February 10: Why McCain's my man

He not only talks straight - he is right on the foremost issue of the day.

letters 88 (photo credit: )
letters 88
(photo credit: )
Why McCain's my man Sir, - I read Douglas Bloomfield's "John McCain and the Jewish vote" (February 5) with unusual interest since Bloomfield used to work for me at AIPAC. He is a liberal Democrat, and I call myself a "Scoop Jackson" or Joe Lieberman Democrat, thereby giving us different perspectives on McCain, whom I've known for 25 years. I am supporting John McCain's candidacy not only because of his outstanding record on Israel-related issues but because of his consistent insistence that the number one challenge facing the United States today is the menace of Islamic extremism. Bloomfield's critical and dismissive comments about McCain demonstrate his political bias as a liberal Democrat who will ultimately support the Democratic nominee. But there are still many Jewish Democrats whose concern for our nation's security and Israel's future will lead them to support McCain. He not only talks straight - he is right on the foremost issue of the day. MORRIE AMITAY Washington The writer served as executive director of AIPAC from 1974 to 1980. Failure to understand Sir, - To one familiar with MJ Rosenberg's columns it is not surprising that he takes exception to "America's single issue 'pro-Israel' crowd" (February 6), particularly when the stance opposes his views. What is surprising, however, is that in his role of director of Israel Policy Forum's Washington Policy Center he fails to understand the importance of Israel's security to most US Jews. Equally surprising is his denial of facts in order to promote his opinion, which time and time again has led to failure. Amazingly, he blames the pro-Israel advocacy groups for the rise of Hamas, while ignoring the role the Oslo process played in emboldening Hamas. He points to the failure of dismantling settlements as another reason for Hamas's rise, ignoring the effect of dismantling the South Lebanon buffer zone, which undeniably emboldened Hizbullah. He continues to argue for negotiated agreements even though the other side minces no words in stating that its idea of this includes negotiating all of Israel, including the pre-'67 areas, so as to effectively eliminate it. If Mr. Rosenberg believes Israel's best chance for peace lies in trusting Mahmoud Abbas instead of that which has guided the Jews since the time they became a nation, he ought to seek other issues to help him determine whom to vote for as his president. At the same time, let him leave Israel's security to those who believe that security comes before peace and are not willing to gamble their lives to try to prove that the other side is not interested in peace with the Jewish state. JERRY GLAZER Modi'in Exploiting the rhetoric of human rights Sir, - Sari Bashi's contorted version of international law ('Control creates responsibility,'" interview with Ruthie Blum, February 7) would be of little significance without the massive funding that pushes this distorted and destructive version of morality into the headlines and before the courts. As NGO Monitor's detailed reports demonstrate, Gisha's funders include a number of European governments - including Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland and Austria (via a Gaza-based organization known as Mu'Assasat), Ireland, Norway, and Germany's Friedrich Ebert Stiftung - in addition to the Open Society Foundation (George Soros), Echoing Green, and the Switzerland-based Drosos Foundation. Many of these also support other NGOs whose main activity is anti-Israel propaganda based on the exploitation of the rhetoric of international law and human rights. By using Gisha, Adalah, B'Tselem, Machsom Watch and other NGOs to pepper the Israeli courts on behalf of perennial Palestinian victims (Bashi's agenda ignores Israeli victims of terror); by publicizing reports and holding conferences with these themes, the donors share the responsibility for this moral travesty. GERALD M. STEINBERG NGO Monitor Jerusalem Sincere but unclear Sir, - Sheldon Schreter's views are obviously sincere, but unfortunately unclear in that he doesn't explain what he means by settlements ("Self-defense, not occupation," February 7). If all inhabited areas beyond the Green Line are settlements, he implies that Israel must relinquish the Western Wall, Gilo neighborhood, Gush Etzion and even access to Mount Scopus. If that is not what he means, then he and others who use slogans like "End the occupation" or evacuate "the settlements" owe their readers a duty to be specific and unambiguous in offering advice about matters which affect the security of us all. I recommend that we heed the words of Lord Caradon, one of the architects of UN Resolution 242. In an interview in the Beirut Daily Star on June 12, 1974, he stated: "It would have been wrong to demand that Israel return to its positions of June 4, 1967 because these positions were undesirable and artificial. After all, they were just the places where the soldiers on each side happened to be on the day the fighting stopped in 1948. They were just armistice lines. That's why we didn't demand that the Israelis return to them, and I think we were right not to." As advocating the removal of settlements with a broad brush arouses unrealizable expectations, it would be more appropriate to call for realizable territorial adjustment in terms of Resolution 242, which specifies secure borders. MAURICE OSTROFF Herzliya Racquets and rackets Sir, - I feel compelled to respond to the letters by Libby Werthman and H. Friedman ("Beyond sportsmanlike," February 6). It was not very long ago that Shachar Pe'er competed against a woman Russian tennis player in Moscow. To my chagrin, I was witness to, and totally disgusted by, the savage and continuous barrage of verbal abuse and chanting directed at our sportswoman. How dare your correspondents talk about bad manners in Israeli sports fans when, apparently, they are ignorant about crowd behavior elsewhere? In my opinion, the volume and intensity of the Muscovites' abuse left the Israeli fans very subdued by comparison. We are not such bad sportspeople, and we do acknowledge the capabilities of our opponents. RONALD BEAR Ra'anana