July 11: As Hillel said

Founding fathers of US had little respect for Judaism.

letters 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
letters 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Not too friendly
Sir, – Regarding “Poland to extradite alleged Mossad agent to Germany on passport forgery charges” (July 8), a few months ago, Britain expelled an Israeli diplomat on the assumption that Israel had forged British passports for a covert operation in Dubai. This move was later followed by Ireland and Australia, although no proof was provided by any of the countries. Britain’s then-foreign secretary, David Miliband, even condemned Israel, saying this was not how friendly countries behave toward each other.
Now, a Russian spy has apparently been caught in the US carrying a forged British passport. We have yet to hear Her Majesty’s government condemn Russia or expel one of its diplomats.
One might easily come to the conclusion, and quite rightly so, that Israel is judged by another standard. That is definitely not how friendly countries behave toward each other.
Interesting parallel
Sir, – Regarding “Easing of Gaza blockade doesn’t apply to people” (July 8), how sad that Israel, by not letting them study in the university near Ramallah, is behaving toward women like Hamas does.
Illumination needed
Sir, – David Newman’s column “What is happening to our freedom of speech?” (Borderline Views, July 6) obfuscates more than it illuminates.
Surely the question is simple: Is the New Israel Fund providing funds to individuals or organizations supporting activities that harm, delegitimize or demonize Israel, such as the BDS Movement? Why does the NIF not respond with a simple yes or no?
No Israel-firster he
Sir, – Martin Indyk’s opinion piece (“A quiet diplomacy on the Mideast peace path,” July 5) proves beyond doubt that he could never be suspected of dual loyalty, for he exhibits not even appropriate concern for Israel’s legitimate interests.
Not so long ago, when Obama and his administration felt secure enough to act out their anti-Israel bias and to figuratively put Netanyahu, Israel and the Jews “in their place,” Indyk – good team player that he is – came out with an unconscionably rude piece in The New York Times telling the prime minister of Israel that unless he was ready to go it alone, he had better comply with the wishes of the US.
Now that the administration has found that it miscalculated vis a vis its friendly ally, and that the American Jewish community and decent independent thinkers everywhere were taking umbrage, Obama et al. began an effort at a charm campaign.
It is even possible that many gullible American Jews have been assuaged, especially as they find it most difficult to acknowledge the grave error they made.
Now Indyk, again the ultimate team player, would have us believe that Prime Minister Netanyahu has a golden opportunity for achieving peace: All he has to do is give up the Golan and eschew settlement activity and building wherever it has not been approved by the Arabs and Obama, and disregard the wishes of his coalition partners and his electorate. (Democracy, anyone?) As if this were not a sufficient recipe for disaster – and it is appropriate to note that we are now in a period of our calendar known as a season for disaster) – Indyk comes up with the ultimate good advice: To win Obama’s confidence, Netanyahu should make the president his confidante by putting his cards on the table.
Fortunately, neither Netanyahu nor the Israeli public is gullible or easily duped.
Sir, – Martin Indyk recounts as successes all the concessions forced on Israel by an American president whose agenda is clearly to weaken the Jewish state. Perhaps Indyk is one of the handful of people who think that, if push comes to shove, Obama will protect us.
I am not among them. Conditions must be met if we in Israel are to have any confidence in a peace agreement.
First, we have to hear the magic words pronounced loud and clear by the significant leaders of the Arab world, and by the leaders of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas: “Israel has the right to exist as a Jewish state in the Middle East.” They must be pronounced in Arabic as well as in English, and by at least some of the imams.
Second, we must be convinced that the American president will actually help rather than hinder our defense.
Obama seems to think that he can force unlimited concessions from Israel. He cannot.
We will not allow the world to do to us what it did to Czechoslovakia in 1938. Unlike the Czechs, we will not quietly acquiesce to our own demise.
Ma’aleh Adumim
Ditch Lieberman
Sir, – As a Likud voter, I’m pleading for a new foreign minister (“Despite PM-Lieberman meeting over Turkey, Israel Beiteinu still aims to make trouble for Netanyahu,” July 4).
Lieberman wonders why he’s being sidelined. To all of us simple folk, the answer is quite simple: If he would just do his job, others wouldn’t have to do it for him.
Please, let’s get someone who doesn’t put his foot in his mouth every time he opens it, someone who actually stands up for Israel in an eloquent way – with proper English and in a manner that doesn’t pull the rug out from under the prime minister.
LARRY BIGIOZichron Ya’acov
As Hillel said
Sir, – Eli Kavon, in “America’s Founding Fathers and Judaism” (July 4), points out that great figures of early America “had little respect for Judaism as a faith.” If true, how did this come about? What diminished the earlier esteem felt for Judaism by Strabo, Augustus and Nicolaus of Damascus, among others? The tide turned against Judaism with the catastrophic fall of Bar Kokhba (135 CE). Driving on the campaign were the apologists Justin Martyr (“Dialogue against Trypho the Jew,” c. 155-160 CE), Melito of Sardis (“Against the Jews,” c. 170 CE), Tertullian (“Against the Jews,” 206 CE) and Cyprian (“Against the Jews,” c. 230 CE).
All the rest is commentary.

Tel Aviv
Leave on those walking shoes
Sir, – Isn’t it strange that we are willing to invest so much effort, time and money for the release of Gilad Schalit (“PM: We all want Gilad freed, but there are limits,” July 2), and at the same time invest so little in road accident prevention and smoking prevention (10,000 lives lost each year)? Surely, we as a people value all loss of life. Why not march and protest for these items as well? MATTIAS ROTENBERG Petah Tikva Refreshing approach Sir, – I hope Teheran’s boycott of Coca Cola fails (“Iran launches campaign to boycott ‘Zionist’ brands,” July 1), and here is my reason why.
In March 1992, a friend arranged for me to see an international vice president at the world office of Coca Cola in Atlanta, Georgia. I came with a gift – my American Heritage Haggada, which contained images regarding Coke and Passover in the US from 1935 through 1980.
I also wanted to thank him, as an official of the soft drink company, for having brought Coca Cola to Israel and for standing so firm against the Arab boycott.
He indicated that, because of the boycott, the company had lost millions of dollars through the years.
When I asked him why it continued to sell its product in Israel, he answered, “We did it because it was the right thing to do.”