With regard to “It’s a tough deal, but we will get there” (May 23), US President Donald Trump’s visit was a highlight in terms of the ability of US presidents to connect with Israel.
I hope that in his hectic schedule, he was able to actually find out for himself the beauty, diversity and spirituality of Jerusalem, and did not only mouth those beautiful words.
I don’t know who briefed him, but I hope that in some way he was able to surmount the ignorance of his American advisers. I cannot understand how so many in America remain ignorant of the reality in the Middle East.
We can only hope for true peace when people become aware of reality and don’t merely mouth platitudes. I hope this was in the forefront of President Trump’s mind as he went from Israel to the Vatican and to meetings with the leaders of other nations.
Regarding “Selfie sensation: Divisive MK’s shameless snap with Trump” (May 23), I found Likud MK Oren Hazan’s selfie with President Donald Trump slightly irreverent, but quite amusing nonetheless. Not as amusing, however, as the apoplectic reaction of the Israeli media (showing once again that the Likud can never do good in the eyes of left-wing journalists and commentators).
What’s the uproar about? President Trump could have easily declined Hazan’s polite request for a picture, yet he went along and waited patiently when Hazan had trouble snapping the picture. Trump likely found posing for a selfie a welcome break from the dull protocol of endless handshakes in the sweltering heat.
In snapping the selfie seen round the world, Hazan demonstrated careful planning, daring initiative and unwavering commitment until he achieved his goal – all of which, I believe, are key qualities that Donald Trump admires and appreciates, whether one is in business or politics.
Oren Hazan, you’re hired!KENNY FISHER
I do not understand why people think that MK Oren Hazan is a disgrace. Denmark’s prime minister took a selfie with former US President Barack Obama, and the only one who was unhappy was Obama’s wife.
We live in a world were the selfie is fashionable. If there is any disgrace, it is in the way the Foreign Ministry organized President Donald Trump’s airport welcome.
We’ve had our share of clowns warming seats in the Knesset plenum, but I can’t remember one who came close to Oren Hazan’s level of opprobrium.
Our party leaders should think twice when saving spaces on their lists for special sectors – in Hazan’s case, the smug and shameless.ARI BEN-SENDER
Forget about an airy-fairy, two-state solution that would include peace with the mixture of Arab tribes, sects and cults of discord connected with radical Islam (“Unrealistic national aspirations,” Observations, May 19). It will not happen.
These invented people called “Palestinians” were spending their energy and effort burning effigies of visiting US President Donald Trump and the American and Israeli flags while continuing their venomous demonstrations and violent protests during his visit. Behavior like that will not bring wealth, prosperity or food to their tables.
I agree: The Palestinian Authority relies on handouts for survival.
This results in desperation, poverty, misery and growing refugee camps for their people, as we observe throughout the region. How do you help these radical Arab neighbors who cannot help themselves, who are led by mind-numbing political and religious leaders who incite their audiences?
Through history, they have slaughtered and massacred not only Jews and Christians, but their own people. Can debate and compromise overcome terror and conflict? Strong leadership or suitable successors in the Arab world are a finite quantity when the names of shadowy characters like Dahlan, Rajoub and the murderer Barghouti are mentioned. What future will their people have managing their own state? JACK DAVIS
...and ancient Greece
By returning to the example of the ancient Greeks, Athens in particular, we could have a single, unified and democratic state without there being a separate Palestinian state.
The privilege to vote must be reserved to those who serve in the IDF. If any Palestinian Arab wishes to vote in any election, he or she must serve in the IDF. As this would be open to all residents, it would preserve the democratic character of Israel, and by serving in an army dedicated to preserving the Jewish state, the Jewish character of the state would be preserved.
Those not willing to serve in the army to protect Israel would forfeit their right to vote, as happened to those in ancient Athens.
Those unwilling to protect the values of the state can’t earn the right to vote.DAVID OWEN
BeershebaThe current divide
I am the author of the article “How Much Do American Jews Support the Peace Process?” It appeared in the December 1998 issue of the Middle East Quarterly.
The divide between those who supported the Oslo Accords and those who were suspicious of it even back then was based on how closely one followed the conflict, and thus how much one knew about what was going on. Americans who paid more attention and knew more, generally Orthodox Jews, were more opposed to Oslo than the less well-informed and less Orthodox Jews.
This finding throws much light on the current divide between American and Israeli Jews addressed in Douglas Altabef’s “American Jewry’s dangerous embrace of Progressivism” (Comment & Features, April 30).
Because they live with it every day, Israelis are simply better informed about the reality of the situation than Americans, especially those who get their news from American media like The New York Times, which pursues ideological lines in preference to getting the story right.
American Jews who are better informed are aware that Israelis have soured on Oslo and realize that this should have an impact on their own views. These Jews are generally opposed to further concessions, matching their Israeli cousins.YALE ZUSSMAN
The airport bus
I am in shock and so embarrassed! My beloved brother came on his first visit in 40 years. When he was leaving, we went to Jerusalem’s Central Bus Station and asked where the new direct bus to the airport was. The ticket office wanted to send us to the Haifa bus, which stops on the outskirts of the airport. Passengers using this line to go to the airport need a connecting bus, which makes several stops.
The information desk could only say the bus stop was “outside.”
Finally, a guard directed us to a tiny sign on a bus stop.
For the public’s knowledge, Afikim’s Route 485 is the bus that goes directly to the airport. The fare is NIS 16. Turn left toward town as you leave the Central Bus Station. Look for a small sign with the symbol for an airplane.
It departs from there every hour, a few minutes past the hour.
My brother nearly missed his return flight! MARCIA TARSHISH
Due to an editing error, the “Williamsburg” referred to in “Jerusalem Day, 50 years since reunification” (Comment & Features, May 24) was said to be in Pennsylvania. It is the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, in New York City.