Letters the week of July 23, 2015

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Israel and the Middle-East are the focus of all three letters this week, one from New Jersey, one from Pennsylvania and one from New York.

A Wake-up Call for Israel Apologists

I am weary of the bullying from those who seem to believe in “Israel, my country, right or wrong.” With some exceptions, the supporters of BDS and other supposed anti-Israel behavior do not hate Israel. They do not hate Israel anymore than a parent who is dismayed at a child’s behavior hates the child. But many of us are dismayed at Israel’s behavior and the inability of anyone to get the attention of Israel’s leadership. We believe that as members of a religion with a long history of persecution, Israel’s behavior is unconscionable. Its leaders should know better. One cannot rationalize away 1) the overreaction to Hamas’ bombing of southern Israel; 2) the continual building of settlements on the West Bank; and 3) the extremely poor treatment of Arabs living on the West Bank and those living in Israel.


One of the fundamental principles of a democracy is the right of the people to dissent in an informed and reasoned manner. Launching a “coherent strategy to battle those who wish to make a pariah out of Israel” is hardly a “sobering” way to deal with the dissent of those who feel that Israel’s leadership has lost its way.

This is not the same as making a pariah out of Israel, although your editorial (“Sobering Thoughts about BDS,” July 9) seems to equate the two. In the end, this dissent-squashing behavior serves only the cause of Israel’s enemies. It does not strengthen Israel’s hand and it is not helpful to Israel’s existence or its future. When you choose to do battle, it is good to be sure you know who your real enemies are. With the recent reelection of the perpetrators of bad behavior (on many fronts), perhaps it is time for a wake-up call — before it is too late.

Frank L. Friedman | Delanco, N.J.

 

Putting All That Hate to Good Use

When I first read Louis Rappaport’s pathetic hate filled rant published in the July 9th Letters section, my initial impulse was to be critical of the Exponent for publishing such drivel. However, Mr. Rappaport’s diatribe serves a very useful purpose. Any committed American Jew who truly loves his or her religion, heritage and Israel must understand that the racist, far-right nationalist ideology expounded by this Kahanist is not founded in fact, but instead is a reflection of an evil and divisive militancy that will — and has — divided American and Israeli Jewry. We are at a point in history where we should all be unified behind traditional American Jewish values: a secure, prosperous and democratic Israel at peace with her neighbors, and a role for Jews in American society as an ethnic group admired for its academic achievements, leadership in social justice movements and charity toward the poor and oppressed. Men like Mr. Rappaport are nothing more than ayatollahs in a Jewish skin and are surely detrimental to a secure future for our children, grandchildren and Israel.

Stuart Fredd | Ambler

 

The Absurdity of it All

This nuke deal with Iran is absurd (“Iran Negotiations Result in Historic Accord,” July 16). How can you trust a country that has repeatedly been caught cheating on its previous nuclear commitments? How can you trust a country whose top leaders have called for death to America and Israel during the recent negotiations? How can you trust a country to fulfill its commitments while at the same time it’s overthrowing the governments of its neighbors?

John Kerry has backed off every red line that he once said was necessary for him to complete an agreement. We have now entered the theater of the absurd by formalizing an agreement with the foremost terrorist supporting state in the world. The only question left is how long it will take for Iran to cheat its way to a bomb and who President Obama will blame for the utter failure of his administration.

Steve Heitner | Port Jefferson Station, N.Y.

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