US stance on PA
Sir, – With regard to “US: PA not liable for Wednesday’s Gaza rocket strike on southern Israel,” June 12), is it just me or are others confused by the inconsistency in the American position? How can the US simultaneously absolve the Palestinian Authority for Hamas’s behavior and then be willing to talk with a Palestinian government that includes Hamas? Something is wrong with this equation.
I, for one, am glad that the PA is now (ostensibly) unified. It puts paid the notion that there are fundamental differences between Fatah and Hamas.
Israel and the West have been calling the PA “moderate” and working with it as if this were true in spite of absolutely no such evidence. Now that the two factions are united, we can stop pretending.
Sir, – As a constituent of US Sen. Robert Menendez, I want to report that he does not speak for me or for many of my fellow New Jerseyans, Americans, Jews or supporters of Israel when he threatens to cut off assistance to the Palestinian Authority in response to the unity government with Hamas (“Sen. Menendez vows response from Congress to Fatah-Hamas government,” June 10).
Cutting support to the Palestinian Authority would jeopardize the security and economic well-being not only of the Palestinians, but of Israel, which depends heavily on the PA’s security cooperation and would incur a heavy burden if it had to take over the administrative functions now performed by the PA.
These drastic measures would be in response not to any actual involvement by Hamas in the unity government – which contains no Hamas ministers and has vowed to maintain its commitments to recognize Israel, renounce terrorism and respect all prior agreements – but to some theoretical future influence Hamas might exert on that government or its successor.
The Obama administration has wisely refrained from cutting off aid to the PA until and unless there is an actual reason to do so. Congress should do the same.
Maplewood, New Jersey
Sir, – Is there anything the Palestinians can do that will incur the disapproval of US President Barack Obama, his sycophantic team and their faithful European followers? The absence of international pressure on the Palestinians and the pressure put on Israel is the reason there will never be a resolution to the conflict. Now is the time for some backbone. We should do what’s right for Israel.
Sir, – Regarding “Diaspora Jews harbor doubts about Israel’s president-elect” (June 12), it strikes me as rather disingenuous to hear Rabbi Julie Schonfeld of the Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly (RA) advise our new president to retract comments made in 1989 about the Reform movement.
This is the same Rabbi Schonfeld who backed the J Street application to the Conference of Presidents and was sharply critical when the organization turned it down. I would like to ask her what she or the RA has ever done to help the struggling Masorti movement here. The answer is almost nothing. I know that the Masorti movement has never received any realistic funding from the US movement for its small synagogues here.
Rather than preaching to our president-elect about what he should say, I suggest that Rabbi Schonfeld put her movement’s money and support where it really counts. I’m sure Rivlin regrets what he said in 1989 and has since made many efforts to reach out and support all streams of Judaism here.
Sir, – There was a great relief over Reuven “Ruby” Rivlin’s election (“Reuven Rivlin elected Israel’s 10th president,” June 11).
The campaign was, however, an eye-opener for the public and should lead to a revolution in the way we handle our politicians from now on – unless we want to become a completely corrupt society to the core.
There is an urgent necessity to appoint regulators for the personal affairs of each member of Knesset and high-ranking official, be they elected or appointed.
Regulators should not be the type who are on the lookout for their own appointments to high-paying jobs, but rather retired judges, accountants or other experienced professionals who are at the end of their career and fully established economically.
There is no need for MKs and senior officials to conduct any private business of their own; their time should be solely devoted to the public they have come to serve. The odd capital declaration is no way to control them.
It is to be hoped that a new system of this type will drastically reduce the country’s excessive number of politicians, as regulation will no doubt discourage those who come to public service solely to enrich themselves.
Sir, – I read the nonsense spewed by the media about US Rep. Eric Cantor’s primary loss with great interest (“Cantor gone, Republicans have no Jews in Congress,” June 12).
The people in Cantor’s district want what most Americans want but are never asked. The polling organizations target ill-informed voters in districts known to be loyal to President Barack Obama and his minions. Seldom do they poll the plain Joe who works for a living and doesn’t hold his hand out looking for help from the government. I have not, nor have any of my friends, ever been polled by any reputable source.
Americans don’t like “Obamacare” and they don’t want an immigration policy that allows illegals free citizenship.
Americans object to Obama’s education policies rewriting American history in common- core education. They also balk at the dumbing down of math standards so every student gets a passing grade.
The Tea Party represents the true American on the street, not a racist, bigoted radical. Look to what Obama is trying to do with healthcare, education and our military. That is pure, unrestrained radicalism.
Eric Cantor bashed the Tea Party’s immigration suggestions but never put a true immigration proposal on the table. If you want to see why he was thrown out, look at what is wrong with the Obama administration.
Sir, – One of the few things that can diminish sipping coffee on the balcony on a beautiful morning in Jerusalem is to leaf through your Comment & Features section and find one of Douglas Bloomfield’s Washington Watch columns on Page 15 or 16. However, when he gets above-the-fold exposure on the first page of the section, as with “Settlements: Policy by spite” (June 12), a response is needed.
Bloomfield’s regular, leftist rant is that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and the settlements are the obstacles to peace, and if only we would cooperate with President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party by returning to the pre- 1967 “Auschwitz borders,” peace and harmony would flourish. His latest piece was no exception but his arguments had a “hyped-on-steroids” quality that beg scrutiny: American diplomats (read: John Kerry and Martin Indyk) blame settlements, not Palestinian intransigence, for the collapse of peace talks. Should we rely on their views, even if common sense and experience prove them anti-Israel from the start? Remember, this is the same Indyk whose lips, loosened by a few drinks, went on a half-hour rant against Israel in a Washington bar. Perhaps Bloomfield was there to hear it.
Bottom line: If you feel obligated to include Bloomfield in your Comment & Features section, please keep him well inside.