May 19: <i>Post</i> readers react to Bush's Knesset speech

I could visualize George Bush beaming benignly and approvingly as he listened to his great-grandson's Knesset speech.

letters 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
letters 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Post readers react to Bush's Knesset speech Sir, - Last Thursday, I could visualize that distinguished professor and eminent scholar, George Bush, author of the 1844 treatise "The Valley of Vision or The Dry Bones of Israel," beaming benignly and approvingly as he listened to his great-grandson's speech in the Knesset in honor of Israel's 60th anniversary ("If only Israel's leaders would speak as Bush did," Calev Ben-David, May 16). The great visionary academician would have been gratified, and eminently proud, that his direct descendant, and namesake, George W. Bush, president of the United States of America, was so aligned with his own vision, promoting the realization of the prophecy of Ezekiel Chapter 37. What a memorable, inspirational and encouraging speech in these difficult times! DVORA R. FRIEDMAN Jerusalem Sir, - President Bush spoke brilliantly to the Knesset last week, and we applaud his "unwavering support" of Israel. But regarding his commitment and drive to establish a Palestinian state we would make a counter-suggestion, since things don't seem to be going too well in that direction ("Joschka Fischer: Don't abandon bid for two-state solution," May 16). As things are a bit crowded over here, a better spot to create the new entity might, perhaps, be the wide-open spaces of Texas - provided, of course, that the neighboring states were not averse to the odd rocket and missile falling on them from the Palestinians' new home base. OSCAR AND ADELE MARGULIES Ginot Shomron Sir, - I am an average Israeli citizen: 64, married, with three children and four grandchildren, and I would have liked to use the opportunity of President Bush's visit to our country to shake his hand. However, security measures prevented me, and so I have written down what I wanted to say: Honored President: I am aware that as your term of office at the White House draws to an end, support for you in the US is at its lowest. However, I regard you as today's Churchill. You are an honest leader who says what he means and has done everything in his power for the benefit of the enlightened world, like the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan. I hope that you will, with our help, also be able to deal with the Iranian problem that threatens mainly Israel, but the whole of the enlightened world as well. As against all the sycophants of the Iranian regime, of the other countries of the "axis of evil" and of the terrorist organizations; as against all the cowards and hypocrites, you are virtually the only leader who sees the issues in their correct light and acts accordingly. I am sure that if you success-fully finish your treatment of the Iranian matter, you will be written up in the annals of history just as anyone would who had succeeded in destroying Hitler and the Nazi regime before they brought destruction and the Holocaust upon the world. My deep thanks to you for your friendship to our country and to the Jewish people, and for your contribution to strengthening our peace-loving nation. I am convinced that I have expressed the thoughts and feelings of many other Israelis. Please consider Israel, including my private home, as your second home even after your term of office is over. ORY GANANY Jerusalem Churchill, the hero Sir, - Jay Bushinsky's "Impossible without Churchill" (May 6) provided me with personal pleasure. For 40 years my husband, Dr. Arnold Blumberg, of blessed memory, was a professor of British history. He was also the author of six books on diplomatic history, and in his view Churchill was one of the greatest heroes of the 20th century. How he would have kvelled to know that the Post paid his hero such deserving honor! THELMA BLUMBERG Kiryat Arba For the record Sir, - In "J'm residents miffed by road closures" (May 14), you quoted a Ms. Iva Litvak, cited as a worker at the Bible Lands Museum, as follows: "Litvak said that her museum was forced to close during Bush's visit 'due to security reasons.' Moreover, museum employees have been forced to 'take a vacation without pay.'" This information is both misleading and incorrect. No one on the staff of the museum was forced to take leave without pay. Furthermore, Ms. Litvak is not employed by the BLMJ, and is merely a short-term, volunteer intern. AMANDA WEISS Managing Director Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem What I said, and didn't say Sir, - A reader's letter on May 18 ("Dignity & courage") claimed that my column "Daniel Pearl's last words, uncensored" (May 7) was "unjustifiably critical" of Daniel Pearl. It stated: "I doubt if there is anybody who would have behaved any differently, faced with execution and a promise of release if he or she read out pre-written criticisms of the country they loved." Yet my column made that very point. I wrote that Pearl "was held captive by his soon-to-be executioners - and he recited any propaganda they hold him to recite. That's what hostages do - they have no choice and are in no position to resist." Later, I asked why Pearl can't be remembered simply as "a human being who, from the evidence, reacted to the terrorists who kidnapped him more or less like any human being would probably react to being kidnapped by terrorists?" My column contained not a hint of criticism of Daniel Pearl. I was criticizing the way the Jewish public has, in my opinion, distorted his memory. LARRY DERFNER Modi'in Pride and prejudice Sir, - I am writing on behalf of a group of rabbis and rebbitzens - Arnold Heisler, Alan Mervis, Yizhack Rubin, Shlomo Slomowitz, Marian Apple and Regina Heisler - who volunteer as teachers in the Ulpan Giyur (Conversion Ulpan) of the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA) in Israel. We have found the Rabbinical Conversion Court under the Conversion Authority headed by Rabbi Haim Druckman to be fair and meticulous regarding halachic requirements for conversion. We have total faith in Rav Druckman's integrity and honesty. The rabbis of the conversion court insist that every potential convert make a firm commitment to observe the mitzvot of the Torah and rabbinic laws, as well as the sacred customs of our people. Testimony is presented by Torah-observant "adopted families" and by religious acquaintances that candidates are already keeping the laws of Shabbat, Yom Tov and kashrut and attend synagogue services regularly. The rabbis insist that students continue their religious studies and, especially, adhere to the laws of modesty in dress and comportment. We are proud of the hundreds of students who have studied in the Ulpan Giyur of the RCA in Israel during the past 20 years, who have become Jews committed to Torah and mitzvot. We condemn the haredi beit din, which has cast aspersions upon hundreds, if not thousands, of "righteous proselytes" converted by the conversion court of the Conversion Authority ("God only knows where this will lead," Matthew Wagner, May 16). RABBI AARON BOROW Jerusalem No place for my pet Sir, - I intend visiting Tel Aviv and Jerusalem early next month with my small Yorkshire dog, but it appears that not one hotel in either city accepts pets. I wonder why, and could any reader suggest a place for me to stay just for a few days? Your help would be much appreciated. Email or fax +377 93 254550; Tel. +377 607934436. PETER MANASSE Monaco