Sir, – The Knesset’s preliminary approval of a bill to force Israel Hayom to charge a fee for its newspapers certainly marks one of its most shameful moments (“Knesset approves ‘Israel Hayom bill’ in preliminary reading,” November 13).
Israel prides itself on being a democracy, the only true democracy in the Middle East. As every schoolchild knows, one essential element of a vital democracy is freedom of the press.
This measure, which brings together a cynical mix of politicians from both the Left and the Right of the political spectrum, is specifically aimed at one newspaper, at one line of opinion alone, one largely supportive of the present government. How ironic, self- defeating and hypocritically outrageous that Naftali Bennett (Bayit Yehudi) has teamed with Ahmed Tibi (United Arab List-Ta’al), and Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) with Eitan Cabel (Labor) to deprive hundreds of thousands of Israeli citizens of a basic democratic right.
My sense is that many voters who previously cast their ballot for one of these lawmakers will not be eager to reward them for this in the next election.
Jerusalem Golden opportunity
Sir, – It is reflected glory and another golden opportunity to bask in the limelight for Suha (“Suha Arafat: Armed struggle will only harm Palestinians,” November 13).
Her outbursts of malicious lies against Israel hardly reflect her suitability as a spokesperson for the Palestinian Authority or for Yasser Arafat. Her sanctimonious and pretentious rhetoric against armed struggle will not endear her to former fellow citizens or to PA President Mahmoud Abbas, while the enigma of her husband’s mysterious death continues to taint his administration.
No recent information regarding the soiled underwear worn by the deceased has come to light, and the obvious loathing demonstrated by the Palestinian public against Ms. Arafat seems to infer that she herself is not entirely free from suspicion.
GISH TRUMAN ROBBINS
Pardesiya Hold the spelt!
Sir, – Your article on Kosherfest (“From carrot cake macaroons to white truffle pâté,” November 13) describes many kosher goodies now available on the market, from the simple to the sophisticated, even including – puzzlingly – edible spoons. However, even odder than the claim the there is a demand for kosher edible flatware is the article’s statement that there are “gluten-free, organic spelt cookies.”
As a person with celiac disease I can tell you there is no such thing as gluten-free spelt. Spelt is simply an older variety of wheat and as such cannot be consumed by anyone who is gluten intolerant.
I hope that the error is on the part of the reporter and not the company making the product.
There are too many “gluten-free” products on the market that are nutrient-deficient at best, but labeling such cookies as being gluten-free could cause real damage for anyone with celiac who eats them.
Many people think that celiacs need only eliminate bread or wheat, and there is a wide misconception that because spelt is an “alternative grain” it must be “healthy.” But for those who must keep gluten off their (edible?) kosher plate, it is just as damaging as any modern wheat.
Efrat Free publicity
Sir, – With regard to your headline “Barghouti: The shortest road to freedom is the rifle” (November 12), why on earth is The Jerusalem Post giving free publicity to this convicted multiple murderer of Jews? In any normal country they would have locked Marwan Barghouti up and thrown the key away, and he would never see the light of day again.
Even if he had been allowed any communication with anyone, it would have been in such a way so as to prevent it being publicized. In other places (and perhaps preferably) he might have just disappeared into some anonymous gulag, never to be heard of again.
By giving the utterances of this individual free publicity you are unintentionally helping encourage the propagation of his evil creed.
Sir, – Did you really need to give a quarter of your front page to this terrorist serving a life sentence? Information is one thing, but promoting Marwan Barghouti’s calls to more violence is plain editorial clumsiness! DAVID JORTNER Karmiel The lone wolves Sir, – In response to “How to tame the lone-wolf attacker” (November 12), here is my opinion as to what might be a deterrence: Shoot to kill the attacker so he knows that when he goes on a rampage to kill indiscriminately it will be his last day.
He may give it a second thought as to whether it is really worthwhile.
Sir, – I have just seen a photograph of the terrorist who killed Dalya Lemkus. He was on the balcony of the Shaare Zedek Medical Center having a smoke! Is Israel so moronic? Has Israel been consumed by misplaced, misapplied human rights? This man has no right to live let alone have a cigarette break. Damn it!
LEVI J. ATTIAS
Sir, – Why do we have to be scared that one day we might not come home to our families? Why do soldiers who are serving our country end up murdered!? Why does a 26-year-old woman who is just starting her life end up stabbed to death while waiting for a bus? Why do we have the feeling that one day we might not get to see our loved ones at the end of the day, the feeling that we might never get to grow old, have children or grandchildren? Why? Why is this happening in our country? Why do terrorists get to walk around our country feeling like it’s theirs? Why do terrorists get away with murder? Why do terrorists get to walk around feeling like their day is complete after killing someone, when our day is just starting to falling apart? Why isn’t anybody doing anything about this? When my sister, who serves in the IDF, tells me she’s okay and that I’m going to see her come home soon safe and sound, how am I supposed to believe that? The country is falling apart and every Israeli being killed is one less Israeli left in our country.
Bibi, please protect us. Protect our soldiers and our borders!
The writer is 14
Sir, – It seems to me that in “Lead, someone – please” (Center Field, November 12), Gil Troy belittles the major differences and disregards some of the major players that have kept Israel and the Palestinians from securing peace.
In the perfect, phantasmagorical world Troy lives in, maybe a call to lead might have an affect or somehow cut the Gordian Knot of the Israeli-Palestinian dilemma. But behind Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abba stand other leaders and other players with their own interests and their own realistic agendas.
And while everyone is making the case that “peace is possible,” the majority of Israelis, and not just Netanyahu, feel that Jerusalem is the home of the Jews, while a majority of the Palestinians, and not just Abbas, feel that the Jews have no business in Jerusalem, or in Tel Aviv, for that matter. So what’s a government to do? Leadership, which is what Netanyahu is doing, reflects the will of the people and requires the ability to withstand those outside influences that have their own non-Israeli and/or non-Palestinian interests.
To be honest, I want to live in Troy’s world, but no amount of shouting “lead!” is going to make that happen.