May 27: A road better not traveled

An IDF with a "Goldstone" hangover would posit a massive loss of faith in our will to defend ourselves.

A road better not traveled

Sir, – In declaring that "every other army in the world would haveleveled the booby-trapped house in Jenin where 13 Jewish soldiers werekilled in 2002," ("What failure? Whose failure?," May 26), JonathanRosenblum has perhaps unwittingly put his finger on the most dubious ofIsraeli moral values -- our willingness to risk precious young livesfor a public relations gesture.
That mindset, now being manifested in the wholesale removal ofcheckpoints, roadblocks and other obstacles to terrorist violence inJudea and Samaria, appears to have established roots in the militaryechelons. Witnessing its further flowering  four years later in LebanonII, it would not be surprising if Israelis were to begin questioningthe alacrity with which it delivers its sons and grandsons into IDFcombat units.
We are being warned that the next war may be markedly asymmetrical innature, involving the uprooting of terrorist enclaves in tight urbancivilian areas. Beyond even the unconscionable sacrifice of hundreds ofIsraeli lives, an IDF with a "Goldstone" hangover, "tethered by fieldlawyers," would posit a massive loss of faith in our will to defendourselves. We do not want to venture down that road.
WILLIAM MEHLMAN
Jerusalem
Where are the imams?

Sir, – Hamas threatens to harm Gilad Schalit if any of theextraordinarily benevolent privileges Israel grants to terroristmurderers in its jails are revoked (“Schalit will pay if prisoners getharsher conditions, Hamas warns,” May 26).
The world stands by, ready to rehabilitate Hamas so that it can tradewith it. It will accept a Hamas-led Palestine. It will do anything tooverlook Hamas’s immorality because its power is recognized.
The only thing that will affect Hamas is for the imams to courageously say it is not a Muslim, but a renegade, group.
THELMA SUSSWEIN
Jerusalem
Raise that bottom wage

Sir, – I must take exception to your editorial "Peretz's populist minimum wage bill” (May 26).
It makes no sense to turn to that bogeyman, "It will be bad for theeconomy,” Some 10 years ago, the minimum wage was raised and nothingterrible happened. Now it's time to do it again.
There is no excuse for 20 percent of the population, including many whohave jobs, to live below the poverty line. Surely that should be a goodreason to go ahead with Peretz's bill.
LEONARD ZURAKOV
Netanya
Take off the kid gloves

Sir, – I am unable to understand why a spy against Israel has beenunder house arrest (“Anat Kamm espionage trial begins in Tel Aviv,” May25). Why is she not in jail? She purposely took sensitive informationthat would hurt her country. She passed it on to an Israeli reporter.
Her mother says Kamm was foolish and trusted the wrong people. Do me a favor. She knew exactly what she was doing.
There is Jonathan Pollard sitting in a US prison for life for passingnon-sensitive information to Israel, and this person is being treatedwith kid gloves.
JUDY GOLDIN
Kiryat Ono
Accolades well deserved...
Sir, – My forthcoming book, In the Shadow of the Red Banner,points out that 500,000 Jews served in the Soviet army inWorld War II (“The taste of victory,” May 18). Forty percent gave theirlives, and the numbers of generals, air force leaders and top medalrecipients were way out of proportion to their numbers.
Yitzhak Arad
Jerusalem
... but not by everyone

Sir, – President Shimon Peres’s sycophantic praise heaped upon Russiaduring the celebration of its victory over Nazi Germany obscures thecontext obtaining prior to June 21, 1941, as exposed during thepost-war Nuremberg trials.
Baron Ernst von Weizacker (Von Ribbentrop’s deputy) was a defensewitness regarding the infamous Russo-Nazi pacts of August andSeptember, 1939, which divided Poland. He confirmed Russia’s Septemberdemand for shifting the previously-agreed Polish demarcation lineeastward – meaning, in effect, “take more Jews”!
This unpleasant and long-neglected fact clearly establishes Russiancomplicity in processes intended to exterminate Polish Jewry.
KARL HUTTENBAUER
Berlin
Why all the newsprint?

Sir, – Elvis Costello cancelled his Israeli concerts. So what? He's notthe first and, I'm sure, not the last. But thePost’s reaction, with its many articles and columns,has been unbelievable.
The State of Israel has survived 62 years without Costello’s concerts,and I expect it will flourish for many millennia without them.
I am disappointed that your paper has devoted so much space to such a trivial incident.
ISRAEL ZUNDER
Ramat Hasharon
Sir, – So much media hype and news space has been given to ElvisCostello for cancelling his performances in Israel. He was invited tocome. First he said yes, than he said no. He is entitled and he canobviously afford to cancel.
I wish this much hype and attention were given to the thousands andthousands of Jews throughout the world who never even think of visitingIsrael.
At least Costello booked a ticket.
SETH CLYMAN
Jerusalem
It’s all so obvious

Sir, – I am deeply concerned about statements made after US envoyGeorge Mitchell's recent “proximity” talks (“PM: There's no back andforth between Israel, Palestinians,” May 24).
Netanyahu denied the two sides were negotiating parameters for a landswap. His credibility continues to plummet as he crosses every one ofhis own red lines and continues with endless goodwill gestures to thePA, which rewards him with hatred and malevolence.
Meanwhile, Israeli officials expressed irritation at the Palestinians’“endless chatter” about the content of the indirect talks, saying thatif details are made public, “it will make things more difficult.” Thisreally means, however, that it would lead to domestic opposition.
The next example goes to the core of what is really happening."Diplomacy, like mushrooms, grows in the shade,” said an official, whopointed out that both the Camp David Accords and the Oslo Agreementshad been negotiated with few leaks.
Has this set alarm bells ringing yet? For the sake of our continuedexistence in the Land of Israel as a Jewish nation, we must notcontinue to ignore the obvious.
YENTEL JACOBS
Netanya
Seeing things for what they are
Sir, – The art of combining reason, fact and commitment has always been the hallmark of Caroline Glick’s outstanding columns.
During these times of world-wide assaults on Israel’s legitimacy,“Making Israel’s Case” (May 14) drives home the point that the Israeligovernment has failed to lead in the justifiable struggle to combat thelies and hatreds. I would argue even further: The obfuscations anddouble messages emanating from the prime minister down to ambassadorsin our foreign embassies contribute in no small fashion to the growingdemands for divestments, boycotts, and alleged human rights violations.
We are sometimes our own worst enemies.
YITZCHAK BEN-SHMUEL
Modi’in
Clarification
Tuesday's Jerusalem Post headline "Barak: Labor will neverleave Netanyahu coalition" did not accurately reflect the article,which correctly reported that the defense minister had only "hinted"that his party would not bring down the government.