Sir, – In “Lapid: The world is losing patience, sympathy with Israel” (February 18), you paraphrase Finance Minister Yair Lapid as telling the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations that “failure to reach peace with the Palestinians will devastate the economy and harm Israel’s relationship with the US.” My eyes are stuck in my head from rolling back so far.
Really? This, from a minister in the government of Israel in 2014, a minister of finance in a country that financially is doing much better than most Western nations and is continuously flourishing? This mantra is getting old and tired, not to mention demoralizing. I also believe it to be untrue.
Ever since I can remember, there have (and always will be) efforts by many in the world to scare, discredit and destroy Israel by any and all means, not just militarily but by turning others against us. Remember the “Zionism is racism” movement? Remember 1967, when Israel was going to be “pushed into the sea?” Remember how evicting Gush Katif residents and destroying their flourishing settlements was the “price to pay” to bring peace with our enemies? I could go on, but my eyeballs are beginning to tire.
When will we and our leaders get it that, as stated in the Bible, the Nation of Israel will be alone (with some loyal friends, but often seemingly alone) yet is meant to be around eternally? No pandering to threats has ever actually helped Israel. Israel needs not to allow anti-Israel movements, like BDS, to intimidate it.
Israel needs strong, confident leaders. Yair, please grow a spine. We need you to lead us in a strong way. You can do it!
A real pity
Sir, – It’s a real pity that “America’s rabbi,” Shmuley Boteach, lost his 2012 bid for a seat in the US House of Representatives, leaving those of us who actually live in Israel and read The Jerusalem Post subject to more of his self-serving “opinion” pieces.
I usually shy away from reading such tripe, but happened to glance at “The winter of our discontent” (No Holds Barred, February 18). In it, Rabbi Boteach actually asks a very good question but (of course) fails to offer any answer when he says: “What’s the world’s problem with the Jews? What is this strange, eternal obsession?” In my opinion, the answer is very simple: By giving His Torah to us Jews, God gave morality to the human race. By being a “light unto the nations,” we are to show the rest of humanity the proper way to live. And the goyim have been ticked off at us ever since.
That would be my answer. But hey, I’m not the most famous rabbi in America.
Sir, – Paul F. Levy (“The Hadassah catastrophe: A failure of governance,” Comment & Features, February 17) quotes from his report, solicited by Hadassah, for an assessment of the situation at the Hadassah Medical Organization (HMO). As a former government affairs consultant, I know it is totally unethical to violate an agreement of confidentiality without approval from the client.
Levy also states that the Hadassah Women’s Zionist Organization of America is in “denial” that a problem exists. If so, then why hire him and why approach the Health and Finance ministries months ago for their advice? Without delay, the Finance Ministry must renegotiate the large discounts HMO is forced to give the country’s health funds to be in line with government-run hospitals.
This immediate help would allow the hospital to operate and give the government and management time to fulfill a recovery plan.
No more president
Sir, – In “The accomplishments of President Peres” (Reality Check, February 17), Jeff Barak makes the suggestion that “succeeding Peres... on the international stage will be an impossibility.”
I fully agree with this suggestion, as well as with the fact that the general public has very limited, if any, power in our presidential elections. Perhaps the time has come for Israel to drop the idea of having a president.
Sir, – Moshe Dann (“Arab land claims; are they valid?” Comment & Features, February 11) deserves our heartfelt thanks for his yeoman’s work in identifying the methodology used for classification of land and property rights commencing in the mid-19th century in the Turkish sultanate.
It is incumbent on the Knesset to act as the supreme decider of this issue. It is not, nor should it have been, the function of the judiciary or legal civil servants.
The latter are public servants, first and foremost. They can offer their opinion to the government of the day, but there are no international precedents that such opinions are binding upon a prime minister – the public did not appoint the judiciary or the attorney-general.
It is high time Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu stopped playing ping pong with the Levy report, compiled by an independent committee of legal experts, and once and for all ensure the immediate adoption the document.
Has he forgotten he reports and is responsible to the people of Israel, not the presidents, prime ministers or governments of the US, EU or UK, or the UN? Our legal deed to the Land of Israel, encompassing Judea and Samaria, is laid down in the Bible, not in the political views of members of the judiciary or legal civil servants. The latter appear unable to step aside from their own personal prejudices in making judgments.
They have caused untold damage and anguish to both individuals and the state by their track record of foolhardy decisions.
COLIN L. LECI
Keep the emblem
Sir, – Last fall The Jerusalem Post reported that Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein had launched a competition for a new Knesset logo to replace the state emblem in use since 1949 (“Knesset seeking new logo in competition,” October 14). I and many others were appalled.
The participants were to be art and design students, and the competition rules stated, among other requirements, that the proposed designs had to incorporate the current state emblem. Five designs were short-listed. Only one incorporated the emblem.
The use of the state emblem by the president, government, judiciary and Knesset is governed by one of the first laws passed by the Knesset in 1949. The emblem is the face of Israel, defining its revived existence, and is recognized and revered as such around the world.
Over 13,000 people, including past and current leaders, professionals and ordinary citizens, have signed a petition run by the website Nostalgia calling on Edelstein to drop the idea and continue to use the current emblem as the Knesset logo. It is shame that he, along with other MKs, feel differently.
The writer is the son of Maxim Shamir, who, with his brother Gabriel, designed of the state emblem of Israel.
Small, happy tear
Sir, – I don’t know how many of your readers have written in to congratulate you on your “name change” from The Palestine Post to The Jerusalem Post.
Ever since my wife and I made aliya some years ago, I have been following the daily hunt by Alexander Zvielli (From Our Archives) for news items from exactly 65 years ago. Now that the paper has changed to a more appropriate name, I feel completely at home and have shed a small, happy tear.