A trade-off

Sir, – Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, America’s dependable lackey, never fails to come through. As the sub-headline states in “Plans for 24,000 settlement homes fuel tensions with US” (November 13), “Netanyahu overrules Ariel and steps in to freeze plans for El, so as not to deflect world attention from Iran.”

Why should our building in the Jewish sovereign state deflect world opinion from Iran, which is threatening that very same world? The fact that we live and breathe is enough to deflect world opinion.

We only encourage this attitude by our acceptance of threats and humiliating demands – which no Arab country has ever been subjected to because their rulers have too much pride and would immediately retaliate. Not so little Israel, which has conveniently allowed its wings to be clipped.

PHYLLIS STERN

Netanya

Deep concern

Sir, – In “Plans for 24,000 settlement homes fuel tensions with US,” the Post notes that these plans “fuel tensions” with a “deeply concerned” America. Yet in a recent editorial (“Settlements aren’t the problem,” November 1), you said the “idea that Jewish settlements are an ‘obstacle to peace’ is based on the morally repugnant premise...

that the very presence of Jews in these territories is an affront to the Palestinians....”

Jews were never the affront. The affront is settlers from an occupying state.

The Palestinians lost their seacoast. Now, their last small inland enclave is being taken over. This is why they do not want “settlers.”

This is obvious to the world, including a deeply concerned America.

JAMES ADLER

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Vassal state

Sir, – In reference to “US says world powers unified on Iran after nuke talks stall” (November 13), Saudi Arabia has awakened from its dream in which the United States was its best friend. Egypt has done the same. But the vassal State of Israel has not, and once again its prime minister has yielded to the pressures of the United States in the hope that Washington would allow it to do something about Iranian threats.

The US is busy concocting an agreement with Iran that would allow Tehran to continue to acquire nuclear weaponry as quickly as possible. This would enable the US to say – in the short run – that it had brought “peace in our time.” Of course, all hell will let loose when Barack Obama leaves the White House.

BATYA KOENIGSBERG

Jerusalem

Math at the Kotel

Sir, – With wry amusement, I noted that 700 participants in the North American Jewish Federations’ General Assembly went to the Western Wall to pontificate about the necessity for all people to be able to pray according to their own new tradition (“Hundreds march to Robinson’s Arch during symbolic conclusion to GA,” November 13).

Israel is a democratic country, and in democratic countries, minorities concede that the majority has the final say.

Let us be magnanimous and say the Women of the Wall number 100 who really are devout, while the rest are merely hangers-on out for a bit of fun and to make political capital. So 100 members come to the Kotel 11 times a year (for those not in the know, one does not put on tefillin on the New Year) for, say, one hour, for a total of 1,100 prayer hours.

Let us contrast this with the many hundreds of thousands who visit the Kotel throughout the 24 hours of every day over the year, without making a fuss, blending in with each other mostly for heartfelt reasons, peacefully and without being under the scrutiny of police or TV cameras.

Their many millions of prayer hours far outweigh the 1,100 hours of the Women of the Wall.

The GA participants went home after telling Israelis where to get off. I wonder if they took the opportunity while in the country to buy their wives a new set of tefillin for when they go to their temples for Rosh Hodesh prayers.

ISIDORE SOLOMONS
Beit Shemesh

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