Regarding “3 suitcases with $15m. passed to Hamas in Gaza” (November 9), it doesn’t matter that it was Qatari money, it screams ‘protection money.’ The sovereign State of Israel has once again surrendered to Hamas terms for a truce that demand funds to pay civil servant salaries as one of the conditions to be met to halt violent riots along the border and the launching of incendiary devices.
There are many more conditions that Israel will meekly have to abide by, including one that only after three years, if Hamas is satisfied, will there even be negotiations for the release of the bodies of the two soldiers killed and kidnapped by Hamas in Operation Protective Edge, where again Netanyahu agreed to all the cease-fires called for by Hamas, including the final one, without demanding the release of the bodies of the soldiers. The soldiers were in fact killed after the cease-fire that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed to.
I am going into Shabbat feeling shame instead of the pride that I should feel in the one and only historic land of the Jewish People, which God returned to us after thousands of years in exile to build and settle. EDITH OGNALL
Thanks so much for informing us that this grievous act took place with the nod of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and/or Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman. So, Gaza wanted to pay their civil servants. Are those the ones that voted for the democratically elected Hamas terrorist organization? Are the ones who facilitated the digging the terror tunnels, who organized the fire kites or the deadly violent protests at the security fence? Chances are they are all of the above.
So, what will really happen with the money? Will it go toward more tunnels, more rockets and the like? Does anyone think the money be used for wholesome purposes?
How can this government condemn the PA for paying family of terrorists or the EU for giving the PA money to do so and then allow $15m dollars in to help them? Seems the same as US president Barak Obama sending a planeload of cash to Iran! I am furious and disappointed. I can’t imagine a reasonable explanation for this terrible mistake! If there is one, Liberman and the government owe it to all Israelis – especially victims of terrorism – to provide one. I have always voted Likud, thinking I was getting a strong no-nonsense government. Now I don’t know what to think or say. ALON WILLS
The only thing wrong with the premise of Micah Halpern’s opinion piece “Pittsburgh and the Zionist Idea” (November 2) is that it is invalid.
A refuge from antisemitism may have been the primary goal of a Jewish state for Herzl and his followers, but it certainly was not for those who pursued other Zionist dreams. The intent of those who opted for a cultural, religious or some sort of socialist version of the Zionist experiment was to create a new type of Jew – morally, culturally and socially superior to those in the Diaspora. Despite their differences, whether from Western or Eastern Europe, they sought to create a Jewish society where Judaism could flourish and reach its potential. They all suffered from antisemitism, but that did not prevent them from trumpeting the nobler and more idealistic goals of the Zionist idea. Most immigrants to Israel may have been motivated by a fear of antisemitism, but the State was built by those “thinkers and activists” who had a vision of a Jewish renaissance in a reborn Israel.
It is unfortunate that such tragedies as the Pittsburgh massacre elicit distorted and hyperbolic responses as expressed in the article. These only serve to cloud our thinking and impair our judgment. Are we really justified in concluding that the United States has suddenly jettisoned all its principles and traditions because of the actions of a madman? If “there is no Jewish future in the Diaspora,” is it not more the result of self-inflicted assimilation than a feared physical threat to Jewish existence?
Such attacks may, God help us, no longer be rare, but their significance lies less in providing a renewed attraction for the Jewish State than in a renewed dedication to Jewish identity. If we seek to derive a lesson from the event, let it be the realization that despite our best efforts, antisemtism will cease only when the non-Jew decides to be a mensch.
Meanwhile, what lies within our power, whether in Israel or the Diaspora, is the ability to preserve and deepen our Judaism. This was always the primary goal of Zionism.
Gershon Baskin is at it again (“Inspire us!” November 8). Weekly, he lists a litany of the failures of Israeli politicians. This time he wants the political leaders to inspire us – to come up with a solution to the Israel/Palestinian problem. All we need to do is to start talking to our Palestinian cousins – understand their problems/issues – then peace will come.
Baskin is founder and co-chairperson of the Israel Palestine Creative Regional Initiatives. Their website describes their vision of Israel/Palestine: an amorphous union of Jews and Arabs in which Palestinian citizens will be allowed to live in Israel as residents and Israeli citizens will be allowed to live in Palestine as residents. Thus, the problem of the “right of return” is solved with one fell swoop, since all the Palestinian “refugees” (10,000,000 at last count) will be allowed to live in Israel (following their return to Palestine and the obtaining of Palestinian citizenship).
I am inspired with fear of delusional people whose utopian dreams do immense harm to peace. They remind me of the quintessential question and answer, give and take, of the beauty queen contests.
“What do you want most for the world?”
At least the beauty queens are nice to look at!YIGAL HOROWITZ
You should be ashamed of yourselves for publishing the utterly hateful op-ed piece (“Inspire Us!), claiming that the “messianic” Naftali Bennett “rejoice(s) when antisemitism in America raises its ugly head.” Does this mean to suggest that Bennett is rejoicing over the brutal murder of 11 precious Pittsburgh Jews? If I were Mr. Bennett, I would sue the writer for libel and probably win. This just crosses all bounds!RABBI DAVID FINE
It is getting tiresome reading Baskin’s constant attempts to portray symmetry between Palestinians and Israelis (Abbas vs. Bibi).
Without a long-winded point-by-point rebuttal of his argument, suffice it to point out just one glaring difference between the two sides: the schoolbooks of minor children.
When Arab children are subjected to what is being taught in the West Bank and Gaza, it is no wonder that so many of them grow up believing and acting as they do.NAOMI FEINSTEIN
Anti-Israel reps to Congress
In “Women break through in midterms” (November 9), Elana Sztokman writes that Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are “interesting, intelligent representatives, and unlike the radical right, are not calling for violence, bigotry or hatred.” I think that she missed some very notable quotes from these women in her partisan, feminist zeal.
Tlaib draped herself in a Palestinian flag at her victory celebration, with no American flags visible. She is in favor of a “one-state solution” that would deny the Jewish people their sovereign right to their own nation. She is circulating in the same circles as Linda Sarsour and Rasmea Odeh, who was convicted of a murderous terrorist attack. She has also made public her support for Islamic Relief, a group with links to the Muslim Brotherhood. She has issued sharp criticism toward fellow Democrats, such as California Senator Kamala Harris, for having the audacity to cooperate with Israel on a number of issues, and of being a “racist” for having met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. And she wants to slash military aid to Israel.
In 2012, Omar tweeted that “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.” She also called the Israeli government an “apartheid regime.”
Ocasio-Cortez is so ignorant as to be laughable, except that she was voted in to a position of great power, and is bound to be easily manipulated. While it is commendable to elect women to higher office, being female is simply not enough. We need moral, intelligent, patriotic (to the US) women, and preferably pro-Israel. But at the very least, as Israelis, we cannot cheer the election of anti-Israel representatives to the Congress of our greatest ally. Surely the Democrats could have found more suitable female candidates!
Flaming greenhouse lessons
Regarding “Gaza infiltrator sets fire to greenhouse” (November 11), this should not have happened. Soldiers should be present all along the fence, regardless of whether there are weekly terrorist attacks there or not.
In regard to open fire rules, first, it has been stated and written that no Palestinian – terrorist or not – can get within 500 meters of the security fence. If they do, then our soldiers are to use non-lethal or lethal means to stop said terrorist.
Second, the soldiers using electronic devices to scan the security fence cannot determine whether the terrorist has a weapon or not; a gun, knife, etc. can be hidden under his/her clothes.
Based on the above, I believe reprimands should be put in the personal files from the company commander all the way up to the regiment commander and the rules of engagement must be changed accordingly and enforced completely. A next incident could be disastrous to our soldiers and civilians.MURRAY JOSEPH
Who’s the boss?
Regarding “Mandelblit to Shaked: I am the legal boss, not you” (November 8), Dina Silber’s speech undercutting the government’s policy in the field of culture – and in many other fields as evidenced by her previous statements – is the best proof of why each minister has to appoint the legal adviser of his or her ministry. If such a post is imposed on the minister by an outside panel, it might very well happen that many Dina Silbers will show up in various ministries as legal advisers and obstruct the minsters’ policies with all kind of spurious legalistic arguments reflecting their “weltanschaung,” as Silber is doing today. This will be a chaotic obstacle for ministers to perform their job duly as they understand it, and for what they were elected for by the public.
If Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit cannot or is afraid to take the right disciplinary action or decision against his subordinates, than he must leave his post as unfit.
No official in the office of the attorney-general or prosecution has immunity for misbehavior. Exactly for this reason, Silber must leave her post. I am sure she will be most welcomed in the Meretz Party or as legal correspondent for the newspaper Haaretz.SHLOMO FELDMANN
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