Channel that energy With regard to “Bar-Ilan University bans public celebrations of Gay Pride Month” (June 11), I am proud that Israel has a gay pride parade. I see it as a pendulum reaction to general attitudes toward homosexuality throughout the world.After years of being on the receiving end of contempt and derision, these people deserve to celebrate that, finally, their way of life is being accepted. There are gay clubs, gay seminars and gay forums all over, and places for gay people to consult with professionals to make their “coming out” less traumatic.See the latest opinion pieces on our pageBut what are they going to do with their gay pride? I hope it is not to continue to allow their sexual orientation to invade their everyday activities, but to channel all this enthusiasm into doing something for their families, communities and country.There are homosexuals who are scientists, musicians, painters, lawyers, dancers, surgeons, etc. Without dwelling on their homosexuality, they work creatively, similar to most non-gay people. Their private lives are their own business.I say to gay people: Unite, not just as homosexuals, but as human beings wanting to make a difference. Make yourselves special for a reason other than your sexual orientation.MARCELLA WACHTEL Jerusalem
Courts and passportsAri and Naomi Zivotofsky are clearly very principled people – it takes a strong sense of justice and morality to spend 13 years fighting for a court ruling that would never have any practical effect on their daily lives (“US top court rules Jerusalem passports cannot say ‘Israel,’” June 9).The Supreme Court ruling rejecting their push to have “Jerusalem, Israel” printed on their son’s American passport has brought huge disappointment to them, and to many Diaspora Jews as well. I’m puzzled, however, because their fight was undoubtedly fueled by their American loyalty and pride, as well as their desire to declare such feelings for a country that claims to stand for freedom, justice and morality yet repeatedly exercises it only when it is economically or politically expedient.A stronger and more appropriate statement would be for the Zivotofskys to publicly renounce their American citizenship, thereby utterly rejecting a country that clearly has much less in common with the State of Israel than people like to think.NOAM COHEN Efrat After years of meandering through the American court system, and following long, learned discourses on the issue, the US Supreme Court has determined that the president, and not Congress, sets foreign policy, and that consequently Jerusalem is not a city in the country known as the State of Israel.Much time, money and effort could have been spared if only the learned justices had thought to mail a letter to someone in Jerusalem. No American post office will accept a letter posted to a city without the country, as there could be multiple cities of the same name in different locations.For example, there are four Jerusalems in the US: in Ohio, Virginia, New York and Arkansas. A letter to a recipient in our city of Jerusalem would have to state the name of the country, and the name of the country for the Jerusalem of the Middle East, for the ancient Jewish city, is always given and always recognized by the United States Postal Service as Israel.Case closed.LILA LOWELL Jerusalem Further to “On the US (Supreme) Court jesters and Jerusalem” (Fundamentally Freund, June 11), that “none of the three Jewish judges apparently cares enough about Jerusalem to espouse her dignity,” it seems that not a few of us would favor a governmental decree making each of them persona non grata here.Since they’ve “turned their backs” on our ancestral nation in a grievous sin of omission, such a just order would not faze them at all.ESTER ZEITLIN Jerusalem The Hazan affair One can appreciate Likud MK Oren Hazan’s rage at being sidelined as deputy Knesset speaker on account of his alleged involvement in sex, drugs and gambling (“Hazan threatens Edelstein after demotion for sex, drug, gambling allegations,” June 10). With such qualifications, he should at least merit the Religious Affairs portfolio.Apparently, achieving such stellar heights requires a proven record of embezzling from the Israeli electorate. Doing the same in Bulgaria doesn’t count.YOHANAN AV-YAIR Jerusalem Newspaper’s vulgarity In your report on MK Oren Hazan, on the front page of your newspaper, you used, in a quote, a vulgar word for breast.The day before, in another frontpage report (“Ahava weighs closing West Bank plant”), you used, in a quote, the word “bull----”.As kids growing up in New York City, we were all aware of the spectrum of newspapers that appeared daily on the newsstand.They ranged from the upscale New York Times (a paper that was part of the curriculum in my yeshiva day school) to the tabloid New York Daily News.The Jerusalem Post should decide on which end of the spectrum it belongs. If I am at all representative of your readers, I believe that most would prefer leaning toward the Times (not from a political standpoint, you understand).Printing vulgarity even in quotes is an affront to your readers.NACHUM CHERNOFSKY Bnei Brak Charm offensive In “Obama’s support for Israel” (Editorial, June 3), you rightly point out some of the steps that US President Barack Obama has demonstrated in support of Israel, including defense aid and blocking a UN attempt to end the ambiguity of Israel’s nuclear capability. As further evidence you cite the recent Atlantic magazine interview and his appearance at Congregation Adas Israel in Washington.However, you fail to mention some very key points. As soon as he entered office, Obama pledged to “put some daylight” between the two nations. He preempted negotiating terms between Israel and the Palestinians by insisting that the indefensible pre-1967 lines be the starting point for talks. In the middle of the Gaza war last summer, he withheld ammunition from the IDF. And, most importantly, he is proceeding with an Iranian nuclear deal that is posing an existential threat to the Jewish state.It is surprising that you are being lulled by the president’s charm offensive. Ad hominem attacks are not the issue. The president’s policies are.FRED EHRMAN New York Taiwan initiativeIn an effort to reduce tension surrounding sovereignty disputes among claimants of the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea (“China openly extending its strategic reach in disputed waters,” May 27), President Ma Ying-jeou of the Republic of China (Taiwan) has proposed a South China Sea peace initiative.The initiative calls on all sides to exercise restraint, avoid unilateral action and respect international legal conventions dealing with maritime disputes. It also calls for the inclusion of all parties in negotiations. Further points mention cooperation on issues ranging from environmental protection and scientific research to humanitarian relief.The United States immediately welcomed the initiative.The ROC is willing to work with the other parties involved to implement the concepts and spirit of the initiative in order to resolve disputes and jointly develop resources, thereby making the South China Sea a “sea of peace and cooperation” similar to the East China Sea.ALLEN CHENHWA LOU Tel Aviv The writer is director of the Information Division at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Tel Aviv.