A prize for Trump?
If US President Donald Trump succeeds in coming to civilized terms with the North Korean regime and removing its non-conventional warfare potential by means of good will and diplomacy (“US seeks ‘concrete actions’ from N. Korea before talks,” March 11), the Nobel Peace Prize will not be enough to reward him!
Would you please tell me: With whom did his predecessor make peace besides the Muslim Brotherhood and illegal “immigrants”?
Support must be bipartisan
As a member of AIPAC, former Federation president, Israel Bond chair and part-time resident of Israel, I am deeply troubled by Caroline B. Glick’s column that blasts Democratic support for this country (“Achieving AIPAC’s mission,” Column One, March 9).
Israel and AIPAC need the involvement of all American Jews, not just Republicans.
Jerusalem/Princeton, New Jersey
Seeing is believing
Your March 8 article “PLO parliament to hold rare meeting next month” states that the PLO’s National Council last convened in 1996, at which time it “removed language calling for Israel’s destruction from the PLO Charter.” Not exactly.
The body declared that “the articles that are contrary to the letters exchanged between the PLO and the Government of Israel 9-10 September 1993” were “canceled,” not removed, and never specified what it considered those articles, making the entire effort a propaganda exercise. The council at the same time assigned “its legal committee with the task of redrafting the Palestinian National Charter.” Unsurprisingly, that committee has never met.
Obviously, nobody has ever seen an official copy of the PLO Charter without the undetermined “canceled” articles.
Since seeing is believing, I’ll believe the charter has been changed when I see an amended version, duly approved by a two-thirds majority “of the total membership of the National Congress of the Palestine Liberation Organization [taken] at a special session convened for that purpose.”
You really have to stop referring to the Arabs here as “Palestinians,” and also stop calling their areas “Palestinian.” It never was theirs.
I have books and things that come from the old days and say “Made in Palestine” or “Printed in Palestine,” because that’s what we called the place before the State of Israel was established.
These people are Arabs who live in the Land of Israel.
The trouble is that the rest of the world copies you. They have robbed the term “Palestine” from us and we should be the first to get out of the habit. We are Jews, they are Arabs, and we both live in the Land of Israel.
Manfred Gerstenfeld’s superb op-ed “The long history of progressives and perversity” (Comment & Features, March 8) makes a rather facile reference to “Jewish masochism” to explain Jewish collaboration with the far-Left. Certainly, centuries of calumny against Jews have had many psychological consequences, including internalization and self-hatred, but it is the complicated Jewish relationship with nationalism that best explains the modern Jewish Left.
For thousands of years, as stateless outsiders, Jews were victimized by establishment politics and religion. As a result, they learned to distrust nationalism and turned to universal ideologies for succor. That is why, for example, Jews were so attracted to socialism in places like Russia, where tsarism meant pogroms and official religious discrimination.
Nazi Germany is an even more dramatic example. A solution to statelessness and alienation was Zionism, but that meant that Jews were asked to support a form of nationalism, a request that produced significant cognitive dissonance.
The Jewish Left has been trying to deal with this dissonance by trying to reconcile universalism and nationalism, but there is a limit: Open borders, a weak military or cultural relativism are impossible ideals for Israel. What’s more, the Left has to admit that the universe in “universalism” has turned out to be a very cold place.
While establishing Israel was a bold stroke and a logical solution, historical experience tends to exert its own inertia; emotions can be slow to catch up with changed circumstances.
Charleston, South Carolina
‘Tshuva’ and roads
Reader Lynn Gimpel (“Corruption in Israel,” Letters, March 7) hits several sensitive spots.
It seems the horrifying corruption issues she mentions cannot be tackled by Mr. & Mrs. Average Citizen. However, can’t we do something about the tragic traffic accidents? The writer points out the painful fact that drivers kill more people on the roads than all our wars combined.
Reporting and research have shown some road problems. Among them is the placement of pedestrian crosswalks immediately after traffic lights at corners. This is a blind spot for both pedestrians and drivers. Hearing the horrifying screech of brakes and seeing an innocent pedestrian lying lifeless is an irreversible tragedy.
It has been said that the biblical korbanot (sacrifices) have been done away with, but I suggest they are rampant today on the roads. Citizens seem to be helpless in tackling this daily occurrence.
I suggest that we all go into national mourning and do tshuva (repentance) each time a fatal traffic accident occurs. Of course, with the concomitant loss of the day’s activities, would that be a way to cut them down? Let’s try and see.
The embassy decision
The US Embassy in Jerusalem will do another thing in the long run: It will strengthen the peace process.
But the Arabs are protesting! They’re angry! Strengthen the peace process? Yes!
It’s based on the old Reagan concept of “peace through strength.” The Arabs’ short-term temper tantrums were expected, but for the long run, they are being presented with yet another on-the-ground fact of Israel’s survival, longevity and resolve.
After Israel’s War of Independence, the Six Day War, the Yom Kippur War and other events, Arab leaders came to realize that it was in their best interest to compromise with Israel rather than continue with their self-destructive conflicts. Likewise, the move of the embassy presents the Arabs with just the latest “memo” that Israel is more and more firmly entrenched.
In time, wise Arab leaders will reach similar conclusions about the advantages of living with Israel and getting the best deal they can get rather than continuing to lose ground.
Oblivious to his serious problems at home, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was warmly welcomed at the recent AIPAC conference.
He praised Israel’s great achievements. He also compared US President Donald Trump, who recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and wowed to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem, to Cyrus the Great, Lord Balfour and US president Harry Truman, who was the first to recognize the newly born State of Israel.
As we approach the Festival of Pessah, let us think of one of the Seder’s most beloved songs, “Dayenu.” If these are the two things that President Trump does for Israel, it will be enough.
West Bloomfield, Michigan