March 27, 2018: Pejorative adjective

The status quo is unsustainable, and morally and financially a disaster.

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March 26, 2018 21:40
Letters

Letters. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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Pejorative adjective

I believe journalists’ professional ethics demand their personal agenda be left to the opinion section, thus presenting fact-based and non-biased news reports on Page 1 and elsewhere in the news section. Therefore, I must voice my dismay at the choice of the word “rabid” in describing the opposition of newly-appointed US National Security Adviser John Bolton to the Iran deal (“Israel lauds appointment of Bolton as Trump’s national security adviser,” March 25).

The word “rabid” can be defined as irrationally, furiously and/or violently extreme, as well as pertaining to rabies, as in a rabid dog. I believe the reporters could have found a plethora of more objective adjectives than the one chosen, with its pejorative connotation.

JOEL KUTNER
Jerusalem

Define ‘real’

With regard to Douglas Altabef’s “Israel is the happiest real country in the world” (Comment & Features, March 25), the Israeli Right increasingly lives in a fantasy world.

I’m not going to talk about whether the Israelis I know (and I’m one, too) are happy. But this idea that Israel is somehow more “real” than Scandinavia, Switzerland, Iceland, Australia and New Zealand needs to be examined.

Is Israel a world power? No. This notion is so disconnected from reality as to border on insanity. World powers don’t get foreign aid.

The last time I checked, Israel got more aid from the US than any other country.

Many on the Right will say that this money is used only to buy American arms and that it’s a drop in the bucket in terms of Israel’s GDP. I don’t have to argue with any of that to refute it. All I have to say is let Israel give it all back to Uncle Sugar. Be the kid that finally moves out of his grandmother’s basement.

Does being a real country mean you have to have existential enemies on all sides and also within? Then Israel is about the most real you can get. But to me that is insanity. According to that criterion, not even the US is real.

Now people on the non-insane Right (a vanishing breed) like Ronald Lauder say the only solution to the Arab-Israel dispute is a two-state solution (“Grave threats to Israel as a Jewish democratic state,” Comment & Features, March 21), while in Israel, the Right applauds US President Donald Trump’s appointment as national security adviser of John Bolton, who has said the two-state solution is dead.

The problem as I see it is that both are right. The two-state solution is dead. I’m a leftist but I agree that there are immense security concerns. It’s not just the settlements, although they don’t help. There’s also the demographic issue.

As Mr. Lauder points out, if you annex and fulfill the natural borders of Israel – kind of the Israeli version of American manifest destiny – there’s not a clear Jewish majority. So I want to ask my friends on the Right: “What’s your solution?”

The status quo is unsustainable, and morally and financially a disaster. None of the original Zionists ever imagined Israel as an empire that ruled over Arabs. And even if it were morally possible to do so, it’s ruining Israel financially because many of Israel’s best and brightest leave and never come back.

BILL HALSEY
Acre

Unfortunately, one cannot refrain from describing Ronald Lauder’s preposterous accusation that the haredi community in Israel is responsible for assimilation in the Diaspora as bordering on racism.

Mr. Lauder is in the business of cosmetics. Yet anyone who would look beneath the surface would realize that the two-state “solution” is both pretentious and condescending. We have already had the experiment since Oslo, which has resulted in increased Arab terror causing thousands of Jewish deaths.

An Arab state to the west of the Jordan River would be nothing but a bulwark against a viable Jewish state. That is why it is so desired by Israel’s enemies since it would fabricate a reality of mutual exclusion.

YISROEL DAVIS
London

The cost of freedom

With regard to “Passover” by Nathan Lopes Cardozo (Comment & Features, March 25), I found Dr. Cardozo’s explanation of the Jews’ flight from Egypt without the usual violence that accompanies revolutions fascinating. However, we must not forget the killing of all the Egyptian firstborn the evening before by the angel of death.

This was terribly violent and widespread, even if not committed by the Jews themselves.

CYRIL GLASMAN
Haifa

Thoughts, prayers and lies

Douglas Bloomfield’s column regarding the NRA and the control that it supposedly has over Republicans such as Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (“Thoughts, prayers and lies,” Washington Watch, March 22) lacks context and makes asinine accusations regarding contributions made by the NRA and its effect on policy.

The thought that Republican candidates were going to vote for stringent gun control measures but contributions made by the NRA somehow made them change their mind is ridiculous.

It is important to understand that Congress is not beholden to the NRA, but instead to its constituents, many of whom support the NRA due to its defense of the Second Amendment. The NRA supports candidates who support its agenda just as other lobbying organizations do. If the argument is that Republicans are beholden to the NRA, are Democrats beholden to groups such as Planned

Parenthood, big labor and climate-change groups?

Perhaps it’s just easier to see the NRA as an evil organization even though it is supported by millions of Americans, and Mr.

Bloomfield simply believes that the Republicans and the NRA deserve more scrutiny because he does not agree with their particular agenda.

Thoughts and prayers are not meant to solve problems, but neither is creating a false and vindictive narrative about the NRA and its millions of law-abiding members.

Virtue signaling is not a sign of virtue, but one of self-promotion.

JORDAN TURNER
Montreal

While I usually don’t agree with the left-leaning columns of Douglas Bloomfield, his most recent, “Thoughts, prayers and lies,” is worth reading and (you should excuse the expression) right on target.

Mr. Bloomfield characterizes Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan as an honest politician who “once bought, stays bought,” referring to Mr. Ryan’s acceptance of $171,977 in National Rifle Association money and the way he shows his loyalty by blocking any gun control legislation.

Mr. Bloomfield, exercising his First Amendment right of free speech, did not let President Donald Trump go unchallenged either, centering on President Trump’s reneging on his promise to raise from 18 to 21 the age at which one can purchase a firearm.

“What happened?” Mr. Bloomfield rhetorically asks. The president met with NRA leaders. They didn’t have to remind him that they spent $21 million to help him get elected.

Thank you, Mr. Bloomfield.

LEONARD KAHN
Zichron Ya’acov

Some added knowledge

I found “Eric Graus 1927-2018” (Comment & Features, March 22) interesting.
Eric’s “comrades” included my parents, George and Rosaly Evnine (Yevnin after their aliya to Jerusalem). My father was general-secretary of British Herut for a number of years, and it was in fact my mother who drove that van with the loudspeakers to which the writer refers.

SHARON SOKOLER
Jerusalem


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