February 22: Papered over?

It should be obvious from the acid tone and, indeed, vulgar nature of Hagel’s past hostile pronouncements that he is emotionally antagonistic to Israel.

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Papered over?
Sir, – Gil Troy (“Stop calling American critics – including Hagel – ‘anti- Israel,’” Center Field, February 20) poses an interesting question as to what determines the difference between a critic and an opponent.
The Hagel case is an example of the latter. It should be obvious from the acid tone and, indeed, vulgar nature of Hagel’s past hostile pronouncements that he is emotionally antagonistic to Israel.
The fact that US President Barack Obama selected him belies the president’s statements of concern for Israel and the Iranian threat, and should be very worrisome to anyone not taken in by clever rationalizations designed to paper over the obvious.
Jericho, Vermont
Gray caucus
Sir, – Regarding MK Nitzan Horowitz and “Knesset to establish ‘gay caucus’” (News in Brief, February 20), when will there be an MK who sets up a “gray caucus” to look out for the rights of a rapidly aging population? While there is an admittedly excellent case for demanding affordable housing for young couples, where is the equivalent caucus that will agitate for affordable sheltered housing and hospice care? The new handicap-access law is a start. However, it does not address the problems of insecurity, both physical and financial, faced by many pensioners.
In fact, many elderly are already on a “hunger strike” as they just cannot afford adequate nutrition in addition to prescriptions, spectacles, dental care and a host of other demands.
Our obligations Sir, – With regard to Ben Levitas’s article “Why Jews need to stand up against the oppression of Christians” (Comment & Features,” February 19), we have our own problems.
We must combat anti- Semitism, which for the past 2,000 years was initiated and carried out in an extreme manner by the Christians themselves.
Then too, we need to consider the behavior of many of those Christians living in Muslim countries, especially their leadership.
It isn’t just their being “muted and restrained.”
Far from it. The leadership of the Palestinian Christians in the West Bank actually slap the face of Israel. They go out of their way to heap abuse at the one and only country in which Christians are growing and flourishing.
Sir, – Ben Levitas is right when he says that the “Christian response has been muted and restrained.” In Scotland, warnings such as those highlighted by Civitas are often ignored, if not dismissed, by the Church of Scotland (CoS).
Not long ago, a Scottish Christian woman wrote to the CoS of her concerns not only over the Islamic threat to Christians in the Middle East, but the anti- Semitism endemic in parts of the Church. The response from the moderator of the General Assembly of the CoS, the Right Rev. Albert Bogle, was to evade the basic questions and label her concerns as “deeply offensive” and “Islamophobia.”
Presumably, Rev. Bogle would find the concerns of Levitas to be the same.
The writer is a member of Scottish Friends of Israel

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