Once again, we hear that Israel is heading toward reestablishing ties with Turkey (“Erdogan says Ankara is ‘ready to cooperate with Israel against terrorism,’” March 24). One wonders how much more groveling Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has done, and will yet do, to make this happen.
It is Turkey that should be making the concessions.
It is Turkey that was in the wrong throughout the whole Mavi Marmara debacle by trying to bypass a legal Israeli blockade.
It was Turkish terrorists who tried to kill our soldiers with iron bars, and indeed left some of them seriously wounded. All our boys did was defend themselves, but in this upside down world, that is a crime.
We also see it happening here, where our soldiers are forbidden to fight back and left ridiculously vulnerable and humiliated.
President Reuven Rivlin, not to be outdone, has emerged as another master groveler for profusely thanking Erdogan over the phone “for all the care you have taken for all our citizens and for your help in bringing the victims back to Israel with dignity” after the recent suicide bombing in Istanbul, which killed three Israelis.
He might have found himself bowing over the phone in everlasting gratitude.
We now have a prime minister and a president who are convinced that the only solution to our problems is to allow the establishment of another terrorist state, and on Jewish land, by a non-existent Palestinian people whose only reason for living is to destroy Israel. If what goes on in this country were not so serious, it would make a brilliant Purim shpiel.
EDITH OGNALL Netanya
We are our own worst enemies.
As an Orthodox Jew, I am increasingly appalled by the hatred spewed forth by certain elements of our people (“Shas MK compares Reform Jewry to Haman and its leadership to the mafia,” March 24).
Perhaps it is time for the rabbis of the Shas and United Torah Judaism parties to give their people a refresher course on what caused the destruction of the Second Temple. Instead of stretching out their hand to fellow Jews and patiently showing them, by example, how beautiful and meaningful a life of Torah and mitzvot can be, they choose to denigrate them with vile insults.
We are a people with more than our share of enemies from without. Let us at least not divide ourselves from within.
KURT SIMON JerusalemStraw man
I do not know why there is such insecurity and conformism that three letters to the editor and 595 words were needed to address one little 152-word letter (“Rx for BDS,” March 20).
Reader Monty Zion (“Historical facts,” March 22) describes me as “attributing” what I called “the occupation and settlement expansion” to (his words) “BDS activities on campuses.”
He inverts what I stated as cause and effect. I attributed BDS activities on campus to the occupation and settlement expansion. I said that “there wasn’t any western anti-Israelism, including BDS, until decades of occupation and settlement caused it.”
He also says “the BDS movement is sponsored by anti-Israel sentiment, and not as described by Adler.” But I describe western BDS as part of “western anti-Israelism.” He obviously can only criticize by creating a straw man.
To sarcastic reader Zev Chamudot (“Letters about a letter,” March 23): I do not say that I or anyone “possesses the formula for... resolving the Arab-Israel conflict,” only that one method for helping end western BDS would be to criticize, as much as western BDS does, the underlying problem. Again, there was no major western anti-Israelism, including western BDS, before the occupation; it began only after decades of occupation and settlement expansion. Again, criticism of a straw man rather than my little letter.
Following Chamudot, reader Nan Klein also can only criticize a straw man. She says the “true goal of BDS is the total destruction of Israel.” I never say otherwise.
This makes it all the more important to help end BDS, for which my letter offered a suggestion.
Klein says at the end of her letter that I was “blaming Israel for the existence of BDS.”
Again, a falsehood and strawman.
I didn’t blame the perfectly legitimate state of Israel for BDS.
An effective way to help end western anti-Israelism, including BDS, would not be an end to the perfectly legitimate State of Israel, but an end to the occupation and settlements.
This would save Israel.
JAMES ADLER Cambridge, Massachusetts
Same old thing
Having been a staunch admirer and coworker of former Labour Friends of Israel director Valerie Cocks, I can vouch for David Newman’s perception of what was, and is, an accurate portrayal (“The UK Labour Party is betraying its values,” Borderline Views, March 22).
Over 20 years have elapsed since my departure for Israel, yet sadly, inherent anti-Semitism and hostility toward Israel continue unabated within the mindset of Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and his cohorts in the party. Some things never change.
GISH TRUMAN ROBBINS PardesiyaGilda the Great
“A word from Mrs. Malaprop” (Arts & Entertainment, March 22) neglects to mention the queen of malapropisms, Emily Litella, played by the late Gilda Radner on Saturday Night Live.
This hard-of-hearing character complains about “the deaf penalty,” “saving Soviet jewelry,” “endangered feces,” “violins on television,” “presidential erections,” “conserving natural racehorses,” “firing the handicapped” rather than hiring them, and “making Puerto Rico a steak” rather than a state.
ANNICE GRINBERG Rehovot Trump at AIPAC
It appears that Steve Rabinowitz was a little hasty with “I have Trump’s AIPAC speech text!” (Comment & Features, March 21). Your headline two days later was: “Trump receives warm welcome at AIPAC confab.”
You reported that Mr. Trump was greeted with standing ovations, and that few audience members were seen leaving in protest.
It might be prudent for you to tone down the criticism of Mr.
Trump, beginning with the daily cartoon.
ISSY RIEBACK Kfar Yona
Regarding your recent coverage of the AIPAC conference in Washington, the appearances of both Democratic and Republican contenders for the presidential nomination were rather pathetic. Close to 20,000 Pavlovian sheep salivated and cheered whenever the correct bell was rung. They applauded all of the empty promises as if they had never been heard – or broken – before.
I disagree with almost everything that Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders says or stands for, but he seems to be the only honest one in the bunch.
SAMUEL DERSHOWITZ Jerusalem
The March 9 article “Palestinians try to turn US courts on Adelson, Abrams and anyone linked to settlements,” by Yonah Jeremy Bob, has been clarified as follows to reflect the nuances of the views on UN Resolution 242 by various US administrations: Under some administrations until the Reagan administration, US policy was that the settlements were illegal. Since the Reagan administration, which explicitly said it did not believe the settlements were illegal, the US has instead characterized the settlements as illegitimate. US policy has also been to oppose any push to declare them a war crime, preferring a resolution of the settlement dispute as part of “a global resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict pursuant to the two-state solution under its interpretation of UN Security Council Resolution 242 based on the Quartet Road Map and a string of later UN resolutions.”