June 16: Mamet gets the Brits

Anti-Israel sentiment in Britain today is directly influenced by negative portrayals of Jews throughout the country’s history.

June 15, 2011 23:32

letters. (photo credit: JP)

Mamet gets the Brits

 Sir, – Good for David Mamet (“Playwright Mamet says Brits inherently anti-Semitic,” June 14).

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Anti-Israel sentiment in Britain today is directly influenced by negative portrayals of Jews throughout the country’s history.

I well remember English literature lessons in which the teacher read out T.S. Eliot’s disgusting poems, and how I felt as the only Jewish girl in the class.

And I have just read Vita Sackville-West’s The Edwardians, a brilliant portrayal of aristocratic life she knew well, in which any reference to a Jew was contemptuous.


Rambling, hysterical

Sir, – If one asks why Israel’s Labor Party is in such disarray and why the electorate has abandoned its foreign policy platforms, Colette Avital’s “Choose wisely, Mr. Prime Minister” (Comment & Features, June 14) would provide the answer.

In her rambling, almost hysterical, essay, Avital writes that “Netanyahu managed to slap away the hand extended by Israel’s most stalwart ally.” This interpretation does not seem to be shared by the majority of Israelis. Almost all polls show Israelis think that President Barack Obama’s statements concerning the pre-1967 lines are a security danger to Israel, and a clenched fist rather than an extended hand.


Sir, – Colette Avital claims, incorrectly, that Binyamin Netanyahu left most Israelis cold.

What she means is that he left her and her hard-left extremists out in the cold.

Ma’aleh Adumim

Sir, – How can receiving cheers and standing ovations from US Congress be considered slapping away the hand of Israel’s most stalwart ally? Since when has Obama been considered a stalwart ally? By calling for an unconditional settlement freeze? By calling for the start of negotiations based on the 1967 lines? It is Congress that votes on aid to Israel, not the president. Congress is Israel’s stalwart ally.


Worse than irrelevant

Sir, – If Jerzy Buzek, president of the European Parliament, wants Israelis to take his words seriously (“Under no illusions,” Comment & Features, June 13), he must add the crucial concept of balance to his presentation.

The total lack of any reference on his part to the need for painful concessions on the other side is striking. Where in Buzek’s article was the call for the Palestinians to act? No, it is only Israel that is expected bear the responsibility for making peace.

Until and unless Europe changes its one-sided expectations, it will remain worse than irrelevant – it will remain an ongoing obstacle to the quest for peace in our region.

Zichron Ya’acov

Sir, – Herewith a translation into plain English of Jerzy Buzek’s op-ed piece: Blah, blah, blah, blah. Some of my best friends are Jewish. Blah, blah, blah; blah, blah, blah, blah. Painful concessions will be demanded of Israel.


Who we are

Sir, – In his Reality Check article of June 13 (“Bright spots an dark horizons”), Jeff Barak tells us that “Israel has some way to go before it becomes a fully tolerant, open society.” As if we didn’t know.

Barak illustrates this point by accusing an Army Radio presenter of asking a police officer a racist question regarding the home address of someone involved in a hit-and-run incident, incorrectly assuming that Israelis can be identified as Jews or Arabs from where they live.

Who’s the one fixated on race, Barak or the presenter? I’d say the very liberal Barak is the guilty one.

Alfei Menashe

Sir, – Without taking anything away from Jeff Barak’s completely on-the-mark message, I could not help thinking that there is an elephant in the room.

In taking on the issue of whether the subject of the investigation was a Jew or an Arab, in the case of traffic accidents in Israel there is definitely an ethnic aspect to the incidence of events. Due to political correctness, it is rarely alluded to.

The tragedy is that if this were openly accepted, perhaps more funding would go to the relevant communities and more lives might be saved.


NGO recognized

Sir, – Regarding “Holon-based Save a Child’s Heart gets special consultative status on UN council” (May 25), SACH worked with over a dozen doctors throughout Gaza and the West Bank, and has five Palestinian doctors currently training in different fields of pediatric cardiac care.

A representative of the Permanent Observer of Palestine said there was considerable and commendable work being undertaken by the NGO, providing a service that some governments could not. The NGO treats Palestinian children in Gaza, the West Bank and east Jerusalem, regardless of what is happening politically.

The NGO represents Israeli society, he said, and not the State of Israel; it is non-political in nature and its mission is to save children and to share knowledge with others.

I do hope that you will highlight the brilliant help being provided to Palestinians, something the world’s media does not recognize as newsworthy.


The editor moves on

Sir, – It was quite a surprise to read that David Horovitz is leaving (“David Horovitz stepping down as ‘Post’ editor, Steve Linde to take over,” June 13).

Since we came to live here in 1969, my husband and I have been readers of The Jerusalem Post. In all those years there is no doubt in my mind that he has been the most superb of editors.

His editorials are masters of clarity and good sense.


Sir, – Liberals and conservatives alike appreciate David Horovitz for the professionalism and erudite, subtle, cosmopolitan, intelligent, penetrating and clearheaded conservatism he brought to the paper. Liberals also respect him for his commitment to bringing in a fair mix of opinion.

Horovitz used all this on behalf of Israel – to help Israel and all Jews, conservatives and liberals alike, who are well-wishers of the country.

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Sir, – I have appreciated David Horovitz’s mature, well-informed commentary, and his leadership in improving the scope and stature of the Post as the Englishlanguage newspaper we are proud to support.

I will miss his serious, carefully crafted responses to sensitive issues, and his reliable stewardship in maintaining strong values in the face of the complexities of our society and world.

I hope he will continue to add his voice to our national discussion and his well-chosen words to the development of ideas and principles. He will be missed.


Sir, – David Horovitz took the Post to new heights with his intelligent takes on the news and his ongoing assessment of the challenges facing Israel.

I would like to wish Steve Linde good luck in his new job, really just an extension of the work he has already been doing so well for many years, and I am sure he is the best man to fill the shoes of a great editor and journalist.

Good luck to both of them and much success for the future.


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