March 2: That’s not good

The leaders of J Street should be aware that they are not gaining mainstream adherents if they pursue this wrong policy.

That’s not good
Sir, – Though I have been a supporter of J Street since its inception, I must agree fully with Rabbi David Saperstein (“First speaker at J Street parley chastises it for opposing US veto at UN,” February 28) and your editorial in the same paper (“J Street’s fragile alternative”) when they state that J Street is in danger of losing its mainstream activists who back Israel, no matter what the group’s position is today.
BDS is very wrong, no matter who employs it, as Saperstein stated.
This is cutting off your nose to spite your face. It’s really stupid, and the leaders of J Street should be aware that they are not gaining mainstream adherents if they pursue this wrong policy.
Their present policy certainly doesn’t help Israel. It makes them look bad, and that’s not good.
Sir, – Contrary to the opinions expressed in your February 28 editorial, there is nothing laudable about presenting unaffiliated American Jewry with a leftist-Zionist alternative. It is far better that unaffiliated Jews remain aloof than join ranks with Israel’s enemies.
The position of Israeli leftists can somehow be understood whether motivated by a naïve belief that peace is the real way to security, and less so if they are more concerned about victims on the enemy’s side than Israeli victims.
But J Street’s opposition to the US veto of a Security Council resolution declaring Israeli settlements illegal is utterly incomprehensible.
J Street’s proclamations should leave no one wondering where it stands. If tomorrow it were to broaden its delegitimization of Israel to include areas inside the Green Line, the majority of its supporters would lend support. I believe they would prefer to see Israel destroyed than live with the perception that Israel has trespassed on the rights of innocent Palestinians.
J Street has clarified its true position.
Instead of criticizing it for crossing a red line, we should be thankful that moral clarity is being promoted.
Not so newsworthy
Sir, – I was more intrigued than surprised to read on the front page of the February 25 Jerusalem Post the inclusion – amid the weighty sub-headlines relating to attacks by Muammar Gaddafi’s forces – the statement “Livni urges Libyans to embrace democracy.”
How in fact was this conveyed to the Libyans? What I feel to be a lot more newsworthy is opposition leader Tzipi Livni’s official blessing to the opening of the J Street conference in Washington, which enjoyed the physical presence of several other Kadima MKs.
The former foreign minister of the State of Israel now endorses those who choose to denounce us!
Petah Tikva
Small miracles
Sir, – Hip hip, hooray! Jeff Barak waited until he completed half a column before criticizing Prime Minister Netanyahu (“Between Binyamin and Avigdor,” Reality Check, February 28).
Most of your op-ed columnists have a theme and political position, and regardless of whether I agree or disagree, they are interesting.
But Barak in essence has just one thing to say: the prime minister is bad.
The only reason to read his column is to see how far in one must go before seeing this.
He must have interests besides criticizing the prime minister. Perhaps he can let us in on them.
Sir, – Obviously, there is a worrying and highly regrettable lack of consensus within and between our government ministers and Knesset members, which is caused by the contentious outcome of a fragmented coalition due to our deeply flawed electoral system. But is the “pot calling the kettle black?” Angela Merkel has certainly not proved to be the honest broker and “long-standing friend” that Jeff Barak calls her, as Germany’s financial links with the genocidal maniac Ahmadinejad continue to be fostered.
What extreme naivety induced any capable journalist to formulate the impression that politicians express honest opinions publicly?
Now he tells us
Sir, – Tzachi Hanegbi’s column urging an end to the coddling of terrorist prisoners while Gilad Schalit is kept incommunicado was excellent, leading to my desire to write a letter to the editor praising “Get tough on Hamas prisoners” (Comment & Features, February 28).
But then I began thinking: Hanegbi is not a mere journalist whose opinions are to be ignored by those in government.
For many years he was an integral member of the government, yet I don’t recall any action on his part to take away TV privileges from Palestinian prisoners. I don’t even remember him urging of any such action as an opposition MK.
Maybe the real lesson is that there should be a six-year term limit for MKs, with a mandatory two years off. It would force MKs to get out of their bubble and see the world a bit more clearly, as Hanegbi seems to be doing.
On the other hand, it might be that being out of the Knesset in and of itself makes you smarter.
Road safety suggestion
Sir, – Regarding “Combating Israel’s #1 killer” (Frontlines, February 25), I am very pleased that the Knesset has at last set up a subcommittee on the very important topic of road safety. I hope it will have the teeth to motivate Israel’s driving public and correct many of the problems that occur.
One area I feel very strongly about, and which might be the cause of many accidents, is road markings. Because a very inferior white road paint is used, these markings wear off very quickly, and as a driver you become totally unaware of which lane you are in.
The markings here rub away in under three months. In the UK, my country of origin, they last at least two years. They are very white and also reflective. What’s more, as they are slightly raised above road level, you can hear when you cross them. I am certain this type of road marking can be sourced here.
To back this up, more extensive use should also be made of reflective “cat’s eyes” for night driving.
Of course, the major area that needs a total rethink is how to change the Israeli driver’s mindset – for which I have no solution.
Invite the Queen!
Sir, – When our new ambassador to Britain presents his credentials to Queen Elizabeth II, may I humbly suggest, as an Israeli of British origin, that he also slip her an invitation to visit the State of Israel and see how its British olim are doing.
The Queen is getting on in years, so it really is high time she came to visit the only stable and true democracy in the Middle East, and one of the great wonders of the modern world. After all, in past years she has done the round of many of those Arab dictatorships that are now crumbling like ninepins all about us.
Like many ex-Britishers residing in our Jewish state, I still have fond feelings for the monarchy and its head, and even remember the joy and excitement of her 1953 coronation – which curiously enough coincided with my bar mitzva at the Chelsea Synagogue, and with the conquest of Everest.
So, Your Majesty: Please do accept the invitation to see what the Jews have achieved in their own little state almost 100 years after the Balfour Declaration, and crown your long and historic reign with a visit to the Holy Land. You can be assured of a very warm welcome from some 30,000 ex-Britishers residing here, many who preserve their command of English by reading The Jerusalem Post every day.