Sir, – A Shas official’s claim that there is a “bond between
Lapid and Bennett, and their hatred for the haredim is unbreakable at this
stage” (“Netanyahu launches talks for coalition without haredi parties,” March
4) is libelous of most voters of Naftali Bennett’s Bayit Yehudi
The real surprise for the party’s voters is not the partnership
with Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid, but that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is
against a religious Zionist party. Perhaps too, Netanyahu is angling for a Nobel
Peace Prize for evacuating settlements.
It’s a good bet that Bayit Yehudi
voters did not expect or welcome the partnership with Lapid. Under the
circumstances, however, and contrary to the opinions expressed in “Haredi
leaders strike out at Bennett, Lapid” (March 3), Bennett needs to get into the
coalition in order to prevent the prime minister from evacuating those
Sir, – I cannot fathom the positions
taken by Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid. He wants to be part of the coalition. He
will be if he acts like a person who loves Israel, and not like another crass
The issue of haredim serving the country applies equally well
to the recalcitrant youth of Tel Aviv and to Arab citizens. All elements in
Israel’s mosaic should be doing army or national service. However, it is not an
issue that should prevent Lapid from joining the government in a responsible
It is time to form a strong government that can face the reality of
a world that has no love for Israel.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was given 14 more days to form a government.
Given the current constellations at the table, with little likelihood of
compromise, there is little likelihood of Netanyahu being able to
However, four and a half years ago we were in a similar
situation when Tzipi Livni’s party won the election but she could not succeed in
forming a government. President Shimon Peres turned to the second place party,
the Likud, to do so.
Why is 2013 different from 2008? Why can’t the
president again turn to the second-place party so as to avoid the expense of
millions of shekels on new elections?
Sir, – You
report that according to anti-AIPAC protesters over 300 people (perhaps 301?)
will have shown up to demonstrate against the pro-Israel lobby group during its
three-day Washington conference, attended by some 13,000 supporters of
You think that’s worthy of a frontpage article? Must have been a
slow news day.
Sir, – In “Erdogan’s
outrage” (Editorial, March 4), you say the Turkish prime minister’s “outrageous
comments equating Zionism with ‘crimes against humanity’ such as anti-Semitism,
fascism and Islamophobia have largely been left unchallenged by leading global
leaders.” It doesn’t take too much imagination to know what an uproar there
would have been had Israel made similar remarks, but being politically correct
and too damn afraid to upset anyone, there’s no chance of that
Has our response been any better than that of UN
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon or US Secretary of State John Kerry? The answer is
a resounding no.
For years, Iran has been allowed to call for Israel’s
destruction, yet we still have the world running round in circles trying to talk
Not even Israel has called for Tehran to be taken to the
International Criminal Court, where it belongs.
Kerry’s main response
seems to have been that we must try to heal the rift between us and
That, of course, is the stance of our own government. Imagine:
Our guys were defending their lives on the Mavi Marmara against terrorists or
thugs (call them what you like) who were attacking them with iron bars, and in
the process a few of those terrorists/thugs were killed.
We have offered
to pay compensation to their families and make an apology. If not so tragic it
might be laughable.
I would say that if you allow ridicule and
condemnation, as we do, without strong retaliation – in fact, without any kind
of retaliation – you must expect to be treated like the proverbial doormat. So
let’s stop whining at the injustices and stand up for our rights, like proud
Jews in the historic Land of Israel.
Sir, – Larry Snider (“Can Obama make a substantive contribution to
peace?” Comment & Features, March 4) suggests that peace “must be made
viable once again and must be supported internationally....”
numerous past opportunities to act to prevent genocide, the world powers have
always been too late. Here are a few examples: the Holocaust, Cambodia, Darfur,
Rwanda, Iran, Syria. Hence, international guarantors mean very little when it
comes down to the nuts and bolts of peace, let alone survival.
international guarantees to prevent arms transfers (e.g., to Hezbollah) also
mean little, and agreements to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons (e.g., to
Pakistan, North Korea and Iran) are useless.
Ironically, the writer
overlooks the fact that a relative peace has existed since the end of the last
war between Israel and the West Bank Palestinians. We should build on this, but
not depend on the international community or even the Palestinians for enforcing
a security arrangement.
Sir, – No Muslim state called
Palestine existed before modern Zionists came to the Holy Land to join the
ancient Jewish community living here since biblical days.
visited and reported that the land was unfit for humans.
The local Arab
population in those days was 200,000. By 1948 it had grown to 1,200,000 due to
migration. These Arab migrants had been attracted by economic conditions that
were far better than in neighboring Muslim countries, since the Zionists had
drained the swamps and made the desert bloom.
Arabs now claim that there
are 12,000,000 Palestinians in the world. If so, these figures prove that Israel
is responsible for genobirth, not genocide! Before creating a Palestinian state,
the UN should demand proof that the Palestinians will live in peace, according
to the UN Charter, with all their neighbors, including Israel. The Arabs should
first prove that they have educated a new generation that wants to live rather
What about Pollard?
Sir, – It was rather
disappointing that your interview with Martin D. Siegal, chairman of the
Board of Trustees of the Jewish Federations of North America (“JFNA head: Obama
trip is a ‘very positive sign,’” February 20) made no mention of Jonathan
Pollard, the Israeli patriot who sought only to protect Israel and its
There is a stark contradiction between the upcoming trip to
Israel by US President Barack Obama and his total lack of humanitarian
consideration, with the concomitant perception of the president’s anti-Semitic
In the final analysis, has The Jerusalem Post, along with Siegel,
abandoned and betrayed Jonathan Pollard?
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Marvin Hier is founder and dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and not as
stated in “Beauty and the bears” (Comment & Features, March 5).