Price-tag attacks

Sir, – Am I the only one profoundly disturbed by the comments of an Israeli judge reported in “Husband and wife from Yitzhar arrested for ‘price tag’ attack in Umm el-Fahm” (May 2)? You report Judge Avital Chen to have said “that the burden of proof is on the suspects, that they have to prove that they are not linked to the attack....” Is this what the legal system in a democracy holds? Are not suspects innocent until proven guilty? This reversal of legal norms is characteristic of a totalitarian society. Perhaps Judge Chen is in the wrong system. I certainly hope so.

MERVYN DOOBOV
Jerusalem

Sir, – When swastikas and anti-Semitic slogans are daubed on synagogues and gravestones, do we call this terrorism? No! We refer to them as hate crimes,and expect the perpetrators to be punished accordingly. Why, then, is it growing increasingly acceptable to refer to “price tag” attacks as terrorism? A room full of people being sprayed with bullets is terrorism.

A bus being blown up is terrorism.

Buildings being defaced and cars being damaged? It is vandalism, it is hooliganism, is it is definitely immoral and illegal – but it is not terrorism, and calling it that only cheapens the word.

MENACHEM G. JERENBERG

Beit Shemesh

Sir, – With Arab communities suffering from vandalism by hooligans, one wonders why they don’t organize a civil defense unit and patrol their neighborhoods at night. After all, we Jews have done this for nearly half a century, with good results.

It seems to me much more productive for the Arab communities to try to do something about the problem rather than sit complaining because the police aren’t able to do enough for them.

WALTER ZANGER
Jerusalem

Riveting follow-up

Sir, – I was pleasantly surprised to read Ariel Ben Solomon’s “Arab writers call for learning from Israel’s technology, democracy and morality” (May 2).

The contrast between Ben Solomon’s article and so much of what we read in the “Hot off the Arab Press” feature in your weekend magazine leads one to ask about the fate of these intrepid (temerarious?) Arab writers and how their remarks have been received in their respective countries. While this article was interesting, its follow- up would be riveting.

NORMAN MARCUS

Bustan Hagalil

Caravan of failures

Sir, – With regard to “Kerry and the ‘A-word’... actually, both A-words” (Into the Fray, May 2) and other recent news or opinion articles about this issue, it is amazing that no one has cataloged US Secretary of State John Kerry’s caravan of failures and come to the realization that he is not fit for the role. In fact, he has not achieved a single success.

For starters there is his very questionable Vietnam war record. More recently was his wipe-out by Putin & Co. over Syria and Ukraine, and the pretense that the P5+1 talks with Iran are “positive.” Don’t forget Egypt and his worthless utterances now over the South Sudan genocide. Finally there is the ultimate absurdity, the PA-Israel “peace” negotiations, the perfect illustration that neither he nor President Barack Obama are capable of recognizing a corpse when they see one.

The world’s number-one super power now languishes in a political backwater, to the delight of its enemies. Where was Congress when they ratified this secretary of state?
I. KEMP
Nahariya

Clear as day

Sir, – Sarah Honig’s “It’s a rotten line” (Another Tack, May 2) needs to be read by all, especially by US Secretary of State John Kerry and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. The words of Lord Caradon about UN Security Council Resolution 242 are as clear as day.

No matter how many times we try to get the Palestinians to come and finalize a “peace” agreement, nothing will come of it.

MURRAY JOSEPH
Kiryat Motzkin

Waking up

Sir, – Gershon Baskin means well in asking Israelis to wake up to the dangers of inaction (“People of Israel – wake up!” Encountering Peace, May 1).

But doesn’t he realize that if Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas were to say to his own people in Arabic, as Baskin has often suggested, that they recognize the State of Israel and its right to live in peace and security, and reach a comprehensive agreement to end the conflict and all claims, he would be assassinated? Unfortunately, the Palestinians have for years been speaking in a “different language” to the West. The biggest mistake Israeli leaders have made during the many years of negotiations is to not categorically insist that constant incitement against Israel and the promotion of hatred of Jews be stopped.

No Arab leader has the courage to say what Baskin demands of Abbas because years of incitement will guarantee his assassination.

ALFRED HASSNER
Rehovot

Sir, – I think the people of Israel are awake. If anybody is sleeping it is Gershon Baskin.

Who kills Jews just because they are Jews? The Nazis and Hamas. Did Baskin forget all the buses that were blown up? Can we talk to Hamas, a group that wants to wipe us out? Will America talk to al-Qaida? I wish I had the solution. But I am 100 percent sure that it isn’t Baskin’s. His would have rockets falling on Tel Aviv and Ben-Gurion Airport. Tourism and investment would dry up, aliya would stop and the rate of Israelis who leave would grow tremendously.

Bottom line: Would you rather be alive in today’s Israel or dead in Baskin’s Israel?

SHLOMO BAR-MEIR


Tel Aviv

CORRECTION The photograph below, which appeared in the May 2 Grapevine (“Memories of May Day), should have run with the following caption: At the opening of the Tower of David Museum exhibition “Jerusalem: A Medical Diagnosis” are (from left) Dr. Jon Isaacsohn, chief medical officer at Global R & D, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.; Eilat Lieber, director of the Tower of David Museum; Nirit Shalev-Khalifa, curator of the exhibition; and Prof. Jonathan Halevy, director-general of Shaare Zedek Medical Center.

The photograph was taken by Odded Antman.


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