Alqasem at the doorstep
I would be interested to learn if Donna Robinson (“Scholars group sides with Alqasem,” October 17) would invite into her home someone who shouts from the rooftops that she stole her house from those who lived there and murdered or threw out their children – even though legal documentation exists to confirm the house belongs to her and any killing done was done in self-defense.
This person that she would consider inviting to her home also yells that no one should sell food or clothes to her nor buy what she makes, that the house should be burned down with her and her family in it and the land returned to their original “owners” – a noisy group who never actually had any title to it.
This brainwashed young girl has come here only to stir up trouble. Send her back as quickly as possible.EDMUND JONAH
Gil Troy (“Beware of BDS derangement syndrome,” (October 17) warns against the dangers of becoming obsessed with the BDS movement. The Lara Alqasem saga is raised to prove the point. Detaining Alqasem will only strengthen the BDS movement. Gil hates boycotters, but even more he hates our obsession with BDS. It could be that he’s right, but its only human to hate the actions of people who hate you and are trying to destroy you.
A point somehow overlooked in the recent spate of articles discussing Alqasem is that she is the granddaughter of Palestinian “refugees.” Is UNWRA supporting her intended stay in Israel while she studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem? Alqasem seems to be the living embodiment of the “right of return.” Following her successful studies at the university, we will, of course, have to grant her Israeli citizenship if she so applies or be accused of fanaticism and racism.
Her application for citizenship will, no doubt, be accompanied by glowing letters from HU professors attesting to her curiosity, her humanity, her scholarship, etc.YIGAL SHALOM HOROWITZ
If Lara Alqasem’s appeal to enter the country is successful, it will open the floodgates to all miscreants who profess to renounce their once-wicked ways of actively supporting the BDS movement. Ben-Gurion Airport won’t be big enough or have sufficient officials to handle the processing of those arriving.
We must not be perceived as naive and an easy touch by these persons and their highly vocal supporters. We owe it to ourselves to stand up to these “boycott bullies” who set about with stealthy actions and rhetoric to gain a foothold within to maliciously demonize Israel.
Fair criticism is a must in an open society, but outright falsehoods and those that espouse them must be exposed and outed, and the relevant legislation for such acts must be proudly upheld and executed.STEPHEN VISHNICK
Tel AvivNot scientific
Regarding “Study shows regular tefillin use can protect men during heart attacks” (October 17), it is encouraging to hear that 75 years of laying tefillin may have helped keep me in good health. However, the report by University of Cincinnati cardiologists seems to be flawed. If their conclusion were to have any statistical validity, the study would have to involve many thousands of subjects and an equal number of controls over a period of many years.
Until we have better scientific evidence concerning the health benefits of tefillin, let us take comfort in the words inscribed on the parchment that is enclosed within the tefillin: “That your days may be multiplied…” (Deut. 11:21.)FRED GOTTLIEB, M.D.
JerusalemShow me the paperwork
Jamal Khashoggi reportedly entered the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Turkey to obtain paperwork for his planned marriage. Khashoggi has disappeared, but the Saudis claim he left the embassy.
If, as the Saudis claim, nothing untoward happened in the embassy, the Saudis should have a copy of the paperwork issued to Khashoggi. The fact that the Saudis have not shown an image of such paperwork in the media lends support to the suspicions of foul play.
Apparently, the Saudis have learned from the Russians that the way to obstruct the activities of dissidents and to warn their nationals not to be a nuisance is to assassinate them.GERRY MYERS
Bet ZayitDisagreeable assertions
Regarding “Boycotts and other things” (October 11), Gershon Baskin makes several assertions with which I disagree.
1) He uses the term “settlements” as a derogatory term. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, were the Jewish “settlements” also a negative thing? Maybe he believes that the establishment of the State of Israel was colonization. If so, how does he justify moving here?
2) He proclaims that “Israel… discriminates against 20% of its citizens,” by which presumably he means that municipalities in which they live expend less per capita on their development than do municipalities with a Jewish majority. It is interesting to note that the expenditure on development in the areas under the control of the Palestine Authority is even less than that of the Arab municipalities in Israel. Perhaps one of the causes of this is the poor leadership elected by the Arab citizens. With one exception, Israeli Arabs living in communities with a Jewish majority are not treated differently than their neighbors. The exception is Jerusalem, where Baskin’s own policies promote the Arab residents’ refusal to participate in the running of the municipality and thereby restrict their influence to improve their situation. It should also be noted that the Arab List MKs spend much more time attacking the state than trying to improve the lot of the people they represent.
3) He claims that he boycotts Israeli firms operating in the “settlements” without the least regret regarding the impact this might have on the local Arabs who are employed by them.
4) He asserts, “Palestinians who support peace with Israel are the majority.” After looking at the principals of the PLO and Hamas (both of which won elections, which indicates that at least the majority of the voters support them), I find it difficult to understand the source of that statement. Both organizations wish to eliminate the State of Israel, not make peace with it.
To the best of my knowledge, Baskin’s major claim to fame was his role in negotiating the release of Gilad Shalit. If he is proud of that, considering lopsided nature of the deal and the actions of many of the Arab prisoners who were released, any other claims from him have little to recommend them.HAIM SHALOM SNYDER
Petah TikvaIn the words of Jephthah
Regarding “Report: Russia looks to open channel between Israel, Iran” (October 7), maybe we should remember how Jephthah, a mighty warrior who was leading Israel at that time, behaved with our enemies:
“Jephthah sent messengers to the Ammonite king with the question: “What do you have against me that you have attacked my country?” (Judges:11).
Perhaps our prime minister should candidly use the Russian channel to ask Iranians leaders what they have against us. It would add a lot of clarification to the conflict.MICKAEL LAUSTRIAT
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