Sir, – Over two weeks ago President Shimon Peres sent a
personal letter to US President Barak Obama, asking him to pardon Jonathan
Pollard (“Divergent religious streams join together in appeal to release
Pollard,” April 23).
The first insult came when some White House
underling said “there has been no change in policy.” The letter was for Obama
and no one else. Common courtesy requires a reply from Obama himself. The fact
that this has not yet happened is an insult to our president and through him to
the entire nation. I would hope that for his pride and that of the nation, Peres
would decline accepting the US medal if he does not receive a direct reply from
Sir, – Most Americans feel not one more
American life should be sacrificed to protect any foreign nation and as for
Jonathan Pollard’s release... NO! He was caught spying and must serve out his
term. In both cases, I say “Enough, already!”
Massapequa, New York
Sense of justice Sir, – About “Case that led to Eshel’s resignation included
sexual harassment,” (April 22), I’m still waiting for organizations and groups
to award whistle-blower Yoaz Hendel with awards and prizes.
not only satisfy a sense of justice; it would also tell others in similar
situations that besides it being right to stop abuse by powerful people, one
will be widely supported doing so.
MOSHE-MORDECHAI VAN ZUIDEN
Eye in the sky
Sir, – I was particularly interested in Liat Collins’s article
“Of wings and prayers” (My Word, April 22) as my husband was a doctor in the
Israeli Air Force after being an officer in the British Royal Air Force in
He remembers being called to his annual service at Ramat David in
1973 during the Yom Kippur War when the head of the base, Zorik Lev, was
He said he was a fine man, and went to his home at the base to
treat his sick children. My husband was upset to be reminded of that
We also remembered the day at Hatzerim when our granddaughter
graduated to become an officer in the Air Force, and the whole family went for
I was fascinated by the rare collection of planes including Ezer
Weizman’s black Spitfire.
I also organized the first meeting of an
exhibition on Mahal [volunteers from abroad] in September 2010 with a member of
Mahal and a curator at Beit Hatfutsot – The Museum of the Jewish
I also made a documentary film about them called Volunteers of
Valor, 1948, which was televised, and the Mahal exhibition is due to be opened
Sir, – The apathy
shown by British Jews to anti-Israel demonstrations is disturbing. (“A wakeup
call,” Tal Ofer, Comment and Features, April 22).
From what I have been
told by my parents, this reflects the feelings they had when they spent two
years in London before my birth. They told of acquaintances changing their
names, so as not to sound Jewish; they told of discrimination against Jews in
the employment market, but their leaders failed to raise their voices in
Thus, the failure of British Jews to join a
counter-demonstration against a protest organized by the Palestinian Solidarity
Campaign can be regarded as “par for the course.”
It surely is time for
the leaders of the Jewish organizations in Britain to make their voices heard
loud and clear.
Sir, – Tal Ofer’s claims that
“the level of hostility against Israel has reached an all-time high in the UK
because it is not being countered effectively” and one online commenter
responded: “Every newspaper article which appears in anti- Israel newspapers
need to be answered with the truth. The PR war has been going on for years and
the appearance is that Israel is losing it.”
In practice, unfortunately,
it is the editor of the paper who decides what appears on its letters
Most letters I have written to such “enlightened” journals as the
The Guardian or The Independent simply do not get printed. I am fairly sure that
my experience is shared by most other pro-Israel letter writers.
Sir, – If a picture is a worth a thousand
words, can there be a more telling image of the “religion of peace” than a group
of Islamic religious leaders presenting Syrian mass-murderer Bashar Assad with
the gift of a sword (“With echoes of Saddam, Assad may endure,” Comment and
Features, April 22)? One can only imagine the global outrage were a group of
rabbis to present President Shimon Peres or Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
with the gift of a gun.
Sir, – I have
long become accustomed to gritting my teeth when reading the concert or opera
reviews of one of your more regular reviewers, who seems more to wish to regale
the readers with the extent of his scholarship than his understanding of the
performance about which he is meant to be writing.
It was therefore with
a deal of pleasure that I read Herb Keinon’s review (“‘Madama Butterfly’: A
treat for ear and eye,” Arts and Entertainment, April 22) of the very same
Madama Butterfly performed in Tel Aviv and already reviewed last
His manner of describing both the production, the staging,
lighting, costumes and individual performances of the artists were a model of
how such articles ought to be written and gave a clear indication of the
comparative merits of all concerned.
To my mind your two reviewers gave
every impression of having attended different performances with different
artists in different locations.
I write this both as a fan of this medium
and as an erstwhile opera singer.
Sir, – Once again I fail to see the logic of events occurring in our country. In
Yaakov Katz’s analysis piece “IDF under Gantz won’t tolerate ethical errors”
(April 19), he makes a distinction between “operational errors” and “ethical
errors.” He proceeds to give the readers an example of an ethical error – a
high-ranking officer was dismissed, not because he left a soldier behind in an
operation, but because he falsified the report and covered up the
The example of an operational error was allowing 100 Syrians to
breach the border on “Nakba Day” in May.
Now we have to decide whether
Eisner’s error was operational or ethical and, of course, Gantz decided that it
was ethical, therefore, Eisner had to be sacked. However, Katz finishes the
piece by recommending that the army “try to understand what brought a senior
officer to lose control the way Eisner did.”
If I had to categorize
Eisner’s mistake, I would call it an “operational” error and not an “ethical”
one. Falsifying a report is a breach of ethics.
Losing control (Katz’s
words) is an operational failure. Even ethical people lose control at a certain
I am not justifying Eisner’s action (since I do not know what led
up to his loss of control) but I definitely condemn his being