Slap in the face
Sir, – UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has disqualified not
only himself as an effective seeker of world peace, but the United Nations as
well (“Deaf to US and Israeli appeals, Ban to attend Tehran NAM meeting,” August
By breaking the international community’s sanctions regime against
Iran, which is aimed at causing it to cease its headlong rush to develop nuclear
capability, Ban has chosen to side with this pariah state. Not only has he
denigrated Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who implored him not to
attend, he has expressed his disrespect for US President Barack Obama, who also
urged him not to attend.
This public show of disrespect for the UN’s
largest funder demonstrates in the clearest terms the depths to which Obama’s
leadership has caused the US to tumble, a situation that is a very serious
threat to the peace and stability not only of the Middle East but the entire
Hopefully, the American electorate will recognize that a change in
leadership is crucial for the continued stability of the world and act
Israeli-Americans who are eligible to vote in the November
elections must, and hopefully will, take the lead.
The attempted lynch
Sir, – Nariman Julani (“Mother of the Jerusalem
lynching victim says she has pity on attackers,” August 23) says that many
residents of her neighborhood, Ras el-Amud, are staying away from west
“No one wants to live in fear and be on edge all the time,”
she says. “How can we live like that?” Well, let me tell Nariman it is not easy
when Jews are frightened to walk in Ras el-Amud or Silwan, pass near the
Damascus Gate or enter any Arab neighborhood.
They are frightened that
they will never walk away in one piece or even alive.
Now that the shoe
is on the other foot, it hurts.
Concerning the attempted lynch of an Arab youth in Jerusalem, there are usually
two sides to every issue.
On the one hand, where is our humanity in that
we can raise our children in such a hideous fashion, to hate Arabs to the point
where they would physically harm a boy hanging out in Zion Square, looking for a
good time? On the other hand, let’s see a Jewish youth go into Ramallah for a
good time and what happens to him.
Sir, – I
don’t understand how any God-fearing Jew can condone the attack on the Arab boy,
given the “provocation” mentioned (that he insulted someone’s
This is not the Jewish way to respond – unless physically
attacked. But even then, as a mob? That lowers us to the Arabs’ level, where
attacking Jews just because they are Jews is okay.
We may never know the
whole story, yet as it stands something is lacking in these kids’
Where are the parents? Why are such young children wandering
around like that?
Obama and Israel
Sir, – I am rather
puzzled with regard to “Over 600 rabbis declare support for Obama” (August
With Israel, the land is one of the key cornerstones of Judaism; it
is not even listed on Obama’s reelection website as an issue.
I have a
question: Is the record of the current president of the United States on
opinions, interactions with and policies toward the State of Israel not an
important issue to these rabbis? If it is, where does that support for Israel
fall within their voting priorities alongside social justice, individual
freedoms, government healthcare, etc.? Israel’s future: It’s important to me!
Sir, – Notable on the list of rabbinical
supporters on US President Barack Obama’s campaign website is a prominent Reform
campaigner, Rabbi Felicia Sol.
Curiously, Rabbi Sol was actively involved
in the successful campaign to terminate Glenn Beck, the irreplaceable Israel
advocate on Fox News!
Sir, – As
justification for the outrageous sentence of three years in jail passed by a
Russian court on members of the band Pussy Riot, Seth Frantzman (“Freedom and
spectacle,” Terra Incognita, August 23) cites an extensive US judicial history
of supposedly similar protection of private property from the encroachments of
Frantzman, however, conspicuously omits the fact that this
protection is part and parcel of a democratic system that concomitantly protects
the right of free speech in the public sphere and which accordingly offers ample
avenues for the expression of political views. Putin’s Russia, with its
musical-chairs government, trumped-up legal cases against journalists and
industrialists, and frequent beatings and arrests of peaceful demonstrators,
including Gary Kasparov, a leader of the democratic opposition, provides no such
The band’s protest against the Putin regime, particularly in a
venue of the Russian Orthodox Church – viewed as one of the president’s prime
supporters – is therefore understandable in the context of free speech and does
not by a long shot warrant the disproportionate punishment meted out by the
Sir, – As usual, Gershon
Baskin (“Obama, don’t let us do it!,” Encountering Peace, August 21) has the
whole problem back-tofront.
He says that “the best way today to prevent
the impending Israeli strike [on Iran] is for the US to stop beating around the
bush and to put its foot down and publicly state... that an Israeli strike at
this time... is not acceptable.” He should call for the Americans to put the
other foot down and unequivocally and threateningly tell the Iranians not to
pursue atomic weapons! Baskin also suffers from a very belated case of the
“what-ifs” when he says what if 5,000 or 50,000 Israelis are killed in
retaliatory attacks by Iran. How many does he think would die in an atomic
attack on our teeny country? Where were all his “what-ifs” when he negotiated
the catastrophic Schalit deal? Does he know there are now unrepentant killers
roaming the world, proclaiming they would do it again and telling others to
follow their example? Since the bill hasn’t yet been paid, I suggest that Baskin
refrain from bringing us any more of his advice.
Hat tip to drivers
Sir, – The letter about Egged drivers (“Those bus
drivers!,” August 21) came from the Jerusalem area, and I do not know if the
newer Metroline company operates there. My problem is with Metroline’s Route
This is a very busy route and the bus itself is not a “userfriendly”
design, as anyone traveling on it will agree. When there is standing-room-only
and there are baby buggies, shopping carts and youth who insist on keeping their
back packs on, it makes for an uncomfortable ride.
Kudos, though, for the
installation of the solar-powered signs that indicate the arrival times of buses
from Egged and Metroline.
These are more helpful than the huge maps
within the bus stops that are entirely in Hebrew (and not helpful for tourists,
except for the small arrow that says, “You are here”).
And the drivers of
both companies are generally pleasant and stop for late passengers. They do not
have an easy job and generally do well as they have to contend with busy traffic
and customers, usually at the same time.