Latest update: July 2nd, 2013
I’m gratified that the Israeli Supreme Court resisted what had to be strong international pressure to come down hard on Israel in the Rachel Corrie prosecution (“Israeli Court Dismisses Charges in Corrie Suit,” news brief, Aug. 31).
So-called peace activists can choose to flout Israeli law and push Israel’s security envelope, but the world now knows that there can be serious consequences for such choices.
Tischler Bros. Pro
I was really taken with the article on Avraham and Moshe Tischler, who are challenging, respectively, New York politicians Dov Hikind and Simcha Felder in the upcoming Democratic primaries (“The Tischler Brothers Tout Their Commitment to Public Service,” Aug. 31). It was a breath of fresh air.
The traction their efforts are getting seems to me to reflect a broad disillusionment with entrenched politicians who have long been able to bamboozle the community and orchestrate their own reelections. That these two young men would attract the kind of attention they have leads me to believe the needs of the community rather than the interests of the politicians may soon predominate.
Tischler Bros. Con
It is sad that The Jewish Press has become an enabler for those who are trying to make a joke out of the campaigns of Dov Hikind and Simcha Felder. These are two serious, seasoned and well-qualified politicians who have produced so much for our community. They – and we – deserve better than the quixotic whimsy offered by the Tischler Boys no matter how cute it all seems.
Ahmadinejad Trumps Obama
I totally agreed with your take on the summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (“Iran’s Tet Offensive?” editorial, Aug. 31).
Sapping U.S. will was certainly one of the things Iranian President Ahmadinejad had in mind in when he succeeded in having the summit held in Tehran, where he would host most of the countries of the world as well as the secretary-general of the UN. It certainly put the lie to President Obama’s claims about the efficacy of sanctions to isolate Iran and force it to change course on nuclear development.
I think it is clear that Ahmadinejad is calling Obama’s bluff, believing he has no stomach for military action.
New York, NY
Chizuk From Op-Ed
Re Meir Weingarten’s Aug. 24 op-ed article “Is ‘Gotcha!’ a Jewish Value?” about those who took advantage of the El Al pricing mistake:
Though I did not personally buy a ticket, I think I would have if I had been able to plan a trip to Israel right now. I am embarrassed to say I never thought about the points made in the article, and it has opened my eyes. Yasher Koach for bringing attention to this; hopefully others will be as affected as I was.
Coincidentally, a close friend called me before I read the article to say he had purchased an item at Home Depot. He used the self-checkout register and it rang up one cent. He asked me what I would have done. I actually paused for a second before answering him. I guess I really needed the chizuk provided in Mr. Weingarten’s article.
Fortunately, my friend did the right thing and went to the manager, who looked up the right price – $19.99 – which my friend then paid. He said he never could have walked out of the store knowing he had taken advantage of the mistake.
Obama And Israel
A number of recent columns and letters to the editor threaten grave consequences to Israel if Obama is elected to a second term. Interestingly, I recall hearing the same ominous predictions prior to Obama’s first term, and in most regards those predictions were wrong.
President Obama, while lacking any notable warmth toward Israel or its leadership, has pursued policies that have been largely favorable to Israel when judged by the standards of previous administrations.
So now there is a new argument as to why a continued Obama administration would be disastrous for Israel. The argument goes that in a second term, with no further need to court voters, Obama would be free to reshape his Middle East policy into something more toxic to Israel’s interests. As reader Misha Gold put it most recently, “I have yet to hear from anyone why a reelected President Obama will continue to act as a friend of Israel when there is no longer a political reason to do so.”
I find this argument perplexing. First of all, what is the “political reason” that has motivated Obama’s current policy in the Middle East? Capturing the evangelical vote? He never had it and never will. Capturing the Orthodox Jewish vote? Insignificant. Capturing the non-Orthodox Jewish vote? He has it in the bag. So what pro-Israel segment of the electorate is going to the polls and voting for Obama based on his Middle East policy? So whom does Misha Gold believe Obama has been working so hard to hoodwink these past four years?
Moreover, even if one accepts the premise that there is some constituency that Obama’s current pro-Israel policies are designed to mollify in order to ensure his reelection, why would this political dynamic be altered in a second term? The Democratic Party, of which Barack Obama is the leader, wants to see a Democrat in the White House in 2016 as dearly as they want this in 2012.
If there is some pro-Israel constituency that must be pleased in order to make that happen, it follows that the Democratic Party will need to keep that constituency pleased over the next four years as well. So in all likelihood Middle East policy during a second Obama term will differ very little from Middle East policy during his first term.
The Palestinian Daily newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadida on July 10 published an op-ed commemorating the 48th anniversary of the founding of the PLO in 1964. Al- Barghouti, the editor, declared that Fatah, which is the main movement of the PLO, would continue to champion the Palestinian cause until that cause was realized and that the Palestinians would never tire in their attempts to obtain an independent state.
Barghouti did not mention that the PLO Charter was created with the founding of the PLO in 1964 when Israel was within its pre-June 1967 borders. The “cause” to which Barghouti referred was the elimination of Israel as clearly stated in this 1964 Charter.
If advocates of returning to the 1967 borders would read the 1964 Charter and the amended 1968 charter in conjunction with the above-mentioned op-ed, they might have second thoughts about their position. Both Charters are readily available online. The following are excerpts from the 1964 and 1968 PLO Charters:
Article 2 of the 1964 Charter states: “Palestine with its boundaries at the time of the British Mandate is a regional indivisible unit.”
Article 17: “The Partitioning of Palestine in 1947 and the establishment of Israel are illegal and false…”
Article 18: “The Balfour Declaration, the mandate system and all that has been based upon them are considered fraud…”
Article 10 (amended 1968 Charter): “Commando action constitutes the nucleus of the Palestinian popular liberation war…”
Article 29 of the 1964 Charter and Article 33 of the 1968 amended charter state that the Charter cannot be amended without a two-thirds vote for a change.
No amendment of the Charter has ever occurred.
William K. Langfan
Palm Beach, FL
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