Sir, – Hirsh Goodman should not try and sell us on an American
president whose policies indicate that he is antithetical to Israel’s best
interests and more politically attuned to placating the Arab world at our
expense (“Leave me out of the game!,” PostScript, January 27).
when Obama needs Jewish financial and political support, does he suddenly
rediscover his concern about Israel and give grandiose declarations about our
If there is hypocrisy in this election it is not in the
Gingrich camp, as is implied. It lies at the feet of the current resident of the
White House and those like Goodman who peddle his distortions and reinvent
Sir, – Hirsh Goodman is obviously a
strong Obama supporter. But how can he praise him – the first US
president demanding a freeze on construction in Judea and Samaria? In August
2005, Israel withdrew completely from Gaza and parts of northern Samaria. What
did it get in return? The bloody thank-you of rockets that continue to this day!
Goodman should be writing his columns for Al Jazeera and not The Jerusalem Post
– Gingrich will be one of the best US presidents for the United States, Israel
and the world.ESTHER BEN-ARI
Sir, – Hirsh Goodman needs to be
reminded that Bill Clinton was up for impeachment because he lied under oath
before Congress, and not because of extra-marital sex. He was not the first US
president to have extra-marital sex, and none were impeached because of
If only Goodman were as concerned about George Soros’s heavy
contributions to political causes as he is about the Adelsons’! DAVE KLEPPER
Jerusalem Unrealistic imperative
Sir, – Caroline B. Glick (“The Zionist
imperative,” Column One, January 27) almost angrily demands that American Jews
define themselves as Zionists and make their support for Israel their sine qua
non, the essential element of their Jewishness. This is an unrealistic
Certainly, most Jews have a special affection for Israel, but
after 62 years of Israeli sovereignty it must be abundantly clear that most
American Jews have cast their lot with the United States.
seems to demand that American Jews use their limited influence to coerce
President Barack Obama, who has even less of an affinity toward Israel, to take
up arms against Iran in defense of the Jewish state.
This stance is
misguided and unlikely. The US has just ended a war in Iraq with mixed results
and is about to surrender in Afghanistan. After a decade of war, no American
president – and certainly not Barack Obama – is about to enter into another
conflict in the Middle East.
Glick would be advised to use her fine mind
and writing skills to promote non-military ways of dealing with Iran because,
plainly, war is not an option.KENNETH BESIG
Concentrating on the different interests of the US and Israel with respect to an
Iranian bomb is like concentrating on the different interests of the 3 pin and
the 7 pin as the bowling ball comes down the lane.
American Jews should
be encouraged to think not in terms of Israel versus Washington, but in terms of
American security versus American capitulationism.
Although Caroline B.
Glick writes that this “may require them to embrace Zionism unconditionally,” it
does not require them to embrace Zionism at all. It merely requires them, as
Americans, to perceive the obvious military, economic and ideological dangers
confronting the land where they reside.MARK L. LEVINSON
said so? Sir, – Concerning your editorial on affordable housing (“The Attias
plan,” January 27), the only substantial support cited for Housing Minister
Ariel Attias to change the ground rules proposed by the Trajtenberg Commission
was that “National Insurance Institute representatives called to leave out
employment as a criterion for being eligible for affordable
Not to appear too paranoid, this statement does beg the
question of just who these representatives were. This is a question easily
answered by a news reporter and would dispel doubts about the veracity and
objectivity of the NII’s advice.NORMAN LOBERANT
Nahariya ‘Hasbara,’ and
Sir, – James Adler (“Who’s at fault?,” Letters, January 26) wrote that
“[n]o Western democracy’s policies need hasbara [public diplomacy], and Israel’s
didn’t either until settlement expansionism.”
The gun-barrels had barely
cooled down after the Six Day War when The Toronto Globe and Mail, in a
pre-Christmas editorial concatenating the refugees of the wars of 1948 and 1967,
compared their plight to that of the refugees who couldn’t find a place in the
inn. This was at a time when Israel still had the illusion that there might
exist a partner for negotiating land for peace.
As for “Western
democracies,” there really aren’t too many of them, and in general they handle
their internal and external colonialism as they see fit and feel no need to
apologize or explain. Israel, because of its size, the ongoing war with the Arab
nation and the incessant assaults, political and otherwise, from putative
friends as well as from enemies, does unfortunately have that
need.SYDNEY L. KASTEN
Sir, – James Adler’s assertion that the
policies of Western democracies don’t require hasbara is dangerously naïve. Even
the most moral policy can be of limited value if it is not adequately
The activities of the US Department of State’s Bureau of
Public Affairs are just one example of the importance that Western democracies
place on spreading their message around the globe. The bureau spends millions of
dollars each year to advance America’s values and policies through a wide range
of educational, cultural and traditional press events. Its many International
Information programs support embassy efforts worldwide to engage audiences in
sustained and meaningful interaction on the full spectrum of US policy
Israel must recognize that robust proactive public diplomacy
is a vital weapon in its battle against those who would deny its very right to
exist as a Jewish state. As with any other democracy, Israel must not only do
good, it must be seen to be doing good.EFRAIM A. COHEN
The writer served as a cultural attaché at the American Embassy in Tel Aviv What
of the others?
Sir, – I’m a Canadian documentary filmmaker developing a film
exploring the life of my great-uncle, Sam (Shlomo) Stern.
to Palestine from Toronto in 1933 at age 21 and helped found Kibbutz Ginossar.
When he left Toronto he was accompanied by five friends: David Weis, Saul
Borkofsky, Joshua Wohlgelernter, Jay Helfand and Harry Goldstein.
died defending Ginossar during an attack in 1939, but what became of the others?
I’d be thrilled to locate any of these men, who would now be in their 90s, or
any of their relatives with memories and information that could help me trace
their stories in Israel or wherever they may have ended up.
information to share can contact me at [email protected]SHELLEY