Same sauce, please
US Vice President Joe Biden very angrily condemned the remarks on social media made by Dr. Ran Baratz, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s newly appointed media chief, saying – correctly, in my opinion – that there was no excuse and should be no tolerance for any member of the Israeli administration to refer to the president of the United States in derogatory terms.
But when an unnamed member of the Obama administration (someone reported to be very close to the president, possibly even Obama himself) called Netanyahu “chicken shit” during an interview with the journalist Jeffrey Goldberg, where was Biden’s outcry? How does it go? “What’s sauce for the goose....”HEATHER RECHTMAN
Tel Aviv Very bon ton
I feel I must respond to Susan Hattis Rolef’s vitriolic attack (“A penny for your thoughts, Netanyahu,” Think About It, November 9).
Bottom line, is she in favor of free speech or not? Does she really believe that playing nice, sacrificing ourselves on the pyre of the misguided foreign policy of US President Barack Obama and giving in to ridiculous Palestinian demands will bring peace? Why is it always Israel’s fault? Is there no responsibility on the side of the Palestinians? Their leaders use millions in aid money to line their pockets and financially support terrorists, with nothing left over to pay the PA’s electricity bills or help those peaceful Palestinians who just want a better life. It is just easier to blame Israel. It is very bon ton.
Finally, there’s the hypocrisy of the American officials who themselves have called our prime minister names in public, including “chicken shit.” If MK Haneen Zoabi can be in the Knesset, with me paying her salary, Ran Baratz can say what he likes as a private citizen.FREYA BINENFELD
Petah Tikva Missing something?
There are many aspects of politics that I don’t understand, whether it concerns relationships with the United States, Iran, Syria, Afghanistan, etc. What I do understand – and what US President Barack Obama, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, the EU, the UN and most countries outside Israel refuse to accept – is that when representatives of the PA continually repeat their refusal to recognize a Jewish state, there can never be peace, no matter how many settlements are removed or how many concessions are made by Israel.
How can you win an argument or wage discussion with people who only want you gone? Is this so difficult to understand? Am I missing something?JOY COLLINS
Tel Mond Unsolicited advice
That Jeff Barak once again produces a column that describes, in no uncertain terms, his dislike of our prime minister (“Oval Office home truths,” Reality Check, November 9) is not surprising.
I do not wish to debate with him over his antagonistic views, but I strongly contest his statement that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s policies have only resulted in Palestinian terrorism.
Perhaps he has forgotten all the severe acts of terrorism by the Palestinians that occurred on the watch of other prime ministers, including those while leftwing parties were in power, and even before the declaration of Israel as a state.
Moreover, Barak reveals blatant chutzpah when advising US President Barack Obama that he should raise these points forcefully with Netanyahu, both privately and publicly. I can visualize the American president gratefully accepting this unsolicited advice.
Tel Mond Money talks
Former US president Bill Clinton delivered one of his masterful speeches in Tel Aviv (“Tens of thousands mark 20th anniversary of Rabin assassination,” October 31). He suggested that the Israeli people carry out the Rabin legacy by finding a path to peace.
Unfortunately, he delivered his speech to the wrong people, exactly as he did on December 14, 1998, when he thanked the Palestinian leadership for annulling clauses in their charter calling for the destruction of Israel.
The charter was never amended.
I will give a $250,000 Wells Fargo bank check to the first person who presents a valid copy of a PLO charter where those clauses have been officially annulled.WILLIAM K. LANGFAN
Palm Beach, Florida The postal blues...
I sent a registered, sealed birthday card to the UK. The card arrived, apparently unopened – but without the bank note I had enclosed.
I waited for two and a half hours at the post office to lodge a claim. I was informed that only a photocopy of the receipt would be acceptable. No photocopier was available and it was very close to closing time, so I gave the clerk the original and took down all the details, as I feared I would have to return another day.
I have since been asked twice to provide the original receipt, being told that no investigation would be started until I do so. I have advised the Israel Postal Company’s customer service branch as well as the CEO of the details I recorded, telling them the actual receipt was already in their possession.
No reply has been received to date from three letters to the CEO. No advice has been received from customer service as to any progress being made.
I hope that this is only poor service, and not dishonesty.CHANAH PHILLIPS
Jerusalem ...reach the bank
I recently entered a branch of Bank Hapoalim in Haifa to exchange three bills of NIS 200, which came out of the branch’s ATM, into six NIS 100 bills. To my complete amazement, I was told that the bank does not exchange currency anymore.
I went to have a talk with the manager. She was sitting at her desk having a private phone conversation. I stood by the door. When she did not hang up, I walked in and sat down.
She continued to talk and paid no attention to me. I made a few hand gestures to indicate that perhaps she should cut it short.
She put her hand over the receiver.
“What do you want?” I calmly told her I wanted to speak with her. She nodded, removed her hand from the receiver and continued to converse.
I waited another five minutes and again made a gesture, but more pronounced. Finally, she told the person at the other end that she had a client waiting to speak with her.
I told her that I was unable to exchange my NIS 200 bills at the counter. She advised me to withdraw money from another ATM.
I asked: “Why don’t you instruct the person who fills your ATM not to use NIS 200 bills?” Her reply was that Brinks is in charge of filling ATMs. So I asked her to contact Brinks and request that they not fill her branch’s ATM with NIS 200 bills.
She said she would see what she could do, got up and left the office in a huff. I guess I didn’t make her day.
Afterwards, I wrote a letter to the Bank of Israel. If I get a reply, I’ll let you know. In the meantime, I’ll use branches of Supersol – I hear that one can take out cash at all their supermarkets, and in any denomination.MALKA BARUCH
Unlike what was stated in the introduction to “Zionism is not racism: A speech 40 years ago” (Comment & Features, November 10), Chaim Herzog was ambassador to the United Nations, and not yet president of Israel, when he made his historic UN speech in 1975.