Sir, – The repeated emphasis on analyzing why the so called
“price tag” attacks occur and what should be done about it, as well as the
overemphasis in the news section of the Post and the media in general, bodes ill
for us ( “The ‘price’ we pay for ignorance,” iEngage, and “Graffiti is not
terrorism,” both June 7) .
For many years, synagogues in Israel have been
desecrated and daubed yet there has been little outcry from either the public or
the government on the scale we are now witnessing when it comes to the same
thing occurring at non-Jewish places of worship.
Indeed, no special
government committee was set up to advise what compensation would be handed out
to the Jewish population and organizations affected and certainly nobody spoke
about classifying these acts as terrorism! However, over the years, there have
been numerous arson attempts to damage life and property by the deliberate and
willful act of creating fires around the country – an act of war. Indeed, such
destruction has not been widely reported, commented or analyzed in any degree as
the so called “pricetag” acts.
Yet these arson attempts, as confirmed by
the fire department, are far more dangerous and are specifically designed to
damage Jewish property and life in an attempt to force us out of our country. In
the last 10 days such repeated acts have been almost ignored – including those
around Armon Hanatziv, the Peace Forest and the Jerusalem Forest, as any citizen
in Jerusalem is aware from the stench of burning timber penetrating the
Indeed this has now flared out to around Beit Shemesh and Lachish.
Why have the security forces and the police attempted once again to draw a veil
over this intolerable situation? Both government ministers and the opposition
remain silent – what are they afraid of? It is far worse to willfully attempt to
destroy life and property than to daub political graffiti.COLIN L. LECI
Sir, – Barry Leff conveniently selects the EU’s definition of
terrorism to argue that we should apply a more nuanced approach to evaluating
price-tag attacks (“Graffiti is not terrorism,” June 7).
convoluted 67- word definition is seriously flawed. One hallmark of a just and
ordered society is predictability.
People must know whether or not they
are committing a crime when deciding how to act. That is why democratic
governments are not allowed to enact “ex post facto” laws criminalizing actions
that have already taken place.
The EU’s definition provides no such
certainty. It contains so many modifiers and undefined terms that it results in
legal judgments with no consistency or predictability.
It also allows
government officials to avoid calling something terrorism when it is politically
expedient – as Leff may intend in price-tag situations.
There is a much
easier twostage process for evaluating terrorism: 1. Apply a simple definition
to determine whether an act is actually terrorism and 2. Evaluate the
seriousness of the particular terrorist act when deciding what penalty to
Under this method, all members of society know exactly what is or
is not terrorism. It provides law enforcement agencies the tools to investigate
and stop these attacks, while allowing courts the leeway to impose lighter
sentences for actions that have less serious consequences.
The writer is a senior fellow at the International
Institute for Counter-Terrorism at IDC and a former law
Sir, – The strange after-effects of The Jerusalem
Conference in New York continue. Just witness Alan Dershowitz’s article
last week (“Samantha Power will wow them at the UN,” Observations, June
Dershowitz concluded his participation in the conference by
denouncing hecklers from the Right, and promising, essentially, to never again
engage the Right, since they did not appreciate his own point of view. And,
while Dershowitz is a passionate and effective advocate for Israel, it does not
mean that he is correct on any single issue.
Witness his now mindless
support for decidedly leftist, and clearly anti-Israel Samantha Power. He
apparently wants us to believe that all of her blatantly anti-Israel statements,
and indeed her statements about her own adopted country, can be balanced by the
fact that she is a former student and a friend.
And, note, that she has
been nominated for ambassador to the UN – an organization so steeped in its
anti-Israel, and frankly anti-Western, mindset that common sense would dictate a
choice of someone more committed to Western, democratic values.
Anchorage, Alaska Fantasy land
Sir, – As usual, Yaakov Kirschen’s Dry
Bones cartoon was brilliant (Observations, June 7).
We were lucky we
didn’t leave the Golan when the US government and many of our politicians who
live in a fantasy land of place called “peace” were pushing us to. Now, when our
neighbors are falling apart, there is a new push for us to give up Judea and
Samaria for this impossible dream called “peace” – coming from the same
fantasists that tried to convince us to sell the Golan to the Syrians for the
good of Israel.
Now we are getting pressure from a variety of places that
this is good time to show how wonderful, progressive and kind we are by giving
the Palestinians Ben-Gurion Airport, Latrun, Jerusalem and all the other parts
of our land for this impossible fantasy of “peace.”
MYRNA BENNETT Haifa
Sir, – The editorial “Rami Hamdallah?” (June 6), asks what
possessed US Secretary of State John Kerry to praise the appointment of Rami
Hamdallah as the prime minister of the Palestinian Authority.
President Mahmoud Abbas appointed Hamdallah, president of An-Najah University in
Nablus, a hotbed of anti-Semitism and hatred for both Israel and the US, to lead
the Palestinian government.
At Hamdallah’s university, an art exhibition
was mounted honoring the slaughter by a Palestinian suicide bomber of women,
men, children, and entire families eating pizza in the heart of Jerusalem. The
artists had constructed a replica of the Sbarro Pizzeria, site of the
Visitors pushed to see realistically sculpted body parts and
pizza slices strewn throughout an environment set for a performance artwork.
Wearing a terrorist’s military uniform and black mask, the performance artist
entered the mock pizzeria under a sign “kosher Sbarro” and set off a simulated
explosion to the cheers of the crowd. Upon entering and leaving, the visitors
enthusiastically wiped their feet on Israeli and American flags used as
The An-Najah art exhibit reveals the true beliefs of “moderate
peace partners” Abbas and Hamdallah. Kerry needs to acknowledge this dangerous
change of guard in Ramallah as the enemy of peace.
Sir, – Tolerance is laudable, as Isi Leibler writes, but a certain
condescension inevitably goes with it – I “tolerate” the other, although I’m
sure I’m right (“Religious tolerance and mutual respect,” Candidly Speaking,
Comment and Features, June 6).
We expect the outside world to acknowledge
the Jewish character of the State, yet the varying sections of the population
profess different and seemingly opposing views on what that Jewish character
Perhaps, instead of “tolerating” views other than our own, we might
look for values that all sections could agree on. There are surely many
Torah/Jewish values that could be claimed by the different sections.
stress the disagreements, when there is so much in Judaism that defines who we