Sir, – Regarding “ElBaradei: Egypt ‘disintegrating’ as tourism
drops” (Business & Finance, May 23), CBS foreign correspondent Lara Logan
was sexually attacked by a mob while reporting on the uprising there. The crowd
shouted (incorrectly) that she was Jewish – and therefore fair game.
incident does more to show the Egyptian people in their true colors than hours
of media coverage of events. How can they be surprised? GERRY MYERS
Salary to kill for
Sir – Murderers, bombers and terrorists held in Israel’s
jails are rewarded with monthly salaries (“New Palestinian law said to grant all
convicted terrorists monthly salary,” May 20). What a new twist to the phrase
“blood money!” I hope the EU and US take note that their financial assistance is
being spent in this way to the detriment of ordinary Palestinians who have no
work, no running water and no sewerage. What a real incentive this gives the
crazy idealists who can now be rewarded for their fundamentalist
Will common sense ever be restored?
– I looked up the word “salary” and found that it means “fixed compensation for
services, paid to a person on a regular basis.”
Services? Obviously they
are the murder of Israelis by any means.
My closest friends have lost
loved ones to people now jailed for such “services,” a sad, long list of the
Self-evidently, it isn’t possible to even think of
real peace with paymasters such as these.DAVID SCHOLEM
The phenomenon of paying salaries to convicted terrorist murderers underlines
that the Islamic Jew-hatred there is indeed deeply embedded and not
It is an action that exceeds normal behavior and goes the
extra mile to show support, community and encouragement for the murder of Jewish
It also underlines that there isn’t one drop of good will in the
Palestinian camp.There can be no peace or coexistence with people who have no
good will.YONATAN SILVERMAN
Sir, – The PA should be advised
that such salaries are subject to Israeli income tax and National Insurance
Institute payments. This will be quite an expensive matter, but our Treasury,
I’m sure, would be happy to deduct these commitments from funds due the
Kiryat Ono Playing for Gaza
Sir, – Reading Daniel
Barenboim’s “The human lesson of Gaza” (Comment & Features, May 19) left me
wondering whether we live on the same planet.
Nowhere did Barenboim
mention the civilized people of Gaza attacking Israel with a barrage of deadly
rockets almost daily. Nor did he dwell on the Hamas leadership’s adroit military
strategy of using women and children as human shields, and embedding its
military equipment in residential areas when there are battles with the
As a woman, I strongly object to Barenboim’s praise for enlightened
Gazans when the lofty goals there are only for men. There are no women’s rights.
With only rare exceptions, women must wear sweltering, full-length garments, are
subject to the laws of Shari’a and have no hope for equal
Barenboim notoriously pushed the envelope of respect for Israel
when he chose to foist Wagner’s music on a captive audience of Jews in 2001
during one of his concerts in Jerusalem. Some people were so upset that they
So I have a challenge for him: At his next Gaza concert, he should
play a piece of music by any Jewish composer, not even Israeli.
Bernstein or Gershwin come to mind. It would be most salutary to see how his
highminded, enlightened audience reacts.ROCHELLE EISSENSTAT
Sir, – Daniel Barenboim criticizes “the injustice and short-sightedness of the
Israeli blockade which attributes guilt to a whole people – it’s most harrowing
consequence is the detrimental effect on the Gazans’ quality of
Just as a government has a responsibility to serve its citizens,
the electorate must take responsibility for the government it empowers. A
population cannot claim to be absolved of all blame for the actions of a
government it elected. You must expect ramifications.
Hamas won an
overwhelming majority of legislative seats in the last election. The voters did
not elect it solely to keep the streets clean. They must have known that Hamas
stood for violent “resistance” and the annihilation of the neighboring Jewish
If Gazans truly object to Hamas’s terrorist ways, they must remove
it from power. Failing that, they are complicit in its murderous
activities.EFRAIM A. COHEN
Sir, – Daniel Barenboim notes
that a large percentage of Gazans are under 30 and that he has long wished to
express solidarity with the population, as he considers its “confinement one of
the most disturbing aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
looked in vain in the article for any reference to the confinement and
unbearable circumstances faced by Gilad Schalit. I wondered if the maestro
thought Schalit could remain “hopeful and active.”
Barenboim’s dream is
to “return [to Gaza] frequently and to contribute to... a remarkable and dynamic
society.” For many of us, our dream is to see Gilad Schalit released from his
unjust and illegal captivity.
Perhaps the two dreams could combine and
Barenboim would insist that the soldier be freed before he returns to delight
the populace with his music and support.
Haifa Different aims
Sir, – MK Einat Wilf states, incorrectly, in “For the Palestinians’ sake”
(Comment & Features, May 18) that the “Palestinian national movement was
about resisting Zionism and its program of building a state.”
the movement was part of a general upheaval in the Ottoman Empire centered
around the Young Turks movement in 1908, which was a protest against Ottoman
rule. The history is well described in the book 1913 by a young American Jewish
journalist, Amy Docker Marcus.
Unfortunately the movement coincided with
the rise in Jewish nationalism and the two inevitably clashed, though there were
attempts at synthesis. But the primary cause for the Arab movement was
anti-establishment. It also enabled T.E. Lawrence later on to mobilize the
Beduin of the Hejaz to fight the Turks.CYRIL B. SHERER
Jerusalem Anti-aliya policy
Sir, – While I believe that conversions need to be conducted
to the highest standard of Orthodoxy, the decision to refuse citizenship to
Thomas Dohlan is baseless (“Interior Ministry sued for not recognizing Orthodox
conversions,” May 13).
The Ministry of Interior is enforcing a double
standard by rejecting an Orthodox conversion performed by the RCA while
accepting non-Orthodox conversions.
This is clearly discriminatory and
leads to religious matters being decided by the High Court of Justice, which in
my opinion should not happen.
The Chief Rabbinate needs to openly define
its standards and clarify its decisions in individual cases.
also encourage, as opposed to dissuade and hinder, individual decisions to make
As ITIM founder and head Rabbi Seth Farber said, “On Independence
Day Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called on every Jew in the world to make
aliya, while in practice the Interior Ministry is preventing it.”SHULI