Letters to the editor: Striking parallels

Less than two months ago, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was globally reviled and brought to his knees

By
April 21, 2015 21:24
Letters

Letters. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Striking parallels
Less than two months ago, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was globally reviled and brought to his knees, whimpering apologies because he had alerted the Israeli voter to the very real risk of a massive Arab voter turnout and a likely alliance between the Arab parties and the leftist-Zionist camp.

Now, British Prime Minister David Cameron has alerted his country’s citizens to avoid voting for Labor (“Cameron: Labor-SNP deal would be frightening,” April 20), as this would result in an alliance between it and the Scottish SNP party, which is committed to ending the United Kingdom, much as most Israeli Arabs are committed to the end of the Jewish state. Yet there is no hue and cry of racism against Cameron.

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Indeed, the parallels between the two situations are striking, with two exceptions: First; the Scots do not pose an existential threat to the English people, merely a political threat to what remains of the British empire. Second, I doubt the British prime minister would ever embarrass himself by the sort of abject flip-flopping to which we are increasingly accustomed from Bibi Netanyahu.

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On the other hand, one could well ask whether Cameron would have the courage to warn the British voter if the immediate concern was Britain’s Muslim bloc. After all, casting Scotsmen as villains is socially acceptable, while vilifying Muslims is against the neo-fascist laws of political correctness.

J.J. GROSS Jerusalem

Explain that
Reading “Poland summons American ambassador over FBI director’s remarks on Holocaust” (April 20), it seems Poland wants to extricate itself from complicity with the Nazis in World War II.

But how can it explain the postwar atrocities against the Jews, such as the Kielce pogrom in 1946?

AURI SPIGELMAN Jerusalem

Europe’s boycott
Regarding “European boycott” (Editorial, April 20), in their blatantly anti-Israel – and, I would suggest, even anti-Semitic – insistence to label products manufactured in Judea and Samaria as coming from Jewish-owned industries in so-called occupied territory, why not ask the European countries to label products with a fuller, more accurate statement? Perhaps it should go as follows: “This product is manufactured by Jewish-owned industry that employs Palestinian labor earning legal wages and all social benefits.”

That would certainly give Europeans much more information to make an informed decision as to whether to purchase such a product or not!

GERSHON HARRIS Hatzor Haglilit

Your editorial makes two fundamentally incorrect assertions.

First, the writer tries to make a point that the European governments currently moving to impose sanctions on products emanating from the West Bank are “inherently bigoted” in view of the current wave of anti-Semitism sweeping across the continent. The implication is that they should not throw stones from their glass houses. But in almost every comment I have seen in your paper regarding this despicable trend, the point is correctly made that there is no moral basis for equating the lives of Jews in Europe with what happens in and around Israel.

So now, which argument is right: Are Jews in Europe responsible for Israel’s actions, or are they not? Second, the editorial tries to argue that imposing sanctions and boycotts on West Bank products will harm the Palestinians at least as much as the Jewish residents.

Coming as I do from South Africa, I well remember the government there trying to make the same argument, that sanctions would hurt the blacks more than anyone else. In reality, sanctions and boycotts brought down the white South African regime, and this is something that Israelis who try to ignore the growing BDS movement do at their own peril.

Although I am diametrically opposed to BDS, which has strong and evil roots in anti-Semitism, it is built on this one very strong foundation, and unless Israel and world Jewry address it effectively, I foresee a very bleak future for our country.

The real answer is not to repeat the Afrikaaner whine, but to spend money, time and effort telling the world the unpleasant truth – that Islam is fundamentally opposed to the existence of not just the current Jewish state, but of any Jewish entity, here or anywhere else.

HENRY KAYE Ashkelon

Easy fix
It’s time to stop the grumbling and the endless costly studies, and simply fix the postal system (“The collapsing postal services,” Think About It, April 20).

It’s all in the home mailboxes.

They have a narrow slot and are incapable of accepting anything that’s thick. They hinder the system, as recipients still must waste an hour to recover their packages during irregular post office hours with 45-minute lines.

We should simply convert to American-style apartment mailboxes.

The entire no-slot front panel opens with a master postal key to entirely expose each mail cavity. If it can fit in the box, it can be delivered.

That amounts to a huge percentage of the packages now sitting in post offices. A box below could be used for larger packages.

And astoundingly, there could be one designated mailbox just for outgoing mail. Imagine! The transition could be motivated with postage-stamp rebates to those customers with converted boxes. Doing just this will multiply stamp sales, reduce costs, recover millions of lost customer work hours, and blessedly upgrade the postal system – if only to 20th-century standards.

GERSHON DALIN Modi’in

Heights of fantasy
Dov Lipman took nostalgia for the old country to new heights of fantasy in calling for American-style elections in Israel (“Israel must learn from the American presidential election,” Comment & Features, April 16).

Last week, Hillary Clinton obscenely asked her supporters to raise $2.5 billion for her campaign.

That’s $62.5 million, if scaled down for the equivalent size of Israel’s population. That’s for one candidate only. And would we want campaigning to start more than a year and a half before the actual election? I think not.

Perhaps Rabbi Lipman, in his euphoria, has forgotten the disastrous effect of the election of President Barack Obama, or the election of the Hamas-supporting Jimmy Carter, an unknown peanut grower who ran under the banner “Jimmy Who?” Israel clearly needs electoral reform with the introduction of constituencies, as well as voting for individuals rather than parties. But replacing the Israeli elections with American-style elections would definitely be a retrograde step.

Snap out of your dream, Rabbi Lipman.

MALCOLM MANDEL Ra’anana

Explain, please
In “Yom Hashoah blues” (Center Field, April 15), Gil Troy makes two statements that should be elaborated upon in a future column since they could seem counter-intuitive to many readers.

First, he says: “Israel must take its share of responsibility for the Palestinian problem.”

It would be enlightening if he could cite some specific examples of Israel’s responsibility for the continuing attempts by the Arabs to destroy the Jewish state.

Second, he cites cognitive scientist Steven Pinker as “showing that our era, for all its faults, is the least violent, the least tumultuous, the most civilized, the most humanitarian epoch humans have ever enjoyed.”

Having lived through World War II as a youngster (albeit in the United States) and the past 60 years mostly in Israel, and admittedly having only a layman’s knowledge of world history, I find that statement rather puzzling.

An explanation by Dr. Troy, a professor of history, would be educational, enlightening and appreciated by non-professionals like myself.

JAY SHAPIRO Jerusalem


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