With regard to “Boycott me” (Comment & Features, June 15), much of the world is united against Israel though BDS.
Israel is almost alone. And why is this? Most of the world thinks Israel has no business being in the West Bank and should get out. But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and others, including Education Minister Naftali Bennett, think otherwise and say that the rest of the world is out of step.
Our leaders could solve the BDS problem in a minute by stating what everyone knows will happen in the end anyway, in one form or another: We will stop building in the West Bank and start mapping out an exchange of land together with representatives from the other side. The other side has more requests, of course, but so do we, all to be addressed later.
Aside from the pure anti-Semites who hitched a ride, all the others will make a 180-degree turn. BDS will be forgotten and we can concentrate on our fights on other fronts. Some of our neighbors are even waiting to be friends with us.
This is the only way to unravel years of obstacles, many of which were created just to put off any decisions. I am sure that a great majority of Israelis would be the happiest people on Earth were this to happen, for it would bring relative calm to our surroundings in a Middle East that is boiling as never before.
ANDREAS MEYER, Kfar Vradim
A couple of years ago, the journalist Allister Sparks, who was previously editor of a South African newspaper, used every opportunity to condemn Israel, as well as the chief rabbi of South Africa.
I wrote a letter to Business Day, which published his pieces, pointing out that this biased journalist never commented on atrocities committed by the Palestinians against Israelis. I ended my letter by saying I looked forward to the old hack’s next rendition of taurus excreta. Sparks immediately stopped criticizing Israel and the Jewish people.
This is what we need to do with supporters of BDS. They need to be named and shamed, and their human rights records need to be exposed. It won’t be difficult to demonstrate the extreme bias of these individuals.
GERARD JACOBSON, Netanya
Reader Judy Bamberger (“Fighting BDS,” Letters, June 15) denounces Israel’s occupation in order to justify her boycott of Israeli goods produced over the Green Line. Unfortunately, she does not tell us whether her boycotts apply only to Israel and are self-serving, or whether they are applied more generally and represent a consistent, morally upright position.
To remove any doubt, I look forward to hearing that Ms. Bamberger does not purchase British or French goods because of their longer and more brutal occupations of Gibraltar, the Falkland Islands and Corsica; that she boycotts American goods because the United States continues to illegally imprison and torture people in its Guantanamo detention facility; and that she also boycotts Bangladesh and Indonesia because of the inhuman conditions under which their textiles are manufactured.
H.B. MITCHELL, Mazkeret Batya Poor proposal
Your June 15 article “Bill seeks to improve conditions for renters” discusses a proposal to impose rent controls on apartments.
Cities in Israel lack sufficient buildings that provide rental units. Rent controls would ensure that few more, if any, such buildings would be constructed by the private sector.
The advocates of rent control should study the disaster created by such legislation in other jurisdictions.
No one will build rental units as a result of such legislation.
Whatever rental units we have are very likely to be neglected by landlords or put on the market for sale.
We do indeed need more rental units, but this legislation will ensure that it will not happen.
ARTHUR KRUGER, Jerusalem Your cheatin’ site
Reader Ruth Zimberg (“Not here,” Letters, June 12) responds to Judy Montagu’s illuminating “A site for sore ‘I’s?” (In My Own Write, June 10) by comparing adultery to murder and robbery, all of which are proscribed by the Ten Commandments. She concludes that Ashley Madison, a website that facilitates extra-marital affairs, should be denied the right to advertise here, just like any site that advocates robbery or murder.
It’s not about what’s in the Decalogue. Our media routinely advertise events that conflict with the Sabbath, and scarcely anyone objects. However, the right to advertise should be reserved for products and services that are consonant with the values of a society.
One of those values happens to be honesty. It’s just a fact that marital partners normally undertake a promise of mutual fidelity. Society takes the position that promises should be kept. We think that people should tell the truth.
How about a website that teaches people how to lie to family members about gambling, drug use or other subjects of concealment? How about a school that teaches people how to lie convincingly in salesmanship? Granted, marital infidelity need not involve deception.
There are “open marriages.” But Ashley Madison’s come-on, as described by Montagu, clearly appeals to those seeking an affair on the sly.
Zimberg’s conclusion is right, but not on biblical grounds.
Integrity is a value that cuts across religious boundaries.
LAURIN LEWIS, Jerusalem
I loved Judy Montagu’s column.
She brings up the fact that Ashley Madison is the largest dating site for married people to have affairs, and that its slogan is “Life is short. Have an affair.”
Another web-based dating service, Fidelity Dating, disputes that slogan. Its motto is: “Love is precious. Stay faithful.”
I would disagree with the founder of Ashley Madison, who says his site saves marriages. I do agree with the consultant who helped found Match.com, who said that Ashley Madison was a “business built on the back of broken hearts, ruined marriages and damaged families.”
Infidelity seems to be on the rise, reaching almost epidemic levels. Fidelity Dating is the first and only dating site that caters to infidelity survivors and singles seeking faithful partners.
GARY SPIVAK, Jersey City, New Jersey
The writer is founder of Fidelity Dating.Eternal crybabies
Your June 10 editorial “Jerusalem, Israel” relates to the vote of the US Supreme Court, which ruled that it’s the US president, and not Congress, that speaks on international matters.
This is frustrating and can anger some. But let’s stop being the eternal crybabies. Let’s see the true facts and concentrate on what is vital, not on what is largely cosmetic and of no concern to facts on the ground.
The main problem is the composition of Jerusalem’s inhabitants, whereby over 60 percent are not Zionists. Mention of “Jerusalem, Israel” on a US passport will not change this.
There must be an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians on how to manage a united city. It’s obvious that as of now, this won’t be happening soon; even Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon recently said he did not expect that peace would be coming during his lifetime.
This means the Jerusalem question will be around for many years. We must live with this fact and stop raising the question. Where we have no chance of changing the situation, less talk is smart policy.
Let’s just appreciate the quality of life and relative quiet we now enjoy.
HENRY WEIL, Jerusalem