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Letters Week of July 13, 2011
Israeli Business in Region Would Be a Win-Win
In Bryan Schwartzman's well-written article about the new Israel business lab at the Navy Yard (City & Suburb: "Navy Yard Hosts Project to Bring Israeli Clean-Tech Firms to Philly," July 7), the statement that only Israeli clean-tech companies require a U.S. presence needs clarification.
Israeli companies that wish to benefit from the Energy Innovation Hub at the Philadelphia Navy Yard are best served by locating here. However, almost all Israeli companies across the industries can benefit from a U.S. presence to attract investment and enter into strategic-growth partnerships.
In addition, Greater Philadelphia can benefit from the economic growth opportunities offered by innovative Israeli companies.
Randy Schulz, in true entrepreneurial spirit, has chosen to work exclusively with cleantech companies. But in other regions that recognize the value of Israeli innovation as beneficial for their own economies, Israeli companies from all industry sectors have benefited from public funding.
For example, MassChallenge is attracting Israeli companies, which contribute $2.4 billion to the Massachusetts state economy, with a $1 million challenge grant; the City of Akron invests in a high-tech Israeli incubator that has resulted in companies locating there; and the Maryland legislature just appropriated $140,000 to the Maryland-Israel Development Center (which also gets funds from the local Federation) to create an in-state presence for Israeli companies.
Randy should be commended for making a private investment in Israeli clean-tech companies that government makes in other states. Imagine the results if regional government resources were allocated not just to Israeli clean-tech companies but also to software, homeland security and life sciences, where Greater Philadelphia is an asset-rich industry leader.
Executive Director, America-Israel Chamber of Commerce
President's Principles Are Counterproductive
In his recent article in support of President Barack Obama's Middle East course of action (Editorial & Opinions: "President's Chosen Path Paves Way for a Secure Jewish State," June 30), Stuart E. Eizenstat stated: "It's time for ... Israel supporters everywhere, to recognize that the president's broad principles ... provide the key to a safe and secure Jewish state."
I submit that these principles have done the opposite and have made peace a more elusive possibility by, at times, being more pro-Palestinian than the Palestinian leadership itself.
It was President Obama who demanded Israel stop construction in Jerusalem -- a demand never required by the Palestinian Authority to negotiate during the Oslo process and after.
Furthermore, it was President Obama who said on May 19th at the State Department that "the Palestinian people must have the right to govern themselves" in "a sovereign and contiguous state." This Obama principle means that the Palestinians "must" be given Israeli land to build a highway linking (the Hamas-ruled) Gaza Strip with the land west of the Jordan River -- a highway that could divide Israel into two parts during a war.
These are hardly the actions of an administration providing the keys to a safe and secure Jewish state.
Israel's Real Problem Isn't Obama, It's the Arabs
It was quite interesting to read the two articles on Israel's course of action in the Middle East (Editorial & Opinions: "What Course Should We Follow in the Middle East?" June 30).
Newt Gingrich, an ardent Republican politician, follows the attacks on President Obama, looking to get Jewish votes.
Stuart E. Eizenstat follows the actions of the president, most of which are favorable when it comes to the handling of Israel and the Middle East.
But he ignored the president's remarks on Israel going back to the pre-1967 war lines.
The president is a strong friend of Israel, politically and militarily. The facts are clear; the real problem resides with the Arabs and the Palestinian Authority, which have refused to accept Israel as a neighbor.
Henry J. Lotto