What about Pollard?
Sir, – The almost lighthearted exchange of Russian, American
and British spies contrasts strongly with the treatment of Jonathan Pollard
(“US, Russia complete historic spy swap,” July 11).
incarceration for life is almost unprecedented. He conveyed information to
Israel that America was supposed to reveal under an agreed exchange of
information. At no time was US security endangered.
Pollard pled guilty
after a plea bargain accepted by the prosecution, but turned down by the court
on receipt of a vindictive letter from then-secretary of defense Caspar
Weinberger. Contrast this to the relatively light sentences meted out to
American citizens who spied for Russia, causing untold damage.
is about time that Pollard is freed.CYRIL ATKINS
Beit Shemesh Much more
Sir, – US President Barack Obama (“Finally, presidential empathy,” July
9) should rest assured that Israelis are not bothered about his attempts to
reach out to the Muslim world. What does bother them is his apparent double
standard, in which he reaches out and gains nothing in return, while at the same
time using his Israeli allies as scapegoats.
It is going to take more
than one TV interview for me (and probably for others ) to dispel the distrust
that his administration has so misguidedly allowed to develop.PETER
Sir, – It seems that President Obama has convinced Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to institute additional confidencebuilding
concessions. But it’s past time for Obama and Netanyahu to expect reciprocal
gestures from the Palestinian Authority, such as a complete end to government-
sanctioned anti-Israel incitement.
And, by the way, the release of
Jonathan Pollard would be a long overdue act to demonstrate the sincerity of
Obama’s good will toward us.MILTON J. KRAMER
Sir, – For Obama to
suggest that his middle name, “Hussein,” might prompt suspicion on the part of
Israelis is disingenuous and demeaning.
I believe I speak for virtually
all Israelis who are “suspicious” of the president when I assert that his middle
name is the last thing that concerns us, and that we are intelligent and
perceptive enough to assess him based on his policies and
Jerusalem New old plan
Sir, – This is one
Israeli who does not “know full well that we must separate from the Palestinians
in order to keep our country both Jewish and democratic” (“The beginning of a
revived partnership?,” Editor’s notes, July 9).
The key to Israeli
sovereignty in Judea and Samaria is Jordanian citizenship for the Arabs of these
areas. This would leave Arabs and Jews in their homes in the
Arabs would vote for the Jordanian parliament, pay taxes to
Jordan, and vote for and be governed locally by village and city councils. Even
the police in these districts would be largely Arab, as part of the Israeli
Under this proposal, Jordan would remain Jordan and not be
renamed Palestine, although it would have a larger majority of Palestinian
citizens. The future form of government would be determined by Jordanians
through a democratic process, and not by Palestinian Arab irredentists who
otherwise would eventually threaten to annex Jordan to a state of
This is a much-abridged version of a plan to finally bring to
fruition the intentions of the statesmen who met at the San Remo Conference in
1920 and made the Balfour Declaration into international law. The law,
disregarded by the United Nations General Assembly in 1947 and by world powers
thereafter, remains law to this day.
Let there be no mistake: Jordan is
the Arab state in what was Palestine. There is no reason to create a second one,
except to rob the Jewish nation of territory that is rightfully
Jerusalem The scorn will come
Sir, – Maj.-Gen Gadi
Eizenkot (“Sending Hizbullah a message: Israel is ready,” July 9) is absolutely
right to adhere to the “Dahiya doctrine,” as is the IDF to declassify
intelligence information on the way Hizbullah is (again) taking shelter behind
the civilian population of Southern Lebanon.
However, Israel should not
be surprised – even with such overwhelming evidence – if the world continues to
The UN, Western governments and much of the population that
elected them suffer from an inherent anti-Jewish and anti- Israel culture that
goes back through history. Unfortunately, the disease is usually untreatable by
either reason or fact, and few patients ever recover.I. KEMP
Nahariya Give us beauty!
Sir, – I read your article on how aesthetics apparently benefit
people in political life (“U. of Haifa researchers: Good looks help politicians
get media attention,” July 8), something that might prompt them to invest in
Now how about if some of Israel’s television
reporters do likewise? Whenever I see Sari Raz or Keren Neubach on the screen I
cringe. They both look frightful, with frizzy, dirty–looking hair that hasn’t
seen a brush in days. They may be clever and cultured, but they look a mess. I
can’t imagine any other self-respecting broadcasting authority employing women
who look like that.
And what about Tali Lipkin-Shahak? Clever, charming –
but agonizingly plain. We viewers want to look at something beautiful, not just
occasionally, but all the time.JENNY SHIPMAN
Ra’anana Not there for the
Sir, – Jeff Barak contends that Binyamin Netanyahu “should choose peace
over ideology” (“All eyes on Bibi,” Reality check, July 5). This
assumes that peace is there for the asking with Mahmoud Abbas’s PA, and
absence of peace is the result of an Israeli ideological obstacle,
due to Arab realities.
The writer exhorts Netanyahu to cease “constantly
carping about the past and dragging up hostile Palestinian statements
archives,” as though rejectionist, blood-curdling Palestinian statements
thing of the past. In fact, the day before this piece appeared, Abbas
honored Muhammad Daoud Oudeh, mastermind of the 1972 Munich Olympics
hostage-taking of 11 Israeli athletes, calling him “a wonderful brother,
companion.” Only days before that, he said that if the Arab states “want
and if all of you will fight Israel, we are in favor.”
Israel can, as
Barak desires, do all the things that didn’t bring peace during the Oslo
It can stop Jews from building homes, it can hand over assets and
the PA, it can say anything it wants about its eagerness for peace. But
cannot expect a different result if his advice is followed.MORTON A.
National President, Zionist Organization of America
Sir, – A year ago this Rosh Hodesh Av, my grandson, Amichai Steinmetz,
disappeared in India. You ran an article about the disappearance (“Funds
up in hunt for US-Israeli missing in India,” August 16, 2009), and over
year, many people have contributed money so we could search for him, and
people continue to have him in their prayers. I ask you to allow me to
you to all of them through your paper.
I never realized how many Israelis
are missing in India. Many families know nothing. My children send a
to India every few weeks, and have prayed at Rachel’s Tomb.
you highlight the plight of the family of abducted soldier Gilad
Schalit. I know
how they feel. But they have one advantage: They know where their son
Please pray with us for all Israelis who are missing, and know that
our prayers for Schalit’s safe return are always with his family.MADALYN