June 12: Give us beauty!

Readers ask for better-looking reporters; A grandmother relates to the Schalits.

letters independence day (photo credit: )
letters independence day
(photo credit: )
What about Pollard?
Sir, – The almost lighthearted exchange of Russian, American and British spies contrasts strongly with the treatment of Jonathan Pollard (“US, Russia complete historic spy swap,” July 11).
Pollard’s incarceration for life is almost unprecedented. He conveyed information to Israel that America was supposed to reveal under an agreed exchange of information. At no time was US security endangered.
Pollard pled guilty after a plea bargain accepted by the prosecution, but turned down by the court on receipt of a vindictive letter from then-secretary of defense Caspar Weinberger. Contrast this to the relatively light sentences meted out to American citizens who spied for Russia, causing untold damage.
Surely it is about time that Pollard is freed.
Much more needed
Sir, – US President Barack Obama (“Finally, presidential empathy,” July 9) should rest assured that Israelis are not bothered about his attempts to reach out to the Muslim world. What does bother them is his apparent double standard, in which he reaches out and gains nothing in return, while at the same time using his Israeli allies as scapegoats.
It is going to take more than one TV interview for me (and probably for others ) to dispel the distrust that his administration has so misguidedly allowed to develop.
Sir, – It seems that President Obama has convinced Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to institute additional confidencebuilding concessions. But it’s past time for Obama and Netanyahu to expect reciprocal gestures from the Palestinian Authority, such as a complete end to government- sanctioned anti-Israel incitement.
And, by the way, the release of Jonathan Pollard would be a long overdue act to demonstrate the sincerity of Obama’s good will toward us.
Sir, – For Obama to suggest that his middle name, “Hussein,” might prompt suspicion on the part of Israelis is disingenuous and demeaning.
I believe I speak for virtually all Israelis who are “suspicious” of the president when I assert that his middle name is the last thing that concerns us, and that we are intelligent and perceptive enough to assess him based on his policies and performance.
New old plan
Sir, – This is one Israeli who does not “know full well that we must separate from the Palestinians in order to keep our country both Jewish and democratic” (“The beginning of a revived partnership?,” Editor’s notes, July 9).
The key to Israeli sovereignty in Judea and Samaria is Jordanian citizenship for the Arabs of these areas. This would leave Arabs and Jews in their homes in the territories.
Arabs would vote for the Jordanian parliament, pay taxes to Jordan, and vote for and be governed locally by village and city councils. Even the police in these districts would be largely Arab, as part of the Israeli police force.
Under this proposal, Jordan would remain Jordan and not be renamed Palestine, although it would have a larger majority of Palestinian citizens. The future form of government would be determined by Jordanians through a democratic process, and not by Palestinian Arab irredentists who otherwise would eventually threaten to annex Jordan to a state of Palestine.
This is a much-abridged version of a plan to finally bring to fruition the intentions of the statesmen who met at the San Remo Conference in 1920 and made the Balfour Declaration into international law. The law, disregarded by the United Nations General Assembly in 1947 and by world powers thereafter, remains law to this day.
Let there be no mistake: Jordan is the Arab state in what was Palestine. There is no reason to create a second one, except to rob the Jewish nation of territory that is rightfully ours.
The scorn will come
Sir, – Maj.-Gen Gadi Eizenkot (“Sending Hizbullah a message: Israel is ready,” July 9) is absolutely right to adhere to the “Dahiya doctrine,” as is the IDF to declassify intelligence information on the way Hizbullah is (again) taking shelter behind the civilian population of Southern Lebanon.
However, Israel should not be surprised – even with such overwhelming evidence – if the world continues to scorn it.
The UN, Western governments and much of the population that elected them suffer from an inherent anti-Jewish and anti- Israel culture that goes back through history. Unfortunately, the disease is usually untreatable by either reason or fact, and few patients ever recover.
I. KEMP Nahariya
Give us beauty!
Sir, – I read your article on how aesthetics apparently benefit people in political life (“U. of Haifa researchers: Good looks help politicians get media attention,” July 8), something that might prompt them to invest in cosmetic improvements.
Now how about if some of Israel’s television reporters do likewise? Whenever I see Sari Raz or Keren Neubach on the screen I cringe. They both look frightful, with frizzy, dirty–looking hair that hasn’t seen a brush in days. They may be clever and cultured, but they look a mess. I can’t imagine any other self-respecting broadcasting authority employing women who look like that.
And what about Tali Lipkin-Shahak? Clever, charming – but agonizingly plain. We viewers want to look at something beautiful, not just occasionally, but all the time.
Not there for the asking
Sir, – Jeff Barak contends that Binyamin Netanyahu “should choose peace over ideology” (“All eyes on Bibi,” Reality check, July 5). This mistakenly assumes that peace is there for the asking with Mahmoud Abbas’s PA, and that the absence of peace is the result of an Israeli ideological obstacle, rather than due to Arab realities.
The writer exhorts Netanyahu to cease “constantly carping about the past and dragging up hostile Palestinian statements from the archives,” as though rejectionist, blood-curdling Palestinian statements are a thing of the past. In fact, the day before this piece appeared, Abbas obscenely honored Muhammad Daoud Oudeh, mastermind of the 1972 Munich Olympics hostage-taking of 11 Israeli athletes, calling him “a wonderful brother, companion.” Only days before that, he said that if the Arab states “want war, and if all of you will fight Israel, we are in favor.”
Israel can, as Barak desires, do all the things that didn’t bring peace during the Oslo period: It can stop Jews from building homes, it can hand over assets and territory to the PA, it can say anything it wants about its eagerness for peace. But he cannot expect a different result if his advice is followed.
National President, Zionist Organization of America
New York

Amichai and Gilad
Sir, – A year ago this Rosh Hodesh Av, my grandson, Amichai Steinmetz, disappeared in India. You ran an article about the disappearance (“Funds drying up in hunt for US-Israeli missing in India,” August 16, 2009), and over the past year, many people have contributed money so we could search for him, and many people continue to have him in their prayers. I ask you to allow me to say thank you to all of them through your paper.
I never realized how many Israelis are missing in India. Many families know nothing. My children send a search team to India every few weeks, and have prayed at Rachel’s Tomb.
Every day, you highlight the plight of the family of abducted soldier Gilad Schalit. I know how they feel. But they have one advantage: They know where their son is.
Please pray with us for all Israelis who are missing, and know that our prayers for Schalit’s safe return are always with his family.