Slain diplomat

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).

We 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.

DAVID BEDEIN
Jerusalem
The writer 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 mean.

There is an element of poetic justice, if not schadenfreude, when someone of this ilk is murdered by the very murderers he championed.

J.J. GROSS
Jerusalem

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 the sword.

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 human civilization.

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
Addis Ababa

Shabby treatment

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.

What is 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 bus.”

KENNY FISHER
Jerusalem

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 stake.

Obama’s do-nothing policy is not an option.

AL EISNER
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).

If that 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.

JUDY PRAGER
Petah Tikva

Sir, – 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.

BARRY LYNN
Efrat

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 eye.

HELA CROWN-TAMIR
Neve Ilan

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.

HANNAH SONDHELM
Jerusalem

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 committee.

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.

A. WEINBERG
Rehovot

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