Sir, – I do not condone price-tag attacks. Having said that, I am outraged that elected officials seek to place these acts in the same category as the Fogel massacre, the Sbarro bombing and the Park Hotel Seder attack (“Livni, Aharonovitch call to classify ‘price tag’ attacks as terrorism,” May 8).
In the latter incidents as well as hundreds of others, Arab terrorists murdered, maimed and destroyed. Lives were torn asunder and entire families were changed forever. The long-term psychological repercussions were immeasurable. Yet these politicians, apparently in an attempt to assuage the feelings of the outside world, seek to term poorly placed graffiti in the same category! What’s next? Calling a five-year-old throwing sand in the face of another child “terrorism?” This is an insult to victims of terror!
ZE’EV M. SHANDALOV
Sir, – Such hysteria over vandalism, especially when no one can come up with real proof that it was carried out by Jews! A car that looks the same as one in the area is just not good enough. I believe that more often than not it is Arabs themselves who carry out such attacks with the aid of our left-wing do-gooders, who will do anything to scapegoat “settlers.”
The government must stop treating like criminals those who live in areas of our historic homeland that it is afraid to annex. They are not the enemy.
Sir, – Regarding “Yitzhar resident arrested for Internet remarks promoting the killing of IDF soldiers” (May 8), Eliraz Sine’s appalling statements are most certainly deserving of censure and punishment.
However, she is not operating in a vacuum. How was she raised and who taught her and encouraged such extreme views? Jews believe in the sanctity of human life, not the taking of it. It is incumbent on every religious leader, from our chief rabbis and heads of yeshivot to teachers and parents, to strongly condemn such views. It is also mandatory for them to voice outrage over price tag actions, which make all self-respecting Israelis cringe and directly encourage people like Sine.
To not roundly condemn this woman’s misguided and wicked views puts every religious leader in the same category as imams who promote terrorism.
Sir, – Congratulations to Khaled Abu Toameh on winning the Daniel Pearl Award (“Abu Toameh wins 1914 Pearl prize for journalistic courage,” May 8). It is an honor well deserved.
We count on Abu Toameh to bring us honest reporting on the Arab-Israel conflict. He never disappoints.
He brings honor to Israel and your newspaper.
DORRAINE GILBERT WEISS
Sir, – “Top US officials to Israel for session on possible Iran dead” (May 7) mentions Wendy Sherman, currently the US undersecretary of state for political affairs and chief negotiator in the Iran talks regarding Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.
Memories are short. You owe it to your readers to remind them that Sherman was the Clinton administration’s policy coordinator for North Korea regarding that country’s nuclear program. For obvious reasons, a recap of her involvement in that fiasco seems called for.
Sir, – The Obama-Clinton-Kerry triumvirate has completed the transmogrification of American diplomacy into a much-degraded version.
US foreign policy used to mean something. The president and secretary of state would say something and the world knew they meant it. If their words were not enough they would do something.
Now they say things the world knows they don’t mean – and do nothing when the world acts accordingly.
Today’s US foreign policy has no skin; friends and foes can see right through it. And it has no bone; friends and foes know it’s all talk.
President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry are more interested in deconstructing America into a post-modern “dude” who likes to engage in “conversation” with “folks” than they are in using American power, or even just the hint of it, to remind evil that there is a price to be paid for its vile excesses. They continue to push this failed approach in the petulant hope that it will lower the flames of tyranny around the globe. But it is doing the opposite and will continue to do so as long as assertiveness is supplanted by appeasement and principled leadership is archived in the deep shadow of timid capitulation.
Sir, – The headline “UK Methodists continue boycott of Israel” (May 4) is unfortunately misleading.
(The article is also factually wrong in places; for example, our membership is closer to 200,000.) The Methodist Church in Britain does not and has never advocated a boycott of Israel. The report that is mentioned in the article summarizes arguments for and against the BDS movement without endorsing either stance. The status quo means we have rejected calls to support the BDS movement.
We invited and welcome the responses made by the British Board of Deputies and others to the consultations that led to this briefing paper.
The Methodist Church in Britain retains its call for a boycott of goods and services from the occupied territories, and we continue to support those initiatives seeking a lasting peace recognizing Israel’s right to exist.
The writer is lead media officer for the Methodist Church in Britain.
No need to discuss
Sir, – With regard to “PM to push basic law defining Israel as ‘Jewish State’” (May 2), we do not need a Knesset discussion or a vote on this subject.
We just celebrated the 66th anniversary of the modern State of Israel. Our Declaration of Independence clearly proclaims “the establishment of a Jewish state in the Land of Israel to be known as the State of Israel.” It also mentions the Balfour Declaration, which was reaffirmed in the Mandate for Palestine of the League of Nations and in the UN partition resolution.
We do not need divisiveness on this issue. Our national flag proudly displays the Star of David. The Knesset displays a menorah, and the stirring words of the national anthem ring out that Israel is the homeland of the Jewish people.
The right move
Sir, – Kudos go to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations for its decision on J Street (“J Street ‘disappointed’ with rejection by Presidents Conference in US,” May 2).
J Street considers itself pro-peace and pro-Israel. This is totally false. How can it consider itself pro-peace when it overly criticizes our government, especially at a time when we live in a sea of enemies who want to destroy us? And how can it consider itself pro-Israel when it advocates boycotts of our products?
Sir, – I watched a recent Channel 10 report on Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund.
Unbelievable! Billions go into the black hole of KKL-JNF and nobody knows what it does with the donations and state money. Our money! No matter that three state comptrollers have sought to investigate.
No one is willing. Why? Because KKL-JNF is one of the finest places to send political jobniks.
High salaries. Assignments overseas for people who don’t even know the language! KKL-JNF owns fat real estate in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and elsewhere. It pays fat lawyers millions and spends lots for prime-time TV commercials.
Transparency? Forget it!