Sir, – I spent my Shabbat afternoon browsing The Jerusalem
Post and luxuriating in Greer Fay Cashman’s superb article (“Oak trees from
little acorns grow, Grapevine, Observations, June 21). I kept waiting for the
magic to wane and give me an opportunity to move onto something else, but no, I
got to the end and was disappointed to find it wasn’t continued on the next
Fortunately, YouTube provided videos of some of the magical moments
she mentioned – information and laughter in equal doses.
On a human
level, what I gained was a better appreciation of President Shimon Peres’s
contribution to Israel and a need to “get over” the original $500,000 speaking
fee from KKL-JNF to Bill Clinton.
Many thanks to Greer for the time she
must have spent putting the article together.DAVID LATTER
Sir, – Greer Fay Cashman’s “Peres confers Presidential Medal of
Distinction on Bill Clinton” was so slathering in its obsequiousness that one
could barely help from laughing out loud (June 20).
It wasn’t enough that
Cashman in a previous article, “Party of all parties for Peres” (Grapevine,
Comment and Features, June 19) had already ludicrously described Clinton as
having “the wisdom of Solomon” for deciding not to take the $500,000 fee for a
45- minute speech extolling the virtues of his supposed pal, Shimon
Here, Cashman indulges in extreme journalistic license to imagine
“a lump in the former president’s throat” when he voiced appreciation for the
Medal of Distinction and goes to great pains to include Peres’s bizarre
description of Clinton as the “the most beloved leader on earth.”
the former president’s candid admission of mistakes, Cashman reports without
comment Clinton’s nonsense that the “mass killing in Rwanda took place so
quickly that there was not even a meeting at the White House to discuss how to
Actually, the Rwandan Civil War went on for almost four years—
and the greatest part of the genocide took place over the course of three months
in 1994 when nearly 1,000,000 Rwandans were massacred. One can only guess what
Clinton was up to in the Oval Office while Rwanda was consumed in
Sir, – The comments made by some right-wing
MKs concerning President Shimon Peres’s 90th birthday celebration are both
disrespectful, and stupid coming from the likes of Moshe Feiglin, Orit Struck,
Tzipi Hotovely, and most of all from Uri Orbach, who compared it to an event
that the Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu could have held (“Right slams
Peres’s pricey, ‘pretentious’ birthday celebration,” June 20).
these eminent politicians contributed to the country? In comparison to Peres,
their actions and words are deepening a growing rift between Israel and the
Diaspora, especially in the US. All those above need not worry – should they
hopefully reach age 90, no doubt they will also see the affection shown to
Many should ponder the phrase, “silence is golden.”HENRY
Sir, – The love affair the organizers of the presidential
birthday celebrations and the Israeli media have with former UK prime minister
Tony Blair contrasts very badly with how he is viewed in the UK.
peculiar reason, Blair is raised on a pedestal in Israel by the vast majority of
Israelis. Every statement he makes is considered the honest truth – composed of
intelligent advice based on his experience – not only by Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu and most of his government, who seek kudos, but also by the Israeli
man in the street.
Contrast this to the UK, where Blair is hated and
despised, not only for the Iraq debacle, his open doors policy on EU
immigration, but also how he authorized selling of the UK gold reserves when the
price of gold was at its lowest.
It is time Israel was no longer fooled
by the ideas Blair has spun out to Netanyahu, including that improving the
economy of the PA, removing defensive road blocks and forming joint ventures
will lead to the ever-elusive peace. It has not, and like Blair’s previous UK
initiatives, has only done harm.
It is high time Israel recognized Blair
for what he is – a spin merchant out to gain world headlines, but really
incapable of achieving any good for anybody except himself.SIDNEY LEVINE
Sir, – I have a suggestion for mitigating the damage
caused to Israel by the nasty acts of vandalism known as “price-tag” attacks
(“Village of Abu Ghosh hit by massive ‘price tag’ attack,” June 19).
if a group of decent people took it upon themselves to show up immediately after
each such attack and help to replace tires, clean up graffiti, etc. They would
be there when the press showed up, providing positive pictures to counterbalance
the negative ones of senseless destruction, and maybe even succeed in making
lemonade out of the “price tag” lemons by fostering neighborly relations between
Jews and Arabs.NAOMI SANDLER
Sir, – As a self-proclaimed
militant right-winger, I can understand “price tagging” in Yehuda and Shomron.
In Abu Ghosh, it was cowardly, criminal and likely thoughtless copy catting with
I live in Telz Stone, which is adjacent to Abu Ghosh. While there
have been sufficient problems with youth there that we have had to have a
separate bus line to especially protect the children traveling to Jerusalem for
school, we have had no notable problems with the adults – who own the
In 1948, Arabs from Abu Ghosh assisted Israel to survive.
addition, the possibility that the rampage was home grown should not be
Sir, – The Jerusalem Post
its story about the attack in Abu Gosh that, “Dib Ali Uthman, a resident of Abu
Ghosh, told The Jerusalem Post
on Tuesday that on Monday night there was a fight
in the village between Arab youths and young Jews who came from outside. There
was a disagreement and at one point the Arab youths threw rocks at the Jews. He
added that he thinks the price tag vandalism was a response to this
This should have been in the lead of the story, not at the end
of the article on another page.
It should never be forgotten that when
Arabs throw rocks at Jews it is usually with intent to kill, and as we know,
It behooves our police and our prime minister to make sure
that those perpetrators are dealt with, with the full force of the law and do so
with the zeal in which they go after the “settlers.” It cannot be that we sit
idly by and watch this government make one surrender after another and wonder
why the young people would want to strike back.EDITH OGNALL
Sir, – Alan Baker’s article about PA leaders’ goalpost-moving is
correct about the legalities of starting points for discussing borders between
their schemed-for state and our actual one (“The ‘1967 borders’ and ‘a
settlement freeze’ preconditions have no basis in law or fact,” Comment and
Features, June 19).
Unfortunately, political atmospherics are another
question. With erstwhile “friends” of Israel like US President Barack Obama also
having chimed in that the 1967 cease-fire lines should be the basis for future
borders, and the mighty chorus of people echoing that false “truth,” it will be
quite a challenge to make his absolutely correct view stick. The “madness of
crowds” has always defied facts.
Of course, when and if actual
negotiations start, legality will reassert its primacy. But in the murk until
then, ‘67 will be the bumper sticker.DAVID SCHOLEM