Letters to the editor: February 3

From dirty feet to a silver lining.

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February 1, 2016 20:39
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Dirty feet

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has found that Israel is causing the deadlock in the peace process (“Israel: French threat to recognize ‘Palestine’ if talks fail encourages deadlock,” January 31).

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I hope the foreign minister will convince the leaders of any new Palestinian state to welcome their Palestinian brothers rather than demand that they be allowed into Israel; recognize Israel as a home for the Jewish people; and, finally, let the Jews, after cleaning their dirty feet, visit the Western Wall and the Temple Mount.

ISSY HASS
Ra’anana

France’s proposal to recognize “Palestine” whether or not the parties come to an agreement is like a parent telling a child: “If you clean your room, you get your allowance; if you don’t clean your room, you still get your allowance.” How many children will clean their room? The world falsely accuses Israel and the Jews of many things. But one thing that cannot be said about the Jewish people is that they are idiots.

Speaking of ridiculous positions, the Europeans would never hand a piece of adjacent land to an Islamic State caliphate even though the Muslims did once control much of Europe.

The Americans wouldn’t tolerate two rockets coming over the border from Mexico even though Texas was Mexico’s at one point.

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(Territories lost in war are rarely returned, but if Jordan wants to discuss some special federation status for some of its former territory, that would be interesting to consider.) So how can world leaders possibly ask Israel to trust people who favor Hamas (and will likely be willing to put it in power), people who can’t help but grab knives and murder Jews because they are so upset that Israel exists? The fact that the world is now acting on its long-held anti-Israel feelings doesn’t mean, as Yair Lapid suggests, that we have lost our international standing. It means that many in the international community are standing on their heads and seeing things upside down.

JULIE MENDELSOHN
Zichron Ya’acov

What a thought

With regard to “Two minors arrested for Jerusalem stabbing attack” (January 31), in the runup to the Gulf War 25 years ago, the government urged us all to get gas masks, which it provided to protect the population. I suggest that in the current mayhem, the government provide us with neck protectors. This could be the only way to passively defend ourselves from being stabbed to death, say, while trying to buy a carton of milk.

These Arab killers are trying to slaughter us every day, so a passive, defensive posture is not the answer to our current distress.

The government has to get much more active against these monsters. We can withhold money. We can retain the bodies of killers and attackers who are shot dead, and not release them for burial. Turn off the Palestinians’ electricity for a few hours a day. Keep Arab workers out of Israel for a week or so.

Don’t tell me that the Arab population doesn’t support these hideous acts, when almost all the polls in the Arab press that I’ve read say the population there praises this behavior.

Caroline B. Glick said it in her astute “Hope is not a strategy” (Column One, January 29): “Since Israel is going to be attacked [by the international community] no matter what it does, we might as well do things that advance our interests.”

The basic interest of a government is to protect its citizens.

Ours had better get busy. Whatever it has tried is not nearly good enough. Meanwhile, our president can occupy his time (God forbid) by visiting one house of mourning every day.

What a thought.

THELMA JACOBSON
Petah Tikva

UK, US spying

The spying by the UK and US (“Report: US, UK intelligence hacked into Israeli drones,” January 31) has identified a loophole in our systems that should have been watertight.

The report in The Intercept indicates that spying may well have commenced much earlier than 2008, and as such must have been sanctioned at the highest echelon of government in the UK, namely the prime minister.

For 10 years, until June 2007, the prime minister was Tony Blair, who probably authorized the operation and, subsequently on resignation, was appointed head of the Quartet, knowing full well that the UK was spying on Israel.

Both Blair and his Labor Party successor, Gordon Brown, publicly claimed to be “friends of Israel” while their governments were engaged in a mammoth spying operation to the detriment of their “friend.” How ironic that Blair has had the temerity to advise the Israeli prime minister as to what course of action has to be followed to encourage our enemies to make peace! All those that have been implemented have, of course, failed.

ELIEZER KAUFMAN
Jerusalem

Rights of others

The Women of the Wall seek a site at the Western Wall where they can pray according to their beliefs.

They recognize that most of the thousands of women who daven at the Kotel do so almost silently, and that reading the Torah aloud in the existing women’s section is a disruption.

Therefore, they accept the necessity for a separate site so that all women can daven according to their own tradition.

Shulamit S. Magnus (“Deal or no deal: We shall not be moved,” Comment & Features, January 31) seems interested only in making political points and enforcing her rights, without considering the rights of the vast majority of women who daven at the Wall.

MARSHA DALIN
Modi’in

Information, please

In “Close to home” (Style, February 2016), you say that it is “just the time to get your hands on the best-selling cookbook from a few years ago, Jerusalem, which is set to be the coolest coffee table cookbook for 2016.”

If this is the case, why does the writer not give us a few details so we can all dash out and buy the book, or at least give credit to the two authors – restaurateurs and business partners Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi. Both were born in Jerusalem; hence, the title of their cookbook.

MARION LUPU
Haifa

Silver lining

With regard to “British doctors seek to expel Israel from int’l body” (January 21), I am an optimist who always looks for the silver lining. I thus felt great satisfaction and relief when I saw that these British doctors did not include in their petition the accusation, now that Passover is getting near, that Jews are kidnapping Christian children, killing them and using their blood to make matza.

DAVID MANDEL
Savyon

Surrogate economy


In Israel, foreign laborers are imported in the thousands to make up most of the unskilled hands upon which our building and agriculture sectors rely. There is one family farm in the Negev employing 66 non-Israelis – 33 Palestinians and 33 from Thailand.

Even kibbutzim and moshavim have Thai laborers in considerable numbers.

Such a surrogate economy is injurious to the moral and physical health of a nation. It weakens the pride in “doing,” but sets the goal in seeking more money for its symbols.

Surely, Israelis should be manning these fields with livable wages. We should not be exploiting the human distress of other nations.

RAPHAEL BEN-YOSEF
Ramat Gan

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