letters good 88.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Sir, - I was extremely impressed by Ruthie Blum Leibowitz's interview with Daniel Gordis ("Rehab for an 'all-consuming peace addiction,'" March 26). I think that his thesis is brilliant and should be read by President Obama as soon as possible. The simple idea: Stop chasing peace.
For 60 years we have been pleading with the Palestinians to make peace with us, to no avail. Gordis's idea that we should simply try to make our country a good place to live in and "ignore" peace is long overdue.
It's time for us to wait for the Arabs to realize that we are here to stay and plead with us to make peace with them. If it takes 50 years or 500, it's up to them to decide. And while we are waiting, we should make Israel the envy of the world.
The first step will be the Arabs stopping the endless, disgraceful name-calling, and agreeing that there should be a Jewish state here. Then we will have to wait at least 20 years to see if they really mean it.
If the US or Europe feel they must interfere in our affairs, they should convince the Arabs to change their attitudes and behavior.
...but annoying, even immoral
Sir, - I heartily disagree with Daniel Gordis's view that we will find salvation in thinking more about ourselves than about our enemies. The implication that our troubles come from lacking goals, from not knowing what being Jewish "really" is, from betraying our destiny is annoying, even immoral.
Let us remember that while Moses takes Israel to Sinai to make it a chosen people, he must first get that people out of Egypt. A dead people cannot serve God or man.
Our dear saints in Poland who, according to A.J. Heschel's book The Earth is the Lord's: The Inner World of the Jew in East Europe were the most pious, gentle, humane and dedicated Jews in all of history, were helpless against the Nazis.
I accept purpose in life - but I prefer the will to live posited by Ahad Ha'am and the advice of David Shiminovitz, who wrote: "You want to be right? Be strong!"
Weakness tempts aggression. Turning the other cheek invites slapping it. I prefer an Avigdor Lieberman who demands loyalty to the state from all its citizens over a pretentious idealism, ethicism and universalism which castigates our self-defense and, in doing so, lends support to the call for our delegitimization because we are not perfect.
Sir, - What an enormous comfort it is to me and the other refugees from Gush Katif, who were torn from our homes with the approval of profound thinkers like Daniel Gordis, that our sacrifice was not in vain. We may have lost everything, and many of us are no longer young enough or resilient enough to rebuild our lives in any meaningful way - but clearly our ruination was worthwhile for Dr. Gordis "because I think we learned something we can only have learned by doing it."
Thank you, Dr. Gordis, for proving once again that an impressive IQ is no guarantee of common sense.
Sir, - Although Daniel Gordis's article is called "Rehab for an 'all-consuming peace addiction,'" I'm sure he would agree that you can't be addicted to what you've never experienced.
To say Israel is addicted to peace is like saying that the schlemazel who comes back poorer every week from his poker game is addicted to winning. It's like saying "giving up land for peace," when what is really meant is "giving up land on the chance that peace might result."
It's a manner of speaking that can, unfortunately, turn into an inaccurate manner of thinking.
MARK L. LEVINSON
Sir, - Oh, dear, that's all Israel needs ("Ian Paisley launches Northern Ireland Friends of Israel," March 20). Talk about ruining the message by choosing a bad messenger.
I agree with a certain amount of what Paisley says, but few outside Unionist strongholds in the North do. Israeli flags flying in tough working-class housing estates there are no asset to Israel - simply a clear indication that "any enemy of my enemy is my friend."
They see Yasser Arafat's face on murals and Palestinian flags in Republican areas, so they put up the opposite in theirs. For most (not saying there aren't decent, law-abiding conservatives there, of course), that's all it is.
Charity begins at home
Sir, - Re "Factories fire 8,000 in north" (March 25): Israel participated with much initiative and enthusiasm in the world "globalization process."
Our tycoons invested very heavily all round the world, and as a result of the world and economic upheaval lost heavily not only their money, but the Israel public's money as well.
We have a relatively small population in a small land facing serious security threats that could, God forbid, endanger the very existence of the Third Commonwealth.
To survive this worst economic crisis since the establishment of the state we have to strengthen every single citizen in every possible way to enable us to stand up to all the threats.
The new government about to take power needs to place the welfare of each one of us at the very top of its agenda. The fact that an item is cheaper abroad is absolutely no indication of whether that specific transaction was, in "real economic and social terms," a profit to Israel.
A loss will saddle the country with heavy future costs that far exceed the marginal profit made on such a transaction
We'd holiday at home, if we could afford it
Sir, - Why is the Israeli hotel industry so shortsighted? Instead of bringing down hotel rates for the coming Pessah holidays and weekends, they push up their prices. And Israelis who can't afford to holiday here go to Turkey instead, where they get cheap rates.
So many people would prefer to spend their holidays in Eilat or elsewhere in the country, if the rates were affordable. But Turkey's cheaper than Eilat!
Hotel industry: Enable us to spend our money in Israel. Hotel groups should offer special package deals for families.
Wake up to the dire conditions in this country! ("Tourism Ministry hopes for 5 million visitors by 2015," February 18.)
Help for reporters
Sir, - Reporters who cover Israel from across the globe are faced with a difficult information gap, often lacking sufficient historical or even contemporary background reading material to research a news story.
Israel Resource News Agency, working in conjunction with the Center for Near East Policy Research Ltd., has therefore established a modest journalism library where reporters can have access to books, background articles and monographs about Israel.
The Israel Resource library room is located at the Beit Agron Press Center, where all reporters get their permanent or temporary press credentials.
Anyone desiring to contribute books, background articles or monographs - in any language - that would be useful for reporters who cover Israel is invited to send them to the Israel Resource Library, Beit Agron Press Center, 37 Hillel Street, Jerusalem, 94581, Israel.
Israel Resource News Agency