OPEN LETTERS

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Open Letters to Specific People

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AN OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT CARTER

3rd April 1978

. Dear President Carter,

Since becoming President you have been so busy telling Israel what and what not to do, that you have forgotten your American history. Let me therefore begin by reminding you of various incidents.

During the 16th and 17th centuries, European settlers, who included the famous Pilgrim Fathers, started coming to the North American continent and began a process of colonisation which was eventually to dispossess the Red Indians of their entire homeland. At the time of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, the United States consisted of a small area of land on the eastern side of the continent. During the next century, the United States followed a continuous expansionist policy. This included the seizure and subsequent annexation of a large area of Mexican territory acquired as a result of war.

What would be your reaction to someone suggesting that the United States should withdraw from these captured territories and that the Red Indians should then be given a plebiscite to determine their own future? In all probability you would summarily dismiss such a person as a crank, even though the Red Indians pose no security threat to the United States. It seems that when you attempt to dictate to Israel you rely on the maxim "Don't do as I do, but do as I say."

As a former Sunday school teacher, whose knowledge of the Bible is the envy of us all, you are fully aware that the Almighty gave the Land of Israel in its entirety to the Jewish people for all time to come. Even a cursory glance at a map will show you that Judea and Samaria (West Bank) are the heart of this Divinely given Land of Israel.

You surely know that your own country in company with the entire world (except Britain and Pakistan) never recognised Jordan's unilateral annexation of the West Bank. Your international legal advisers can tell you that Israel has a better legal title to this area than any other country in the world.

At present 76 per cent of Mandatory Palestine is in Arab hands, namely, the area known as (Trans) Jordan. If you are so keen that the so-called Palestinian Arabs should have an independent State, why don't you propose that it is set up within this 76 per cent? Well the reason you don't do so is obvious. But surely the United States with its advanced technological skills can utilise other methods of energy and not have to grovel in front of the Arabs for their oil.

I am sure that when in your Sunday School classes you taught the verse "A good name is better than precious oil" (Ecclesiastes Chapter 7 Verse 1) you did not invert it to read that "Precious oil is better than a good name." Don't go down in history as the worm Jimmy who once lived on peanuts but later survived by licking boots coated with oil.

Yours sincerely.

(Rabbi Dr.) Chaim Simons.

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AN OPEN LETTER TO SHULAMIT ALONI

August 1992

Dear Mrs. Aloni,

I feel sure that by this time you will have thanked those who ensured your important position in the Israeli government. These are firstly the Arab P.L.O. supporting members of the Knesset, with whom Rabin came to an agreement in exchange for their support, and secondly the fragmented right-wing parties whose wasted votes were responsible for at least three additional seats going to the left and hence ensuring their razor-thin majority. You don't need to thank the Israeli electorate, since the majority did not vote for the left-wing (and this includes the votes for the P.L.O. orientated parties).

Now that your are comfortably seated, I trust you will live up to your high ideals of law and order and equality. Please bear with me whilst I make two suggestions. These will be in regard to your responsibility as a minister in the government, rather than to your specific government ministry.

Ê.Ê Firstly, let us talk about the burning question of Jewish settlement in Eretz Israel. This is governed by international law. Article 6 of the Mandate, a document issued by the League of Nations, and hence part of international law, gives the Jews (and incidentally only the Jews!) the right of settlement ÉaÉnÉyÉwÉhÉeÉrÉe between the Jordan and the Mediterranean. When the United Nations took over from the League, this right became enshrined in Paragraph 80 of the U.N. Charter. This right still exists and cannot be extinguished unilaterally. (Who dare make such a bold statement - some right wing fanatic? No - it was Professor Eugene Rostow, former under-secretary of state of the U.S. and professor of law at Yale University.) Israel as a signatory to the U.N. Charter is thus bound to honour ÉaÉlÉl its paragraphs. I shall therefore expect you Mrs. Aloni, who is always preaching observing the law, to raise your voice every time the Rabin government proposes stopping Jews settling in Judea and Samaria.

My second suggestion concerns equality before the law. At the same time that Rabbis are being being continually hounded by the police for alleged technical breaches of the law, Arab notables who are flagrantly and publicly flaunting Israeli law by appearing on television in meetings with P.L.O. terrorists, are treated to only the most half-hearted of questionings by the police. As a minister, I hope you will do your best to ensure that such practices by the police will be stopped forthwith.

Ê.Ê If, Mrs. Aloni, you succeed in guaranteeing Jewish settlement everywhere between the Jordan and the Mediterranean, and that Arabs are treated for law-breaking in the same way as Jews are, then you will have made an important contribution in the government.

Yours etc.,

(Rabbi Dr.) Chaim Simons

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OPEN LETTER FROM CHAIM SIMONS OF KIRYAT ARBA TO HIS UNCLE IN THE DIASPORA

306/20 Kiryat Arba, 90100, Israel
October 1993

Dear Uncle,

Thank you for your letter, in which you, from a distance of thousands of miles, come out in favour of the Rabin-Arafat meeting. Let us look at a similar meeting which took place in Germany in 1938, between the British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and Adolf Hitler.

On his return to England following this meeting, Chamberlain made a statement at the airport, in which he proudly reported that he had signed an agreement with Herr Hitler. He waved the "paper agreement" in the air and the spectators cheered. Only one lone voice - that of Winston Churchill - denounced this "agreement".

In 1938, you were already a grown man, and it is very possible indeed that you applauded Chamberlain. History very quickly showed what Hitler's signature was worth. We Jews, especially, have 6,000,000 reasons to remember this incident. Amongst the six million were your father's entire family - your uncles, aunts and cousins.

On his deathbed, Chamberlain is reported to have said that if Hitler had not lied, everything would have been all right. Well, Arafat is better than Hitler! Arafat tells the truth - to selected audiences!

On the same day as the infamous handshake between Rabin and Arafat, the latter made a broadcast (which the media conveniently did not mention!) on Jordanian television.

In his broadcast, Arafat never once mentioned Israel, let alone peace and coexistance with Israel. What he did talk about was the implementation of the PLO's notorious "plan of stages" for the liberation of Palestine and the raising of the Palestinian flag in Jerusalem.

Should the PLO, G-d forbid, succeed in implementing this plan, please Uncle, say Kaddish for your dear sister, your nephews and their families.

Your nephew Chaim.

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Letters to the Editor

In some cases the Editor published my letter, either in full or in an abridged form.

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Liverpool, England
5 September 1976

Letters to the Editor
Jewish Chronicle
London

Sir,

It is regrettable that Ben Azai uses every opportunity to attack Jewish resettlement in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) even to the extent of giving incorrect or distorted facts to support his views.

His latest effort (September 3rd) is as he states, the converting of an abandoned Hebron warehouse into a Synagogue. From Ben Azai’s description, an uninformed reader would assume that a bunch of fanatics forcibly took a random Arab warehouse and converted it into a Synagogue just to make trouble.

In fact, this so-called “warehouse” was the Chesed Le Avraham Synagogue, which served the Jewish community in Hebron for two hundred years, until 1936. As a result of the brutal Arab massacres and riots of 1929 and 1936, the Hebron community was forced to move. Later, this Synagogue was used by the Arabs as a sheep pen. The title deeds of this building are in the names of the Sephardi Community and a Jew born in Hebron named Mr. Franco, and they have asked the residents of Kiryat Arba to restore this Synagogue.

It is therefore only right and proper that this consecrated building which was so wantonly desecrated and defiled should now be reconsecrated and used.

In conclusion, I might add, that at a meeting some years back that I had with the late President of the State of Israel, Mr. Zalman Shazar, in his house in Jerusalem, he himself suggested that we should try to restore Jewish property in Hebron.

(Rabbi Dr.) Chaim Simons

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Liverpool, England
1 October 1976

Letters to the Editor
Jewish Chronicle
London

Sir,

It is now impossible for a week to pass without Ben Azai making an attack on Jewish settlement on the West Bank. In a recent contribution, he decides that Israel is aware that were she to annex the West Bank, it would alienate her not only from Western support but also from an important part of the Jewish world.

Ben Azai has certainly played his part in deceiving everyone about the West Bank. His readers would by this time have been brainwashed into believing that the West Bank is an integral part of a peace-loving country called Jordan and that some hot-headed fanatical Jews are trying to annex land which does not belong to them.

If Ben Azai would care to investigate our religious and historical rights to the West Bank he would discover that it is an integral part of Eretz Israel and has an impressive history of Jewish settlement. If we have no rights to Kaddum, then we have no rights to Tel Aviv.

Furthermore, under international law, Jordan has no rights to the West Bank and Israel has more rights than anybody else to it. In fact, Jordan unilaterally annexed it in 1950, an annexation recognised only by Britain and Pakistan.

(Rabbi Dr.) Chaim Simons

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Liverpool, England
18 October 1976

Letters to the Editor
Jewish Chronicle
London

Sir,

The suggestion by Mr. Ellis Hough that Rabbi Levinger and the Gush Emunim have been the cause of the destruction of Sifrei Torah in the Cave of Machpelah is almost too absurd for comment.

In fact the responsibility lies with the Israeli Government who have persistently refused to allow Jewish settlement in all parts of our homeland and have denied us our full rights in the Cave of Machpelah, whilst at the same time mollycuddling the Arabs. Such an attitude only encourages the Arabs to riot and perform acts of vandalism. Furthermore, the Israeli government has made no attempt to punish the Arab murderers of the 1929 Hebron massacre. In accordance with this policy, the Israeli soldiers guarding the Cave of Machpelah were given orders not to use their weapons whilst the Arabs were desecrating the Cave of Machpelah and hence the Arabs were able to destroy the Sifrei Torah.

(Rabbi Dr.) Chaim Simons

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Liverpool, England
15 November 1976

Letters to the Editor
The Observer
London

Sir,

In his letter (14th November) Mr. Sisley states that East Jerusalem is territory occupied by Israel and hence settlement in it is contrary to the Geneva Convention. A study of international law would show that the only occupation of East Jerusalem and similarly the West Bank was by Jordan in the period 1949-67 and that in 1950 Jordan unilaterally annexed these areas, an annexation only recognised by Britain and Pakistan. Furthermore, under international law, Israel has a better title to East Jerusalem and to the West Bank than any other country in the world.

Mr. Sisley also alleges that the primary insult felt by Christian and Muslim Arabs is the “continued Israeli occupation of their holy places.” In fact, under the Israelis, every religion has unrestricted access to and complete autonomy over their holy places in Jerusalem, and great satisfaction and appreciation of this situation has been expressed by both Christian and Muslim religious leaders.

Contrast this with the situation under the Jordanian rule when not only were Jews denied access to their holy places, but Jewish holy places were destroyed and desecrated and tombstones were used for latrines and to build a Jordan Arab Legion military camp. I ask you, under which situation would one feel an insult, the Israeli or the Jordanian?

(Dr.) C. Simons

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[In the October 1976 issue of the monthly “Liverpool Jewish Gazette,” Ombudsman, the pseudonym of their leader writer, wrote an anti-Gush Emunim article. I answered it and my letter was published in full.]

Liverpool, England
26 November 1976

Letters to the Editor
Liverpool Jewish Gazette

Sir,

Ombudsman’s first section in your October issue is based more on fiction than fact and would be more appropriate as an Arab propaganda article than a contribution (if one can use that word) in a Jewish newspaper.

He states in connection with the destruction of Sifrei Torah by the Arabs that “the first act of aggression was caused by Kiryat Arba residents.” In fact, no evidence has been produced to show that any Jew, let alone the Kiryat Arba residents, have desecrated any Moslem books or appurtenances.

Had Ombudsman bothered to read the first Rashi on the week’s sidra (Bereshit), he would have learned about our rights to Eretz Israel and would not have made the absurd statement “Holding up a title to the land that purports to be over 2,000 year old, but whose title did lapse...” Our title is nearly 6,000 years old and the lease has never lapsed. A study of our Tephillot and Birchat Hamazon, both of which are recited several times a day, every day, would soon show that Jews certainly never forgot Eretz Israel, and a study of history would show that throughout every generation Jews were living in Israel, despite the difficulties, persecutions, massacres and expulsions.

At the time when King David was anointed in Hebron, Jerusalem was in Jebusite hands. There is no question of his later down-grading Hebron for Jerusalem since every schoolboy knows that the latter has a greater holiness than elsewhere in Israel. However, Hebron has been and is still one of the four cities in Israel given the designation of “Ir Hakudesh” (The holy city).

The implication that since Hebron, Shechem, and the other West Bank towns are full of Arabs, Jews should not settle there also shows ignorance of modern Zionist history and the Chalutzic spirit of the pioneers. A few examples will illustrate the point:
(a) In the 19th century, Chalutzim settled in Jaffa, a city full of Arabs and in 1909 settled north of the city. From this settlement has grown the Tel Aviv metropolis.
(b) In 1948 there was a negligible Jewish population in Beersheva. Yet this did not deter the State of Israel from building up Jewish settlement and today Beersheva is one of Israel’s largest cities.
(c) Nazareth is a wholly Arab-populated city. However, within the last twenty years, the Jewish development town of Nazareth Illit has been built right next to it.

Today we have great admiration for the pioneers who settled in the above places and created a Jewish presence there. Surely today’s pioneers who are prepared to put up with great hardships and settle in such places as Kiryat Arba, Kaddum, Ofra, etc., deserve a similar amount of admiration.

A group such as Gush Emunim should be unnecessary in a Jewish State. This would be the case if the Government of Israel would encourage Jewish settlement throughout Eretz Israel. Instead it persistently drives out Jewish settlers and hence the establishment of Gush Emunim has become a necessity.

Instead of West Bank settlement he suggests settlement in the Galilee. Has Ombudsman forgotten the Arab riots which took place earlier this year when the Government of Israel brought out its plans for Jewish settlement in the Galilee? The truth is, the only place the Arabs accept for Jewish settlement is the sea!

Despite Ombudsman’s views, it is encouraging to know, that at a recent debate on West Bank settlement at the King David High School, attended by senior pupils (for report see Gazette, October 1976) the pupils overwhelmingly voted for such settlement.

Finally, Ombudsman, please read reliable news reports and you will see that the attempt on Yom Kippur to pray on the Temple Mount had no connection with Gush Emunim.

(Rabbi Dr.) Chaim Simons

[In a further leader, Ombudsman described my above reply as “causeless emnity” and I wrote this further letter, which the paper did not deign to publish!]

Liverpool, England
27 December 1976

Letters to the Editor
Liverpool Jewish Gazette

Sir,

In your last edition, “Ombudsman” hiding behind his (or should I say her?) pseudonym whilst attacking me, considers that we should be pragmatic and implies that the carving up of Eretz Israel will bring peace.

This is very reminiscent of certain “friends” of Israel (with such friends one does not need enemies!) who say, go back to the 1967 borders and all will be well. This logic fails to explain why the Six Day War took place since prior to this date, Israel was within the 1967 borders. This did not, however, stop the Arabs attacking to destroy the State of Israel.

Even leaving aside the religious rights of the Jewish people to the whole of Eretz Israel and the international legal position which ascribes to Israel a greater right to the West Bank and Gaza Strip than any other country in the world, military considerations would make any withdrawal complete madness and irresponsibility. Who do you think would live in these areas after an Israeli withdrawal - peace-loving Arabs or Arafat’s men? You can be sure the latter, who would then use it as a launching pad to try and eliminate the State of Israel and replace it by a “single democratic State over the whole of Palestine.” These are not my words but those of the Arabs in their Palestinian National Covenant and their other pronouncements (e.g. the BBC-2 “Open Door” programme) which give their openly stated aim as the destruction of Israel.

Prior to 1967, the width of Israel at its coastal plain was less than the distance between Childwall and Hoylake. One shudders to think of the situation had Israel listened to such “advice” on withdrawal after the Six Day War. The Yom Kippur War would then not have been fought on the Suez Canal but at the main population centres. There would not have been two thousand killed but two hundred thousand.

Remember how the world remained silent after the Arab attack on Yom Kippur. Only when Israel was on top did the world demand an immediate ceasefire. Don’t be naive, Ombudsman. In, G-d forbid, any further attack on Israel, the world will again be silent, despite any commitments they may have made. Any voices of protest from the free world would soon be silenced by oil pressure.

To ensure a minimum loss of life in the future, it is imperative to ensure that Israel’s borders are secure and there is Jewish settlement all over Eretz Israel. The more withdrawals Israel makes, the less secure will be her borders, and the greater will therefore be the temptation of the Arabs to attack.

(Rabbi Dr.) Chaim Simons

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Liverpool, England
2 January 1977

Letters to the Editor
The Economist
London

Sir,

In your issue of December 18th, you describe as “illegal” the Jewish settlement at Kadum on the West Bank. Illegal according to whom? In international law, Israel has a greater right to the West Bank than any other country in the world. The Kadum settlement is not illegal under Israeli law. In fact, the Israeli Government by its decision of December 3rd, 1975 approved the Kadum settlement and has supplied it with housing, water, electricity and a sewage system.

(Dr.) C. Simons

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Liverpool, England
23 January 1977

Letters to the Editor
Jewish Chronicle
London

Sir,

Your “Carter’s blueprint for Peace” (January 21st) includes the recommendation concerning Israel’s withdrawing “to the June 5, 1967 lines with only such modifications as might be mutually accepted.” From the outset, President Carter should be reminded that there is nothing magical about the pre-June 5, 1967 borders. They are just where the fighting happened to stop in 1949 and this point is made in the various armistice agreements. Instead, he should look at the map of Mandatory Palestine. He would then see that over three-quarters of Palestine is today in Arab hands (i.e. the area today called Jordan). He should also read the Palestinian National Covenant and he will see that the Arabs are still not satisfied - they want to expand and take the lot. Surely President Carter does not expect Israel to assist them by withdrawing?

(Rabbi Dr.) Chaim Simons

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Liverpool, England
23 January 1977

Letters to the Editor
Daily Telegraph
London

Sir,

Your correspondent Kiohel Teychene (January 22nd) makes a contribution to the myths surrounding the Israel-Arab situation. He writes about Israel stealing “the land of the Palestinian people, packed in semi-concentration camps.”

There has never been a Palestinian Arab State or a Palestinian people. Rights now claimed to have existed for thousands of years were never heard of a few decades ago. Large numbers of Arabs from the neighbouring countries came to the area between the two world wars as a result of improved work conditions and opportunities arising from Jewish industry.

Another misconception is that the pre-1967 borders of the State of Israel were established boundaries. In fact these lines were just where the fighting happened to stop and this point is made in the various armistice agreements. To get a true picture of the relative Jewish and Arab areas, we must look at the map of Mandatory Palestine. We then find that today over three-quarters of Palestine is in Arab hands (i.e. the area today called Jordan). So we see that it is the Arabs who have the lion’s share of Palestine.

Finally, the Arab refugee problem was created by the Arabs and has deliberately been perpetuated by them to act as a political weapon against Israel. When Israel tried to solve this problem by moving these refugees from their “semi-concentration camps” to proper housing, the U.N. passed a resolution to return them to these camps!

(Dr.) C. Simons

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Liverpool, England
13 February 1977

Letters to the Editor
The Observer
London

Sir,

In your first leader (13th February) you state that “Peace in the Middle East depends essentially on restoring a homeland to the Palestinians while ensuring Israel’s security” and this you follow by talking of Israel withdrawing. In fact, today, nearly 76% of Palestine is in Arab hands (i.e. the area today called Jordan). If the Arabs genuinely want a Palestinian homeland, they can create one in this 76%. If, however, their real intention is to displace Israel from the remaining 24%, then you can hardly expect Israel to help them by withdrawing.

(Dr.) C. Simons

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Liverpool, England
28 February 1977

Letters to the Editor
The Observer
London

Sir,

Your news item (27th February) that the PLO has changed its policy and no longer wants to destroy the State of Israel displays great naievity. Their spokesman Hammami now includes the following points in PLO policy: (a) “Withdrawal of Israel from all the occupied territories” - meaning Israel should return to her pre-1967 vulnerable borders, and (b) the right of all Palestinian refugees to return to their former homes - meaning within these vulnerable borders will be at least half a million fifth columnists, It is obvious that a combination of the vulnerable borders and the fifth columnists would then enable the PLO to achieve its true objective, namely the elimination of the State of Israel.

(Dr.) C. Simons

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Liverpool, England
11 March 1977

Letters to the Editor
The Jewish Tribune
London

Sir,

I was amazed to read in the interview with Mr. Avrohom Hirsh, General Secretary of the Agudas Israel World Organisation in Jerusalem (25th February issue), the statement “We may be prepared to compromise on political issues such as the administered areas - and even then only after consultation with the Gedolei Hatorah.” Surely the borders of Eretz Israel are a Halachic matter?

In fact, in 1937 when the Peel Commission proposed the division of Eretz Israel into a Jewish and an Arab State, the Moetzes Gedolei Hatorah ruled that “the boundaries of the Holy Land have been established by the Creator, and recorded in the Torah for all time to come. The Jewish people cannot possibly compromise these borders.” (see a History of Agudath Israel by Joseph Friedenson p.36).

To avoid confusion, perhaps Mr. Hirsh could clarify his statement.

(Rabbi Dr.) Chaim Simons

[Mr. Hirsh when talking of political compromises with regard to the administered areas was in fact referring to Sinai and not to areas in Eretz Israel proper - Editor Jewish Tribune.]

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Liverpool, England
26 December 1977

Letters to the Editor
Jewish Chronicle
London

Sir,

I must take issue with Ben Azai who in his column on 23rd December, described the Gush Emunim as a “collection of cranks.”

They are no more a collection of cranks” than the pioneers who in 1909 settled north of the Arab populated city of Jaffa from which has now grown the Tel-Aviv metropolis, or the pioneers who settled the Arab populated city of Beersheba which has now become one of Israel’s largest cities, or the pioneers who have settled right next to the Arab populated city of Nazareth to create the development town of Nazareth Illit.

Today we have the greatest admiration for the pioneers who settled in these places and created a Jewish presence there. Surely the members of Gush Emunim who are prepared to give up their homes in the Israeli cities and put up with great hardships in order to settle Eretz Israel deserve a similar amount of admiration.

The Jewish Agency is to be congratulated for sending the Gush Emunim leaders Chanan Porat and Zvi Slonim to North America as aliyah emissaries. These two gentlemen possess immense sincerity and have a great devotion to Eretz Israel, characteristics which are required for emissaries to be successful in the Aliyah campaign.

Ben Azai would do well to ponder the words of the Israeli columnist Ephraim Kishon, “The Israel Prize of Love of Israel belongs to Gush Emunim. Neither hatred nor sneers can take it away from them.”

(Rabbi Dr.) Chaim Simons

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Liverpool, England
6 February 1978

Letters to the Editor
Jewish Chronicle
London

Sir,

Following the publication of four letters in your columns (February 3rd) against Jewish settlement, I am sure that in the interests of fairness you will publish my letter giving the other side of the case.

1. Both Michael Cooper and Keith Maynard consider that our Biblical rights are no longer applicable. These gentlemen should remember that even in today’s materialistic world, the Bible is the world’s best seller and sincerely held religious beliefs are still regarded with respect. The Tenach is also part of the Christian Bible. Even the Koran, the Moslem Bible, states in Surah 5 that Eretz Israel was Divinely given to the Jewish people.

2. Keith Maynard writes that settlements are being built on land which has never been Israel’s in international law. I should be interested to hear Mr. Maynard’s legal authorities for such a statement. In fact, Jordan never had any title to Judea and Samaria (West Bank) nor Egypt to the Gaza Strip, and in international law Israel has a better title to these areas than any other country in the world. With regard to Sinai, Egypt never had sovereignty over the region but only administered it. It would be difficult to prove in international law that Israel has less rights than Egypt to Sinai.

3. Michael Cooper rejects as useless the border settlements on the Golan Heights. Since the establishment of the State in 1948, military planners have attached great importance to the setting up of civilian border settlements all around Israel, and a study of a pre-1967 map will show that many such settlements were established. The Yom Kippur war shows that the settlements on the Golan Heights (and same argument also applies to Judea, Samaria and Sinai) need to be increased, not abandoned.

4. Muriel Emanuel and Michael Cooper respectively put forward the arguments that in order to save Israeli youth from being killed and to prevent a nuclear holocaust. Israel should return to insecure borders! Their arguments in fact prove the opposite. Secure borders and a non-concentration of population are the best deterrents and defence against a possible attack, and especially a nuclear attack, by neighbours. Had the Yom Kippur war been fought on the pre-1967 borders, there would have been a holocaust.

5. Ellis Hough decries the setting up of Jewish colonies in Sinai and Samaria. Please Mr. Hough study your modern Jewish History and you will see that the Jewish presence in Modern Israel was begun by pioneers setting up “colonies” in the Jaffa area (Tel-Aviv), the Beersheba area, the Galilee and the Negev. Why should Sinai and Samaria be different?

6. Muriel Emanuel and Ellis Hough seem to have been fooled by the distorted media reports in this country concerning the Begin-Sadat meetings. They obviously believe that Sadat has been flexible and Begin intransigent. In fact the opposite is the case. Sadat has not moved one iota from what he has been saying since 1971, whereas Begin has offered Egypt sovereignty over Sinai (something Egypt has never possessed) and self-rule for Palestinian Arabs in Judea, Samaria and Gaza (which neither the British nor the Jordanians nor the Egyptians ever granted them).

7. Suppose as your correspondents suggest, Israel abandoned the settlements and gave away the territories, provided the Arabs signed a peace treaty. Suppose then the Arabs repudiated this peace treaty - since 1948 Egypt has broken every agreement she has made with Israel. What would the Western world do? Precisely nothing since they are to busy grovelling to the Arab oil Kings. One only has to remember the story of the worm called Jimmy who used to live on peanuts and now survives by licking boots coated with oil.

(Rabbi Dr.) Chaim Simons

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Kiryat Arba, Israel
7 December 1978

Letters to the Editor
Jewish Tribune
London

Sir,

I have just seen your edition of 29th September, in which the editor answers Mr. Plitnick’s letter by stating that the Lubavitcher Rebbe is a yochid in his ruling against surrendering parts of Eretz Israel to non-Jews and that the Lubavitcher Rebbe does not dispute this fact.

These editorial comments are in such complete variance with the facts that they may not go unchallenged.

(1) After a farbreng at the Lubavitch Headquarters in New York, the Lubavitcher Rebbe called together 72 Rabbonim who were present as a Beis Din to vote that according to the Torah, Eretz Israel belongs solely to the Jewish people and no nation or nations have the right to rob the Jews of their land and no Jew has the right to concede an inch of it. The voting for this was unanimous. (Jewish Tribune 30 January 1976)

(2) No fewer than 76 Rabbis recently signed a carefully reasoned ruling regarding the prohibition of surrendering areas of Eretz Israel. This ruling was published in full in the Israeli Press (e.g. Ma’ariv 20 October 1978) and included inter alia the rulings of the Chazon Ish (Hilchos Akum, section 65) in which he prohibited the surrendering of portions of Eretz Israel to non-Jews.

(3) When in 1937, the Peel Commission proposed the partition of Eretz Israel, the Moetzes Gedolei Hatorah of Agudath Israel ruled that “the boundaries of the Holy Land have been established by the Creator and recorded in the Torah for all time to come. The Jewish people cannot possibly compromise these borders.” (A History of Agudath Israel by Joseph Friedenson, p.36)

Rabbi Dr. Chaim Simons

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Bet Hadassah
Hebron, Israel
22 June 1981

Letters to the Editor
Jerusalem Post

Sir,

As a person who has come on Aliyah from England, I was rather amused to read the half-page advertisement in the “Jerusalem Post” from the group entitling itself “In support of a Labour-led administration U.K. campaign,” recommending to the people of Israel which Government to choose for the next four years. The cause of Israel would be far better served if, instead, these same one hundred British ladies and gentlemen would publicly undertake to come on Aliyah within the next four years. However I strongly suspect that the vast majority of these signatories are not prepared to give up the materialistic comforts of Britain.

(Rabbi Dr.) Chaim Simons

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Kiryat Arba, Israel
27 May 1990

Letters to the Editor,
The Jerusalem Post,
Jerusalem.

Sir,

I heartily agree with Jo Oppenheimer (Letter to Jerusalem Post, 25 May), that "our sense of justice has been warped" by giving similar sentences to Abie Nathan and Rabbi Levinger.

Abie Nathan flagrantly broke the law by meeting with the terrorist leader Arafat, whose organisation's objective is the liquidation of the Jewish State, and which for years has been responsible for the murder and maiming of countless innocent men, women and children.

With regards to Rabbi Levinger, the lives of him and his family were endangered by being stoned from all directions by a group of Arafat's terrorists; the Rabbi utilised his right of self-defence and thus saved the lives of four children. The responsibility for a passer-by being killed in such a situation lies solely with the stone-throwers.

In another country, Abie Nathan would be given the punishment meted out for treason, whilst Rabbi Levinger would be awarded a medal for bravery. In Israel, however, every day is Purim!

(Rabbi Dr.) Chaim Simons

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Kiryat Arba, Israel
August 1991

Letters to the Editor
Jerusalem Post
Jerusalem

Sir,

“Since the Palestine Mandate conferred the right to settle in the West Bank on the Jews, that right has not been extinguished, and under Article 80 of the U.N. Charter cannot be extinguished unilaterally.”

Who made such a bold statement? Gush Emunim? Tehiya? Likud? No - it was the former U.S. assistant under-secretary of state, Eugene Rostow, professor of Law at Yale University. Needless to add, this right of settlement applies equally to Russian olim as to veteran Israelis.

Thus, should an American president try to stop the settlement of Jews over the “Green Line,” he would be in flagrant breach of the U.N. Charter to which his country is a signatory.

Despite this, George Bush glibly illegally linked guaranteeing a $40 million loan, to Israel’s agreeing not to settle Russian olim over the “Green Line,” and is now attempting to link a $10 billion loan guarantee to Israel’s completely stopping settlement of Jews over the “Green Line.”

Mr. Bush’s activities seem to be illegal, and the time has come for a public outcry by the Israeli government and the American Jewish community, and for Bush to be brought to trial.

(Rabbi Dr.) Chaim Simons

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Kiryat Arba, Israel
26 August 1992

Letters to the Editor
The Jewish Press
New York

Sir,

Were it not so close to the American Presidential elections, George Bush would be blaming Israel for the hurricanes which hit Florida.

(Rabbi Dr.) Chaim Simons

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Kiryat Arba, Israel
7 May 1995

Letters to the Editor
Jerusalem Post
Jerusalem

Jewish Press
New York

Sir,

About a month ago, Rabbi Ido Elba was sentenced to a term of imprisonment for publishing a scholarly Rabbinical paper. This was despite the fact that he clearly wrote that this paper was a purely theoretical study.

I have waited, but sadly in vain, for the University Professors and the Rabbinical authorities to issue a protest at the incarceration of somebody for publishing a research paper.

It could happen tomorrow that someone will publish a scholarly article on "The Biological Effectiveness of Nerve Gas against Civilian Population" and, like Rabbi Elba, find himself in jail! Would anyone then still remain silent?

(Rabbi Dr.) Chaim Simons

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to contents

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