Sir, – Ever since I heard about the fatal shooting of Ben-Yosef Livnat and the wounding of several others near Joseph’s Tomb (“PM demands Abbas take ‘tough steps’ against police who killed Israeli in Nablus,” April 26), and then heard the insulting remarks from the Palestinian police chief, I have been filled with the need to express my outrage.
My feelings are not connected to any denominational or family connection. I am a fairly recent olah and, as such, feel connected to this special land and its people for my own reasons.
The policeman said that “all Jews and all settlers are crazy people.” OK, fine. I am also a settler! I have settled in the middle of Jerusalem. There is no need to live in a new developing town to be a settler. We are each and all of us settlers here in this Land of Israel.GOLDIE SPIELER
Sir, – The Israeli government would be well advised to seriously
consider negotiating the transfer of Joseph’s remains to a location that
would enable Breslav hassidim and others to pray safely at his tomb.
replica of the tomb in Nablus could be constructed at the new site. We
have transferred the remains of Herzl, Jabotinsky and others to Israel;
we should also consider negotiating the transfer of the remains of other
famous persons and sages. We have moved whole cemeteries to Israel.
are fortunate that the structure of the tomb and its specific location
are not the object of our prayers. All that is important is that the
remains we hold dear be reburied in Israel.DAVID GOSHEN
– My heart grieves for the family of Ben-Yosef Livnat. However, if the
law states that people must coordinate their visits to Joseph’s Tomb
with the IDF and the PA, the law must be followed.
Breslav hassidim are no exception.
Even their rabbis tell them not to endanger their lives.
hassidim must wait, like all of us, until Israel regains control of
Joseph’s Tomb before they can visit whenever they want.
There is no playing around with the Palestinian Authority.
Rules are rules and must be followed by everyone.HANNAH SONDHELM
– The Israelis attacked near Joseph’s Tomb were shot at by Palestinian
police who were legally guarding a well-known roadblock. The day being
Easter, what would have happened had three vehicles carrying
Palestinians attempted to run an Israeli roadblock while trying to enter
Bethlehem to pray at the Church of the Nativity or Jerusalem to pray at
the Church of the Holy Sepulchre? Religious fanaticism and political
exclusivity have no place where multiple cultures share origins and
revere common sites. Israelis visiting their West Bank holy sites
unfettered, and Palestinians visiting theirs in Israel – I cannot
imagine the true God of Abraham/Ibrahim wanting anything else.JUDY BAMBERGER
– Shortly after murdering Jews who wanted to pray at a holy site,
Palestinians celebrated the murders and set fire to Joseph’s Tomb. Why
isn’t Israel putting out huge announcements in the world media about
this evil behavior? Pay for ads if necessary. Begin every interview by
describing the evil.
Every time an Arab puts up a structure in a
disputed area, Israel should put out a notice, even if it has to pay,
documenting illegal building by Arabs.
Every time the Arabs break
written agreements, Israel should advertise their disregard of
promises. Israel should also pay for ads that translate what the
Palestinians say in their own language.
If the world won’t tell the truth for nothing, then we must put our money to work.SONIA GOLDSMITH
Netanya Why ignore Syria?
– The headlines proclaim the violence that is taking place in Syria
(“US weighs sanctions as Assad deploys army to restive city,” April 26).
a similar situation, the United Nations took action against Libya. The
United States pushed vehemently for such action, but now in regard to
Syria, President Obama is playing the role of Hamlet.
Syria is a
far greater problem to the world than Libya ever was. Syria has nurtured
Hezbollah and was behind the assassination of former Lebanese prime
minister Rafik Harari. For years it has dominated the drug traffic in
Lebanon and has obtained dangerous weaponry from Iran.
It has attempted to build nuclear reactors.
The US has not only willfully disregarded these actions, it has restored relations with Syria.
Obama is either woefully misled in foreign policy or woefully incompetent to lead any cause for freedom.
is time Congress investigated the State Department and what seems to be
presidential maze-running. The US cannot afford to be a blind mouse.TOBY WILLIG
Jerusalem Impeachment now
Sir, – The harm and damage that President Barack Obama has imposed on the US calls for impeachment proceedings.
deficit is now reaching levels from which it will be difficult if not
impossible to recover because of failed policies and incompetent
administration members. Obama has made our country a lot less safe with
the START treaty. His failed Mideast policy has now put Israel on the
line. His muddled policies in Afghanistan and Iraq will eventually cause
us to fail there as well.
Instead of fixing the economy and
solving other problems, Obama is already in re-election mode.
Republicans in the House have sufficient reason to start impeachment
proceedings now.AL EISNER
Silver Spring, Maryland In defense of Bonds
– Jeff Barak asks, “Why does Israel Bonds still exist?” (Reality Check,
April 11). As a former president and CEO of Israel Bonds, and a
continued ardent supporter, I can answer this very succinctly.
60 years, Israel Bonds has been, and remains, one of Israel’s greatest
assets, supplying not only economic resources, but also securing support
from diverse sources and generating positive hasbara. Israel has no
other means of acquiring overseas capital that includes these
It is important to note that the Bonds
organization provides consistent funding – more than $32 billion to date
– that is totally unconditional. This is not always the case with other
sources, for example, the USbacked loan guarantees or institutions that
become hesitant lenders during times of conflict and financial
difficulty. During my tenure, when Israel’s inflation rate was nearly
400 percent and others were reluctant to invest, Israel Bonds provided
an infusion of much-needed capital.
The organization’s emphasis
on hasbara includes bringing multi-faceted delegations to Israel and
sponsoring numerous events. The enormous number of participants
comprises a vast spectrum of support, and all feel a strong sense of
This has resulted in benefits beyond mere
purchasing. For example, when states invest in Israel bonds, they
demonstrate confidence in Israel’s economy, adding to the nation’s
Finally, the Bonds business model has been
closely examined, including studies by the Bank of Israel and the
prestigious Boston Consulting Group.
In every instance, the organization was highly praised.
spurious allegation that Israel Bonds “can no longer justify its
existence on economic grounds” is not only wrong, it ignores the many
advantages the company provides to an Israel that has become
increasingly isolated.YEHUDA HALEVY
Netanya The writer was president and CEO of Israel Bonds from 1982 to 1988
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