November 21: Learn from them
LAST UPDATED: 11/20/2011 22:46
As Goebbels put it, if you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.
Learn from them
Sir, – David Weinberg (“Who’s destroying antiquities in
Jerusalem?,” Observations, November 18) demonstrates how the Palestinians are
much more adept at propaganda than Israel.
Even if their accusations are
completely unfounded, they will get an international hearing, which will create
an impression on the world that will not be completely erased even when they are
totally discredited. As Goebbels put it, if you tell a lie big enough and keep
repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.
should take a leaf from the Palestinians’ book and draw international attention
to their improprieties, especially where they have some basis in fact. A blatant
example cited by Weinberg is the Wakf’s activity on the Temple Mount, where it
has destroyed relics from the First and Second Temple periods by the
unsupervised building of a new mosque. This is, of course is intended to make it
more difficult to challenge the Palestinian claim that the temples never
Waiting until one has incontrovertible proof is not a sensible
MARTIN D. STERN
No laugh, that gas
Sir, – Reading “An
explosive mission” (Law and Order, November 18) reminded me of another danger to
the public posed by gas: the use in toy shops of helium cylinders for inflating
These cylinders contain high pressure gas. The fixture on the
head of the cylinder is made of non-ferrous metal, which lacks the strength of
steel. If such a cylinder, which is tall and narrow, is knocked over, this
fixture could hit an object and be broken, instantaneously – and explosively –
releasing the energy used to compress the gas.
For this reason, safety
regulations require that all such cylinders are secured. The regulations are
universally disregarded in toy shops, creating the risk of fatal
Let us hope that the appropriate ministry will wake up to this
danger and instruct the police to enforce compliance.
Sir, – It is depressing to read the accusation in your
first letter of November 18 (“Fighting for rights”), which concludes by saying
the Palestinians trying to ride an Egged bus into Jerusalem were “fighting for
the right not to ride the bus, but to blow it up!” This is a grave accusation.
It is so grievous and far-fetched that even the riders’ comparison of themselves
to US freedom riders is more realistic. If the writer had any evidence as to his
claim, he should have told the police rather than a newspaper.
know which worse: The prevalence of frivolous but grave accusations or the fact
that the Post, which can be a haven of serious thought, would print it – as the
Can we all please get a lot more serious and try a lot
harder to understand the other side? In truth, I don’t see any more effort at
empathic reciprocal understanding coming out of our side than I do the other
Sir, – I am
usually the last to rush to defend The Jerusalem Post’s meretricious deployment
of American English, but I must take issue with the mamma loshen pedants who
attacked the paper in the November 18 letters section (“Vey ist
The article that employed ver was using cod-Yiddish, as spoken by
millions of English-speakers around the world. Had the original contained the
words Vere’s de mezuzah?, everyone would have known instantly that the person
was speaking English mit a Yiddishe eggsent, no?
Letters Editor notes: On warm days in her Brooklyn apartment, my Silesian-born
grandmother would often say, Ofn der vindeh.
Sir, – Martin
Sherman (“A nation betrayed?,” Into the Fray, November 18) cites a University of
Haifa study showing that barely a third of the Israeli public has faith in the
The selection process for appointing justices to
Israel’s Supreme Court tells us why.
Justices are selected by a committee
composed of nine members drawn from the Israeli cabinet (the minister of
justice, who sits at its head, and another minister), the Supreme Court (the
court president and two other justices), two members of Knesset and two
representatives of the national bar association.
The political leanings
of the two ministers depend upon the coalition, but of the two MKs, one is
always chosen by the opposition.
The two justices who sit together with
the court’s president are selected by the court itself. Since its justices are
virtually all left-of-center, those chosen for the selection committee are
almost certain to be so as well.
The two bar association representatives
are elected by the association’s national council.
Since the association
and the council have a distinct left-ofcenter majority, its representatives are
almost certain to be left-of-center as well.
This means that even when
there is a right-of-center government, there is generally a left-ofcenter
majority on the selection committee. This not good for either democracy or
public confidence in the impartiality of justice.
MORTON A. KLEIN
The writer is national president of the Zionist Organization of America
Sir, – I wish I could share Uri Savir’s enthusiasm for
President Barack Obama as the American leader best suited to Israel’s quest for
peace (“Obama 2012,” Savir’s Corner, November 18).
I recall, however,
that it was Obama who provided the preconditions now demanded by Palestinian
Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for negotiations with Israel – a freeze on
construction in the West Bank (something that had never been demanded before).
Obama then added that peace discussions must be centered on the 1967 lines (with
so-called land swaps), and now this, too, is being demanded by Abbas.
believe there is a strong likelihood that, should Obama be reelected, he will
provide the Palestinians with yet further demands before they agree to
MONTY M. ZION
Sir, – Uri Savir demonstrates his clear
bias by what he does not say about President Obama.
Obama as “a liberal intellectual” while describing Republican candidates as
Many would call Obama an ultra-liberal leaning
toward socialism. At the same time, Savir forgets that Mitt Romney, the GOP
favorite, is a moderate whose main drawback in the eyes of some of his fellow
party members is that he is not a true conservative.
Savir lauds Obama
because “he stood by the Tahrir Square” youth. The outcome there is still
uncertain, but in the critical moments of a nascent Iranian revolution – when
demonstrators were literally begging for Obama’s support – the president was
nowhere to be found.
Savir observes that “American presidents who
facilitated peace breakthroughs in the region were generally Democrats,
specifically Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton.” Surely Savir is aware that, since
leaving office, Carter has been among the most dishonest critics of Israel. More
recently, Clinton exonerated Palestinian leaders from any responsibility for the
absence of peace while indicting large elements of Israeli society.
congratulates Obama on opting for the “diplomatic route of sanctions” to control
Iran’s nuclear ambitions. He is silent on Obama’s inability to convince Russia
and China to join in this effort.