Sir, – I take issue with the disparaging comments made by David Brinn with respect to two Jerusalem Post columnists who are “identified with the extreme Right,” hold views different from his own and to whom, he supposes, we need to be “grateful” since they refrained from accusing former prime ministers Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert, and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, of anti-Semitism (“Time to remove the blinders,” Observations, May 9).
Brinn is presumably referring to two out of the following four: Caroline B. Glick (Column One, Our World), Martin Sherman (Into the Fray), Sarah Honig (Another Tack) and David M. Weinberg (Observations).
Apart from the exaggeration – these fine columnists are rightwing but not extreme in their views – it should be pointed out that they not only add luster to the paper, but are certainly greatly loved by a large number of readers for their sound common sense and for being, in today’s topsy-turvy world, so very much in touch with reality.
Unlike so many left-wingers who seem to have their heads in the clouds, they have their feet very firmly on the ground.
Sir, – With regard to “Nigeria’s president pledges to free 200 girls abducted by Boko Haram” (May 9), the kidnapping should be sending shock waves around the civilized world. It is a clear case of how the application of Shari’a Law would intimidate everyone in the Muslim world. It is also, of course, abhorrent to the Western mind.
Every attempt to whitewash the facts will only lead to more and more incidents. Can you imagine what would happen in Gaza, and especially in Judea and Samaria, if Hamas took over? Hamas is applying Shari’a Law wherever it can. The idea of reconciliation between the so-called civilized Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas can only lead to the destruction of normal life in the Middle East.
Muslim fanaticism must be dealt with. The civilized world cannot revert back to the Dark Ages. Israel should be held up as a model of strength and courage because it refuses to deal with Hamas, which is the vanguard of this new fanaticism.
Jerusalem What would he say?
Sir, – In response to Greer Fay Cashman’s coverage of the “20th anniversary of South African Freedom Day, hosted by South African Ambassador Sisa Ngombane and his wife Thatanyana” in her May 7 Grapevine feature, as a young student at the Hebrew University in 1962 I was awarded the Eddie Cohen memorial prize. The academic prize is named for a South African pilot who was killed while fighting for Israel in the War of Independence and is set aside for South Africans who have made aliya.
Some 52 years later, I wonder how Eddie Cohen would respond to the words of the South African ambassador, who seems to indicate that if only Israel would go back to the pre- 1967 lines an Israeli-Palestinian peace could be achieved.
When Cohen fought for Israel’s independence there were no pre-1967 lines, and we lost east Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount. Even then the Palestinians refused to make peace. So how could anyone possibly expect them to make peace now?
Jerusalem Mind that child
Sir, – We have again heard of the death of a child who was forgotten in a vehicle on a hot day (“Baby dies after being left by Beit Hagai parents in car,” May 5).
It seems to me that such tragedies are a relatively new phenomenon.
I suspect they are tied to the prohibition against seating children in the front seat.
I suggest that in situations where there is no adult in the vehicle other than the driver, the driver should be permitted or even required to place the child in the front seat. This would reduce the risk of the child being forgotten.
Jerusalem Our own masters
Sir, – With all the recent articles concerning Israel’s “peace” negotiations, Iran’s nuclear proliferation, the Syrian civil war and the chaos now occurring in Ukraine, we in Israel must stop holding our collective breath and waiting for the world to love and embrace us.
Europe condemns Israel for the failure of the peace talks and praises the beginnings of reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas. The United States expresses “disappointment” without so much as slap on the wrist to the Palestinian Authority (read: Israel is to blame). This, from the country with such a dismal foreign policy that two years after an American ambassador was killed on active duty the White House is still spinning stories.
The US president does not want to wade deeper into the waters of the Ukraine-Russia conflict yet has practically drowned his administration in the Israel- Palestinian conflict. His secretary of state has devoted more time and effort to this fruitless charade than to the fire and brimstone raging around the Middle East. If only he would do the same for the Syrian civil war or the Iranian killing machine.
We Israelis must not let anyone dictate to us the terms of our own self-determination.
Thoughts on a journey
Sir, – An Egged bus journey from Jerusalem to Netanya on the late afternoon of Independence Day provided me with insight into ironic symbolism.
The driver was clearly filling in on what was for him an unfamiliar route. When approaching the Ra’anana Intersection, he turned off the main route at the request of several passengers and found himself lost! In typical Israeli style, passengers chipped in with confident yet conflicting suggestions for making his way back to the main route. A number of roads he took were clearly not designed for a wide and heavy bus.
This brings to mind a recurring motif of S.Y. Agnon’s writings, where they serve as a metaphor for the nation having lost its direction, identity, idealism and moral and spiritual compass as a result of veering onto the byways of heady materialism and the abandonment of faith and traditional values. I have to thank that driver for enriching my journey with philosophical thoughts that the Egged experience does not usually engender.
JEFFREY M. COHEN
Netanya Bottled memories
Sir, – Thank you for the interesting article on Palwin wines (“History in a bottle,” Weekend supplement, April 24). As a person who immigrated to Israel from Manchester many years ago as a young man, it brought back a flood of memories of my late parents’ kiddush table.
One Palwin item not mentioned (of course, it is not a wine) and which I enjoyed greatly back then was Palwin Mead. I don’t know whether the company still makes it but it was delicious. Is there a kosher mead available here? This Pessah I tried Lavie honey liquor (Creme de Miel, 16.5%).
Not bad, but not the taste I remember of Palwin Mead. Correct me if I’m wrong, but this is alcohol with dissolved honey, not a fermented mead.
Sir, – I read the excellent article on Palwin wines with great interest, having lived in London for 40 years and enjoying Palwin before moving to Jerusalem.
A close friend used to supply and purchase from Palwin. He said the numbers assigned to the wines were picked because they were the route numbers of the buses that passed Palwin’s door in the East End.
ANDREW BALCOMBE 65 YEARS AGO Jerusalem