Eric R. Mandel asks a question regarding the Palestinian elections (“What will America do if Hamas wins the upcoming municipal elections?” Comment & Features, September 7).
Is this even a question? If history is any indication, the Obama administration will come up with yet another excuse to backtrack on an earlier commitment, in this case not to fund terrorist organizations.
Several years ago, in light of a looming Hamas-Fatah “reconciliation,” the administration erased a “red line” by saying that Hamas members were now technocrats, not terrorists. Then, during more recent upheaval in the Middle East, it backtracked on other commitments made to various allies. It has also repeatedly professed an “iron-clad” commitment to Israel’s defense while giving our mortal enemy Iran carte blanche to develop nukes, as well as $150 billion to use toward that goal.
What the Obama administration says literally means nothing. After drawing – and then waffling on – so many red lines (remember the Syrian chemical weapons?), it’s not surprising that President Obama has lost all dignity and credibility. What’s surprising is that he has any red crayons left.NOAM COHEN
EfratNeed for humility
The severe blows suffered by Israel (“At least 2 killed in TA construction site collapse,” September 6; and “Israel’s most advanced communications satellite destroyed in Florida blast,” September 2) should induce us – all Israels – to be less complacent about our successes, and to feel and display more humility.
EZRA E. FARHI
Tel Aviv Sharansky an asset
Regarding “Sharansky to step down as Jewish Agency head when his term ends next year” (September 6), Natan Sharansky has been an outstanding chairman. He gave the Jewish Agency prestige because of who he is. He has integrity and worldwide recognition.
It will be very hard to find such a person to head the organization in his stead. It is not enough to make the chairmanship a job for retired millionaires.
The head of the Jewish Agency must really know the West, Europe, China and Japan, where the values of Zionism should be made relevant. Of course, in Israel, the organization must be a partner with the government in furthering projects that benefit the country.
A place must be found for Sharansky among the very many people who are needed to make Israel take a giant leap into the future. He is an asset to the concept of freedom, liberty and fraternity.TOBY WILLIG
Jerusalem Unappealing scenario
With regard to “Most support referendum on two states” (September 6), who funds these anti-Israel NGOs that keep popping up? This one seems to have no function other than propaganda.
Legally, the disputed territories are neither Palestinian nor occupied. Second, there is nothing new to be learned from yet another survey in Israel, Gaza or Judea and Samaria. The Jews accepted the 1947 UN plan to create a Jewish and an Arab state. The Arabs rejected it. Nothing has changed in the intervening years.
Were Israel to scrap the Oslo Accords and leave the territories to the Palestinian Authority, as it did in the Gaza Strip, the same thing would occur: Arabs would die in the fight for control between Fatah and Hamas, but this time with Hezbollah and Islamic State eventually joining in. To gain street cred, they’d all lob rockets into Israel and launch terrorism against it and each other.
No Arab faction will allow Israel to exist in any borders. Only the Arab League can bring about change, but it won’t so long as a wishy-washy American administration panders to it.LEN BENNETT
She’s not alone With regard to “The American Inquisition” (Our World, September 6), Caroline B. Glick is not alone.
In 1968, we moved from Glasgow’s tenemented, innercity suburb of Battlefield (and Queens Park Shul) to the leafy outer suburb of Newton Mearns (and its eponymous Hebrew congregation).
As a young father and regular attendee, I was soon the shul’s representative to the then-very active Glasgow Jewish Representative Council. Here, my first serious task was to investigate how the city’s Jewish community could help Syria’s Jews, along the lines of the very successful committees active in seeking freedom for Soviet Jewry.
I had the privilege of explaining to the late, egregious Percy Gourgey what we were trying to do. He quickly told me that the key was no publicity, and that he and his team in London were on top of the job. But he also said: “You must get all the help you can muster to counter the undermining and suborning of all the universities by Arab-sponsored anti-Israel propaganda. It is terrible.”
When I reported all this to the executive committee, I was howled down the same way Ms. Glick’s contemporary media maestros tell us and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that we must be “reasonable” and “understand” the Palestinian/ Arab point of view, which is very simple: No negotiations, no peace, no recognition; Jews and Israelis can do no right (and have no human rights), while Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims can do no wrong.
Once we accept that US President Barack Obama sided with his Muslim heritage and that for every Jew in the world there are 1,000 Muslims who depend on pure anti-Semitism as their daily fix, we must not waste our time telling the world how wonderful Israel is. Instead, we must tell it how rotten those are who seek our total annihilation.
I wish Ms. Glick every success.
Jerusalem True to your school
The ideas of Michael Laitman, that children should be taught how to respect each other by interaction and the inculcation of social ideas (“Time to rethink education,” Comment & Features, September 6), are quite admirable. But there is one factor that was not mentioned, and that is pride in their school. This in itself is a unifying device.
At many schools in Israel, children show up dressed in their own or their parents’ choice of clothes, without any uniformity. A uniform would lead to pride in oneself and in the school. It would not require a blazer and long trousers, as it did for us in Scotland; a colored or white shirt would be sufficient.
Uniformity in dress eliminates class distinction and opens children up to absorbing values the school holds dear. This will induce them to consider themselves alumni when they leave the school, and encourage them to maintain contact with other pupils, especially if the school forms an alumnus society.EDWIN HOFFENBERG
Playing with words
Two readers whose letters appeared on September 4 touched on matters of language.
In referring to “The Princeton ‘man ban’” (Fundamentally Freund, September 1), Meir Factor asked in “‘Man ban’” how to be politically correct when referring to “mandate” and “Manchester.” Well, mandate cannot be “persondate,” since that includes “son,” so perhaps it should be “perchilddate.” When we come to Manchester, there is the added difficulty that Chester is a man’s name.
Reader Mladen Andrijasevic (“Greek lesson”) coined a much-needed word – kakistocracy, based on the Greek for worst government – to describe the mess being left behind as the joint legacy of US President Barack Obama and his former secretary of state, Hillary Clinton. I think that any Israeli could find a better etymology of the first syllable that requires no Greek at all