Sir, – Regarding “Zoabi slams Weinstein for allegedly looking into rescinding her citizenship” (August 16), one would have thought that MK Haneen Zoabi, as an elected legislator, would know a citizen has obligations as well as rights.
A citizen can demand that the state protect him at home and abroad while he is acting legally.
In exchange, he has duties of loyalty to the state. A citizen, particularly in wartime, may not under pain of punishment ally him- or herself with enemies of the state or give aid and comfort to them.
As Israel is still in a state of war with certain countries, as well as with Gaza, every Israeli, particularly those who are elected to govern, have a duty of loyalty that overrides any other consideration.
CYRIL ATKINS Beit Shemesh Views on mosque
Sir, – In “Sacrilege at Ground Zero” (August 16), Charles Krauthammer makes a strong case against building the mosque near the site of the destroyed Twin Towers. The truth is that although the terrorist attack occurred in New York, it was directed against all of America. I feel that in the final analysis, the people of the US should decide if the mosque should be built.
During the month of November there will be mid-term elections for Congress. This is the perfect opportunity to put the question to all the American people in a fair and democratic manner.
PAUL BERMAN Shoham
Sir, – Must a mosque be built near Ground Zero? Freedom of religion, you say? Where there is a clear and present danger, the security of society takes precedence.
To shout “fire” if there is none is unacceptable. But recently, there was a fire that left thousands of Americans dead, injured or grieving. Should a potential arsenal be erected “next door” to the memorial of a nation’s loved ones?
SIMCHA FRIEDMAN Betar Illit
Sir, – I am a Jewish American who feels that the current uproar over the building of the mosque could be a precursor to anti-Semitism in my country.
I firmly believe that the mosque should be built. This belief rests upon my knowledge of the building blocks of anti-Semitism, which I see daily in the form of anti-Muslim and anti-mosque e-mails circulated within my family, as well as in the viewpoint of the ADL and other organizations.
Needless to say, I think their way of seeing this issue is not only short-sighted, but damaging to Jewish safety.
I have family in Israel and I love Israel. However, I fear that the sanctioned bigotry of the politics of fear within my community and within the US regarding this mosque might one day rear its ugly head in the form of something we Jews are all too familiar with.
HAROLD AARON GOODMAN Los Angeles Of vital importance
Sir, – I enjoyed reading Shalom Helman’s excellent opinion piece “Reclaiming Israel’s narrative of freedom” (August 15). However, I would go much further in focusing everything from Israel’s point of view.
Helman says that the attention Israel receives in the world is out of
all proportion to its size or importance. Size yes, importance no! We
are vitally important to the whole world. Our position at a geographical
crossroads has been clear throughout history, while the “negative tide
of public opinion” is temporarily enabling so many of the Arab nations
to mask their own instabilities.
This cannot continue indefinitely and I am sure Israel will retain its
importance and regain its respect among the Western, freedom-loving
nations, even if currently those relations are somewhat strained.
Sir, – Paul Gross (“Indefensible borders,” August 15) ignores salient
facts in arguing that it is not okay “to control a territory in which
Jews have full democratic rights and Arabs do not, just because Judaism
Some of those facts:
• The Jewish claim to all of the land from the river to the sea has a
solid foundation in international law, dating at least from the Mandate
for Palestine and never superseded.
• There is no evidence that Palestinian Arabs truly want this state, no
matter what their public proclamations. They could have had it several
times over. Arafat walked away from Barak’s offer, Abbas rejected what
• The PA has never prepared its people for peace, and instead promotes
veneration of jihad and praises “martyrs” who embrace terrorism.
Granting Palestinian Arabs a state would be a potentially
self-destructive act for Israel: Fatah’s charter still calls for
The PLO endorses a “strategy of stages,” which means weakening Israel
via negotiations with the ultimate goal of destruction. Hamas is waiting
in the wings to take over a state, should it be formed, and PA forces
are not up to the task of preventing this.
Jerusalem A job for Goldstone
Sir, – After reading “Photos of bodies torn pieces ‘show Turkey used
chem. weapons on Kurds’” (August 13), I presume that our friend and
impartial investigator Judge Richard Goldstone is to be appointed by the
United Nations and dispatched with all haste to head an impartial fact
Sir, – How many more times are we to be subjected to the rantings of
Minister of Internal Affairs Eli Yishai? His attitude toward foreign
workers who he says have deliberately broken laws in order to stay here
with their children is a disgrace (“Yishai: The field trip is over for
foreign workers’ kids,” August 10).
He is the one giving the permits to unscrupulous “dealers in human
life,” also known as manpower companies. Does he know what he is talking
about when he says foreign workers come here and earn “enormous amounts
of money?” Does he know how much they owe the manpower companies both
here and in their countries of origin before they even send a penny
home? The issue of kicking children out of the country of their birth is
a fig leaf for a much bigger issue. It is time to investigate the dark
side of the import of foreign workers.
Sir, – Migration is currently a ubiquitous and knotty problem in the
Western world. It is extremely irresponsible to encourage the growth of
that problem here. Interior Minister Eli Yishai is taking a tough,
realistic and ethical position.
MIRIAM L. GAVARIN
Jerusalem Not for young eyes
Sir, – Despite being far beyond my childhood years, I still enjoy
watching an excellent youth series like Degrassi High, currently
broadcast daily on Channel 1 to the delight of Israeli “youngsters” like
myself. The series is finely acted and produced with true-life
However, at times these situations may have a deleterious effect on our
young people. I was horrified to witness in last week’s episode two
homosexual students kissing each other with passionate energy, and then
two lesbian students kissing each other with the same energy and
delight. To discuss such issues is one thing, but to show such graphic
scenes to an adolescent and supposedly innocent young Jewish Israeli
audience, to my mind, smacks of a dangerous lack of judgment on the part
of those responsible for youth programming.
Israeli youth have enough troubles of their own without being given
graphic instruction in forbidden arts at such an early and
impressionable age. Channel 1 needs to be reprimanded for failing to
properly vet its youth programming.