Letters to the Editor: Missing opportunities

After 23 years of the Oslo illusion, we finally have a major American political party beginning to acknowledge obvious truths, presenting a major opportunity to break free from the shackles.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Missing opportunities
I was appalled to read “ADL, Israel Policy Forum knock GOP for leaving ‘two states’ out of platform” (July 17).
It’s shameful, though I guess not surprising, that a significant percentage of American Jews excoriate Donald Trump for every nuance in every speech while ignoring Hillary Clinton’s support of virulently anti-Semitic comments and blood libels of Suha Arafat and the Palestinian leadership. However, to betray Israel by supporting the Oslo Accords, an initiative that even Yitzhak Rabin rejected (and which does not mention a “Palestinian state” even once), while the Arabs not only clearly reject the same notion, but incite their youth to respond to peaceful overtures by killing us, and even deny our connection to our land altogether, is utterly unforgivable.
After 23 years of the Oslo illusion, we finally have a major American political party beginning to acknowledge obvious truths, presenting a major opportunity to break free from the shackles to which the Left has bound us.
What’s it going to take for an American Jew to finally wake up? Will a Palestinian terrorist need to enter your home to murder your children, or will you be content for that to happen only to those of us here, as long as the violence comfortably abates before your holiday stay at the King David Hotel? I’m not sure that Abba Eban got it entirely right, because the Arabs seem to capitalize pretty well on our own incessant refusal to defend what is rightfully ours. Perhaps it’s actually American Jews who never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.
Such a ‘shanda’
That Rabbi Haskel Lookstein backed out of delivering the opening prayer at the Republican National Convention under pressure of a petition signed by 600 alumni of the Ramaz day school (“Lookstein cancels Republican convention appearance, speech,” July 17) is, to use the word used by the petitioners themselves, a shanda (disgrace).
The national nominating convention of a major political party, regardless of the candidate, is a celebration of freedom and democracy. An invitation to a rabbi to participate by offering a prayer is a public manifestation and recognition of the freedom of religious worship mandated by the US Constitution.
This should be appreciated by all Jews, regardless of their political affiliation.
The public attention created by the petition may reflect on the Jewish community in such a way as to cause the desecration of God’s name through the misconduct of Jews, a halachic status that goes even beyond the vague and subjective “shanda.”
The fact that the petitioners did not take this possibility into consideration is an indication that political correctness trumped good sense (pun intended).
In most years, the candidate chosen by a party is not known for sure until several days after the invocation is given. In today’s politically correct environment, this brings up the absurd, but apparently possible Kafkaesque, scenario in which some Jews may not like the candidate chosen, at which time the rabbi would be petitioned to revoke his invocation.
Finally, on the topic of the convention, the fact that the Republican platform does not include support, or even mention, of the two-state solution indicates that the party has wisely decided not to take sides on an issue that divides even the Israeli public.
Katsav release?
Regarding your July 17 editorial “Admit and apologize,” I have it by good (female) information that ex-president Moshe Katsav was well known among his entourage for his womanizing.
I call upon the victim you quote to admit to having known this before taking up her job, and suggest that she and the authorities you cite advise job-seekers everywhere to apprise themselves in advance of possible Don Juan-istic tendencies in future bosses of the opposite sex.
In the affirmative case, which option would they recommend? Turn down the job? Accept the job and equip oneself with defensive means (the presence of a third person, a slap, a teargas canister)? Leave themselves open to advances and then prosecute?
False analysis
Yaakov Lappin (“A port for Gaza – in Sinai?” Frontlines, July 15) writes that “a secure shipping port for the Gaza Strip is seen by members of the defense establishment as a vital, positive step that will relieve pressure on the Gazan economy,” and that this “can significantly delay the next conflict.”
Is this not part of the same false analysis of a defense establishment that would like us to believe that there is no reason to fight – and win – a war against Hamas, a policy applied in the last conflict, in 2014? This is precisely why Hamas is still in power and seeking to build up its supply of rockets and tunnels to use against Israel.
Does anybody seriously believe that Hamas will hold back from its stated goals and not risk another war against Israel just because the citizens it controls are economically better off? Since when does it seek the views of the population before deciding what pretext to use to incite another conflict? What evidence does the defense establishment have that Hamas’s control is likely to end anytime soon because Gazans benefiting from greater economic prosperity will revolt against its rule? It is high time that our Likud cabinet ministers divorce themselves from promoting false arguments like a port in Sinai or a man-made island off Gaza.
Either that or they should resign from the ministry over which they have been entrusted.
Tel Aviv
Unsettling feeling
 In “The first Iran war” (Our World, July 12), Caroline B. Glick avers that the soldier Elor Azaria is being tried because of the video recording of his action, suggesting that if there were no footage, the incident would have passed unnoticed.
She cannot be saying that Azaria’s act, idiosyncratic in that it was not the execution of an order given by an officer, can be defended on some grounds.
Indeed, if an officer had ordered him to kill a neutralized perpetrator, he might have been obliged to refuse on the grounds of the order being clearly illegal.
But Glick’s comment allows me to verbalize an unsettling feeling that has haunted me since I saw I first saw the video.
It focuses on a group of standing soldiers. From the right of the screen, Azaria enters the frame. He approaches the soldiers with a determined stride, smoothly aims and shoots the recumbent terrorist, partially hidden from the viewer by the soldiers and a vehicle.
I presume that he has no history of violence to explain an action that contradicts everything he was taught with regard to respect for his weapon.
The inconsistency in his stated motivation leaves the question unanswered: Was there someone who whispered in his ear that this was a good thing to do? Glick cannot be implying that a killer should not be brought to trial, that the prosecution is being overly vindictive or that low-ranking soldiers be allowed to fire at will. She does point out, however, that the only agendas satisfied by this event are those of people who believe the IDF is inherently evil, that the occupation is inherently evil, that Israel has no right to exist and that the ends justify the means.