It was a week in which President Barack Obama intentionally sandbagged and humiliated Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with the most anti-Israel speech ever delivered by a sitting American president, delivered moments before the prime minister was set to leave for America. Yet, strangely, Gary Rosenblatt chooses to see Netanyahu as the confrontational one (“Bibi Opts For Confrontation,” Editor’s column, May 27).
A few days after President Barack Obama’s infamous May 19 statement that “the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines,” I sent letters to my representatives in Congress stating that “there are hundreds of thousands of Jewish people who live beyond the 1967 lines, and the 1967 lines are ‘indefensible.’”
The Jewish left, as personified by Rabbi Arthur Waskow (Letters, May 20), views the popular pro-Palestinian and anti-Zionist position as the only permissible view to hold. Anyone who dares challenge this politically correct and utterly conformist view becomes persona non grata. Jeffrey Wiesenfeld has not been addressed on the issues he raises but has, instead, been personally demonized, libeled and pressured to resign for exercising his right to free speech and academic freedom.
Jeffrey S. Wiesenfeld, Trustee, The City University of New York
Regarding the absolutely outrageous letter from Rabbi Arthur Waskow (May 20, Letters), let me be clear: Jim Dwyer’s piece in The New York Times was part of a concerted campaign to defame me [over this letter-writer’s role in the initial decision by the CUNY board to deny Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner an honorary degree]. I apologize for nothing. I never made the statement that Palestinians were not human.
I was incredulous that your front-page story (March 11) on the Jewish character of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire omitted the most relevant fact: The fire occurred on a Shabbos (Sephardic transliteration would be anachronistic in this context). I learned the day of the week on which the fire occurred several years ago, and was also told that the employees were forced to come to work on Shabbos because that was payday.
Although I don’t fully agree with Gary Rosenblatt’s view of the Palestinian Authority as more recalcitrant than Israel is at times, there’s much in his column, “Looking to Bibi, As The World Closes In” (Editor’s column, May 20), that I do agree with. I especially agree that the so-called “Nakba,” the catastrophe for the Arabs as a result of Israel’s victory in 1948, was brought about by their violent opposition to the United Nations partition plan and their military attempt to destroy Israel in its infancy.
Try as they might, Israel finds itself in a no-win situation. If Israelis are perceived to be taking a hard line in negotiating with the Palestinians, they risk incurring the wrath of President Barack Obama and European leaders. And if Israel succumbs to world pressure and agrees to relinquish territory vital to its security, it may encourage its Arab neighbors and Iran to wage war against her.
I’m really appalled that anyone would take a view written by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach seriously (“Obama At AIPAC: Let The Fun Begin,” Opinion, Jewish Week website).
Let’s start to clarify a couple of points. President Barack Obama did not say anything different than our former president. President George W. Bush sent a letter in 2004 to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon based on this premise [that Israel would keep the large settlement blocs in return for land swaps]. For obvious reasons he did not make it public.
With all the hoopla surrounding President Barack Obama’s references to the “1967 borders” and its implications for the continued survival of the Jewish state, little attention has been paid to the far more pernicious passages interspersed throughout his latest Middle East speech. Supporters of Israel need to cut through the media haze and focus on his actual words to understand exactly where the president is coming from.
Young Families, Singles Flocking to Upper East Side; ‘The Memory Is In Their Taste Buds’: The Lure of Sephardic Food; Safra Synagogue Rabbi’s Growing Empire; Sephardic And Egalitarian at B’nai Jeshurun; Giving Voice to Sephardic Music.