Very serious times

Sir, – Those who depend only on your lead stories read on September 16: “What began as a small protest against an amateurish film mocking and maligning the prophet Muhammad has mushroomed into a full-scale international crisis....” (“Muslim riots spread across Middle East, North Africa”).

That’s not accurate reporting.

It’s editorializing. The true news is about long and careful preparation for the anniversary of 9/11 and onward. The video is a flimsy patsy.

The Page 3 documentation in the same issue by Zvi Mazel (“Cairo = Benghazi: The writing was on the wall,” Analysis) represents the serious study of issues that surround these events, from which a reader should criticize the superficiality of the “hooks” to the first story.

The Jerusalem Post should be more careful. We are in existentially very serious times. Help us read with confidence.

PESACH GOODLEY

Telz

Stone Sense and sensors

Sir, – Ben Hartman’s “‘It’s the Wild West down there’” (September 16) is very well written and informative, telling us exactly what is going on along the Egyptian border. What surprises me is that the fence lacks electronic sensors that indicate whether someone is touching it or has broken through.

When I did my combat reserve duty until the late 1990s in the Jordan Valley, the fence there had sensors as well as outposts every 20 kilometers. This enabled us to know instantly if there was any type of breach.

These features would make it a lot easier for our troops to really protect what is now a very hostile border.

MURRAY JOSEPH
Kiryat Motzkin

More on Stevens

Sir, – That The Jerusalem Post chose to publish a letter (“Slain diplomat,” September 16) that said there was “little reason” to mourn the death of US Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and that his assassination was “poetic justice” and even “schadenfreude” was unutterably shameful and appalling. A red line was crossed.

The writer may harbor whatever twisted malice and anti-Americanism he likes. It is the Post that owes the people and government of the United States a heartfelt apology, not least to the US ambassador to Israel, who walks in similarly vulnerable footsteps.

That the Post would dignify this with publication is shocking.

JAMES ADLER
Cambridge, Massachusetts

Sir, – US Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens was sacrificed on the altar of his president’s misguided and naïve Middle Eastern policies. Barack Obama should do the decent thing and resign immediately.

DAVID S. ADDLEMAN
Mevaseret Zion

The dogma endure


Sir, – While I welcome and embrace British Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks’s positive and tolerant attitude toward today’s Christianity (“The cost of hate,” Comment & Features, September 16), we must not ignore the fact that many Catholic children apparently are still being taught prejudicial dogma from centuries ago.

A few years back, while organizing a charity bike ride in the west of Ireland, I was in a village pub getting coffee when a Guinness- drinking local asked me where I was from. “Born in the UK but now living in Israel,” to which he replied, “Is that right?” A few moments later he walked toward the door, turned around and, looking straight at me, declared: “They killed Christ, didn’t they?” and abruptly left.

CHAIM FACHLER
Netanya

‘Treif’ kippot

Sir, – As an observant Jew and attorney specializing in intellectual property, I found a few points deserving comment in “Spider Man versus Kippa Man” (September 14).

First, use of the term “illegal” in describing the sale of such kippot implies that these sales constitute activity. They don’t. Trademark infringement is a civil matter.

Second, the defendant’s statement that he merely imports merchandise from China (which I take as an admission of infringement), and his competitor’s comment that “maybe [the plaintiffs] hate the Jews,” are as misguided as they are pathetic.

Marvel Comics invested in building the Spiderman brand.

Given that customers seeking kippot could have purchased plain ones, it is clear that the kippot in question were being bought specifically because they bore the likeness of Spiderman.

The defendant thus chose to benefit from Marvel’s investment without paying for that benefit.

In Jewish law you have to pay for such a benefit. There is nothing anti-Jewish about Marvel enforcing its rights.

Moreover, if the defendant had been selling meat, would he dare say he bought it in China and only assumed it was kosher? It is his responsibility to check the “kashrut” of his merchandise, and if it isn’t kosher to either “kasher” it by paying Marvel for a license to sell it or stop selling it altogether.

DANIEL FEIGELSON

Rehovot

Sir, – Kippa Man is one of the nicest people I’ve ever met.

Instead of a lawsuit wherein only lawyers will profit, all Marvel had to do was request that Avi Binyamin remove the kippot from sale, which apparently he already has done, and perhaps ask for nominal compensation.

The $100,000 Marvel might get from the suit wouldn’t make a dent in its financial statement.

If there ever was a case of mega-corporation vs the little man, this is it. I just hope that in this case the nice guy does not finish last.

AVRAHAM FRIEDMAN

Modi’in Illit

Tell the truth

Sir, – Martin Sherman (“Preventing Palestine: Part III – Broken promises,” Into the Fray, September 14) suggests as an alternative to the two-state solution the relocation and rehabilitation of the Arab population of the West Bank.

He states that the only way to achieve this non-coercively is with positive inducements, mainly in the form of generous economic incentives. This would have to be done, he explains, in tandem with massive informational and diplomatic efforts by Israel so as to persuade the international community of the scheme’s moral and political validity.

For the time being, of course, such an idea would be rejected out of hand throughout the Arab world – except, perhaps by many of the refugees themselves.

In a less cynical, more honest world, Sherman’s suggestion that Arabs of the West Bank be settled in neighboring countries could work. In a less cynical, more honest world, the Arabs long ago would have been told by world leaders and the general media that there was no reason in the first place for the Palestinian refugee problem or for the endless wars with Israel. They would have been severely admonished that this problem was a direct result of resorting to war with the intention of destroying Israel in 1948 and 1967.

Sherman’s ideas, as far-fetched as they seem, are the most rational to date. But they will only work when more and more people everywhere begin to understand and fully practice all the principles of truthfulness. It’s a far larger subject than most people realize, but it’s the only way to prevent or solve conflict.

Indeed, it’s naïve to expect otherwise.

RALPH DOBRIN
Jerusalem

Two-way benefit

Sir, – It is surely a relief to see that the Egyptian army has finally taken back full control of Sinai from terrorist bands (“Egyptian officer: Cairo, Jerusalem coordinate on Sinai security sweep,” September 9).

It is therefore possible for discussions between Egypt and Israel that will enable the renewal of piped natural gas supplies, which would be exceedingly good for the economies of both countries.

DAVID GOSHEN
Kiryat Ono

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