Sir, – I wholly agree with Fouad Twal, the Latin patriarch of Jerusalem, who claims that the “price-tag” activists are poisoning the air in Jerusalem with their acts of vandalism and their scrawled messages of hatred and intolerance (“Latin patriarch denounces wave of ‘price-tag’ attacks,” May 12). But I would go farther: They are poisoning the air all around the country.
They are, in fact, with a great deal of help from the local media, broadcasting worldwide a most negative message about Israel in general, and about the settlement movement in particular.
The patriarch asks a pertinent question: Where are the authorities? Reasonable people in Israel are asking the same question. Is it possible that the bodies charged with law enforcement don’t know who the perpetrators are? How is the IDF able to enter an Arab village or town and zero in on a perpetrator but can’t do it in settlements? Something is off-kilter here.
The settlement movement has endeavored to gain legitimacy for over four decades. The collateral damage from the price-tag perpetrators threatens to undermine all those efforts.
To the law enforcement authorities, I say go after them! But to those like Justice Minister Tzipi Livni who says the attackers are akin to terrorists, I say think again. Reprehensible as these acts are, they can in no way be equated with the deliberate killing and maiming of innocent civilians.
The price-tag attackers are misguided, self-defeating and destructive hooligans, but not terrorists. Hopefully, they will never deserve that title.
Sir, – There’s a Latin patriarch in Jerusalem? Why haven’t we heard about him or from him before? Has he ever condemned the Arabs who kill Jews? What has he to say about the recent killing of civilians? Fouad Twal is “worried about poisoning the atmosphere in Israel ahead of Pope Francis’s visit,” but he doesn’t mind poisoning the atmosphere in Israel with his self-righteous attack against Jews.
Oh yes, we did hear from him – last Christmas. He gave a stirring speech about how Israel was “hampering” peace in the Middle East.
Jerusalem Harsh politics
Sir, – Eternal but infernal, and pervasive but unpersuasive, politics is false promises based on false premises, and false choices based on false voices, while politicians are euphonious phonies, impostors who posture, bandits backed by pundits, and backstabbers disguised as backslappers.
As the circus maximus of politics, elections are a tug-of-war between the Left and Right, with the center of the rope wrapped around the public’s neck.
Eagle Rock, Missouri Long time coming
Sir, – Caroline B. Glick’s aggressive and comprehensive take down of J Street (“A sad Independence Day,” Column One, May 9) was very much in order and a long time coming.
It seems to me that her strategy should be to follow the Deborah Lipstadt path – bait the bear into a libel suit and take him apart in court. That would be not quite in the same league as Mark Steyn and Michael E.
Mann, but it’s pretty close. Ariel Sharon did it as plaintiff versus Time magazine, and Malchiel Gruenwald as defendant versus the State of Israel, showing that sometimes the only way to get the truth on record is in a courtroom.
Sir, – “A sad Independence Day” was a good piece until I read Caroline B. Glick’s two paragraphs on Jews for Jesus and Messianic Jews. Her total misconception as to who we are and what it is that motivates us is so very wrong that it immediately causes doubts about the accuracy of her statements about J Street.
As for everything she says about the need to understand the development of Israel, we agree, and when we honor Israel’s Independence Day we do not do it by eating cake.
If she so wrongly misunderstands Messianic Jews, she could just as easily be getting J Street wrong.
ARNOLD G. FRUCHTENBAUM
San Antonio, Texas Sour notes
Sir, – Years ago, we used to look forward to the originality of our entries to the Eurovision Song Contest.
We still sing them at our Independence Day sing-alongs.
This year’s entry was simply an embarrassment (“Not enough heart,” May 11). I could recognize nothing Israeli about it – the outfits (shameful) and the music (atonal).
We certainly won’t be singing this one year after year!
Sir, – Having watched the semi-final of Eurovision, as well as the final 26 contestants performing (“Austria’s Wurst wins Eurovision,” Arts in Brief, May 12), I have come to the conclusion that our entry, musically speaking, should have been near the top. I can imagine how humiliated Mei Finegold and the whole team must have felt after the finals.
But the cheers of the Danish crowd during the Swedish song (as well as the Norwegian “song,” if it really had a tune) showed the crooked voting system, in which “buddy countries” (of which we have none) make deals. I suggest that if the present voting system is not altered, we should refuse to participate.
How can this be altered? Choose some judges in the popular music field, but not from Europe, provided they understand English, the language of most of the songs. They will watch and listen, and then vote by giving points. After excluding the highest and lowest marks, a fair result will be reached.
Sir, – After Israel’s dismal showing in Eurovision – a fine, if skimpily dressed, singer with a woeful song – and the failure to reach the final for the fourth year in succession, the time has come to review our participation in this increasingly loud, lewd, lurid exhibition in which the only thing missing is true musical talent and memorable songs. It could well be, too, that our failure to reach the finals also reflects to some extent our poor political standing among Europeans today.
In view of this rather depressing state of musical affairs, let us, instead of clinging to the vain hope of one day miraculously reaching the final with hordes of adoring Europeans cheering us on, initiate a revolutionary move by leaving Eurovision to the Europeans and founding and funding our very own Mideast Peacevision Song Contest that is open to all states in the region (including the Palestinians and Iran), thereby achieving the miracle of Middle Eastern peace and regional cooperation through quality music and song.