Upping the anti
Sir, - That "Russia's policies are anti-US, not anti-Israel" (February 12) as regards talking to Hamas is nothing to celebrate. Being anti-US is being anti-Israel. Every Israeli should realize that.
Pinner, Middx., UK
Source for hatred
Sir, - Apropos "Graphic anti-Semitism" (February 12), Dan Pattir omitted to cite the most important reference source for anti-Jewish cartoons produced in the Arabian empire and Islamic world. In 1986 Ya'acov Guri (Gurevitch) published Hatred of Jews Reflected in Cartoons: A Comparison of Anti-Jewish Caricatures in German and Russian Propaganda.
One such comparison accurately reflects the source of the 1991 Bahreini snake / octopus / Magen David motif. The German version, the Super-Jew-Medusa, appeared in Julius Streicher's Der St rmer in Nuremberg, May 1935, year of the infamous Race Law Decrees. The Russian Six-Tentacle Octopus, representing terror, appeared in Brezhnev's Krokodil in May 1972.
Together, for life or death
Sir, - Re "European Jews shocked by furor over Muhammad cartoon" (February 12): I too abhor the outrageous response to these satirical cartoons. Where are all the angry Muslim protests led by decent, peace-loving imams when bloody atrocities are visited upon their fellow human beings?
I served on overseas UN peacekeeping missions in Lebanon, where I met Norwegians; and in Cyprus, where some of my military police comrades were Danes and Swedes. Never once did I hear from these Scandinavian UN personnel a derogatory word against Muslims or the Islamic faith.
The Danish people and, in fact, the majority of Scandinavians are among the most open, tolerant and fair-minded in the world today. They have been neutral in respect to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Danish nation has played its part in being a voice for the human rights for all.
I have conversed and eaten with Muslims and Jews, Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots, Iraqis, Protestants, Catholics, Christians - and dissenters. I served with the UN in Iraq in 1989 and assisted in the body exchange of Iraqi and Iranian war dead. In a barren no man's land I witnessed the sides haggling over the human remains of their fallen soldiers lying to attention in lines of open cardboard coffins.
In conversations I found most people desired a life of peace and prosperity, but for some the "good will to others" part was a wee bit lacking. We have a short lifetime in an ever-shrinking, ecologically threatened world. Oil or no oil, if we don't live in it together we shall perish together, God forbid.
County Wexford, Ireland
Stand by the Danes
Sir, - When Hitler invaded Denmark during World War II, Denmark's solidarity with its Jewish population was unprecedented. Not only did Denmark's citizens help get their Jews to safety in Switzerland, most also wore the yellow Star of David, as requested by their king.
As the child of a Holocaust survivor I propose that with the worldwide Muslim boycott costing Danish companies more than $1,000,000 a day, Jews worldwide go out of their way to purchase goods made in Denmark. As for non-kosher products, purchase them anyway, then donate them to your local food bank.
Denmark stood by us in our time of need. We need to return the favor and stand by them now.
Egg Harbor Twp, New Jersey
Sir, - I sympathize with the call to "Buy Danish." But I also recall, about a year ago, the head of a very large Danish union refusing to buy the world's best - Israeli - Point of Sale software and settling for the second best by far, just because of union pressure and members' sympathy for Palestinians. Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Holland have since been educated in the ways of the Middle East.
I will, nevertheless, make a point of buying Danish.
Sir, - I have one small bone to pick with Evelyn Gordon's "Mr. Double Standard" (February 9). While her criticism of Chief Justice Aharon Barak's hypocrisy was on target, as always, I question why she validates his distinction between lauding "armed struggle" and lauding a terrorist organization.
Ms. Gordon argues that the distinction is reasonable because "One could, for instance, praise Hamas's welfare activities without condoning its suicide bombings." This is the same distinction many European countries have used to justify keeping Hizbullah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, among others, off their lists of terror organizations. It's not a distinction that Israelis - let alone the Israeli Supreme Court - ought to adopt.
CARL M. SHERER
Sir, - Further to Hamas's election victory: Military experts have known for centuries that democracy is not the answer. Changing the mindset of populations is.
JOHN RANDALL PEACHER
Martinsburg, West Virginia
Sir, - Are we Israelis supposed to feel greatly relieved after the hasty backpedaling by the Church of England's investment advisers on the matter of disinvestment from companies that do business with Israel? ("Church of England's disinvestment vote 'only advisory,'" February 9.) Isn't this one more example of unprincipled double talk by the church's self-righteous leaders?
Regardless of the Ethical Investment Advisory Group's effort to persuade us that the vote was merely "symbolic," the General Synod's message has been received loud and clear and has to stand: Israel must be barred from acquiring materials and equipment needed for the defense of its people.
The EIAG's transparent attempt at damage control shows the Church of England's leaders to be not only biased, but spineless.
FRANK J. VAN BERS
Sir, - In "Debate taxes" (Editorial, February 10) you correctly praise the Netanyahu economic recovery plan, that is, to reduce taxes. But Mr. Netanyahu has to simplify his economic message, among other things.
Most Israelis have been conditioned to a socialist mindset that is supposed to guarantee them a job, a house and an income, even if they don't bother to work. Most Israelis, not to mention most Israeli economists, do not recognize the fact that high government tax revenues are what pays for bloated and socially harmful government welfare subsidies and other government services.
Mr. Netanyahu could easily - he really has to - emphasize the point that Barry Goldwater tried to make back in the 1960s: A government that is big enough to give you all you want is big enough to take it all away.
KENNETH S. BESIG
Sir, - Re "Annual ILAN fund-raiser launched at Beit Hanassi" (February 7): I would like to correct a commonly-held misunderstanding: In 1950 an organization called Ilanshil Polio was established to help the victims of the polio epidemic at that time. In 1961 another organization called Shatlem was founded by a group of parents of cerebral palsy children.
It was in 1964 that Ilanshil Polio and Shatlem joined together to become ILAN, which caters to all handicapped youngsters.
Sir, - Our institute has launched a comparative research project on DPs, including Jewish ones, in the US Zone in Germany 1945-1948. Historians in Europe and the US have been invited to participate. We hope that ex-DPs among Post readers will contact us and significantly contribute to the endeavor.
Herzl Institute for Research
and Study of Zionism
University of Haifa
Hugs for Sam
Sir, - As a long-time reader of The Jerusalem Post my first reaction, even before reading the reprint of the article by Sam Orbaum, was to smile and relax ("'I could really use a hug right now,'" February 13). It's hard to believe it is three years since he passed away. Sam belonged to that small group of writers who have the ability to make a pertinent comment and make us laugh at the same time.
We all really miss you, Sam.
Girl with guts
Sir, - My generation of Haifaites surely remembers Shoshana Damari most for her guts. While the British were still here, one of their favorite dancing floors was at the Panorama in Haifa, which had the most beautiful view right up to Mt. Hermon and into the Jezreel Valley. At the time, the most hated of them were those wearing red berets, called kalaniot ("anemones") in Hebrew. She was daring enough to sing her signature song of that title with many Englishmen present. The audience applauded like mad. No one who was present will ever forget the feeling of pride and achievement at that moment.
Sir, - The Post evidently has a new star columnist writing on its sports page. Jeremy Last's "Can Gaydamak buy success for Betar?" (February 13) was informative and gave this overseas reader an insight into the Israeli sporting world. I enjoyed reading it.
JEFFREY L. LEVIN
Scarsdale, New York
Sir - Re "UK crazy for Uncle Moshe's potatoes" (February 12): At long last - a bit of good news on the pages of The Jerusalem Post, following weeks of political party mud-slinging, reports on a comatose prime minister, disappointing results in the Fatah-Hamas elections, and Jew vs Jew bloodshed in Amona.
Obese Israelis like this writer, and thousands more, will now be able to enjoy their mashed potatoes without getting fatter than they already are.
HARRY 'SPUD' COHEN
Kibbutz Tirat Tzvi