Letters, June 2, 2016


Skeptical of Clinton’s vow for support for Israel
After reading [that] Hillary “Clinton vows to ‘nurture and protect’ Israel” (May 12, 2016) I’m reminded of another Clinton vow. The place was Andrews Air Force Base.  The date was Sept 14, 2012 and the occasion was the transfer of remains [ceremony] of the four Americans killed in the Benghazi attack.

The public record includes emails Clinton sent to her family and transcripts of phone conversations she had with Libyan and Egyptian officials the night of the attack. Each time, Clinton stated that an al Qaeda-type group was responsible for the attack and the deaths of Americans.

The most specific communication was with the Egyptian prime minister.  “We know the attack in Libya had nothing to do with the film. It was a planned attack, not a protest,” said Clinton in the phone conversation.

Two days later in her remarks at the transfer of remains, she said: “We’ve seen rage and violence directed at American embassies over an awful internet video that we had nothing to do with. It is hard for the American people to make sense of that because it is senseless, and it is totally unacceptable.”


Then, with the flag draped coffins still in sight, Clinton spoke privately to the parents of the dead.  The parents reported she vowed the United States would get the individual responsible for the video which led to the deaths.

The lack of decency it takes to mislead mourning parents is breathtaking.

When I read of her vow to a Jewish group to “nurture and protect Israel,” I recall the vow she made to those mourning parents.  If she can deliver a morally hollow vow to parents beside the coffins of their children, I must be skeptical of her vow to Jewish groups over support for Israel.


Campus left’s path: unrealistic
Brooke Davies of J Street U wants to know why some Jewish leaders don’t notice the Jewish left (“Yes, there is a Jewish left on campus, and it needs to be heard,” Voices, May 12).  She suggests it’s because the mainstream Jewish community doesn’t know what it wants from a progressive Zionist group on campus.

Davies is wrong.

The mainstream community wants progressive Zionist groups to learn and understand, and not play down, the reality of the likes of Hamas and Hezbollah, which desire nothing short of a second Holocaust and the destruction of the Jewish state. And it wants the left to understand in this regard concepts such as thousands of rockets being fired at Israeli civilians, tunnels under their homes, knife attacks by cowardly thugs, human shields used by terrorists for propaganda purposes, refusal to acknowledge the fact that Jews have resided in the region as long as anyone else, war being perpetually imposed on the State of Israel, and that self-defense is not necessarily pretty and humane.

Until Davies and others accept the reality of the Middle East situation, the campus left will continue down its idealistic but unrealistic path.  No one at a university, including J Street U, should wear blinders. It defeats the purpose of education.


J Street not pro-Israel
Why do you persist in labeling J Street “pro-Israel,” and blindly mimic its Orwellian “pro-peace, pro-Israel” moniker (“Gutow joins J Street to connect candidates with Jewish backers,” May 12)]?

J Street functions as an integral part of President Barack Obama’s “blame Israel first” propaganda machine, with copious funding from notorious Israel-hater George Soros. It provides a “hechsher” for a range of anti-Israel activists, from BDS supporters to apologists for the disastrous Iran nuclear deal, as well as for those who treat Israeli self-defense against Hamas and Hezbollah rockets as a form of aggression.

I proudly support a range of truly pro-Israel organizations, from the Jewish National Fund to the Zionist Organization of America, from Friends of the IDF to the Magen David Adom. Those are pro-Israel organizations. The only thing I ever hear from J Street is tales of Israeli aggression, occupation, apartheid and oppression. You do your readers and the Jewish people a gross disservice by labeling J Street’s corrosive and incessant anti-Israel activities as “pro-Israel.”

To paraphrase Alan Dershowitz, “a pro-Israel organization at least occasionally says — and does — something favorable toward Israel,” which certainly excludes J Street.

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