September 16: Slain diplomat
Condolences to the American people and to the family of US Ambassador Chris Stevens are in order.
Letters Photo: REUTERS
Sir, – During his posting in Jerusalem as a senior political
officer at the US Consulate in 2004-2006, our agency maintained direct contact
with J. Christopher Stevens, the US ambassador to Libya who was slain
Tuesday in the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi (“Attack that killed
US envoy to Libya may have been planned, sources say,” September 13).
maintained a productive and constructive dialogue with Chris concerning the
legality of Jewish communities in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria. We found him to
be warm and respectful, even when there were differences of opinion because of
his orientation toward the Arab world.
Chris represents the decency of an
American citizen in the service of his country. The sight of his body being
dragged through the Libyan streets by an Arab mob is a sad day for America and
for Western civilization.
Condolences to the American people and to the
family of Chris Stevens are in order.
is director of Israel Resource News Agency
Sir, – While no one can countenance
the slaying of any American diplomat, there is little reason for Israelis to
mourn the loss of J. Christopher Stevens.
Stevens served with an anti-
Israel bias during his tenure in Jerusalem. To his core he was a classic State
Department Arabist and a member of that self-perpetuating gang at Foggy Bottom
whose reflexive opposition to Israel makes its members so ideal as future
employees of the Saudi lobby.
Indeed, your article “Slain US ambassador
was hopeful for future of Libyan democracy” (September 13) quotes an unnamed
“retired senior US diplomat” as saying: “They just killed the best of the next
generation in the inner sanctum of the foreign service.” One need not be an
expert in State Department jargon to understand precisely what these words
There is an element of poetic justice, if not schadenfreude, when
someone of this ilk is murdered by the very murderers he championed.
Sir, – There is nothing wrong with the spread of Islam so long
as the means to achieve this stick to words of wisdom rather than the force of
Why didn’t the people in this mob display the same bravado
against Muammar Gaddafi, who literally reduced most Libyans to cockroaches and
rats for more than 40 years of iron-fisted rule? The seeds of a serious problem
between Islam and the rest of the world grow with the perceptions of radical
Islamists. They are just as much enemies of Islam as they are for the rest of
Who anointed them to kill us or use violent means to
satisfy their zealotry on behalf of an erstwhile prophet whose mission on Earth
was supposed to pass harmony and tolerance to all?
ESAYAS B. GEBRE-MESKEL
Sir, – US President Barack Obama wastes no opportunities
in snubbing our prime minister (“US says there’s no time for Obama-Netanyahu
meeting,” September 12) despite Obama’s tiresome and hollow cliché of an
“unshakable bond” between our two countries.
I am not surprised by this
disgraceful behavior, as the American president has shown disdain and hostility
toward Binyamin Netanyahu since his first day in the Oval Office.
far more disturbing is the reaction (or lack of it) by American Jews. How is it
possible that close to 70 percent of them will still vote for a man who has been
so bad for Israel? As analysts of the upcoming election have reminded us, Israel
ranks quite low as an election issue for American Jews. With their almost blind
support for Obama, no matter how shabbily he treats Israel perhaps it’s the
American Jewish voter who should be remembered as “throwing Israel under the
Not an option
Sir, – Israel is now sounding
off over limited economic sanctions, which do not work and are way too weak to
force Iran to stop its nuclear weapons program (“Jerusalem: US non-deadline
policy will put Iran at ease,” September 11).
US President Barack Obama’s
current policy of wait-and-see is clearly the wrong approach. Iran has no moral
right to continue its course of action, and Israel has a moral right to prevent
Iran from doing this.
The Obama administration clearly must do more than
just talk, as the safety of Israel and the whole Middle East is at
Obama’s do-nothing policy is not an option.
Silver Spring, Maryland
Aid for the PA
Sir, – I keep hearing about the debts of
the Palestinian Authority and how it cannot balance its books. Last week it was
revealed that the PA pays out enormous sums of money to terrorists in Israeli
jails (“Liberman expected to slam Palestinian Authority payments to jailed
terrorists,” September 5). Now we hear that our government has released NIS 250
million of the PA’s future tax income, which Israel collects on its behalf, to
ease the Palestinians’ current financial situation (“Lawlessness and anarchy
reign in West Bank cost-of-living demonstrations,” September 12).
is the case, why cannot the Israel Electric Corporation get the large amount of
money the PA owes it from the same source? Likewise, others owed money by the PA
should receive their due from these taxes.
Whose money is it? Are we making a loan or a grant? Considering that the
Palestinian Authority has acted consistently against our interests in the
international arena and courts, one wonders why we are acting so large, or why
we should even be forthcoming.
The best way forward for the PA is to stop
acting against us, reach an agreement on borders and turn its attention to the
welfare of its citizens.
Sir, – What is really sorry and
sad is that there is no accountability with all the millions, perhaps billions,
of shekels and dollars that have been wasted on the PA.
Where is the
money? How many secret bank accounts? Switzerland and the Cayman Islands? How
much money is unreported? Is there fraud? Are there bribes? Favors? No one knows
for sure, but everyone suspects.
The list goes on and on. There are many
unanswered questions, but no one is asking them. The world has turned a blind
Sir, – It is unbelievable to think that
Israel once again will be transferring money to the PA.
Would the PA
transfer money to us if we needed it? I doubt that very much.
It is time
we stop supporting the Palestinians and use the money to help our own people in
need of food and shelter.
Burial is cheaper
Sir, – The figures presented in “Newly appointed 2013 healthbasket committee
receiving demands, complaints” (September 12) clearly show that the cost of
health care is rising and the basket is shrinking. Worse yet, as Judy Siegel
points out, no general practitioners or women were nominated to the new
What is apparent is that the Health Ministry is uninterested
in the health or welfare of patients and believes that family practitioners are
not important and that hospital beds are not necessary.
What I see is a
system that would find it easier to bury rather than cure its population of ill,
disabled and old people.