Livni’s record

Sir, – In “Likud said ready to pay a premium to bring Tzipi Livni into coalition” (January 5), a source described as being “close” to Livni is quoted as saying that for her, “what matters is the essence of whether she will be given true freedom to advance the diplomatic process,” thus referring to the so-called peace process with the Palestinians.

This is most disturbing. As foreign minister and a prime advocate of United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1701 (July 2006), Livni and her judgement were severely at fault, clashing with Israeli government and military personnel who were, rightly, highly concerned about the resolution’s dangers. Unfortunately, her influence supervened, resulting in 50,000 Hezbollah rockets now trained on Israel.

At the time, the Security Council aimed to create a 12-miledeep buffer zone on Israel’s Lebanon border that would be free of “any armed personnel,” both Hezbollah and Israeli, and manned by 15,000 UNIFIL troops as part of an immediate and lasting ceasefire agreement for the Second Lebanon War.

The controversial issue of UNSCR 1701, as finalized in Chapter 6, prescribed the Lebanese government via its military to prevent the entry into Lebanon and dissemination of any weapons and related materiel. UNIFIL thus required Lebanese permission to act, and so effectively paralyzed it.

Israeli sources have repeatedly reported that weapons have been entering Lebanon from Syria; thus, Hezbollah’s 50,000 rockets.

Livni’s judgement in any position of authority regarding the “peace process” is therefore highly questionable and of most serious concern regarding her further political appointments.

DAPHNE BURDMAN
Jerusalem

Spare change

Sir, – I find it very interesting that the US State Department has spare money lying around to sponsor a study on how Israeli and Palestinian textbooks depict the other side (“Education Ministry slams US-funded study on Israeli, Palestinian textbooks,” February 5). I also find it shameful that Jews participated in the study.

What the State Department really needs to spend money on is educating itself as to where the capital of Israel is.

EILEEN GOLDSTEIN
Kfar Saba

Doing its job

Sir, – The anti-democratic criticism of the NGO transparency law (“Groups spar with NGO Monitor over foreign funding, transparency efforts,” February 5) is countered by the fact that at least NGO Monitor learns thereby in what respect other democratic entities are interested in Israel. The opinions of rogue states are, of course, not relevant.

On the other hand, the history of Israel-bashing by socalled democratic institutions such as the United Nations Human Rights Council would be a factor in weighing the importance of what these institutions have to say.

SIMCHA RUDMAN
Jerusalem

Delightful evening?

Sir, – Your article “Sarkozy slams Israel at Keren Hayesod dinner in Geneva” (February 1) contained a number of inaccuracies.

Mrs. Lily Safra did not pay the costs for the appearance of former French president Nicolas Sarkozy. The evening was an overwhelming success among Keren Hayesod supporters, resulting in impressive donations.

It concluded with a moving performance by singer Eyal Golan, and the audience remained until the very end.

The heads of Keren Hayesod – world chairman Moodi (Eliezer) Sandberg and chair of the World Board of Trustees Yohanna Arbib Perugia – as well as former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations Danny Gillerman were present at the event.

I wonder why no attempt was made to contact Keren Hayesod for a response to the article.

DIKLA COHEN
Jerusalem
The writer is spokeswoman for Keren Hayesod

Sir, – It is absolutely insane for ex-president of France Nicolas Sarkozy to have been paid a huge sum of money – which he accepted before making a horrific anti-Israel speech.

I am not naïve. I know that one pays huge sums of money to speakers to attract audiences that will give money to good causes. The least that can be done is to tell the speaker beforehand that when he accepts money he has an absolute obligation not to harm the cause.

If Sarkozy were a man of honor he would either return the fee or present it to a prominent French Jewish charity.

TOBY WILLIG
Jerusalem

Back to Ireland

Sir, – I note with interest the controversy in your pages surrounding the column written by Sarah Honig (“That unwitting indecency,” Another Tack, January 25), including the letter from former history teacher Leonard Hurley (“Irish outpouring,” February 5), which mentions fundraising for Trocaire by students of Colaiste na Sceilge in Cahirciveen, Ireland.

I do not know precisely what the students told Honig, but I have checked out what Trocaire says about Israel on its website.

It is obvious to me that Trocaire is following a stridently anti-Israeli agenda. The website calls for the boycott of goods produced by Israeli settlers on the West Bank of the Jordan.

Retailers are urged not to sell these goods and the Irish government has been called on to support an EU-wide boycott of such produce, described as “stolen goods.” There is also a profile of an Arab farmer whose land has been expropriated. The Gaza enclave is described as a region attacked by Israel.

In summary, Trocaire describes Israel as an aggressor state engaged in the illegal trade of stolen goods. This is the message that teenagers in Irish schools are being fed.

This is blatant propaganda of the worst sort. It is completely inappropriate that school pupils, at either the primary or secondary level, should be subjected to such a blatantly one-sided and biased representation of the complex problem of Israeli-Palestinian relationships.

Students in Irish Catholic schools will be asked, in the coming weeks, to contribute to Trocaire. This is an abuse of these young people, who are being asked to contribute to an organization engaged in blatant political propaganda on a highly sensitive interethnic and interfaith issue.

The sort of anti-Israel rhetoric employed by Trocaire, with its implied anti-Semitic undertones, stands in sharp contrast to the progressive position officially adopted by the Catholic Church on these issues.

FINTAN CRONIN
Dun Laoghaire, Ireland

Sir, – The current allegations that Ireland has a history of anti- Semitism can be belied by the following story.

Way back in the late 1960s, Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ), the public service broadcaster of Ireland, produced a program designed to encourage the revival of Gaelic in that country.

The producers turned for help and advice to the only other country in the world that had successfully revived an ancient language for modern usage – Israel.

I was closely involved in that production and it is gratifying to know that today, particularly in the west of Ireland, Gaelic is as common as English, both in everyday speech and with duallanguage signposts, etc.

Israel’s contribution to this process was widely acknowledged and appreciated.

GEOFFREY PREGER
Caesarea

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