July 7: Solutions, please

I am 100 percent sure that each and every Jew in Israel and the Diaspora wants to see Gilad Schalit back home with his family.

letters 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
letters 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Solutions, please
Sir, – Kol hakavod to Linda Stern (“A misguided display,” Letters, July 6) and Stewart Weiss (“Why I’m not marching,” Comment, July 5).
I am 100 percent sure that each and every Jew in Israel and the Diaspora wants to see Gilad Schalit back home with his family. There must also be hundreds of thousands of Christians around the world who feel the same.
Prime Minister Netanyahu cannot do more than he is doing. The pressure on him is tremendous, from all sides of the political spectrum, both in Israel and abroad. It is a case of “condemned if I do, condemned if I don’t.”
One wonders what solutions his critics would apply if they were at the head of government.
A humanitarian issue
Sir, – I have been involved with the Gilad Schalit campaign for 2 years and I have been marching on some of the days with ordinary and extraordinary people of all ages and from all walks of life. I was amazed at three readers’ letters (July 5) and want to send a challenge.
I must assume that Linda Stern (“A misguided display”) is not understanding what is happening here when she uses the words “misguided” and “left leaning.”
Jerome Pollock (“Silent voices”) thinks that it’s because of Gilad’s family and supporters that Israel has offered to free 1,000 palestinian prisoners, but he does not know about the Gazan families demonstrating at frequent intervals.
As for Savta Selma, let her know that no one is blocking roads and everything is excellently organised.
The drivers who are inconvenienced are largely those in support, honking and sporting yellow ribbons.
At the concert (“Every note we play is going to Gilad,” July 6), everyone made it clear that it was the humanitarian issue which was paramount. I have been here for the best part of 60 years and there has never been such an outpouring from the people as this.
I am truly proud.
Tel Aviv
Sour note
Sir, – One must give full credit to the initiative of the Israel Philharmonic and its conductor Zubin Mehta for their efforts, by way of the concert near the Gaza border, to try to ensure that Gilad Schalit receives a visit from the International Red Cross without further delay (“Every note we play is going to Gilad,” July 6).
However, it does concern me that public figures like Mehta still make pronouncements of a political nature that question the veracity and sincerity of their public actions. During a BBC interview just prior to the concert, Mehta said, “Living conditions [in Gaza] are abnormal, completely desecrated since the last war. My heart goes out to them.... I hope the Israeli government will speak to them [Hamas] and rebuild their country....”
Zubin Mehta should stick to what he knows best – music.
Petah Tikva
Sir, – Israel is dealing and negotiating with a terrorist organization and finds that even offering 1,000 prisoners in exchange for Gilad it is not enough.
In his article “Why I’m not marching” (July 5), Stewart Weiss has made it clear that our hearts are with the Schalit family, but pressure should be brought against Hamas and not the Prime Minister for Gilad’s release. We are only in the position that we are in now because previous administrations bowed to local pressure and made concessions to terror groups that were truly out of proportion.
We must not allow terrorist organizations to set the agenda for our lives if we want to be a free nation.
Sir, – While there is disagreement in Israel about how much we are willing to give up for the return of Gilad Schalit, there seems to be universal agreement on the necessity of Red Cross representatives being allowed to visit him on a regular basis and to report whether the standards in which he is being held meet the minimum requirements called for by the Geneva Convention.
Until that is done, the standards for Palestinian prisoners in Israel must be reduced to the minimum allowed. If there are complaints, we can promise that the moment there is ongoing contact between Schalit and the Red Cross, the privileges will be restored.
The asymmetry of the situation is absurd. We need to be more proactive in pursuing this goal.
During his visit with President Obama in Washington, we have every right to expect that Prime Minister Netanyahu will make a strong statement supporting this position.
Publish the Hamas charter
Sir, – In the article “Frank Luntz: PM, on US visit, must show ‘commitment’ and ‘positive intent’” (July 6), Luntz states: “If every American were to learn what was in the Hamas charter, Israel would never have to worry about public support ever again.”
My thinking is that if this is such a powerful propaganda tool, The Jerusalem Post should publish it or salient parts of it for the information of its readers.
The wrong time to protest
Sir, – As a religious Zionist citizen of Israel, I call on the haredi leadership for an unequivocal condemnation of the atrocious demonstrations that are being organized by the Atra Kadisha about the so called “desecration” of Jewish cemeteries (“Haredim to demonstrate in DC against Israel’s ‘policy of desecrating holy graves,” July 5).
I demand that the united haredi leadership impose the same discipline and rules of conduct that resulted in the remarkably impeccable behavior of the hundreds of thousands who participated in the Emmanuel protest.
The denouncements by the Atra Kadisha and their Satmar cohorts of the government of Israel and their willingness to do so in Washington D.C. at a time when critical talks are taking place smacks of treason.
Petah Tikva
Disregarding the heroes of Warsaw
Sir, – I was sickened and disgusted by the actions of a former Israeli Air Force Captain, Yonatan Shapira, who spray painted pro- Palestinian graffiti and raised a Palestinian flag over the walls of the Warsaw Ghetto (“Israeli defaces Warsaw Ghetto walls,” July 5). My husband’s great uncle (Notte Isseroff) fought and died in the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. To think that a Jew would have so little regard for the heroic men and women who fought and died, battling the Nazis, makes me deeply ashamed for him.
You dishonor the uniform you once wore.
Kfar Yona
A missed opportunity in China
Sir, – During a recent trip to China I visited Expo 2010 in Shanghai. Over 200 countries, cities, and companies have built impressive pavilions. High on our list of priorities was the Israeli pavilion.
The visual presentation, set in a beautifully designed construction, was impressive. It depicts Israel’s many achievements in the field of science, hi-tech, medicine, and agriculture. These successes are important. The message, however, went over the heads of the majority of the visitors.
I have to report that, for Israel, Expo 2010 is a badly missed opportunity for Israel and Israeli companies to open up new markets in China. At the Israeli Expo they could have tasted, touched, sampled, and experienced so much of what Israel can market from bamba to yogurt to Dead Sea products to diamonds. They could have been enticed to see our wonderful tourist attractions.
None of this was available to them at Israel’s stand at Expo 2010. Where were our planners? Where was the coordination among government, industry, and commerce? If our movers and shakers don’t consider China as the next best market for israel, shame on them.