Regarding the May 6 article, “Alienation From Israel Hitting Liberal Seminaries,” the basic problem as I see it lies in the reluctance to separate a robust support for Israel as a viable state from supporting the politics of various governments of Israel.
One can be for settlements or against, for mixed prayers at the Western Wall or against, or for the way the Palestinians are treated or against, but that should not in any way affect the support for Israel as a state any more than the conflicts in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan undermined that of the U.S.
In the title of their Opinion article “Marching For Israel With Love And Criticism” (May 27), Rabbis Jill Jacobs and David Rosenn reveal the error of their premise that the Celebrate Israel parade is a legitimate venue for expressing criticism of Israel. I disagree with them. If they believe that they can march in the parade and use the occasion for criticizing Israel they are starting off on the wrong foot.
Gary Rosenblatt has it exactly right: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “should have responded positively to the president’s speeches instead of reinforcing his image that he — rather than Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas — is the Mideast’s Dr. No” (“Bibi Opts For Confrontation,” May 27).
Regarding Gary Rosenblatt’s perspective in “Bibi Opts For Confrontation” (May 27), I respectfully reject his criticism that Bibi was “too quick to assert that Israel could never abide by the pre-1967 borders, so quick, in fact, that he appears to the world as the primary stumbling block to progress.” It is true that many will choose to believe that and it is also true that it is important that the prime minister foster a good relationship with President Barack Obama — but not at any price.
In response to Gary Rosenblatt’s column, “Bibi Opts For Confrontation” (May 27), I must first say that I have always enjoyed his well-considered columns in the past. However, he might value the view of a Canadian, a person who does not have any emotional or psychological connection to the “presidency,” a kind of mystic that I detect in many Americans.
I must respectfully disagree with Gary Rosenblatt’s view that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should have called “the Palestinians’ bluff by welcoming the president’s speech as a good starting point for peace talks” (“Bibi Opts For Confrontation,” Between The Lines, May 27).
Much of the world press has treated last weekend’s attempt by Palestinians living in Syria to force their way across the border into the Golan Heights as one more manifestation of the “Arab Spring,” the movement of mostly young people to bring a semblance of freedom and democracy to an Arab world that lacks both.
The truth is something less heroic; all evidence suggests the attempted incursion was one more attempt by Syrian strongman Bashar Assad to deflect attention from his brutal repression of protesters in his own country.
While the pro-Israel community continues to deconstruct President Obama’s statements about the Mideast in trying to determine whether he is a true friend or not, it is becoming increasingly clear that the Jewish state’s most outspoken defender among world leaders is someone who may not be a household name for many of us.
Final blessings play an important part in the Torah. At the conclusion of Genesis, Jacob offers his words to his children — each of the future tribes of Israel. Moses offers his final blessings to Israel at the conclusion of Deuteronomy. When the Torah tells us that Moses could no longer, at the end of his life, “go in and go out” (Deut. 31), one lovely interpretation holds that he went to the tent of each individual Israelite family and said goodbye.