Cairo anti-police protest [File].
(photo credit: Reuters)
With friends like these...
Sir, – Jihadi warriors, whether they are blowing people up in Manhattan, London, Jerusalem, Madrid, Morocco or Pakistan, are a clear and deadly danger to everyone, especially to Jews. Hamas and Hezbollah are at war with Israel.
In a year or so, new governments in Egypt, Iraq and Syria will, in all likelihood, pose to us an even greater geopolitical threat than we currently face.
But Azriel Bermant (“A dangerous and irresponsible alliance,” Opinion, August 12) seems more fearful of Geert Wilders and Glenn Beck, who are strong supporters of and firmly believe in the justice of Israel’s cause. And Ayoub Kara does a superb job of presenting Israel’s case abroad.
Bermant does not provide one single fact (except for the false
Islamophobia-anti-Semitism analogy) to support his contention that
Israel is becoming more isolated as a consequence of our friendship with
European nationalists striving to preserve their respective cultures.
Indeed, it was Israel’s reckless embrace of Arafat and his terror
organization that has significantly contributed to Israel’s denigration
in foreign capitals and disparagement in international forums.
Sir, – Azriel Bermant is right about one thing: “Israel must choose its
friends more carefully.” To which I would add the caveat: if careful
choice leaves any friends to choose from. This is not to suggest that
Israel should choose just any friend – it is to suggest that there are
few friends in the world without blemishes.
Take two of the people Bermant so casually lumps into the “extremist” category, Geert Wilders and Glenn Beck.
We all know that Wilders’s crusade against Islam has led him to support a
Dutch law that would prohibit Muslim and Jewish ritual slaughter. But
the most cursory research shows that Wilders will have no truck with
European far right leaders such as Le Pen or Haider. Even Dutch News,
hardly known for its love of Wilders, has gone on record saying that his
Dutch Freedom Party is “not an extreme right-wing party.”
Bermant reveals his own bias more clearly in describing Beck’s so-called
extremism. He would have us believe that Beck’s primary “problem” is
simply “his ardent support for Israeli settlement of the West Bank and
east Jerusalem.” If supporting construction in the Jewish neighborhoods
of Jerusalem and in the Jewish communities just across the Green Line
makes one an extremist, then many of us who support a two-state solution
are extremists, too.
Bermant’s shotgun approach of denigrating everyone with whom he
disagrees as an “extremist” is extreme in itself and just won’t wash.
Israel should warmly embrace friends like Wilders and Beck.GEORGE ROOKS
Sir, – Azriel Bermant must surely realize that nations have interests.
When US president Lyndon Johnson was once queried about his alliance
with a South American tyrant, he responded, “Yes, but he is our tyrant.”
In the world we inhabit, who is more likely to contribute to Israel’s
well being: Heinz Christian Strache or Austria’s Jewish community? We
already have an example of Jewish Diaspora support in the American
organization J Street.
In the case of Geert Wilders, he may well be the next Dutch prime
minister and is among the few who is making the world understand that
there is great need for awareness about the inroads of radical Islam. As
for the matter of interference in Jewish ritual slaughter, this is not a
political issue.ALEX ROSE