Turkey and apologies
Sir, – Is it normal to apologize for a defensive action
even if death results (“Official: If apology to Ankara doesn’t work, all will
see it was not Israel’s fault,” March 28)? Yitzhak Shamir would never have caved
There is also reason to believe that Menachem Begin would not have
accepted an ultimatum.
MK Haneen Zoabi, who aided and abetted the
rebellious action against Israel, should have been indicted for treason – and
would have been in any normal country. So much for Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu’s interpretation of democracy.
But then it’s no surprise, given
that he failed to seek public opinion prior to agreeing to apologize.
more gain for Shari’a Law over international law.ALEX ROSE
– Naftali Bennett’s assessment (“Erdogan making Israel regret its overture,”
March 28) is right on the mark. But the problem goes deeper than just the
Turkish prime minister’s stubbornness.
Our rabbis say that the Egyptians
chasing the Jews during the Exodus were racing after them as “one man with one
heart.” They were united and focused in their hatred for the
Erdogan and others, such as Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, are
vigorously leading the battle to destroy the Jewish state because their hatred,
like the hatred of their people, is complete and unfazed by anything we might do
to allay their rush to annihilate us.
At Shavuot, when the Jews
surrounded Mount Sinai, the exact same language – “one man with one heart” – is
used in the Torah. We were at the time totally united in our belief that God
would stand by us.
And of course God destroyed our enemies: the
Egyptians, the Amalekites, et al.
We can fight the Erdogans and Morsis of
the world in a cataclysmic battle, God forbid, or we can reconnect to each
other, as we do on Passover, and know that our unity, and only our unity, will
counteract and overcome the hatred of those who surround us.YERACHMIEL
Lawrence, New York
Sir, – Ephraim Inbar, in “Israel’s apology to Turkey was
a mistake” (Comment & Features, March 28), says that Turkish Prime Minister
Recep Tayyip Erdogan is an anti-Semite. Why can’t we shout it from the rooftops
so that we all know to whom Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was apologizing?
US President Barack Obama’s love plan moving Erdogan and Netanyahu into the same
hopeful political atmosphere has begun to lose momentum. Why do we have to do
business with a hater of Jews?
Peace and hope ring eternal in the human breast,
but Israel’s relationship with Erdogan has already proven to be another
deceptive folly. Are we so in love with Obama that we become blind to our real
enemies? MICHAEL TAL
Jerusalem No apartheid
Sir, – With regard to “Billboards
call to end US aid for Israel in New York, Connecticut” (March 28), Michael
Letwin of the group Jews for Palestinian Right of Return should note that more
than 75 percent of said funds are returned to the US to purchase military items
of all kinds, from airplanes to army boots. These funds, therefore, are actually
keeping plants open and American people working.
Letwin should also note
that Israel is anything but an “apartheid” state, as he claims.
Arabs in our Knesset, as well as Arab judges, doctors, teachers and professors.
We do not have separate buses or restaurants, as was the case in Apartheid-era
South Africa.MURRAY JOSEPH
Kerry and letters
Sir, – We
owe our deepest thanks to US Secretary of State John Kerry for having sent, as a
senator, the following letter to Mikhail Gorbachev in March, 1987 (“Edelstein
thanks Kerry for letter urging his release from Soviet prison,” March 24): “We
members of Congress respectfully request that you intervene on behalf of Soviet
prisoner Yuli Edelstein. Soviet law authorizes relief from a prison sentence
because of illness.
Yuli’s medical condition is critical and satisfies
the conditions for granting medical clemency. We request that you intervene on
Yuli’s behalf so that he may seek the proper medical care he so desperately
We should hope that Kerry exercises the same trait of humanity
and send the same letter to US President Barack Obama to gain the release of
Jonathan Pollard, whose medical condition is critical and hopefully satisfies
the American condition for granting clemency.MARVIN SILVERMAN
Earn that respect
Sir, – Gary Ackerman (“Israel and the dignity of the
Palestinians,” Comment & Features, March 21) insults our
We Israelis, Ackerman says, do not give the Palestinian
Arabs sufficient respect. This causes a loss of dignity and discourages them
from coming to the negotiating table. It’s our fault, you see, and he thinks we
should give more respect to their “political culture.”
Last I looked
respect was something that had to be earned.
The political culture of the
Palestinian Authority is about as corrupt as it can get. Mahmoud Abbas is
referred to as “president” of the PA, but his term ran out in 2009 and there has
been no election. Respect this? Far more outrageous still is Ackerman’s claim
that the Palestinian Arab mother allows her son to strap on “a vest full of
explosives” because she is “steeped in desperation.... Her mother’s hope [is]
gone. Her dignity [is] gone.”
Studies consistently show that terrorism is
a function of ideology and not hopelessness. Surely, in his tenure as chair of
the House Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia, he encountered the
Arab saying, “Just as they [Jews] love life, we love death.”
claims, outrageously, that “generations of statelessness and occupation have
reduced too many Palestinians to that sense of total
Condescendingly, he fails to hold them accountable for
their own bad decisions regarding all the times they could have had a
Does the retired congressman not wonder why we Jews – subject over
the course of our history to infinitely more disrespect and desolation than the
Palestinian Arabs have ever known – never embraced the practice of killing
innocents that is still celebrated within the PA?
Sir, – Reading your “From Our Archives” section has always been a
highlight of my day, and Alexander Zvielli deserves our endless thanks for his
sterling efforts. Right now the column is especially valuable as it chronicles
the political, diplomatic and physical struggles in the days immediately
preceding the birth of our country 65 years ago.
In these snippets of
historical record we can see how true is it that “the more things change, the
more they stay the same.”
American politicians and the US president
preach, from the safety of their Washington offices, how the battling Jewish
people should adjust their lives to suit foreign interests. The ineffective (at
best) and usually hostile UN tries to find a way to adjudicate the conflict
without showing its natural inclination toward the Arabs.
The March 28
“From Our Archives” spoke of a heavy battle around Gush Etzion, reminding us
that this part of the country, always Jewish, was lost in battle, to be
rightfully reclaimed in 1967 after 19 years of Jordanian occupation.
hakavod, Mr. Zvielli. May you go on with this wonderful work for many more
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