June 7: Error upon error

What a triumph for militant Islam to know that the voice of Israel is to be silenced.

letters good 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
letters good 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Error upon error... Sir, - What a triumph for militant Islam to know that the voice of Israel is to be silenced. "National liberation" wars have been won on two fronts: guerilla warfare ("low intensity conflict") and ideology, aimed at inspiring one's own population and, even more, undermining the other side's belief systems. A strong case has been made that the US abandoned the Vietnam War because of the intense propaganda campaign waged by North Vietnam through the inadvertent tool of American media and icons such as Jane Fonda. The same mechanism is at work on the Arab front, which has distorted UN Resolution 242 beyond measure. The continuous, self-proclaimed victimization of the Palestinians has won over much of the world, for whom Israel has become a hated punching bag. That Israel has not seen fit to present its side of the picture throughout the years is a tragic and strategic error. Surely it is not to be compounded by the loss of Israel's one reliable international voice: IBA English radio and TV news broadcasts? ("Losing our voice," Editorial, June 6) DAPHNE BURDMAN Jerusalem ...and what can be done Sir, - Once more our leaders are shooting themselves in the foot! Re "IBA cuts may force English TV, radio news off the air" (June 5) - we beg Jerusalem Post readers to do everything possible to avert this catastrophe. As already stated (although it seems to have escaped the attention of Israel's decision-makers, who seem determined to sabotage hasbara with every decision they make) the IBA radio and TV news broadcasts are the only unbiased ones in the Middle East, essential listening for thousands of English-speaking Israelis and those for whom English is the preferred second language; also for diplomats, journalists, businessmen and tourists to Israel, not forgetting many overseas listeners. If the IBA management committee's shortsighted decision stands, listeners will have no alternative but to receive their news from BBC, Sky, CNN, France 24 and, worst of all, Al-Jazeera. E-mail your protests now to IBA chairman Moshe Gavish at yor@iba.org.il and to Mordechai Sklar, IBA director-general, at mankal@iba.org.il. LOLA & NORMAN W.COHEN Co-Chairmen British Israel Group Jerusalem Cure for a disease Sir, - Prof. Leslie Wagner is right to say that when discussing the campaign to boycott Israel it is better to cite the denial of Israel's right to exist than anti-Semitism (Letters, June 5 ); but nobody should be under any illusion that denying Israel's right to exist and employing a double standard in judging Israel is anything other than anti-Semitism. Given that we are dealing with an irrational disease, Israel's government "working tirelessly with its friends in Britain to expose the true purpose of the boycott campaign strategy" will bring no cure at all, and probably make matters worse. What should be examined is why the disease has at this time manifested itself most virulently in the UK, as opposed to other parts of mainland Europe. To date only sloppy answers have been given, such as the growth of the Muslim population, something that is not unique to Britain. Ultimately only British society can contain the disease, but that requires internal leadership from Jewish leaders and friends of Israel such as Baroness Cox, who has spoken out against the boycott in very clear terms ("British baroness denounces proposed UK boycott of Israel as 'outrageous,'" June 4). Most important of all is the actions of the British government, which has increased financial aid to the Palestinian Authority exponentially in line with the increase in terrorism against Israel since 2000. Far from setting the best example, such a government is more likely to be part of the problem. PETER SIMPSON Jerusalem Sir, - Most worrying about this boycott is that among those who instigated it are university lecturers, supposedly our nation's intellectual elite, the academic cr me de la cr me. Yet they are demonstrating an ignorance no educator should exhibit. I think it worth reiterating that not all of us in the UK are of the mind-set described in "The campaign to delegitimize Israel" (David Horovitz, June 3). Many Brits are still understanding and sympathetic to Israel's international situation. They appreciate that while the circumstances of the Palestinian people are dire and in desperate need of remedy, the actions taken by the UCU will do little to change this and will, ultimately do more to harm the relationship between our two countries. Please remember that despite the activities of some groups in the UK and the stories printed in a few of our newspapers, Israel has many friends within Great Britain. JAMES McLOUGHLIN Liverpool, UK Full disclosure Sir, - A request to the British academics threatening to boycott us: Could you possibly make use of your reputed intellect to delineate the precise amount of retaliation considered appropriate to the attacks of our enemies, and state upon which legal basis and standard it is determined? (As Europe self-destructs," Caroline B. Glick, June 1.) HARVEY HASS Jerusalem Past and present Sir, - I am sorry about Yariv Oppenheimer's view of the settlers ("Peace Now rally in Hebron: Settlers are a bone in our throats," June 6). But maybe he should open his Bible and read Samuel 2. King David ruled in Hebron for eight years before he ruled in Jerusalem. And there was always a Jewish presence in Hebron until the massacre in 1929, when the British thought it would be better if we left. So I think we have the first claim on Hebron. Mr. Oppenheimer should know that a people without a past will not have a present. Or maybe he would like to live somewhere else. JUDY FORD Petah Tikva Friend and advocate Sir, - On Shabbat, June 2, one of Israel's most devoted friends in the American Christian community, Dr. David Allen Lewis, passed away in Springfield, Missouri. Having known Dr. Lewis personally for many years through my contacts with US Christian leaders while serving at the Israeli embassy in Washington in the 1980s, I can attest that he was not only a friend but also an active and energetic advocate in Israel's cause. Dr. Lewis was among the founders of America's National Christian Leadership Conference for Israel (NCLCI), and for decades was chairman of its board of directors. In 1975 he founded and then presided over Christians United For Israel (CUFI), leading over 50 tour groups to Israel. A tireless lecturer, Dr. Lewis was also a diligent researcher and prolific writer and editor. In his periodical The Jerusalem Courier & Prophecy Digest Israel often played a central, positive role. Among his many books on the impact of religion and the Bible on current affairs, several are devoted specifically to Israel and/or Christian-Jewish relations, titles such as Can Israel Survive in a Hostile World?, Israel and the USA: The Story of Hayim Salomon - Forgotten Patriot; and New 95 Theses: Christian and Jewish Relations. MOSHE AUMANN Jerusalem