January 9: Hardly diplomatic

If we Israelis want to share our capital it should be our choice and not the dictate of our “friends.”

Hardly diplomatic
Sir, – Thank you for informing the British ambassador, who is the representative of that great island of no significant influence, that his rush to condemn our country was without merit (“Gould’s hullabaloo,” Editorial, January 6). You would think he’d at least be diplomatic and forward his concerns directly to our government without becoming the public hero of the Palestinian narrative.
I reluctantly believe that when Diaspora Jews reach positions of influence in their respective countries, they behave like the proverbial “court Jew,” much as Richard Goldstone and Henry Kissinger. They subconsciously have to prove their loyalty with knee-jerk reactions, such as this ambassador’s.
If we Israelis want to share our capital or other parts of our homeland it should be our choice and not the dictate of our “friends.” Surely in this instance, Gould’s shabby treatment of Israel was not in the spirit one would expect of a country that is an ally and a fellow democracy.
MALCOLM DASH Zichron Ya’acov
Sir, – You rightly take the British ambassador to task for making common cause with the demonizers of Israel on the basis of false evidence.
Your editorial notes that “Gould evidently treated this unverified ‘revelation’ as gospel.”
Surely, since both the ambassador and the editor of the Post are Jewish, a second set of quotation marks would have been appropriate in that sentence.
Another planet
Sir, – Until now, the only people I ever heard claim that the two-state solution is dead are Sheikh Raed Salah, Saeb Erekat and Ismail Haniyeh. The state they envision is a state of Palestine in which the Jewish state has been totally submerged.
So here comes Martin Sherman to argue their case (“To be or not to be – that is the question,” Into the Fray, January 6).
What planet is Sherman living on? Two states for two peoples is the principle on which the Oslo Accords are based, and in spite of traumatic twists and turns, these agreements are the basis for bilateral negotiations. One state for two peoples is a formula for Israeli national suicide.
Sir, – According to your report of an English football match, a Liverpool player must have hurled a Spanish tombstone at a Manchester United defender (“Liverpool’s Suarez issues limited apology over racial epitaph,” January 6).
Surely worth a red card – for your proofreader. No doubt you will find a suitable epithet for him or her.
No contest
Sir, – Minister for Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Yuli Edelstein kicked off a campaign to have Jerusalem nominated as one of the seven most amazing cities of the world (“Wonder City,” December 5).
Jerusalem is, undoubtedly, the world’s most amazing city.
Because it is so very special, its legendary mayor, Teddy Kollek, never agreed to allow it to compete against or be twinned with any other city.
Teddy was right. I am surprised that a member of the Israeli government suggested campaigning on behalf of the eternal capital of the Jewish people. Jerusalem is the one and only one. A campaign is an insult.
ESTHER HERLITZ Tel Aviv The writer is a retired diplomat.
Chile reception Sir, – Your editorial “Chile’s fire” (January 5) raised some troubling questions about the fairness of the Chilean judicial system, police and public. At the conclusion you raise the pertinent question: “How, for example, would Chileans feel if they were all held accountable for any Chilean tourist’s (mis)deeds?” The behavior of the Chileans in the courtroom toward the accused Israeli tourist was detestable, and your editorial rightly criticized their anti-Jewish outbursts.
Sir, – I was surprised you made no mention that after World War II, Chile became a haven for Nazi officials and other Germans. It should thus come as no surprise that some of Chile’s citizens screamed “filthy Jew.”
COLIN L. LECI Jerusalem
Disgraceful indeed
Sir, – As a Serbian-American who lost over 100 relatives in the Holocaust of Serbians, Jews and Gypsies during World War II, I am outraged that there have been no condemnations of the recent commemoration of Ante Pavelic, the Nazi-puppet leader of the wartime Independent State of Croatia (NDH) (“Nazi memorial in Croatia a disgrace to Europe,” Comment & Features, January 5).
In the words of my friend John Ranz, chairman of the Buchenwald Survivors Association, Croatia was never de-Nazified after the war, as many Croatian war criminals (including members of the Catholic clergy) escaped justice with the help of ratlines established by the Vatican. Josep Broz Tito, post-war Yugoslavia’s half-Croat, half-Slovene communist dictator, also sought to bury the horror of Croatia’s genocidal past by banning or seeking to minimize discussion of the genocide.
As a result, history is repeating itself in Croatia and elsewhere in Europe as nations seek to rehabilitate and venerate their fascist legacies. This cannot be a good sign.
MICHAEL PRAVICA Henderson, Nevada The writer is a member of the board of the Serbian Unity Congress.
It matters a lot
Sir, – Douglas M. Bloomfield’s January 5 Washington Watch column (“Will Beit Shemesh lead to erosion on Capitol Hill?”) matters because Bloomfield is in a position to report dependably on the perceptions of Jewish- American voters for whom Israel matters.
The kulturkampf being gleefully hashed and rehashed by Israel’s domestic media, and then being echo-chambered into the Israel-fixated wider world, does matter.
The despicable behavior here of religious extremists and their enablers does resonate within the thinking of important publics in America that we have been able to rely upon so far.
We can only pray that the political class here in Israel finds some spine.
Sir, – I wish to relate an incident I witnessed a couple of weeks ago while on an early afternoon Egged “mehadrin” (gender-separate) bus from Ofakim to Bnei Brak.
When I got on, a non-religious couple was sitting two or three rows behind the driver (now notoriously known as the “men’s section”). No one made any comment or fuss. I managed to get a seat, but the bus soon became crowded and a few young ladies were even sitting on the steps by the rear door.
At one of the last stops before leaving Ofakim, a young, pregnant haredi women got on and worked her way to the back.
One or two haredi men looked back to follow her progress and when they saw she had no seat, one approached the non-religious couple and seemed to make a deal.
He then went back to the pregnant woman and told her to come forward, which she reluctantly did. He had arranged that the non-religious man would sit in his seat next to another man, one row behind, so that the pregnant women could sit next to the non-religious woman. The haredi man himself stood for the whole journey, about 90 minutes.
This sort of event is never reported in the newspapers. Not everything is black and white.