Letters to the editor: January 17, 2017

January 16, 2017 22:08

Letters. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Who’s Israel’s friend?

Some of our illustrious ministers and MKs who can’t wait for the Trump era would be wise to think about President- elect Donald Trump’s choice for defense secretary (“Trump’s defense pick: Tel Aviv is capital of Israel,” January 13). It is reasonable to expect a much friendlier attitude from Trump, but the only thing predictable about him is that he is very unpredictable.

The open joy on Israel’s right, led by cabinet ministers Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked, regarding a new era of unlimited building in Judea, Samaria and east Jerusalem, and an imminent transfer of the US embassy to Jerusalem, is more than premature – it could be harmful.

We cannot assume that we can do anything we want and throw to the wind longtime US policies, no matter how problematic in our eyes. It would be prudent to remember that January 20 will not be another Independence Day for us, nor will it mark the beginning of the messianic era.

GERSHON HARRIS Hatzor Haglilit

So Gen. “Mad Dog” Mattis believes that the capital of Israel is in Tel Aviv, and “that’s where all their government people are.”

Israel’s capital is Jerusalem, and the government offices are there, not in Tel Aviv. Just because the US refuses to recognize this and keeps its embassy in Tel Aviv doesn’t change this fact.

Each sovereign country gets to choose its capital, and other countries put their embassies where the seat of government is located. Israel is the only country in the world where the US refuses to do this.


I appreciate Herb Keinon’s “A skeptical Israel not willing to put its money where Obama’s mouth is” (Frontlines, January 13).

Having not watched President Barack Obama’s interview with Israeli TV journalist Ilana Dayan, I was struck by the quote attributed to Obama: “Peace always looks naïve until it comes about. If we had not expressed an aspiration for something different... [w]e would be in the Stone Age... in the era of Genghis Khan. We would rape and pillage and conquer....”

Who is he kidding? What of Islamic State and Boko Haram? Who is being naïve here? Yet it’s more than naïveté.

Obama will join those who dismissed, denied or compromised with evil appeasers, such as Jimmy Carter and Neville Chamberlain, in crying “Peace! Peace!” when there is no peace.


Kotel commotions

The final argument raised by Shulamit S. Magnus in “A momentous ruling” (Comment & Features, January 15) is “on what grounds Jews should be denied full religious expression at the Western Wall.” I would like to respond with a rhetorical question: How would Ms.

Magnus feel if that argument were to be raised by Jews for Jesus in demanding that they, too, have a spot at the Kotel to pray and display their vision of their agonized god on the cross? One might argue that it is indeed antidemocratic not to allow freedom of religious expression at the Kotel to all Jews, including Jews for Jesus, but I believe that most sensitive people would argue that although the state should not deny any bona fide Jews the right to worship the way they want in their own places of worship, this particular type of worship would not be acceptable at the Kotel.

The real problem is that the Women of the Wall focus on themselves instead of the Kotel. Since the site’s holiness is based on Jewish tradition, does it not make sense that any deviation form what has been the norm in Jewish practice for thousands of years is a desecration of the holy site, and not really different from a display of a crucifix? MOSHE ROSENBAUM Jerusalem With regard to “The Kotel compromise” (Observations, January 13), I have worked in Jewish outreach in the US and am all for Jews finding a way to connect – but not by kicking others off their chair.

I have often observed Kabbalat Shabbat at the southern part of the Western Wall, and it is beautiful.

Mission participants have a very spiritual experience that they long remember. Jews of all ideologies can pray, and with the extra area now open, there is an opportunity for all.

There needs to be a men’s area at the Kotel. There needs to be a women’s area. And now, there will be an area where mixed crowds can go. Why is this bad? Isn’t this showing respect to all? Texas meat-eater that I am, if I were to go to a vegan restaurant and bring in a hamburger to sit with my friends, it would destroy the ambiance. It would be really rude. Should I make the owner change to a meat restaurant? Members of Women of the Wall act like four-year-olds. If they cannot have it exactly their way, they throw a tantrum and are disruptive. To me, this is rude.


Fulfilling his wish

With regard to “Get out of our lives already!” (Encountering peace, January 12), Gershon Baskin could be right, but how is his wish going to be fulfilled? Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was elected fair and square. I see the following possibilities: Mr. Netanyahu understands that the time has come and resigns; he is accused of a serious crime (and I do not mean smoking expensive cigars); or there is a coup d’etat, which so far has not been the Israeli way.


Resolution 2334

Regarding “Jerusalem furious over US bombshell at UN” (December 25), I am a supporter of Israel and a believer in the imperative of achieving a long-lasting peace with the Palestinians. I note the negative reaction in Israel to the sponsorship by New Zealand of UN Security Council Resolution 2334.

Our foreign minister, Mr.Murray McCully, released a statement setting out the reasons why New Zealand supported the resolution, yet this was not reported in The Jerusalem Post. I commend his remarks to your readership in the interest of becoming better informed on how settlements are viewed outside Israel, and in particular, that being opposed to the settlement program is not anti-Israel.


The passage of UN Security Council Resolution 2334 is not without certain ironies that Israel should seek to exploit: • To the extent that states voted for the resolution out of frustration that the Oslo process, which many of them claim to support, failed to achieve a two-state solution, they should be made to understand that 2334 kills that process.

It tells the Palestinians they can get what they want without negotiations. It tells Israel that no gain through negotiation can be considered permanent, and that the UN is willing and able to strip it of benefits it derives from negotiations.

By demanding a solution based on the 1949 cease-fire lines, Resolution 2334 establishes that Arab and Palestinian leaders are solely responsible for the suffering of Palestinians.

This is the solution they could have had in 1949, and if not 1949, certainly 1967, had they truly been interested in finding a solution.

 By endorsing the 1949 cease-fire lines, the resolution acknowledges that west Jerusalem is part of Israel and thus removes any basis for not having an embassy there.

YALE ZUSSMAN Framingham, Massachusetts

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