May 13: Norway double-speak
The way I see it, the Norwegian ambassador feels he holds his nation to a higher standard than we do, so be damned, all Israelis.
Sir, – With all due respect to Ambassador Svein Sevje in the
article regarding his country’s strong support of Israel (“What ‘Post’ readers
of conscience need to know about Norway,” Comment & Features, May 10), I
have never read such doublespeak in my long life.
The ambassador states
“claims” and “facts” regarding such issues as Israel being singled out among all
nations on matters of human rights, a proposal by Left Party leaders in Norway
for boycotts, the classification of Hamas as a terrorist organization, the
insistence that Israel dismantle the security barrier, attendance at the Durban
II conference, proposals to impose academic boycotts.... The list
The ambassador states that the “facts” are true by spinning
his view of the “claims,” in most instances leaving me shaking my head,
wondering what he is talking about. The way I see it, he feels he holds his
nation to a higher standard than we do, so be damned, all Israelis.
Sir, – Ray Hanania (“Offense is in the eye of the
beheld,” Yalla Peace, May 10) tries to make Israelis seem “anti-Palestinian” or
“anti non-Jewish” due to warnings by the army for soldiers not to hitchhike for
fear of abduction.
He makes sarcastic digs such as, “How about urging
‘Israelis’ not to take cabs driven by Israeli Palestinians...” and “put up signs
in restaurants that read ‘Jews only.’” What chutzpah! The fact is, Jewish
Israelis and Israeli soldiers have good reason to mistrust Arabs due to
abductions and foiled abductions that have already occurred. Even though Arabs
have bombed supermarkets, buses, etc., you can see them walking freely in
Israel. Why can’t Israelis walk around freely in Arab towns? Also, I wish
Hanania would give up the bunk that a Palestinian state “will make Israel safe,
too.” Really? Which Arab state has ever made Israel a safe place? Which Arab
state really believes that the Jewish people has any right to live here? Let’s
call it like it is: A Palestinian state will be just one more enemy with which
Hanania should put the blame where it belongs. Why doesn’t he
preach to his own people about actually living in peace with us? Perhaps he
doesn’t want to risk his own safety.
Ray Hanania decries Israel’s newest proactive series of public service
announcements warning soldiers against hitchhiking.
He feels that the
Palestinians will see the campaign as offensive. He believes that this only
plays into the stereotype of what Palestinians do in Israel.
At the very
beginning of his column he states that the campaign is based on information
obtained by the Shin Bet. Where exactly is the stereotype? Stereotype is defined
as “a set of inaccurate, simplistic generalizations about a group that allows
others to categorize them and treat them accordingly.”
planned attacks and warning the public is not stereotyping people. It is what’s
called protecting people!
ZE’EV M. SHANDALOV
No to coercion
– I could not agree more with the sentiments expressed by Dov Lipman
(“Opportunity to right decades of wrong,” Comment & Features, May
I find it sad that in a Jewish country that guarantees freedom of
religion to all its citizens, the people who are discriminated against most are
Conservative, Reform and secular Jews.
Has anyone ever thought about this
factor when it comes to the abominably small number of educated, Western Jews
who might consider aliya if not for the restrictions it would place on their
practice of Judaism? Personally, I don’t and will not force any Jew to deviate
from his or her Orthodox lifestyle, but these people have no right to legislate
or discriminate against my practice, or non-practice, of Judaism as I see
If the religious parties don’t like it, they can sit with Meretz and
Balad or go home.
Correct vs. just
Sir, – Last
summer’s tent protests cemented what I always thought about Israeli young adults
– that they believe they are entitled to a luxurious lifestyle without putting
in the hard work needed to rise up the socio-economic ladder. It now appears
that this summer will be filled with similar protests.
Aaron Katsman hits
the nail on the head in “Higher taxes and spending set to curtail Israeli
economic growth” (Your Investments, May 10) as he clearly points out the costs
of giving in to these protesters.
I hope I am wrong, but Israel looks to
be headed straight toward an economic train wreck.
Sir, – Aaron Katsman’s defense of the wealthy and keeping their low tax rates
has grown old.
It is piggish capitalism that has created income
inequality in this country. The rich have more money and as such need to pay
their fair share.
I work hard, have three kids and can’t even afford a
summer vacation, while the wealthy that Katsman is trying to protect are flying
around the world on their private jets.
Why should my boss make so much
more money than I do? It’s not fair. We need more equality, not
PENINA CHANA GINSBERG
Sir, – It is well known that we
have children in Israel who do not have enough to eat. That is, we have hungry
children. They wake up hungry, they go to sleep hungry.
And they grow
Some years ago the government provided food for these
children. Not any more. Why? Why do we see politicians living in
multi-million-shekel homes while our children are hungry? We can buy submarines
worth billions from Germany; that way we ensure that German children don’t go
hungry. But what of our own? What a pitiful situation.
We wonder why our
children are growing up to be poor citizens.
Why do they dodge the
military? Why do they drink alcohol? Maybe they have lost faith in this
Sir, – It brings me no
pleasure to disparage the two visions for peace that Messrs. Epshtein (“National
freedom demands a two-state solution”) and Tiersky (“Toward confederation,”
Comment & Features, May 9) postulate.
Both writers are well
intentioned and sincere about making something happen. However, like so many
other peace proposals, theirs founder on the shoals of a reality that cannot be
There is the whiff of academic neatness to these
ideas; the laws of unintended consequences, the less-than-pleasant mindset and
attitude of our adversaries is perforce put aside. How could it be otherwise for
theorists of diplomatic solutions?
Rampant obstinacy, rejection and resentment
cannot be dealt with as motivating forces. They can only be dismissed as
products of the current environment, destined to disappear once there is some
grand overarching solution.
This is where the difference between living
here and living anywhere else becomes paramount.
It is not that we don’t
yearn for peace, for solutions. It is not that we lack imagination or the will
to dream. It is simply that we cannot afford to suspend disbelief, to wish away
facts on the ground.
True peace will come as a consequence of desire for
it by Palestinians, as well as by Israelis. Until then, the best we can do is
show our neighbors by our example the benefits of living
OUGLAS S. ALTABEF