What Iran wants
Sir, – With regard to “Israel watching, but making no comments,
on Baghdad talks” (May 24), perhaps while talking, the G5+1 could ask Iran if
its intention to wipe Israel from the face of the earth is still clear-cut. The
answer might go some way toward clarifying the results of the current
Sir, – The negotiations to
persuade Iran to stop developing a nuclear bomb are an opportunity for the
Islamic regime to demonstrate that it isn’t simply playing on the West’s naivety
and genuinely wants to reach a mutually-beneficial agreement that will protect
Western interests while avoiding economic sanctions.
For example, it
could offer the West a special deal on amazing bracelets that magically protect
the wearer from radiation (“‘No proof about anti-radiation bracelet,’” News in
Brief, May 21).
Jerusalem Histadrut outcome
Regarding “Preliminary results indicate Eini reelected Histadrut chief” (May
24), could someone please tell me where the millions of shekels spent to plaster
Ofer Eini’s face all over the country came from? Did the money come from the
union fees paid by poor, oppressed workers? How can the best-paid workers in the
country, employed by the Electric Corporation, Mekorot and the ports, come to be
considered “oppressed workers?” What are the salaries of Eini and his oppressed
Histadrut officers? I have been unable to find out.
I wish I could defend
the rights of the workers; it seems to pay very well indeed!
Sir, – The good news is that the Histadrut elections are
The bad news is finding out just how easily Ofer Eini and his
cohorts managed to “manage” the results, the foregone conclusion being that he
could hardly lose.
When will the lowly worker, who in such matters does
pretty much as he is told, realize he has been “managed” and stand up for his
rights? Let us hope it won’t take longer than the five years until the Eini era
Netanya Married young(er)
Sir, – In “Super-sad –
and true” (Arts & Entertainment, May 24), Louise Lasser is referred to as
Woody Allen’s first wife. Lasser was his second wife.
Allen’s first wife
was Harlene Rosen, a friend of mine from James Madison High School in Brooklyn.
Their marriage lasted five years.
Rehovot No monster, he
Sir, – On the very day that Judy Montagu tried to come to grips with people’s
ability to act toward each other in an inhumane manner (“Monsters are us,” In My
Own Write, May 23), there appeared the heart-warming story of a young Israeli
mountain climber who gave up his dream of reaching the peak of Mount Everest –
with only 300 meters to go – in order to save someone’s life (“Israeli Everest
climber saves his Turkish ‘brother.’”) What stands out in both of these stories
is that each and every individual has the ability to act in a manner that will
either bring credit or shame on the society in which he lives.
of a society must be taught to its children by parents and teachers. Citizens in
a society that respects its laws will be in a much better position to raise
children who themselves respect the law.
Shoham Hanania and
Sir, – Ray Hanania’s “Palestinian financial problems” (Yalla Peace, May
23) is simply beyond the pale. Defying any inherent sense of decency and
integrity (not to mention intellectual honesty), Hanania has the unmitigated
gall to draw a comparison between George Washington and the base, coldblooded,
ruthless murderer and arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat.
Lionizing Arafat as
“our leader” speaks volumes about Hanania, his values and his own moral
In contrast to his unsupported narrative, Washington, Jefferson,
Franklin et al pledged their honor and treasure to further the cause of
establishing the fledgling republic. When that proved insufficient, they turned
to affluent patriots like Haym Solomon to assist in financing the revolution.
Solomon, by the way, died a pauper.
In stark contrast, the Palestinian
Authority as been and continues to be the beneficiary of boundless wealth thrown
at it by the United States, the European Union, various United Nations agencies
and NGOs, all without accountability and transparency. Had this bounty been
allocated to a growing, vibrant and healthy society we would see schools,
libraries, hospitals and other trappings on the horizon. Where are they?
Ignoring context, he accuses Israel of whimsically withholding “large sums from
the Palestinians,” causing peril to their bloated bureaucracy. He conveniently
overlooks the fact that Israel’s actions came on the heels of Palestinian
Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s ploy of seeking UN recognition of
Palestinian statehood in contravention of the Oslo Accords.
Taking a page
from Hanania’s playbook, it seems to me that unless and until Palestinian
society produces men of wisdom, intellect and reverence for life and the common
weal, that society will perpetuate its own failings and misfortune.
Sir, – Ray Hanania tries to whitewash the corruption in the
Palestinian Authority that regularly results in vast wealth for its top
leadership by distorting American history.
He claims that George
Washington ran a kleptocracy just like Arafat and Abbas. Nothing could be
farther from the truth.
America’s founders recognized that power corrupts
and sought to design a government with a built-in separation of
The federal government limited Washington’s funds so severely
that he came perilously close to losing the Revolutionary War for lack of
Hanania should study history rather than trying to
JOAN and ROBERT GOLDSTEIN
Jerusalem Disturbing echoes
Benjamin Kerstein’s assertion in “Yes, all criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic”
(Comment & Features, May 21) includes disturbing echoes of the argument that
some insular communities employ to hush up allegations of family abuse or sexual
misconduct: Problems must be handled internally because of possible
embarrassment before the outside world. But under this same rationale the recent
social justice demonstrations qualify as anti- Semitic because they offer the
opportunity for others to point out Israel’s social deficiencies.
cases, silence would allow indefensible conduct or inexcusable conditions to
The classic definition of anti- Semitism includes
the use of a double-standard (treating Jews differently than others) to
delegitimize or demonize the Jewish people. Kerstein himself favors a
double-standard – avoiding even well-founded criticism of Israel whenever
possible. This could actually generate more anti-Semitism, as some people will
use it to prove that Israel believes itself to be above
Contrary to the ghetto mentality that enforces silence as a
means of self-protection, Israel has the opportunity – indeed, the obligation –
to act as a confident member of the community of nations. The social justice
demonstrations and other reasoned criticisms of Israeli policy show that Jews
are capable of introspection and peaceful dissent, as befits a moral, democratic
Far from being anti-Semitic, this is a true sanctification of
EFRAIM A. COHEN
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