December 8: Olmert go away

Does Olmert think that running down the prime minister will be to his advantage?

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Gang of facts
Sir, – Gary Samore, a former adviser to US President Barack Obama, publicly slammed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for criticizing the agreement with Iran (“Obama’s former WMD czar: Public Israel-US spat only strengthens Iran’s hand,” December 5). His grounds? “It seems to me that the normal way in which allies work together is through confidential diplomatic channels.”
There is nothing more horrible than the murder of a beautiful theory by a brutal gang of facts.
Just last month, a currently serving senior Obama official, Secretary of State John Kerry, utilized the “confidential diplomatic” channel of prime time television backed up by the State Department website to lambaste Israel five times for its settlement policies.
For example: “We, the United States... do not believe the settlements are legitimate. We think they’re illegitimate. And we believe that the entire peace process would, in fact, be easier if these settlements were not taking place. Now, that’s our position!” We believe that other seemingly unassailable theories motivating US foreign and defense policies on Israel are similarly assailable.
SUSIE DYM JJerusalem
The writer is spokesperson of Mattot Arim, an NGO advocating a “peace-for-peace” approach to the Israeli-Palestinian dispute Basic misconceptions
Sir, – In “US-Israel rift spreading to Jewish community” (Washington Watch, December 5), Douglas Bloomfield demonstrates some basic misconceptions.
Those who oppose the interim Geneva agreement between the P5+1 and Iran do so not as “saber rattlers” but because they do not want war and believe that this clearly flawed agreement makes war more likely. The dispute is not between people who are “prowar” and people who are “propeace.”
Both sides are pro-peace, but they disagree over how best to avoid war.
The interim agreement clearly preempts any additional sanctions at this time, and there is no real effort in the US Congress to immediately impose them. The efforts now are directed at strengthening sanctions in the (highly likely) event that the Iranians violate the agreement or fail to negotiate an end to their nuclear weapons program during the six months set out in Geneva.
Those who want to avoid war should be strongly supporting such legislation. The alternative is effectively losing all our remaining leverage on Iran.
Finally, a word about Bloomfield’s false assertion about AIPAC’s alleged “failure to muster enough congressional support to force Obama to bomb Syria as punishment for using poison gas.” On that issue, AIPAC was very reluctantly doing President Barack Obama’s bidding. It caved in to heavy pressure by the administration and was lobbying Congress when Obama did a complete about-face.ALAN STEIN Netanya That sick feeling
Sir, – Regarding Yisrael Medad and Eli Pollak’s “Yes, there is leftwing media bias” (Media Comment, December 5), yes, they are right. The media in Israel are full of this. Channel 1, Channel 2 and Channel 10 seem to invite only journalists from Haaretz to appear on their news and current events programs, so how can you trust these “neutral” news reports? Medad and Pollak write that they “prefer [Haaretz’s] Gideon Levy complaining than Gideon Levy complacent.” I don’t prefer him at all. He makes me sick.
DAVID WAINTRAUB Rishon Lezion Missing or not?
Sir, – It is fashionable now to downplay the mufti of Jerusalem’s desire to kill as many Jews as possible in the Middle East, and it seems that Yad Vashem is playing the game of political correctness (“The missing mufti,” Comment & Features, December 5).
Haj Amin al-Husseini, who was the supreme leader of Islam in the Holy Land, hated Jews so much that he was ready to make an alliance with Hitler to further his goal. He broadcast diatribes against the Jews and played an enormous influence.
The supreme failure of any attempt at peace negotiations is really due to the mufti’s incitement, which has lingered in the minds of the Palestinian leadership, preventing them from really understanding the nature of peace. There can never be a peace until the mufti’s words no longer have an effect.
Yad Vashem should make a real display of the mufti and his alliance with the evil of the Holocaust.BATYA KOENIGSBERG Jerusalem
Sir, – The Yad Vashem Holocaust History Museum strives to tell the story of the Holocaust from the Jewish perspective, while at the same time including information on the perpetrators and bystanders.
There are two pictures of Haj Amin al-Husseini in the Holocaust History Museum, with an explanatory panel indicating his support for the Nazi regime, anti-Jewish propaganda and efforts to influence the Axis powers to expand their extermination program to the Middle East. The size and location of the display are in keeping with the historical context and overall display of the museum and the many different events and aspects of the Holocaust that are explored there.
The mufti is discussed as part of the training that all guides at Yad Vashem receive. The museum is filled with information, artifacts and testimonies that cannot possibly all be covered in the space of a two-hour tour.
Whether the guides choose to focus on the mufti or, indeed, on any of a myriad of other particular points during the course of a specific tour depends on the individual guide, time constraints, conditions in the museum and other factors that each guide takes into account, considering the plethora of information that is addressed in that particular section and in the museum generally.
IRIS ROSENBERG Jerusalem The writer is spokesperson for Yad Vashem
Olmert, go away
Sir, – Referring to “PM, Olmert go head-to-head over Iran” (December 2), for former prime minister Ehud Olmert to attack Binyamin Netanyahu while the prime minister is out of the country on an important mission to warn about the Iranian threat shows his indiscretion and megalomania.
Does Olmert think that running down the prime minister will be to his advantage and bring him back into the public’s favor, even back onto the political scene? In my opinion, he should be put away for life for ruining forever the skyline of Jerusalem with that horrendous monstrosity of his making, the Holyland project. Apart from that, the corruption charges hurled against him in an interminable trial still leave me unable to make out if he was proven innocent or guilty.
Olmert should hide his head in shame and never show himself in public again.YVONNE NARUNSKY Kfar Shmaryahu Louts and noise
Sir, – At the municipal Hanukka party on Tel Aviv’s Ben-Gurion Boulevard on Friday, November 29, I heard a comment from two tourists: “A disgrace to the State of Israel in general and to the city of Tel Aviv in particular.”
The municipal banner proudly proclaimed “25 DJs!” This, in the very heart of a quiet residential neighborhood. Can you imagine the terrible noise? Nobody, but nobody, could enjoy it because everything was played at ear-splitting volume. The appalling music was so unbearable that the city itself set up a special stand to rent earphones that drown out noise.
At the same time, hoards of loutish youngsters (mostly from surrounding towns) trampled and ruined the gardens and everything else in their way. Hooliganism at its worst. People standing around, destroying the avenue, smoking hashish, drinking beer and other alcoholic beverages, and discarding garbage everywhere.
This low-class event was more suited to a Third World city, not Tel Aviv. It had no class, no culture, no refinement. And it had nothing whatsoever to do with Hanukka. It seems to have been designed to cost money, inconvenience local residents, destroy the boulevard and chase away tourists. If that was the aim, the municipal authorities succeeded. Big time.