May 24: Call it what it is

We learned the hard way only 10 years ago what happens when the Arabs don’t get what they want through diplomacy – unyielding terror attacks.

Call it what it is
Sir, – Re: “Fatah official warns of return to ‘armed struggle’ if proximity talks fail” (May 23), why would Israel even continue to express a desire to sit in the same room with those who make such blatant threats?
We learned the hard way only 10 years ago what happens when the Arabs don’t get what they want through diplomacy – unyielding terror attacks. Do we really want to go down that path again?
It’s time to call a spade a spade, and break off all contact with Fatah, an organization whose leaders pretend to be on the forefront of peace and reconciliation, but in reality, are ready to play the terror card when they deem the time is right.
Chomsky’s rights... and dangers
Sir, – In your editorial “The value of free speech” (May 21), you commendably strive to uphold something for which Israel is well-known, and I thank you for it.
Yet you make the important point that Noam Chomsky’s opinions, expressed among Palestinians, “could lead to violence.” Isn’t this observation in itself a reason to deny him entry to the West Bank? Would other democratic countries in similar circumstances have acted differently?
DR. RACHEL BIRATIMelbourne, Australia
All-purpose response
Sir, – Kudos to David Horovitz for his open letter to Elvis Costello (“Your silence in Israel, Elvis, means you’re singing for the rejectionists now,” May 21).
Although it was a most comprehensive statement containing the entire bundle of positions in Israel’s defense, it addressed the performer with warmth and empathy. I recommend saving it to answer similar erroneous lapses by our adversaries.
Don’t just sit there
Sir, – Re: “Next week’s civil defense drill to simulate attack on water infrastructure” (May 21), I expect my government to protect me, not only with drills, but by taking the war to the enemy and not sitting back and waiting for it to happen.
Selective castigation?
Sir, – President Obama went on record at the start of the current so-called “proximity talks” between Israel and the Palestinian Authority as warning both sides that any deliberately provocative steps will result in that side being blamed for the talks’ failure.
But the PA is already taking such steps (“J’lem fumes at PA bid to isolate Israel, get it ousted from UN,” May 21). What is Obama going to do about it?  The answer is probably nothing.
Very ripe aroma
Sir, – Zalman Shoval does a fine job of analyzing the actions and thoughts of the 3,000 European “intellectuals and academics” who created JCall (“(More) Jews against Jews,” May 20).
Their demand that Israel bend to the wishes of her enemies in order to build a better world and protect their own interests in Europe has a ripe smell of fear. As Shoval so well points out, their concept of democracy has nothing to do with the hopes and wishes, not to mention votes, of the people of Israel.
DAVID STARMa’aleh Adumim
Time to travel elsewhere
Sir, – You have on several occasions in recent weeks reported on the return of Israeli tourism to Turkey.
Given that the prime minister of Turkey, together with the president of Brazil, was happy to be photographed clasping hands with Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad  (“US to press for sanctions despite Teheran-Ankara deal,” May 18), it would be timely for those Israelis thinking of a holiday in Turkey (or in Brazil) to think again.
Influential Jews
Sir, – As a tourist, I purchased your Shavuot edition (May 18). I was particularly drawn to the supplement containing your readers’ choice of “The 50 most influential Jews in the world.”
I will leave aside the fact that the group represents a predominantly Israeli viewpoint. What astounds me, however, is that the alarmingly vast majority of your readers are not even remotely interested in these figures’ presumed Judaism.
Sergey Brin, Ruth Bader-Ginsburg, Ben Bernanke, Jeff Zucker, Roman Abramovitch, et al, may indeed happen to be Jewish and influential, but they most definitely are not influential Jews. They are influential people who happen to be Jewish. There is a difference.
Sir, – Your excellent Shavuot supplement and the selection of the 50 most influential Jews points out that Judge Richard Goldstone is a member of the board of the Hebrew University. I wonder: Has this country gone crazy?
Where were the Orthodox?
Sir, – I would like to call attention to the list of classes in the Jerusalem area for the eve of Shavuot, as printed in your Shavuot supplement. None related to any Orthodox synagogue. I hope this was an oversight or an error, and not an agenda.
DR. L. BLASSJerusalem
Note: The Jerusalem Post asked leading institutions and synagogues from all streams of Judaism for information about their Shavuot events, and compiled its listing with the information made available by press time.
Incomplete audience
Sir, - After over a year of unremitting criticism by America’s most loyal ally, the Obama administration has finally recognized that its policies have led to doubts about the president’s support for Israel (“US ‘screwed up’ message on Israel, Emanuel tells tells rabbis,” May 16).
Unfortunately, this message was delivered to only part of the necessary audience – 15 rabbis representing various streams of American Jewry. The other essential – and missing – part of the audience was the Arab world, especially the Palestinian leadership.
Manipulative and untruthful
Sir, – Caroline Glick (“Making Israel’s case,” May 14) attributed to me a comment I never made.
On July 17, 2009, I submitted the following letter to the San Francisco Jewish newspaper J regarding the appearance of Cindy Corrie at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival:
“The festival erred in inviting Mrs. Corrie because difficult issues require dispassion. Just as it would not be appropriate for Israeli terror victims to be featured in the festival program, neither was it correct that Mrs. Corrie appear. She escapes responsibility for intolerable positions because it was her daughter, Rachel, that was accidentally killed. This doesn’t advance insight or justice.”
Somehow, Glick construes the following:
“In a letter to the local Jewish paper, Tor claimed that Corrie’s mother was no different from ‘an Israeli terror victim.’”
This kind of reporting is manipulative and, frankly, untruthful.
Regarding Glick’s complaint on BDS and the San Francisco Jewish Federation, the federation adopted a wise resolution setting forth one of the most progressively pro-Israel funding guidelines in North America ( What Glick finds objectionable is perplexing.
Israel Consul General
San Francisco
Mourning ‘Wisconsin’
Sir, – Our profoundly dyslexic daughter was extremely encouraged by the help that she was receiving through the Wisconsin plan (“Welfare-to-work plan is being killed off, with nothing on the horizon to replace it,” April 30). She is devastated... and has fallen through yet another crack.
This cut affected 18,000 people and their families. I just wanted to put a face on one of them.