January 29: Dual deceit

What will a dual citizen do when his second country is at war and calls its citizens to the flag?

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Dual deceit
Sir, – I read with consternation “Six new MKs to renounce foreign citizenships” (January 27).
Setting themselves as candidates to be legislators who work to nurture the democratic and Jewish State of Israel, these people stood on the street corners of Tel Aviv and Beit El and preached Zion, a place of biblical ideals. They should have the conviction that Israeli citizenship is a treasure to be guarded.
Any citizenship requires responsibility and devotion to a country. It involves paying taxes, volunteering in times of disaster and serving in the armed forces.
What will a dual citizen do when his second country is at war and calls its citizens to the flag? Dual citizenship involves both external and self-deceit. Israeli citizenship is a sacred treasure because it is a fulfillment of being a complete Jew. Holding an Israeli passport in order to visit countries not honoring the Israeli passport or as an escape door in case of problems in Israel is not an honorable attitude.
Proud first-timer
Sir, – I wasn’t going to bother to vote. I am 77. Part of my head is still in the States and the other part did not understand (or want to understand) the election process here.
My two grandsons called.
“Grandma, get out of your pajamas and get dressed, we’re taking you to vote, we’ll pick you up in 10 minutes!” On the way to the polling place, Yaneev and Ariel explained all who were running for office and what they stood for.
Outside my grandson signed a paper to request that his organs be donated in case of his death; the older one told me he already was a donor. I was stunned and proud. Both walked me in and told the volunteer I might need help reading the Hebrew, but I was thrilled that I was able to read without help.
The next day in The Jerusalem Post I read that the man I voted for won. Maybe my one vote did count!
Ward’s comments
Sir, – I was astounded to read of a British MP’s views as to how Israel treats with violence the Palestinians on a daily basis (“British MP compares Israeli policies to Holocaust in memorial day reflection,” January 27).
David Ward needs to know how Israelis are helping Palestinian children in Gaza with hearing and eye disabilities. Also, there are Palestinian children in Israeli hospitals receiving chemotherapy.
I would like this MP to give an account of the so-called persecution he says is being inflicted on Palestinians. His comments are offensive, to say the least, and perhaps the very least he could do to save his name and reputation is admit that he got it terribly wrong.
Sir, – You report that MP David Ward represents the Bradford East constituency. It is noteworthy that the notorious anti- Zionist MP George Galloway represents a neighboring constituency.
A high proportion of the Bradford population is Muslim and it would appear that these two MPs echo the views concerning Israel and its policies that a significant number of their constituents hold. Presumably, they feel obligated to do so in order to ensure they keep their parliamentary seats.
This is hardly a recommendation for constituency representation, which so many of your readers prefer to our system of proportional representation, and where members of parliament are prepared to descend to such depths in order to ensure their political futures.
Obama’s true policy
Sir, – Thanks go to Hilary Leila Kreiger for bringing us excerpts on Iran from Sen. John Kerry’s confirmation hearings to be the next US secretary of state (“Kerry wants to hit ground running on Israeli-Palestinian peace talks,” January 25).
President Barack Obama’s policy on Iran becomes more and more suspect as his nominations for high office advance. At his hearings, Kerry repeated the veiled mantra on Iran of Leon Panetta, Hillary Clinton and Obama himself.
Obama’s next nomination, that of former senator Chuck Hagel, fully unveils the president’s true policy – not to stop the evil Iranian regime from achieving nuclear weapons capability. In this, the three are in sync in planning to fall back on deterrence by default if sanctions don’t work, without the American people even realizing it.
The Kerry nomination will pass, but there is still a last-ditch chance to stop Hagel in the confirmation hearings and, if not stop his nomination, then at least reveal it for the would-be deception it really is.
Hagel should be met with hard senatorial questions that ask about his stands on sanctions; the US military option; deterrence; the manifest evil of certain regimes (Iran, North Korea); stopping the ayatollahs from achieving any capability of producing nuclear weapons, and not just preventing actual production; red lines in negotiations; and, finally, the Israeli military option.
Unfortunately, questions about Hagel’s past disparaging pronouncements on Israel – and his soothing answers – will deflect attention away from the Iranian threat to the world.
Clarity on Kerry, Hagel, Obama and Iran is the order of the day.
Jerusalem The writer is a retired US foreign service officer
Stuck in reverse
Sir, – Diana Atallah (“Lost in politics: Palestinians face difficulties finding their way,” January 24) describes the difficulty of navigating the West Bank due to shoddy roads and non-existent road signs – a traffic system so bad that most Palestinians have given up on trying to drive between towns.
Today’s occupying power does not seem perturbed by the transportation problems faced by Palestinians. Yet the previous occupying power – Britain – planned road schemes, established a public works department to implement those schemes, had signs installed to even the tiniest of villages (hence the quaint Qs still found on some signs today), and established an Ordinance Survey Department that drew up maps to scale, similar to those used in England.
The Mandatory authorities initiated traffic regulations and brought over remarkable town planners, all in their unshaken belief that the British way was superior and that it was the role of the Colonial Office to spread British civilization. While this provoked hostility from Jews and Arabs alike, they carried on with these projects to the last day of the Mandate.
Late to the party
Sir, – Lisa Palmieri-Billig (“Libyan Jewish leader barred from attending Tripoli conference,” January 20) writes: “Gaddafi expelled Libya’s 38,000 Jews in 1968 and confiscated their assets.”
Gaddafi came to power only in 1969 and thus could not have been responsible for the Libyan Jews’ expulsion. The following is a more accurate account, as it appears in Wikipedia: After the Six-Day War between Israel and its Arab neighbors, Libyan Jews were once again the target of anti-Jewish riots. During these attacks, rioters killed 18 people and more were injured. Leaders of the Jewish community then asked King Idris I to allow the entire Jewish population to “temporarily” leave the country; he consented, even urging them to leave. Through an airlift and the aid of several ships, the Italian Navy helped evacuate more than 6,000 Jews to Rome in one month. The evacuees were forced to leave their homes, their businesses and most of their possessions behind.
It was these assets that were indeed confiscated under Gaddafi’s rule.
DAVID WILK Ma’aleh Adumim