Sir, – With regard to “State Dept. urges Israel to keep Kerry’s ‘disappointing’ comments in proper context” (April 11), I have a constructive suggestion for the US secretary of state: Set a time frame of six months, during which the Israeli and Palestinian teams negotiate the terms and conditions for the resumption of peace talks.
The negotiations for resuming negotiations should take into consideration the following issues: the release of terrorists, including numbers and profiles; the release of Jewish “terrorists”; the release of Jonathan Pollard; and the withdrawal of Palestinian applications to join international bodies. They should be held in Geneva or Washington under the auspices of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council.
If these negotiations for the resumption of negotiations fail after six months, Mr. Kerry should resign from his post.
Sir, – With the approach of the Passover season I am reminded of the word dayenu.
John Kerry, dayenu! We’ve had enough – enough of your shuttling back and forth “beating a dead horse.” How many times have you shuttled back and forth to Syria or between Russia and Ukraine? It is blatantly clear that you are appeasing “Palestinian” intransigence.
We release murderers and receive nothing in return. In fact, we have received nothing since the 1991 Madrid peace conference.
Compare all the concessions Israel has made since then with the “Palestinian” concessions. Israel’s list is extensive while the “Palestinian” list is zero.
Israel has to apologize for speaking the truth while America continues to blame only us. Wake up, Mr. Kerry and Mr. Obama – it makes you both look pathetic and weak in the eyes of the world. (I don’t suppose the president will return the Nobel Peace Prize he received during his first days in the White House – for what exactly?) Now is the time for Israel to start showing the world what it has done for peace and what the “Palestinians” haven’t done!
Sir, – Finally it’s the Passover season of celebrating our freedom.
We can really be very proud of our government again! Proud because we are standing up for what is right.
No more threats from those who want to destroy us, no more coercion, no more terrorist prisoner releases (something unheard of in any civilized and democratic state), and no more giving in to the US, the UN or others. (And no more trying to appease the Left.) Let us continue to be strong and firm and stand up for what is right and just. Enough already!
Sir, – I give US Secretary of State John Kerry some extra points in his negotiations regarding the Middle East situation, but the notion that dangling Jonathan Pollard to perhaps gain concessions from Israel is way out of line.
Kerry should be going after the Palestinians to first recognize the State of Israel as a Jewish state.
Then and only then can peace talks be directed to a successful outcome. But I’m not holding my breath.
Mooresville, North Carolina
Sir, – I think reader Yehuda Gellman (“Who really knows?” Letters, April 8) should be appointed to lead the peace negotiations on behalf of Israel.
He seems to understand what will happen.
Sir, – In her latest column (“Forgetting freedom at Passover,” Column One, April 11), Caroline B. Glick does indeed forget the meaning of freedom.
She targets Partners for Progressive Israel and our friends on the pro-Israel left as anti-Israel because we do not share her vision of Greater Israel. She says we “have played roles in mainstreaming the BDS movement,” a claim that is objectively false.
Our refusal to purchase products from Israeli settlements in the West Bank comes from a deep love of Israel, a commitment to two states for two peoples and a firm understanding of Israel’s founding principles. Furthermore, forcing Jews to support the settlements and the occupation as a condition for participating in a parade celebrating Israel is anti-democratic and has no place in a free society.
We at Partners for Progressive Israel will be marching in the parade, proudly celebrating a Jewish and democratic Israel. We will be happy to see anyone willing to do the same.
The writer is acting executive director of Partners for Progressive Israel
Sir, – I am deeply disappointed that once again a US university has caved in, this time to pressure by the Council of American- Islamic Relations, by cowardly withdrawing its plan to bestow on Ayaan Hirsi Ali an honorary doctorate (“Brandeis reneges on plan to give honorary degree to Islam critic,” April 10).
My outrage is all the greater because over the years I have come to regard Brandeis as a courageous and incorruptible institution, staunchly defending most of the values that we as Jews have embraced since time immemorial – including those that deal with speaking the truth.
When Ms. Hirsi Ali’s criticism of radical Islam, as Brandeis University states, has been to say that the religion is “destructive and nihilistic,” she is speaking not just the truth, but as a victim of female sexual mutilation and the tyranny of being forced into an unwanted marriage. For her to say so publicly cannot possibly be in conflict with what Brandeis states are its core values.
Far from being a “notorious Islamophobe,” Ms. Hirsi Ali is an articulate and courageous advocate for the rights and human dignity of millions of women in the Islamic world. As for Brandeis, did it really not know what she had said and written over many years? I would have expected this weak-kneed surrender from, say, Columbia University or Berkley, but from Jewish Brandeis? Never!
FRANK J. VAN BERS
Sir, – I was disappointed to read a completely fallacious account by an otherwise intelligent Diaspora rabbi (“The roots of Jewish assimilation are in Israel,” Comment & Features, April 8).
To suggest that the Pew Center’s finding of soaring US Jewish intermarriage and assimilation rates is to be blamed on Israeli yordim (expatriates) is nothing but disingenuous. Rabbi Aron Lieberman also claims, without citing any evidence, that the Israeli educational system urges our children “...to erase their Jewish soul and essence....”
I made aliya in 2004. I Jewishly educated my children in Canada, the US and Israel and can honestly say that my only regret is that I did not make aliya sooner so that all my children and grandchildren could have been raised in the one place that dramatically increases our commitment to living and being a complete Jew versus being a bifurcated one in the Diaspora.
When Rabbi Lieberman sits at his Seder, I hope he will reconsider his views when his children and grandchildren all rise to proclaim next year in Jerusalem.
STEVE M. SOLOMON
The writer is a rabbi Master ‘treif’
Sir, – The television show Master Chef is a highly successful program thanks mainly to the interesting and varied contestants who participate – a true reflection of the population of Israel. But why is it so blatantly unkosher? How can it represent Israel, the Jewish state, while not respecting one of the most important aspects of Jewish culture? The judges are all chefs at non-kosher eateries and enjoy eating meatballs in yogurt, steak tartare and similar dishes. Who knows what other delicacies they will surprise us with if we continue watching the program?
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