Sir, – One need look no farther than the first two pages of your January 17 issue to find the epitome of UN hypocrisy.On Page 1 we read the piece “UNESCO delays exhibit on Jewish ties to Land of Israel,” in which the United Nations’s education, scientific and cultural body is concerned that such an exhibit could harm the peace process. On Page 2 we see the article “UN chief Ban launches ‘Year of Solidarity with the Palestinians,’” with no apparent concern that this would harm the peace process. This is the same UN! The lack of symmetry cries out! Wouldn’t it make more sense to allow both or to Ban both (pun intended)?
BENNY A. BENJAMIN
Sir, – Regarding “IAF releases video of air strike on Gaza terror targets” (January 17), the effective response of the IAF to rocket fire is the natural reaction to aggression. But why do we have to wait for the next rockets to strike? We should instead destroy all their arsenal before they can further endanger innocent Israelis and cause material damage.DAVID LEDERMAN
Sir, – Every few days, Gaza launches rockets at Israel. Then we retaliate with a couple of fairly useless strikes on various known weapons facilities or training camps. By the time we return fire the terrorists have all run off.Its about time we called the shots. Just as they do, lets hit a whole slew of targets before the next rocket barrage, hopefully surprising the terrorists in situ.This ridiculous tit for tat cannot be allowed to continue.Every time the radio announces that there were no injuries or damage in Palestinian rocket attacks it is rubbish. What about the trauma caused by Red Alerts, and always having to listen for the next incoming round? We seem to know the terror targets’ whereabouts, so let’s be first for a change. Maybe it will teach them we are not going to continue being sitting ducks.JUDY PRAGER
Sir, – In “Peace on the ground, through ecological conservation” (Environment, January 17), your reporter says that Prof. Saleem Ali is suggesting the creation of a joint Israeli-Jordanian “peace park” near the junction of the Yarmuk and Jordan Rivers.He fails to mention that the proposed location includes the site of a brutal attack against innocent Israeli school girls in 1997, in which Jordanian soldier Ahmed Daqamseh opened fire on 80 seventh and eighth graders, killing seven and wounding six more.Lest we think that the attack is ancient history with no current support in Jordan, just last year 110 Jordanian lawmakers called Daqamseh a “hero” and petitioned for him to be pardoned.If the Jordanians are interested in demonstrating their good will by creating a peace park, an excellent start would be for the parliamentarians to formally condemn the massacre and rescind their call for Daqamseh’s pardon. The next step should be to name the park in honor of the victims of this heinous act.PAULETTE COHEN
More on Ya’alon
Sir, – Your editorial “Ya’alon’s apology” (January 16) completely misses the point. Of course Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon is entitled to air his views in robust language, but not as a senior minister of a government whose declared policy he vehemently opposes.In this instance, Ya’alon should resign. But that requires integrity, a quality that is glaring absent from ministerial conduct (the prime minister included) in the present administration.RAYMOND CANNON
Sir, – Your editorial correctly reflects the intolerable hypocrisy and double standards of our closest ally. One hardly needs to refer to the scandal of Jonathan Pollard’s continued imprisonment or American spying in Israel.It is time to remember Menachem Begin’s immortal statement: We are not a vassal state. I am also reminded of the statement by the prime minister of Pakistan when India achieved nuclear capability. He vowed to achieve parity and said his people would be “prepared to eat grass in order to do so.”We will only maintain the ability to defend our positions if we are prepared to suffer what would only be, as history has shown, the temporary consequences of displeasing some hypocrites.LOUIS GARB
Sir, – I was disappointed to read that Defense Minister Ya’alon was forced to apologize for his remarks. Although his choice of words was unfortunate, Ya’alon was dead-on in his assessment that US Secretary of State John Kerry insists on flogging a dead horse, as the Palestinians have not budged one inch in the negotiations while Israel foolishly releases terrorist murderers every few months.With Iran on the verge of the bomb and Syria imploding, Kerry is indeed obsessed – if not delusional – by visiting Jerusalem and Ramallah every few weeks while the Middle East is in turmoil.KENNY FISHER
Sir, – I cannot think of anything more deserving of the epithet “tempest in a teapot.”Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon allegedly said that John Kerry’s diplomatic efforts regarding the Israel-PA conflicts seems to reflect an “incomprehensible obsession” and “messianic feeling.”That is probably the kindest and most accurate description that has yet been given of the spectacle of a member of the cabinet of a world power investing such unremitting efforts to bring about the birth of a new Arab state in a part of the world where every existing Arab state is aflame with sectarian violence.Perhaps to the readers of Yediot Aharonot, “messianic” is a dirty word, and being “obsessive” about anything is bad. But in America there is nothing wrong with saying that Kerry is obsessive about getting a settlement, and messianic in his vision of peace.There is no doubt that he has the best interests of both Israel and the Palestinian people at heart, but there is a point where something “misguided” can become “threatening.”Who else but the minister of defense has the obligation to gently hint that there is something awry?
Sir, – I am sure that like Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, most Israelis believe that US Secretary of State John Kerry is obsessed with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – which is not understandable unless you consider that US Middle East policy is a shambles.Everything Washington has done here is coming apart. It has let down all its Middle Eastern allies, picking the wrong side every time.Arabs are murdering Arabs, both Muslims and Christians, in virtually every Mideast country, and the world, including the churches and the BDS gangs, are silent.Iran’s Rouhani boasts that the West has been outwitted, and the State Department brushes it off.Yet Ya’alon’s remarks are deemed offensive.When the present “peace talks” collapse, Kerry will be able to blame the Jews.ISIDORE SOLOMONS
Sir, – Bravo to Gil Troy for “Netanyahu, remember Zionist Can-doism rejects Status-quo-ism” (Center Field, January 15).What happened to the nation that honors righteous gentiles for helping them when their people were in dire straits? The nation that carried out Operation Magic Carpet has turned on itself! Some of our greatest biblical heroes and heroines didn’t start out as Jews and yet we love and revere them after embracing them and making them our own. Judaism is essentially inclusive and courageous, which is why it has survived.Apartheid nations never survive.Let’s stop the navel gazing. Let’s be inclusive, democratic and – dare one say it? – messianic!