August 16: Praise for Yishai

Kol Hakavod to Herb Keinon for “Where does the buck stop?” (August 13).

Praise for Yishai
Sir, – Interior Minister Eli Yishai deserves honors for his stalwart, honest and politically incorrect decision with regard to the children of illegal immigrants.
We can learn from the actions of a moral nation, the United States. In 1929, President Herbert Hoover ordered the deportation of all aliens to make jobs available for American citizens. After World War II, Harry Truman deported 2 million illegals to create jobs for returning veterans. In 1954, Dwight D. Eisenhower deported 13 million Mexican nationals to give Korean veterans a better chance for work.
We deserve better
Sir, – Kol Hakavod to Herb Keinon for “Where does the buck stop?” (August 13). He called it right regarding Binyamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak – but then, what would one expect from these two “leaders?”
Netanyahu has lost much of the glamor that took him to the Prime Minister’s Office, and Barak has managed to completely ruin my party, the Labor Party! Shame on both of them!
Really, Israel deserves better.
In all fairness
Sir, – It is all too true that a woman’s voice is lacking on the Turkel Commission (“Turkel told to add a woman, though most testimony is in,” August 13).
Sad to say, other voices are also missing. A modest suggestion would be to nominate an Ethiopian lesbian who is, most important of all, under the age of 50. The haredim and Arab communities will have to wait for another occasion.
Trust in Jones
Sir, – Regarding “Jones says US may be ready to meet with Ahmadinejad” (August 13), I have known Gen. James Jones for many years. It is almost impossible not to like him.
He is the most suitable man for dealing with Iranians on an face-to-face basis. I am certain he would not return from Teheran empty-handed.
Iranians are essentially pro-Protestant and pro-West. If you talk sense to them they will talk sense back to you.
EBERHARD WIESHEU Heidelberg, Germany
Caveat on Sox
Sir, – In her recent letter (“Revisionist history,” August 13), Ruth Kurss misstates the premise of my op-ed (“Baseball and the Middle East,” August 11).
Far from claiming that baseball has been dominated as much by the Red Sox as by the Yankees, I asserted just the opposite: “While the Yankees have been hugely successful for nearly 100 years, the Red Sox were the epitome of futility until very recently.” My point was that people look at recent successes and mistakenly conclude that this is the way it has always been and always will be.
Thus, the world extrapolates from Israel’s success over the past few decades the conclusion that the Jewish people have always been powerful and the Jewish state will continue its domination of the region indefinitely. Neither the Red Sox nor Israel is guaranteed continued success without much hard work.
EFRAIM A. COHEN Zichron Ya’akov
Learn from El Al
Sir, – Regarding “El Al signs agreement with JetBlue Airways” (August 13), I hope the agreement forbids disgruntled cabin staff from bad-mouthing passengers or deploying emergency chutes! El Al’s cabin crew would serve as an excellent example, exhibiting courtesy and patience with a sometimes exuberant Israeli flying public.
CGS deserves better
Sir, – Yaakov Katz’s analysis of the testimony before the Turkel Commission is light on analysis and heavy on assumption (“A tarnished chief of staff attempts to save some face,” August 12).
Katz describes Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi as one “who got into an unprecedented fight with his defense minister....” He makes it seem as if Ashkenazi were not wise enough to maintain good relations with a minister known to be difficult and self-serving, and who has gone so far as to deny this proven commander an extra year in office at a time when the nation faces existential threats.
“[A]ppears to have lost control of his general staff... in the infamous Galant Document.” What does Katz know that nobody else does? To date, there is no evidence that anyone on the general staff is guilty or even involved. No CGS has been able to stop the infighting of candidates for the top military spot. This nonsense is sufficient, according to Katz, to make the public forget the success of – in Katz’s own words – “the army commander who restored the IDF to its former glory.”
Lastly, Lt.-Gen. Ashkenazi was the only one of the testifying trio to fully accept responsibility in the Mavi Marmara affair. No equivocating, no buck passing. Yet Katz, while positively contrasting Ashkenazi’s testimony with that of Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Barak, had to qualify his approval with a smear: “Ashkenazi did what he could to restore something of his tarnished image by taking the high ground....”
To date, Lt.-Gen. Ashkenazi has no tarnished image. We see him as a soldier who returned to active service to repair the IDF, thereby saving his country.
If only!
Sir, – Ray Hanania (“American Jews often come to the defense of Muslims,” Yalla peace, August 11) deludes himself and your readers into believing that American Jewish support for the construction of a mosque close to the site of Ground Zero will generate reciprocal tolerance for Western values and other religions, especially Judaism.
Would that it were so! Unfortunately, such a project is likely to produce diametrically the opposite effect. Islamic fundamentalists have publicly expressed the view that the Twin Towers symbolized decadent Western materialism. Their destruction portrayed a spiritual cleansing of the Great Satan and the supremacy of Islam.
The erection of a mosque there would give further encouragement to Islamic dominance. Any meaningful dialogue, tolerance and cooperation of the sort envisaged by Hanania requires an ideological reformation on the part of Islam.

Haifa/Hove, East Sussex, UK
Aliya overlooked
Sir, – Gil Troy (“How Zionism can again get a passing grade on campus,” August 11) is thoughtful and wants to see Israel strengthened, offering many substantive and excellent ideas, both proactive and reactive.
He covers a lot of ground. He anxiously awaits a time when all Jews “believe in Zionism as the movement of national Jewish liberation, affirm Israel’s centrality in Jewish life, and appreciate how very lucky we are to enjoy a democratic Jewish state in our traditional homeland.”
I second that emotion, while noting the conspicuous absence of any mention of aliya, of actually living in this country, as the most concrete way of ensuring the survival and strength of the Jewish state. Moving to Israel is a huge answer to have missed.
Ma’ale Adumim
The writer is a recent immigrant
Patients’ rights
Sir, – I read in your August 9 issue that medical students will now receive some of their practical training in Clalit health fund clinics in the Jerusalem area (“Hebrew University medical students to train in Clalit clinics for first time”).
While this arrangement seemed to be welcomed both by the university and Clalit, no mention was made regarding the opinion of the other population involved, namely Clalit patients.
I hope that these patients have been informed of their rights – that if there is a student present at a consultation, the doctor will introduce him or her to the patient, and that the patient can ask the student to leave.