Shame on them
Sir, – I am deeply concerned about the looming UN vote on a Palestinian state (“Jerusalem seeks ‘critical minority’ against unilateral statehood bid by PA,” May 26).
I think the Israeli ambassador should get up in the General Assembly and recite names and ages of all the casualties that Hamas has inflicted on Israel. He should start with the 16-year-old boy in a school bus recently killed by a missile.
The list is long and should take much time to recite. The ambassador should then tell the General Assembly: This is not a civilized entity to allow into the family of nations.
Those countries that choose to support a rogue state should be made to feel publicly ashamed.HARRIET P. EPSTEIN
Santa Monica, California Bad example
Sir, – It is not bad enough that MKs from the Left and Right feel the
need to publicly criticize our prime minister rather than stand together
and present to the world a unified position. What is truly outrageous
is Silvan Shalom taking advantage of a Bible contest for high school-age
girls to do so (“Vice Premier Shalom: Netanyahu going against Likud
policies,” May 26).
Regardless of an MK’s political views, I cannot think of anything more
inappropriate and damaging to our youth than standing before them at an
apolitical event that should be a celebration of learning, and to use it
as a platform to criticize their prime minister. Such behavior is
undignified and a display of outright disrespect, inconsideration and
selfishness. No wonder we often feel our youth are disrespectful,
inconsiderate and selfish.
If our so-called leaders show no ability to save their comments for the
correct time and place, how can we expect our children to? DANIELLA HELLERSTEIN
Modi’in Long, long search
Sir, – The report “Prisons Service seeking ‘study partner’ for Yigal Amir” (May 26) reminds me of an anecdote.
A member of our community in South Africa fell afoul of the law and was
sentenced to a term behind bars. Our rabbi paid a pastoral visit.
The duty-warden ordered, “Bring out the Jew,” whereupon our rabbi
informed the warden it was a good thing he sent for the Jew because if
he had asked for “the gentile” they would be at a loss as to which one
The Prisons Service is hard-pressed in its search for a suitable study
partner – a yeshiva student with a similar educational background as
It’s heartwarming such candidates are few and far between.DANIEL ABELMAN
Jerusalem Where’s the support?
Sir, – Your May 25 editorial (“In praise of national unity”) calls for a
broader coalition. However, there are other forms of unity.
When Prime Minister Netanyahu was in opposition during the trying period
of Operation Cast Lead, there was much to criticize in both the
execution of the war and its objectives. Nevertheless, he abandoned the
role of petty politics.
Not only did he refrain from stabbing then-foreign minister Tzipi Livni
in the back, he toured the world making Israel’s case wherever he could.
In other words, he played the statesman, not the politician.
How different things are now.
When the very legitimacy of the nation is in question, where is the
solid support that would bolster our position? Instead, no blow is too
low, no opportunity is missed to criticize our prime minister. This, of
course, encourages our enemies – and sadly I must include US President
Obama in this category – to believe that if the current government is
toppled, their road would be clear.
In fact, the people of Israel are solidly behind the present government.
Should an election be held today, the right-wing block would achieve an even bigger majority.
It is time that our politicians, as well as editorial writers and
political pundits, recognize this fact and give our prime minister the
moral support he needs in these difficult times.STEPHEN S. COHEN
Ma’aleh Adumim No comparison
Sir, – Ray Hanania (“A declaration of no peace,” Yalla Peace, May 25)
says that Prime Minister Netanyahu rejects negotiations with the PA and
that “this time his excuse was the unity deal with Hamas.” He continues
and states: “Nowhere in his speech [before US Congress] did Netanyahu
acknowledge that his own coalition holds some vicious extremists, people
who refuse to recognize the rights of the Palestinian people.”
This attempt at equating a group of people whose stated objective is the
death of all Jews – the very same group that has indeed murdered
thousands of Jews – with MKs who have ideologies different from his own
is morally repugnant.
One cannot compare or contrast the actions of blowing up buses,
murdering children and killing entire families with those he feels are
not interested in affording the Palestinians their rights. It is an
insult to Jews everywhere, indeed to humanity.ZE’EV M. SHANDALOV
Sir, – I am no friend or supporter of Bibi Netanyahu, but he must be
congratulated on his masterful and far-reaching address to the joint
session of Congress. Within the limits he was permitted by the
components of his coalition, he went as far as he was able to go.
Therefore, I am totally shocked by Ray Hanania. Contrary to what he
says, Netanyahu’s speech was anything but insulting to President Obama.
He was full of praise for the support of the president, the American
people and Congress, and merely restated a few relevant facts of
Hanania describes himself as a moderate, but if this is his attitude I wonder what the attitude of an extremist is.MIKE AYL
Sir, – Ray Hanania’s open anger and envy of the truth of America’s
commitment to the safety, security and prosperity of Israel are more
than insulting. They encapsulate the Palestinian approach to peace talks
from their earliest stages, which is to say “no” at every turn in
response to every Israeli and even US initiative.
According to Hanania and presumably the Palestinian leadership, the US
is merely a cheerleading squad for a rather hard-working democracy
called Israel that has the chutzpah to want to live in peace with its
neighbors, Palestinians included.
Sorry, Ray, but this time the sour grapes routine won’t work.GERSHON HARRIS
Hatzor Haglilit Model state
Sir, – Last week I was in Israel. I was surprised to see Muslim families
(the women were wearing headscarves) enjoying a picnic dinner on the
beach in Tel Aviv. In Jerusalem, I saw young Muslim women (again wearing
headscarves) giggling and eating ice cream on the Mamilla shopping
I spoke with Buddhists from Sri Lanka who were working in Israel and loved living in the Jewish state.
I watched a wedding procession of African Christians in Jaffa. I saw
Christians following the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem’s Old City, retracing
the journey that Jesus took. I watched baptisms in the River Jordan. I
saw all types of Jews, from the ultra-Orthodox praying at the Western
Wall to the totally secular partying in nightclubs.
President Obama has it backwards.
If he thinks that making Israel smaller will bring peace and prosperity
to the Middle East he is totally mistaken. A much better approach would
be for the people of the Middle East to turn to Israel for guidance as
to how to build a nation from the ground up, how to create a vital
democracy with competing political parties, competing ideas, a free
press, and the engine that I rarely hear mentioned during this Arab
Spring: a functioning economy.ELLEN SWITKES
Sherman Oaks, California