letters to the editor 88.
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Sir, - Prof. Amnon Rubinstein has once more done Israel and the Zionist movement a great service by focusing attention on the worldwide menace of hate-filled anti-Israel propagandists ("Reason, for the time being, prevails out of Africa," August 7).
Nevertheless, he seems to have overlooked the fact that a one-man "propaganda squad" helped to poison the atmosphere against Israel in a non-Muslim African country six years ago. At the World Conference against Racism held in Durban, South Africa, an Israeli anti-Zionist, Uri Davis, was the Islamic Media Center Network's star turn.
As an Oxford graduate living here for the past 40 years, I have had a splendid relationship with my old college and my publications have been warmly reviewed in the Oriel College Record. Regrettably, however, most Oxford dons - unlike those of Cambridge - have failed to denounce the academic boycott campaign. It's time we Oxonians in Israel did something about this.
GABRIEL A. SIVAN
Lack of logic
Sir, - As a regular reader of Caroline Glick's column, I was shocked by the lack of logic in "Sharansky's democracy lesson" (August 4) regarding her support for Binyamin Netanyahu and her diatribe against Moshe Feiglin in the context of the primaries for Likud head.
Was it not Bibi Netanyahu who turned his back on the national camp by embracing Oslo, shaking the hand of the mass murderer Arafat, signing additional agreements such as Hebron and Wye, supporting and voting for the disengagement from Gaza and, most recently, calling for the stationing of Jordanian troops in Judea and Samaria? Was it not Moshe Feiglin who led the national camp in the ultimate expression of democracy by leading a non-violent, grassroots civil disobedience campaign against the Oslo Accords?
We love you, Caroline, but we're voting for Feiglin.
Sir, - What distinguishes the Likud from Kadima? Both are promoters of yet another Arab state in the region. Such advocacy seems to be in direct opposition to Ms. Glick's October 10, 2006 piece entitled "History's dangerous repetition." She has now joined the chorus of promoters of a thoroughly discredited idea.
She finds fault with Moshe Feiglin, who recognizes that only the Arabs can make peace, in that Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Jordan could actively relocate the Arabs in the West Bank and Gaza. This is not fantasy; it presents the only mechanism for a true peace. Real leadership demands policies in the interest of the state, not strategies that will lead to Israel's destruction.
David Pryce-Jones, who has lived in the Arab world, correctly observed that "Westerners habitually and ignorantly misconceive the responses they are likely to encounter from the Arabs, unsuitably and even laughably projecting their own political and moral attitudes where these cannot apply."
Sir, - It is not Moshe Feiglin's so-called extremist ideas or positions that are frightening. In fact, his insistence that Israel retain territory for its self-defense is more in synch with Caroline Glick's position than that of Bibi Netanyahu, who supported disengagement and proposed that Jordanian troops be placed in Judea and Samaria.
What I find frightening and anti-democratic are Netanyahu's attempts to silence Feiglin and run him out of the party. Feiglin certainly deserves more respect than those ex-Likud members who bolted to Kadima.
MARK S. GOLDSTEIN
Advice to Bibi
Sir, - After reading Moshe Feiglin's "Why I want to be the Likud's next chairman" (August 7), I believe that Bibi would be well advised to head for the high ground instead of striving with the opportunists for scraps in the central low ground.
Don't fight with Feiglin; join him. If you can succeed in convincing Feiglin of your integrity and future steadfastness, together you will win a great victory for the Likud and a yeshua gedola - a great salvation - for the Jewish people.
Poles apart, and together
Sir, - Re "Officials angered by Polish silence over anti-Semitic priest" (August 7): In fairness it should be acknowledged that in Poland there is also the proverbial "small voice in the wilderness" in our favor - and needing our encouragement.
Recent anti-Semitic remarks by the Roman Catholic priest Tadeusz Rydzyk have drawn much attention in the Jewish media. However, he was strongly criticized for it in Poland. Over 700 people signed a prominently published open letter in which they condemned the contemptible statements of this servant of the church and reminded him of today's teaching of their religion that anti-Semitism is a sin. The letter was signed by prominent political and religious VIPs, among them a former prime minister, Tadeusz Mazowiecki, a former minister of foreign affairs, Wladyslaw Bartoszewski, and various clergymen.
That the Polish government has not yet publicly condemned the anti-Semitic remarks can hardly be excused; but there are probably three reasons:
1. The church has enormous influence on the nation; 2. The tiny Jewish minority of less than .05 percent has very few voters compared with the rest of the population; and 3. Like in many countries, the administration's democracy allows many elements too much freedom. Similar attitudes prevail in many countries.
Poles should not be clichÃ©d as an anti-Semitic people, but rather be accepted as a nation friendly to Israel. To reciprocate with friendship will promote good relations between Israel and Poland. Polish public reaction to this priest's stirring up hatred against the Jewish people speaks for the abhorrence of anti-Semitism in Poland, and should be an example to other countries.
Spitting on the Torah
Sir, - I believe that the strong negative reaction to Noah Feldman is due not so much to his marrying a non-Jew as to the fact that he moved away from being Orthodox first, and did not request that his intended wife convert via an Orthodox rabbi ("The way we do the things we do," Andrew Silow-Carroll, August 5).
I don't condone Jews marrying non-Jews, but Feldman is not the first Orthodox Jew to marry a non-Jew. Twice I have gone to a different Orthodox synagogue from the one near my home and seen a converted Asian woman praying there; once it was Asian twins. In this case the children go to a very Orthodox day school.
Feldman's actions were the equivalent of spitting on the Torah, and that's why the reaction is so vehement.
Vote in the US primaries
Sir, - I am an American-Israeli who believes in God and Israel. If you are a US citizen, I urge you to register to vote in the upcoming US primary election. The registration deadline is based on the state where you last lived.
If you lived in Florida you must be registered by Monday, December 31, 2007; or California by Monday, January 21, 2008. To register or find the primary election deadline for your state, go to www.fvap.gov
The State of Israel is a gift to the Jewish people from God. As Jews it is our responsibility to pass our full inheritance to future generations. Many of us living or studying in the holy land come from other countries. Some of us have the opportunity to vote in our former countries. We must continue to vote for leaders who support Israel. We need many friends because we have many enemies.
Sir, - "Pricey pedometer" (Letters, August 6) was inaccurate. You can go into any Superpharm and see pedometers hanging on the displays. They cost about NIS 100 for the cheapest model, which works fine.