February 23: Vital message

It doesn’t matter whether the PM speaks from Jerusalem or Washington - what he has to say is vital, protocol be damned.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Vital message
Sir, – It doesn’t matter whether your prime minister speaks from Jerusalem or Washington. What he has to say is vital to Israel and the Middle East’s survival, and protocol be damned.
President Barack Obama has been accused of sidestepping rules and regulations in proposing changes and enacting laws on domestic issues, so I cannot understand the brouhaha surrounding Benjamin Netanyahu’s coming to America.
I, for one, hope Netanyahu demonstrates the leadership that is sorely lacking in our great nation. Maybe our president will take notice of what a leader must do to win the respect of citizens.
Mooresville, North Carolina
Dire consequences
Sir, – Israel has received unwavering bipartisan support in the US Congress from 1948 until today. That has been the case in spite of powerful opposing pressures and through wide swings in the attitudes of presidents and State Departments, and in spite of eroding support for Israel among American Jews, especially young ones.
Now Israel’s prime minister has declared war on the Democratic Party, which historically has been supported by some 80 percent of Jewish voters in national elections.
Unless that act is somehow reversed, its consequences will be dire for Israel.
Elmhurst, Illinois
Principle for all
Sir, – In “Parshat Truma: A nation of the generous-hearted” (Observations, February 20), Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz highlights “public participation of the entire Jewish nation” in contrast to only a select individual or group.
It is indeed right and proper that “Every man and woman whose heart inspired them” (Exodus 35:29) should donate and pray at the Mishkan/Temple.
As the rabbi of the Western Wall, he should apply that principle of Clal Yisrael and act to overcome the incitement against women (e.g., men throwing snowballs) that occurred, again, on Rosh Hodesh Adar, the same day his piece appeared.
Dirty trick
Sir, – I am writing to express disgust at the soft-drink bottle recycling points with pictures of our prime minister, his mouth where the opening is (“No deposit, no return,” February 19). It may seem like a little thing, but it is really huge in its implications.
We are not a country of hooligans.
But this lack of respect for the democratically elected man who stands at the head of our government shows that we have elements among us who know no better way of protesting than by childish pranks and infantile slogans.
Nobody says we have to love our politicians. If you don’t like the job they are doing, vote them out. We are a democracy.
It serves no purpose to try to sway others to your thinking by lies and dirty tricks.
Israel Bonds perform
Sir, – In encouraging Jewish investors to go “green” with their financial portfolios (“Divesting from oil, Jewishly,” Better Energy, February 13), Yosef I.
Abramowitz makes several points to buttress his case. However, in referencing Israel bonds, he refers to the securities as “nearly obligatory and low-performing.”
While I will grant him that Israel Bonds are “nearly obligatory” – every Jewish investor should become a stakeholder in Israel’s economy by investing in Israel Bonds – to call them “low-performing” is contrary to the actions of thousands of clients who, over the past three years alone, have invested more than $3 billion in Israel Bonds.
Our retail clients acquire Israel Bonds to diversify their portfolios with a solid investment that will help them meet important financial goals, including maintaining stability in the face of market turbulence, generating strong returns and preserving capital.
The same holds true of our institutional investors, who, being charged with the highest level of fiduciary responsibility, consider Israel Bonds a dependable means of fulfilling their pension fund obligations.
In sum, Israel Bonds are widely appreciated as significant additions to financial portfolios of all kinds, and certainly should not be categorized as “low-performing.”
New York
The writer is national director of marketing and communications for Israel Bonds.
Just like Capone
Sir, – With regard to “Tax Authority tries to obtain HSBC account list of Israelis” (Business & Finance, February 13), there is absolutely no comparison to the sums the state could gain by taxing the gray market, the black market and the underworld, three huge areas that completely evade taxes and which the Tax Authority is too scared to lift a finger to investigate.
There are no statistics available, but there is a strong likelihood that tax revenues from these neglected sectors would solve most of Israel’s pressing economic social problems. The biggest side benefit would be cracking our ever-growing criminal sector in the way the US put major criminals like Al Capone behind bars.
Kiryat Ono
Utter rubbish
Sir, – In a recent podcast on your website, Anti-Defamation League head Abe Foxman said he believed that “if Europe’s Jews leave, Hitler will have won.”
What utter rubbish.
The fact that we Jews are alive is testimony to Hitler’s defeat, wherever we live. If Mr. Foxman believes it is necessary for Jews to live in Germany or Poland to validate Nazism’s defeat, why does he choose to continue living in US? Set an example or stop preaching rubbish from the other side of the Atlantic, Mr. Foxman.
Not going to work
Sir, – Hamas has plenty of money to rearm itself and build new terror tunnels, but apparently doesn’t have enough money to rebuild Gaza or provide aid to its citizens. The UN’s backward solution isn’t that Hamas should stop rearming and start rebuilding, but that it should be given more money.
Jeffery Feltman, the UN under-secretary-general for political affairs, stated recently that international donors needed to come through on their financial pledges in order to avoid another escalation (“UN warns of renewed Gaza violence unless donors fulfill pledges,” JPost.com, February 19). This logic makes no sense.
Hamas is already preparing to launch more attacks by testing rockets and digging new terror tunnels. What makes Mr. Feltman think Hamas will stop doing so if it receives more money? Yes, more money would mean it could rebuild Gaza in addition to rearming, but that does nothing to prevent future conflicts.
Hamas’s attacks against Israel have nothing to do with the well-being of Gazans and have everything to do with Hamas’s goals of destroying Israel and killing Jews. Its next war against Israel is already in the works. It is simply deciding when to pull the trigger.
According to Forbes, Hamas is the second richest terror group in the world, behind only Islamic State. Hamas receives billions of dollars in aid every year from western countries, and its terrorist activities are funded directly by Qatar, Iran and Turkey, as well as by rich private donors in the Middle East.
Hamas certainly has the capacity to rebuild Gaza and invest in its economy for the benefit of all its citizens, but instead chooses to spend its money on rockets and terror tunnels, as well as to line the pockets of its Qatarbased leadership.
The UN needs to condemn Hamas’s actions and call for proper spending directed toward helping Gaza’s residents because the UN’s current strategy of throwing money at the problem and hoping it will go away is not going to work.
Thornhill, Canada