(photo credit: Courtesy)
Sir, - It was a pleasure to read "The world according to Lieberman" (David Horovitz and Amir Mizroch, Independence Day magazine, April 28).
We finally have a foreign minister willing to enunciate a few simple truths: that the extensive negotiations with the Palestinians in which the previous Israeli government made far-reaching concessions produced no progress toward a peace agreement; that the lack of this progress has nothing to do with the "occupation" or with the settlements; and that the lack of a peace agreement is due solely to continued Arab refusal to accept the existence of a Jewish state in the Middle East.
Only by recognizing these truths can there be a rational basis for productive discussions with our Arab neighbors.
Sir, - In case you haven't noticed, we now have one of the best-attired foreign ministers.
It was like the fairy godmother waved her magic wand over Lieberman - who suddenly began to dress beautifully, his beard trimmed to perfection.
...and how we will accept it
Sir, - I distinctly remember speaking to a neighbor after the 1977 elections, when Menachem Begin became premier. She declared: "Now there will be a war" - yet that was the year Anwar Sadat came to visit Israel. Two years later came our first peace agreement with an Arab state.
We have to be strong to survive; and we now have someone who calls for ignoring previous slogans and for concentrating on "security, economy and stability."
Our people will eventually sit up and listen to Avigdor Lieberman. And other states will learn to respect him.
Friends like these
Sir, - Once again Ruthie Blum has done a great job of unmasking duplicity and the denial of facts, history and reality ("Israel's rights... and wrongs," Interview with Jeremy Ben-Ami, April 30).
So what if the Arabs have chosen violence and hatred over peace! So what if they have refused generous offers by Israel! So what if most Israelis want peace, and the Arabs don't!
With "friends" like the J Street executive director, we are in big trouble here.
He conveniently forgot to address the hatred taught to Arab children from birth, and that the Palestinians are unwelcome in 21 Arab nations. And if he thinks most Arabs just "hope to have a home to call their own," he lacks understanding of the Middle East.
Sir, - Jeremy Ben-Ami's optimism regarding the peace process was answered by your front-page headline of the same date: "PA court condemns man who sold land to Jews to death by hanging."
MURRAY S. GREENFIELD
Sir, - I'd like to pick just one nit with David Horovitz's fine "Accommodating Ahmadinejad" (April 24): his writing that Ahmadinejad is "the leader of a brutal regime, which perverts Islam."
Perverts Islam? In his statistical study of Islamic texts as published in the New English Review (November 2008), Bill Warner, director of the Center for the Study of Political Islam, wrote: "The majority of the Koran is about kafirs, non-Muslims... the worst of the creation. Allah hates kafirs and plots against them. Kafirs can be tortured, murdered, robbed, raped and enslaved. The Koran is fixated on kafirs, as was Mohammed."
Sir, - Who chose May 11-15 for Pope Benedict's visit?
May 15, the date of Israel's founding, is Yom Al Nakba ("Catastrophe Day") for the Palestinians - the only people in the world who commemorate their national ambitions by mourning the birth of another nation's state. It is a day of anti-Israel violence. This year, to add fuel to the firebombs, it occurs on a Friday.
Scheduling a papal mass in Nazareth on May 14 is asking for trouble. Were Ehud Olmert and Tzipi Livni ignorant of the significance of these dates?
Shihab A-Din is the provocative mosque Nazareth Muslims built illegally next to the Basilica of the Annunciation. It is named after the nephew of Salah Ad-Din (Saladin), who slaughtered the Christians of Nazareth after the Battle of the Horns of Hattin (Hittin) in 1187.
A hint to the region's Christians of what the Muslims have in store for them as soon as they get rid of the Jews? ("Palestinians want Benedict XVI to get close-up look at security barrier," April 28).
Sir, - Dear me! G. Lindt of Berne objects to the recent Post editorial about Switzerland's treatment of the Jews ("Myopia rules," Letters, April 26). Yet he does not even try to disprove a single fact in that editorial, and the tone of his letter makes it abundantly clear that he is no friend of ours.
He wants us to understand that there are no decent limits to his country's pursuit of its own selfish interests, and that a Swiss boycott of the world's foremost Jew-baiter would mean kowtowing to "the government in Tel Aviv."
When, by a majority vote of the electorate, Switzerland became the first country to outlaw shechita, the Jewish method of animal slaughter, in 1893, the 39 percent who opposed that ban must have obeyed a directive from the Elders of Zion. This would, presumably, also account for the fact that Carl Lutz established dozens of safe houses in Budapest and issued tens of thousands of protective Schutzbriefe to save what remained of Hungarian Jewry from the gas chambers. Why else would he have chosen to risk his career by such disinterested acts?
Sadly, however, our "all-powerful Jewish lobby" did not manage to have Auschwitz-Birkenau and the railroads leading there destroyed by the Allies. Nor were we able to block the appointment of a Swiss Nazi as commandant of the labor camp where Italian Jews and anti-fascists were incarcerated from the end of 1943. My wife's uncle, Benjamin Ottolenghi, a 23-year-old refugee at the time, has vivid recollections of that Swiss officer's brutality.
How fortunate that the humane Lutz was Switzerland's vice-consul in wartime Budapest rather than some myopic "neutral" like Herr Lindt.
GABRIEL A. SIVAN
Why slam only the Serbs?
Sir, - One can only wonder about the purpose of "'First, Muslims and Croats had to wear white bands on their arms'" (Tovah Lazaroff, April 26).
By now, you should be well aware that the Croats and Muslims engaged US PR firms to demonize the Serbs in the 1990s, and they did a fantastic job of it, especially with the unwary who know nothing about past history, so simply accept anything dished out to them via the media as the truth. Apparently, they're still at it.
Why side with those who did a masterful job of liquidating Jews in the concentration camps of the Independent State of Croatia in WWII?
Unfortunately for so many, the 1990s brought out the fears and hatreds that remained latent in post-WWII Yugoslavia. There is much guilt to go around amongst Croats, Muslims and Serbs. But to slam only the Serbs is nothing but a smear job.