Sir, – Britain’s ambassador to Israel, Matthew Gould, is
incredibly naive or guilty of unpardonable chutzpah in claiming that “the UK is
not an anti-Semitic country” and “Britain is simply not a country where it is
dangerous to be Jewish” (“Standing up to the threats: Building up Britain’s
partnership with Israel,” Observations, March 23).
Gould dwells on the
present state of technological, medical and academic cooperation between his
country and Israel while totally ignoring Britain’s long historical mistreatment
of its Jews. The country is still a hotbed of anti-Semitism, with inflammatory
speeches by imams inciting their followers. Britain’s education department has
also trucked under to Muslim demands to have the history of the Holocaust
withdrawn from school curricula in the relentless drive to delegitimize the
State of Israel.
Gould should learn that actions speak louder than
Sir, – Jamie Slavin (“A British Jew in AIPAC’s
court,” Comment & Features, March 20) should realize that the reason there
is so much more anti-Israel activity in the UK than in the US is precisely
because the UK Jewish community has failed to lobby effectively in support of
Israel in political and media circles.
Far from lobbying being a dirty
word in the UK, as Slavin suggests, I can tell him that it has long been
actively practiced in all spheres. As an English lawyer for over 30 years it was
part of my practice.
Had the writer bothered to go to Capitol Hill, not
to lobby but to observe (as I have), he would have seen congressmen far more
knowledgeable about Israel’s problems than any government minister or member of
Parliament in the UK.PETER SIMPSON
Jerusalem Sanctions the way
Sir, – In
“Learning to love the bomb” (“Another Tack, March 23), Sarah Honig seems to have
overlooked a major fact, which I believe casts doubt on her approach to the
Today, Iran is in possession of at least 200,000
missiles and a very large supply of both chemical and biological materiel. If it
were so obsessed with putting an end to Israel, why would it wait to develop a
nuclear capacity? Could it be that Iran has more important plans than attacking
Israel? Isn’t its restraint in not attacking Israel at this time a sign that it
might not be as crazy as everyone makes it out to be? And would an attack by
Israel without the help of the US indicate that our leaders are acting on
emotion and hiding from the facts? Strong sanctions are the way to go. If, in
the end, military action is needed, let the US take the lead since it would have
the best chance of success. Israel must act in a prudent manner and not allow
emotion and speculation to control it.PAUL BERMAN
Sir, – Jonathan Rosen (“Disengagement, occupation and missile fire,” Inside Out,
March 22) sings the praises of cruelly uprooting 8,000 peaceful and productive
Jewish residents from their homes, and in return receiving an ongoing hailstorm
of rockets in the South for the achievement of getting the Gaza “millstone” off
our neck and other dubious benefits.
He tells us that “the situation is
unlikely to change unless peace is reached.” What he does not mention is that
real peace is always achieved by real war.
Also unmentioned is the
promise by then-prime minister Ariel Sharon that the first rockets fired from
post-disengagement Gaza would receive a very punishing response – something we
have not done.
It’s not just the disengagement that troubles many of us.
It’s the pusillanimous military tit-for-tat mindset that has captivated our
leaders. Rat-a-tat-tat is better than tit-for-tat.AVIGDOR BONCHEK
Sir, – Jonathan Rosen misses the mark. He contends that rocket fire in
the period after Israel disengaged from Gaza has not been much worse than before
the IDF pulled out in 2005. That is incorrect.
Statistics show that from
2000 to 2005 there were about 550 projectiles fired into Israel. Since then and
through 2011 there were about 7,500 projectiles, more than 3,000 of which were
fired in 2008 alone.
There’s been no letup in 2012.
More than 160
rockets fell in just three days during this month’s attacks.
whether proponents of the IDF retaking Gaza would consider occupying Lebanon,
Syria or Iran. That question is irrelevant. None of those countries (they are
all legitimate countries, unlike Gaza) are launching rockets at Israel; they
have the potential to do so and may at any time, but that’s a lot different than
the situation with Gaza.
Rosen seems to approve of the ousting of Hosni
Mubarak in Egypt and the subsequent opening of the border between Egypt and
Gaza, which will allow even more weapons to flow there.
How is this
advantageous to Israel? There aren’t many Israelis who promote reoccupying Gaza.
But allowing the IDF freedom of movement there, similar to the situation in
Judea and Samaria, would drastically improve Israel’s security. A good defense
(Iron Dome, etc.) is nice, but interdicting terrorist attacks by having troops
on the ground is the proactive kind of offense that is required in
Alfei MenasheReforming divorce
Sir, – While the
Knesset has passed a new law forcing a man to give his wife a get, or religious
divorce (“Knesset passes bill increasing pressure on men to give ‘get,’” March
21), it is still silent on passing laws that protect the equal rights of men to
parent after a divorce.
The Knesset should have reformed the whole
divorce process and make it fair for both parties. The way to do so is to remove
the get process altogether, passing alimony reform legislation similar to that
of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and reforming custody laws so that children
can benefit from both of their parents if they are fit for parenting after the
If divorced parents have joint custody and a fair alimony
system, there will never be a need for a man to use the get as a tool. Make
everything fair and everyone will be better off.
Massachusetts A word for Paul
Sir, – In the wake of many overheard conversations
on the Republican primaries, I realized it might be a good idea to remind your
readers of three important facts regarding US presidential contender Ron Paul:
1. When Congress roundly condemned Israel for destroying Iraq’s nuclear reactor
in 1981, Ron Paul stood almost alone in defending Israel’s right to
While the present administration pressures Israel to sit on
its hands and other presidential hopefuls assert their right to dictate and
control Israel’s response to the Iranian threat, Paul stands alone once more,
insisting the US respect Israeli sovereignty absolutely. Regardless of who
actually stops Iran, it is specifically Israel that will suffer from
retaliation, just like during the Gulf War.
2. True, Paul would stop all
foreign aid, including to Israel. But please remember – surrounding, unfriendly
Arab countries receive seven times the amount of money Israel does! So who
stands to gain most? 3. Sometimes it is actually Israel that suffers the
blow-back from America’s aggressive foreign policy.
Ron Paul would change
Perhaps that’s precisely the kind of ally Israel really
This is not an endorsement designed to influence anyone’s
decisions but an attempt to clear up confusion on the subject.YEHUDA