It ain’t good
Sir, – I hope Erez Winner’s “Open letter to Secretary of State
John Kerry” (Observations, December 13) came to Kerry’s
Sitting back and watching the charade of the peace talks, I
can’t imagine what US President Barack Obama and his friends are up to. But one
thing is for sure: It ain’t good.
Winner said it exactly as it is. I
volunteer to take him on a speaking tour, maybe to synagogues and churches in
the US so the people there can understand the harm Kerry is
Thank you, Erez Winner. You are a winner. And thank you,
Jerusalem Post, for printing this.
Ramat Raziel Grammatical
Sir, – I assume Martin Sherman thinks he is being cute or clever with
his insistence on alliteration (“Wacko in Washington,” Into the Fray, December
13). Instead, it detracts from his message and makes reading his columns quite
unpleasant without even considering the worth of his assertions.
Mr. Sherman, just give us your views without the grammatical
Tel Aviv Needing Mandelas
Sir, – While I am
accustomed to Uri Savir’s columns criticizing Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu,
his latest (“We need Mandelas,” Savir’s Corner, December 13) reaches new heights
of vitriolic condemnation.
Devoting approximately 180 words to his
anti-Netanyahu diatribe, he applies fewer than 40 words in describing
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in hardly a critical vein. He also
ignores historical truths when advising that our prime minister address the
Palestinian parliament, not commenting that Netanyahu has repeatedly stated he
would meet with Abbas anywhere, including in Ramallah.
states that the prime minister should prove in deeds that he forgives the
Palestinians for their episodes of violence by the release of former terrorists.
Has he forgotten that Israel has agreed to release, and has commenced releasing,
over 100 terrorists, most of whom were guilty of the murder of innocent
civilians, including infants and children? Savir’s dislike of Netanyahu is in
sharp contrast to his apparent appreciation of Abbas.
MONTY M. ZION
Sir, – In praising Nelson Mandela, Uri Savir is not alone in recognizing a
unique statesman who fought for the liberation of his country. But making
comparisons between the South African and Israeli narratives is tricky and, in
this case, a politically incorrect analysis.
Mandela opposed a tyrannical
racist regime that ruled immorally.
Israel has defended itself against
internal and external enemies from its very beginning.
The two have no
Savir, in his almost hysterical condemnation of Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s policies, suggests that Mandela’s gift for
reconciliation and forgiveness would be the answer to our own conflict.
Unfortunately, there are too many historical facts that repudiate such naiveté.
One should also not conceal the truth that Mandela allied himself with most of
Israel’s sworn enemies.
By distorting the man’s true greatness as an
African patriot into a “Jesus” or “Moses” figure for solving Israel’s perpetual
conflict, Savir does the cause of truth and Israel’s survival great
Sir, – It would be more in keeping with
Uri Savir’s philosophy to rephrase the headline of his latest column to “We need
mandalas,” in his naïve attempts to prescribe the future for Israel, the Middle
East and the world.
Peduel Explain that
Sir, – In his column
“They got it right; they got it wrong” (Encountering Peace, December 12),
Gershon Baskin writes that it’s simply up to the area’s leaders to sign an
He omits the fact that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud
Abbas has been in office illegally for the past few years and brooks no
opposition of any form. There is no freedom of speech or press in the
Undoubtedly, Baskin would be more than willing to overlook these
deficiencies for any agreement.
The problem is, it won’t work, regardless
of what he says.
Let us also remember that since the murder of the Fogel
family at Itamar in March 2011, 44 Israelis have been murdered in acts of terror
How does Baskin explain that away?
Petah Tikva Disingenuous claim
Sir, – Yisrael Medad and Eli Pollak (“The
ignorant fear of the haredim,” Media Comment, December 12) are being
disingenuous about the right of people to live wherever they want.
discussing the inaugural broadcast of Channel 2’s investigative program
HaMa’arechet, which addressed the “housing crisis” (Medad and Pollak’s words) of
haredim who often take over entire neighborhoods that hitherto were secular (my
words), they write: “Don’t we live in a free society where anyone, Jewish, Arab,
haredi or secular, can choose freely where to live?” Are they serious? They
wouldn’t mind if haredim moved in large numbers to their very neighborhoods? How
about next door on both sides and in homes directly across the street? I won’t
even ask how they’d feel if it were Arabs.
In principle it’s wrong to
exclude people from neighborhoods, but it’s done all the time. Where differences
are vast and difficult to bridge, people prefer to live among their
The writers should be able to admit this.
Jerusalem Justice or cruelty?
Sir, – With regard to “Pollard’s nightmare”
(Comment & Features, December 12), some months ago US President Barack Obama
visited Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela had been incarcerated for 27 years,
to pay homage to a great man and to the injustice he underwent.
be an ordeal of colossal proportions for any man to be cut off from the world
and freedom from the age of 44 until to his release at 71. By any account, 27
years is not a short length of time.
Let us not forget, then, to give
Obama exclusive credit for ensuring that Jonathan Pollard’s incarceration
continues at 29 years, with no hope of release or freedom.
justice, or is it just plain cruelty?
GIDEON BEN YACOV
Ra’anana Housing solution
Sir, – Regarding “Finance Committee approves doubling property tax on ‘ghost
apartments’” (December 10), the solution to the housing problem is not for the
government to discourage investment in Israel by Jews from the Diaspora – who
could get more for their money in Florida or in Mediterranean countries facing
economic meltdown. Instead, it should encourage investment in long-term rentals
for people, young and old, who are unlikely to ever have the down payment
necessary to buy a property.
My first job over four decades ago was as
in-house lawyer to a property company that owned hundreds of blocks of
apartments in England, the rent for which was periodically reviewed by a
government rent officer, ensuring that the landlord received a fair return on
his investment and the tenant paid a reasonable rent and also had the security
of tenure for life.
With low interest rates, the time may well be
appropriate to launch such a scheme in Israel, initially through local
authorities that could finance their investments by selling bonds to pension
funds, insurance companies and the public.
The government should release
land within commuting distance of Tel Aviv, Haifa, Jerusalem and Beersheba.
There would be more jobs for skilled and semi-skilled construction workers,
electricians, plumbers, civil engineers, architects and project
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