September 14: Price of support...

What exactly is so wonderful about Obama’s actions? Surely, this is what one would expect from a friend, not least our “best friend.”

(photo credit:)
(photo credit: )
Price of support...
Sir, – Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said he wanted to express his “gratitude” to US President Barack Obama. “I asked for his help.... He said, ‘I will do everything I can’ and so he did....
We owe him a special measure of gratitude” (Jewish Dems tout PM’s gratitude to Obama, September 12).
What exactly is so wonderful about Obama’s actions? Surely, this is what one would expect from a friend, not least our “best friend.” Obama, after all, contributes billions of dollars to Egypt and the next embassy to be stormed might be his own.
If American Jews wish to read more into this than there actually is, they should remember that Obama’s reelection is coming up and his approval ratings have plummeted. He has not changed his hostility toward us – he continues to deny us the freedom to live in all parts of our sovereign land and denies us our rightful sovereignty over Jerusalem.
I am deeply troubled as to what price will be exacted from Israel to thank Obama.

...and the payback
Sir, – As I considered the terrible tragedy that was 9/11, I realized that President George W. Bush’s first challenge was to determine who was behind the attack. Al- Qaida owned up after fleeing into the safety of the Tora Bora mountains.
Since then, the US has spent huge sums and sacrificed many lives over a period of nine years to exact justice from Iraq and Afghanistan, which it chose to represent the Arabs. But if it wanted to really hurt the Arabs for 9/11, it could have done this in a civilized manner, with no loss of life and on the cheap by any standard – simply by accepting Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and calling on the world’s nations to move their embassies there.

Statehood costs, too
Sir, – Regarding “PA decries Israel’s reaction to statehood bid as ‘hysterical’” (September 12), if the Palestinians unilaterally declare statehood and are recognized as such by the UN, does not the first rocket launched against Israel constitute an act of war? And should not Israel respond with full force? The answers are yes and yes! With statehood come responsibilities.
Akron, Ohio

Adelson allegations
Sir, – I wish to take issue with Susan Hattis Rolef regarding several points she makes in “Sheldon Adelson vs. Channel 10” (Comment & Features, September 12).
Rolef argues that “the apology stated that the two allegations were false, without providing any proof.” In my experience it is always the party doing the alleging that is expected to provide proof.
She also states that Adelson “is using his wealth to meddle with Israeli public opinion.” I wonder if she has the same view of people like multi-millionaire Daniel Abrams, who funds any and every left-wing voice that can possibly be utilized in an attempt to topple Prime Minister Netanyahu.
And throughout her diatribe she refers repeatedly to the fact that Adelson made his money through gambling interests, obviously implying that there is something tainted about his wealth.
For broadcasting mere allegations, the individuals involved should have been subjected to far more severe castigation than merely having their employer apologize on their behalf.

Baffling charge
Sir, – An allegation made by a Brandeis graduate in a recent story that the university “ignores” anti-Semitism is utterly false (“US colleges may be liable for ‘massive damages’ if they fail to prevent anti-Semitism on campus,” September 8).
As our many alumni and friends in Israel know, Brandeis was founded and nurtured by leaders of the American Jewish community and was built on the bedrock principles of social justice and inclusivity – which makes the charge even more baffling.
This is a learning community that respects all of its members and is quick to come together to condemn harassment of any sort.
Waltham, Massachusetts

The writer is senior vice president for communications and external affairs at Brandeis University.

Christian Zionists
Sir, – Thank you for the September 12 point-counterpoint between Barry Rubin (“What Jews should know about Christians,” The Region) and Robert Horenstein (“Choose your friends wisely,” Comment & Features).
Rubin answers Horenstein wisely by placing the importance of Christian Zionists in terms of understanding the world as it is.
Horenstein, on the other hand, invokes all the pat liberal arguments against getting too close because of their “excessive baggage” in opposition to liberal economic policy, homosexuality, abortion and so-called feminism.
In so doing, he overlooks the essential point that creates a natural and growing bond between Jews and Christian Zionists, even of the ultra-conservative persuasion: their intense fervor for the survival of both America and Israel.
The primary threat to all of us is global jihad, which is a threat even to Islam itself. It runs from evil Iran through Hezbollah, Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, all the way to a neighborhood near you.
More and more American Jews are coming to understand this and are asking liberal Jews to get on board, not by changing their convictions but by adjusting their priorities.
It is no longer acceptable to avoid this choice and responsibility by belittling the threat of Islamic extremism as America’s first priority.

Sir, – Robert Horenstein’s piece should have been laid out to the left of Barry Rubin’s. He attempts to convince us that daintiness in selecting associates represents some kind of higher wisdom.
Israel is at war. Its eventual level of violence is an overbearing issue.
Horenstein’s cuteness can be deadly.
Telz Stone

Sir, – We would like to express our thanks to Barry Rubin for yet another informative and muchneeded column with which we completely agree.
Our contacts with the Christian world go back a long way. In the UK before making aliya, as official speakers for the Board of Deputies of British Jews, we addressed many hundreds of Christian groups of all denominations.
Some of the friendships made as a result of these contacts have lasted to this day.
Since living in Israel under the auspices of the British Israel Group, we have made hundreds if not thousands more such contacts with Christians visiting Israel from almost every part of the globe. We visit them in their hotels to hold question-and-answer sessions, and arrange for them to receive hospitality in Jewish homes. Often, when we talk to fellow Israelis about these Christians and their love for Israel and the Jewish people, we receive comments such as “It’s only because they want to convert us” or “They only help Israel because they think it will hasten the coming of their messiah.”
We would like to state that in over 50 years of close contact with these wonderful people we have never heard such views expressed, nor has one of them ever shown the slightest interest in converting us.
Their frequent answer to the question “Why do you expend so much time, energy and money on helping Israel?” has been “Because the Jews are the apple of God’s eye and so we love them, too.”
Why can’t we stop being suspicious of these people and be grateful for so much love and friendship in an increasingly hostile world?

The writers are joint chairpersons of the British Israel Group (BIG).