Letters June 14, 2018


Peace developments need a better PR strategy
Kenneth Bob and Brad Rothschild have written a spot-on piece about how to reverse the sense of hopelessness in achieving peace between Israelis and Palestinians (“Trump can build trust and cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians — if he wants,” June 7). Frankly speaking, we who are supporters of a two-state solution fail to recognize that such a dream requires the basic ingredients of trust and cooperation. Add to that a big public relations campaign to highlight any and all gains that are made in each of these grassroots efforts.

It should not be insignificant, for example, that the Arava Institute’s Track II Environmental Forum, an example of Israeli-Palestinian cooperation, is working with local communities and regional governments to develop concrete proposals to build solar panel fields to power wastewater treatment plants for homes in poor communities in Gaza.

The moral of the story should be that instead of fueling Hamas’ public relations strategy to depict Israelis as evil, such a more highly publicized grassroots campaign can also hopefully take away excuses made by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Donald Trump that a two-state solution is impossible to achieve.
Alexandria, Va.

No explanation needed to condemn Peri
Pnina Peri was caught on camera behaving very badly and, as the editors acknowledge, in a manner that allows a disinterested observer to infer reasonably that she harbors an antipathy toward Orthodox Jews and their religious ceremonies, especially those conducted in a public space in close proximity to her (“Tefillin rage,” June 7).


The editors, although acknowledging the obnoxiousness of her behavior, contend that it is wrong to punish a person for such behavior in the absence of a full understanding of the circumstances in which it occurred. They opine that before we judge her behavior, we need to know her motivations. Nonsense.

Behavior is overdetermined and no one, including Peri, are ever fully aware of the relative importance of the multiple factors and circumstances that may motivate her behavior. Anyone, especially after the fact, can make excuses, but no excuse can possible justify Peri’s behavior. More important, a person capable of behaving in this manner should not serve on the faculty of any educational institution. Why would any responsible person allow a child to be exposed to someone capable of such irresponsible and reckless behavior?

Candidate objects to characterization
First of all, I do not believe in conspiracy theories (“Far-right Republicans battle to take on Kaine,” June 7). Secondly, it is a fact that Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthoood, consorted with the KKK and admired Hitler’s eugenics approach to racial cleansing.

Thirdly, my statement about other religions is no different than the exclusivity that most religions claim. Their very existence indicates their belief that their practice is right and others are not. The Jewish people introduced the world to monotheism and believed that all other religious practices were idolatry.

Finally, Christians understand that Judaism cannot be “false” or worship a “false” God because Christianity comes from Judaism. As an avid supporter of Israel and the Jewish people for years, the liberal charge against me of anti-Semitism is particularly egregious.
Chesapeake, Va.

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