Just another busybody...
I think it is important that Israel takes serious notice of what US President Donald Trump’s “recognition” of the Jewish people’s 3,000-year-old capital actually means (“‘No peace process without Washington,’” December 29).
You report that US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman “characterized the Palestinian reaction as ‘largely emotional,’ saying they ‘unfortunately overreacted’ because Trump made clear that the US was ‘not taking a position on any final status issues, including the specific boundaries of the Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem.’” This statement in no way legitimizes our full right to Jerusalem. Trump has every intention of dividing our land, like all the interfering busybodies before him.
Trump and his team have already been told in no uncertain terms by the terrorist Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, that Abbas has no intention of stopping payments to terrorists who murder Israelis, and that he will continue to look on them as martyrs. Yet this will not stop the US administration from going full-steam ahead to make the deal of the century with the Palestinians.PHYLLIS STERN
Netanya ...and certainly not the first
Perhaps someone could explain why there has been such an enormous fuss about President Trump’s recent declaration on Jerusalem. It’s all been said before by no fewer than three former presidents of the US, including – believe it or not – Barack Obama.
Bill Clinton (1992): “Jerusalem is still the capital of Israel, and must remain an undivided city accessible to all.”
George W. Bush (2000): “As soon as I take office, I will begin the process of moving the US ambassador to the city Israel has chosen as its capital.”
Barack Obama (2008): “I continue to say that Jerusalem will be the capital of Israel; I have said that before and I will say it again.”
Barack Obama (2008): “...and Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel and it must remain undivided.”
Seems like there’s not much new under the sun.
It is clear from prior Washington Watch columns that Douglas Bloomfield does not like Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or US President Donald Trump. His comments on December 28 (“Netanyahu’s Hanukka gift”) reinforce this.
Since virtually each US president and presidential candidate, along with both houses of Congress, have endorsed the concept of Jerusalem being Israel’s capital, and since Bloomfield feels it is such a terrible idea, can I assume that he wrote equally vitriolic columns criticizing Republicans and Democrats as they confirmed that our 3,000-year history in Jerusalem was a noble cause? Or, perhaps suddenly, just because President Trump endorsed the idea and actually followed through, Bloomfield just can’t stand the idea that anything Trump does could possibly be right?
STEPHEN JEROME KOHN
Ra’anana Trump Station
With regard to “Western Wall train station to be named after Trump” (December 28), congratulations to Transportation Minister Israel Katz on the plans to build a train station providing convenient access to the Temple Mount area. I pray that by the time its construction is completed, millions of people will use it on a regular basis to visit the rebuilt holy Temple.
Yet you quote Katz as saying: “The Western Wall is the holiest place for the Jewish people....” This is incorrect and politically damaging.
As a minister in the Israeli government, he should both know and clearly state that the location of the holy Temple on the Temple Mount is the holiest place for the Jewish people. The Western Wall has the holiness of a house of prayer in the holy city of Jerusalem, but no more. Even those standing at the Wall direct their prayers toward the location of the holy Temple and pray for it to be rebuilt speedily in our days.
In addition, stating that the Western Wall is the holiest place for the Jewish people has negative political implications. A cabinet minister who supports a united Jerusalem as the eternal capital of the State of Israel should take care not to make statements that strengthen those who would relinquish control over the Temple Mount.DAVID NEUSTADTER
Transportation Minister Israel Katz’s announcement of the intent to name a train station near the Western Wall after President Donald Trump reeks of cognitive dissonance. He could not possibly mean to link Trump’s name to such a holy area because at least two-thirds of the American Jewish population finds this man’s actions and words to be wholly contrary to Jewish beliefs and principles.
Trump has exhibited clear and convincing evidence of xenophobia. His statements regarding immigrants, Muslims and others demonstrate disdain for how we as Jews are taught to treat all people, not just our own. His comments on the heels of the awful Charlottesville white-supremacist gathering, eschewing condemnation of neo-Nazis and Klansmen in favor of a statement signifying there were bad people “on both sides,” was a low point in American history.
Moreover, we are just coming off an election in the state of Alabama in which Trump actively endorsed and supported a man who has repeatedly eschewed the rule of law in favor of a Christian theocratic vision for America, a man who has said astoundingly immoral things about any number of constituencies, most notably the LGBTQ community.
It doesn’t bother me that Katz thinks Trump’s declaration about Jerusalem is important. Still, I don’t share the minister’s view because it is fairly obvious that Trump’s words and actions are based on whatever will earn him accolades from those he deems important.LARRY LEVIN
Has Israel gone mad, naming a train station in Jerusalem after President Donald Trump? Does Israel understand that most Jews in America, and most Americans, find Trump to be dangerous and disgusting? STEVEN ROSS
New York Come and see for yourselves!
Why is it front-page news for us to know (or care) about a foolish young woman who said “I’ve had a lot of discussions with people holding many views” and “I’m not too proud to admit I didn’t make the right call on this one” (“Oh Lorde! Pop star caves to BDS pressure, cancels Israel show,” December 25).
Come to Israel, you doubting Thomases, and see for yourselves who we are! My prayer is that the whole BDS movement shrivels up and dies. They know not what we are about! SHIRA SCHLESINGER
Get things into perspective
With regard to “Is Netanyahu corrupt?” (Editor’s Notes, December 22), I have no idea if the suspicions against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are likely to amount to anything. I have just one question: If the cigar issue turns into a major politi cal ax by which to topple the prime minister, how many lives will those cigars cost? It doesn’t take much imagination to see that the minute the prime minister is thought to be vulnerable or at the point of having to stand down, Israel’s enemies will seek to maximize on any political instability and perceived military hesitation of command and make the very most of the situation. It only required the president of the US to state that he wished to move his embassy to Jerusalem for rockets to rain down and serious stabbings to take place.
It is absolutely right that Israelis ask their politicians to be accountable, but let’s get things into perspective.