Regarding Steven M. Jacoby’s concern expressed in the April 11 issue of Washington Jewish Week (“Boilerplate response”) that Marriott might be “both latent and blatant anti-Israel and/or anti-Semitic” because there is only one Marriott brand hotel in Israel – a Renaissance Hotel in Tel Aviv – I would point out that my husband and I are frequent guests at Marriott-operated properties, from the high-end Marriott Marquis in New York City to the lower-end Towne Place Suites in Boca Raton, Fla., and we have observed that all the towels, shower curtains and bed linens used in these properties are made in Israel. If Marriott were in fact “anti-Israel and/or anti-Semitic” as alleged, why would Marriott do business with Israel when Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries produce the same products?
RITA J. WEISSTUCH
Contrary to the view expressed in the editorial (“Jimmy Carter’s lesson,” WJW, April 18) that the protests against the invitation and the ensuing closed-to-the press lecture by Jimmy Carter were meaningless and futile, the pocketbooks of the alumni will have the final say. Unfortunately, former President Carter was able to continue his anti-Israel campaign in the presence of young and impressionable law students without any dissenting voices, certainly a propaganda victory for Palestinian Arabs.
The alumni who obviously are older, who either attended the university or the law school, may not have had their physical presence felt but at the next solicitation for funds for the school, their concerns will be heard in lesser or absence of contributions.
Yeshiva University, its Cardozo Law School and the student body of that law school have made a serious error in believing that the memories of the alumni are short. Outrage does not have to be necessarily expressed by signs and vocal demonstrations but instead by pocketbook tactics.
In his letter to the editor (“The blame game,” WJW, April 18), Asher Mayerson contends that the “2002 Arab Peace Initiative” and the “Arab world’s unanimous support of the notion of two states for two peoples at the United Nations in November” demonstrate an Arab commitment to peace. Many of us who look for a peaceful settlement of the dispute wish that Mr. Mayerson’s understanding of the documents he cites was accurate. Regrettably, it is not.
The “Arab Peace Initiative” proposed by Saudi Arabia in February 2002 was presented to the Arab League Summit in Beirut in March 2002 and was approved with one significant amendment, added at the insistence of Lebanon and Syria. It calls for the migration to Israel of all the refugees of the 1948 war and their descendants, the so-called “right of return.” At present there are fewer than 50,000 survivors of the war, but there are close to 5,000,000 descendants, all of whom live in neighboring countries as well as on the West Bank and Gaza. The U.N. rolls lists them as “refugees” and, under the terms of the Initiative, Israel would be pressed to allow them to immigrate. Under the U.N. rules governing all other refugees worldwide, the descendants of refugees are not considered refugees.
As to the U.N. resolution of last November mentioned by Mr. Mayerson, it urges the resumption of peace talks and includes the “Arab Peace Initiative” among the terms that should guide the negotiations. Footnote 5 of this U.N. resolution makes it clear that the resolution refers to the amended Initiative not the original proposal. In a surreptitious fashion the claimed “Right of Return” was thus inserted into the resolution.
The exercise of that “right” would, of course, end the existence of Israel as a predominantly Jewish state.
Chairman, board of directors, American Jewish International Relations Institute
J Street’s anti-Israel activities
J Street exists on a foundation of lies about its funding, and supporters. They repeatedly denied George Soros’ support, and remain secretive about much more. Since J Street activists are unqualified to vote in Israel and are dissatisfied with democratically elected officials in Israel and policies supported by Israel’s electorate, they work on encouraging the United States to intervene politically in Israel.
J Street criticizes Israel for mistreatment of Palestinians, while ignoring the expulsion of Jews from Arab countries approximately equal in number to Arab refugees from Israel, many who left voluntarily. J Street rationalizes Palestinian aggression against Israel as a consequence of Israeli settlements and mistreatment, but does not highlight Arab refusal to ever recognize Israel as the Jewish homeland. J Street does not take issue with Nazi influences on Arab anti-Semitism. It disregards the value of settlements to Israel’s security.
J Street is composed of naive followers, many of whom channel subconscious hostile emotions toward Israel into political action against their professed object of love, and a stealth cadre of supporters working to weaken Israel. J Street in January 2012 honored Israeli soldiers who disobeyed their commanders and in March 2012 lobbied Congress against condemning anti-Semitism in Palestinian media and schoolbooks. The list goes on.
More sympathy for Israel
Terrorists have bombed buses and market places in Israel for decades. As a result Israel has effectively used profiling to minimize such attacks on the ground and in the air. Perhaps the tragedy in Boston will allow Americans to keep their weapons, and our borders will be better scrutinized.
We live in scary times. Hopefully the average American will have a little more empathy for Israel’s ongoing plight.
JOSEPH DUPONT Towanda, Pa.