October 22: Apology not enough

I think Karnit Flug deserves more than “I’m sorry,” and the country deserves an explanation from Lapid and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

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October 22, 2013 23:10
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Apology not enough

Sir, – Finance Minister Yair Lapid calls the unnecessarily long process of finding a governor for the Bank of Israel “shocking” (“In surprise turnabout, Karnit Flug nominated as BoI governor,” October 21). He then goes on to say: “I don’t mind apologizing to Ms. Flug if it will make everyone feel better.”

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That’s jolly decent of you, Mr.

Lapid! I think Karnit Flug deserves more than “I’m sorry,” and the country deserves an explanation from Lapid and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Why did it take so long to appoint the right person – the person outgoing governor Stanley Fischer had highly recommended for the job?

MARY SHERMAN

Tel Aviv

Political antics


Sir, – Prof. Ruth Arnon warns Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that failure to immediately sign an agreement on scientific cooperation with the European Union can bring “irreversible damage to Israeli science in particular and to the state in general” (“Israel Academy of Sciences president: Government must sign Horizon 2010,” October 21).

This is the same EU that has attempted to force Israeli companies to halt all operations in east Jerusalem, the Golan Heights and the so-called West Bank. It should know that this is not 1933 and that Jews no longer pay attention to “edicts” instructing us what we may do and may not do.



Water always finds its own level, and Israeli science will prevail in the international arena with or without co-operation, mutual assistance or collaboration with a so-called scientific body whose agenda includes political antics.

DAVID S. ADDLEMAN

Mevaseret Zion

Sir, – Surely somebody as scientifically intelligent as Ruth Arnon must know that her argument about not signing the cooperation agreement with the European Union equally applies to the EU and its scientists.

In an ideal world, politics would not interfere with science.

But the EU (through faceless bureaucrats) has come up with a political formula that is to be applied solely in relation to Israel and the West Bank when it comes to science, the total opposite of what it does with other countries involved in territorial disputes, such as North Cyprus and Morocco/Western Sahara.

Why is Arnon not at least telling the EU to avoid being inconsistent?

PETER SCHWEITZER

Tel Aviv

Sir, – Ruth Arnon’s warning is outrageous. She ought to know that the Europeans put a poison pill in the accord that makes it more of a political instrument than a scientific cooperation agreement.

Agreeing to the EU’s terms means accepting its notion of what Israel’s borders ought to be – borders that Abba Eban once defined as “Auschwitz borders.”

Does Arnon forget the age-old oppression and persecution of Jews in Europe? This oppression is a tradition that goes back 1,700 years to Constantine or before. Have the Europeans honestly given up their traditional Judeophobia or are they simply hiding their bigotry behind Arab grievances against Israel (real, invented or hyperbolic)? Does Arnon wish to collaborate with contemporary Europe’s advocacy of an apartheid policy against Jews in Judea and Samaria, which the Palestinian Authority promises to implement if and when it gets a state in the territories it claims? Israeli science flourished before the cooperation accord with the EU, and funds come in from a variety of sources. Sales of natural gas are likely to make up for whatever money is lost by the rejection of Horizon 2020.

I hope that Arnon is not being disingenuous and that perhaps she has just forgotten the political and historical issues at stake.

However, in view of the extreme, often fanatic politicization of Israeli academia, one cannot be sure.

JACK SCHWARTZ
Jerusalem

Pay for it, too

Sir, – “New X ray system at Allenby to increase Palestinian exports by 30%” (October 20) describes the updated Allenby Bridge crossing between Israel and Jordan, which will allow greater and easier transport of people and goods on a daily basis. At the top of the same page you describe how upset peace negotiator and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni is (“Livni moves to squash bill prohibiting talks on J’lem”).

I was a proud soldier in the IDF in 1989-1990, stationed in Jericho and involved in daily security on the Allenby Bridge. We had a lot of work to do, but we made sure to treat everyone crossing in and out of Israel with the proper respect. Well, I think it is time that Israel received some respect.

It is very nice that the Dutch government has already donated all the equipment to upgrade the current system, but why are we supplying the remaining NIS 35 million to complete the project? Where is the Palestinian money to upgrade a service provided by Israel for the Palestinian people? If the Palestinians want the service, why can’t they pay for the upgrade? Why must we always bow to everyone else’s needs? If we are giving permission for what they want, would it not be fair if they paid for the project? So how does this relate to Livni? Very simple. Who made her prime minister? She barely crossed the threshold to make it back to the Knesset, and now she says that if she is not given authority to negotiate our final status borders there can never be peace with the Palestinians.

On the same day and on the same page in your paper, we learn that anything the Palestinians want we should not only give them, but pay for.

YECHIEL AARON
Hashmonaim

Falling for propaganda

Sir, – I read “Opening a new chapter in the China-Israel relationship” (Comment & Features, October 21). This is not the first time Israeli media have fallen for propaganda from representatives of the Chinese communist regime who are trying to put on a “nice face.”

It was also disappointing not to find any reference to the harvesting of organs of Falun Gong practitioners in China, the transfer of funds to terrorists through the country’s national bank, or Beijing’s support for the Iranian nuclear program – so hot a topic for us now.

I choose not to sit silently in the face of organ harvesting and other bad things the Chinese communist regime is doing that can affect life in Israel.

TAL BABICH

Rishon Lezion

Trade cooperation

Sir, – With regard to “Carolina on my mind” (Global Agenda, Business & Finance, October 18), New York State signed a memorandum of understanding for research and development with the State of Israel back in September 2009. It was followed with an implementation agreement for advanced nanotechnology cooperation between the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering at Albany, New York, and the Israeli Industry Center for R&D, known as MATIMOP.

This agreement has been in the works for months, and dozens of Israeli companies are actively collaborating with the college’s engineers to produce the next generation of wafers and chips.

In addition, the Technion–Israel Institute of Technology has connected with Cornell University to establish a multi-billion-dollar campus for advanced engineering and computer science in New York City.

Furthermore, Israel is the state’s fourth-largest trading partner, importing over $5 billion of merchandise from New York, more than Germany, France or Britain! So, long-term for New York, it is science, engineering and stateof- the art manufacturing and innovation.

GERRY STOCH
Beit Shemesh

The writer represents New York State’s trade interests in Israel

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