May 29: Is Mitt sincere?
Romney may be good at business management, but is he good at diplomacy?
Is Mitt sincere?
Sir, – Regarding “Does Romney plan to visit Jerusalem soon?”
(May 25), I am an independent voter in America. I am neither Republican nor
I have seen Mitt Romney in person and found him to be aloof,
almost cold and lacking human sensitivity or passion of any sort. Instead of
asking if he plans to visit Jerusalem, I wish reporters would pin him down and
ask if he really has a unified Jerusalem in his heart? Also ask if he believes
in a “New Jerusalem located someplace else in the world and pin him down for
Romney may be good at business management, but is he good at
diplomacy? Will he back an ally in good times and bad, and not just spread
rhetoric along the campaign trail? Americans and Israelis need to know these
answers before the Republican convention because if he cannot show a firm
loyalty toward Jerusalem he is a backward thinker and shouldn’t be the party’s
The man has contributed millions of dollars to his Mormon Church
and has a net worth exceeding $200 million. If Romney truly believes in Israel,
let him prove it by opening his personal billfold, and not use campaign or
taxpayers’ money. Let him prove his sincerity.
JAMES A. MARPLES
Sir, – I did not realize The Jerusalem Post had such a
sense of humor in naming Binyamin Netanyahu the world’s most influential Jew
(“The 50 most influential Jews in the world, 2012,” Shavuot supplement, May
Our prime minister was unable to not only persuade US President
Barack Obama to release Jonathan Pollard, but could not even get the courtesy of
He has such influence that even where our very existence is in
danger from the Iranian threat to wipe us out he cannot get the support of Obama
to destroy Iran’s nuclear ambitions, and stands idle while every sanction is
watered down to be of no effect.
Netanyahu has such influence that he
toes the American/Quartet line when it comes to building in our own land. He has
such influence that even in his own government he has only the reluctant support
of grass roots Likud ministers because he behaves like a dictator and threatens
them with the loss of their jobs if they fail to agree with him – even though
his policies are 100 percent at odds with the promises that brought him to
He has such influence that rather than fight for his country and
people he would rather grovel and beg a terrorist like Palestinian Authority
President Mahmoud Abbas in order to give him Jewish land.
Netanyahu is a
man with a self-inflated sense of importance, and this ridiculous honor will do
us no good at all.
Sir, – Responding to the request
of the editors of your Shavuot supplement, I submit the names of two people who
were omitted but strongly merited inclusion.
Charles Krauthammer, winner
of a Pulitzer Prize and a renowned syndicated journalist, writes authoritative
and meaningful articles defending the policies of Israeli governments and
counters the biased anti-Israel sentiments. And Irwin Cotler, former minister of
justice and attorney- general of Canada, speaks to audiences world-wide and
writes op-eds justifying Israel’s handling of security threats from militant
Palestinians and countering frequent false claims that its actions contravene
MONTY M. ZION
Sir, – I was surprised at the
utter absence of the haredi, hassidic, Lithuanian and modern Orthodox leadership
in your list.
Something’s wrong somewhere if this is how “most
influential” is viewed.
I have no doubt that if, say, only three leaders
from the aforementioned group called for a mass demonstration, no fewer than
half a million followers would fill a square in no time at all.
Sir, – Since Haim Nahman Bialik had no children,
Mayim Bialik cannot be a “fourth generation descendant” of the Israeli national
IDA SELAVAN SCHWARCZ
The editor responds: This is
correct. Mayim Bialik is related to, but not descended from, Haim Nahman
The Gaza lesson
Sir, – Chuck Freilich (“Egypt with dread,”
Comment & Features, May 24) makes the case that progress on the Palestinian
front, including a settlement freeze, would help defuse Egyptian hostility
toward Israel. He also points out that terrorist attacks from Gaza could
inadvertently trigger war with Egypt.
However, the lessons of Gaza point
to a different remedy.
The withdrawal from Gaza not only failed to buy
goodwill, it also led to the rise of Hamas and a drastic increase in terrorist
attacks. A Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria could easily turn into another
Gaza, with even more violence and potential for wider war.
ideology of rejection wanes, the best way to maintain the peace is an Israel
that is strong enough to discourage aggression.
Father and son
Sir, – Jody Rudoren of The New York Times states in “The
fight over who fights in Israel” (Comment & Features, May 21) “that when
Chief Rabbi Isaac Herzog’s son Chaim wanted to abandon the yeshiva to dedicate
his life to the new Israel Defense Forces, Herzog was enthusiastic.” A personal
experience of mine may shed a little more light on this.
In 1956 I was a
student at the Ponevez yeshiva in Bnei Brak. On Purim a friend from the yeshiva,
the late Rabbi Zalman Druck, took me to Rabbi Herzog’s home, for the Purim
There was a long dining table with 40 to 50 guests and the rabbi at
the head. Zalman introduced me to Rabbi Herzog as a yeshiva student who had come
from America to study Torah in the Land of Israel. The rabbi asked me to sit
next to him. I was a bit overwhelmed, to say the least.
In the middle of
the meal there was a shudder of excitement as the tall, imposing and handsome
commander of Jerusalem, Chaim Herzog, entered and sat down near the middle of
the table. He was wearing what they called “battle dress” and what we Americans
knew as the “Eisenhower jacket.” It was a period of terrorist incursions and he
was the man of the hour, responsible for the defense of Jerusalem.
moments after he sat down Rabbi Herzog motioned to him and said, “Chayimel, come
here.” Chaim had to walk around the whole table, all eyes on him, until he stood
with awe and reverence before his father. I saw it and felt it.
Herzog said to him, “Chaim, this young man has come all the way from America to
study Torah in the Land of Israel. Can you imagine that – all the way from
America! Chaim, say ‘Shalom aleichem (welcome).’” We shook hands
I was as choked up then as I am now writing this. I saw a father
who wanted to yet again impress on his son the importance of Torah study. It was
a deeply moving scene.
A number of months later, I received smihah
(rabbinical ordination) from Rabbi Herzog, which is the most precious document
on my living room wall.
The item “Minivan
crash kills eight family members in Tiberias” (May 23) reported, “Hours before
the crash, the family was in Migdal Ha’emek, celebrating a Torah dedication at a
synagogue in the name of [crash victim Rafi Atias’s] father, the late rabbi
Shimon Atias.” Rabbi Shimon Atias is very much alive. We deeply regret the