With regard to “Zoabi calls soldiers ‘murderers’” (June 30), to say that Joint List MK Haneen Zoabi is a disruptive element in the Knesset is an understatement. She is there neither to help improve the lot of Israeli Arabs nor to help anyone else, but to heap scorn on the government, army and democratically elected members of Knesset.
If her tenure as an MK cannot be revoked, I suggest that whenever she makes a speech, all Knesset members leave the chamber.DAVID S. ADDLEMAN
I watched and listened to the supremacist arrogance spewed by anti-Israel MK Haneen Zoabi from the podium of the Knesset.
Is it not time for the democratic bankruptcy of unbridled freedom of speech for Zoabi, who blatantly fans the flames of violence, provocation and anti-Israel rhetoric, to be radically curtailed? It is clear that Zoabi pours vicious scorn on the Knesset. It is evident that she has no sympathies for the country of which she is a national. It is clear that she despises Israel. It is clear that she wants the destruction of Israel. It is clear that she goads and applauds violent acts against Jews. Yet she is shamefully allowed to spew her venom without restraint.
Zoabi’s words and gestures manifest the contempt with which she holds the Knesset and its members. Watching her posturing, her finger-wagging and the shocking hatred in her eyes made my blood boil like lava.
She should be refused a platform on the Knesset floor. The only podium she should be standing on is the exit point out of Israel into the Gaza Strip.
Remove Zoabi from the Knesset! Remove Zoabi from the State of Israel! LEVI J. ATTIAS
Gibraltar Why not Jerusalem?
Why was it necessary for the Board of Governors of the Jewish Agency to convene in Paris (“JAFI Board of Governors meets in Paris for first time,” June 29)? I cannot fathom the expense of flying board members, staff, dignitaries and guests to France and putting them up for three days at five-star hotels at a time of year when hotel rooms in Paris are virtually impossible to come by! Ah, but it was a “sign of solidarity with the local French community,” your reporter quotes JAFI CEO Alan Hoffman as saying.
That may be very noble, but I don’t buy it. A few well organized, well publicized visits by a number of small delegations could have had as much – if not more – impact. I fear that it could be something else altogether.
I see from the Board of Governors website that whereas in the distant past, the governors would always conduct their three yearly meetings in Israel, mostly in Jerusalem, in the past year, only one time out of four were the meetings held in Jerusalem.
(In June 2015 they were in Tel Aviv, in October 2015 they were in Jerusalem, in February 2016 they were again in Tel Aviv, and now – Paris!) Regularly holding board meetings in Jerusalem sends a clear message of the centrality of Israel’s capital to the Jewish people (not to mention giving a much-needed economic boost to a city coping with stagnancy in tourism, while Paris is doing very well, thank you). Not doing so sends a different, and to my mind, sinister, message, especially in light of the Jewish Agency’s rapidly declining impact on the Jewish world.
I’m not sure how necessary the Jewish Agency is for the Jewish world today, but if there is any remaining merit to this organization, its governors should do their job and convene in Jerusalem!
The obsession to convict soldier Elor Azaria for the shooting of a wounded terrorist in Hebron along with the obsession to appease Turkey after Turkish activists attacked our soldiers aboard the Mavi Marmara (“Jerusalem and Ankara agree to normalize ties,” June 27) makes me sick to my stomach.
It echoes in my head the saying: Be good to cruel people and you will be cruel to good people.GIDEON PHILIPPE TAITZ
Wrong to pull out
With regard to “S. African institute pulls out of Hebrew University conference due to BDS” (June 27), the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR), a South African NGO, should have been an ideal participant in the Fifth Global Conference of the International Network of Genocide Scholars (INGoS), held in Jerusalem from June 26 to 29.
The CSVR is nearly three decades old and describes itself as a “multi-disciplinary institute involved in research, policy formation, community interventions, service delivery, education and training, as well as providing consultancy services.”
Most significantly, it describes its primary goal as using its expertise in building reconciliation, democracy and a human rights culture, and in preventing violence in South Africa and other countries in Africa.
It seems now that the Middle East will not be a beneficiary.
Even for opponents of Israel, the CSVR could offer insights that assist Israelis and Palestinians toward a resolution of their conflict by virtue of its distinguished and extensive service in this realm. Ironically, its website hails its unique ability to integrate the fields of violence prevention, peace-building and reconciliation.
Expertise in political and state violence is also in its armory, so to speak. “The Centre focuses on violence that is generated during democratization and looks at conflict which results from the reconstruction and development of impoverished communities,” it says.
The CSVR “has its roots in the South African struggle for peace and justice.” As such, it would have been the ideal South African NGO to participate in the conference.
The group Boycott Disinvestment Sanctions South Africa (BDSSA) announced that the CSVR had withdrawn from the seminar due to pressure it had exerted. (Note that the CSVR did not announce its withdrawal.) BDSSA, with all the false humility it could muster to entreat the CSVR to withdraw, essentially argued that Israel, unlike all other countries, must not be the beneficiary of the center’s insights and expertise.
The only process for resolving the Israel-Palestine conflict appears to be boycott, disinvestment and sanctions.
The Institute of Race Relations (IRR), together with other reputable South African NGOs, supports any genuine and constructive process to achieve a workable solution to the Israel- Palestine conflict. Discussion, debate and the sharing of ideas and opinions is, in our view, ethically head and shoulders above BDSSA’s tactic of exclusion and alienation.SARA GON
The writer is a research fellow at the IRR.EU’s priorities
Regarding “Mideast peace is one of the EU’s top priorities, Tusk tells Rivlin” June 22), one hopes that President Reuven Rivlin told Council of Europe President Donald Tusk that if Mideast peace is so important to the European Union, it should put its energies toward peace in Iraq, Syria and Yemen, or in defeating Islamic State.
This would save tens of thousands of lives and alleviate the migration problem the EU is having such difficulty handling.
In 68 years, the Israeli-Palestinian problem has not produced anywhere near the number of dead, injured or displaced that the areas mentioned above have in just the past half-decade.
The number of immigrants from Palestine reaching the EU is minuscule. Therefore, the EU’s priority should not be Israel- Palestine.HAIM SHALOM SNYDER
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