June 7: Best possible outcome?

Monday morning quarterbacking – hindsight – doesn’t consider the possibility that any other operation could have had worse results.

Best possible outcome?
Sir, – Describing the IDF flotilla confrontation as “botched” or a “fiasco” is presumptuous. Monday morning quarterbacking – hindsight – doesn’t consider the possibility that any other operation could have had worse results.
For all we know, what happened was the best possible scenario.
    MILTON J. KRAMER    Ashdod
Good PR (finally)
Sir, – The picture of an Israeli commando helping a smiling Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead Maguire disembark from the Rachel Corrie (Page 1, June 6) is worth a thousand press briefings and should be sent to all European countries, as well as Turkey.
    ZVI FREEDMAN    Kiryat Tivon
Context works wonders
Sir, – A young rabbinical student shared the following commentary on this past Shabbat’s Torah portion. The portion relates how the spies, sent by Moses to scout out the Land of Israel, were punished for the report most brought back.’
Our speaker raised the question: Didn’t they report accurately on what they saw? Absolutely! But that was their mistake. Instead of simply commenting on their visual images and accepting them at face value, they should first have determined the significance and meaning.
Most of the world judges Israel with standards that seem to apply to no one else. It really makes no difference what we do. Instead of immediately jumping to conclusions about the events surrounding the flotilla, it would have been more appropriate and fair for both government leaders around the world and the international media to first investigate the facts!
    RONALD WACHTEL    Jerusalem
So does the right word
Sir, – The recent moves by the government of Israel have certainly made the country look very bad in the eyes of the world. For instance, a blockade is, in and of itself, by international law, an act of war. Why keep using the word? What’s wrong with “Coast Guard safety inspection?”
Further, intercepting vessels in international waters makes Israellook like an aggressor. And when you throw in comments from Likud partymembers, one could easily come to the conclusion that Israel is aracist country. I don’t believe that to be true, but clearly there is aperception problem here.
I’m not trying to criticize, justgently suggest that holding back on videos, having ultranationalistcomments from country leaders bandied about for nationalism’s sake, andnot calmly and consistently addressing basic issues make Israel, primafacie, look like a guilty aggressor.
I understand it lives in a tough neighborhood, but Israel is clearly losing the global public opinion poll.
    JOE TOSTEN    Los Angeles
Two more characters
Sir,– Eliezer Whartman (Letters, June 6) cites the behavior of two Yiddishidiots in regard to the Gaza flotilla affair, but astonishingly omitstheir inseparable blood-brothers, Tzitzer and Nudnik.
Tzitzer’splace is ably occupied by the world media and the UN, which stand byemitting the famous cry, Tut, Tut! As for Nudnik, who in the originalYiddish story is the idiot asking what kind of soup it was that theSchlemiel spilled in Schlemazel’s lap, whom might we nominate for thestarring role? Our own media, the government’s information services?
Any suggestions?
    STANLEY COHEN    Jerusalem
Calling the kettle black
Sir,– Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan calls the flotilla incident “thebloody massacre that Israel carried out” and calls the deaths of ninethugs a “crime against humanity.”
What does he call the Turkishholocaust against the Armenian people just a little less than a centuryago, resulting in the genocidal deaths of anything between one half andone and a half million people? No doubt, the morerecent invasion and ethnic cleansing of Northern Cyprus is another oftheir “humanitarian” enterprises, and the hostile treatment of theirKurdish minority highlights their peace-loving commitment to universalhuman relations.
    LEN GREEN    Haifa
Sir, – Prime Minister Erdogan needs to be reminded that he is murdering Kurdish people both in Turkey and in other countries.
    MIKE MORRIS     Kiryat Ono
Who are the hypocrites?
Sir,– Frankly, I feel deep shame each time the Armenian genocide ismentioned in the backdrop of recent Turkish anti-Israel behavior. Thatevent, which probably resembles the Holocaust more than any otherhistorical period, deserves our recognition and public condemnation.Israel failed in the past to speak out because the Turks were ourfriends, and as we had so few, we could not afford to alienate them.
Onlynow, when it is convenient to remember the Armenian genocide, do weremember that the Turks are not so morally grounded. Contrast this withthe Germans, who were forced by the world to face their deeds, allowinga new generation to emerge.
The Turkish people have been robbedof the opportunity to face their deeds and make changes. This is atravesty of justice for the perpetrators as well as the victims. Howdare we complain about Holocaust denial but silently overlook themurder of one million innocent people.
Speaking out for truthand justice is always the right choice, even when it conflicts withpolitical expedience. Israel needs to understand that its right toexist is granted not by fickle friends, but by God in heaven, and weneed please only Him.
No, not really
Sir,– I suppose you are receiving hundreds of e-mails daily that expressdismay at Israel’s inability to reverse the spiral of violence with thePalestinians. Seen from Britain, your government’s strategy appearsbound to fuel more anger from Gaza and from across the world. Themajority of the population in Gaza voted for the presentadministration... you have voted to behave as a rouge state. This istragic.
Peace can only arise from justice, not from bullying an oppressed, desperate people.
    DAVID IRESON    Exmouth, UK
TheLetters Editor responds: Almost all the e-mails received by the Post inthe past week that have been critical of Israel have found fault withthe way it handled the flotilla interception and the resulting fallout,and not with its “inability to reverse the spiral of violence with thePalestinians.”
And in other news...
Sir, – While Bank ofIsrael Governor Stanley Fischer may be trying to fix the real estate“bubble” by limiting mortgages to 60 percent of a home’s value, hecompletely ignores a major cause of the bubble – foreigners who buy asecond home in Israel, and wealthy new immigrants who buy homes withcash (“Fischer putting squeeze on young couples while tycoons cleanup,” June 4).
In popular cities such as Jerusalem, Ra’anana andother Sharon-area hot spots, high demand and people willing to pay anyprice are driving housing prices up. No cap on lending rates willchange that.
    CHANA PINTO    Ra’anana
Sir,– Why on earth aren’t people standing with posters outside the YeshurunSynagogue and writing letters about the outrageous behavior of itsboard (“Synagogue shuts counseling center due to ‘immodesty,’” May 25).
Youcan bet the daughters and sons of those rabbis, who don’t want to lookat the “immodestly dressed” girl soldiers, aren’t serving our country.How dare they kick out these young men and women who wanted a place forcounseling and relaxing!
My daughter was a lone soldier beforewe came here; her flat mate was a lone soldier, and the programdirector was a lone soldier. They are working to make lone soldiers whocame after them have an easier time.
    SYBIL KAPLAN    Jerusalem