February 8: Is Lieberman's saber rattling justified?

Kadima has no right to toss aside his statement, which was a response to Assad’s threat to Israeli cities.

letters 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
letters 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Is Lieberman’s saber rattling justified?
Sir, – I am perplexed at the reaction to Foreign Minister Avigdor Liebermen’s statement concerning Syrias’ disdain for Israel and idle threats toward the Jewish state (“Anxious Netanyahu, Barak scramble to offset Lieberman’s Syria war talk,” February 5).
Kadima has no right to toss aside his statement, which was a response to Syrian President Bashar Assad’s threat to Israeli cities. There comes a time when all Israelis should stand firm and united for the safety and well-being of their country.
There is no need to reiterate how fast things can escalate in the Middle East, and that is precisely why Lieberman is being unfairly admonished. Hizbullah in Lebanon, Syria, and Iran may very well launch a multi-prong surprise attack against Israel, and the country should be prepared for the possibility. Using the “sit back and wait approach” is dangerous, and would do a disservice to all Israelis.
Mr. Lieberman can be brash at times, and certainly doesn’t hesitate to express his feelings or thoughts, but it is not for us to belittle the man for fighting with all his being to ensure that his nation not only survives but flourishes.

    Fort Worth, Texas

...or is it childish?
Sir, – Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman must stop his provocative and belligerent statements, and the same goes for Syria’s media outlets (“Lieberman sticks to his guns on Syria threat,” February 7). Nothing will be gained and a lot will be lost in trying to have a “meeting of the minds.”
Have these adversaries learned anything by their childish, schoolyard behavior? Gentlemen, please!

    Massapequa, NY
Shocking ad and the Chazan affair
Sir, – I was shocked when I saw the vicious ad (January 31) with its demeaning caricature attacking the New Israel Fund and Naomi Chazan. I understand that newspapers publish ads that they do not endorse, and that is as it should be, but are there not some guidelines that establish when an ad has gone beyond the permissible?
If the Jerusalem Post felt that it had to publish this, could it not at least have also run an editorial denouncing these smear tactics?
This group that calls itself Zionist has brought shame on the name of Zionism. We know where baseless accusations of this sort have led in the past. To have these accusations taken up with glee by the Knesset and members of the government does not bode well for the future of civil rights.
There is an evil wind of Macarthyism and Kahanism blowing in Israel today. It must be stopped now before it endangers the very democracy and freedoms that protect us all.

Sir, – I consider that the terminating of Prof. Naomi Chazan’s column undermines the credibility of the Jerusalem Post as a newspaper that encourages free dissemination of ideas. I request that you reinstate this column and enable me to continue my readership of your paper.

Sir, – It is long past due that you made the decision to discontinue the large worldwide platform you gave to Prof. Naomi Chazan.

Sir, – MK Haim Oron warns the critics of the New Israel Fund that right wing NGOs will also be investigated. How odd a threat.
Many of us who are deeply pained by the attacks on the State of Israel by a number of the NIF’s beneficiaries would be very happy to see just who does fund pro-Israeli activities. We are not afraid to reveal Israel’s supporters even if Oron and others are more reticent to reveal those of the NIF.
Knesset legislation on this matter would be welcome, especially if applied evenly.

    Tel Aviv
The editor writes: Naomi Chazan’s column was stopped by Jerusalem Post management after the paper received a legal threat from Chazan and the New Israel Fund over the recent advertisement referred to above. (“‘Post’ stops Chazan column after legal threat,” February 7.)
Israel needs no more ‘proud friends’
Sir, – It is incredible that Gordon Brown claims to be a “proud friend” of Israel (“Anti-Semitic incidents in the UK at highest level since records began,” February 7).
It would appear Mr. Brown has forgotten what friendship is. After all, his own government has: Instituted a partial arms embargo against Israel last year; instituted special labeling on products imported from Israel – and nowhere else in the world; permitted anti-Semites to openly speak to students at UK universities under the guise of “freedom of speech;” and failed to bring in promised legislation to keep Israelis – ranging from politicians to military personnel – from being arrested and prosecuted for war crimes, should they dare set foot in the UK.
By attempting to make Israel a pariah state, the UK government has been responsible for the rise in anti-Semitism. Such so called “proud” friends we don’t need.

Egged must not segregate
Sir, – In regards to your recent articles on Mehadrin buses, including the article from February 5, “Court slams Katz for his unsatisfactory approach to sex-segregated buses,” I would like to add the following:
Egged is a “public transportation” system, not a private one. As a public transportation system, it should be public for everyone.
Most Egged bus routes in Jerusalem run through many neighborhoods, including haredi and non-haredi ones. What happens when a woman gets on in a non-haredi neighborhood and sits in the front of the bus? Does she then have to move towards the rear of the bus as it approaches a haredi neighborhood, and possibly stand as a result?
If a bus route only goes through haredi neighborhoods, that is one thing, but if it goes through both haredi and non-haredi areas – as is the case with most routes in Jerusalem – that is a different story. In the latter case, Egged should remain a public system for all, and people should be able to choose for themselves where they want to sit or stand.

IDF misconduct shames us all
Sir, – If even only a fraction of the reports of needless cruelty in the army are true, the IDF must respond with strong denunciation and severe punishment for such offenses (“War stories our daughters won’t tell,” February 5). Such brutality cannot be tolerated in any civilized society, especially in one whose moral code specifically and forcefully forbids such behavior.
We entrust our youth to the care of the IDF, and expect that as an integral part of their training to defend their nation, they will become stronger in defending the values for which this nation stands.
What are we fighting for if we become as merciless as our enemies? Howcan we trust the IDF if it can tolerate – in silence – reports of theseabuses?
We need to be able to face the world proudly, but more importantly, we must be able to face ourselves with pride.