank will be 7.5 percent this year, over twice that of Israel.
To compare our noncompliance of 242 to Hezbollah’s receiving arms without sanctions so that the Lebanese government can be condemned, and so that we could be reminded of our noncompliance in the Lebanese arena and in the West Bank, is not what one could call a positive approach.
Ivan C. Frank
Got an explanation?
I write to report a letter interchange between myself and Peter Barratt, assistant secretary to the Speaker of the British House of Commons.
On Nov. 24, I wrote to John Bercow, Speaker of the House of Commons, because I could not understand why, whenever there is a debate on the Middle East or during Foreign Office questions, the only members called by the speaker are invariably anti-Israel, sometimes virulently so. I suggested that this must be because either the speaker is only calling on Israel-haters, or that there isn’t anyone in the House prepared to defend Israel’s actions, Mr. Bercow is left with no option but to allow a one-sided debate.
My direct and clear questions were answered by Mr. Barratt on Nov. 25 in a letter riddled with evasive generalities about the duties and responsibilities. of the Speaker. He did speak about “The friends of Israel” that exist in all the three main parties.
I replied the same day asking why no member of these “friends of Israel” are called upon to speak — in either House?
In his latest reply, Mr. Barratt appears to say that it is not the speaker’s responsibility to ensure that in a debate, or in questions to ministers all shades of opinion should be heard.
I thought that this is precisely why we have a speaker. Maybe one of your more erudite readers can explain what is going on in our “Parliament of the People.”