May 2: NY conference

Alan Dershowitz (“Dershowitz presents plan at ‘Post’ conference for restarting peace talks,” April 30) was booed loudly after telling audience members that they were “part of the problem” for laughing at his new framework for negotiations.

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
NY conference
Sir, – Alan Dershowitz (“Dershowitz presents plan at ‘Post’ conference for restarting peace talks,” April 30) was booed loudly after telling audience members that they were “part of the problem” for laughing at his new framework for negotiations.
Dershowitz is living proof that one can be intelligent, knowledgeable, an effective litigator and an exemplary scholar while at the same time being delusional, refusing to see through a screen of lies. Chasing after one’s ego, notoriety and recognition as a primary motivation while putting his own brethren aside only leads to failure! We would do well to find a somewhat less sophisticated person and one who is more humble, heart-based and sincere to be a “defender of Israel” who is truly concerned about a safe homeland for the Jewish people.
Rather than being an asset to the Zionist cause and Israel – as they all purport to be – Dershowitz and too many “Jewish leaders” put Israelis in precarious positions. Good for the audience for recognizing the hypocrisy and giving him the disapproval he deserves!
Sir, – Regular readers have received the impression from your newspaper that there is a consensus for a “two-state solution.”
Thus, it was a pleasant surprise to read “Olmert roundly booed in call for 2-state solution” (April 29).
The heavy attendance at The Jerusalem Post Annual Conference indicated there is still a great deal of concern for Israel in America. Olmert’s use of the Arab narrative – “Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories” – rightly did not help his cause.
The absurdity of diminishing Israel in order to create another Arab state is obvious, as indicated by the boos. Sooner or later, the majority of Israelis will realize this.
Sir, – The Jerusalem Post bombarded its readers with frontpage news that was not really news or at most rehashed news.
Why? Probably because someone came up with the idea that creating a conference with well known speakers would bring in more ad dollars and maybe more US readers.
Maybe it will. But the fact that former prime minister Ehud Olmert was booed, Michael Oren was “echoing comments made to Post journalists” or even that “Steinitz tells ‘Post’ NY conference: Israel has never asked US to take military action in Syria” (April 29) should probably have been relegated to your News in Brief sections. The front page should have news that’s worthy of our consideration.
Maybe I’m out of touch with how journalism works these days. But I can’t help asking: Where’s the beef?
Sir, – I want to tell you I thought this year’s Jerusalem Post conference was outstanding, even better than last year’s. It was informative, sophisticated and at times extremely entertaining – I’m sure you heard about the exchange between columnist Caroline B.
Glick and panelist Alan Dershowitz.
The whole audience loved it! Meir Dagan, Amos Yadlin, Uzi Arad and especially Yuval Steinitz were superb, I thought, in their analyses of Syria and Iran. I also very much liked the presentation of Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund’s Efi Stenzler.
It was very gratifying to read Ethan Bronner’s report on the conference in The New York Times.
Clearly, the Times was aware of the significance of many things that were said.
For me, at least, there were no negatives. I missed Steve Linde, but Yaakov Katz and Gil Hoffman filled in admirably. Congratulations to everyone involved in making the conference possible, and thank you for all you did to get me there!
Teens and driving
Sir, – I was so upset to read about the drop in age eligibility for drivers’ licenses to 16 years and nine months (“Driving age drops, accompaniment period lengthens,” April 30).
I’ve long maintained that licenses should not be granted before the age of 21, though I admit that this is not always practical – especially in Israel, when kids are drafted at age 18 (although one possible approach would be having the army train a certain number of drivers it thinks it might need).
While teenagers are certainly more than capable of mastering the technical aspects of driving, I’ve always questioned their known tendency for impulsive behavior and poor judgment skills.
Indeed, studies reported several years ago in a Time Magazine cover story on the teenage brain indicated that the part of the brain that develops last is the part responsible for judgment skills.
Even if the required time for accompaniment is being lengthened (which it should have been from the beginning), an additional license requirement for those under age 24 should be three months of weekly volunteer sessions with road accident victims in a rehab hospital such as Beit Loewenstein.
Flighty kashrut
Sir, – Marc R. Stanley, chair of the National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC), seems to be in haste to trumpet Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s apparently harmonious meetings with Israeli officials on his recent visit to Israel (“Is eating crow kosher?,” Comment & Features, April 29).
This is hardly surprising. In 2007, when Hagel was a Republican senator considering a presidential run, the NJDC was only too willing to list in a public statement the unpleasant facts of his record – no to designating Hezbollah a terrorist organization; no to pressuring PA President Mahmoud Abbas into banning terrorist groups from running in elections; refusing to sign a letter in support of Israel when Palestinian terrorists were murdering its civilians; and so on.
By turning around and failing to oppose Hagel last year when he became President Barack Obama’s nominee at Defense, the NJDC showed it was willing to put party before principle.
Whether Hagel proves a supporter or antagonist of Israel as defense secretary remains to be seen. If he proves to be a friend, I will be happy to admit that people like me who opposed him were mistaken. Yet the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and we’ve taken only one bite.
MICHAEL GOLDBLATT Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania
A speaker’s place
Sir, – Regarding “Edelstein: Lapid disgracing Knesset” (April 28), Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein was a lackluster minister of public diplomacy and Diaspora affairs in the previous government. I once heard him talk and he was pitiful.
Not surprisingly, he has been unable to control decorum in the Knesset either by force of his personality, like his predecessor, or by enforcing the rules of order.
During recent presentations on the budget, when screaming and heckling disrupted the session, the debate was discontinued.
Where was the speaker? Why didn’t he call the house to order and eject those disrupting the debate? The speaker should perform his duties without injecting his agenda into Knesset deliberations.
A Siegel fan
Sir, – As we read The Jerusalem Post, laden with reports of conflict, politics, entertainment and all other sorts of articles, many of us zero in on the wisdom of health and science editor Judy Siegel.
It is obvious that Judy puts a good deal of time – and heart – into her work, by which she educates the community. In addition, she makes time for immediate responses to personal questions, an example of her dedication and caring.
Time to publicly say, “Thank you, Judy,” for being an outstanding professional! And thanks to the Post for this treasure.