May 29: Shame on them

Those countries that choose to support a rogue state should be made to feel publicly ashamed.

letters (photo credit: JP)
(photo credit: JP)
Shame on them
Sir, – I am deeply concerned about the looming UN vote on a Palestinian state (“Jerusalem seeks ‘critical minority’ against unilateral statehood bid by PA,” May 26).
I think the Israeli ambassador should get up in the General Assembly and recite names and ages of all the casualties that Hamas has inflicted on Israel. He should start with the 16-year-old boy in a school bus recently killed by a missile.
The list is long and should take much time to recite. The ambassador should then tell the General Assembly: This is not a civilized entity to allow into the family of nations.
Those countries that choose to support a rogue state should be made to feel publicly ashamed.
HARRIET P. EPSTEIN Santa Monica, California
Bad example
Sir, – It is not bad enough that MKs from the Left and Right feel the need to publicly criticize our prime minister rather than stand together and present to the world a unified position. What is truly outrageous is Silvan Shalom taking advantage of a Bible contest for high school-age girls to do so (“Vice Premier Shalom: Netanyahu going against Likud policies,” May 26).
Regardless of an MK’s political views, I cannot think of anything more inappropriate and damaging to our youth than standing before them at an apolitical event that should be a celebration of learning, and to use it as a platform to criticize their prime minister. Such behavior is undignified and a display of outright disrespect, inconsideration and selfishness. No wonder we often feel our youth are disrespectful, inconsiderate and selfish.
If our so-called leaders show no ability to save their comments for the correct time and place, how can we expect our children to?
Long, long search
Sir, – The report “Prisons Service seeking ‘study partner’ for Yigal Amir” (May 26) reminds me of an anecdote.
A member of our community in South Africa fell afoul of the law and was sentenced to a term behind bars. Our rabbi paid a pastoral visit.
The duty-warden ordered, “Bring out the Jew,” whereupon our rabbi informed the warden it was a good thing he sent for the Jew because if he had asked for “the gentile” they would be at a loss as to which one to bring.
The Prisons Service is hard-pressed in its search for a suitable study partner – a yeshiva student with a similar educational background as Amir.
It’s heartwarming such candidates are few and far between.
Where’s the support?
Sir, – Your May 25 editorial (“In praise of national unity”) calls for a broader coalition. However, there are other forms of unity.
When Prime Minister Netanyahu was in opposition during the trying period of Operation Cast Lead, there was much to criticize in both the execution of the war and its objectives. Nevertheless, he abandoned the role of petty politics.
Not only did he refrain from stabbing then-foreign minister Tzipi Livni in the back, he toured the world making Israel’s case wherever he could. In other words, he played the statesman, not the politician.
How different things are now.
When the very legitimacy of the nation is in question, where is the solid support that would bolster our position? Instead, no blow is too low, no opportunity is missed to criticize our prime minister. This, of course, encourages our enemies – and sadly I must include US President Obama in this category – to believe that if the current government is toppled, their road would be clear.
In fact, the people of Israel are solidly behind the present government.
Should an election be held today, the right-wing block would achieve an even bigger majority.
It is time that our politicians, as well as editorial writers and political pundits, recognize this fact and give our prime minister the moral support he needs in these difficult times.
Ma’aleh Adumim
No comparison
Sir, – Ray Hanania (“A declaration of no peace,” Yalla Peace, May 25) says that Prime Minister Netanyahu rejects negotiations with the PA and that “this time his excuse was the unity deal with Hamas.” He continues and states: “Nowhere in his speech [before US Congress] did Netanyahu acknowledge that his own coalition holds some vicious extremists, people who refuse to recognize the rights of the Palestinian people.”
This attempt at equating a group of people whose stated objective is the death of all Jews – the very same group that has indeed murdered thousands of Jews – with MKs who have ideologies different from his own is morally repugnant.
One cannot compare or contrast the actions of blowing up buses, murdering children and killing entire families with those he feels are not interested in affording the Palestinians their rights. It is an insult to Jews everywhere, indeed to humanity.
Ma’aleh Adumim
Sir, – I am no friend or supporter of Bibi Netanyahu, but he must be congratulated on his masterful and far-reaching address to the joint session of Congress. Within the limits he was permitted by the components of his coalition, he went as far as he was able to go.
Therefore, I am totally shocked by Ray Hanania. Contrary to what he says, Netanyahu’s speech was anything but insulting to President Obama. He was full of praise for the support of the president, the American people and Congress, and merely restated a few relevant facts of history.
Hanania describes himself as a moderate, but if this is his attitude I wonder what the attitude of an extremist is.
Sir, – Ray Hanania’s open anger and envy of the truth of America’s commitment to the safety, security and prosperity of Israel are more than insulting. They encapsulate the Palestinian approach to peace talks from their earliest stages, which is to say “no” at every turn in response to every Israeli and even US initiative.
According to Hanania and presumably the Palestinian leadership, the US is merely a cheerleading squad for a rather hard-working democracy called Israel that has the chutzpah to want to live in peace with its neighbors, Palestinians included.
Sorry, Ray, but this time the sour grapes routine won’t work.
Hatzor Haglilit
Model state
Sir, – Last week I was in Israel. I was surprised to see Muslim families (the women were wearing headscarves) enjoying a picnic dinner on the beach in Tel Aviv. In Jerusalem, I saw young Muslim women (again wearing headscarves) giggling and eating ice cream on the Mamilla shopping promenade.
I spoke with Buddhists from Sri Lanka who were working in Israel and loved living in the Jewish state.
I watched a wedding procession of African Christians in Jaffa. I saw Christians following the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem’s Old City, retracing the journey that Jesus took. I watched baptisms in the River Jordan. I saw all types of Jews, from the ultra-Orthodox praying at the Western Wall to the totally secular partying in nightclubs.
President Obama has it backwards.
If he thinks that making Israel smaller will bring peace and prosperity to the Middle East he is totally mistaken. A much better approach would be for the people of the Middle East to turn to Israel for guidance as to how to build a nation from the ground up, how to create a vital democracy with competing political parties, competing ideas, a free press, and the engine that I rarely hear mentioned during this Arab Spring: a functioning economy.
Sherman Oaks, California