Pro-Boycotters Celebrating Israel?
Re “Boycotters on Parade” (editorial, April 25):
It is the height of hubris for the putatively pro-Israel groups Partners for Progressive Israel, B’Tselem, and New Israel Fund to claim they “belong” in the Celebrate Israel Parade when their actions and policies can have the most deleterious consequences to Israel’s security and political imperatives.
It behooves parade organizers to revisit their impolitic approval of these groups’ participation in what is the largest annual pageant of support for Israel in the U.S.
If such a review is not undertaken, schools and organizations should reconsider their own participation.
Benjamin Netanyahu made three major mistakes when he agreed to peace negotiations with the Palestinian Authority under the leadership of Mahmoud Abbas.
The first was the choice of Tzipi Livni to be the chief negotiator, despite her long record of appeasement of the Palestinian Authority.
The second mistake was the acceptance of Martin Indyk as the arbitrator for the peace talks, when during his term in office as U. S. ambassador to Israel he had a record of opposing the Israeli government and advocating the Palestinian agenda.
And third, Netanyahu should never have agreed to the release of 104 murderers of Israeli citizens as one of the conditions for beginning negotiations.
Instead of bringing Mahmoud Abbas to the negotiating table with reasonable terms for ending the conflict, Netanyahu’s concessions only stiffened the intransigent position of Fatah when it came to negotiating borders; the so-called right of return; and recognition of Israel as a Jewish state.
Silver Spring, MD
Creation And The Big Bang
I would add the following to Rabbi Yosef Bitton’s thoughts concerning the Big Bang Theory (“Echoes of the Bing Bang,” op-ed, April 18):
In Tehillim 90 we read that a thousand years is but a moment in God’s eyes. So when the Torah says the earth was created in six days, does it mean six days by human standards or six days by Divine standards?
As the physicist Gerald Schroeder, a frum Jew, stated in his book Genesis and the Big Bang, the biblical account of creation and the Big Bang Theory are stating the exact same thing.
Joseph A. Levy
Rego Park, NY
Time For Palestinian Concessions
Israeli finance minister Yair Lapid was quoted as saying, “I would choose, every day of the week, freezing the settlements over freeing prisoners” (“Lapid: Settlement Freeze Preferable to Prisoner Release,” news story, April 11)
Why should Israel have to do either? Who came up with the notion that Israel has to make major unilateral concessions, in advance, just for the privilege of being able to negotiate with the Palestinian Authority? Too often we make the mistake of assuming that just because the State Department or The New York Times pushes some idea, Israel has no choice but to go along with it.
The time has come to insist that the Palestinians make some tangible concessions to facilitate negotiations. After all, they are the ones who have blatantly violated the 1993 Oslo Accords again and again (by, for example, tolerating terrorism, glorifying terrorists, and inciting against Jews and Israel). It’s time for them to prove that they sincerely want to live in peace with Israel.
If the PA wants to negotiate with Israel, let it freeze Arab construction activity in the territories, halt payments to imprisoned terrorists, and change the names of streets and parks that are named after mass murderers. Those would be steps in the right direction.
Moshe Phillips, President
Benyamin Korn, Chairman
Religious Zionists of America – Philadelphia Chapter
Rav Dovid Hofstedter writes that “America remains one of the better places for Jews” (“Achieving Unity: A Torah Thought for Pesach,” front-page essay, April 18).