Letters week of July 12, 2007



Too Much Bare Flesh Won't Distract Diplomats

Jonathan Tobin should lighten up. The time and effort spent by Israeli diplomats on Gal Gadot and other models for Maxim magazine is not going to diminish the serious work of proving our historical rights versus Palestinian demands (A Matter of Opinion: "Sexy Ladies Won't Sell a State," June 28).

Israel's leaders may have strayed from the correct path, but except for disgraced former President Moshe Katzav, it was not due to staring at too much bare flesh.
Gidi Arbel
Tel Aviv


Low-Grade Pornography Won't Win Over Feminists

I couldn't agree more with Jonathan Tobin's piece on the Maxim ads (A Matter of Opinion: "Sexy Ladies Won't Sell a State," June 28).

As a public-relations professional, I'm dumbfounded about the campaign created by the Israeli Consulate in New York.

While there is certainly nothing wrong with showing beautiful Israeli women, the submissive poses used are strictly low-grade pornography, without taste or humor.

And for a campaign that claims to try to distance itself from Israel, the military power, why on earth would the consulate use women from the Israel Defense Force?

Most of my liberal friends, especially the feminists who are among Israel's biggest skeptics today, would find 1950s' pin-up girl campaigns appalling, whether the women are Israeli or not.

This approach is not exactly making points with Israel's most challenging audience.
Jonathan Carey
San Francisco


BBC's Deafening Silence on the Boycott of Israel

The British Journalists Union is boycotting Israel and deserves condemnation (Editorial: "British Boycotts Herald More Trouble to Come," June 7).

Moreover, the BBC — the avatar of British journalism — in its world-news program refuses to report either boycott, or to reveal whether it subscribes to them.

Presumably, the BBC or its staff are members of the British Journalists Union.

I wrote to the BBC, and cited its TV report that in the fighting between Hamas and Fatah in Gaza, the killing was doing Israel's job.

Ignoring the report, the BBC simply proclaims that it's always impartial.
Burton Caine
Professor of Law
Temple Law School


Secure the Borders — Not the 'Rights' of Illegals

The consistent support of the Jewish Exponent's editorial column for liberal measures on immigration is simply baffling (Editorial: "Yankee Doodle Dandies," June 28).

The collapse of America's control of our own borders is the issue, not the supposed right you champion of illegal immigrants to come here and live.

The reason that the Senate turned down the botched compromise bill agreed upon by the leadership of the two parties is that it listened to the grass-roots. Americans are telling their legislators that they've had enough of "reforms" that do nothing to secure the borders and offer amnesty to those who have willfully violated the law.

The idea that the Jewish community should be taking a stand in defense of this travesty because of our own immigrant roots is ridiculous. The current situation is not analogous to what happened in the past.

On the contrary, Jews have a definite interest in ensuring that more terrorists don't seek entry into the country.
Jacob Miller


Blair Doesn't Understand the War on Israel

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency report noting the appointment of Tony Blair as the Quartet's Middle East envoy prompts concern over Mr. Blair's statements, made to a joint session of the U.S. Congress on July 17, 2003, that the Arab-Israeli conflict is the primary reason for all the conflict in the region, as well as the primary cause of Islamist terrorism around the world (Cover Story: "Summit Fails to Satisfy Fears About Hamas, Abbas," June 28).

The Arab war on Israel has no connection to the war in Iraq, Iran's drive to obtain nuclear weapons, Syria's efforts to continue to control Lebanon or Al Qaeda's thirst for terror, directed at both non-Muslim and Muslim nations alike.

All of these conflicts would be ongoing, even if Israel had never existed.

The only thing that the Arab war on Israel shares with these other conflicts is the extreme Islamist and pan-Arab ideologies that drive it. Arab nationalism has no place for non-Arab states in the Mideast, and Islamism has no place for non-Muslim states there and beyond.

Blair fails to see that Palestinian terrorism is the result of a desire to eradicate Israel, not the absence of a Palestinian state.

We are worried that his misguided views will lead him to pressure Israel to make more one-sided concessions, further endangering Israel and harming the international war against terror.
Morton A. Klein
National president
Zionist Organization of America
New York, N.Y.


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