January 26: Another guilty party

The authority that gave the PLO a visa to function in the US is in violation of the anti-terror laws.

January 25, 2012 22:53

Letters 521. (photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)

Another guilty party

Sir, – In “Legal group: PLO’s DC landlord violating anti-terror laws” (January 24), your reporter states: “In their letters to Endeka and Verizon, the [Shurat Hadin] Law Center says that any provision of material support or resources to the PLO violates the criminal and civil provisions of the United States Code, and of the criminal provisions of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.” The letter also refers to a Supreme Court decision.

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Your reporter goes on to tell us that “The PLO has maintained a Mission to the United States in DC since 1994.” If this is the case, the authority that gave the PLO a visa and permission to function in the US capital is in violation of the anti-terror laws just as much as Endeka and Verizon, and this authority should also have been notified, if not sued.

Hatzor Haglilit

Labels and Judaism

Sir, – Lahav Harkov has written a heartfelt article decrying the wanton practice of labeling levels of Jewish observance (“Nothing ‘lite’ about me,” Comment & Features, January 24). She justifiably resents usage of the term “lite Orthodoxy.”

It’s therefore ironic to note that in her concluding words, she clearly contradicts herself by using the label “more-visibly Orthodox.” Obviously, we would all be a lot better off if we discuss issues based on substance rather than using judgmental references.


Defeating discrimination

Sir, – Your editorial “Halting discrimination” (January 20) suggests that discrimination can be stopped by combating “the debilitating effects of Ethiopian ghettos.” It defines a ghetto as anyplace where more than 25 percent of the people are Ethiopians.

This is the “melting pot” theory. Make immigrants become more like everyone else so they will no longer be inferior.

Normally, Ethiopians are polite, hospitable and moral. Unfortunately, they usually live in poor neighborhoods, and when they try to copy their peers they become aggressive and begin doing things that can get them into trouble. This is not good.

The number of Ethiopians in an area has a limited effect on discrimination. If there were fewer Ethiopians in Kiryat Malachi, would the residents let them rent apartments? Is the racial segregation of Ethiopians in Beit Shemesh kindergartens directly related to how many Ethiopians live in the neighborhood?

Is it true that most of the problems Ethiopians face result from their “difficulties making the transition from life in a patriarchal, traditional, Third World society to a highly developed Jewish state...?” If so, why do Ethiopians who were born and educated in Israel and who have earned advanced degrees have so much trouble getting a job appropriate to their abilities and education?

Research and experience show that the only effective way of combatting discrimination is education. We need to learn and teach about the Ethiopians’ amazing Jewish history, customs and culture, which enabled them to survive for centuries as part of the Jewish people despite isolation and persecution. Knowledge defeats discrimination.

The first and most helpful thing that needs to be done is to implement all the excellent and badly needed programs that have been funded and developed by knowledgeable, caring and generous people. They need to be implemented rapidly, completely and without interference from unelected bureaucrats.

All newcomers need a helping hand when settling in a new country, regardless of their origin or the level of their education.


Who’s at fault?

Sir, – Martin Sherman (“Comprehending the incomprehensible – Part II,” Into the Fray, January 20) has succinctly identified the reasons for our failed hasbara (public diplomacy). Instead of putting this article on the inside pages, it should have been assigned as the major feature next to the editorial.

While Sherman’s conclusions may be unpalatable to a wide range of people, they are too true. The UK is a prime example, where the vested interests of Jewish businessmen and professionals, some of who misleadingly claim to be communal leaders (in most cases unelected to boot), have constantly suppressed pro-activism to the detriment of Israel on the basis that it will harm them and the community.

In carrying out this suppression, they have been guided and advised by the very same people and groups identified by Sherman, to the disdain of the grass roots.

The nub of the Diaspora problem is that people have forgotten what it is to have pride, dignity and self-respect. They continue to kowtow to the politically correct viewpoint put forward by our enemies and those who seek to destroy us.

The writer is a former executive director Likud Herut Great Britain

Sir, – In “Comprehending the incomprehensible – Part I” (Into the Fray, January 13), Martin Sherman’s quote of Prof. Oren Yiftachel was taken out of context.

In Yiftachel’s article, which I found on the Internet, the preceding sentence, not quoted, was: “[T]he shelling of Israeli civilians by Hamas and suicide bombing of previous years are clear acts of terror, which gave legitimacy within Israeli society to carry out the incarceration policy.” In the sentence he quotes, Sherman improperly deleted the words “also” and “currently.” The complete sentence was: “But Palestinian violence, and particularly the shelling from Gaza should also be perceived as a prison uprising, currently suppressed with terror by the Israeli state, which kills many more civilians and creates infinitely more damage than the initial act of resistance” (italics mine).

The Yiftachel article, it bears noting, was written in the midst of Operation Cast Lead.


Sir, – Martin Sherman’s pieces on the failures of hasbara repeat the charges of the far-right through modern history to blame a nation’s problems on its liberal and educated elites.

Notoriously, this has almost always meant the Jews and involved anti-intellectualism, hatred of universities and knowledge, and exaggeration of the influence and power of liberals (i.e., Jews).

No Western democracy’s policies need hasbara, and Israel’s didn’t either until settlement expansionism. This is an unsellable product rather than a problem manufactured by liberal elites, and no amount of advertising budget will fix it.

Just stop taking over another land and people. Then, like other hasbara-less countries, Israel no longer will need it, for which her well-wishers will be boundlessly thankful and relieved.

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Proper dress

Sir, – In response to your article “AJC: German anti-Nazi protestors ‘whitewashing history’” (January 19), we were sorry to read about your misinterpretation of our protest against the Nazis in Magdeburg on January 14.

Please consider the following, written in a newspaper by Anna Trojanowskaja, head of the Jewish Social Cultural Center Ludwig- Philippson: “The participants spoke with us before carrying out the action. We spoke about whether the participants should be allowed to wear this type of clothing. We ask: In this context, is there any reasoning against it? It is not exploited for any other issue. The Holocaust was the topic of the war – when should you talk about it if not at an anti-Nazi demonstration?”

Magdeburg, Germany

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