The Zoabi saga

Sir, – MK Haneen Zoabi claims she broke no laws in saying that the kidnapping of Israeli teens wasn’t “terrorism” because Israel allows free speech (“Zoabi: I didn’t break any law, expressing my opinion is not illegal,” June 24).

Aside from the issue that her stated views on kidnapping could constitute incitement – which is not considered free speech – I wonder whether she will now condemn herself for having said something positive about Israeli democracy.

YONATAN SILVER
Jerusalem


Sir, – MK Haneen Zoabi gets a salary (and lots of perks, including a platform) from the Israeli people she vilifies. We also pay for protecting her. Are we mad or delusional? J. FISCHER Michmoret Sir, – After choking on my morning coffee over MK Haneen Zoabi’s statement that the kidnappers are not terrorists, rather “people who don’t see any way to change their reality... until Israel will wake up a little, until Israeli citizens and society will feel the suffering of the other,” I must ask: This is a member of Knesset? We are the laughing stock of the world for putting in parliament one who mocks the country that put her there. What is wrong with us? If we really wanted to feel the “suffering” of this MK’s people, we would be turning off their water and electricity, making life unbearable until they surrender our boys.

The parents and families of these boys cry out to the world, never once indemnifying or articulating any anger toward the terrorists.

Yet we allow someone in our parliament to spew fourth treasonous venom, poisoning the minds and souls of the people Israel tries to help live in peace.

The title “MK Zoabi” is the quintessential oxymoron! PHYLLIS HECHT Hashmonaim To hitch or not Sir, – Dina Pinner suggests in “Thoughts on hitchhiking” (Comment & Features, June 24) that to avoid being abducted, “listen to your instincts.”

Seriously? Is she suggesting that our three boys weren’t listening to their instincts? Obviously, terrorists have figured out a way to fool people’s instincts because they keep abducting and have expressed no desire to stop.

I am not assigning blame to the boys, of course, but to suggest that hitchhiking should continue because it is a “joyful necessity” is indeed – as she anticipates people will say – naive and irresponsible.

When the seatbelt was instituted, drivers protested it. Now almost everyone wears one. It has saved countless lives. In America, hitchhiking in the 1960s and ’70s was also a “joyful necessity,” yet the authorities managed to convince citizens to stop. And guess what: People are arriving at their destinations by other means.

Israel is no different. One who has to arrive safely can arrange a carpool, get a lift from a friend or use a recognized taxi service. I do agree that a better bus infrastructure should be in place, but until that is accomplished the solution is not to stick one’s head in the sand and keep living dangerously, but rather to consider alternative means of arriving at a destination.

JOEL FARKAS
Jerusalem

Sir, – While we are all aching to have our three sons returned home safely, we are also racking our brains to find safer ways to hitchhike.

Some years ago when a predator preyed on London women, a small canister containing harmless but painful pepper-like material was produced. This gadget was designed to be sprayed into the eyes of an attacker and cost very little.

Maybe something similar already exists and could be given out in all areas where hitching is a necessary method of travel.

PESSY KRAUSZ
Jerusalem

League of his own

Sir, – With regard to “Peres tells Jewish Media Summit that he has no words of wisdom for president-elect Rivlin” (June 23), you report that our outgoing head of state praised Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas as “the best [peace] partner Israel has ever had.”

Abbas has had only one predecessor: Yasser Arafat. In that league, it is not hard to be the best.

BETTY and ARTHUR KRUGER
Jerusalem

Arbel’s agenda

Sir, – In his analysis “What will be Arbel’s legacy, as the Barak era finally ends?” (June 23), Yonah Jeremy Bob writes of Supreme Court justice Edna Arbel’s fearless war against corruption.

He gives a long list of people she indicted or tried to indict while state attorney. It will be noted that all of these people belong, or at the time belonged, to a certain part of the political spectrum. Is this because the politicians on the Left are all white as the driven snow, or is it possible, perhaps, that she was abusing her high office to pursue a political agenda?

DAVID STEINHART
Petah Tikva

Blending in


Sir, – To say I was taken aback while reading Moshe Arenstein’s piece about attending the World Cup (“Celebrating the joy of a World Cup,” Sports, June 23) would be an understatement.

Arenstein watched the Argentina- Iran match on a television screen at a restaurant (on the Jewish Sabbath, no less) and, wanting to blend in with the crowd (“No Brazilian will root for arch-rival Argentina,” he writes), he was “rooting and yelling for Iran.” Long live the shtetl Jew! I assume Mr. Arenstein is aware of the fact that Iran is developing nuclear weapons for the express purpose of wiping Israel off the face of the earth. I assume he is aware that Iran is the paymaster for a host of our arch-enemies, including Hezbollah, Hamas and Syria.

Moshe, if you had been alive in 1936 and had tickets for the Munich Olympics (assuming your family had not yet been rounded up for extermination by the Nazis), would you have rooted for the German athletes so you could blend in? MICHAEL D. HIRSCH Kochav Yair Good for the Jews Sir, – Allow me to comment on “Jewish-Presbyterian relations strain as Church sheds Israel investments” (June 22).

It is, of course, a pain in the neck when an authority such as the Presbyterian Church sticks its knife into Israel. Yet the fact is, Christianity has been doing exactly that since it became our enemy in the first century.

Fortunately, the Church’s action in selling its holdings in Caterpillar, Hewlett Packard and Motorola Solutions will do Israel more good than harm for the simple reason that the buyers of those shares will not be our enemies.

Surely, gaining a friend and losing an enemy is good for the Jews.

JOCK L. FALKSON

Ra’anana

Conrad Morris


Sir, – Last week’s passing of Conrad Morris has led many to remember him as a dedicated philanthropist. However, he should also be remembered as a pioneer in the field of alternative media in Israel.

Conrad’s timely newsletter, widely distributed before the era of the Internet, alerted people in Israel and around the world to the news items that mainstream media neglected to report. His efforts remained an inspiration to our own web-based newsletter and to many others in the field who followed his initiative to fill in the gaps concerning what really transpires in Israel.

DAVID BEDEIN
Jerusalem
The writer is director of the Israel Resource News Agency

CLARIFICATION The quote in the final paragraph of “Huckabee: US must help bring back captives” (June 24) was incorrectly stated to have come from the Facebook page of former Yesha Council chairman Danny Dayan. It did not, and should not have appeared in the report.

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