October 27: ‘Boker tov,’ JA

It took the Jewish Agency 60 years to wake up and realize that a nation without a past – namely, our Jewish roots – has no future.

letters pink 88 (photo credit: )
letters pink 88
(photo credit: )
‘Boker tov,’ JA
Sir, – You report: “Jewish Agency Board of Governors to hold vote today on most significant mission change since 1948” (October 25). Not a minute early! It took the Jewish Agency 60 years to wake up and realize that a nation without a past – namely, our Jewish roots – has no future.
At last Jewish education will feature in its agenda, we hope.
JOYCE KAHN Petah Tikva
Who is caged?
Sir, – Jimmy Carter should go back to building more homes (Habitat for Humanity), where he actually does something positive.
Has he viewed the beautiful, luxurious areas of Gaza? To state that Gazans live in a cage (“Carter: Gazans live in a cage,” October 20) is simply inaccurate.
Gilad Schalit is the one who is caged, with none of the humanitarian aid sought by Carter and his ilk for the Palestinians.
Gazans had an unbelievable opportunity handed to them when Israel left Gaza in 2005. A thriving industry was made available to them by some well-meaning philanthropists. The Arabs could have built an economy and worked to support their families with pride and dignity. Instead, they destroyed what hard-working Israelis had developed over years and replaced plowshares with swords.
Lawrence, NY
Double standard endangers our soldiers
Sir, – Now it is clear. The US and its allies have established a new “high” level of military morality to be imposed only on Israel, while they apply tactics that disregard the safety of civilians.
Not only did they kill tens of thousands of civilians, but they tried very hard to conceal the evidence that they so carefully documented (“Biggest leak in history reveals huge civilian death toll in Iraq,” October 24).
The sad thing is that Israel has accepted the theoretical American standard, thereby endangering our soldiers. The irony is that Israel has always had the highest standard of morality.
Thus our sons will be put to unnecessary, illogical risk.
What the Palestinians want
Sir, – In his analysis “Would the US work against a unilateral ‘Palestine’ if PM was blamed for the diplomatic deadlock?” (October 22), Herb Keinon posits that unless the Netanyahu government concedes another building freeze, the Palestinians will unilaterally declare a state with its capital in Jerusalem and that the international community will affirm this.
However, both historical experience and the present stalemate in the peace negotiations would seem to belie this.
If the Palestinians wanted a state in the 1967 borders with east Jerusalem as their capital, they could have easily negotiated one 15 years ago with Yitzhak Rabin, 10 years ago with Ehud Barak, or even two years ago with Ehud Olmert.
Indeed, both Barak and Olmert offered the Palestinians literally everything they are now demanding, and yet both offers were rejected out of hand by the Palestinians.
This is because the Palestinians never wanted nor do they now desire a state. Their entire Palestinian liberation movement is predicated on destroying Israel – either militarily, which was tried and failed with two intifadas and is now unlikely; demographically, by their nonnegotiable demand for right of return of Palestinian refugees to Israel; or diplomatically, by demonizing and isolating Israel internationally.
The Palestinians could of course try something new and different – that is, negotiating in good faith for a compromise settlement with Israel that would guarantee the security, legitimacy, and prosperity of both parties to the conflict.
This, too, seems improbable, but it really remains the only productive and effective way to settle the dispute.
Kiryat Arba
Who is truly pro-Israel?
Sir, – In his recent op-ed (“More fear and loathing on the campaign trail,” Washington watch, October 21), Douglas Bloomfield accused me of turning Israel into a “partisan wedge issue” in my race for US Congress. In fact, J Street – which has donated tens of thousands of dollars to my opponent, Jan Schakowsky – was founded to create a wedge not just between Republicans and Democrats but also between the US and Israel.
The bipartisan consensus on Israel is in danger because the Far Left of the Democratic Party believes that Israel is the root cause of conflict in the Middle East. That is why recent polls show that 85 percent of Republicans sympathize more with Israelis than Palestinians, while only 48% of Democrats do.
In his article, Bloomfield also made several factual errors, which were likely fed to him by the Schakowsky campaign. I’ve never “boasted” about Pam Geller’s endorsement, for example. Nor did I tell him that Barack Obama has “made it acceptable to hate Israel.”
Bloomfield plucked that quote from an earlier speech, without providing the context, and misrepresented what I actually told him via e-mail: “I believe President Obama has the potential to be a friend of Israel, but has not behaved as one, unfortunately.”
It amazes me that far-left groups, which maintain that a true friend of Israel is one that criticizes Israel, refuse to criticize their good friend Barack Obama.
It amazes me that we Americans do not demand more of representatives from strong pro-Israel districts, and that we have been content to see them meet the lowest common denominator of pro-Israel support.
A pro-Israel Congress would not just vote for foreign aid. A truly pro-Israel Congress would vote to de-fund the UN Human Rights Council. It would deny funding to the Palestinian Authority until it recognized Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.
A truly pro-Israel Congress would criticize President Obama for singling out Israel. A truly pro- Israel Congress would have provided assistance to the Iranian democracy movement. A truly pro-Israel Congress would declare that the US will support Israel in the event it must launch a preemptive strike against Iran. A truly pro-Israel Congress would demand that the international community act now to free Gilad Schalit.
That is the kind of pro-Israel Congress I want to create. I want to be a leader on the floor of the House – not just a vote.
Republican challenger US Congress, 9th District of Illinois
The thing left out
Sir, – According to your report “‘Zionism is not racism,’ cry antioath protesters in J’lem” (October 21), “extreme right-wing protesters carried flyers depicting Rabin in an SS uniform” in a Zion Square rally that took place just before his assassination.
The report leaves out the involvement of Avishai Raviv, who was an agent provocateur of the Shin Bet.
Raviv created a youth movement called “Eyal” that was more a creature of the media than the rightist gang it was supposed to be.
The provocative poster of Rabin dressed as Nazi Gestapo chief Heinrich Himmler was created by two youngsters who took part in a summer holiday camp on the Kinneret run by Raviv. They handed the posters, mounted on sticks, to Raviv at the Zion Square rally. Raviv brought one of the posters to the attention of TV reporter Nitzan Chen, pressing him to air it that very night.
The poster was more a product of the Shin Bet than of any political group. The highlighting of the poster became part of a campaign to discredit the right wing of our political spectrum which had legitimate concerns about the Oslo Accords.
CORRECTION On page 2 of Monday’s paper, a photograph captioned “Eyal Gabai” was actually of Tony Gelbart.

We apologize for the error.