February 15: Beyond the pale

For the US president to describe the clearly Jewish victims of the Hyper Cacher as “random” comes as no surprise.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Beyond the pale
Sir, – For the past six years, I have felt that Barack Obama and his administration have been largely antagonistic toward Israel. So for the US president to describe the clearly Jewish victims of the Hyper Cacher as “random” (“Did Obama err in ‘random’ comment on Paris kosher market murders?” February 12) comes as no surprise.
The Obama administration has made its hostility toward Israel plain by trivializing our legitimate security concerns, conditioning US support on Israeli obedience and often speaking about our democratically elected prime minister with open contempt. The latest insult, however, goes way beyond the pale.
The victims of the Paris deli attack were murdered in cold blood because they were Jewish.
Kiryat Arba
Not so real
Sir, – Gershon Baskin’s vision (“The vision of real peace,’ Encountering Peace, February 12) is not so real. It is a utopia.
Israel is a land for the Jews. The Palestinians can go to the many Arab countries in the vicinity. Israel is a small country and cannot be divided up any more.
There will never be a real peace between the two peoples on the same land. For whomever wins next month’s election, the problem will be the same.
Baskin succeeded in the swap for soldier Gilad Schalit. But that was a different question. His vision is not the same. It is really a dream.
Herzliya Pituah
Nice gesture
Sir, – With regard to “The PA’s boycott” (Editorial, February 12), the Palestinian Authority’s threat gives Israel an excellent opportunity to make a conciliatory gesture, to warm the waters of negotiations – a move often demanded of us by our “friends.”
We provide the PA with electricity, for which it does not pay. The debt currently stands at NIS 1.369 billion. Disconnecting the supply and thus facilitating the boycott of an Israeli service would be such a gesture.
Beit Zayit
Speech flap
Sir, – With regard to “PM: US offer to Iran would threaten Israel’s survival” (February 11), if the very petty politicians in Israel, the left-wing media and the Europeans were not so determined to destroy Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, they might be able to listen to his message.
Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke up very clearly and determinedly as to why he intends to go to the United States. He very sincerely feels that Iran is bent on destroying Israel. Like Winston Churchill felt during World War ll, that Nazism could not be allowed to destroy England, and just as he turned to America for help, Prime Minister Netanyahu feels that America will understand his message.
Democrats in Congress have a responsibility to America, not only to an administration that finds difficulty in accepting Netanyahu’s message. Are they also petty politicians? May it be said for the sake of history that the world will listen and act.
Sir, – Gil Troy’s ostensible critique of the Obama White House (“White House lied about the Netanyahu address,” Center Field, February 11) turns out to be a masterfully supine exercise in victimology, that is, the perennial claim that in any crime it must be the victim’s fault.
Oh sure, Israel is the victim, as Troy admits. It has fallen “into a Republican trap or an Obama White House trap.” But he concludes it’s Israel (that is, its prime minister and ambassador to the US) whose “incompetence is inexcusable.”
He underscores the White House lie that adds to a long list of anti-Israel gestures that we Israelis – and let’s not forget that we’re also Jews – should apparently be willing to overlook based on millennia of victim-inspired restraint.
Since Troy also cites Obama’s “growing hostility to Israel’s duly elected democratic government” and, most critically, his “failing Iran policy,” one might expect a bit more understanding for Israel’s current anxiety.
Sir, – Gil Troy writes: “One more harangue opposing the Iranian nuclear threat is not going to stop Iran from going nuclear.”
What? We need more and more harangues to oppose the threat, not fewer.
Bnei Brak
Sir, – In the US there a thing called protocol. (We might even have a system of protocol here, but that’s another story.) Protocol says that a foreign leader may not address Congress unless he/she receives an invitation from the president, or at least with his involvement. Protocol says a foreign leader may not address Congress shortly before he/she faces an election.
These are the rules. Therefore, the typical Israeli can break them.
(In this case, perhaps US Speaker of the House John Boehner is a closet Israeli.) This is why the shenanigans in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s life are not just food for scurrilous gossip. They reflect the same mistaken world view of the typical Israeli and should give every civilized, law-abiding Israeli great cause for concern.
There is so much corruption and insensitivity to the needs and rights of others in this country.
This is why there are so many traffic accidents. This is why you or I might not seem to exist in the line for the cashier at the supermarket or for tickets at the movies.
The list is endless – nobody wants to be a freier (sucker), so let’s break the rules. That’s what they’re there for, right?
Beit Shemesh
Damage control
Sir – In “Repairing Israel’s global image” (Borderline Views, February 10), David Newman writes: “If anyone has the necessary background, knowledge and skills necessary for dealing with the international stage, [Isaac] Herzog does.”
He then proceeds to justify this assertion by reminding the reader of the exceptional diplomatic skills of Herzog’s late father, Chaim Herzog, and his two uncles, Abba Eban and Dr. Ya’acov Herzog.
From this Newman concludes that “the potential prime minister comes well equipped with the necessary skills for dealing with the situation.”
I fail to follow the logic.
Sir, – David Newman begins his panegyric of the head of the Zionist Union list with the following sentence: “If Isaac Herzog becomes Israel’s next prime minister he will have to immediately attend to dealing with Israel’s tarnished international image.” Later, he reiterates this several times.
Try as I might, I could find only three reasons: Herzog’s father and other relatives.
The one real personal attribute of Herzog’s that Newman might have mentioned is his ability to stonewall investigators of crime.
This will surely come in handy if he indeed becomes Israel’s next prime minister and as such is called to testify before the International Criminal Court.
Sir, – Just as Benjamin Netanyahu feels obliged to express his concerns about a nuclear Iran, I feel compelled to object to Isaac Herzog addressing the recent security conference in Munich, where Iran was allowed to lie about Israel and we could not respond.
It’s hard to believe Herzog’s father would go to Munich (of all places) to contradict our elected prime minister. Herzog abused his pedigree.
Tel Aviv
New beginning
Sir, – Regarding “Wounded IDF vets overcome obstacles on slopes” (February 8), beautiful coverage of the Aspen community.
I was there last August and saw the magnificent setup put into effect by Rabbi Mendel Mintz. The Golshim L’Chaim program gives wounded IDF veterans a new beginning.
Kol hakavod to the entire Aspen and Snowmass community for helping our boys.