Seeing red

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
Beersheba

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 this.

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.

ARYEH NEWMAN
Jerusalem

And in Technicolor!

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.

HAROLD MARGOLIS
Arnona

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 one-state-solution.

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 forget.

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 more.

AVRAHAM ATIJAS
Jerusalem

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 5).

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 Israeli customer.

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.

YENTEL JACOBS
Netanya

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.

How can Israel or any other country have financial dealings with such a morally and spiritually bankrupt entity as the Palestinian Authority?

ROY RUNDS
Tel Aviv

The 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 disabled.

Channel 4 produced a docu-drama about him called The Best of Men.

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 origin.

Not enough medals won? It depends on one’s point of view!

PHILIP BLOOM
Bournemouth, UK

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 themselves.

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 possible.

OSCAR DAVIES
Jerusalem

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