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
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
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
Israeli sources have repeatedly reported that weapons have been
entering Lebanon from Syria; thus, Hezbollah’s 50,000 rockets.
judgement in any position of authority regarding the “peace process” is
therefore highly questionable and of most serious concern regarding her further
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
What the State Department really needs to spend money on is
educating itself as to where the capital of Israel is.
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.
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.
Sir, – Your article “Sarkozy slams Israel
at Keren Hayesod dinner in Geneva” (February 1) contained a number of
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
Dun Laoghaire, Ireland
Sir, – The current
allegations that Ireland has a history of anti- Semitism can be belied by the
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.
contribution to this process was widely acknowledged and