October 22: Forked tongue

US President Barack Obama seems to be the target of the frustration of the Right, be it the dangerous Right wing of the Republican Party, the Likud or settler devotees.

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Forked tongue
Sir, – On the front page of your October 20 issue there is the following headline: “Turkish FM: Intel chief doing his duty by revealing Mossad spies in Iran.”
Then, I read in the same day’s editorial (“Tall Tales”): “...and hot on the heels comes another seeming tall tale about the Turkish betrayal to Iran of Israeli spies.”
Which is it? Fact or fiction? As Tonto would say, “White man speak with forked tongue.”
Kochav Yair
Frustrated Right
Sir, – A Post reader has already judged the outcome of the talks with Iran (“Friends vs foes,” Letters, October 20).
US President Barack Obama seems to be the target of the frustration of the Right, be it the dangerous Right wing of the Republican Party, the Likud or settler devotees. The fact is that at this very moment the Syrian chemical weapons are being dismantled and the Iranian talks are ongoing.
Surely the correct thing to do would be to wait until the facts become clearer before jumping in to criticize.
As for Obama’s handling of the US government shutdown, he certainly put the lunatic Republican Right in its place.
Target audience
Sir, – I hereby identify myself as the “local rabbi [who] told city residents that if they did not vote for the mayor they were ‘useful idiots’ who lacked gratitude and intelligence,” as was written in the article by Jerusalem Post reporter Sam Sokol (“Incivility in Beit Shemesh taints campaign,” Reporter’s Notebook, October 20).
In writing “useful idiots” I employed a political term used to describe well-meaning people who help and support not-suchwell- meaning people. As for lacking “gratitude” and “intelligence,” this was a letter sent to the members of a specific congregation.
This particular constituency should definitely feel grateful and should reelect the people under whom their lives and the lives of their children have been greatly enriched. That is the intelligent thing for them to do.
Sam Sokol responds: Rabbi Malinowitz also published his letter in a local newspaper, with an introductory note stating he felt an achrayus, or responsibility, to share thoughts originally meant just for his congregation. Even if it had been aimed solely at a small and select group, this would not in any way have changed the content, which, I believe, was accurately described in my article.
Overlooked sum
Sir, – With regard to “Michael Freund: Our goal is to bring all Bnei Menashe to Israel” (October 20), his organization, Shavei Israel, has indeed been instrumental in bringing the Bnei Menashe home.
What your article sadly does not mention is that a check for NIS 1 million was presented by David Parsons, media director of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, to Freund for this very purpose at the annual Feast of Tabernacles commemoration held in Jerusalem last month.
The money was carefully and prayerfully raised via the Christian Embassy’s faithful work, which began in 1980. I see this as a gross oversight.
Moving memory
Sir, – Jonathan Feldstein’s “Generous spirits” (Comment & Features, October 20) reminded me of the following: Sitting in Safed in the 1980s, before our aliya, we spotted an MDA ambulance. We decided to contact the donor, whose name appeared on the door, to let her know that her donation was benefitting Israel.
On our return to the US I went to the microfiche White Pages in the city library and located the woman’s phone number in Mobile, Alabama. My husband and I called her, using the name that had been on the side of the ambulance. When she answered we said, “Feigie?” She burst into tears. Only her parents, who perished in the Holocaust and in whose memory the ambulance had been donated, knew her by that name.
A very moving memory!
Extreme rhetoric
Sir, – Thankfully, our leadership and public have better sense than to take seriously the bellicose advice offered by Caroline B. Glick in “Israel and the new Munich” (Column One, October 18).
Glick advises that an almost immediate Israeli attack on Iran is our sole means of stopping the Iranian nuclear program, that any diplomacy is appeasement or surrender, and that the US and the EU are treacherously conspiring to sacrifice Israel for their own cowardly ends. In order to reinforce her argument she, along with some Israeli leaders, finally resorts to argumentum ad Hitlerum by raising the specter of the 1938 Munich agreement.
In her columns, Glick routinely exaggerates US and EU antagonism toward Israel. Indeed, she often strongly implies that the two are dangerous enemies of our nation and deeply sympathetic to our enemies. I disagree.
And regarding the Iranian nuclear threat, if in fact the US and the EU are planning on selling out Israel, I would point out that in doing so they are perforce going to betray other allies like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the rest of the Persian Gulf Arab states and most of the Arab world, all of which is threatened by Iran, as we are.
I understand that Glick is accustomed to using extreme rhetoric to both attract and appease her audience, and that she often depicts normal diplomatic tensions with the US and the EU as perfidy and hostility. And certainly, an Israeli military strike against Iran’s nuclear program, as a last resort, is a real possibility and might become a necessity should US and EU diplomacy fail. But in my eyes it is despicable to imply that they are willing to support an Iranian genocide of the Jewish people.
Representation indeed
Sir, – The fact that the United States taxes its expatriate citizens does not amount to “taxation without representation,” as you claim in “Americans abroad” (Editorial, October 17).
All adult US citizens, wherever they reside, have the right to vote for congressmen, senators and presidents. Many Americans living in Israel do, in fact, exercise this right.
Computers for peace
Sir, – The current peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians might have a better feeling if Israel did something positive. For example, it would do better in turning public opinion around among the Palestinians by instituting a computer education program.
If Israel provides laptops to every child at school for a large city, a medium-sized city and a few villages, this might make a profound impression on the people in those places. By providing computers, it would be making it known that Israelis really want to help all the Arab people in the West Bank.
The program should not be financed by the Israeli government, but by donations. It is at best a research program, although one that would show off Israelis as wanting to improve the lives of their Arab neighbors.
Giving people the capability of learning about the world – and about Israel – would be of more value than putting more troops on the ground. It is time to put forward programs that help people instead of undertaking military action.
MASSE BLOOMFIELD Canoga Park, California