July 31: Right on

David Newman's "The myth of a settlement freeze" showed that President Obama is not an enemy of Israel.

letters 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
letters 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Right on... Sir, - David Newman's "The myth of a settlement freeze" (July 28) was right on. He showed that President Obama is not an enemy of Israel. On the contrary, what he would like to do is in Israel's interests if it really wants peace with its neighbors. Newman showed that the "settlers" have no intention of pulling back unless they are forced to. And only Israel's government can decide how to act - whether to move with justice and remove all those hilltops and settlements, or to face a permanent standoff with our Arab neighbors. Isi Leibler's views are well-known, and his piece "American Jews: Stand up and be counted" (same date) was no exception. He feels Obama is less than a good friend because he won't agree to allow Israel to do whatever it pleases, no matter the cost to us and the whole region. Bush, of course, was much easier to get along with. LEONARD ZURAKOV Netanya ...wrong turn Sir, - Regarding the rally against US pressure on the issue of settlements in the West Bank ("Protesters urge government not to bend to US on settlements," July 28): I want to encourage the people of Israel to continue to resist our president's dictates. President Obama's position on Israel and its settlements is in stark opposition to the ideas of nearly every American I know. Ordinary Americans wish to see a stronger Israel. We desire that Israel's democratic values and equality be set on a hill for the rest of the world to see. We believe Israel is the greatest hope for long-term peace in the Middle East. It's disappointing for many Americans that our president would continue to impede the development of Israeli towns. The vast majority of Americans would support no such concessions from Israel so long as the Palestinians refuse to recognize the right of Israel to exist and continue to give aid to Hamas. There are those in the world who believe communication will solve anything; perhaps this is the president's goal. But when Israel has existed for 60 years and its enemies will not acknowledge it, there can be little communication. When enemies of Israel give up hating, they will see how silly they've been. They will see that Israel is not the problem, and that violence and hatred are. JORDAN BENNETT ARNOLD Cincinnati, Ohio Yeah Sir, - The crown prince of Bahrain, Sheikh Salman bin Hamad al-Khalif, feels fresh thinking is needed for the Arab Peace Initiative to have the impact it deserves. Well, I think we can all agree with that ("Arabs need to talk to the Israelis," July 27). EDITH OGNALL Netanya Awareness Sir, - Thanks to MK Nissim Ze'ev for making us aware that Israel is indeed linked to the Creator ("A shekel for your thoughts - MK proposes currency motto to 'remind Israelis of Judaism': Shas's Ze'ev wants 'We believe in the creator of the world' on shekel bills, citing America's 'In God We Trust'" (July 29). I would propose Borei olam linegdi tamid ("I am ever mindful of God's presence" or "I will place God before me always"). It declares Israel's personal relation with the Creator. AARON SWIRSKI Netanya