Sir, – I have always admired Yehoshua Sobol for his courage,
mastery of words and ideas. But I condemn his use of the term “cancerous” to
describe the spread of settlements beyond the Green Line (“Playwright Sobol:
Settlements are like ticks on a dog, metastasizing tumors,” September
His use of dehumanizing language to describe places where people
live appears to have been intended to apply to the people themselves, and to
provoke revulsion toward them. He was playing with fire when using what can only
be called hate language that demonizes and delegitimizes an entire
Biological metaphors are used by Iranian President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad to incite to genocide.
As someone working in public health, I
am well aware of the long history of this use of medical metaphors.
well have violated norms and laws prohibiting incitement.
As one of
Israel’s greatest playwrights, he knows the power of words. He is no
Archie Bunker spouting off at the kitchen table.
Just last week, Rabbi
Ovadia Yosef had the good sense to retract a similarly unfortunate,
explicit, statement he made about Palestinian leaders.
I suggest that
Sobol follow the example of Rabbi Yosef.
As a medical doctor, I suggest
that Sobol apply the term “cancerous” to real carcinogens, not
ones.PROFESSOR ELIHU D. RICHTER
Jerusalem The writer is associated with
Hebrew University-Hadassah School of Public Health and Community
with Genocide Prevention Now
Sir, – The actors who refuse to perform for Jews
risking their lives to live across the Green Line, and the
Yehoshua Sobol, who writes their plays (which never take pride in Jewry
Judaism), would have considered themselves honored had they been invited
cross that line to entertain the likes of the terrorist and
This psychopathic attitude, which seems to manifest itself among
a certain segment of Jews with European connections, warrants serious
Sir, – What an unfortunate choice of
metaphor. I know it’s seemingly okay to refer to Jews as “ticks,” but
Sobol should know that you just can’t go around calling the Palestinians
It’s highly inappropriate.DANIEL ABELMAN
Sir, – I would like
to thank Peace Now for the picture of Ma’ale Levona from the air. I have
seen it from the ground, as our children were the seventh family to move
It is time we as a nation learned to accept each other and where
they live. No group I know of has ever questioned anyone in Peace Now as
they choose to live.M. SCHAEFFER
Jerusalem Reich is wrong
Sir, – Seymour
Reich believes that President Obama is good for Israel because there are
talks between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and PA President Mahmoud
(“Obama – good for Israel, good for the US,” Comment, September 20). He
too, that Obama’s overall policies relating to Israel and Iran are also
the Jewish state, although he doesn’t tell us why, or what exactly these
Why, then, do polls in the US and Israel disagree? Reich
wants us to believe that most people are wrong in their assessment of
policies toward Israel. Just because Obama, during his first days in
called the leaders of Israel, the PA, Egypt and Jordan, and appointed
Mitchell as his special Mideast envoy, doesn’t mean his policies are in
Reich says that time isn’t on Israel’s side. That is why
Rabin negotiated with Arafat, and Sharon gave away the Gaza Strip. He
refer to all the resulting bloodshed on the Israeli side. Perhaps that
Obama’s endless pursuit of negotiations with the Palestinians and his
of Israel into extending the settlement freeze don’t sit well with
American Jews or Israelis.
The writer believes that a peace agreement
with the Palestinians would deprive Hamas and Hizbullah of their main
Is he kidding? When has either one spoken about peace
with Israel? When Israel left southern Lebanon and the Gaza Strip, the
came raining down.
Sanctions against Iran have not stopped it from
pursuing nuclear weapons. It has threatened to eliminate Israel over and
again. Have Obama’s policies eliminated that threat? We all should be
grateful that American Jews and Israelis don’t see things the way Reich
They realize that Obama’s policies of appeasement have done nothing to
world, or Israel, a safer place.JONATHAN SURASKY
Ra’anana Outside the
Sir, – Regarding “Peace talks should cover future of Israeli Arabs, says
Lieberman” (September 20), our foreign minister’s brilliant thinking
box is what is needed in the present negotiations, which require a
approach if anything is to come of them.
Some Israeli Arab leaders
continue to define themselves as Palestinians, so why do MKs Haneen
Ahmad Tibi object to redrawing the 1948 armistice lines, which are
called “borders?” It is accepted by everyone that major Jewish cities,
Ariel, Ma’aleh Adumim and the Etzion Bloc, are going to be in Israel, so
compensate, why not draw a line around those Arab towns that call
Palestinian? People would remain exactly where they are – the only
that it would be under the benign rule of their co-religionists.
I do not
understand what the furor is about. I certainly cannot understand MK
Braverman’s sham outrage. He knows that there would not be a population
in the accepted sense of the word.
I suspect the uproar is because
Israeli Arabs know on which side their bread is buttered and wish to
Israeli, with all the advantages that entails. They just make noise to
names in the paper.CYRIL ATKINS
Beit Shemesh Another battlefield
I contest Jacob Mchangama’s view (“Israel-bashers should be debated, not
censored,” September 19). The delegitimization of Israel is a real
threat, and it must be challenged by all means at our disposal.
a wide range of lawfare being conducted against Israel, from the
Report to universal jurisdiction.
There are also lies being spread to
Debate is nice – that is, in forums where the Israeli voice is
allowed to be heard.
I am currently active in helping to organize a
counter-lawfare campaign. We intend to face down those who prevent our
speech, those who perpetrate fraud and libel against the Jewish state,
who take illegal action against us. I hope some of our future activities
include suing members of the print media who have been spreading Hamas
propaganda and perpetrating a fraud about the living conditions in
We are also engaged in strengthening laws regarding the aiding and
abetting of terror organizations. In Britain, for example, it is not a
offense to give money to Hamas, whereas in France and the US it is. To
we wish to have anyone arrested who supports internationally recognized
groups and regimes.
This would apply, for example, to the notorious
former MP George Galloway.
Lawfare and counter-lawfare are as much a
battlefield as is fighting terror in the alleys of Gaza.BARRY SHAW