May 16: We come first

ByJERUSALEM POST READERS
May 15, 2012 23:35

It was a pleasure to see Gilad Erdan, calling on government to cease supplying power to Gaza.




We come first

Sir, – It was a pleasure to see Gilad Erdan, our environmental protection minister, featured on Page 1 calling on the government to cease supplying power to Gaza if Israel has a national power shortage (“Erdan: Pull plug on Gaza to cope with summer shortages,” May 14). His reasoning is obvious: The Arabs in the Gaza Strip are self-declared enemies of the Jewish people.

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However, on the same front page the following headline appeared: “PM blocks bill to annex West Bank settlements.”

Hard as it is to believe, the Israeli government never fails to neglect the interests of its own people in pursuit of popularity among strangers. When Jordan failed to annihilate Israel in 1967 it forfeited the land west of the Jordan. All the land in Judea and Samaria is today Jewish land. “To the victor belong the spoils.”

The government should establish a committee for planning residential communities on the Judean highlands and pass a law declaring that private homes owned by Jews cannot be destroyed.

Hopefully, our “leaders” will soon realize that Israel really does belong to the Jews.

CHAYIM SEIDEN
Jerusalem

To their benefit

Sir, – With regard to “IDF gearing up for ‘Nakba Day’ violence” (May 14), these preparations would be unnecessary if the Arabs recognized the real guilty parties of 1948 – the surrounding countries and their leaders.

The plight of the Palestinian Arabs would most likely have been even worse had the invading Arab armies defeated the Palestinian Jews. They would not have had a state. Instead, continual war would have ravaged them and the land as the conquering Egyptian, Syrian, Iraqi, and Jordanian armies began to fight among themselves for control. They would have been forced to chose sides, thereby increasing their catastrophe.

The establishment of Israel and its victory over the invaders were the best things that could have happened for its Arab citizens. So the next time any Arab says the creation of Israel was a disaster, tell him or her to think again!

AARON BASHANI
Jerusalem

Authentic response

Sir, – David Newman’s plea for more support for humanities and social sciences at Israel’s universities (“Time to promote the humanities,” Borderline Views, May 14) inadvertently provides the answer to his question as to why funds are not flowing in that direction.

Newman attributes the disillusionment with these fields by members of university boards of governors to their being “spurred on by extremist rightwing groups.” This only illustrates a tendency by Left-leaning elites to use pejorative slogans and code words to demonize and dismiss without argument anyone and everyone whose political views are somewhere to the right of their own.

Unfortunately, this has become a pathetic replacement for the once honorable tradition of scholarly argument based on hard evidence, rigorous logic and reasoned discussion – precisely the practice of the hard sciences and why they are successful.

Might it not be that the negative judgment by a very large number of Israelis, including academics, is an authentic response to this trivialization of serious concerns?

HARVEY LITHWICK
Meitar

Success story

Sir, – As a former editor-in-chief of your newspaper, Jeff Barak is surely aware that radical statements need to be supported by facts. Thus, where are the facts to justify his claim that Binyamin Netanyahu is the worst prime minister since Yitzhak Shamir (“Afraid of the future,” Reality Check, May 14)? I believe Barak’s statement is due to his known dislike of our prime minister. He could prove me wrong if he were to list Netanyahu’s failures and successes as compared to those of other prime ministers, although I personally believe Netanyahu might even head the list of successful leaders.

MONTY M. ZION
Tel Mond

Strike One

Sir, – I am very disappointed with your insufficient Major League Baseball coverage.

There was absolutely nothing in the May 11 paper; presumably, there was no room since the inside page, usually devoted to sports, was taken up with an advertisement covering close to three-quarters of the page. In your May 14 edition there was minor coverage, including “Padres hand Halladay third consecutive loss,” but it reprinted, word for word, the same story line from the previous day’s paper about a game concerning two different teams.

We deserve better coverage.

There was a time when you would regularly print the weekly statistics, but this year we rarely get even the weekly standings.

JULIUS ORBAUM
Netanya

The Sports Editor responds: Regarding the mistake the reader refers to, I have nothing to offer but my embarrassment, sincerest apologies and a promise that every effort will be made to ensure that such an oversight never occurs again. As for our baseball coverage, I take his point to heart and, as a fellow baseball lover, will try hard to increase its exposure – including standings and stats – in our pages.

Sin of omission

Sir, – Svein Sevje’s defense of Norwegian activities in the region omits information that contradicts his claim about Norway having a universal “commitment to human rights, democracy and peace” (“What ‘Post’ readers of conscience need to know about Norway,” Comment & Features, May 10).

In 2010 – the most recent figures available – Norway gave the Gaza Community Mental Health Program (GCMHP) $99,000, the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights $165,000, and the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) $99,000.

While these NGOs have noblesounding names, they also campaign intensely for BDS and “lawfare” against Israel, and advocate other delegitimization activities – the antithesis of fostering coexistence necessary for peace.

During the June 2009 Goldstone mission hearings, for example, a GCMHP official claimed that “inside Israel there is an identification with the aggressor, the Nazis.” GCMHP also signed petitions for economic and academic Israel boycotts.

Al Mezan, which refers to the “Israel occupation forces,” was responsible for the highly publicized “war crimes” case against Ehud Barak in London in September 2009, among other lawfare efforts. And PCHR regularly describes Israel’s policies as “apartheid” and accuses Israel of “ethnic cleansing,” “war crimes” and the “Judaization of Jerusalem.” It has also lobbied ICC officials to prosecute Israelis.

These NGO activities make peace more difficult to achieve and contradict the policies of Norway, yet the funding continues.

More oversight, transparency and accountability are needed to ensure that governments are aware of the activities – and consequences – of their grantees.

JASON EDELSTEIN
Jerusalem
The writer is communications director of NGO Monitor

The real blame

Sir, – Your editorial “Extremism in Europe” (May 8) criticized European electorates for forgetting the lessons of history by voting for extremist parties.

You should be blaming Europe’s centrist and ruling politicians. They have failed to prevent economic turmoil by overborrowing drastically in state expenditures and then not providing any significant reduction in unemployment, particularly among the young.

Is it any surprise that the electorate should turn against its failed political masters?

PETER SIMPSON
Jerusalem

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