April 27: Kadish and Pollard

The US government has said "Kadish" over Jonathan Pollard.

letters 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
letters 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Kadish and Pollard Sir, - Your editorial "'Library spy'" (April 24) was correct to say that this government should behave quite differently than Israel's government did in the Pollard case. Twenty-five years ago, it was believed that the US and Israel both actively spied on each other, Israel's supposed justification being that the US, despite agreements, was not sharing life-saving intelligence vital to Israel - i.e., military buildups in the Arab countries reported on by Jonathan Pollard. Israel's current leaders must not be held accountable for acts which did not damage the US. Israel should apologize for the present case, while stating unequivocally that the dredging up of accusations and ghosts after a quarter-century is a sure step toward diminishing little Israel's ability to defend itself against its terrorist neighbors. Last but not least, Pollard's release is long overdue. SONIA GOLDSMITH Netanya Sir, - Could Jonathan Pollard's disproportionate time in prison have been weighing on the consciences of some in the American government - explaining the timing of the arrest of, and publicity surrounding Ben-Ami Kadish? Otherwise this news, and the way some are insisting on tying this new case to Pollard makes no sense (not to mention the immorality of trial by media and of judging one person on the basis of another's alleged misdeeds). Good people of Israel, now might be a really good time to push our government to make the serious diplomatic moves that will get Jonathan Pollard freed and home to us ("Why is zayde being busted now for spying 25 years ago?" April 24). CHAVA D. GOLDMAN Jerusalem Sir, - The US government has said "Kadish" over Jonathan Pollard. It will find, much to its surprise, that the Israeli government is only too happy to answer "Amen." SAM LOTTNER Petah Tikva Peace perceptions Sir, - We are reading increasingly that on vacating the West Bank or the Golan, we will get peace from our neighbors. We also hear about different perceptions of the security considerations that need to be fulfilled. But one essential condition is not mentioned. Peace is not just a piece of paper, it is an environment in which all sides respect others' traditions and beliefs. We recognize Muslims' and Christians' beliefs and protect their holy places, which they themselves maintain, and are entitled to demand and receive similar considerations. In practice, every Muslim nation or group dangling the promise of peace before us should be asked to confirm that: • it acknowledges Jerusalem in general and the Temple Mount in particular as the holiest place in Judaism, to which Jews from time immemorial have addressed their prayers; and • that Jews will have access to all their holy sites and be involved in any decisions affecting them. If such confirmation is forthcoming, we are being offered real peace and painful concessions must be made. If it is not, what we are being offered is just a piece of paper ("'Israel will return Golan only if Syria cuts ties with terror,'" April 24). RONNIE STEKEL Jerusalem Well, the theory's good... Sir, - I found Ruthie Blum's interview with Rabbi Marc Schneier perplexing ("If Muhammad doesn't come to the mountain..." April 24). While the desire for cooperation between Jews and Muslims may appear understandable theoretically, it is rather ludicrous in light of the reality of the Muslims' unabated attempts, in word and deed, to wipe Israel off the face of the earth. Rabbi Schneier must be reminded that the entire Western world is under threat of the Saudi multi-billion-dollar export of fanatic religious Wahabism, and that a conciliatory imam in one mosque, even an important one in New York, is of comparative insignificance. Schneier is fundamentally in error when he argues that there is in Islam a silent majority that merely awaits exposure to the way of life and values of America in order for it to be won over. Unfortunately, painful evidence indicates that it is precisely those values and that way of life Islam is determined to eliminate. ZEV CHAMUDOT Petah Tikva Will to kill Sir, - The main thrust of Charles Krauthammer's "Missile defense against the Iranian bomb" (April 24) is that Iran would essentially be destroyed in a retaliatory attack if it launched a nuke attack on Israel. Why? Because Israel is capable of it and would act accordingly. But Israel is also capable of killing thousands of Gazans/Palestinians as a strategy to deter the implacable Palestinian/Arab/Muslim goal to eliminate Israel as a Jewish state. If Israel doesn't have the will to kill thousands to save itself, why should anyone believe it would kill millions, or even hundreds of thousands? The question is even more relevant regarding response to a "small nuke" that killed only a few hundred thousand of us. GERRY MANDELL Omer Sacks CDs in Hebrew? Sir, - I know you have had many letters about Rabbi Sacks's "Israel - Home of Hope" CDs, but I felt I must also express my thanks for what seems to be a truly inspired labor of love by all concerned. We listened to the CDs while driving to the Golan for Pessah, and our feelings of privilege as a result of being able to live in Eretz Israel were strongly reconfirmed. We would love to see an edition quickly brought out with a Hebrew narrative so we can pass it on to our Hebrew-speaking family and friends. MARIAN PROPP Petah Tikva