(photo credit: Courtesy)
Violence on the beach
Sir, - Thanks to Yaakov Lappin for "Hooligans assault visiting students on Ein Gev beach" (June 30).
As an American student having studied abroad, I was horrified by your story and outraged by the injustices committed against those American students. I understand that many police departments are overwhelmed but feel the pursuit of justice in such circumstances is critical, extending beyond the lives of those students and representing preservation of the rule of law.
Your continued coverage of this incident will be critical in keeping such injustices - and the heroic acts of common citizens - in the public conscience and memory ("3 suspects in Kinneret beatings still at large," July 2).
THADDEUS R. STEBBINS
Sir, - Thank you for this excellent reporting. It is distressing to hear of such violence, but comforting to know your paper will keep us informed of developments.
Sir, - That this tragedy happened at the hands of fellow Jews disturbs me greatly, but that the perpetrators were allowed to get away is maddening. I understand that without your fine reporting, this story might not have reached any significant audience, but we're counting on your vigilance to keep on it. I will be watching for your updated coverage.
You want peace? Then prove it
Sir, - Congressman Robert Wexler says: "I want to call their bluff. I want to see, if Israel makes substantial movements toward a credible peace process, whether [the Arab nations] are willing to do it" ("Israel will say 'yes' to settlement freeze, US Rep. Wexler tells 'Post,'" July 2).
Dayenu - enough already! Did we not leave Sinai when we made peace with Egypt? Didn't we leave Gaza without any preconditions? Didn't Ehud Barak offer the Palestinians just about everything except the moon? Likewise, Ehud Olmert.
Dayenu. Nothing we can do short of national suicide will move the Palestinians to make peace with us.
It is high time they did something concrete, like freeing Gilad Schalit and all the other Israeli captives from over 20 years ago; stopping incitement in their media; halting terrorism; changing their venomous school curriculum, and so on. The list is endless and should be addressed before we make any more concessions.
We've proven ourselves time and again. Now it's up to the Palestinians and the rest of the Arab world to prove that they in fact want to live in peace with us.
Sir, - Congressman Wexler: What was the Arab reaction when we brought Yasser Arafat back from Tunisia? When we withdrew from more and more of the West Bank? When we pulled out of Lebanon? When we withdrew from Gaza?
When we offered money to solve the refugee problem? When we offered the Palestinians 95 percent of the territories? When we offered them 97%? When we offered East Jerusalem?
There was no Arab reciprocation to these "substantial movements toward a credible peace process."
Sir, - Thank God for people like Bob Wexler, long-time close friend of Israel and close associate of President Obama, who tells it like it is.
Israel must realize by now that she needs the US much too much to allow petty squabbles to pull us apart. As Wexler stated, Obama, at the same time as he urges Israel to stop all building in the "disputed areas," is also pushing some 22 Arab states to be a little more flexible with regard to Israel.
Surely Israel's leaders are not going to cut off their noses to spite their faces! Let's sit down, talk to envoy Mitchell, and be a little less stubborn. That's all it takes.
Sir, - Re "As American ship costs soar, Israel Navy considering building its new ships at home" (July 2): By going into the shipbuilding business, Israel could create thousands of sorely needed jobs while manufacturing vessels geared to its needs.
It is critical for Israel not to be dependent on the US in so many ways. We can learn from Britain, America's closest ally, to do things on our own.
America plays with Israel as if she were a daisy - I love her, I love her not... as it blows the petals away.
Sir, - Re "Amnesty accuses Israel of reckless use of weapons in Cast Lead" (July 2):
One of the fundamental rules of litigation is that the plaintiff - in this case, Hamas - come to court with "clean hands." Yet Amnesty itself agrees that Hamas fired rockets indiscriminately at civilian targets in Israel. It is also well known that Israel warned Hamas with threatened retaliation for years before operation Cast Lead, warnings that were ignored by the democratically elected terrorist organization.
Thus all gloves were off, and Hamas is completely to blame for any casualties that were incurred, including so-called civilian ones.
My Arab roommate in Hadassah hospital
Sir, - I feel obligated to share my recent observations. I was in Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital with a family member for a few days recently. In our room was another patient, a teenage Arab girl, accompanied by her mother, covered from head to toe in traditional Arab garb. Throughout the halls of the hospital I saw many other Arab patients and visitors.
Each patient, irrespective of nationality or religion, received the same level of care. Perhaps world leaders could put a freeze on their criticism of the settlements and Operation Cast Lead and give some recognition to the dignified and respectful way in which we treat Arabs who have chosen to live in peace with us.
I am proud to be part of such a moral and ethical people.
Sir, - The bill for increasing haredi school funding passes first reading, ensuring that the supply of Shabbat stone-throwers, draft-dodgers and dole-seekers will increase ("'Gafni bill' to increase haredi school funding passes first reading in stormy session," July 2). And all this while MK Gafni admonishes us to "learn about Judaism."
Unlike Gafni's fossilized concept, our Judaism is the product of the historical experience of the Jewish people. Much more than just scripture, it includes Zionism; which Gafni and his like disregard.
What must come out clearly in the Knesset debate is that such people are not the guardians of our Judaism. This bill must be stopped.
Living as you see fit
Sir, - Rachel Azariah was correct in stating that it is demagoguery to, on the one hand, cry "Violation of the Sabbath!" and then throw rocks at those wishing to visit Jerusalem for whatever reason ("Opening the parking garage on Shabbat," July 2).
I am Sabbath-observant, but believe everyone has the right to live as he or she wishes. If the haredim wish to be very, very strict in their observance of Shabbat, they should be at home with their families or in study groups learning Talmud, and not roaming the streets looking for, and causing, trouble and injury.