Sir, – In terms of “Color Red” alarms, few news articles have set off
my personal “color red” warning as did “Iron Dome remains silent as Grad rockets
hit Beersheba, Netivot” (September 10).
In the first sentence we are told
that “Gaza rocket crews fired Grad rockets into Israel” on Saturday night. Gaza
rocket crews? Israelis have long howled about the tendency of the international
media to characterize terrorists as “militants,” but The Jerusalem Post has
elevated this whitewash to a new level. Now terrorists are simply rocket crews?
Regular people who hold normal workaday jobs? Benign members of some work crew?
For shame! It’s bad enough that the rest of the world can’t identify a terrorist
when it sees one, but worse when an Israeli newspaper upgrades terrorists doing
their utmost to kill Israeli civilians.
But that’s not all. For most of
us a night’s sleep was lost, and on the day following a day’s schooling for
children was lost. In spite of all that, the Grad strike is characterized as
having landed “without causing any damage.”
It is frequently observed
that Israel is a small country, yet when pieces like this appear in the local
media it’s obvious that reporters and editors live on a different planet from
those of us under fire in Israel’s south.
YOCHEVED MIRIAM RUSSO
A noble rite
Sir, – Apropos your headline “Jews, Muslims and Christians protest
together in Berlin against criminalization of circumcision” (September 10), it
is worth recalling that it was a widespread custom for Christians, as a sign of
their nobility, to adopt the rite of circumcision. Milton’s “Upon the
Circumcision,” penned in praise of one of his patrons, is an example of
Anglo Jewry’s dean of mohalim (ritual circumcisers), Rabbi Jacob
Snowman, was also the royal mohel.
I am unaware of whether circumcision
is still practiced by Christians as a religious rite. Perhaps one of your
readers has some information on this subject.
Sir, – In the September 7 edition of this excellent newspaper,
on the front page of the second section, a photograph of Iranian President
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad appears on close to half a page, and in color! I know we are
commanded “not to forget Amalak,” but does it have to be in Technicolor? I have
thought for a long time that if newspapers need to illustrate their articles
with pictures of such people, they should at least be as small as possible and
even out of focus.
What’s in a name
Sir, – I read
with great interest “Preventing ‘Palestine’: Part II – The humanitarian
paradigm” (Into the Fray, September 7), just as I have all articles by Martin
Sherman on what is good for Israel, a two-state solution or
Personally, I support most of his approach on this
issue but nevertheless wonder whether the situation on the ground is ripe to
implement it. There is one very important detail that Sherman should not
The discussions on this thorny subject should have started much
earlier, at least 30 years ago, internationally and on different levels in
Israeli society. I am afraid it is now a little too late to completely reject
what he calls “the Palestinian narrative,” although historically and biblically
it is not justified.
A couple of years ago, in a letter to The Jerusalem
Post, I tried to argue that “Palestine” as a territory or country, and
“Palestinians” as an ethnicity, stopped to exist (if they ever existed at all)
with implementation of the UN Partition Plan in 1947 and with the birth of the
State of Israel in 1948. I compared the territorial and other claims of the
Arabs in this area to the supposed claim of one or more states that had been
part of Yugoslavia to take the same name. It would be unimaginable and quite
unacceptable for the international community to recognize the name of a state
that stopped to exist.
In the same way, Arabs living west of the Jordan
River have no legal right to name their eventual new state “Palestine” because
the territory that bore that name during the British Mandate does not exist any
Sums of all evil
Sir, – The PA is paying
NIS 44 million every month to Palestinians and even Israeli Arabs serving time
in Israel for security offenses, and to families of suicide bombers. NIS 12,000
a month goes to the Hamas terrorist behind the 2002 Passover Eve Park Hotel
massacre, the murderers of Rehavam Ze’evi and even the Fogel family (“Liberman
expected to slam Palestinian Authority payments to jailed terrorists,” September
Our foreign minister can slam all he likes, but I see nothing has
been done to make the terrorist entity known as the Palestinian Authority take
responsibility for the NIS 700 million it owes the Israeli Electric Corporation.
The electric company should just cut off the supply, like it would do to any
Instead, the prime minister continues with his
concessions, both monetary and in security, so why should the PA not take
advantage? If we are determined to behave like fools, then that is the way we
will be treated.
Sir, – It would be totally unjust
to expect hard-pressed Israel to make up the shortfall of $1 billion in the
Palestinian Authority’s accounts. Where is the billion that the late Yasser
Arafat brazenly stole? The world seems to have forgotten that theft.
can Israel or any other country have financial dealings with such a morally and
spiritually bankrupt entity as the Palestinian Authority?
man behind it
Sir, – It was wonderful to read how the Paralympics originated at
Britain’s Stoke Mandeville Hospital in 1948, and in particular who was the
originator (“Paralympics’ message,” Editorial, August 30). The BBC and Channel 4
here in the UK have spoken about Dr. Ludwig Guttmann, the German Jew who escaped
the Nazis and came to live in England, working to give hope to the
Channel 4 produced a docu-drama about him called The Best of
It is extraordinary that a man who had lost so many of his own
people in the Holocaust should have been able to give so much. His work has
grown and prospered to the present day.
If there are questions raised in
Israel about medals, it should be noted that at least in the Paralympics
(perhaps where it matters most) a Jew has been acknowledged in the
Not enough medals won? It depends on one’s point of view!
Museum needed now
Sir, – Deputy Foreign Minister Danny
Ayalon is quoted as saying in “Gov’t stepping up campaign for rights of Jewish
refugees from Arab countries” (August 28) that it is hoped to build a museum
devoted to publicizing the tragedies inflicted on these unfortunate people when
the State of Israel was declared.
Given the nature of such a project, it
is not likely to be realized for many years. It is needed now to operate
alongside the campaign to let the world know what these Jews suffered, and how
and where they were able, in great measure, to regenerate
Such a museum should become a must-see for Israelis and
foreign visitors alike.
I would suggest to Ayalon that a suitable
existing building be found and that work begin as quickly as