ROWAN SOMERVILLE IrelandThe same page...Sir, – According to Caroline Glick’s column “Biden’s lost cause” (March 5) Sen. John Kerry’s self-proclaimed purpose for his recent visit to Israel was “to make sure that we [Israel and US] are all on the same page and that we are all clear about Iran.”How could we be on the same page when Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s bestseller How to Convert the World to Islam or Destroy It has Israel in the first chapter and the United Sates in the last chapter? In Iran’s book, at least, Israel and the US are certainly not on the same page!
... of the same storySir, – Once again, Caroline Glick, in her defense of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, blames the Left and leftist press for his downfall during his first term as prime minister – not to mention international pressure from president Bill Clinton and others. However, while there is no question about the anti-Netanyahu atmosphere fostered then by the left wing, the fall of the government and Netanyahu was ultimately due more to infighting within the Likud and the prime minister’s rightist and religious party coalition partners, who, then as now, decided that he and his party were apparently not right-wing enough. Ergo, their active participation in forcing new elections. This was well-documented at the time, and I remember almost every political analyst and radio/TV interview discussing this phenomenon. Many signs point to a possible repetition of this today, because even though the current coalition may be much more stable and the public much less left-leaning, the constant rumblings from within certain Likud factions as the National Union and others certainly have the potential to bring down the present government, with little help from either the opposition or the Left.GERSHON HARRISHatzor HaglilitFayyad is not inciting to violenceSir, – Many people will have read your prominently placed headline “Fayyad is inciting violence” (March 1). Unfortunately, many of those same people will not have taken the time to read the remainder of the article, which does not substantiate the headline’s claim that Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad is inciting violence.Prime Minister Fayyad has never and will never encourage violence, but instead consistently espouses a peaceful solution to the conflict, with two independent states living peacefully side by side. In fact, during his visit to Hebron on Friday, February 26, the prime minister specifically said that “we will not be dragged to violence by the terrorism of the settlers and the terrorism of the settlement project.”What he does encourage, as stated in the article, is nonviolent popular resistance. We appreciate that the article itself, save for the title and first sentence, was balanced. Our concern is that people will not take the time to read the report, and therefore assume that the headline, which is misleading, is substantiated.We hope that, in future, you will choose your headlines with more care. Also, should you need any information or clarification, please do not hesitate to contact us.ABIR KOPTY Palestinian National AuthorityPrime Minister’s OfficeRamallahHeavy heartsSir, – Friday’s paper devoted half a page to the “heavy heart” our own tennis team takes with them as they play the Chilean team this Saturday following the devastating earthquake in their country (“Ran: We will play with a heavy heart,” March 5). It was a terrible tragedy, and I pray daily for their country.I, however, have a heavy heart over our team once again playing on Shabbat. If the Chilean team wanted to postpone this week’s events for another week, everyone would have understood; but our own people do not understand how sad it is that the Jewish people do not care to postpone our own needs and wants for a single day, for God.YECHIEL AARONHashmona’imCredit where credit is dueSir, – In his article “An ethnocracy or multiethnic democracy?” (March 2), Seth Frantzman writes of a new code word for slandering Israel: “ethnocracy.” However, his claim that it appears to have its origins in 2002 with research grants to one Alexander (Sandy) Kedar is chronologically in error.Sammy Smooha offered the “ethnic democracy” model in the mid-1990s, and in an article in Israel Studies, Vol. 3, in 1998, As’ad Ghanem, Nadim Rouhana and Oren Yiftachel critically engaged the theory. In the June 1998 issue of the Tel Aviv University Law Review, Yiftachel published another article entitled “Nation-Building and the Division of Space in the Israeli Ethnocracy.”I believe credit for denigrating the State of Israel and perverting itspolitical, social and cultural reality should be granted to those whotruly deserve it.YISRAEL MEDAD ShilohSeth Frantzmanwrites: Mr. Medad is correct. The origin of the term being applied toIsrael apparently does have an earlier pedigree than I gave it, andcredit should indeed go, at least partly, to Smooha, Ghanem and Rouhana.