December 19: Pollard as warning

Attributing Jonathan Pollard’s life sentence to his interview with 'The Jerusalem Post' is surely misleading, despite the newly revealed CIA files.

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Pollard as warning
Sir, – Attributing Jonathan Pollard’s life sentence to his interview with The Jerusalem Post is surely misleading, despite the newly revealed CIA files (“CIA: Pollard got life sentence due to ‘Post’ interview,” December 17).
Pollard is languishing in prison as a stark warning to American Jews who have attained sensitive positions in the US government: Right or wrong, legal or not, toe the government line vis-à-vis Israel or the consequences will be enormous.
On pejoratives
Sir, – I misheard Avigdor Liberman (“Liberman says he’s sorry for ‘veibers’ comment: I’ll sit in the dark and think about what I did,” December 17).
I thought he said “vipers,” which would have been more appropriate for Tzipi Livni and Zehava Gal-On in light of their vicious attacks on Israeli policy in the overseas media.
In any event, both have said far worse things about Liberman.
LOUIS GARB Jerusalem
Sir, – Reader R.G. Goodriche (“No pejoratives,” Letters, December 17) takes exception to the term “goyim,” whose use he says is to be “resented and deplored.”
“Goyim” simply means “people.”
I would maintain that it is the manner in which the word is employed, whether with a sneer or in a derisory manner. Context is everything.
Of all the social diseases to affect us during the past 50 years, none has been so insidious as the cancer we describe as “political correctness.” Political correctness makes cowards of us all.
End of an era
Sir, – Even though I knew it was coming, the news about Bikur Cholim made me very sad (“Shaare Zedek in Jerusalem gets final nod to run city’s failing Bikur Cholim Hospital,” December 17).
Our organization, Friends of Bikur Cholim Hospital, ran the gift shop there for well over 30 years.
We all remember when it was a thriving hospital. We bought much of the equipment it couldn’t afford.
At least many departments will still be open there, even though they will be run by Shaare Zedek.
It’s a shame that many of the workers will not be receiving their full pensions.
We will miss the wonderful people involved with Bikur Cholim and wish Shaare Zedek the best in taking over the hospital. A wonderful era has sadly ended.
HANNAH SONDHELM Jerusalem The writer is a past-president of Friends of Bikur Cholim Hospital
Policy that unites
Sir, – I find it difficult to understand the logic – if there is any – In “Enlisting haredim divides the nation” (Comment & Features, December 17). I should think just the opposite is true. Not enlisting haredim divides the nation. Most people I know (not haredim) feel just that.
Why should haredim not take part in defending our nation? There is no good reason for this absurd situation. Most young non-haredi men join the army, most of them gladly. It is unfair to those who enlist.
So it’s good that, at last, there is a trend toward coopting young haredi men. Let’s hope it gets even stronger. I believe even they share this view.LEONARD ZURAKOV Netanya
Shoah continued Sir, – With regard to “Two Herzogs’ views differ on the relevance of the Holocaust” (Comment & Features, December 17), the current debate over whether the European Union’s actions echo the Holocaust misses the point.
The behavior of Europe is not Shoah redux. It is simply Shoah continued, just as the Holocaust itself was merely the most glorious moment in a 2,000-year history of European Jew-hatred.
D-Day hardly eliminated the virus of anti-Semitism, even if it appeared somewhat dormant for a few decades. After all, the Final Solution remains unfinished business, and Israel offers the convenience of having most Jews already pre-assembled for the next chapter.
Indeed, Europe was and remains pretty unanimous in its desire to rid the world of Jews.
Germany took the lead by having the initiative and technology.
Eastern Europe, central Europe and western Europe were willing accomplices. And England, entrusted with the mandate for a Jewish national homeland, barred the doors to our only viable sanctuary.
Little has really changed except that now there is a critical mass of Jewish collaborators. Likely this is because the remnants of secular European Jews are hoping their complicity will somehow spare them. In this they are pathetically misguided.
We in Israel have little to fear so long as we can stare evil in the face and not blink, lest we ourselves become complicit in the suicidal venality of appeasement.J.J. GROSS Jerusalem
Bad impression
Sir,– Reader Chaim Ginsberg (“Rules of engagement,” Letters, December 17) writes of his shame at how our soldiers were directed to run away from Arabs throwing rocks. He makes the point that rocks are weapons and should be responded to as such.
Such a restriction on military responses gives the impression that our soldiers are weak and cowardly. It is not seen as the humanitarian gesture it is meant to be. This emboldens the Palestinians and makes a real-life difference on the battlefield.
When our state was young our soldiers responded to attacks immediately and seriously, and the message to the opposing forces was loud and clear. We were feared and respected, and enjoyed some relative peace and quiet.
Today there is no safe area anywhere in the country, and everyone suffers from a constant undercurrent of stress. Is it any wonder that so many of our citizens, especially our children and young people, exhibit anti-social behavior and other psychological disturbances? For this alone we should do what is necessary to bring life back to normal.DEENA SPIGELMAN Jerusalem
What do you want?
Sir, – What is it that the citizens and leaders of Israel want? Do you want to annex the West Bank? Is that the ultimate solution? What if Hamas, as the Palestinian Authority has already done, recognized the permanent State of Israel? What if the Palestinians gave Israel all their weapons? What would Israel do in return? Would it do anything? What could the Palestinians expect in return? Do not beg off with, “Oh, that will never happen.” What would Israel’s response be? It is a fair question. You should tell Palestinians what they would get in return for such an action. Perhaps the response would convince them to actually lay down their arms.
ROBERT STEINER Lenoir, North Carolina
Just grow up
Sir, – When will the world’s leaders, of all persuasions and ideologies, grow up and stop playing roulette with mankind and the world we live in so perilously? They must finally realize that their duty in this new millennium is to bring peace to their people and all of humanity, and an end to the sorry, blood-soaked course of human history.
The only sane ideology is the welfare of mankind and its constituent individuals, who can say only this to their leaders: To hell with your missiles and atom bombs, your bullets and your blind hatreds, which will eventually lead us to the hell of extinction. We, the millions of decent, peace-loving human beings suffering from your blind neglect and power-thirst, call on you to grow up and show real leadership so that we and coming generations can at long last live in peace, and not under the constant threat of war and extinction.