February 12: Hadassah discord

We can testify as to the universal popularity of Marcie Nathan's selection as national president.

Hadassah discord
Sir, – As life members of Hadassah both in the US and Israel, we take issue with the tone of “Senior execs at Hadassah trade accusations over misuse of funds” (February 9).
We have known Marcie Nathan for many years and can testify as to the universal popularity of her selection as national president.
She would never “buy support from members by upgrading their flights to business class and extending trips to Israel.” We resent the implication that she would have to do so.
As for Nancy Falchuk, we find it ridiculous that she had to take furniture from her office for personal use. She and her husband are quite comfortable financially.
Our feeling is that this was a petty issue blown up by the Forward, and perhaps a matter of sour grapes on the part of COO Larry Blum. We have known previous COOs personally and none had any issues with the Hadassah presidents they served.
It is very disturbing to us that when Hadassah is still working hard to complete its new hospital tower, one disgruntled person can call the whole enterprise into question. It’s shameful that the media, including the Post, can publish accusations from one person that we feel are totally unfounded.
Foreign language
Sir, – While extolling “clarity of thought” and “clarity of language” (“Words matter: A new language for peace,” Comment & Features, February 9), John V.
Whitbeck himself exhibits signs of inhabiting an alternative universe.
As he was an advisor to the Palestinian negotiating team, he seems to have been completely brainwashed. Why he would choose to publish such nonsense in your newspaper is quite perplexing.
Perhaps he thinks it’s still The Palestine Post.
RICHARD D. WILKINS Syracuse, New York
Sir, – Here is my version of the Palestinian political lexicon and what is actually meant.
Peace: No Israel. A just and lasting peace: No Israel, nor ever a chance of there being one. Concessions: You give everything, we give nothing.
Painful: What you must always and we must never experience.
Far-reaching: Totally unreasonable, going beyond the scope of anything yet imagined. Compromise: You always give, we always take.
Justice: Letting us always have our way. Injustice: Not letting us have our way. Freedom of speech: Letting those who agree with us say what they want.
Racism: Letting those who disagree with us say what they want. Human rights: What every Muslim is entitled to and every non-Muslim isn’t.
Another holiday!
Sir, – You write that the IDF needs an additional NIS 4 billion in order to complete its full training schedule (“No fooling: IDF faces near-shutdown on April 1,” February 8).
Why not ask Mark Zuckerberg and Roman Abramovich for the money? They are worth a combined $50b. easy. To them, NIS 4b. is small change.
I am sure the Israeli government could dream up something with which to compensate them – an annual Abramovich-Zuckerberg day, maybe.
At this dangerous time, mere money must not be allowed to inhibit the excellence of Israel’s fighting forces.
Bitter taste
Sir, – Matan Vilna’i has led a long and illustrious career and will no doubt be a worthy diplomat (“Vilna’i set to be next envoy to China,” February 8).
However, at 68 years old, he is one year past the mandatory retirement age for diplomats who have served their country for decades.
Politics is politics, but sometimes it leaves a bitter taste.
MICHELLE MAZEL Jerusalem The writer is a former chairperson of ANAM (Association of Diplomatic Wives of Israel)
Two of a kind
Sir, – In “Unity of peace” (Editorial, February 8) you write: “The only problem with all of this unity is that Hamas remains an anti-Semitic terrorist organization committed to the destruction of Israel.”
Do you mean to imply that Fatah is different?
Why no visits?
Sir, – In expounding the reason why the queen, and not the Archbishop of Canterbury, is the symbolic head of the Anglican community (“Credit where due,” Letters, February 8), perhaps it would be more apt to question why, after 60 years on the throne, Elizabeth II has never visited Israel despite numerous visits abroad to non-commonwealth countries.
The decision to undertake overseas visits rests with the prime minister, acting in consultation with the Foreign and Commonwealth offices. Do not Cameron, Clegg and Hague consider there is an opportunity for the UK monarch to visit the Holy Land once in her lifetime? Certainly, Cameron’s predecessors, Brown and Blair, professed on numerous occasions that they were true friends of Israel, yet not once did they authorize such a visit.
Indeed, as representative of the Quartet, Tony Blair has been pushing Israel to make numerous gestures and concessions to further a “peace process,” resulting in less reciprocity and more stringent demands from the other side.
Blair’s track record speaks for itself, resulting in economic chaos in the UK and a failed foreign policy of military intervention, as was revealed to the Chilcot Enquiry.
Israel’s presidents have not once been invited for a state visit to the UK, despite numerous such visits by dictators and recently deposed quasi-monarchs and heads of state – as if the Jewish state is a pariah. Private visits by our presidents have taken place, but without ceremonial state courtesies normally accredited to visiting heads of state, and through the back door, well outside the public limelight. Nevertheless, they have extended invitations to the monarch to make a state visit here.
Is it that the Defender of the Faith and Supreme Governor of the Church of England has been advised that it is not acceptable, despite such visits here by the head of the Catholic Church?
COLIN L. LECI Jerusalem
No to reform
Sir, – Isi Leibler regrets “The erosion of Israeli leadership” (Candidly Speaking, February 8). Who doesn’t? But where can we still find people of principle in the Knesset? It seems they are not leading the big parties, which would benefit from the usual schemes of electoral reform; on the contrary, they are in the small parties that would suffer.
While it is true that small parties can cause coalition pains, it was not pressure from them that forced recent prime ministers to make friends with slimy plutocrats, flipflop on international policy or fly junkets around the globe. That was our bigwigs’ own inclination.
We can be thankful that our electoral system was not reformed to give their miserable regimes more staying power.
Acting like us
Sir, – Anyone who reads The Jerusalem Post each day is aware of such disturbing developments as piles of pickled cabbage blocking traffic (“Frozen sauerkraut jams German highway,” Business in Brief, February 8) and cacti suing each other in court (“Singing cactus wins courtroom victory in copyright clash,” February 7).
I’m not saying there’s any proven connection, but maybe there’s an urgent need for an impartial investigation into the alleged potential dangers posed by genetically modified crops.