February 8: ISIS strikes a nerve

February 7, 2015 21:10

Letters. (photo credit: REUTERS)

ISIS strikes a nerve

Sir, – Look at the response of Jordan to Islamic State’s terror threats (“Abdullah vows unrelenting war on ISIS’s home turf,” February 5). Now look at the response of America to ISIS terror threats.

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One leader has the best for his people in mind. One does not care. You decide which is which.

REBECCA RAAB Ma’aleh Adumim

Sir, – It will be interesting to see the world’s reaction to the Jordanian executions, but I doubt it will be as critical as would be the case had they been carried out by Israel. No doubt the pro-Palestinian bloc at the UN would already have called for an emergency meeting of the Security Council to condemn unreservedly Israel’s “crime against humanity.”

Now that Jordan has set a precedent for executing even failed mass-murderers, perhaps Israel could follow suit. That would leave fewer in its jails to be released in hostage deals and thus continue their previous activities.


Sir, – It is interesting how silent the world is in response to Jordan’s execution of two terrorists in retaliation of the barbaric murder of its pilot by Islamic State.

Can one imagine the outcry if it had been an Israeli pilot and Israel responded by killing jailed terrorists? There’s no standard like a double standard.


Sir, – The “allies” are bombing Islamic State every day, yet it seems to continue its activities unfazed. I asked someone why this was so; I was told it’s because people are afraid to bomb heavily populated areas so as not to kill a lot of innocent civilians.

If civilians are harboring terrorists, they should be considered guilty of aiding and abetting a crime. And if the only way to stop ISIS is to bomb it wherever its forces are, we should do it.

(I’m sure Russia would).

Admittedly, the people ISIS terrorizes have no choice but to accede to its demands. But if they became more afraid of the allies, they might rise up against the Islamists.


Sir, – To our acute consternation, the world is plagued with various terror attacks and executions of prisoners by terrorists. As in the case of Islamic State, they often publicize photos of their atrocities.

Your worthy paper has published these photos, as you did with “Islamic State burns Jordan’s fallen pilot alive” (February 4). I beg you to stop this practice.

For one, it is forbidden to look upon someone in his time of anguish and suffering. And it is part of “Love thy brother as thyself” – if it was your relative, would you want the world to watch him being tortured and killed? Moreover, the murderers who post these images do it so people will watch them. That is part of what motivates their sick psyches. You enable them by complying.


A historian dies

Sir, – With regard to “Historian Martin Gilbert dies at 78” (February 5), I worked 10 years to research and write a book, and wanted someone to write an introduction. Someone suggested Gilbert.

I hesitated but eventually sent him my manuscript. Several weeks later I received a seven- page historical introduction, which put the book in proper perspective.

I offered to pay. Gilbert’s answer was that he wanted two signed copies.


Bibi, stay here

Sir, – The prominence given to “Bottlegate” and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s upcoming address to the US Congress far outweighs that given the most important news recently published in The Jerusalem Post, namely the urgent need for our opposing candidates to debate their positions (“Debate champ: Let’s have one between candidates for PM,” February 5).

Why is Netanyahu too scared to confront the Zionist Union’s Isaac Herzog on TV? Our prime minister is fluent in both Hebrew and English. He also has more charisma and is able to project across the footlights far better than his opponent. Is it possible he realizes that Herzog is about to open a fresh highway that will capture the hearts and minds of an electorate thirsting for change? Netanyahu is a street fighter, but we need a statesman who is sophisticated enough to negotiate us out of this desperate swamp. We are crying for someone who will walk away from the deadly status quo. A debate will show which candidate should be entrusted with the delicate process of making peace.

We know that wars and violence have not brought us nearer to peace. Netanyahu has not brought us nearer to peace. He obfuscates and tries to give the impression that he is taking action to further our interests, but the only interests being furthered are those of arms manufacturers who really don’t care if we lose our brave soldiers and citizens. All they need is to have a belligerent leader at the helm who will continue to lead the process toward Armageddon.

Bottlegate be damned! Addressing Congress be damned! Mr. Prime Minister, stay home and face the people! Give us the opportunity to decide who the better man is, and then let us vote to be sure that the better man wins!


Go, Bibi, go!

Sir, – If only in the Nazi period someone had spoken up on the imminent destruction of six million Jews. Now we have someone who has that very opportunity on the world stage – and all we hear are trivialities like “Bottlegate.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should be allowed to deliver his Churchillian address.

May Iran tremble at his oratory skills.

Do we want a Chamberlain-like “peace in our time”? No! Go, Bibi, go!

IVOR SCHER Even Yehuda

Blind kashrut

Sir, – Kol hakavod to Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz for his challenging piece “A call for transparency in the kashrut industry” (Comment & Features, February 5).

He points out abuses of animals on factory farms and at kosher slaughterhouses that are generally being overlooked by kashrut authorities. I hope it will be a game changer in inspiring our rabbis and other Jewish leaders to start addressing the many moral and halachic issues related to the production and consumption of meat and other animal products.


The writer is an author of books on Judaism and vegetarianism, and president emeritus of the Jewish Vegetarians of North America.

Wrong terminology

Sir, – We live in a democracy.

In democracies we do not elect leaders, we elect representatives who are expected to address issues of national interest in conformity with our personal perceptions on how these items should be managed. We review these representatives’ records of success and failure when the time for the next election comes.

Therefore, I suggest that your goodselves and the rest of the media cease reporting about our “leaders,” which is a term appropriate for non-democratic autocracies.

Instead, substitute the word “representatives.”

Some qualifiers, such as senior (e.g., for the prime minister and top cabinet ministers), intermediate (e.g., chairperson of a committee or a junior minister) and ordinary (e.g., a serving member of Knesset without an additional responsibility) might be necessary.

But such a change could help reduce the tendency among politicos to forget that they are responsible to us, the voters, who provide their salaries through the taxes we pay.


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