Quite the stand

Sir, – In “Obama vs. Romney” (October 9), you spend an entire editorial saying you take no political position on the presidential election. But then, in the second to last paragraph you state that “Obama has proven during his first term to be a true friend of Israel.” Well, I’ve got some news for you: That is a political position.

The vast majority of Romney supporters in Israel are such because they believe the opposite – that Obama has proven he is not a true friend of Israel.

Those who believe the US president is a true friend of Israel are people who take his election rhetoric at face value.

They simply cannot be considering the many actions and statements by Obama and members of his administration that are detrimental to Israel’s security, many of which your very own newspaper reported over the past four years.

RANDI MELLMAN OZE
Jerusalem

Sir, – In “Obama vs. Romney” you write: “For the record, The Jerusalem Post is not backing either Barack Obama or Mitt Romney in next month’s presidential elections.” You also write: “As we’ve written before, Obama has proven during his first term to be a true friend of Israel.”

These are the most ridiculous statements I’ve ever read in the Post. Shame on you! How can you be “balanced” and state that Obama is a “friend of Israel” when he supports Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, a virulently anti-Semitic and anti-American organization, and is appeasing Iran, which might result in a nuclear war in which millions die? Americans in the US might be uninformed about the Middle East, but you know full well what the implications for Israel are of Obama’s disastrous Middle East policy. Therefore, your statements can only be explained by a total spinelessness in publishing an obviously externally implanted opinion that cannot be from any sane person working at your newspaper or living in Israel.

MLADEN ANDRIJASEVIC
Beersheba

What men?

Sir, – With regard to “The Egyptian Jewish remnant against Israel” (Comment & Features, October 9), it is difficult to take seriously a journalist who can write: “In 2004, as documented by Rami Mangoubi in the Middle East Times, nearly all of the Jewish males in Egypt were jailed or forced into exile for their purported connections with Tel Aviv and the Jewish occupation of Palestinian lands after 1967.”

I mean, in 2004 there were very few Jews left in Egypt, most of them elderly women.

MICHELLE MAZEL
Jerusalem

Go after Hamas


Sir, – While praising the London- based Henry Jackson Society for calling on the EU to formally designate Hezbollah a terror organization (“Prominent UK think tank takes EU to task on Hezbollah stance,” October 7), I would urge it to turn its attention to Hamas and the attorney-general’s office in Britain. It will find this office applies the same double standard when it comes to Hamas, in that it differentiates between its military and political wings.

Although Hamas has been designated a terrorist organization by the British government, we have found it impossible to successfully prosecute people in the UK for funding the group. The attorney-general demands that we prove the funding was allocated by Hamas for violence or a specific terror incident. All the defendant needs to do is claim the money was going for non-violent purposes, as was the case when we had evidence against MP George Galloway.

Try proving that the slush fund being raised by such people for Hamas was used to make rockets or buy candy for kids.

It’s impossible – and that means true justice and the fight against terror are also not possible within such legal frameworks.

It is terribly frustrating when the path to reducing the effectiveness and influence of groups like Hamas and Hezbollah by legal means is blocked by the official legal and political infrastructure in Western countries.

BARRY SHAW
Netanya
The writer is a special consultant on delegitimization issues at the Strategic Dialogue Center of Netanya Academic College Memories

Sir, – Thank you very much for David Newman’s “Childhood memories of Simhat Torah in North London” (Simhat Torah supplement, October 7). It filled me with nostalgia, as I spent all my married life in Stamford Hill until my husband passed away in 1983, after which I made aliya to join my children and grandchildren in Israel.

My late husband was a gabbai (warden) at the Egerton Rd. synagogue for 12 years. We first met at the Bnei Akiva headquarters on Cazenove Road, which the writer mentioned in his article.

ROSE MEYER
Jerusalem

Ups and downs

Sir – The article by Moria Dash (“Ups and downs at Limmud FSU St. Petersburg,” October 5) shows a complete misunderstanding of the purpose of Limmud worldwide, and of Limmud FSU in particular.

Limmud was established in the UK nearly 35 years ago as a grassroots attempt to give Jews closer insight into Jewish culture, history, identity and religion in a pluralistic, egalitarian and liberal educational framework over a long and intensive weekend meeting (and frankly, to provide British Jews with a refuge from the long Christmas holiday atmosphere).

Since then, the Limmud model has been adopted in many countries and languages and is without a doubt one of the most important and revolutionary Jewish educational projects in the world today.

Limmud FSU for Russian speakers started six years ago in Moscow and has since taken place in many venues in Russia, Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus, as well as in the US and, of course, Israel. It has attracted tens of thousands of mostly young people to its events and as such is a major element in the struggle against assimilation.

The allegation that Israel is not a central part of Limmud FSU events is completely inaccurate.

Every conference (and I have been to many) has a strong Israeli component, with lectures and presentations on the Arab-Israel conflict, the Middle East in general, and Israeli culture in all its facets.

The organization is based in Israel and many of the speakers come from here, but Israel is only one of the many themes under discussion. It would be totally inappropriate and out of place to fly an Israeli flag, which it what your correspondent suggests.

Limmud FSU exists to promote Judaism and Jewish identity to those who were deprived of it for 70 long years of Communist rule. Aliya is very much there as a subliminal message for those who are interested, but in this day and age, when people have a free choice, the way to encourage it is by fostering more Jewish identity and knowledge – as does Limmud – and not by ramming it down people’s throats, which can only be counter-productive.

ASHER WEILL
Jerusalem

Sir, – Your correspondent attended the Limmud conference in St. Petersberg and was disappointed that there was no “connection to Israel.” She should consider herself lucky that she was not attending the annual Limmud in England! Since the notorious anti-Israel journalist Robert Fisk spoke at the conference in 2002, speakers and sessions on Israel, with a few notable exceptions, have perniciously misinformed and reinforced the hostile British media’s attitude toward the Jewish state.

There are certainly many connections to Israel, but participants are hardly likely to be drawn closer to Israel by their experiences at the British Limmud.

LYNETTE ORDMAN
Netanya

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