Letters, the Week of June 2, 2016

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Readers discuss the consulate, Bernie Sanders and the Palestinian Authority.

Consulate Effort Worthwhile and Gaining Steam
The effort to save Philadelphia’s Israeli consulate is far from “bleak” (“Saving the Consulate Movement Looking Bleak,” May 19). You should have seen the expression of appreciation on the face of MK Anat Berko at the May 22 Jerusalem Post Conference in New York when she was informed of the effort.
In March, the first video testimonies for this project were taken from Delaware Valley and Mid-Atlantic Region Israel advocates at the AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington. At that same conference, in a meeting lwith Jewish Agency for Israel Chair Natan Sharansky, he was given three fliers of Philly-based Jewish community programs, the July 5 National Commemoration of the Entebbe Rescue, the preceding July 3-4 YJLC young professionals Pocono Rafting weekend and the “Save the Consulate” flier. Sharansky grabbed the “Save the Consulate” flier and handed the other two back.
In meetings in Israel in January, although those in the “inner circle” remarked it was a “done deal,” people of respect and influence, like Israel Goodwill Ambassador Tal Brody, shared that it was an essential effort that must be pursued.
We are in critical need of a tech volunteer to assist with the labor-intensive editing of the video testimony documentation. This project is working toward recording a significant sample of two-minute interviews, documenting the dedicated work of thousands of frontline professional and volunteer Israel advocacy leaders. Once presented to decisionmakers in Jerusalem, we have full confidence that Israel’s leaders will not abandon those on the frontlines in our region.
Lou Balcher | YJLC Co-Founder
Sanders Should Be Ashamed
I was deeply disturbed that Bernie Sanders, who was given five out of 15 members for the Democratic National Convention platform committee in Philadelphia, chose to select James Zogby, a longtime pro-Palestinian activist, as one of them. Sanders also said he wanted to push the party’s policy on Israel in a different direction.
Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East and a good friend of the United States. Israel had offered a two-state solution at its inception. That was turned down by the Arabs. Israel has given up territory to achieve peace, only to have its enemies use that territory to attack from a closer position. The Arab leaders have stated loud and clear their goal is the total destruction of Israel.
When Israel was created, tens of thousands of Jews were kicked out of the Arab countries with none of their belongings. We don’t hear Sanders discussing that travesty.
Philadelphia is the cradle of liberty, and it is a disgrace that a Jew would push this anti-Israel agenda here or anywhere.
Carol Cohen | Bucks County
Methodist Action, While Positive, Is Just a First Step
The obstacle to peace, as has always been the case, is the Arabs (“Pro-Peace, Not Anti-Israel,” May 26). The Palestinian Authority has turned down every proposal that Israel has made, including an Israeli withdrawal from the so-called West Bank. This is a fact that all these organizations that call themselves pro-peace, pro-Israel either ignore deliberately, willfully or through ignorance.
As you pointed out in your editorial, the Methodist hierarchy has made a good first step toward understanding Israel’s predicament, but it is only a first step. The next step is to publicly support Israel.
Zachary Margolies | Philadelphia

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