May 16: Who is interfering?

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said last week that Ankara would not allow Israel to interfere in the affairs of Muslim countries, including Syria.

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Who is interfering?
Sir, – According to your article “Turkish paper: country close to agreement on gas transfers with Israel and Cyprus” (May 13), Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said last week that Ankara would not allow Israel to interfere in the affairs of Muslim countries, including Syria, emphasizing that, as your report said, “the negotiations over the Mavi Marmara flotilla and the conflict in Syria were two separate issues.”
Was this not the very reason US President Barack Obama insisted that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu apologize and provide compensation? Once again we have fallen into a trap. They got what they wanted – surrender and humiliation from Israel – and on the ground nothing has changed.
Would that we had the guts to tell people that we will not accept interference in our own business. Instead, we ask for and accept interference on a global scale.
How can it be that we are even contemplating deals on gas transfers with Turkey? Will this not provide Ankara with yet additional leverage against us when the mood takes it?
YENTEL JACOBS Netanya More on Hawking
Sir, – The refusal of Prof. Stephen Hawking to attend the President’s Conference (“Hawking canceled visit in support of Israel boycott, May 9) is certainly an example of the academic division of mental processes and triple standards.
The Palestinians have embedded in their culture such hatred of Jews and Israel that their text books have had nothing but vitriolic diatribes for years and years. It is not only that they kill innocent people all the time, it is that they kill and dismantle bodies in such ways that are barbaric.
They blow up buses, they blow up people in restaurants and movie theaters. They have no concept of journalistic freedom, so their news people are jailed frequently for daring to express differences of opinion.
Hawking is wrong. So are most academics who see only what they want to see and not the true facts. It is beyond belief that super-intelligent people can be the victims of blatant falsehoods.
Sir, – Not long ago I attended a lecture by Prof. Stephen Hawking at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. The audience was particularly diverse. I recall sitting among men, women, Jews, Christians, Muslims, government supporters and passionate government critics. Israel is the only country in the region where such an audience could exist. His decision to join the academic boycott of Israel is therefore odd.
How easy is it for a practicing Christian to receive academic tenure in Egypt? How many Iranian university students can freely criticize their government? How many women in Saudi Arabia can drive themselves to campus? How many political dissidents freely sit in lecture halls in Gaza? China? Sudan? If the boycott organizers were honest and sincere about their endeavors they would have a very long list of countries to deal with before Israel. How many other countries do they propose boycotting? Zero, not a single one. Their hypocrisy and true agenda is revealed by the fact that they would happily see Prof. Hawking lecture in Damascus, Tehran or Khartoum, but not in Jerusalem.
By deciding to participate in the academic boycott of Israel, Hawking has fallen prey to a modern academic blood libel.
Academia is supposed to search for truth, not allow itself to be hoodwinked by politically motivated deceivers and intellectual fraudsters.
Last week I returned my copy of A Brief History of Time to its author.
Sir, – Is it Stephen Hawking or rather Israel’s settlement expansion policies that are extremist, irresponsible and hurtful other people? Israel’s government supports the sanctions in place on Iran and speaks of red lines, so why shouldn’t there also be red lines beyond which occupation and expansionism also suggest sanctions? As possible red lines, should the settler count pass 750,000, 1 million or perhaps 1.5 million without consequences? Should the occupation continue for five more years or perhaps 10 or more without consequences? Isn’t the takeover of another country of utmost seriousness, beyond which there would be a red line of consequences of comparable seriousness? None of this is about Israel’s legitimacy, only its governmental policies of occupation and settlement expansion. For those of us who care for Israel, such policies might have led Mark Twain to warn: “Loyalty to the country always. Loyalty to the government when it deserves it.”
JAMES ADLER Cambridge, Massachusetts
Sir, – As Stephen Hawking has decided to boycott Israel, perhaps it is time we boycotted him and all the scientists who have swallowed the anti-Semitic and anti-Israel rhetoric.
Let us start with removing every single item made by our “Silicon Valley” from his and the others’ computers. Instantly they would come to a standstill.
What a silly gullible man! They talk of Medecin Sans Frontieres.
Perhaps there should be a Science Sans Frontieres.
Sir, – Why all the brouhaha about who is not coming to the upcoming President’s Conference? Let them – and us – look at the impressive list of those who are.
Other hooliganism
Sir, – Gil Troy’s “‘Price tags’: Morally bankrupt, politically foolish” (Center Field, May 9) was certainly a justifiable response to hooliganism despite the well of emotions and fury felt by those who learned of the death of a young father of five children. He could have written a slightly different headline with close to the same description of hooliganism if he had mentioned B’Tselem, Peace Now and other foreign-supported NGOs that are morally bankrupt and politically foolish.
It is appalling to find reports, many unsubstantiated or deliberately misleading, that are written by these organizations and appear in The Jerusalem Post. I want to know why such groups should be given any platform in Israel.
I, like Troy, worry about the way they portray Israel. Their hooliganism is as immoral, if not more so, than the human outbursts of young, immature people.
• In response to “Government panel: Muhammad al-Dura was not killed in watershed 2000 incident” (May 13) by Ben Caspit, France 2 television issued the following statement: “From the start of the incident until today, France 2 has shown a willingness to participate in any official legal proceedings accompanied by legal counsel and carried out according to international standards.
At the same time, it is ready to help Jamal al-Dura in any way to exhume the body of his son Muhammad for a pathological examination, including, if necessary, a DNA test to help clarify the circumstances of the incident.
“It is hard to believe that the special committee formed by Moshe Ya’alon, today Israel’s defense minister, did not approach France 2 or (to the best of our knowledge) Mr. al- Dura – despite his willingness to exhume the boy’s body.
France 2 learned about the existence of the committee only from the Post article – and this speaks for itself.”
• The article “Menachem Begin: A model for leadership” (Comment & Features, May 13) states that “this Shabbat marks 100 years since [Begin’s] birth, according to the Hebrew date 13th of Av.” The Post inadvertently ran the article two months early; the centennial will fall on July 20.