With the freeing of Jonathan Pollard (“Jonathan Pollard released from prison after 30 years,” November 22), it would be appropriate to realize the unfortunate results of his actions: They made the lives of some American Jews in the US military and defense establishment more difficult.
I served in the US Navy for 27 years as a physician, during which time I and others collaborated with the IDF Medical Corps. A few years after the Pollard affair, my commanding officer joined me in a meeting with our Israeli counterparts.
Before entering, he turned to me and whispered in my ear: “I hope you remember who you are working for. Don’t be a Pollard!” At that moment I realized that as both a Jew and a former Israeli, I was suspected of having a dual loyalty.
Washington Day for a daydream
While reading “American anthropologists to back Israeli academic boycott” (November 22), I started daydreaming.
Had I been there, I would have told the sponsors: Please clarify that this resolution applies to any country that occupies another country, creates settlements on occupied land, and dispossesses and subjugates the indigenous population. Also, it should note that the length of time the land is under occupation is immaterial, and that assaults by the indigenous population on peaceful settlers are immaterial.
In my daydream, I then suggest the following amendment: Where the resolution specifies Israel, it should be changed to Israel and the United States, because all that Israel is being accused of has been done in and by the US.BOB KNIGHT
Tell us how
Your November 22 editorial “No deterrent” caught my attention. It states that demolishing the homes of terrorists is no deterrent.
How do you know that? How do you know that this policy did not deter one, 10, 50 or even more jihadists? Would you suggest classes for terrorists to attend to make them more tolerant? Do you have any ideas on how to deter terrorists? One thing that might make the Palestinian Authority reduce incitement would be to make it pay the families of the jihadists’ victims and the costs of imprisoning the jihadists.
Jurists who sit in well protected chambers might find such actions illegal. I say send them through Arab towns and “no-go zones,” and then let them judge.PHILIP BRIEFF
I found your editorial to be self-contradictory.
The writer reports that Shadi Ahmad Matawa’s father and brother turned him in because they feared their home would be demolished. This proves the deterrent effect. This was in the fourth paragraph. The writer then goes on to say that the practice of home demolitions has no deterrent value.
Of course, no punishment is a universal deterrent. We have all sorts of punishments for various crimes, although the crimes persist.
Yet I believe that punishments do have a deterrent effect, and that demolishing homes has a deterrent effect on some would-be terrorists, even if not all.
Whatever needs to be done to stop the scourge must be done.
Now is not the time to get squeamish.
Israel’s punitive demolition of property belonging to family members of those who commit crimes is without question an arbitrary and capricious action in violation of all tenets and precepts of law. Those who commit the crime must receive the punishment.
Were this policy conducted in the United States, a hue and cry would abound by every religious authority, and especially by the American Civil Liberties Union. The Russians, Chinese and even Iranians refrain from such policies.
It’s little wonder why Palestinians view Israel’s security presence throughout the West Bank and east Jerusalem as an oppressive occupation. Their hatred of Israel is most certainly understandable.EARL BEAL
Terre Haute, Indiana Perfect alignment
I didn’t believe the day would come when I would be in complete agreement with the master blowhard and buffoon, Donald Trump. But after reading “GOP rivals blast Trump for Muslim database remarks” (November 22), I find that he and I are in perfect alignment.
It is not at all surprising to see the umbrage taken by his opponents, the talking heads and the politically correct crowd. I would be surprised if this didn’t get their hackles up. But let me pose a few questions to them:
• Who perpetrated the tragedy in Paris – Christians, Jews or Muslims?
• Who was responsible for 9/11 – Christians, Jews or Muslims?
• Which faiths are represented in the membership rolls of ISIS, al-Qaida, Boko Haram, the Nusra Front and every other major terror organization extant – Christians, Jews or Muslims?
I realize it is politically incorrect to even pose such questions, but facts are facts. This is the face of the current reality. I would rather have law enforcement organizations act instead of react. They cannot do so in the absence of such faith-based databases.
Sad, but true.
MICHAEL D. HIRSCH
While on the surface, Donald Trump’s remarks about having a Muslim database seem to be racist, he is the only one who brushes aside all the politically correct statements to show how he would be the best leader for the United States Those criticizing his database remarks are not looking at the bare facts of history. The Jews in Nazi Germany were singled out simply because they were Jews. They did not become suicide bombers, they did not put bombs on airliners, they did not blow up people, they did not perpetrate terrorist acts.
However, anyone with reading ability can look at each of the vast number of recent terrorist acts around the world and see that they were committed exclusively by Muslims.
This is not to say that all Muslims are evil, but since the terrorism this world is enduring is caused only by Muslims, any method of controlling and eliminating this scourge has to be used.
Trump is calling it like it is. The other candidates are more afraid of making politically incorrect statements than coming up with solutions. Let’s hope he becomes president.
Netanya Standing with whom?
In response to reader Colin L. Leci’s letter to the editor (“What must be done, November 22), when the Tel Aviv Municipality building was recently illuminated with the colors of the French flag, in effect saying that we stand with Paris, I commented on Facebook: “Paris does not stand with Tel Aviv.”
With this same trend of thought, Mr. Leci asked: “When we can expect the Israeli flag to be flown in Paris or projected on the walls of the National Gallery in London in solidarity with us?” I am certain he is not holding his breath! SYLVIA ZILBERBERG Gan Yavne Moral compass With regard to “Jerusalem blasts Sweden’s ‘hostile’ linking of Paris attacks to Palestinian conflict” (November 17), Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom probably does the same regarding Islamic State’s destruction in Palmyra and its destruction of the magnificent Bamiyan Buddhas.
Were the sterling qualities of Paris ringleader Abdelhamid Abaaoud, which include drug dealing and theft, similarly motivated? Islamic State clearly says its goal is to dominate the world, including Sweden, and to impose Shari’a law. The absurdity of Foreign Minister Wallstrom’s allegation is self-evident. It sheds light on Sweden’s overall moral compass, as was exhibited during World War II.