Walk the walk

Sir, – In “Netanyahu: Building the country is Israel’s answer to Nakba Day” (May 16), Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu condemned Palestinians for feeding their children “endless propaganda” against Israel, complaining: “They are standing silent to mark the tragedy of the establishment of Israel, the state of the Jewish people.”

Okay, Mr. Netanyahu, you have talked the talk. But you never get past that. Where is the building you say is the answer? It might be in territories thedemolishing Jewish homes, as happened last week (“IDF razes 6 homes in Ma’aleh Rehavam outpost,” May 15), goes on regardless, even when you have the opportunity to legalize them.
Palestinian Authority controls, but it certainly is not where Jews live. In fact,
It is time to stop the racism and incitement that target Jews, and it is time to stop the occupation – the Arab occupation of Jewish land. Now is the time, Mr.

Netanyahu, to walk the walk.

Annex our land, as it should have been done long ago. Show the world that you are a prime minister with faith and courage who is prepared to stand up for the justness of our cause. See how the people will applaud you.

YENTEL JACOBS
Netanya

Shocking read

Sir, – I was shocked reading “Rabbi Ariel: Don’t lease to lesbians” (May 16). All Rabbi Ariel said was that if two lesbian women were renting it the landlord shouldn’t rent it; he did not say it was prohibited and he definitely did not say not to lease to lesbians at all.

The Torah explicitly condemns homosexuality in Leviticus 18:22.

The response was written on yeshiva.org, a website for religious Jews. Havruta is illegitimate because it calls itself an association of religious gays. If they were secular, fine, but to call themselves religious and practicing a religion that condemns them is absolutely hypocritical! The questioner wanted to know what Halacha had to say about renting to lesbians. Havruta’s statement seems to discriminate against a Jew in Israel wanting to follow God’s written law.

AVI OFFENBACHER
Hashmonaim

We must believe


Sir, – The most important sentence in Martin Sherman’s “My JNF address (Part II): The ‘peace process’ – failure foretold” (Into the Fray, May 16) is the one near the end: “The side that will prevail is the side whose national will is the stronger and whose political vision is the sharper.”

It is a maxim of any negotiations that you must believe completely and unequivocally that your position is the correct one, and that of the other side is not.

If you agree with your opponent’s argument in any way, you have lost.

From the start of the infamous Oslo Accords – where, contrary to all logic, we invited a band of terrorists to take up residence in our country – the Palestinians have never deviated one iota and have stubbornly stuck to their impossible position. Little by little we have acceded to their demands, even releasing convicted murderers so that they should deign to sit at the same table with us.

No other country with a modicum of pride would allow itself to be thus treated. When the Afghans released murderers of Americans, President Barack Obama furiously voiced his objections, yet we meekly submitted to the demand of the same administration to release murderers of Jews.

Apart from those Israeli NGOs in the pay of foreign governments to assist and support our adversaries, it puts into question the acumen of some of our MKs who insist that we make any and every concession requested so as to make some sort of “peace.”

They ignore the refusal of the Palestinians to promise not to make any further demands and say that any agreement would be final.

Arafat, when welcomed here, said he would take over Israel slice by slice, salami-style, but those with their heads firmly stuck in the sand refuse to recognize that this is the Palestinian position to this day.

ISIDORE SOLOMONS
Beit Shemesh

Different approach

Sir, – According to Joel Golovensky (“The nation state of the Jewish people,” Comment & Features, May 15), the United States is “not a nation state.” It is a state that “engendered a national civic identity” that is “more the exception than the rule.”

Does Mr. Golovensky believe that the nation of Jordan established the Jordanian state? Is it his position that the Syrian nation established the Syrian state, the Iraqi nation established the Iraqi state, the Lebanese nation established the Lebanese state, and that the Palestinian nation will establish the nation state of Palestine? When looking at our own neighborhood, the American model appears to be much more the rule than the exception.

There is no doubt that Israel is in desperate need of a new historical narrative if it is going to sustain its self-image as the nation state of the Jewish people.

But it is hardly the case that rummaging through the debris of 19th-century European history and its thoroughly discredited ideology of romantic nationalism – the illusion that nations create states rather than the other way around – will pay the bounty he imagines.

Certainly, a Zionist strategy demands a different approach.

AVI BERKOWITZ
Efrat

Sorry business


Sir, – When the prison sentence for Ehud Olmert was announced, Shelly Yacimovich, former leader of the Labor Party, was quick to say it was “unfortunate that someone so corrupt controlled the state and our lives,” but that she was “proud that we live in a clean democracy” (“Olmert’s associates call sentence cruel,” May 14).

The new leader of the Labor Party, Isaac Herzog, has prime ministerial ambitions, but he was once investigated in connection with the election campaign of former prime minister Ehud Barak. As reported at the time, Herzog had been made executor of a charity fund for needy Israelis established by a wealthy Canadian, and allegedly diverted tens of millions of dollars to Barak’s campaign.

Shouldn’t the whole sorry business be cleared up before more sadness and disgrace are heaped upon the people of this country by corrupt leaders?

BARBARA OBERMAN
Herzliya Pituah

Rooting for Hadassah

Sir, – Over the past few months we have heard a great deal about the financial problems facing the Hadassah Medical Organization’s hospitals.

Suddenly, the government is trying to obtain possession of its properties at a cheap price. I wonder if civil servants at the Finance or Health ministries, or at the Prime Minister’s Office, have ever calculated the billions (yes, billions) our “aunties from America” have saved the government. One might have thought our ministers would bear in mind that Hadassah lost a tremendous amount in the Madoff scandal, money that could have been used to cover deficits.

Of course there is room for change in the way the hospitals are run, but at the same time the government and the people should remember how Hadassah has helped Israel.

EMANUEL FISCHER
Jerusalem

Sir, – I was a patient at Hadassah University Medical Center in Ein Kerem during Independence Day and the following three days.

From the emergency room onward, I had wonderful treatment. Dr. Yosef Lerner, who looked after me in the ER, followed my treatment and care when I was moved to a room in the new building.

I was so impressed with everything – the treatment, the food, the cleanliness and the professional way everything was organized. Forget what you read in the papers. The staff is doing a great job!

CHAVA LEHMAN
Jerusalem

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