letters to the editor 88.
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Sir, - Larry Derfner, his blinkers well and truly fixed, obviously has difficulty seeing the wood for the trees ("The hype that failed," December 7). His continued use of the word "hasbara" says much for his outlook, since the many supporters of Israel see their work defined more accurately these days as being in the field of public diplomacy, and not hasbara.
Derfner's opinions, like so many, are colored by the continuous propaganda messages of the Arab states and their supporters, who have unlimited wealth at their disposal to propagate their "delegitimization and dehumanization" (in Alan Dershowitz's words) of Israel.
I would like to invite Mr. Derfner to the one-day seminar for volunteers In Public Diplomacy for Israel to be held at the College of Judea and Samaria in Ariel on December 26. It is sponsored by CoHaV, the coalition of volunteer organizations, which represents over 50 groups in many countries around the world, and the Mass Media Research Center of the college.
The members of these groups, conservatively reaching some half a million people in over 20 countries, have no "Israel is 100% right while the Arabs are 0% right" attitude. They just present facts. After two lecture tours in the UK and several media interviews, I am even more convinced that there is a large number of people out there willing to listen to facts and not the emotional outbursts of so many of our enemies' supporters. So often I encountered the response "Oh I didn't know, I haven't seen that in our media."
Council Member of CoHaV
Sir, - The Liberal Zionist solution to the "Israel is 100% right, while our enemies are 0% right" approach appears to be to say we and our enemies are sometimes right, and sometimes wrong - hardly a rallying cry around which you can ask your IDF personnel to sacrifice their lives.
Bad for Arabs...
Sir, - Azmi Bishara insults and subverts the state. His behavior offends all of us, and particularly those who elected him - unless, of course, his actions reflect their will. The Arab sector would better achieve the equality it rightfully craves by choosing Knesset representatives who promote this goal ("Bishara curses at Jewish MK during meeting," December 6).
...and for Jews
Sir, - As an American Jew and a Zionist I was shocked, hurt and disgusted by El Al's shameful desecration of the Sabbath. Like many of my co-religionists in Israel and elsewhere, from now on I shall fly any airline other than El Al in my frequent business trips and family visits to Israel.
Later this month the Nefesh b'Nefesh organization will be flying a large group of new immigrants to Israel. I have learned that in the past few days many of these olim have requested Nefesh b'Nefesh to either use a different airline or charter a private aircraft rather than fly them by El Al, a "Jewish" airline displaying "Jewish" symbols - Magen David and the flag of the Jewish State of Israel ("Haredi community: El Al is 'cursed,'" December 5).
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