Regarding “PLO recommends halting security ties with Israel” (March 6), why does this bother us so much? We have been supporting our enemies for so long now that we have conditioned ourselves to believe that we cannot survive without them.
We are supporting terrorism by doubling the supply of water to Gaza (“Israel helps relieve water crisis in Gaza Strip,” March 5) and authorizing water for the new Palestinian city of Rawabi (“First residents of new PA city of Rawabi can finally move in,” March 1) while keeping a halt on building Jewish homes. All the while, Abbas reiterates his stand on Israel (“We won’t recognize Jewish state,” March 5).
It is irrelevant whether or not Abbas recognizes our state. What is relevant is that we apparently don’t recognize our own state because if we did, there would be no negotiations for the simple reason that there is nothing to negotiate.EDITH OGNALL
The statement by the Iranian foreign minister that Jews are welcome and safe in his country (“Zarif says Iran a historic haven of the Jewish people,” March 6): Has it any truth? Can we assume that Mohammad Javad Zarif’s government would give a haven to the Jews of Israel so the so-called Palestinians can have their state? Maybe the answer lies here! S. GELGOR
We deserve it
In “How low can we go?” (Observations, March 6), Reuven Ben-Shalom paints a depressing picture of his frustration over the lack of standards and relevancy in the election campaign. I am sure he is expressing the feelings of many among the Israeli electorate.
Ben-Shalom says we deserve leadership and statesmanship instead of our present “manipulators.”
I wonder, however, what we really deserve. We need more MKs who are attuned to the needs of the public and with accountability to the public. Have we done enough to demand better representation? A combination of proportional and regional representation might not be a complete panacea for the woes of our system, but it could be a step in the right direction toward helping us get the Knesset we deserve.MICHAEL BEN-ELIEZER
In “Gee, Officer Obama!” (Another Tack, March 6), Sarah Honig argues that US President Barack Obama is ineffective, just as was the West Side Story character Officer Krupke. In asserting this, she is ignoring many facts, including the following: When Obama entered office, the US economy was on the brink of a depression, with housing and stock prices in free fall and an average of 750,000 jobs being lost per month in the final few months of the Bush administration.
Now, the US has had 60 consecutive months of positive job growth. Its auto industry was saved from bankruptcy and stocks have reached record levels.
During the Obama administration, more terrorists (including Osama bin Laden) have been killed than in any previous administration.
Despite dire warnings from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for at least 20 years that Iran would soon have a nuclear capacity, it was only under Obama’s leadership that a coalition applied the most extreme sanctions ever on Tehran, which led it to the negotiating table.
As Netanyahu mentioned in last week’s speech to Congress, Obama has backed Israel every time at the UN and in other venues when criticized, and US-Israeli strategic cooperation has never been better.RICHARD H. SCHWARTZ
Talk about chutzpah. US House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was “near tears” because she thought Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had insulted the United States (“PM to Congress: Deal paves Iran’s path to bomb,” March 4).
May I remind Pelosi that during a televised press conference, the White House spokesman was asked by a journalist what the capital of Israel was. The spokesman refused to say. He spoke like a child when telling the journalist that he didn’t have to answer the question.
I, too, Ms. Pelosi, was insulted and near tears – that the United States is unable to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East.EILEEN GOLDSTEIN
Not even a bike
Early in his speech to Congress, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that “some perceive my being here as political. That was never my intention” (“The full text of Netanyahu’s speech to Congress,” March 4).
These words are a very powerful demonstration of the integrity of Mr. Netanyahu. That he is a political person who will say and do anything is well known to many. Now, even those who believed him to be honest must be convinced that he says one thing and means another.
It used to be asked about the disgraced US president Richard Nixon whether you would buy a second-hand car from him. Now you have to ask whether you would buy a second-hand bicycle from Netanyahu.
Netanyahu’s time as prime minister has been a disaster for Israel.
The latest example is stealing money from the Palestinians that is their money, and then complaining when they cut contacts with us. The quicker he goes the better.
I just hope all of us exercise our civil rights to protect the future of our country and vote against him in the upcoming elections.STANLEY CANNING
Crazy thing to do
It seems appropriate that the PA is going to start proceedings against us with the International Criminal Court on the first of April (“Palestinian Authority to file a war crimes suit against Israel at ICC on April 1,” March 3). After all it is April Fools Day. This was traditionally when they let people out of lunatic asylums for a day.GERALDINE THEMAL
Your article “With ‘Jewish Journey,’ PBS traces 350 years of migrations” (Arts & Entertainment, March 3) has two glaring mistakes.
First, the 23 Jews who arrived in the future United States in 1654 from Brazil, a Dutch colony, were not all Sephardim. Some were Ashkenazi Jews from Italy and Germany.
Second, they didn’t flee the Portuguese Inquisition because the Portuguese never established one in Brazil after it became a Portuguese colony in 1654.
Instead, the Portuguese gave the conquered people, Christians and Jews, the option of staying or leaving. The 23 chose the latter.DANIEL SANTACRUZ
An important development in the Jonathan Pollard case has generally been overlooked and neglected (“Three decades of US lies about Jonathan Pollard unmasked,” Observations, February 27). In an explosive expose, Elliot Lauer and Jacques Semmelman, Pollard’s pro bono attorneys, report that a gigantic fraud on the part of the prosecution has been uncovered.
For three decades, false representations were made about the contents of a memorandum to the court by then-defense secretary Caspar Weinberger that Pollard had “caused unprecedented harm to US national security.”
Now unclassified, this charge has been proven untrue. The bottom line is that Pollard was convicted through perjured testimony by a representative of the US government, as had always been claimed by his defense.
This shocking discovery after 30 years of unlawful imprisonment is a blight on American jurisprudence. All efforts should now be made, again and again, to rectify this disgraceful perversion of justice and to free Pollard as soon as possible.YITZCHAK BEN-SHMUEL
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