January 31: Any limits?

While Israelis were being murdered almost daily, Rabkin argued that Zionists were to blame for sacrificing our children on the altar of false messianism.

letters to the editor (photo credit: )
letters to the editor
(photo credit: )
Any limits? Sir, - Yakov M. Rabkin defends the anti-Zionist Netorei Karta members who embraced the murderous President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during their all-expenses-paid trip to the Holocaust denial conference in Iran ("The problem, Benny Morris, is Zionism," January 30). This embrace occurred while Iran was restocking the missiles Hizbullah used to kill my neighbors this summer. Rabkin's stance is even more deplorable than the one he took in a letter he wrote to this newspaper several years ago during the height of the terror bombings in our cities. While Israelis were being murdered almost daily, Rabkin argued that Zionists were to blame for sacrificing our children on the altar of false messianism. Does he set himself any limits in expressing his opinion? Given the arc of his extreme views, perhaps next this history professor can tell us about the kernels of truth behind the Syrian anti-Jewish blood libels of the 19th century. Promulgating these opinions may diminish my daughter's security, but they sure are interesting. JOHN A. KENNEDY Haifa Not the 'occupation' Sir, - Thank you for your superb front-page interview with Prof. Bernard Lewis of Princeton ("Moslems are 'about to take over Europe,'" January 29). That same evening, the honored professor, now pushing 90 toward 120, was hosted at a special screening of the documentary, Obsession, presented to a packed auditorium by the Hebrew University's Vidal Sassoon Center for the Study of Anti-Semitism. The film about the global jihad against the West was followed by some thoughtful remarks by Lewis. In particular, he respectfully put into the waste bin one of the crutches used by pundits, not so friendly to the Zionist state, that extremism in Islam is heavily fuelled by "Israeli occupation." He traced the circumstances whereby the global jihadists were emboldened by their assumed holy war victory over the USSR. Lewis postulated their view that if they could defeat the potent Soviet Union in Afghanistan and bring about the Evil Empire's collapse, then how much more easily could the impotent Christian West be brought to its knees. The conclusion to be drawn is that it is not "the occupation," but Israeli distaste for victory that helps whet the appetite of Global Jihad for end-time Mahdist triumph now. AARON BASHANI Jerusalem The best option Sir, - Monday's suicide bombing in Eilat by a Palestinian should more than suffice to make Israel understand beyond doubt that the cycle of violence and acts of reprisals and counter reprisals will never elicit a final solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict in general and the Palestinian-Israel struggle in particular ("IDF gears up for renewing strikes on terror chiefs," January 30). From its inception in 1948, Israel has relied on a policy of carrying out punitive reprisals and, when necessary, defensive offensives to defeat the Arabs militarily. Such a policy worked out well throughout the 1950s and '60s. But the Israeli concept of "strategic depth" has become invalid and useless because today's modern weapons and the Palestinian struggle by human elements have thus far hit almost all parts of Israel. Furthermore Israeli policy of relying on separation walls , lines of defense and electronic fences will not avail the Jewish state. Israel had better be wise enough to understand that the best option is to solve the core of the Israeli-Arab conflict politically through negotiations and compromise. Otherwise Israel is doomed in the long run, especially if the Iranian nuclear threat is not counted out. ABDEL KARIM SALIM SHARIF Jerusalem We need each other Sir, - Jack Bidnik writes that "a Jew who leads a peace march while eating a ham sandwich accomplishes nothing" (Letters, January 30). Not true: He promotes peace, a better world. And a Jew who eats kosher and ignores a peace march also accomplishes something: a good Jewish life. But both are lacking and there is no room for complacency. We, the frum and the frei, need each other. We need to take care of ourselves and the world. We can and should teach each other, because we both care - about complementary parts of our job as Jews. MOSHE MORDECHAI Jerusalem Unsuitable president Sir, - Re Yehudit Collins' "I trust Moshe Katsav" (January 30). Perhaps she could remember that in a democracy, an official should step down until he finishes his legal affairs. I cannot think of a more unsuitable person for a president, one who by his public behavior - not the allegations against him - has proven himself a little, narrow-minded citizen. Of course, he should be vindicated because he's religious, right? KAREN NEUBERGER Tel Aviv McCarthyism Sir, - When I saw the headline "Gila for president?" (January 30), I thought it was referring to Gila Finkelstein, the former National Religious Party MK who, as a high school principal, certainly knows how to deal with people. When I read further, I realized to what depths of stupidity and McCarthyism (the accusation "at least four, if not more, former prime ministers are guilty of marital infidelity") we have sunk. MORDECHAI SPIEGELMAN Jerusalem Further insight Sir, - In her narrative concerning the Hitler-Arab/Islamic compact against the Jews, Sarah Honig laments the fact that your readers are still denied an English rendition of Jennie Lebel's work ("An unbroken link" parts I & II, January 5 and 12). In the meantime they may wish to consult Chuck Morse's The Nazi Connection to Islamic Terrorism , David Littlejohn's three volumes of Foreign Legions of the Third Reich and George Nafziger's Waffen SS & Other Units in World War II in order to obtain further insights regarding the Arab/Islamic contribution to the Nazi war effort against Western civilization. KARL HUTTENBAUER Berlin Fair deal for the fair sex Sir, - In answer to Naomi Avner (Letters, January 28), I appreciate the idea of sexual modesty and agree that some ladies do not respect that. Yet I share Naomi Ragen's concerns ("Best-selliing author Naomi Ragen petitions court against segregated bus lines," January 25). Why can't men sit at the back of the bus? Why is it always the women who have to do the kowtowing? We obey the rule of not sitting together in synagogue and at concerts, etc. So let's have a fair deal for the ladies. RHONA JACOBS Netanya