With regard to “World ministers in Paris endorse two-state solution” (January 16), the Paris Middle East Conference exemplifies either the irrational thinking of the world or its out and out antisemitic outlook. It was an extension of the one-sided view of the United Nations, and of Barack Obama since his first speech in Cairo as US president.
To date, no one has been able to answer the following questions: • Have the Palestinians done anything to give Israel confidence that they want to live in peace? • With all the monies the Palestinians have received, what concrete steps have they taken to develop the foundation for a state? • If the Palestinians want to live in peace, why is the curriculum in their schools geared to teaching hatred and violence against Israel? • If the Palestinians believe in a two-state solution, why doesn’t Israel appear on their maps? The best thing that can happen when President-elect Donald Trump comes into office and the US embassy is moved to Jerusalem is the realization that the Palestinians will no longer have a free ride and there will be a cost for their support of terrorism and lack of recognizing Israel as a Jewish state.
VEL WERBLOWSKY Jerusalem
Who in the government decided that Israel should not attend the Paris conference? Was no one in the government alive when the world powers met in Munich to carve up Czechoslovakia? The same thing will happen again.
The disputed territories make the great powers uncomfortable, and in order to reach a comfort level, everything will be given away. Israelis should be present and screaming, with their fists in the air.
TED RESNICK Ra’anana
It is ironic that at the same time as the Paris summit, Jean Patrick Grumberg of the French blog Dreuz documented a French court case from the 1990s that the world media generally ignored: The Palestinian Authority brought suit against French companies building the light rail system in Jerusalem, a case it lost in a 2007 decision that in effect ruled that Israel was the legal occupier of Judea and Samaria.
In 2013, the Versailles Court of Appeals, in refusing to rehear the case, effectively ruled that West Bank settlements and the occupation of Judea and Samaria by Israel were unequivocally legal under international law.
This was the first time since the State of Israel came into being that an independent, non-Israeli court was called upon to examine the status of West Bank territories under international law.
LYNETTE ORDMAN Netanya
Your January 16 editorial “Smoke signals” is a devastating indictment of a health minister who, if not directly a party to the disgraceful protection afforded the tobacco industry under arrangements that reek of corruption and illegality – at terrible cost to the nation’s health – obviously condones it.
Unbelievably, Health Minister Ya’acov Litzman adamantly refuses to take any steps to discourage smoking, notwithstanding the known risks that most every other country strenuously endeavors to minimize, if not eliminate. I wonder if our shameful minister smokes? RAYMOND CANNON Netanya
The Bibi scandals
The revelation in “Living high off the hog” (Reality Check, January 16) that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s net worth is estimated at $11 million explains one fact, but invites a question.
The fact: Israel has the third-highest gap between rich and poor among OECD countries.
The question: How can someone worth $11m. be a prime minister for the common man? GERRY MYERS Beit Zayit
Should Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu be found guilty either for his dealings with Yediot Aharonot publisher Noni Mozes or for allegedly accepting expensive gifts, or for both, the fallout should include the following: If the champagne and cigars are construed as a bribe, the financial obligations of Channel 10 that were canceled should be reinstated and paid in full, as these gifts were from a principle investor in the channel.
If the Bibi-Mozes allegations are found to be true, then all the politicians of the coalition that supported the anti-Israel Hayom legislation and received positive coverage from Yediot should be held accountable as well.
ZVI FINK Modi’in
Even if bribery cannot be proven, for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to dismiss the “small gifts” as inconsequential is offensive, especially as they amounted to a significant sum of money over a number of years.
The prime minister is an employee of the state. He serves the people. We deserve better.
MARSHA ROTH Jerusalem
With Iran, the UN, Syria, the French Middle East Conference, Islamic State, Hezbollah and Hamas breathing down our necks, why are we wasting our time worrying about whether Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu received cigars? Are his enemies so desperate?
ANITA ELLIS Jerusalem
With regard to “It’s a ‘La La’ landslide at the 74th Golden Globes” (Arts & Entertainment, January 10), am I missing something? I adore musicals and have enjoyed so many screened productions these last 70 years. They include the iconic Wizard of Oz, Hello Dolly, Cabaret, Phantom of the Opera, Moulin Rouge, Mama Mia, West Side Story, Singing in the Rain and South Pacific. All epitomized and exhibited the vast talent within the movie industry.
La La Land most emphatically does not deserve to be included in this category.
Last week, family, friends and I were hoping to enjoy this film.
Within 20 minutes, a few people exited. I would happily have joined them but decided to remain seated. We were all bitterly disappointed thanks to the lack-luster story line, poor direction, ineffective choreography and mediocre performers.
We all have different perceptions and expectations, but in all honesty, I’m flabbergasted that the Golden Globes gave this uninspiring musical seven awards.
GISH TRUMAN ROBBINS Pardesiya
Alexander Spinrad’s virulent assault on “Christian” Crusaders (“Maoz Tzur, our Muslim hero,” Comment & Features, December 25) reveals not only an anti-Christian spirit, but a gross ignorance of the very definition of what a Christian is.
This is understandable in a day where anybody can self-identify as a Christian. Politicians from US President Barack Obama to President- elect Donald Trump – and, yes, even the pope, who portentously claims the title “Vicar of Christ” – call themselves Christian, but it is only fair to let Jesus define who a Christian is.
Jesus said in John 14:21: “He that hath my commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me.”
There is no moral equivalence between the Crusaders and the Muslim jihadis. When “Christians” try to advance Christianity with the sword, they do so in direct disobedience to the teaching and example of Jesus. When Muslims slaughter people in jihad, they are following exactly both the teaching and example of their master.
When Jesus died, he prayed: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). When Mohammed died, he cursed the Jews and the Christians.
To cast Mohammed as the savior of the Jews, and Christians as villains, is patently wrong and extremely offensive to Christians who love Israel.
It is not helpful to slander your best friends, whose commitment to the well-being of Israel is not based on the shifting sands of politics, but on a profoundly deep religious belief in the God of the Bible.
ROBERT GRIMSHAW Syracuse, Indiana