Letters: Sporting Behavior

As a former international athlete I would find it inconceivable to compete without the flag of my county on my vest (“Blueand- white judokas barred from fighting for Israel,” October 17).

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Sporting Behavior
As a former international athlete I would find it inconceivable to compete without the flag of my county on my vest (“Blueand- white judokas barred from fighting for Israel,” October 17) .
The pride and kudos of representing your country stimulates your competitive zest.
If Abu Dhabi doesn’t allow Israeli athletes to compete under their flag in the upcoming final Grand Slam competition, then it should be moved to a country – even at the last minute – that has no bias against Israel.
The fact is international sporting competitions are an honor to host and are lucrative to the home nation in many aspects, and they would have showcased Abu Dhabi in a positive light.
The International Judo Federation must get tough and take the competition elsewhere if Israel cannot compete under its flag like everyone else, and the federation should make it known why they are doing so.
In the future, all international sporting competitions should be made to sign an agreement that there is no discrimination against any country for whatever reason and if they break the contract, the competition should be moved elsewhere and massive financial penalties imposed.
In any case, Israel is at the forefront of judo, so it cheapens the medals of Israel isn’t represented there. This is one of the few sports Israel really continues to be successful, which makes it even more galling.
It is time to let the world know that here is another unacceptable bias and should ban Abu Dhabi from any future international sporting events, Olympics included, until they rescind this ridiculous discrimination.
Herzliya Pituah
Muddled messages
Avi Gabbay brought new hope to the troubled Labor Party when he was elected leader in July, but supporters are increasingly dismayed by the confusing mixed messages coming from top Labor figures.
Gabby assured listeners that Jewish communities over the Green Line will remain in place if a peace agreement can be reached (“Gabbay: No evacuating settlements,” October 17), but prominent party figure Tzipi Livni hastened to communicate a contradictory message, saying the statements by Gabbay were “the stance of the chairman of the Labor party alone, and are not the stance of the Zionist Union or the movement (“Gabbay’s latest surprise: PM need not quit over cigars,” October 18).
If the leader of the party cannot speak for the party, how can voters know what we are voting for? MK Merav Michaeli (Zionist Union) compounded the problem when she lectured that the core family is “the most dangerous place” for children, leading one to wonder what, if anything, the party actually stands for.
For the Labor Party to offer a credible alternative to the Likud and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the next election, it should consider taking steps to project a consistent vision and avoid issuing self-destructive proclamations.
Beit Shemesh
Negotiation hurdle
The decision by Israel’s security cabinet to set preconditions on negotiating with the burgeoning Palestinian unity government shows that the Netanyahu government is not really interested in exploring any path that would possibly lead to a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
(“Security cabinet rules: No negotiations with armed Hamas,” October 18) Our prime minister and his cabinet of hardliners must never have heard the old adage, “Peace is made with enemies, not with friends.”
Sure, Hamas consists of terrorists aimed at Israel’s destruction – an unsavory bunch to be sure.
But by setting conditions of disarming, releasing the bodies of IDF soldiers, releasing Israelis held in captivity, severing ties with Iran and a whole host of other demands, Israel is basically preventing any meaningful negotiations to ever get off the ground.
You can’t change stripes overnight, and those demands by Israel – which always says it is willing to enter into negotiations without any preconditions, yet skewers the Palestinians when they bring demands before getting to the table – are saying to Hamas (and to the Palestinian Authority) “give up before we start.”
The art of negotiations is give and take, even with slimy characters like Hamas. If they are indeed part of the Palestinian government and Fatah is able to prevent them from launching missiles from Gaza and from continuing to wreak havoc on Israeli citizens, then Israel should take the step to achieve their goals that were stated by the security cabinet at the negotiating table.
We need to stop this ridiculous charade (“Security cabinet rules: No negotiations with armed Hamas,” 18 Oct).
There is not – nor has there ever been – any difference between the terrorist Mahmoud Abbas and his terrorist organization, which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been supporting for years, and Hamas, which he refuses to destroy.
Netanyahu has been calling for years for unity between the two terrorist organizations. Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said the Palestinian Authority could not play a “duplicitous game” of seeking international legitimacy and membership in international organizations while at the same time embracing a murderous terrorist organization, but it is Israel, not the PA, that is being duplicitous.
Hotovely said the PA chose “terrorism over peace and there is a price for that.” One wonders what might that price be, considering the many years it has been allowed to do exactly what it wanted with concessions from Netanyahu constantly increasing.
We have had enough of threats of what we will do that do not materialize. They only make us look what we are – weak and desperate.
Education Minister Naftali Bennett demanded severing connection with the PA as a result of the pact, which he said turned the PA into a “terrorist authority,” but this suggestion was not adopted by the security cabinet.
It would appear that Netanyahu and his government have been unaware during his too-long tenure, that Abbas has been calling for our destruction and that he and his gang of thugs are terrorists no less than Hamas.
They look on us as occupiers of their land and in fact everything we do points in that direction.
They know what they want and will not be deterred, while we are unable to even make a decision to build homes for our people without approval from our so-called friends. We are not even able to visit our holiest site, The Temple Mount, without approval from the Moslems.
Is it any wonder that our claim to the land is disputed? We have brought this disaster upon ourselves.
US is not the world
In “Zionist ‘shlichim’ should be as personal as Chabad ‘shluchim’” (October 18), Gil Troy, addressing “the ideological gap with Diaspora Jews,” refers to “liberal American Jews,” ”American Jewish kids,” and “American Jewish students” – but mentions no non-American Jews.
While 5.5 million Jews live in the US, there are another two million in the rest of the Diaspora.
I was born in Romania and studied and lived in Austria, Switzerland and Brazil. No Jews from any of those places are mentioned in Troy’s article.
Based on my experience in European and South American Jewish communities, I know that non- USA Diaspora Jews have important Israel-related issues different from those of US Jews.
Diaspora Jews are not synonymous with American Jews. I ask Troy and others who write on this topic to keep this in mind in future articles about the Diaspora.
Moshav Shoresh