The right to decide
Regarding “Barkat in talks with White House about embassy move” (January 24), the decision to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to the Israeli capital of Jerusalem is not US President Donald Trump’s to make. No foreign country or government has the authority to determine the capital city of our sovereign state or the required location of embassies – Israel is a sovereign state and can require all embassies to relocate to Jerusalem.
The US is in violation of its own Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, passed by Congress with an overwhelming majority of votes.
It was never implemented because a succession of presidents from both parties claimed Congress had overreached to make what they designated a foreign policy decision against America’s national security interests.
This political strategy to delegitimize Israel as a sovereign state is completely unacceptable, akin to the State Department’s violation of US law in its refusal to identify Israel as the country of birth for US citizens born in Jerusalem.
Israel should enact legislation imposing significant financial penalties, levied on a daily basis, for all governments refusing to locate their embassies in Jerusalem.
It should impose punitively high taxes on all municipal services necessary to run embassies outside Jerusalem so that maintaining them anywhere except the capital becomes financially insupportable.
Just as President Trump has no right to decide where the US Embassy will be in a sovereign state, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has no right to defer any government decisions depending on administrative policy or laws passed by foreign governments.
The world complains and uses any excuse to threaten Israel with more terrorist attacks no matter what Israel does, so the best thing our government can do is assert our sovereignty and take the decision to move the US Embassy out of the hands of President Trump, and make the decision for him – and for the leaders of all other nations with embassies in Israel but outside its capital city.AVIVA ADLER
Missed opportunity In “Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump and the Halacha police” (JTA, January 23), Andrew Silow-Carroll seems to say the participation of Ivanka Trump, US President Donald Trump’s daughter, and Jared Kushner, her husband, in the Friday night inaugural ball was a necessity in helping to make the world “a better place.” How ludicrous can you get! If Jared and Ivanka are Orthodox Jews, they know that the weekly Sabbath acknowledges the basic fact that almighty God is the creator and thus the owner of the world. This is proclaimed in the Kiddush recited on Friday nights.
Desisting from the many halachic prohibitions of labor is a manifestation of God as creator.
All the references to the Sabbath as a full day of rest and being with family are only collateral results.
By desecrating the Sabbath, Jared and Ivanka missed a great opportunity to manifest what the Jewish philosopher Ahad Ha’am wrote: “More than Israel [i.e., the Jewish people] has preserved the Sabbath, the Sabbath has preserved Israel.”MORDECHAI SPIEGELMAN
JerusalemThose against Trump
With respect to reader Sidney (Sholom) Strajcher’s comments (“Trump inauguration,” letters, January 23), how ironic that a man named for peace would defend Donald Trump. And how odd that one would suggest that a person whose persona and very candidacy were based on bashing and negativity – and whose inauguration speech reeked of these things – deserves to be exempt from such treatment.
Those who celebrate this moment celebrate the very things your reader decries. Yet he is right about one thing: No one should be surprised that The Jerusalem Post and media across the globe juxtaposed the inauguration with the protests that accompanied it.
Particularly given the contradiction between the popular vote and the new resident of the White House, that is the story.ANDREW FISHER
We were warned: A victory by Donald Trump will unleash hate and divisiveness. And it happened! Using social media, the frustrated Democratic establishment cobbled together an unsavory coalition of women’s libbers, black racists, homo-lesbians, environment fanatics, old-fashioned peaceniks, lunatic-fringe anarchists, Muslims and advocates of open borders. It successfully exploited some of the “old” Trump’s gross comments to mobilize gullible innocents, male as well as female, in attacking a larger-than-life target.
Street interviews by the media suggest that these people haven’t the vaguest understanding of how they are being manipulated by professional malcontents through the use of hollow slogans.
Overseas, the same slogans play into “normal” anti-American sentiment to focus hatred.
Israel needs to tread carefully since it is so closely identified with the US. The same crowds could be mobilized tomorrow to save seal pups, demonstrate against melting glaciers and, most dangerously, support BDS against an ‘apartheid’ Israel.HAYIM GRANOT
Does US President Donald Trump trust Russia but distrust our intelligence agencies? Will he stand up to Russia – an adversary of the US, a country that wants to spread its totalitarianism to Europe, the Middle East and North America? Trump might be hesitant to admit that Russia hacked the computers of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign because he does not want the public to think he won a tainted election. In truth, he won the election because of the ineptitude of Clinton’s staff, her private email server and the desire for change by a large segment of the electorate in key states whose residents were unhappy with president Barack Obama’s policies.
The new president should wholeheartedly support the congressional investigations into the possible hacking by the Russians.
Trump wants to have good relations with Russia so we can work together to jointly solve some of the world’s problems, which might be a positive move. It could make both countries more secure.
However, we cannot completely trust Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin – we always have to be wary of their motives and ready to respond to their threatening and hostile actions.
Hopefully, Russia does not have compromising personal and financial information on Trump that could be used against him. And we must support the new president, because his success is our success.DONALD MOSKOWITZ
Londonderry, New Hampshire
Terror or envy?
Concerning Gershon Baskin’s “Get out of our lives already!” (Encountering Peace, January 12), which refers to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in all my life of reading all political viewpoints (50+ years, mostly in the US, as I’ve only been here three years), I have never read such a vicious screed. (And there is more than enough nauseating print in the American press!) During the eight years of US president Barack Obama – the worst enemy of the Jewish people since World War II – Mr. Netanyahu kept us whole. Quite an accomplishment, which I don’t think anyone else could accomplish.
There was only one important issue in our last election: Who will keep us safe as much as possible? The answer was undoubtedly Prime Minister Netanyahu. I shudder to think about the shape Israel would be in if the Zionist Union’s Isaac Herzog had won – by now, we most likely would have an Arab state in the heart of the country.
When journalist are so vile, they are either terrified that the object of their scorn is going to succeed or continue to succeed, or they are envious of his savvy.MONA BRAFMAN