x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Netanyahu will not listen, even in Israel's interest

With the US midterm elections fast approaching, Netanyahu is likely to consider this his moment of triumph and he will ensure he does not lose it.

A reader expresses her dissatisfaction with the photo caption that ran with this picture on March 17. In her view, a 'suspect' is not being 'detained', but instead a Palestinian protester is being unjustly beaten.
A reader expresses her dissatisfaction with the photo caption that ran with this picture on March 17. In her view, a 'suspect' is not being 'detained', but instead a Palestinian protester is being unjustly beaten.

One could not agree more with your leader An insult to the US and those who want peace (March 17). One can only wonder if the current upheaval, as you stated, really "represents a welcome and long overdue opportunity to reorder a relationship that has profound consequences for the region". Your leader raised many questions on how and what methods Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, would follow to overcome this "crisis". Based on past experiences, Israel, I fear to say, almost always ends with the upper hand. Why should it be different this time around?

Despite the tough and, I must say, unprecedented words by the secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, after Mr Netanyahu's government announced 1,600 new settler homes in occupied East Jerusalem while the US vice president was in the country, it is quite possible the White House rebuke will not hold. One recalls when the only genuine Israeli peacemaker, the late Yitzhak Rabin, hurriedly dispatched his young dovish envoy, Yossi Beilin, to Washington following the signing of the Oslo Accords early in the 1990s, to brief AIPAC leaders about the peace deal. Mr Beilin's brief was clear cut: AIPAC has to think differently now and restructure the nature of its support to Israel since we have partnered for peace.

The dove envoy was, according to those who were present at the meeting, harshly scorned and sent back with a clear message: don't interfere in our domestic affairs. Rabin was killed less than a year later. You quoted in your leader Martin Indyke, the US former envoy to Israel, warning Netanyahu's government that Israel is dependent on the US and the Israelis must remember that "America has interests (in the region), not just Israel". Again tough words coming from a man widely and significantly known as a friend of Israel, but will Mr Netanyahu listen? There are good reasons for him not to. With the US midterm elections fast approaching, Netanyahu is likely to consider this his moment of triumph and he will ensure he does not lose it. But in the middle of all this Netanyahu and Israelis should seriously pause for a moment and re-examine their illegal behaviour as a brutal occupying power. Mustapha Karkouti, Abu Dhabi

In response to KHDA's school fee cap makes sense (March 18), the KHDA allowed schools to increase their fees by 15 per cent last year based on achieving an excellent score from inspectors. But at least one school increased its fees by the maximum allowed, 15 per cent, despite being downgraded later - which means the increase should not have been allowed, but the same fees remained. How does that work? Surely if fees can go up, they can come down also. SB, Dubai

A photo The National published with the article Riots shake Jerusalem as Hamas calls for uprising (March 17) depicted a Palestinian man being pummeled by Israeli "undercover" thugs as he tries to protect himself from the blows, in front of another Palestinian enduring the same. The photo was given the most offensive description, watering down the reality of the image. It read, in case you missed it: "An undercover Israeli policeman holds a weapon as others detain a Palestinian suspect during clashes in East Jerusalem yesterday." 

First off, the "undercover Israeli policeman" is brandishing a pistol that fires live ammunition. He is brandishing it against stone throwers, not just "holding" the gun. Secondly, if that is your idea of "detaining" someone, then your moral barometers have either been lost or they need an overhaul. And thirdly, the infuriating choice of the word "suspect" leaves me speechless.  Pray do tell what he is "suspected" of? Defending his land from further theft? Or maybe he is "suspected" of doing what little he can to express his indignation at a silent world that watches emasculated as Palestine is further sliced up while even the Arab world waters down the atrocities and images, thinking mostly of word counts than the weight of a subheading. Indifference is the word that comes to mind. Rana El-Khatib, Abu Dhabi

In regards to the article Airline pair jailed over sex texting (March 17), the saying "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt" does not work in an eastern culture. If the pen is more powerful then the sword, then it makes sense to take a tough stance. However, deportation does seem rather over the top. JB, Britain

Wow. This is so crazy. Why would you be jailed for your private messages? Why are you reading my private messages anyway? Very sad. Ann Martin, Abu Dhabi

The article Police use shock tactics to help curb road deaths (March 17) makes the point that enforcement and tougher measures make the biggest difference. Explicit ads might help, but reading one woman's comments - about how she killed a jaywalker in her car, but went back to speeding - was a chilling indication of how some drivers really don't get how dangerous driving can sometimes be. Patricia O'Beirne, Abu Dhabi

Just a bit of confusion in the article Saudi Arabia death row maid in a fight for her life (March 15). Malaysia never sends people to work overseas. Most maids are professionals. Sally Abdullah, Abu Dhabi