January 1: Matter of time
To compare Britain’s not-yet- 200-year occupation of the Falkland Islands to the Jews’ 3,000 years of continuous claim to Judea and Samaria is hardly the brightest example of effective hasbara.
Letters Photo: REUTERS/Handout
Matter of time
Sir, – Gideon Sa’ar (“Sa’ar: Israel no less connected to Ariel
than British are to Falklands,” December 30) may have inadvertently given
Israel’s enemies a gratuitous piece of propaganda fodder.
Britain’s not-yet- 200-year occupation of the Falkland Islands to the Jews’
3,000 years of continuous claim to Judea and Samaria is hardly the brightest
example of effective hasbara (public diplomacy).
Sir, – Regarding recent articles and letters to the editor about
celebrations in Israel on the first of January, there seems to be some
Until early in the last century New Year’s Day was called by
many the Feast of the Circumcision.
Some may have noticed that it comes
eight days after Christmas Eve, and that is exactly what it celebrated – the
circumcision of that famous Jewish baby, Jesus.
Orthodox rabbis might not
agree with what has become of the faith that arose around Jesus, but a mitzva is
a mitzva, regardless of whose body, so there really is no case for “idol
worship” since Jesus was undoubtedly Jewish.
Sir, – With regard to “Bayit Yehudi gains 3 seats in a
week, ‘Post’ poll finds” (December 28), those who attribute Likud Beytenu’s
slide in the polls mainly to the party’s attacks on Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali
Bennett are missing an important point.
Of far more concern to me as a
potential Likud voter is Binyamin Netanyahu’s failure to express the slightest
concern or discomfort that his partner, Avigdor Liberman, is being indicted on
serious corruption charges.
We should still be shaken to the core by a
senior cabinet minister in the State of Israel facing such charges. That
Netanyahu seems to brush it off as the new norm in Israeli politics is quite
Sir, – Why is there a fuss about
saying that soldiers should sometimes refuse to follow orders? It was
established at the Nuremburg trials after World War II that immoral, oppressive
orders must be refused.
Carrying out an atrocity is not excused by
saying, “I was following orders.”
There is room to think that an order to
use force – perhaps deadly force – to make an area of the Jewish homeland
judenrein is an immoral order. Perhaps we should focus on the errors of those
who give such orders rather than on the newest sin: not physically forcing Jews
out of their homes in Israel.
Sir, – Normally, Pinchas Landau is logical, and even if I disagree with his
conclusions his column is thought-provoking. However, “Nice work if you can get
it” (Global Agenda, Business & Finance, December 28) was off the
Landau repeats the arguments that date back to the beginning of the
Industrial Revolution. In 19th-century England, Luddites fearful of losing work
rioted and smashed the new wide-framed looms that threatened to put skilled
artisans out of work. Every change since then that improves efficiency, thus
reducing labor requirements, has been resisted on the same basis.
the objectors forget is that the human race has an infinite desire for more
possessions, so that when the automated looms allowed one worker to produce
three times as much cloth, cloth became cheaper and more garments were sold. In
fact, societies have absorbed the efficiencies created by automation by
consuming more goods and working shorter hours. Gone are the days, at least in
advanced societies, of 72-hour work weeks.
The current stage of
automation is no different in principal from that faced by the Luddites, only
that we are now automating some intellectual activities as well as physical
Change always affects some members of society adversely, as well as
providing benefits for the majority; this has always been so.
us to cushion the hardships that changes inflict on some, and adapt to the new
opportunities that increased efficiency provides for others.
We don’t get it
Sir, – I know Barry Shaw (“Why a two-state
solution will never work,” Original Thinking, December 28). I’ve read his book,
Israel Reclaiming the Narrative.
I’m from Netanya – a realistic
“30-second rocket shot” from Tulkarm.
Why don’t we Israeli Jews get it? I
couldn’t agree more that a two-state solution is impossible.
leaders from every group cannot and will not recognize the State of Israel. How
then, can they sit at so-called peace negotiations? What they demand would
definitely lead to a death warrant for Israel.
Sir, – Congratulations to Abraham Katsman for his excellent reminder
about US President Barack Obama’s proposed secretary of state, Sen. John Kerry,
and the latter’s disturbing record against America’s assertive international
policies (“John Kerry: ‘Perfect choice’ for whom?,” Comment & Features,
Kerry’s missteps are indicative of Obama’s larger picture
of failures in the Middle East – indeed, a “perfect choice.” But, one might say,
what about Kerry’s positive support for Israel? For an answer, one need only
refer to another US senator-turned-secretary of state.
I was at the State
Department in 1980 when President Jimmy Carter appointed Sen. Edmund Muskie
(D-Maine) to the post.
When Muskie’s first disagreement with Israel
emerged, he stated flippantly that he was no longer representing one state, but
an entire country and the national interest – the “national interest,” of
course, as he saw it.
Despite all the justified criticism that will
continue to be leveled against the appointment of Kerry, he will almost
assuredly be approved. He should be watched closely as he takes up his new
functions. Forewarned is forearmed.
is a retired US Foreign Service officer
Sir, – The “From our
Archives” section of December 21 states that on that date 65 years previously,
it was reported in The Palestine Post that, according to a “resolution submitted
to the Arab League and an anonymous bulletin sent to all foreign embassies and
newspaper agencies in Cairo, Jewish citizens of Arab countries were to be
considered citizens of the Jewish state and would become enemies of the Arab
It is startling that such clear, damning evidence about the
responsibility for the Jewish refugees from Arab countries is not widely known
This says something about our fabulous hasbara (public
Sir, – You
recently ran an article headlined “Poll finds majority of Israelis want
two-state solution” (December 19). This is simply false, as proven by the
results of the last Israeli elections.
Polling is very much dependent on
the sample, the questions and who is asking and interpreting the answers.
Remember: “Statistics don’t lie but statisticians do.”
But what if you are offered just a piece of paper called
peace. The Arabs have made it abundantly clear that to them, peace means the
destruction of Israel and its replacement by Palestine. Is The Jerusalem Post in
favor of this?