April 14: Been there, done that

I will wager any sum that there is not a Jew in Israel opposed to peace.

letters 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
letters 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Been there, done that Sir, - I will wager any sum that there is not a Jew in Israel opposed to peace. Everyone knows this, even Douglas Bloomfield ("Might Lieberman be the Arab world's best friend?" April 13). The problem is that most Arabs don't want peace. They want the destruction of the Jewish state. For this purpose they look to the United States to feed them pieces of Israel, to force us to accept Arab "refugees," to give them freedom to smuggle weapons for war, to make their task of destroying Israel easier. We have been there and done that and the results have always been the same. There was even a two-state solution in 1993 called the Oslo Accords. Bloomfield is totally out of touch with our reality. So were we, but hopefully no longer. CHAYIM SEIDEN Jerusalem Sir, - Douglas Bloomfield rightly points out that Israel has a serious problem with the American Jewish community. However, the fault does not lie with Israel. After all, its only crime is doing what is necessary to survive in a hostile world. Rather, the fault lies with the leaders of the American Jewish community, who have simplified the argument to the level of "right = bad, left = good," and "ceding territory = good, holding territory = bad." With friends like these.... RANDI OZE Jerusalem No relevance Sir, - The experience of the Irish Republican Army is not relevant to Hamas ("Gerry Adams tells 'Post': Hamas Wants Peace," April 12). The IRA's platform was essentially political and revolved around throwing the British out of Northern Ireland and unification with Ireland. The ideology of Hamas is defined in religious terms where there is no room for compromise. ARI CHAPLIN Orangeburg, NY The writer is author of Terror: The New Theater of War We need open debate Sir, - Jamie Kirchik's op-ed ("Self-loathing on J Street," April 13) displaces his own feelings toward Carol Churchill's play, Seven Jewish Children, choosing instead to direct his vitriol toward J Street, a new pro-Israel lobby with whose policy prescriptions Kirchik disagrees. In his zest to attack J Street, Kirchik seems to miss the irony that the show was airing at a pillar of the Washington Jewish community, the Jewish Community Center. Are we so vulnerable and weak as a community that we can't endure a debate sparked by a 10-minute play at the JCC with some controversial dialogue? J Street didn't, as Kirchik noted, endorse all the words or sentiments in the play's script. So it must be that Kirchik objects to providing a stage to a work that might provoke a conversation about the impact of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the Jewish soul and Jewish morality. It is precisely that kind of constraint on open debate and conversation that J Street was founded to help correct. Would Kirchik really ask theaters not to run plays which disagree with his political viewpoints? What country does he think he lives in? We wouldn't - and we didn't when it came to Seven Jewish Children. JEREMY BEN-AMI Executive Director, J Street Washington, DC President over prophets Sir, - Regarding "Why was last night different? Because Obama hosted the first White House Seder" (April 10): Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat, a native of Atlanta whose grandfather made aliya at an advanced age and is buried here, was President Jimmy Carter's domestic policy advisor. In 1977, on his first Passover in Washington, Eizenstat, a very knowledgable Jew, invited President Carter and his wife to the family Seder. In his Introduction to the "American Heritage Haggadah," which I compiled and edited, Eizenstat wrote about an unusual occurrence that evening. "When we came to the portion of the Seder in which I was to pour the cup of wine and welcome the Prophet Elijah, I got up and started to open the front door. A Secret Service agent jumped up and stopped me, saying that for security reasons the door could not be opened. My entreaties failed to move him. As a compromise, I was able to persuade him to permit me to open our rear door - the only time Elijah has been relegated to the back door in my home." DR. DAVID GEFFEN Jerusalem What's a couple of hours? Sir, - I took offense at Joshua Kulp's repeated use of the word "starve" in his article ("How modern scholarship can enhance the Seder," April 13). There are people all over the world who are truly starving. Kulp needs to gain a bit of perspective. SARAH FAIRWEATHER Jerusalem Younger than we thought Sir, - "Of Pessah, peoplehood and the sun" (Pessah 5769 supplement, April 8) gave the age of the sun as 4.75 billion years. Yet there is a solid body of scientific evidence that creation came much later. The rate of decline in the size of the solar disc, the rate of decrease in the strength of its magnetic field, its lack of neutrino particle emission, its natural oscillation of 2 hours 47 minutes, and the continued presence of the elements beryllium and lithium in its atmosphere, are all characteristic of a young star and indicate that its age is to be measured in thousands of years, not billions. Those who take the trouble will find that a literal interpretation of the Torah chronology is fully supported, and that the Jewish date 5769 on the cover of The Jerusalem Post is literally correct! AMNON GOLDBERG Safed Great setting for diamonds Sir, - As overseas administrator of the Yeshivat Hesder in Kiryat Shmona, I was intrigued by your report about the Yahalom Unit ("Diamonds in the Rough," April 10). Few people will be aware that during the Second Lebanon War, after a number of soldiers had been killed by a rocket that landed just outside Kfar Giladi, the Yahalom Unit needed somewhere safe to stay before crossing into Lebanon. The only place open, functioning and large enough was the Yeshivat Hesder in Kiryat Shmona. The unit used the yeshiva's dining hall for last-minute training exercises and was provided with meals, beds, cell phone chargers and showers, while the Hesder students, who had remained to help local citizens during the emergency, bunked down in classrooms. Needless to say, a special relationship was established between the Yahalom Unit and the yeshiva, and remains to this day. LINDA STERN Overseas Administrator and Liaison Officer Yeshivat Hesder Kiryat Shmona A little parental kvelling Sir, - Regarding "Right Hand Men - American Style" (April 10), though the first years after moving to Israel in 1985 from LA were not easy - not for us and not for our children - we are sure we did the right thing. And Ari Harow is proof! While trying to maintain at least a bit of modesty, we must say that we are extremely proud of Ari (and his six siblings - each contributing in his own way) for his love and dedication to building Eretz Yisrael and a better homeland for all Jews. Ron Dermer and Ari are wonderful examples of what olim can and do accomplish. GLENDA AND EDWARD HAROW Karnei Shomron