No different than the US
With regard to “Israel bans seven French pols over their pro-BDS activities” (November 14), Zionist Union MK Tzipi Livni tweeted in response: “Clever! Now for sure they will be with us and understand that Israel is democratic.”
The lawmaker apparently does not seem to remember – or never knew – that during the Cold War, communists were not permitted into the US. A special waiver was needed for them because they were deemed dangerous.
So Israel is as democratic as the US in trying to prevent people who work to overthrow the government from entering the country. Perhaps Ms. Livni should start criticizing the US as undemocratic? MLADEN ANDRIJASEVIC
Beersheba Well worth a try
It seems to me as an average Israeli citizen that the recent earthquake in Iran (“At least 400 people are dead in earthquake on Iran-Iraq border,” November 14) has given Israel a golden opportunity to transform the current enmity between our two states and show once again our remarkable ability to bring aid and succor when needed to countries struck by such natural disasters.
It is true that the Iranians would probably reject Israel’s offer of aid out of hand, but the very offer could well alter the current abysmal state of affairs into an entirely new one of hope and respectful cooperation. I strongly feel that such a gesture is well worth a try for the sake of our two nations.DAVID HERMAN
Jerusalem Not a peep!
With regard to “$6 for 38 days of work: Child exploitation rife in Rohingya camps” (International News, November 14), Myanmar leader Aung Sun Suu Kyi has known suffering. She spent some 20 years in prison and under house arrest, yet she seemingly has not done anything to alleviate the suffering of fellow citizens who are undergoing ethnic cleansing.
But what I find truly incomprehensible is that not one of the four dozen or so Muslim nations has made any visible effort to aid their co-religionists. They routinely vilify Israel at the UN when the home of a terrorist is demolished, yet ne’er a peep when it comes to their own co-religionists. Nothing! Not a peep! JOE FRANKL
Savyon Letters about letters
Reader James Adler (“Leave it to Israel’s Right,” November 14) states that “the inhabitants of the former colonial mandates all stayed where they were throughout the decolonization process.” I think he displays more passion than knowledge.
When Great Britain “decolonized” the sub-continent in August 1947, vast numbers of Hindus, Sikhs and others, fearing for their lives, fled the newly formed Pakistan, where they had lived for generations. Similarly, vast numbers of Muslims fled from India. It is estimated that about 2 million people died, and countless more were raped or otherwise brutalized in the “process.”
Perhaps, in light of receiving this new information, Mr. Adler would like to revise his view of Israel’s history.OSCAR DAVIES
As a resident of Ra’anana, I was pleased to read in “Something’s being done!” (November 13) that the problem of bicycles on city sidewalks is being addressed. However, the thought of a year and a half spent in meeting with bureaucratic officials puts a damper on the situation.
Surely, a half-hour meeting with a higher-up in the world of education to ask for three minutes twice week in all schools to teach the rules of the “sidewalk” should have been sufficient.
Beginning with the early grades is a must, and having parental reinforcement of these rules is a given. It’s like the anti-smoking campaign that was successful from the ground up, not from the top down.
I hope other municipalities will act with greater haste. Otherwise, somebody’s grandma might become a victim.SYBIL LEVINE
Ra’anana Hard to show tolerance
Steven Aiello starts “Identity, diplomacy and nationalism: Are we really better than the UAE?” (Comment & Features, November 12) by saying that half of Israel is upset over the lack of sportsmanship at the recent Judo Grand Slam in the UAE. Does he mean that the other half supports the fact that Israel could not display its national symbols in an international forum? I hardly think so. I would have thought that the country would be united over the issue.
On the other hand, he speaks of the “flag incident” of a Palestinian flag being removed in a Jewish school. I have no recollection of this incident, nor was I able to find any in a quick Internet search.
We all welcome dialogue at the children’s level in the hope that this can lead to better understanding of “the other.” In my humble opinion, I believe that the average Israeli yearns for peace, but it’s hard to show tolerance when faced with attacks on a continual basis, both on a state level and from individuals.
In addition, there really is no symmetry when comparing Israeli, UAE and Palestinian flags. “Palestine” is not a state; the flag is a symbol of the Palestinian Authority, which now has some unity with Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Hamas has forsworn any consideration that its weapons of attack against Israel would be given up, and still calls for our total elimination.DAVID SMITH
Side-by-side comparison While the main subject of her critique is Tzipi Hotovely, Melanie Phillips (“The strategic importance of the argument from law,” As I See It, November 10) also discusses the anti-Israel animus “which forms the unchallengeable orthodoxy of the universities,” as well as the “dominant narrative of falsehood, distortion and malice that forms the received wisdom about Israel.”
By promoting J Street as well as John Mearsheimer and Stephen L. Walt’s The Israel Lobby, Matt Sienkiewicz (“Reconsidering ‘The Israel Lobby,’” Observations, November 10) is one of those left-wing academics who insists on attacking people who support aid to Israel as well as the government of Israel. While couched as a desire to expose his students to a variety of opinions, Dr. Sienkiewicz reveals his own animus for what he refers to as “occupation and settlement building.”
Ms. Phillips demonstrates, by referring to history and international law, that “both Israel’s existence and its behavior are solidly based....” This includes the territories in the heartland of Israel that Dr. Sienkiewicz, directly across the page, insists on labeling “occupied territories” or “settlements.”
In siding with those who question Israel’s right to exist on all of its land, Dr. Sienkiewicz is propagating a biased and unfounded narrative, and is contributing to the anti-Israel and anti-Jewish sentiment on campus. He should reconsider his stance in light of the well-founded criticism of The Israel Lobby and examine his own motivations in bashing the supporters and government of Israel.
YOCHEVED MIRIAM ZEMEL
Givat Ze’ev CORRECTION
With regard to “Pushing back against the #MeToo movement” (November 13), Wikileaks founder Julian Assange “waited out” the statute of limitations on sex crimes he allegedly committed in Sweden by taking refuge in Ecuador’s London embassy, not in Ecuador.
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