Sir, – The demand that Israel be recognized by the
Palestinians as a Jewish state is not another “spoke in the wheels” of the peace
process, as Hirsh Goodman blithely claims (“Leave religion out of it,” Post-
Script, October 21). It is premised on historical records calling for a Jewish
homeland (Balfour Declaration) and Jewish nation (British Class A Mandate), on
international treaties and League of Nations and UN declarations.
called for two states, one Arab and one Jewish. This is not some right-wing plot
to derail the peace process.
When the Palestinians can acknowledge that
Jews have a state here and that it will always be a Jewish state, we will know
that they have no more designs on our country, and peace will
Sir, – Should we care what others call
us or our state? Should we draw them into the debate of “Who is a Jew?” These
are topics worthy of respectful debate, yet Hirsh Goodman causes confusion, at
least for me.
Goodman writes: “Jewish is a religion, not a country or
national entity. By recognizing Israel as Israel, the
Palestinians... would be recognizing Israel as the de facto homeland of
the Jewish people.”
Well and good. However, “Jewish” is not a religion;
Judaism is. “Jewish” is the modern designation for the descendants of Abraham,
Isaac and Jacob.
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Sir, – Religious beliefs are very
much a part of the conflict between Israel and those Arabs who begrudge us our
Why else go to all the effort to erase any and all
remnants attesting to our continued habitation of the Land of Israel? How else
to understand Mahmoud Abbas’s presentation to the UN General Assembly last month
wherein he glaringly omitted any mention of a Jewish presence in the historic
Land of Israel? Foreign Minister Abba Eban summed it up best in his address to
the UN Security Council in June 1967: “It would seem to me that after 3,000
years, the time has arrived to accept Israel’s nationhood as a fact. Here is the
only state in the international community which has the same territory, speaks
the same language and upholds the same faith as it did 3,000 years
I would suggest that Hirsh Goodman leave his anti-religious
thoughts out of it.JOEL KUTNER
Sir, – Hirsh Goodman says that
“Jewish is a religion, not a country or a national entity.”
Being a Jew has always meant being part of a people with
a religion and a national homeland.
Just look at the prayers we have been
reciting for 2,000 years.
When our leaders say the Palestinians should
recognize Israel as a Jewish state, what they really mean is that the
Palestinians should acknowledge that the Jewish people – all the Jewish people,
including Reform and Conservative Jews – have a deep and ancient connection to
the land of Israel. This fact cannot be denied.LARRY BIGIO
Ya’acov Rickety chairs
Sir, – Before debating what’s at the entrance to the
Western Wall (“Reform Movement: Remove gender barrier at Kotel entrance,”
October 18), we should provide safe and respectable conditions for women at the
Most of the public is unaware that for a woman to view
official proceedings she has to endanger herself by climbing on a rickety
plastic chair. Women of advancing age are unable to perform this acrobatic
There is absolute disgust expressed by women who travel half way
around the world to attend the bar mitzva of a grandchild at the Wall only to be
bitterly disappointed when they can see nothing.DAVID GOSHEN
Targets of opportunity
Sir, – It appears from Caroline. B. Glick’s
analysis (“Iran’s war to win,” Our World, October 18) that, absent any action by
Israel, Iran will shortly be the proud owner of a nuclear bomb. As the prime
target of Iran’s ambition, it seems to me that our choice is to stop Iran on our
own or commit suicide. I am not in favor of the latter option.
understanding is that we do not have the power to destroy Iran’s nuclear
capability on our own because most of the critical parts of its program are
housed in hardened facilities deep underground. However, we do have an option if
we exercise it quickly.
Iran’s economy is dependant on oil; without oil
exports, it would be unable to survive and certainly unable to pay for the
equipment and expertise needed to develop and deploy a nuclear weapon.
would not be difficult for the IDF to destroy the Iranian oil terminals and the
pipelines that feed them. A quiet threat might wake up the Obama administration
to the dangers of its do-nothing policy.
A partial strike, say knocking
out Iran’s oil exports for a few months, would cause a huge spike in oil prices
– which would have a salutary effect that concentrates the world’s mind on the
danger. The only question is whether the present government has the guts. I
doubt it.STEPHEN S. COHEN
Ma’aleh Adumim No Thoreau he
Sir, – Osama
Shabaik (“Unprecedented silencing of dissent at UC Irvine,” October 16) in
essence claims that the only effective protest is that which challenges the rule
But he protests the law’s retribution.
Henry David Thoreau
at least had the intellectual honesty to anticipate that his civil disobedience
would have consequences.
Shabaik is welcome to his manner of civil
disobedience, but he would do well to refrain from whining when his thuggery is
Sir, – One could be tempted to
sympathize with anyone “moved to this simple act of protest after the
devastation” Osama Shabaik witnessed in the Gaza Strip following Operation Cast
Lead – unless, of course, one is prepared to removed the veil from one’s eyes
1. Why did Israel find it necessary to launch this operation? Could
it have been the years of being bombarded with rockets that the cities and
villages along the border with the Gaza Strip endured? How long would the good
citizens of California have endured such a bombardment from Nevada?
Shabaik’s passionate sympathy aroused when he heard of the slaughter of innocent
Israeli children, no less precious to their families than the innocent children
killed in Gaza? Was he moved to demonstrate on their behalf? It’s hard to
believe that someone as erudite as Shabaik is not aware of these facts. Does he
assume that the readers of The Jerusalem Post
are less well informed? SHEILA
Sir, – The op-ed piece by Osama Shabaik shows why he was convicted.
He refused to honor the institution of free speech. It is fine for radical imams
and heads of BDS movements to exaggerate and lie to recruit naive support for
their demonization of Israel, but anyone who dares give the facts is shouted
down and silenced.
Shabaik admits that he disapproved of Michael Oren
even taking questions. Questions and answers, he says, “are not an effective
form of protest.” True.
It may, however, be an effective way of hearing
the truth. This, of course, is precisely what people like Shabaik do not want
the audience to hear.
The people involved with the Irvine prosecution
were right to take a stand for free speech.
Their actions should be
replicated on other campuses and in debating halls.BARRY SHAW
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