Letters to the Editor: Sour grapes

During his speech at Thursday night’s Knesset session, it became clear why Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog failed at the ballot box in March.

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May 17, 2015 22:00
Letters

Letters. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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Sour Grapes
During his speech at Thursday night’s Knesset session (“Knesset approves fourth Netanyahu gov’t 61-59,” May 15), it became clear why Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog failed at the ballot box in March. Even now he cannot swallow the simple fact that most of the nation said no to Labor.

Herzog’s sour-grapes tirade against the fourth-time elected head of government was childish, not to mention uncouth, in the extreme.

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More mature party leaders, after a debacle on March 17, would have resigned their position on March 18. That’s what enlightened leaders do.

BRUM BERKOVITS Haifa

The establishment of the 34th Israeli government caters to personal pride and fails to maximize the use of proper human resources.

LIONEL BURNLEY Jerusalem

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You’re wrong, Herb Herb Keinon’s condemnation of Tzipi Hotevely’s appointment as deputy foreign minister (“Hotovely as deputy FM won’t make Israel’s position in the world any easier,” Analysis, May 15) is wrong.

Hotovely is a young, intelligent, active, attractive person who will represent our state well. She is no more extreme than her predecessor.

If she is “the opposite of everything much of the world, including US President Barack Obama, wants to see in Israel,” as Keinon says, the fact is, she is Israel’s deputy foreign minister, not Obama’s.

Hotovely is a smart and savvy politician. She now has an opportunity to do us a lot of good.

COLEMAN and ROSALIE BROSILOW Rehovot

I disagree with Herb Keinon. The task of a deputy foreign minister is to represent Israel’s interests, which, I believe, are to rid the world of the dangerous two-state solution and press for international recognition that the root of the conflict is the Palestinians’ intransigent rejection of the very notion of a Jewish state existing anywhere in Palestine.

Keinon’s preference for a “presentable” face to the international community rather than someone who tells it as it is seems to me egregious.

MURRAY ROSOVSKY Haifa

Herb Keinon’s observation posits that the only reasonable policy the world will accept from Israel will come from someone who endorses a Palestinian state.

He does not mention reasonable issues that Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely’s articulate abilities could promote, such as the war curriculum of the Palestinian Authority, the PA policy of endorsing Arab refugees to remain in UNRWA camps until they can return to villages that existed before 1948, PA financial stipends to anyone who will kill a Jew, and, of course, the danger that areas ceded to the PA will provide new staging grounds for short-range missiles.

The appointment of Hotovely will enable Israel to warn against Palestinian advocacy of a “twostage solution” rather than a twostate solution.

DAVID BEDEIN Jerusalem

Vatican and Israel
In “The Vatican channels war against Israel” (As I See It, May 15), Melanie Phillips is right to point out Pope Francis’s connection to liberation theology, an interpretation of the Christian faith through the perspective of the poor. As Cardinal Bergoglio, he was the first prelate to undertake rapprochement with this movement, which had previously been shunned, not least because it supported a number of violent revolutionary movements.

Although the movement started among Latin American Catholics, it is essentially an evangelical movement and has established itself in a number of places around the world – including Jerusalem.

The Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center, based in the city, was founded by a Palestinian Anglican priest, Rev. Naim Ateek.

Among his other activities, Ateek was instrumental in establishing in 2010 a biennial conference, held in Bethlehem, called “Christ at the Checkpoint.” What makes this conference unusual is that it is largely an initiative of, and targeted at, evangelical Christians, whom we confidently – and perhaps over complacently – count as Israel’s best Christian friends.

Because of his extreme positions, the conference has now distanced itself from Ateek and has been further “sanitized” by the inclusion of Israeli speakers, including evangelical Jews. However, its intention remains the same: to present the Palestinian narrative from a Christian viewpoint, targeted at young evangelicals from all over the world. It is part of the global effort to delegitimize Israel, with the specific aim of undermining evangelical Christian support.

The next “Christ at the Checkpoint” conference will be held in 2016. I would not be surprised to see there an endorsement, blessing or even representation from the Vatican. What else can we expect from a pope who, on his visit to Israel, preferred to say his prayers at the security barrier rather than the Western Wall? MAX BLACKSTON Jerusalem When Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli engineered the Reichskonkordat of 1933, the Vatican became the first foreign government to officially recognize Nazi Germany. As Pope Pius XII, Cardinal Pacelli went on to solidify this friendship with the Germans.

If Jesus the Jew were to suddenly appear in this country, he would risk being lynched by these new allies of the Church.

STEVE BERGER Ramat Gan

Miraculous revelation
Wow! Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, preaches open-mindedness, peace and tolerance in “Parshat Bechukotai: A vessel for blessings” (Observations, May 15).

Presumably, as rabbi of the Western Wall, he will hand a Torah scroll across to the Women of the Wall for them to read at their next Rosh Hodesh service.

He will also advise the police that it’s okay for women to don prayer shawls and tefillin, and will break down the barrier between the two sections so that men and women can pray together.

Since we are approaching Shavuot, are we witnessing a miraculous revelation?

URI THEMAL Kiryat Tivon

The writer is a rabbi.

Which law?
In “FIFA, soccer and the Palestinians” (Encountering Peace, May 14), Gershon Baskin refers to “...Israeli League members in settlements (which are illegal by international law)”. I wonder which law he is referring to.

The San Remo resolution, adopted by the League of Nations in 1920 and never rescinded, aimed to bring about the “reconstitution” of a Jewish national home. Article 6 of those principles reads: “The administration of Palestine... shall encourage...

close settlement by Jews on the land, including state lands and waste lands.”

The Oslo Accords of 1993 and 1995 place the control of Area C in Israeli hands and do not forbid Jewish settlement there. Please advise as to which international laws make Israeli settlements, in the areas in which they already exist, illegal.

And if Arabs are allowed to build there, but not Jews, does this mean, in Mr. Baskin’s opinion, that these territories are Palestinian, and not disputed? If so, by what right or what law?

MENDL MALKIN Toronto

Have them come here
In his May 14 op-ed “A critical moment in Israeli-American Jewish relations” (Comment & Features), Jay Ruderman is concerned about the new Knesset’s taking up the “who is a Jew” issue because “non-Orthodox movements become enraged feeling that they could become disenfranchised from the Jewish state.”

In its most widely accepted meaning, disenfranchisement means taking away the right to vote. I was not aware that Jews in America who are not citizens of Israel ever had the right to vote.

If non-Orthodox Jews from abroad were to become citizens of Israel, they would gain the right to vote. It is not their religious denomination that has them disenfranchised – it is their residency and citizenship in another country.

ARTHUR MILLER Beit Shemesh

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