What’s bugging them?

Sir, – It sure was disgusting to read in the March 18 Jerusalem Post regarding Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his hypocritical statement of recognizing Israel, only not as a Jewish state (“Abbas to Obama: Time is ‘not on our side’”). And it was shocking to read that a great statesman like Dan Meridor backs the Palestinian leader and takes the issue so lightly.

With all due respect, what is bugging the Palestinians so much in our basic demand? How would Obama and the rest of the world react if Israel declared that Palestine, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf states, Jordan, Syria, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan and all the North African countries were non-Muslim/Arab countries?

N.E. SAMUEL
Yavne

Sir, – It was interesting that US President Barack Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry and PA President Mahmoud Abbas met on Shushan Purim.

They are like three blind mice. In addition to this disability (and to paraphrase from Psalms 115:5-8), they have ears that do not hear, hearts that do not understand and mouths that utter untruths. Whoever follows and trusts in them will be like them, with feet of clay and without the ability to speak against us.

HAVIVAH GOLDSMITH
Beit Shemesh

Sir, – We keep hearing these days from US President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry about the urgency of making “hard decisions.”

They should be listening to their own hectoring, for the only hard decisions that should be made are regarding Iran – which are not really hard and have not really been made. If they had, the charade of “negotiations” with Tehran would long ago have been broken off and the decision to implement a policy would have been made to prevent it not from acquiring nuclear weapons, but from acquiring the means to acquire them.

Can any of this be taken seriously – unless making huge profits from doing business with Iran and allowing it, with a nuclear potential, to be the dominant power in the Near East and do the work of the West as a general policeman, are serious.

PAUL RABOFF
Jerusalem

Wiggling their assets

Sir, – Gil Hoffman writes in “Can the coalition survive the peace process?” (Analysis, March 18) that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu “would have preferred a coalition with the haredi parties” when he set up his government a year ago.

This utterly cynical preference is at the root of our electoral nightmare.

Netanyahu is fully aware that the haredi vote is simply a wholesale commodity that is available for rent to the highest bidder. Haredim believe neither in democracy nor in the democratic process.

They do not vote as individuals, but merely as robotic flunkies at the behest of their omniscient sages. And haredi parties couldn’t give a toss about what Israel’s policies are so long as they get their outrageous fee for performing whatever indecent act the incumbent party requests in exchange.

Last year the haredim danced the hoochie koochie to lure the Likud. Today they are wiggling their assets in front of Labor. In normal parlance this is called prostitution.

Hebrew is the only language that actually has a term for the fee one pays a hooker – etnan zona – and our leading parties are the johns who gladly pay these ladies of the night for their services. It’s time to call it what it is.

Last I heard, though, prostitution was illegal in Israel. So why do we have a problem when a streetwalker and some lonely loser agree on a fee for an individual act, yet we have no problem when our leading political parties use the taxpayers’ money to do the same to the entire nation?

YOHANAN AV-YAIR
Jerusalem

Accurate poll

Sir, – With reference to “US, EU set sanctions on Russia over Ukraine” (March 18) and, in the same issue, Shmuley Boteach’s “Is Putin a friend to the Jews who deserves support?” (No Holds Barred), the admittedly few Ukrainian-Israelis originally from Crimea whom my husband and I know well, and who have relatives and/or property there, declare that since peninsula used to be part of Russia, they strongly prefer that it revert back.

It is probably true that the results of the referendum accurately reflect what the people of Crimea want.

CHARLOTTE GOLLER
Jerusalem

Proven guilty


Sir, – Caroline B. Glick (“Why Obama will not change gears,” Column One, March 18) quotes historian Shelby Steele from a 2006 op-ed about “white guilt.”

The question came to mind quickly: Will the world ever wake up and recognize its Jewish guilt? NAOMI STAIMAN Jerusalem Headline makers Sir, – In “Can NATO guarantee peace in the Middle East?” (Comment & Features, March 18), Danny Ayalon leaves out the most relevant example as to why we can’t rely on NATO (or anyone else) for our protection: United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701. It was intended to resolve the Second Lebanon War, but it actually was so beneficial to Hezbollah (and the Lebanese) that they unanimously accepted its terms. Note that Hezbollah now has 10 times as many missiles as it did before the war.

Justice Minister and peace negotiator Tzipi Livni, as foreign minister, was one of the authors of the resolution. Hence, it is ironic that she has severely criticized Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon for speaking out against what he considers to be a bad and dangerous agreement with the Palestinians.

Livni, apparently, believes that we can rely on the international community to guarantee the agreement and our security.

Should we? Here are headlines from the op-ed pages of a recent issue of the Wall Street Journal (which is delivered with my Jerusalem Post in the morning): “Putin Acts, the West Talks,” “Death in Chinese Custody” and “Will the UN Act on Its North Korea Report?” Livni has never offered a hint of apology or self-criticism. I must ask her, though, whether the survivors of the “peace treaty” she so wants will read their own headline in the Wall Street Journal.

BARRY LYNN
Efrat

No connection

Sir, – Regarding “SS veterans march in Latvia as concerns grow over Ukraine” (March 17), the Embassy of the Republic of Latvia to the State of Israel would like to note misleading information related to the participation of Latvian officials in the March 16 event at the Freedom Monument in Riga.

On March 11, the Cabinet of Ministers of Latvia called on everyone not to participate in any of the events. Minister of Environmental Protection Einars Cilinskis nevertheless took a personal decision to participate, and on March 14 he was dismissed from his position. Thus, he was acting as a private individual when he attended the event. As mentioned in the international press, Jewish human rights organizations and the Simon Wiesenthal Center welcomed his removal.

The cabinet emphasized that since the restoration of independence, the government has consistently complied with the fact that the state honors its fallen soldiers on November 11 – Lacplesis Day, or the Latvian Freedom Fighter’s Remembrance Day.

March 16 is not an official national remembrance day and senior officials of the state and members of the government do not attend the events at the Freedom Monument.

Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma stressed: “Latvia has consistently condemned the crimes against humanity committed by both totalitarian regimes, condemns the Holocaust and honors the memory of the victims of totalitarian regimes.”

ANDRIS VILCANS
Tel Aviv
The writer is Latvia’s ambassador to Israel

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