Seventy-one years after the atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Barack Obama became the first sitting American president to visit that city (“Obama mourns dead in Hiroshima, calls for world without nuclear arms,” May 29).
Obama didn’t mention the estimated one million US soldiers whose lives were saved by the ending of World War ll. He didn’t mention the 10 million civilians who were murdered in that period by the cruelty of the Japanese. He didn’t mention the cowardly attack at Pearl Harbor by the forces of Hideki Tojo, the Japanese general who, as prime minister, ordered the raid. All he talked about was the “lesson of Hiroshima.”
Obama lives in a make-believe world, not recognizing evil and how to deal with it. Under him, “Islamic terrorism” is a phrase that is banned from the White House lexicon. The result is an Iran on the road to a nuclear weapon and which finances terrorist groups around the world with funds made available by a disastrous deal the US president conceived, and an ISIS that beheads infidels with the goal of creating a global caliphate ruled by Shari’a law. There is also a China that now is causing waves in the South China Sea, and a Russia that is trying to revive the Soviet Union.
Obama’s withdrawal from America’s role in a Pax Americana has created a vacuum being filled by the ilk of the forebears of those who attended Obama’s wreath laying in Hiroshima.
America’s Memorial Day weekend has a different meaning to this president.FRED EHRMAN
Your article “Dubai stopover lets travelers sample city, stretch their legs” (Travel Trends, May 29) was wonderful. What a great idea! But if I want to enter and leave Dubai with my Israeli passport, what will happen to me? If I won’t be allowed to enter, why did you publish it? STEPHEN J. KOHN
It matters not whether Michael Gross donated $100,000 or $1 million to Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (“Donor withholds $1m. from BGU over Breaking the Silence panel,” May 27). His support of the university is significant enough for him to be reelected to its Board of Governors.
Irking the organizers of the conference at BGU that is headlining members of Breaking the Silence is not the level of Mr.
Gross’s financial contribution to the university, but the fact that he has turned the tables on them by taking for himself the role of whistle-blower to expose a group whose raison d’etre is to denigrate Israel’s defense forces to audiences at home and, more so, abroad.
Israel rightfully prides itself on its democracy, but, shamefully, Breaking the Silence and the academics who are encouraging the American Anthropological Association to subscribe to BDS (“20 Israeli academics encourage BDS, Im Tirtzu says,” May 27) are exploiting that license to Israel’s detriment. The question is why and in whose interest they act.
An investigation is required.LEILA CUMBER
Michael Gross states that “there is no use talking about BDS abroad when it is going on in your own country.”
The reply of the university is that it is a “pluralistic academic institution that promotes an open and diverse dialogue.”
The lead article on the same front page describes the outrage of our Foreign Ministry over the declaration of the Dutch Government that “supporting BDS...
falls within the limits of free speech” (“Dutch deal blow to Israel, declare BDS ‘free speech’”).
The Israeli Government maintains that “BDS supporters are seeking the destruction of the Jewish state... and therefore it should be illegal.” Ironically, the stance by the Dutch is essentially the same argument used by the university.
I can’t stop Dutch leftists from seeking the destruction of the Jewish state. But I am angered beyond words when I see my tax money going to pay the salaries of professors here in Israel who do the same thing.
The writer is a former chairman of the Physics Department at Bar- Ilan University.Misses the irony
In contrasting the emptiness of the Palestinian Museum in Bir Zeit with the success of the new Palestinian city of Rawabi, Calev Ben-David (“The dream museum of the Palestinians,” Snap Judgment, May 27) misses the irony.
Just as the museum is devoid of exhibits, the new city will be devoid of Palestinian refugees.
They are not welcome in Rawabi.ZALMI UNSDORFER
I would like to compliment the writer of “Face to face” (Editorial, May 26), about the need for Israel and the Palestinians to negotiate directly and how international conferences like the one mooted by France just give the Palestinians an excuse to avoid direct talks.
It was an excellent analysis and clear presentation of the situation.SHIRNA OSPOVAT
Ashkelon Specious argument
Steve Gutow can barely contain himself before slamming Israel in the third paragraph of his diatribe (“For American Jews, Israel’s democracy matters,” Comment & Features, May 26).
His whole argument is specious and disingenuous at best – he would have Israel allow Trojan horses by way of NGOs that are allowed total freedom to destroy the democracy that he claims to value.
As senior political adviser to J Street, Gutow’s motives are clear.
He would have all clear-minded people allow for foreign governments to implement their wishes, and not those of the Israeli voter. If he cannot perceive the difference of an NGO funded by a foreign government as opposed to a foreign individual, then clearly the worthiness of his piece is overrated.
Gutow tries to misdirect the reader by throwing in LGBT groups, civil rights organizations and the ACLU, as though these are his concern. They are not. He wants to allow J Street and others to have unfettered political influence upon, and access to, the Israeli political system by coopting the US government’s power. Too bad the politicians see through this ruse and are about to put an end to the abuse.
To state in plain language, foreign governments, as far as Israel is concerned, have no right to drive their political agendas through their funding of NGOs.M. LEVENTHAL
The postal system
Can anybody tell me how a modern society, which Israel is supposed to be, can possibly continue with the present state of its postal system? Its operation is having serious consequences for many people and businesses.
At one time, the delivery of a parcel or letter took five to 10 days. Now, an airmailed letter takes at least four to six weeks, with an unbelievable quantity of lost mail. At the Israeli end, we are informed that large Israeli towns like Rehovot and Netanya have in total just four persons delivering mail.
Some sub-stations are closed for up to one month at a time. If the reason is illness of the manager, no attempt is made for a temporary replacement.
The biggest shame of all is the lack of pressure or support from the media or government.
This urgent matter, which can cause a total economic breakdown for important areas of our economy, must be dealt with most forcibly and without delay.
The excuse that everybody uses email today is neither true nor relevant.