Sir, – What a mess President Barack Obama has put the United
States into. Because he did not do the right thing about Syria at the
appropriate time – when he could have done so at very little cost – matters have
become so much worse.
Obama should have initiated a no-fly zone a year
ago. He lacked the courage to do that, so Iran took the initiative and helped
Syrian President Bashar Assad enormously with arms and manpower.
juncture in time, whatever action Washington takes or does not take will cause
It cannot completely wipe out the chemical weapons that Syria
possesses, and Syria and its allies will look for any excuse to retaliate, and
can do so in any place in the world. Jordan will be besieged by more refugees,
perhaps threatening to overthrow King Abdullah. Above all, Israel will have to
be on constant alert.
It should be a lesson to all of us and to every
country that the world cannot exist this way.
Time is not on the side of
the great nations.BATYA KOENIGSBERG
Sir, – The US should
destroy the Iranian bomb machinery now. This would stop Iran’s support for Syria
and the gas attacks. In this manner, the US would destroy two threats with one
blow.MURRAY S. GREENFIELD
Tel Aviv ...and on Jordan
Sir, – A platform
has been constructed at the Western Wall to facilitate egalitarianism in
Muhammad Momani, the Jordanian state minister for media affairs,
describes this as “a blatant attack on the Muslim monuments and Wakf [Islamic
trust] land, which is an integral part of the Aksa Mosque” (“Jordan slams Israel
for Western Wall prayer platform,” September 4).
To appreciate the
enormity of Momani’s chutzpah, one has only to recall what happened in
Jordanian-controlled east Jerusalem between 1948 and 1967.
to Jewish religious structures was made clear by the desecration of some 38,000
Jewish graves on the Mount of Olives by the Jordanian Arab Legion, the
gravestones being used for building purposes, including the construction of a
latrine. On May 27, 1948, the legion blew up the Hurva Synagogue. This can be
contrasted with the freedom of religion that is judicially protected in
Perhaps before making such accusations, Momani should think about
apologizing for Jordan’s many outrages against Jewish religious structures when
Jordan had control. Once Amman has recompensed Israel for the cost of making
good such wanton damage, Israel no doubt will be willing to listen to his
accusations, unfounded as they may be.GERRY MYERS
Sir, – In
reference to “Peace on paper is not peace on the ground” (Comment &
Features, September 3), the peace Van Barakat mentions briefly existed while
Jordan’s King Hussein remained alive.
I recall the huge number of
Israelis, from all sectors of our population, visiting Jordan while that window
was open. The welcome we received at hotels and restaurants, including the
preparation for kosher service, was amazing.
Unfortunately, I believe
that with the king’s death a fatwa was declared against any Arab ruler
establishing peace with Israel.ALBERT RETTIG
Tel Aviv More on leaving
Sir, – Adina Siperman’s manifesto (“Why I’m leaving Israel,” Comment &
Features, September 2) did not move me to tears.
My instinctive response
was, What on earth were you expecting? Anyone who moves to Israel for
“adventure” or “zest” or to find a husband is coming for the wrong reasons.
Aliya is not about “a lifestyle of beaches, bars, restaurants and tzimmerim
(holiday cottages).” It is for people who are motivated by Zionism, by the
desire to live a life in a Jewish country and to help build the Jewish homeland.
“Zionistinclined” is not enough.
If Siperman had any contact with aliya
professionals before she came, they failed her by not explaining this
Knowing English is not a profession in Israel. It is a skill
that opens some doors and might offer some entry level employment.
career in Israel requires actual career skills more than having slightly better
English than most Israelis. And it is not “inevitable” that an Anglo will hit a
glass ceiling. It is inevitable only for people who do not do the hard work of
learning Hebrew, making friends outside the Anglo milieu and acquiring truly
I and many of my Anglo friends managed to pull it all
together through hard work and luck. Oleh friends of mine today are lawyers,
doctors, accountants, bankers, business development executives, marketing
officers, chief financial officers, CEOs, venture capitalists and judges. (And
those are just the ones that come to mind quickly.) Nobody handed anything to us
on a silver platter. None of us has held the title Chief Knowing English
Officer. All of us own homes. Many of us served in the army (including me – I
went to boot camp at the age of 37, with little kids at home).
is not the only Anglo immigrant to go back. I once saw a statistic saying that
half returned to their country of origin within two years.
I say to her:
Just go. Don’t write articles for a newspaper, don’t expect sympathy, don’t
discourage others who want to come. Your aliya failed. Get over it. I already
Sir, – One comes on aliya because of a
deep belief that Jews belong in their ancestral homeland, that their future is
measured in the strength of their commitment to Judaism and the Jewish nation,
not in the size of their paycheck. They get their adventures and zests when they
are stuck in traffic at the foot of David’s Citadel and feel blessed that
thousands of years ago their ancestors passed that way, too.
of an oleh’s commitment withstands the country’s unbelievable bureaucracy, red
tape, rudeness and thievery by unscrupulous repairmen, on which I can write an
Last but not least, olim accept that their child will serve
the country and could lose his or her life doing so. This is their commitment to
the future of their nation, not a lofty career or fat paycheck.
Siperman might indeed achieve wealth and a successful career in Canada, but it
will never be her homeland.
Eager to please
An article from the magazine of Laniado Medical Center of Netanya has come to my
attention. If read by the Obama administration and by Catherine Ashton, foreign
policy head of the European Union, it might help them put things into
perspective and stop slamming the good guys (us).
Israel has quietly been
treating wounded Syrians in army hospitals, as well as in the three northern
hospitals. In 2012 it granted immediate approval to 91.5 percent of those Gaza
residents (who glorify each Israeli death) who applied for medical care in
Over 200,000 Arabs have received medical treatment, and more than
30% of the children at Jerusalem’s Hadassah University medical Center are
Hadassah is also training 60 Palestinian medical interns
and specialists who will be returning to the Palestinian Authority to carry out
their work. In addition, there are teaching programs for Palestinian doctors to
develop specialized skills – in particular, pediatric oncology.
this goes on while the PA and the world at large condemn Israel for every act of
Perhaps this is what happens when you are good to your
enemies and too eager to please! PHYLLIS STERN
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