Sir, – Israel’s legions of foes abroad are quick to castigate
our treatment of Palestinian prisoners, most of who are incarcerated for serious
offenses relating to security.
Many of those released over the years have
– within months of their release – become active again in their murderous
What do these critics with selective morality have to say
about Hamas executing two Palestinians allegedly found guilty for spying for
Israel (“Hamas executes two by hanging over ‘collaboration’ with Israel,” June
23)? There was no right of review by PA President Mahmoud Abbas, since Hamas
does not recognize Abbas as having authority in Gaza.
“execution” of justice influenced by considerations of nation or race by the
highest levels of Gazan government is so much worse than the old apartheid South
Africa, that used to hang blacks murdering whites but never the other way
Hamas is not only following in the worst ways the old South
African apartheid regime, but finetuning it – Gaza style.
DAVID E. KAPLAN
Kfar Saba Nothing new
Sir, – In regard to The Jerusalem Post article “The
nation, religion and state – what’s new?” by Joel H. Golovensky (Comment and
Features, June 23) – there really is nothing that’s new on this subject! Our
ancient Jewish culture is an intertwining of nationality, religion and now
(thankfully) state. Each one of these entities is dependent upon the other. Can
nationality really be defined without the state? Can the state be characterized
as Jewish without religion and nationality? And though the religion was
practiced for two millennia without the state or clearly defined nationality,
was it really as authentic as it should, or could be? Only time, patience, and
brotherly love will eventually give us the answers.
HAIM M. LERNER
Tikva Tennis temerity
Sir, – In regard to “An Israeli-less main draw at
Wimbledon,” (Sports, June 21) – it is difficult to understand why Israel, with
such wonderful tennis centers and facilities all around the country set up by
Dr. Ian Froman (himself a former Davis Cup competitor from South Africa) is not
producing some world-class tennis stars so that we do not have to such a
There is, however, a underlying reason which is unlikely to
change, and that is the strong resistance of Jewish parents to children
dedicating themselves to a life career in tennis from a very young age. There is
some justification for the parents’ concern.
The major reason is the need
to make all school and higher learning studies secondary to tennis
Tennis, like all sports, has become highly professional,
requiring outstanding physical and mental excellence and prowess and spending
the majority of the tennis player’s time overseas.
If we as a country
really want to succeed in sport internationally, our government should find ways
to compensate those who take great risks to do so.
If such a “safety net”
did exist, parents might be prepared to consider. Failing that, we will continue
to drop out of the international sport of tennis.
Cheap and green
Sir, – If ever an Israeli entrepreneur received massive support
from investors, government and even the president it is Shai Agassi (“Agassi:
Green future inevitable – it’s cheaper,” June 20).
It ill behooves him to
imply a conspiracy of “today’s interests” as a justification for the failure of
Better Place. If Agassi is so much convinced of his “green tomorrow,” let him
buy Better Place now – at a small fraction of the original huge investment – and
prove his point. In the process he will be providing employment for loyal
workers and protecting the interest of the customers who had faith in him and
bought the electric cars he so much believes in.
Sir, – Gershon Baskin’s latest article is headed
“Decision-making time” (Encountering Peace, Comment and Features, June
Wow, I thought to my surprise – I agree with Mr. Baskin! Reading
further, however, I kept looking for a possible decision, give, gesture,
anything from the side of the Palestinians.
Nada. The whole article
jumpstarts (without negotiations) to what Israel is obliged to
“Decision-making time” is up the proverbial brick wall. So it’s up to
the peace-loving leader of the Palestinians: Decide to loudly proclaim Israel is
a Jewish State.
Decide to stop emphatically insisting on the return of
all refugees. Decide to refrain from the ridiculous request that all terrorists
should be released from Israeli prisons. Decide to swallow the fact that
Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish people.
Unless and until
these difficult decisions have come to pass, only unilateral action on the part
of Israel will dent the status quo.
Somehow I think most of the world
won’t pat us on our back for our outrageous temerity!
place to start
Sir, – Whatever the shortfalls of gatherings such as the G8 or
G20, however shackled by vested interests they may be, we need
Conflicts and economies are internationalized.
at the G8 over the increasingly complex conflict in Syria questions our ability
to continue to shape the future of the Middle East (“Putin torpedoes G8 nations’
efforts to push out Assad,” June 19).
It was all sadly redolent of the
Cold War. Waning power does not mean abandoning our responsibilities but can
tit-for-tat arming bring peace? There is no military solution to Syria;
Afghanistan and Iraq should have taught us that lasting peace cannot be imposed
by force. Wellorchestrated and persistent diplomacy, multilateral agreements,
equity of rights, UN peacekeeping with teeth and economic development are our
Lacking at the G8 was recognition that resolution to the
Israeli- Palestinian conflict remains core to regional stability. Former US
president Bill Clinton rightly describes the conflict as a microcosm of the
challenges facing the whole world. As long as the United States and Europe are
seen as complicit with Israel, we will continue to have enemies across the
Middle East and Israel’s subjugation of the Palestinians will fuel
The final communique of the G8 failed to mention Israel is
occupying Palestinian land. The duty of the international community should be to
adopt diplomatic means to force Israel to abide by international resolutions. If
we want to get something right in the Middle East, resolving the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict would be a very good place to start.
Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK Fortifying food
Sir, – Recently, Health Minister
Yael German discussed the possibility of fortifying milk and white cheeses with
vitamin D, flour with folic acid, and salt with iodine (“German doesn’t rule out
fortifying food with nutrients to improve health,” June 17).
in these nutrients are unfortunately common, and adding them to these foods, as
is done in some other countries, would help improve the population’s health.
This might be a good effort to help mitigate preventable diseases, but like many
other nutritional and medical interventions, it will in no way cure the problem.
In this case, a good part of the problem is the substandard food that comprises
the Western diet, and a good deal of the Israeli diet.
like white flour, white rice, white sugar, and table salt were once whole foods
but were robbed of their nutrients in the manufacturing process.
to add a few vitamins back into these foods in no way replaces all the nutrients
that were lost.
I would suggest that German also consider promoting whole
foods, including those that naturally contain iodine, vitamin D, folate, and all
the other nutrients we are lacking.