The insults fly
Sir, – With regard to “Washington distances itself from comments insulting Netanyahu’s character” (October 30), who is calling whom “chickenshit”? Whoever it was, the Americans have been pressing Israel to keep making concessions to the Palestinians so that they can have a state in the very heart of our country, placing us in grave existential danger. No pressure has been applied to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas or his governing body to stop teaching hatred of Jews in their schools, to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, to control their mobs in Jerusalem, to stop the mullahs from preaching the slaughter of Jews, to break their ties with the terrorist Hamas or to make any concessions whatsoever.
It seems to me the sobriquet in question better fits the person who mouthed it.EDMUND JONAH
Sir, – The Obama administration has failed miserably in all of its foreign policy. Its members are left to using rude epithets against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has better discretion.
The comments quoted by journalist Jeffrey Goldberg in The Atlantic
are the comments of a loser.ZVI FINK
Sir, – An Obama administration official was referring to the fact that Prime Minister Netanyahu did not go through with a planned attack on the Iranian nuclear infrastructure in 2012. The reason Netanyahu backed away was insurmountable pressure and undiplomatic threats against Israel by the Obama administration.
It could have been argued at the time that bending to President Barack Obama’s will was the responsible thing to do. In retrospect, given the lack of credit and outright disrespect Netanyahu has received for doing so, as well as the total lack of consideration for Israel’s security needs in the deal with Iran that is currently on the table, it was clearly a mistake.
It can be assumed that our prime minister will not make that mistake again.RANDI MELLMAN OZE
Sir, – Beyond vulgarity, the personal name-calling directed at the Israeli prime minister by an anonymous Obama administration official is like the pot calling the kettle black. Rightly or wrongly, Benjamin Netanyahu believes the building of settlements to be in the security interests of the country he serves. In face of the heavy-handed international backlash, it was a courageous decision.
In regard to Netanyahu’s own criticism, a nuclear Iran would be a threat to global security. Any capitulation by the Obama administration that would allow Iran to continue to enrich uranium beyond what it needs for peaceful purposes would display cowardice.
I pray that Congress will have the will and fortitude to stand up to Obama on this one.ALIZA LAUFER
Sir, – As a citizen of the US and a strong supporter of Israel, I am both saddened and angered at a top Obama administration official’s description of Prime Minister Netanyahu as a “chickenshit.”
I am an American Jew. I love my county but disagree with my country’s current administration and its shameful actions. I feel that the leader of Israel is truly a man of courage who loves his country and does not deserve the disrespect he was shown.
Please accept my apologies for my country’s disgusting rudeness! MARCIA BRUNELLI
Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania
Sir, – Having not yet had the pleasure of visiting America, it was on our list for our summer vacation for the coming year. Now, having heard the outrageous way in which our prime minister was vilified by the US administration, I have to say that America shall remain on our list of countries not visited.DAVID S. ADDLEMAN
Mevaseret Zion Barracuda bait
Sir, – I am outraged by your headline “Right-wing activist shot outside Begin Center” (October 30).
It is bad enough that this poor man, Rabbi Yehudah Glick, while fighting for his life, is headlined as a “right-wing activist.” But in addition the article states that the Begin Center is “located near the Old City” of Jerusalem. Although the center has one of the most beautiful views of the Old City, it takes at least 25 minutes to walk there using every short-cut at a power-walk pace.
By calling Rabbi Glick a “rightwing activist” in your headline and claiming the Begin Center is “located near the Old City,” the Associated Press will turn this into the justified shooting of a “settler.”
Why can’t you be more careful with your reporting when we all know that the international media are barracudas and will turn this into another way to bash Israel? SARAH MASLOW
Jerusalem Children in poverty
Sir, – One-third of Israel’s children are living below the poverty line (“UNICEF: Israel’s child poverty 4th highest in West,” October 30).
This is indeed an appalling statistic.
But a figure I have never seen cited is the percentage of children who live in families in which the responsible adults have made a conscious decision not to join the labor force so as to spend their time in study, expecting that the state will provide for them.
Before we once again castigate ourselves and blame “the state,” I suggest we turn to these parents and demand that they, too, take upon themselves the responsibility for providing for their offspring, as the majority of Israeli parents do.SUSAN BUCKWALD
Ramat Yishai Sick pervert
Sir, – My stomach churns as I read about the sick pervert Goel Ratzon (“Polygamist cult head gets 30 years for sex crimes,” October 29).
So many questions. Where were the families of these poor “wives” all those years? Why did it take so long to bring Ratzon to trial? What can be done to make sure such evil never happens again? SUSAN TARAGIN
Jerusalem Grave disservice
Sir, – With respect to “Conversion bill approved for final readings, generating political storm” (October 28), with the advent of communism in Russia, Jews were not allowed to practice religion, learn Hebrew or study Bible privately or in yeshivot. As a result, there was much assimilation.
Since the breakdown of communism in the 1990s we have enjoyed a mass aliya of Russian Jews, many with non-Jewish spouses. Neither the Chief Rabbinate nor the haredim have been willing to accommodate this unique aliya by easing their return to the bosom of the Jewish people with understanding of their background and their willingness to take on the burdens of Israeli citizenship.
Most surprising and disappointing is the association of Bayit Yehudi with religious extremist parties in demanding halachic conversion. We are not talking here of religion but of nationalism, where a way must be found to allow people with Jewish connections to assimilate into our society through genuine concern and loving kindness.
In my opinion, Bayit Yehudi has performed a grave disservice to itself politically, to the people who voted for it and to those who thought it was an enlightened religious party.EDWIN HOFFENBERG
Haifa ‘Aha’ moment
Sir, – Pinchas Landau’s “Before, during and after the flood” (Global Agenda, Business & Finance, October 24) focused on parallels between Noah and the flood, and market booms throughout history.
Rather entertaining. But for me it was a genuine “aha” moment that finally gave my suspicions legitimacy.
With no ill intentions, for years I strongly have sensed that Wall Street is not strictly about macroeconomics or corporate earnings.
Now Landau has framed it for me: It’s about liquidity created by the world’s central banks.
The thought of how much the “banks” earn with every boom and bust boggles the mind. So much for free markets.BARBARA SCHIPPER