Headline issues: June 16, 2014

With regard to “Israel advances plans for 1,083 settler homes” (June 13), who are you, The New York Times? What kind of headline is that?

View of settlement. [Illustrative] (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
View of settlement. [Illustrative]
Headline issues
Sir, – With regard to “Israel advances plans for 1,083 settler homes” (June 13), who are you, The New York Times? What kind of headline is that? How about “Israel advances plans for 1,083 new homes in Judea and Samaria”? Then your readers can decide whether they want to call these potential new homeowners “settlers” or just “Israelis.”
Being duped
Sir, – According to reporter Lahav Harkov, “[p]oliticians on the Left were furious at Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Environmental Protection Minister Amir Peretz for pushing them to vote for MK Meir Sheetrit (Hatnua) for president...” (“Labor: Hatnua betrayed us in backing Sheetrit,” June 13).
She mentions that “sources in both [the Labor and Meretz] parties say they regret supporting Sheetrit and are angry at him and Hatnua for hiding information” over accusations of sexual harassment made against him by a former housekeeper.
She writes that “Labor faction chairman [MK] Eitan Cabel wrote Sheetrit an SMS text message that he and [party and opposition leader Yitzhak] Herzog ‘feel betrayed’” over Sheetrit’s “bluff.”
When will our illustrious but gullible leaders on the Left realize that everything they are told by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and the entire Palestinian leadership is also a bluff? When they do realize this will they say, “It’s not very fair,” as did Cabel when he realized how easily he and his colleagues had been duped?

Sherman Plan?
Sir, – In “Parade of the pretentious, the preposterous and the puerile” (Into the Fray, June 13), Martin Sherman shows why Yair Lapid’s “disengagement plan,” Naftali Bennett’s “one-and-a-half state solution,” Tzipi Livni and Isaac Herzog’s “suicide plans” and finally Gideon Sa’ar’s “status-quo strategy” are not feasible. In a previous column he also criticized Caroline B. Glick’s “one-state solution.”
He gave excellent arguments on why they are not feasible and, with the exception of Sa’ar’s proposal, I totally agree. But where is the “Sherman Plan?” Martin, please devote your next column to explaining the plan, and in much detail. You will need to show Jerusalem Post readers that it is economically and politically feasible and has a very good chance to succeed.
Petah Tikva
Sir, – Though there is enough alliteration to pass a high school exam in creative writing, I don’t find “Parade of the pretentious, the preposterous and the puerile” useful.
There are 140 introductory words before there is anything substantial.
Then there is the term “rational blueprint,” after which I thought I would finally find one by the author, perhaps after the verbose criticism. Alas, there was none. Just criticism of others, commonly called “Monday-morning quarterbacking,” though there is much more at stake here than a sporting event.

Plainview, New York

Savir-ly out of touch
Sir, – Uri Savir’s “Elections Now” (Savir’s Corner, June 13) contained 1,389 words (thank you, Word- Count), but all should be invalidated by the handful of words describing him at the end, especially that he “served as Israel’s chief negotiator for the Oslo Accords.”
It’s incredible that his opinions haven’t changed and he’s even given a platform to express them.
It’s the equivalent of inviting the CEO who bankrupted the company to be keynote speaker at the next board of directors meeting.

Ma’aleh Adumim

Let’s not be meek
Sir, – According to Reuven Ben-Shalom (“Hasbara, public diplomacy and propaganda,” Observations, June 13), Israel, as it states its case, should avoid sloganeering, harping on old news and preaching in general. It should instead project modesty, admit imperfection and “balance threats and defense with softer issues.”
But notice that the other side, which has been successful in turning much of the world against us, has done so exactly by the methods that Ben-Shalom rejects: sloganeering, harping on old news and preaching in general. It shows no modesty, admits no imperfection and never mentions softer issues.
So maybe the source of Israel’s problem is elsewhere.
I suspect that the source is the huge, committed, well-funded and long-standing anti-Zionist campaign in the world’s universities, media and international forums, where the uninformed are deceived and the uninterested are bribed.
Israel will never have the funding that its opponents have, but it should devote what funds it has to stating its case assertively, not meekly.

Sir, – I enjoyed and for the most part agreed with “Hasbara, public diplomacy and propaganda.”
Israelis and their government certainly can use some pointers on how to better present their situation to the world.
However, the article overlooked one shining fact: Neither Israels nor their government really know exactly what they want. If one were to ask three ministers from the same party (no matter which) how they envision the country’s future, you’ll receive four different answers.
The Arabs in general, and the Palestinians in particular, give answers that are hard to disagree with. They want “peace with justice,” “the right to return to where my grandparents lived” or other such platitudes.
Not until Israelis know what they want can their government properly articulate a stand. I’m not holding my breath.
Tel Aviv
Foreign preachers
Sir, – Being an English teacher, I understand the power of words and the importance of grammar to accurately convey one’s beliefs.
When I hear people describing themselves as “British Jews” or “American Jews,” I understand that such individuals see themselves as Jews first, and Brits or Americans second. However, with the incidence of creeping assimilation and loosening of emotional ties to the State of Israel, the time has come to redefine the placement of the noun and the adjective to reflect their personal choice of identity.
All this came to mind when considering Jonathan Sack’s words on accepting the Guardians of Zion award (“We never forgot Jerusalem,” Observations, June 6) and his prior decision on leaving office to take up an appointment in the US.
Guarding Zion can surely best be done by becoming a citizen of the State of Israel. Similarly, J Street followers who profess love and concern for Israel as the prime motivation for their criticism of its policies do so as Jewish Americans, not as American Jews.
As Jewish Israelis, both Dr. Sacks and J Street followers could better preserve the Jewish values in this country by being present among us to help create a society worthy of being described as a “light unto the nations” than by preaching to us from foreign shores.
Do something
Sir, – Normally, I consider meddling in the internal affairs of a country not my own to be akin to meddling in another person’s marriage.
But as an American Jew continually invited to donate money to Israel, I would like to put in my two cents.
While increasing Jewish settlement in the West Bank might benefit Israel, it does not benefit those of us in the Diaspora. The Palestinian issue is used as a fulcrum to both turn those formally sympathetic to the Zionist cause against us and separate young adult Jews such as my own children from their Zionist upbringing despite having visited Israel while in college. I also believe that the issue is being used as an excuse for increasing anti-Semitism in my country and others.
I cannot speak for anyone but myself and I cannot begin to suggest to Israel just what to do. I’ll continue my lifelong support of the Jewish state, but please remember that we are part of you and you are part of us. So do something.
New York
The Jerusalem Post does not endorse any of the content of the ad taken out by the “Hadassah Doctors’ Committes” and “Ward Directors” appearing on Page 5 of the June 15 issue.