Sir, – Barry Rubin says that “easing” the Gaza blockade is the
inevitable outcome of Western policy (“So this is the future,” June
Is it not more appropriate to treat it as the West’s revenge on
Israel for Sharon’s disastrous unilateral disengagement from Gaza? After all, it
never asked Sharon to do this, and without the withdrawal we would not have
Hamas in control there for the long term, backed by Iran.
What a price
we’re paying for our huge own goal!
Jerusalem What’s the big deal?
Sir, – I strongly disagree with Judy Prager (“Backbone needed,” Letters, June
21), who criticizes Prime Minister Netanyahu for giving in to the demands of the
He has done no such thing! What Netanyahu has
accomplished is an adroit political move.
He has accepted the proposal of
Quartet representative Tony Blair to alter the blockade from an inclusionary one
to an exclusionary one.
Instead of a list of foodstuffs allowed through,
Israel will now list the military items to be excluded.
Also, there are
provisions to ensure as far as possible that any building materials
Gaza will be directed to peaceful, and not military, purposes. This is
only a minor, lateral change in that it allows civilian and humanitarian
enter Gaza – as has always been the case – while explicitly excluding
Thus, the situation remains unchanged. Blockade breakers cannot
deliver goods directly to Gaza but must dock in Israel, where the goods
people can be checked and the non-military items transferred to
Netanya Cup, Shmup, Pt. 2
Sir, – Regarding “Lionel
Messi, kabbalistic messenger?” (June 21) – a front page article? Whose
that? A nonsensical story about a football genius taking up a third of
page and half of Page 2? Most of the facts – drawn from thumbsucking
gematria magic – should have been condensed into two paragraphs and
surreptitiously on the sports pages, and not splashed out with a big
just because of the World Cup.J. MILNER
Netanya Turkish irony
Sir, – Am
I the only one to note the irony of three of the articles on Turkey in
20 issue? First comes “Erdogan: Our problem is with the Israeli
people.” I guess that justifies the Turks’ act of war in sending armed
mercenaries to break Israel’s legal and justified blockade of Gaza.
there’s The Travel Adviser (“The sound of silence: Will Turkey become
for Israeli tourists?”), which relates the frustration (whining) of
tourism industry over the fact that Israelis have stopped coming to
resorts and supporting their economy.
To my dear friends in Turkey: We
have no problem with the Turkish people or any of your resorts. We just
like or trust your elected government.
And finally there is “Turkish jets
raid northern Iraq.” I suspect that the same leaders calling for an
international inquiry into this incident are also calling for an
state of Kurdistan.JONATHAN FELDSTEIN
Efrat Welcome news
Sir, – The
government’s approval of the Soreq desalination plant is very welcome
(“World’s 2 biggest reverse osmosis desal plants okayed,” June
Hopefully, these plants will cover household water consumption as
planned by 2013. Meanwhile, it would be wise to close pipe leaks at the
level and give priority to upgrading the existing water pipelines that
our water.JOSH WIESEN
Haifa Tearing ourselves apart
Sir, – I find it
loathsome that certain elements will go to extremes to keep a girls’
Sephardi-free (“Haredi masses hail Emmanuel fathers en route to jail,”
I find it no less loathsome that some residents of Ramat Aviv are
keep their neighborhood Chabad-free.
Perhaps these two groups have
different motives, but the fact is that for some reason, they both feel
their children are being threatened by an influence not to their
Despite being observant, my husband and I have chosen to live in
mixed neighborhoods. I strongly believe that in terms of promulgating
Jewish values of tolerance and respect for fellow human beings,
schools and neighborhoods are significantly more impoverished than
More’s the pity that with so many external threats to our continued
existence in this tiny land of ours, we have to tear ourselves apart
Sir, – In reference to your June 18
editorial (“The lost Jews”), either you do not comprehend the basic
Emmanuel or you are just anti-haredi.
Beit Ya’acov does not wish to have
girls who do not dress modestly and whose homes have TV learn in their
This has nothing to do with racism. As a matter of fact, there are a
Sephardi fathers who went to jail for the same reason.JACOB MEYER
Sir, – The Supreme Court made a grievous error in sentencing the
parents to jail. After all, they do not make their own decisions. All
doing is obeying orders from their rebbe. Hence, it is the rebbe who
in jail.J.J. GROSS
Jerusalem Learn from the women
Sir, – It was
wonderful and very positive to learn that the new agenda for the Jewish
will concentrate on forming Jewish identity throughout the world
to move its focus from state-building to identitybuilding,” June 21).
fostering of Jewish identity will require new and innovative
One program, which has been used by World Emunah in all of
its constituent countries, is called Midrashot. It inspires Jewish
women from all backgrounds and levels by using excellent texts and
and masterful teachers.
The Jewish Agency now has the ability to project
a sense of urgency about the need for Israel to be one of the cardinal
principles of Jewish identity. If it does so with enthusiasm and
it will be the most innovative and positive Jewish Agency in history,
everyone will applaud its efforts.TOBY WILLIG
Jerusalem Why provide a
Sir, – Most people are now aware that millions of ordinary people
around the world fall for anti-Israel propaganda. This is hardly
considering that Islamist propagandists spend more than even the USSR
the Cold War.
Therefore, I was extremely saddened to read “One less
friend” from a Massachusetts reader, without any connection to previous
articles, repeating the standard lies against Israel (Letters, June
Do we really need such feedback from our enemies in our newspaper?
Netanya El Al, please acknowledge
Sir, – I recently
(post-flotilla incident) traveled to Israel from South Africa, flying El
I was more than surprised to note that the bottled water
served with all meals on both flights was of Turkish origin (“Unions
boycott of Turkish goods,” June 10).
I doubt very much whether any
products sourced in Israel are currently being offered to passengers
Turkish national airline.
I would appreciate some comment from El
Knysna, South Africa