January 30: Google it

In the US, congressional inquiries are not only routine, but are essential in providing Congress with critical information.

Google it
Sir, – So, Kadima MKs think that in a democracy, “it is illegal for politicians to investigate citizens” (“Kadima won’t take part in NGO probes,” News in Brief, January 27).
Quite the contrary.
In the United States, a democratic nation even according to the very high standards of Kadima, congressional inquiries are not only routine, but are essential in providing Congress with critical information in order to draft effective legislation.
Just recently, it opened inquiries into the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the financial meltdown, radicalization in the Muslim community, recruitment tactics of for-profit educational institutions, the Toyota malfunctions, and even into the shootings at Kent State University during the Vietnam War because of newly discovered evidence.
May we suggest that the leaders of Kadima simply Google this subject before pontificating on what is and isn’t done in democratic nations.
From the police blotter
Sir, – Regarding “Lies, damned lies, and police statistics” (Editorial, January 27), I am not completely convinced.
You say there is a strong disinclination to call the cops regarding burglaries and car thefts. Yet most cars, shops and households are insured, especially against theft, and insurers wouldn’t dream of processing a claim without a police certificate of investigation – an investigation that would be included in police crime statistics.
Perseverance pays
Sir, – In his article “Our responsibility for the Jewish future” (International Holocaust Day, January 27), Danny Ayalon has made it crystal clear that world opinion will not allow Israel to be the guardian of world Jewry.
On one hand, the world is willing to accept the Vatican’s role as the seat of Christianity by not condemning the Pope for having a small state with only Catholic citizens, because the purpose of the state is clear and the world fully recognizes Catholicism as a religion that is here to stay. This is not true with regard to Judaism or Israel as the eternal home of the Jewish people.
It appears that the world would like to see Israel adopt a form of democracy that would so dilute its Jewish identity that in a very short time Judaism would be relegated to exhibits in museums. We must not become a melting pot where the Jewish people is willing to give up its principals to satisfy the wishes of others.
If we want to be true to our destiny, we must present a strong case for our goals and for our responsibility for all the world’s Jews, and stick by our beliefs. Perseverance will prevail over cowardly behavior.
Yet another horror
Sir, – Thank you very much for publishing “Shattering shame and silence (International Holocaust Day, January 27).
This year I asked my English composition students to research the role of women in the Holocaust.
Horrible stories of maltreatment and neglect have become evident.
Nonetheless, sexual violence has not surfaced.
Now my students will be able to delve into the sheer grotesqueness of sexual abuse and immolation during that great calamity.
Skokie, Illinois
Learn from Israel
Sir, – With regard to “Israeli racism and bigotry” (Candidly Speaking, January 27), what the (gentile) world forgets is that it made a separate country for Jews a necessity.
Since 1948, the (gentile) world has gathered to make high-minded stipulations as to how Israel should provide for Jewish welfare and security! But racism and prejudice are the domain of the gentile world, which should take a lesson in humanity from the Jewish state.
Yes, a Jewish state for Jews first! But sane people could never construe Israel as racist unless they were the bigots from which Jew fled in the first place.
By the way, the column was brilliant.
Larry’s world
Sir, – In “The brave, visionary leader – and Bibi” (Rattling the Cage, January 27), Larry Derfner uses revelations of Palestinian concessions to the Kadima-led government to lambaste... Binyamin Netanyahu! In Derfner’s world, the blame, like some original sin, always falls on Netanyahu.
I would suggest a different dynamic: The ‘PaliLeaks,’ if anything, demonstrate that Kadima was publicly talking concessions and privately rebuffing them. Might it be possible that Netanyahu is playing the game in reverse – publicly rebuffing them but privately agreeing to them?
Sir, – Larry Derfner is so predictable that he has become boring.
Without reading him, people know what he has to say, including his unconditional admiration for Palestinian leaders and leftist organizations, and his contempt, constant and monotonous, for the elected government of Israel.
His latest column is typical. He praises the frankness and courage of the Palestinian leaders for what they expressed during secret talks, but has nothing to say about their continuous demonizing of Israel and the Jews.
I don’t expect these leaders to suddenly become Zionists, but if they truly wished to prepare their people to live in peace with Israel, the least they could do, to give one example, is stop honoring terrorists and the murderers of Jews by giving their names to streets and squares.
Not just financial
Sir, – Douglas Bloomfield (“Price of peace,” Washington Watch, January 27) seems to have done thorough research into what a “West Bank” withdrawal might costs US taxpayers. He also says he favors such a move. What Bloomfield’s numbers don’t reveal, however, is what it would cost in human pain and suffering.
The aftershocks of the Gaza expulsion still reverberate, with a lack of permanent housing, jobs and general normalcy for those thrown out of their homes. It’s a shame that Bloomfield seems unconcerned how a similar move in Judea and Samaria would magnify the tragedy.
Rightfully theirs
Sir, – Regarding “Shepherd Hotel injunction dismissed; demolition continues” (January 20), I have a neighbor who lived in a small Jewish community in Jerusalem called Shimon Hatzadik, now known as Sheikh Jarrah, for years prior to the Jordanian invasion of 1948.
Three days before the Arabs began their assault on the area allocated by the UN to be a Jewish state, the British-led Jordanian Legion, together with local Arabs, conquered the Gush Etzion bloc, murdered the inhabitants and laid waste to their property. When the Arabs approached Shimon Hatzadik, its panic-stricken Jews fled for their lives. The Jordanians allocated the empty homes to Arabs. Later, Haj Amin al Husseini, the ally of Hitler, built his Shepherd Hotel.
Now the municipality is evicting Arab residents who illegally occupied Jewish homes, and is replacing them with Jews – who are getting back the homes they paid for and lived in before the Arab conquest.
Picking pennants
Sir, – Can anyone explain why the Obama administration does not allow Taiwan to fly its flag in Washington, but does allow the PLO flag to be flown?