July 7: Freedom of ideas

Freedom of thought and freedom of speech are necessary in a democratic society to keep it democratic.

letters (photo credit: JP)
(photo credit: JP)
Freedom of ideas
Sir, – I am very bewildered about the contention engendered by remarks of Rabbi Dov Lior and Rabbi Ya’acov Yosef (“Rabbis should express opinions without fear, Dov Lior tells crowd outside Supreme Court,” July 5).
They endorsed a book that was legally oriented and available to anyone.
The effect is similar to reading a newspaper or reading an editorial with which you agree or disagree.
Freedom of speech and thought is not inciting by itself.
Freedom of thought and freedom of speech are necessary in a democratic society to keep it democratic.
I certainly am grateful for the fact that I believe Israel is strong enough to deal with a divergence of opinions and be a free marketplace of competing ideas.
Sir, – In “Location is everything” (Analysis, July 4) Jonah Mandel and Yaakov Lappin imply it to be incongruous that those who were protesting the detainment of two highly venerated rabbis chose as their venue the Supreme Court.
This is precisely the proper focus of their demands for equality under the law. They do not contest that anyone is above the law – rabbis included – rather that the law should be applied under democratic principles, and equally.
Truth will win
Sir, – In “Israeli, Turkish diplomats looking to end ‘Marmara’ crisis” (July 5), Herb Keinon writes: “Israeli and Turkish diplomats at the UN are working on a statement regarding last year’s Mavi Marmara incident that would be acceptable to both sides....”
I would like to make a suggestion.
They should write the truth and let the chips fall where they will. When you attempt to rewrite history to suit your own needs, at best you are on shaky ground. Remember, this is the Turkey that still has not accepted its role in the massacre of Armenians, and whose treatment of minorities is sub-par.
You can never learn from your mistakes unless you own up to the fact that a mistake was made in the first place.
A real friendship between Israel and Turkey can only be achieved when both countries come to realize that truth is the only path to a successful and fruitful relationship.
Moved to write...
Sir, – At the age of almost 68, this is my first letter to a newspaper, but I feel I must express my profound disgust.
If Dylan Murphy (“Flotilla or not,” Letters, July 5) is so concerned about the people of Gaza, why does he not demonstrate against the terrorist Hamas government that was elected by the people of Gaza and which allows the indiscriminate bombardment of towns and cities inside Israel? Why does he not demonstrate against the inhumane treatment of our captive soldier, Gilad Schalit? I recommend that Murphy spend some time in Ashkelon or Sderot during a rocket attack. Perhaps this reality might provide him with a lesson in human rights – the right to live without fear from indiscriminate rocket attacks.
 ...or to boredom
Sir, – Throughout the years, we have read of famous naval exploits, such as Columbus’s crossing into the then-unknown, the Spanish Amarda, etc. These events have gone down in history.
To these episodes can now be added the Gaza Flotilla.
I would suggest that the Post stop printing news or views about this nonsense. Let it continue to fizzle out, and the naive do-gooders can go play somewhere else.
Kiryat Tivon
No right of return
Sir, – I am in full agreement with “There is no Palestinian right of return” (Comment & Features, July 5). Bleeding hearts and those who simply love to find something wrong with Israel have absolutely no basis for blaming it for everything that goes wrong or what they simply don’t like! We Israelis have built a state against overwhelming odds, and there is no justice whatsoever in the blanket statement that says we have to allow at least a small percentage of those Palestinians who left to return.
There are many such who did not leave, and they are still here.
If they want to be Israelis, more power to them! Those who left will just have to find their home in a future Palestine.
No coup here
Sir, – Caroline B. Glick makes the outrageous claim in “Israel’s palace coup plotters” (Our World, July 5) that Yoav Galant was appointed IDF chief of General Staff because he was believed to be open to launching an attack against Iran. This is pure fiction.
Galant was appointed because he distinguished himself, among other things, while commanding operations for Cast Lead. His inclination or non-inclination to attack Iran was totally irrelevant.
Glick herself may think that attacking Iran is a good idea, but she is definitely not the chief of General Staff. Even more egregious, she falsely claims that Galant was ousted as chief of General Staff-designate in a so-called palace coup. The fact is, he caused his own problems. He did something illegal, and the attorney-general could not justify his appointment.
The only palace coup in this case is in Glick’s mind.
Tel Aviv
A few buts
Sir, – The ifs that Gershon Baskin advises the Palestinians to state (“If... then...,” Encountering Peace, July 5) were all offered to PLO leaders in previous negotiations by Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert, and they were rejected out of hand. The ifs suggested for Israel have also been stated clearly, but have not been accepted by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
Prime Minister Netanyahu recently stated several times that if Abbas would publicly acknowledge Israel as a Jewish state – thus accepting the legality provided by the UN resolution of 1947 – with no other pre-conditions, negotiations could proceed.
It is as simple as that, with the ball now clearly in the Palestinian court.
This needs to be acknowledged and accepted by US President Barack Obama.
Tel Mond
Ease of comparison
Sir, – I was interested to read – side by side – in your July 4 Comment & Features section two interpretations of US President Obama’s plan for peace negotiations.
While that of Barry Rubin (“An Obama peace plan? No thanks, we’re still paying for the last one”) was clearly based on painful facts, that of Irwin Cotler (“Obama, Netanyahu and the peace process) painfully appeared to be theoretical and rather wishful thinking.
Ramat Hasharon
Closer to home
Sir, – As a longtime admirer of Kochav Nolad (A Star is Born), one of the few television programs that is both apolitical and entertaining, I was surprised, disappointed and saddened by the songs chosen for the “anythingbut- Hebrew” segment of June 15.
If Arabic, French, Yemenite, English and Spanish could be learned by the excellent performers, why not Yiddish? What have the Beatles got that Itzik Manger lacks? Are we really so estranged from our wonderful, rich Yiddish culture? To the producers of Kochav Nolad: How about an all-Yiddish program?
The name of the Bulgarian foreign minister is Nikolay Mladenov, and not as appeared in “Netanyahu to make rare visits to Romania, Bulgaria” (July 6).
We regret the error.