Sir, – I was bemused by the article “Harper Collins leaves Israel off maps in atlases for schools in Middle East” (January 1).
Beware of publishers that cannot differentiate between fact and fiction. As a geography teacher I always believed I was teaching fact.
This reminds me of the time not long ago when I went into Steimatzky’s to buy a small globe (made in China). While waiting to pay, I spun it around and noticed that Israel was called Palestine. I pointed this out to the cashier and left it on the counter.
It seems there is a separate category of products made for the Middle East. We should be aware of this when buying.
GERALDINE THEMAL Kiryat Tivon
Their own chutzpah
Sir, – With regard to “Palestinian interests” (Editorial, January 1), I would like to point out that, as stated, on November 29, 1947, over 67 years ago, the UN voted in favor of General Assembly Resolution 181, known as the Partition Plan, which called for the creation of a Palestinian state and a Jewish state. The Arabs turned down the offer and instead set out to obliterate Israel by force.
Having not succeeded – several times – they now want to take up an offer that lapsed when they rejected it. And they say that we Israelis have chutzpah! FANNY MYERS Beit Zayit Patronizing, insulting Sir, – I found Haley Pearce’s “Why Naftali Bennett could be good for Israel” (Comment & Features, January 1) patronizing and insulting. The only thing I agree with her about is her last sentence, when she says that “stopping the lies might be a start” for being optimistic about solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The lie Pearce repeats over and over is that the State of Israel is “occupying the West Bank.” She says: “We don’t really care how you sort it out, Israel, but sort it out.” As if only Israel is to blame. As if we are somehow occupying our own land, which has belonged to us for millennia. As if the Arabs aren’t trying to kill us every day and we are fighting back.
Stooping to use nasty, juvenile language to make a patronizing point just makes Pearce sound shrill. And very young.
She says: “I am speaking of human rights abuses.” As if only Israel has problems in that area. Hasn’t she heard of Ferguson? Or the black man who was strangled in New York by a policeman? Human rights abuses? Only us? In the whole world? The note beneath her piece tell us that next year Pearce “hopes to volunteer and work as a journalist in the Middle East.” I hope she volunteers to join ISIS, as so many naive and clueless young Western kids are doing. She might get a different view on reality in this part of the world. If she lives.
THELMA JACOBSON Petah Tikva
Sir, – I hesitate to refer to even a couple of Hayley Pearce’s maunderings – reading them once is bad enough – but I will for the benefit of readers fortunate enough to have missed her piece.
Pearce says Naftali Bennett’s opinions (“he’s quite awful”) are in line with “much” of the Israeli public. It is a matter of record what proportion of Israelis voted for his party, and I personally would not describe 10 percent as “much.”
Apparently, Washington “pulls all the strings,” although Pearce doesn’t say whose strings. She says that anyone who “has half a brain” and “follows the conflict closely” (evidently not the writer) knows that too many people in power are opposed to the idea of a two-state solution. By chance she is right about this, but what she doesn’t get is that the people in power she is referring to reside in Ramallah or Gaza City.
MAX BLACKSTON Jerusalem
Sir, – With regard to “Holier than thou” (In My Own Write, December 31), just what is a bribe? A junk-food giant sponsors a summer camp for sick children. An official is awarded an honorary doctorate or other title. The head of a political party agrees to enter a coalition on the condition that he becomes a minister over an area he has no inkling about.
Aren’t these bribes? Neither side would agree without receiving something.
The definitions I found: 1) Money or any other valuable consideration given or promised with a view to corrupting the behavior of a person, especially in that person’s performance as an athlete, public official.
2) To influence or corrupt by a bribe. 3) Anything given or serving to persuade or induce.
To corrupt? Not in this case.
Just changing a building zone for the public good. Uri Lupolianski weighed the problem: Deny the right to build high-rise apartments that will make the owner richer although they will look like a monstrosity, or allow them to be built and help sick and disabled citizens and others.
Also, alluding to Lupolianski as Robin Hood is a cheap shot.
Robin Hood stole from the rich to give to the poor, but took some for himself and his merry men. (Who do you think supported them, the sheriff?) Lupolianski personally received nothing – no fame, no fortune.
Is that the definition of bribery? YOSEF TUCKER Jerusalem
Sir, – What a disappointment to find my favorite columnist, Judy Montagu, falling prey to the popular trap of blaming the victim.
I always look forward reading her columns because of her creative and sensitive writings. But now she has become part of the mediocre, biased and subjective press. What a shame.
I wish her well in her growing old and may she never need Yad Sarah. That would be as funny as a crutch.
S. AHARONSON Jerusalem Sir, – It is odd indeed that whereas Labor Party leader Isaac Herzog escaped punishment in 1999 for allegedly making political use of what were labeled charitable contributions, Uri Lupolianski has been convicted for making charitable use of funds that were slipped to him for political purposes.
MARK L. LEVINSON Herzliya
Bad business model
Sir, – It might be thought that any company with people queuing for over an hour to use its services would be the envy of its competitors. Not so the Israel Postal Company.
Despite the fact that its branches are always full, often overflowing, the company manages to lose millions of shekels every year. It is very clear why: The people are there to use the services it provides for free; the slowness and inefficiency of services that need to be paid for mean that any person or firm with alternatives does not use it.
My company recently informed its suppliers that it will no longer receive registered letters; it is just not worth the time wasted collecting them.
We also use a courier service (at seven times the price) to send local registered mail, and a courier to send large letters overseas, this at 10 times the cost.
It would appear that the free services supplied by the Israel Postal Company are driving away paying customers, which suggests that there is something seriously wrong with its business model.
ARIEH ACTON Hod Hasharon
CLARIFICATION Reader Emanuel Fischer wishes to clarify that in his letter of December 31 (one of several under the heading “Blame Channel 10”), he intended to refer to Channel 10 as having the necessary licensing funds, and not Labor Party leader Isaac Herzog, Hatnua leader Tzipi Livni and Labor MK Eitan Cabel.