July 8: A two-faced Obama?

Before he comes, we need to know which Obama will be visiting.

letters 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
letters 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
A two-faced Obama?
Sir, – If US President Barack Obama does finally visit Israel, he will be welcomed (“Obama tells Netanyahu he’s ‘ready’ to come to Israel,” July 7). But before he comes, we need to know which Obama will be visiting.
Will it be the March Obama, who insulted Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu by making him enter the White House through a back door, who hectored him with pro- Palestinian views, who refused any joint press appearances and did not allow photographers? Or will it be the July Obama, who changed his attitudes and was not only welcoming to Netanyahu, but seemed to have changed his own policies, accepting Netanyahu’s 10-month building freeze on the West Bank and praising Netanyahu’s liberalization of the blockade of Gaza as “brave” steps? Now Obama must use pressure on the Palestinians to ensure that direct talks start as soon as possible.
If he does, we might be disposed to welcome him as a friend.
Otherwise, we too can show him the back door.
Sir, – As someone who made aliya from Chicago, I am not fooled by President Obama’s public “change” toward Israel. His show of support and friendship was just that, a show. A show to keep the Jewish support for the November elections. If he comes here I would bet that it will be close to those elections.
A promise is a promise
Sir, – A very large advertisement on page 7 (July 6) has a large heading: “A promise is a promise.”
The images of seven ministers appear in the advertisement, concerning a possible extension of the building freeze. I, for one, agree wholeheartedly: a promise is indeed a promise.
However, I want to remind them that their statement also applies to the promise of the government to remove all illegal constructions in Judea and Samara. Maybe they should place another advertisement to the settlers to remind them that they should peacefully accept the fact that a promise is a promise.
An imbalance in culpability
Sir, – Regarding the agreement that Israel and the Palestinians will both investigate war crimes and improper behavior of military personnel, why is Israel the only one that is under scrutiny (“Soldiers to face charges for misconduct during Cast Lead,” July 7)? Aren’t the Palestinians also required to investigate and report on alleged crimes committed by its guerillas, terrorists and militants who used human shields, fired missiles from highly populated civilian areas, and sent children to attack Israeli military forces? Why the imbalance in culpability, responsibility and reporting? And furthermore, if there was honesty from the Palestinian side, it would reveal how the Israeli soldiers acted under duress and threat of attack in most, if not all cases. Both the lack of Palestinian investigating, and the presence of Israeli honesty, make it clear that the Israeli army acted responsibly in Operation Cast Lead, as well as in the flotilla incident.
Chicago, IL
An open letter about the film festival
This is an open letter to Meg Ryan and any other misguided celebrities (or just regular folks) who are boycotting Israel Film Festivals and other visits to Israel due to the Mavi Marmara incidents (July 7).
I am sure you are all kind, caring humanitarians, who choose to use your high visibility and ability to influence the “regular people” when you take a stand in cases involving morality. I commend you for this. Unfortunately, too many people, good people, have been duped by those who would demonize Israel, and take every opportunity to do so.
I implore you, please do the right thing, and not what may be “in style” as the supposed right thing. Israel struggles on a daily basis for its safety, against many of those who would want its total destruction.
I wish you all of the best, and hope that you and all good people open your eyes to see truth and seek justice.
Beit Shemesh
Are we sacrificing others for Gilad?
Sir, – I admire the family of Gilad Schalit for working tirelessly for the release of their son. I’m sure they would volunteer to sacrifice themselves in his place if they could.
The same cannot be said for many others who advocate paying “any price” for his release.
Statistics show that for our single prisoner, other Israelis will die at the hands of the Hamas prisoners released in exchange. I feel that what they are doing is volunteering me and my family in his place.
My apologies to any of the marchers who would volunteer to sacrifice their own children in the place of Gilad Schalit.
Let’s free Gilad Schalit – but not by signing the death warrant for others.
Where is the outrage?
Sir, – Is Caroline Glick the only voice of sanity and selfrespect today in Israel? In “Standing Down the Hate- Filled Jury” (July 6), she writes that hating Israel is now a valid criminal defence in Britain, with five people who admitted to destroying $225,000 at an arms factory in Brighton acquitted because their “aim” was to prevent the arms reaching the IDF, which might use them against the Gazans. Not only did the jury acquit them, but the judge’s guidance precipitated and virtually ensured the verdict.
Why is there not a protest against this injustice by our government, Foreign Ministry, Justice Ministry, our so-called leaders? Why don’t we react? Why is it always too little, too late, if at all? The world is full of injustice and lies against Israel and unless we become pro-active, it will continue and grow stronger – just because we let it.
Sir, – The British judge who oversaw the non-guilty verdict of five men who vandalized an Israeli arms company condoned violence and damage to property without even checking the facts. “Hell on earth,” as he described the situation for Gazans, is what Israel has suffered with suicide bombings, terror attacks, kidnappings, and those who have no regard for the Geneva Convention‘ s requirements for the treatment of prisoners of war.
Hell on earth is what Gilad Shalit is going through, and what the kidnapped soldiers in Lebanon, who were probably killed after capture, went through. Hell on earth is what Daniel Pearl went through when he was executed because he was a Jew.
When will the British government wake up and realize that Israel is not the enemy?
Petach Tikva
Sir, – Caroline Glick finished her article – concerning the British judge who acquitted five persons who trashed a factory that had dealings with Israel – by asking why Israel’s response was muted, defensive and, I would add, lacking in any form of aggressive tactic.
I would submit that the problem lies in the Israeli threshold of indignation. Usurp his place in a queue, steal his parking spot, tell him “no” when he wants to hear “yes,” and he will fight tooth-and-nail. Ask him to formulate a calculated response to a major insult such as that delivered by the British judge, and it is another matter entirely.
Mevaseret Zion