A conference too far
Sir, – The Jerusalem Post Conference (“Tehran Obama hot
topics at first-ever ‘Post’ conference in New York,” April 30) was one big
platform for the remaking of exprime minister Ehud Olmert as a credible
“statesman,” and for former Mossad head Meir Dagan to undermine Prime Minister
Netanyahu’s approach to Iran.
Olmert was self-serving but very
theatrically appealing as he defended his “accomplishments” as prime minister
before his resignation under a cloud of alleged corruption. It was Olmert at his
best, and unfortunately Post columnist Caroline B. Glick was cast as a
Dagan did his best to undermine all that Netanyahu effectively
did in his speech before the US Congress. He has sown confusion into how Israel
should deal with the Iranian nuclear threat. What were his motives? Did he
understand the consequences of his very public statements? I hope the other
“theatergoers” saw this performance for the farce it was.KENNY LERNER
Sir, – The Jerusalem Post
is supposed to be a Zionist
Would someone please explain why a Zionist newspaper holds a
conference in New York instead of Israel? As far as I know, New York has no
particular Zionist attachment.
Your newspaper in the past has criticized
Zionist organizations for not having their conferences in Israel. Now you are
doing the same. It sounds very hypocritical to me.
Sir, – What was the point of holding your conference in New York? Some
of the people selected for your panel discussions where unfortunately part of
the elements in Israel that project extreme controversy.
could really have been held in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem or Haifa.
We should be
able to have a conference abroad that enhances the unity of the Jewish people
and makes the general public aware of the tremendous friendship and security
relevance between Jerusalem and Washington. Discussions that are basically
disagreements we have enough of here in Israel.THELMA SUSSWEIN
Sir, – I for one am disappointed that The Jerusalem Post
decided to have its
conference in New York instead of Jerusalem. Possibly, some of the Israeli
“dignitaries” might not have been attracted to a local event, but I cannot
imagine the New York Post
having its conference anywhere but in New York City or
the Washington Post
hosting a conference anywhere but in
Ma’aleh Adumim What do they expect?
This story of a liberal Jew seeing one video of an Arab being arrested, sparking
a book and a huge controversy, is symptomatic of the times, allowing superficial
and shallow liberal Jewish views to be given full media coverage (“The
Palestinian family that sparked the Jewish controversy,” April 30).
do Peter Beinart and others like him expect? That a country can be born and
developed without getting your hands dirty? We have many enemies and we have to
fight them with whatever means are available.
Jews have never been good
at expediency, allowing sentiment to rule. Sentiment is very good if you are
several thousand miles away, but if you actually live here and want to survive,
the perspective looks quite different.
If I or any one else wanted to
write a book about how well Israel is doing and concluded that there was no
crisis in Zionism, it would be impossible to get it published.
So I say
to Beinart, spare us your liberal Jewish angst. To others, simply don’t read
this nonsense.JACK COHEN
Netanya It simply can’t
Sir, – In his
elucidation of the unsustainability of the haredi way of life, Jeff Barak ends
by saying that Prime Minister Netanyahu’s government has shown it is unwilling
to deal with the problem (“Knesset contretemps,” Reality Check, April
I submit it would be more fair to say that the government is unable
to deal with the problem because of the coalition’s dependence on ultra-Orthodox
The problem can be remedied by, first, several politicians
showing their willingness to join the coalition for the benefit of the country
rather than their own political ambitions, and, second, by a major change in the
electoral system. The latter can be achieved if there is agreement by
politicians from all sides of the political spectrum.MONTY M. ZION
Mond Collective punishment
Sir, – Meretz leader Zehava Gal-On is exhorting the
courts not to delay the destruction of Jewish homes, legally built with
government support, in Migron and the Ulpana suburb of Beit El (“Meretz to
petition High Court against state’s Ulpana request,” April 29).
time it is not clear that any crime has been committed in the building of these
homes (other than the Arab injunction against selling land to Jews), and if a
crime has been committed, finding a reasonable remedy is within the realm of
possibility. This is not to say that the miscreant who signed off on the order
to build is not to be punished, but it should be clear to any reasonable person
that the wholesale destruction of the homes of people who bought them in good
faith is nothing less than collective punishment.
I don’t expect more of
our Meretz stalwarts, but in these troubled times it behooves our arbiters of
the law to exert great care against opening the court to charges of
hypocrisy.SYDNEY L. KASTEN
Jerusalem Behind the scenes
Sir, – Regarding
“How good a friend of the Jews was Harry Truman?” (April 29), this is a
misleading headline since it fails to identify the irreconcilable policy
differences between Truman and his secretary of state, George C.
Even though support for the partition of Palestine had become
official US policy – and to avoid any ambiguity Truman instructed the State
Department to support the plan – Marshall and other officials there conspired to
double-cross the president, emphasizing that the US was not committed to
supporting the creation of a sovereign Jewish state.
The sometimes bitter
conflict within the Truman administration is detailed in A Safe Haven – Harry S.
Truman and the Founding of Israel by Allis Radosh and Ronald
Netanya Everyone’s behavior
Sir, – Kol hakavod to
Herb Keinon for his column “Being so Ashkenazi” (Out There, April 29).
behaving in a decent, civilized manner and being considerate of the existence of
other people is being “Ashkenazi,” so be it – but it is indeed a great pity that
more Israelis do not behave this way and are generally considered to be loud,
rude and uncaring about how their behavior affects others.
I have been
told that in Israel, rules and laws are only suggestions and need not be
complied with, as they are hardly ever enforced. The no-smoking laws have been
enforced, however, and today there is general compliance. The same should be
done with cellphones.
If the number of deaths on the roads were caused by
terrorism we long ago would have taken action, but the authorities do very
little to cut down the number of accidents and enforce safe driving. We have to
educate drivers that there are laws and rules of the road that will be enforced,
and that there are other people on the roads, too.MIKE AYL