Folly Of Compromise
Re “No Compromise With Hamas” (editorial, Aug. 15):
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is responsible for the safety of the citizens of Israel. What should he do when people who want to destroy Israel fire rockets into his country in order to kill his people?
Should he compromise and limit the destruction of enemy capabilities as long as fewer than, say, ten Israelis are killed each day?
Should he reduce that number to five?
Furthermore, should he permit the rebuilding of the Gaza terror tunnels leading into Israel? These tunnels were designed for the purpose of mounting attacks on civilians in nearby Israeli communities.
Israelis do not want innocent civilians to be killed. But Netanyahu is well aware that Hamas uses civilians as human shields.
President Obama should recognize that civilian deaths in Gaza are the result of Hamas’s actions and that as soon as Hamas stops launching rockets into Israel, peace will come to that area.
East Windsor, NJ
Dismantling The Times
Jerold Auerbach is to be commended for his meticulous dismantling of The New York Times in terms of its coverage of the war in Gaza (“All the ‘News’ That’s Fit to Castigate Israel,” front page essay, Aug. 15).
There is no doubt in my mind that the Times’s current Jerusalem bureau chief, Jodi Rudoren, is the worst the Times has had in that position since Deborah Sontag more than a decade ago.
And Rudoren doesn’t let up. Just a few days ago CAMERA’s Alex Safian analyzed an Aug. 11 piece by Rudoren on the Gaza seaport Hamas wants built. Rudoren wrote that just three months after construction of the port began in 2000, Israel destroyed it:
“It was here that a European contractor began building a commercial seaport back in July 2000, only to have its work destroyed by Israeli tanks and bombs within three months. Now, Palestinian leaders trying to negotiate terms in Cairo for a durable truce have made the revival of the seaport project a prime demand.”
The article also noted that the port was “first promised by the Oslo Accords in 1993.”
“Got the picture? The port was promised in 1993, and when construction began in 2000, Israel, for some apparently mysterious reason, almost immediately sent its tanks and bombs to destroy it….
“The Gaza port construction was indeed destroyed in 2000, but the Times neglects to tell its readers that this was in fighting that was part of the Second Intifada, the violent Palestinian war against Israel that followed Yasir Arafat’s refusal of the Clinton peace proposals.
“And yes, a seaport authority was mentioned in the Declaration of Principles, and in more detail in the Interim Agreement…. But, of course, the negotiations were a two-way street: Israel agreed to certain things, like allowing a Gaza port, in return for the Palestinians agreeing to certain things. And one of the main Palestinian agreements was that in the Palestinian territories there would be only one armed Palestinian entity, and that would be the police force of the Palestinian Authority (PA).”
In other words, the idea that a second armed entity, in this case Hamas, would enter the picture was not something remotely envisioned by negotiators. But Rudoren, either through ignorance or duplicitousness, conveniently left that crucial information out of her article, just as she neglected to mention the circumstances in which the port was destroyed in 2000.
Tribute To Jabotinsky
On the night of Aug. 12 at the Fifth Avenue Synagogue, Cantor Joseph Malovany, the shul’s esteemed cantor, opened the annual Ze’ev Jabotinsky memorial event co-sponsored by Americans for a Safe Israel and the Nordau Circle with beautiful renditions of Hatikvah and the Star Spangled Banner.
I made the introductory remarks, stressing that Jabotinsky’s ideology was the motivating force for the creation of AFSI by Shmuel Katz, his brilliant biographer. Thanks to the driving forces of Drs. Rael and Eric Isaac, and AFSI’s first chairman, Herbert Zweibon, a”h, to whom the evening was dedicated, Americans for a Safe Israel has always embodied the Iron Wall philosophy of Jabotinsky.
Judy Freedman Kadish, AFSI’s director of special projects and MC for the evening, introduced David Krakow, longtime member of the Nordau Circle. Dave brought with him a tape of the Betar Song, and with the help of AFSI board member Charlie Bernhaut, the song was played with the Betarniks in the audience standing and singing along. It was a touching and beautiful moment.
Professsor Rebecca Kobrin of Columbia University described how Jabotinsky formed the British army’s Jewish Legion in World War I and created Betar, the Haganah, and the Irgun.
AFSI chairman Mark Langfan used his famous maps to illustrate how Israel must be able to defend itself against the ever-increasing range of enemy rockets and why it should be recognized as NATO’s only ally in the Mediterranean.
Other speakers included Yifa Segal, recently arrived from Israel, who electrified the audience with stories about the Israeli news agency Tazpit, which, she explained, is devoted to disseminating the full and truthful story of Israel to international media outlets; and Glen Richter, longtime AFSI member and devoted participant in AFSI Chizuk missions to Israel who made his name as leader of the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry.
Toward the end of the event, Cantor Malovany sang the Kel Maaleh Rachamim for Jabotinsky, moving many in the audience to tears.
Judy Kadish invited everyone to join AFSI on our next Chizuk mission to Israel, Oct. 26-November 5, suggesting this might be the best way to carry the Jabotinsky message forward.
(For reservations and additional information, readers can call 212-828-2424 or visit www.afsi.org.)
Thank You, Sean Hannity
Jewish Press readers will no doubt take interest in our open letter to radio/TV talk show host Sean Hannity expressing appreciation for his support of Israel. The letter, excerpts of which follow, has appeared on websites and blogs all over the Internet.
Dear Sean Hannity,
…Schindler’s List was 1,200 strong and below you will also find 1,200+ deeply grateful signatories – among them the legendary Jackie Mason.
Mr. Hannity, on behalf of GA-GA for Israel, our members and the 1200+ individuals of both the Christian and Jewish faiths, I would like to extend a profound thank you for your courageous and unrelenting support of the State of Israel.
Your recent reporting from the Jewish homeland was first class – as are you – and it offered a purview of Israel that other journalists rarely dare to show.
Sadly, among the casualties of this war launched by Hamas is the truth – a casualty that even the wholly capable care not to resuscitate. But…you’ve done well to breathe life back into it, to resurrect it. You took your viewers on a brave and heartfelt journey from Hamas’s terror tunnels to Israeli-playground bomb shelters, from historical sites to the broken heart of an Israeli mother whose son was kidnapped and killed by Hamas….
They say Israel has nine Iron Domes, but you, Mr. Hannity are the tenth one as you persistently knock the lies and misinformation out of the air and shield Israel with the full force of your integrity, beliefs, and honest news coverage….
Israel is the only true democracy in the Middle East…. On a daily basis Israel is innovating world-changing cures and technologies, from 3D printing to the endoscopy capsule PillCam to devices that help the wheelchair-bound walk and the blind see. The Israeli army is among the first responders [to] natural disasters around the globe….
If only Israel’s enemies would engage themselves in such positive pursuits instead of perpetually conspiring to wipe Israel off the map, they would certainly do better for themselves and their people. Instead of laboriously digging tunnels to import weapons of terror, which they launch indiscriminately at civilian targets, let them build infrastructure and a future for the next generation of Palestinians. If a tree grows in Brooklyn it can grow in Gaza too, if only they’d plant one!
And so, Mr. Hannity, it is with the deepest gratitude, appreciation, and reverence that we thank you for your support, your decency, and your valiance and for seeing the aforementioned beauty in Israel that too many choose to ignore. Your actions have truly resonated in our hearts and your steadfast friendship gives us great comfort that we do not stand alone.
May God’s own words be the last here and fill all your days: “I will bless those who bless you.”
Ga-Ga for Israel