In the national interest
Sir, – The Israeli government would act wisely if it compared this strike action (“Foreign Ministry workers to IDF: We’ll cut ties if you help PM’s trip to DC despite strike,” August 30) to the strike by federal air traffic controllers in the US in 1981. Then president Reagan gave them 48 hours to end the strike or be fired. When they didn’t, he did.
This strike by Israeli federal Foreign Ministry workers that impedes vital national interests should be dealt with in the same way.
The only result of giving in to them is a further “domino” escalation of wages in other sectors of the government and the subsequent damage to the federal budget.URI HIRSCH
Netanya Rabbi Yosef’s death wish
– Regarding “Netanyahu distances himself, government from Ovadia
Yosef’s death wish for Abbas, Palestinians” (August 30), it seems that
once again the pot is calling the kettle black.
The hypocrisy of the Palestinian Authority as expressed by Saeb Erekat and Jamal Zahalka, takes one’s breath away.
to your report Rabbi Ovadia Yosef said that the Palestinian people are
“our enemies and haters” and then asked God to punish them. He did not
recommend that any of his listeners should go out and kill Palestinians.
is the direct opposite of the Palestinian imams who call for their
congregations to don suicide outfits and rid Eretz Yisrael of the Jews.
Schoolchildren from kindergarten onwards are indoctrinated with hatred
of the Jews.CYRIL ATKINS
– Why all the outcry about the rantings of one very old man (Rabbi
Ovadia Yosef)? Apart from the fact that what he says is 100 percent
true, and Abbas is an enemy of Israel, why is there such an outburst of
condemnation? Why doesn’t President Obama condemn with equal ferocity
the continued incitement and teaching of hatred against all Israelis
that prevail in all Palestinian schools? Why isn’t a word spoken about
the encouragement of young Arab children to be religious martyrs? CLIVE
LEVY Petah Tikva Sir, – Prime Minister Netanyahu challenges the
Palestinian leadership to take the negotiations “as seriously as we do.”
Which faction of the Israeli government takes the peace negotiations
seriously? Certainly not Shas. Their holierthan- holy Rabbi Ovadia Yosef
condemns Abbas and Palestinians as “evil” and calls for them to “perish
from this world.”
Shas holds 11 seats in Knesset – enough to
topple Netanyahu from power, should he discipline Shas for their rabbi’s
When Netanyahu publicly condemns Shas’s rabbi
for his hateful rhetoric, then I’ll believe Netanyahu has the courage
and commitment to make peace.JUDY BAMBERGER
Sir, – I would recommend that Mr. Jamal Zahalka get ready to build a lot of jails.
stated that “if God forbid a Muslim religious leader would express
similar sentiments [like those of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef] toward Jews, he
would immediately be arrested.” With all the fiery anti-Israel and
anti-Semitic rhetoric dispensed on a daily basis and more so in the
Friday sermons by dozens of imams, Mr. Zahalka would be welladvised to
get busy building the jails to house all of those religious leaders.ZE’EV M. SHANDALOV
Ma’aleh Adumim When right meets might
– Regarding “The real world versus fantasy land” (August 30) and the
impending direct talks, it’s time to recognize rights versus reality.
Rights are “inalienable” – until they are confronted by the reality of
power. It is “fantasy land” to think otherwise.
Why did the
British withdraw from their Palestine Mandate on May 14, 1948? Was it in
respect of the right of Jews to establish a Jewish state? Or was it
because the post-World War II financial and human cost to maintain their
presence was too great? Certainly, it was the latter.
Was the British Empire established by right or by power? Certainly, the latter.
the countries of Western Europe establish their colonies by right or by
power? Certainly, the latter. Did they relinquish their colonies
because they became enlightened? Hardly.
The Arab and Muslim
countries surrounding Israel are, essentially, dictatorships. Do the
leaders rule by right or by power? Certainly, the latter. Do the leaders
do some bad, bad things? Yes.
Are they ostracized and threatened
with boycotts and delegitimization? No. Do they have diplomatic
relations and trade freely with non-Arab and non- Muslim countries? Yes.
Reality shows rights are insignificant in the face of power.
is the current Israel-Palestinian reality? Israel is strong. The
Palestinians are divided and weak. There is no need to either beg or
bribe the Palestinians to negotiate for peace. Peace is in their hands.
If they want it, they can have it, but not on their terms. Again, not on
Israel does not need to concede territory. Rather,
it should continue to expand and refuse any land-offset. The longer the
Palestinians wait to implement an “end of conflict” agreement, the
smaller their state will be.
That is their incentive to negotiate.
The Palestinians and their friends can make Israel miserable.
But Israel can make the Palestinians infinitely more miserable.
The resolution of our conflict will not be about rights, it will be about will.
Will Israel prevail as the sovereign, eternal state of the Jewish people as a matter of right? Not a chance.GERRY MANDELL
Omer Conscience can be nonsense
– Acting according to one’s conscience seems to have become a
fashionable reason for action (“36 artists sign letter refusing to
perform in Ariel settlement,” August 29).
By that reasoning,
someone could just as easily say that they refused to perform in front
of Ashkenazim, or Sephardim, or Arabs, or people of dark-colored skin,
or people of light-colored skin. People could use the same reasoning to
support honor killings, or terrorist bombings of innocent youth. Acting
according to one’s conscience is an important factor to be considered,
but does not in itself make a decision a correct one.CAROLYN TAL
– The idea of political theater is totally abhorrent. The job of
theater, actors, performers is to bridge the gaps among all population
groups. The themes of good drama are universal. It is therefore truly
abhorrent when a group connected with Israel’s entertainment apparatus,
funded by the government, decides where and to whom it will play or
– I cannot resist posing a very simple question to the actors,
playwrights and theater directors who publicly announced they would
boycott a new theater house in Ariel. Are you prepared to participate in
a performance at the Western Wall, which is beyond the green line, or
on Mount Scopus, which was accessible only by special arrangement prior
to 1967? If yes, how do you distinguish between these locations and
Ariel? And how do you distinguish between Israeli settlement in Jaffa
and Ariel? Since culture should be universally available, I sincerely
believe you should be prepared to perform and discuss these issues in
serious plays that are performed in Tel Aviv, Ramallah and Ariel.MAURICE OSTROFF
Herzliya Not just ‘lamed-vav’
– I would like to take issue with two of your letter-writers (“Ariel
‘lamedvavniks,’” Letters, August 30). First of all, it was not 36
artists who signed the letter refusing to perform in Ariel – it was more
like 53, and rising.
Why shouldn’t they object to being part of a
scheme to take over part of the West Bank before there is any decision,
one way or the other? As Israeli citizens, these people have every
right to object to public funds being used to build buildings not in
Israel. Until such time as the Palestinians agree that Ariel, and other
areas, perhaps, should be given to Israel, we have no right to be there.LEONARD ZURAKOV