With regard to “Palestinians say Trump promised not to move US Embassy to Jerusalem” (February 12), the nullification of Security Council Resolution 2334 will be a key goal of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when he meets with US President Donald Trump on Wednesday. Transferring the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem would be the best approach.
“Recognized and secure boundaries” provided by Security Council Resolution 242 in 1967 – supported by the Johnson administration – would demonstrate that the approach to borders by former US president Barack Obama should not be the pre-1967 lines.
Beit Shemesh Sounding optimistic
Reading the first print edition since I was last here in October, I note that there are still optimists writing in your newspaper who believe that peace with the Palestinians is attainable, it being conditional on Israel’s actions and policies.
In a similar vein, the mantra of the Europeans and the previous US administration, that Israel’s settlement policy undermines any chance of peace, would be plausible if both interlocutors were rational actors. The ignored reality is that the Palestinian leadership has not changed its views since the mandate period, which was articulated immediately after the recent vote on UN Security Council Resolution 2334, when PLO representative Hanan Ashrawi stated that “the Palestinians will never accept a Jewish state.”
If the Palestinian leadership genuinely wanted peace, the settlement policy would hasten an agreement before there was no land remaining to negotiate. Years of Palestinian intransigence have now led to the problematic “regulation law,” which no doubt should be rejected by the higher court.
Still, the good news is that help is on its way in the form of US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Let’s hope that unlike one former US recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, he is worthy of it.
Tel Aviv/London Faithful servant
Your February 12 front page proclaims “Police likely to recommend indicting PM.”
If, after 10 years of faithfully serving and protecting the State of Israel, our prime minister finds himself indicted for the crime of accepting cigars and champagne, I would suggest he call it a day and leave Israel to its own resources.
As the saying goes, be careful what you wish for! DAVID S. ADDLEMAN
Mevaseret Zion Do not uproot
“On Tu Bishvat, Jews plant trees the government will uproot” (February 12) is a negative article. In a more positive light, the combined tenants of our five buildings on Hebron Road gathered last Friday afternoon to drink a lechaim and plant an almond tree in memory of the tragedy that occurred in our midst at the start of the year, when a young mother was found hanged and her children dead in an adjacent locked room, which had been set on fire.
The newly formed tenant’s group that organized the event sparked feelings of brotherly love and concern for all of us in these buildings, both young and old. I trust that no one will be considering uprooting this symbol of mutual care and respect.STANLEY COHEN
Jerusalem Seeing red
Barry Leff distorts US President Donald Trump’s recent executive orders and cabinet appointments, claiming they are “completely at odds with... Jewish values” (“A liberal Israeli rabbi in a red US state,” Observations, February 10).
He exaggerates that Mr. Trump’s plan to dismantle the Obama health care plan will result in “thousands of untimely deaths.” He speciously argues against the appointment of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, whose programs, he says, will “only benefit upper middle class families” when in fact her expertise in voucher and school-choice programs offer opportunities heretofore unavailable to lower- income minorities.
Leff assails Mr. Trump for blaspheming a member of the judicial system, referring to the judge who blocked the president’s order on immigrants and refugees as a “so-called judge.” Many judges are political appointees, and not all of them have the same high standards. Yes, there really are “so-called” judges – as well as rabbis.
The liberal author correctly asserts that the Torah entreats man to be compassionate to strangers. But that does not mean one should admit refugees who are serious security risks.
In contrast to his predecessor, Mr. Trump welcomes Israeli leaders with dignity and respect, understands the absurdity that foreign nations dictate where Israel’s capital should be located, and believes Israeli settlements are not an obstacle to peace and that former president Barack Obama’s deal with Iran threatens the free world.
For the first time in my 81 years on this planet, I feel the US has a president who is a true friend of Israel and the Jewish people.ROBERT DUBLIN
Barry Leff should have first identified himself as a member of Rabbis for Human Rights. That organization supported the invidious and mendacious Goldstone report accusing the IDF of war crimes during 2009’s Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip; the report was belatedly disavowed by Judge Richard Goldstone himself after the damage to Israel’s image had already been done.
It is no wonder that a “liberal” could come up with a most original appellation for President Donald Trump: the “anti-Moses.” Really!
The esteemed rabbi should have heeded the words of Shmaya, a pupil of Rabbi Shimon ben Shetach, in Pirkei Avot (Ethics of our Fathers): “Scholars, be cautious with your words, for you may incur the penalty of exile and be banished to a place of bitter waters, and the pupils who follow after you will drink of it and die, thereby desecrating Heaven’s name.” Exile: to the US? Hmmm. Bitter waters? Progressivism? I wonder....
Finally, as a hidden child of the Holocaust, I find it shocking that he and many other Jews conflate the plight of immigrants from Islamic countries with that of Jews during the Holocaust. This must stop! No one is herding these asylum seekers into concentration camps for extermination, as were my father and countless of my relatives who disappeared into the maws of Auschwitz.AVRAHAM SCHONBRUNN
With regard to “Authorities at airport scrutinize New Israel Fund VP for activities” (February 10), I have a similar story to tell.
My husband and I are a retired couple, citizens of Denmark, who for the past 10 years have spent five winter months in Israel – approximately two months between October and December and about three between January and April, with a break in between.
We are allowed to stay only six months every year. We have never broken the law or had any run-ins with the authorities. We were always treated well and with a smile upon arriving in Israel.
But this time, as we arrived on February 9, we were stopped at passport control by a female controller who looked at us very suspiciously and told us – in a very unpleasant way – that she could see we had been in Israel for too long. This was absolutely not true, and although we denied it, she insisted and gave us only a one-month stay.
Now we ask: Who are the authorities who decided to instate this unpleasant procedure? Who are the authorities who suffer from paranoia and see us as criminals? Who are the authorities who put a label on us: UNWANTED? Is this a kind of “Trump effect”?
AGNETE ANAT RINGSHOLT