January 15: Listen to Sen. Paul
The Republican senator from Kentucky said it was “none of our business” whether Israel “builds new neighborhoods in east Jerusalem or withdraws from the Golan Heights, and the US should not tell Israel how to defend itself.”
Letters Photo: REUTERS/Handout
Listen to Sen. Paul
Sir, – At last a voice of reason in a world that has gone
mad (“Rand Paul: Construction in Jerusalem ‘none of US’s business,’ January 13).
The Republican senator from Kentucky said it was “none of our business” whether
Israel “builds new neighborhoods in east Jerusalem or withdraws from the Golan
Heights, and the US should not tell Israel how to defend itself.”
good it is to hear the truth. Why could our government not have thought of this?
We would not be having Arabs threatening our existence and setting up tents on
Jewish land, claiming it as their own, as they do our holy sites, to which they
deny us any connection.
Paul also puts us straight on foreign aid,
stating that the US gives more to Israel’s neighbors than to Israel. If the US
gives 20 F-16 fighter planes to Egypt, Israel feels it needs to buy 25. If the
US gives Egypt 200 tanks, Israel feels the need to purchase 300 to keep ahead of
the game, all the time having to spend more and more money on armaments that
should be spent in Israel for Israelis.
While Paul advocates cutting
foreign aid due to America’s massive debt, he is talking first of all about aid
to countries that are not so friendly to the US, such as those that are burning
the American flag and chanting “Death to America,” which Israel can never be
He also cites Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his 1996
speech to Congress, in which he advocated that Israel gradually wean itself off
American aid dollars. This would benefit Israel and its defense industry because
it would not have to buy all its weaponry from the US. A curtailment of American
foreign aid would also mean less money for arms for Israel’s
Rand Paul talks a lot of sense and we would be fools not to
listen and learn.
Why the surprise?
Sir, – Before
the US elections, many Jerusalem Post columnists, including Isi Leibler, warned
of, at best, colder relations and, at worse, dire consequences for Israel if
President Barack Obama was reelected. So now that this has happened, it’s hard
to understand Leibler’s fearful concern (“Hagel nomination conveys chilling
message,” Candidly Speaking, January 13).
Obama’s foreign policy at the
outset angered many close US allies, and his firm belief in engagement with
one’s enemies, including Iran, and avoiding conflict as much as possible was
nothing new. He made it clear way before the elections that the US had no
problem with Iran using nuclear power for peaceful and civilian purposes. And
despite boasts “that all options are on the table,” he and his entire security
team made it clear time and again that the chance of any US military strike
against Iran’s nuclear facilities was virtually nil, not to mention their
explicit warnings against even an Israeli strike.
Obama has been sending
“chilling messages” to Israel since his first day in the White House, only it is
Israel that seems to continue basking in wishful thinking by hoping that at the
end of the day, as each crisis dies down (as has been the case in almost every
US administration till now), Obama won’t dare to do anything really drastic
This obviously is no longer a valid assumption, and former
senator Chuck Hagel’s nomination is just one more proof.
Any new Israeli
government will have a clear choice to make: Either begin giving in to many
American demands regarding building freezes and giving up “land for peace,” or
wean us away from massive US military aid and its accompanying dependency on
College and knowledge
Sir, – Atara Siegel’s explanation for Jewish students’ disillusionment about
Israel (“Why Israel is losing support from Jewish students on US college
campuses,” Comment & Features, January 13) illustrates how people who
believe in a just cause can become demoralized by lack of
Every country harbors people who are insensitive or
Shining a spotlight on such cases can be used either as a
mechanism for positive change or to delegitimize. For example, Nazi propaganda
highlighted real or imagined Polish and Czech anti-German discrimination in
order to make the Nazis’ evil aims understandable. The same techniques are being
employed today by those who want to wipe out Israel.
The fact is,
official Israel does not condone unlawful acts against minorities, and
transgressions that do occur are often a source of public
Contrast that with the celebratory reactions to terrorism
in Gaza, where a perfume was recently named M75 in honor of a missile meant to
kill civilians. Meanwhile, in virtually every Islamic country, defenseless
Christians are being humiliated and attacked with the tacit or overt approval of
the authorities and silence from the press.
Israel is a moral country
with some flawed individuals surrounded by immoral countries with some noble
individuals. If students can’t figure that out, they are going to college but
not getting an education.
Vote by post
Sir, – Of course El Al flight attendants should be able to vote (“NGO claims
that El Al flight attendants are being denied the right to vote,” January 11).
But why blame their employers? In every advanced Western country election day is
not a national holiday or an excuse for a holiday – it is an ordinary working
day. Why not copy the way they cope with this issue, which is simply by giving
the electorate postal votes. Or is there some in-built fear that Israeli society
is too easily corrupted?
Lew as scapegoat
Sir, – I
disagree with your January editorial “Mazel tov, Jack Lew!” praising US
President Barack Obama for appointing a Jew as Treasury chief.
merely a sop for appointing Sen. John Kerry secretary of state, former senator
Chuck Hagel secretary of defense, and John Brennan director of the CIA. All are
unfriendly to the interests of Israel.
Unlike them, Jack Lew will be
concerned with purely internal affairs. Even more to the point, in view of the
enormous national debt – which is bound to rise in view of Obama’s dedication to
socializing the country – Lew has a truly unenviable job.
economic situation deteriorates even more, he will be an ideal scapegoat. It’s
something we’ve seen before: Blame the Jews!
Sir, – Regarding “Lapid’s rule for joining coalition leaves PM to
choose: Shas or me” (January 10), is Yair Lapid’s statement – “...don’t say that
what I’m saying is anti-haredi.... I don’t want anything for them that I don’t
want for my children or myself” – a legitimate litmus test for whether we are
against another societal group? If Lapid wants to make himself and his children
the standard for the haredi population, he might very well be
Equally troubling is the possibility that this same standard
could be applied to justify the indoctrination of other groups to become little
He says, “Don’t tell us it’s complicated. It’s not
Everyone has to enlist in military or civilian service, and
everyone has to study the core curriculum and everyone has to work.”
is right in that for him, imposing these things on haredim is not
The issues themselves, however, are, and complicated issues
require complex solutions from political leaders who understand that social
engineering is a lot harder than electioneering.