April 1, 2019: ET – phone home

Readers of The Jerusalem Post have their say.

By
March 31, 2019 22:38
Letters

Letters. (photo credit: PIXABAY)

 
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ET – phone home

Regarding “The UFO community still believes, and science is starting to listen,” (March 31), Chabeli Herrera discusses the interesting phenomenon that some reputable scientists may be beginning to believe that UFOs are worthy of scientific investigation. Some names are even named.

It is not unusual for reputable scientists, at some point in their career, frustrated by failure to succeed in this or that endeavor, to become a bit unhinged and seek fame. The UFO phenomenon also excites pedestrian observers and one can even become certified as a Mutual Unidentified Flying Objects Network field investigator (100 hours of online classes). One learns how to measure longitude, latitude, etc., and use a Geiger counter.

The Geiger counter studies are presumably intended to discover nuclear-powered spacecraft. The Geiger counter is a very simple instrument; any spacecraft emitting sufficient quantities of ionizing radiation to be detected in somebody’s backyard or at the mall would indeed be an interesting event. One gets the vision of hundreds of MUFON investigators (there are 4,000 of them out there already) searching for ionizing radiation with Geiger counters strapped to their chest. Too bad that there has been no report yet by MUFON investigators of suspicious ionizing radiation activity that could be thoroughly investigated.

There is an adage that it is not wise to argue with fools because the onlooker may not be able to distinguish who is the fool, but I couldn’t help myself.

YIGAL HOROWITZ
Professor Emeritus of Radiation Physics
(including Geiger counters)
Beersheba

I was surprised to see 70% of a page devoted to UFOs. As far as I am aware, the only field of science actually “listening” is that of psychology in all its forms. Astronomers, planetary scientists and exobiologists have devoted much time and effort to determine whether or not life exists on other worlds, and so far have found little encouragement. There has never been found on Earth, or anywhere else in the solar system, any evidence of alien life, not even microorganisms.

The Roswell, New Mexico legend about finding pieces of a crashed UFO turned out to be an intelligence agency attempt to fly spy balloons over the USSR. The “spooks” were happy for the UFO-ers to give them a free cover story. In the 1950s, the US Air Force was forced to open a UFO research effort called Project Bluebook. After years of effort, the USAF was able to determine that virtually all the UFO “encounters” were caused by delusion, optical illusion, mistaken interpretations of real phenomena and hoaxes. In requesting the cancellation of the program, the commanding officer was reported to have said that he would not believe in UFOs until one landed at Andrews Air Force Base and ask to speak with the president. So far, nothing.

Was there nothing of greater importance to the well-being or knowledge of Israelis than stuff suitable only for a matinée at the local movie theater?

TREVOR DAVIS
Asseret

The new Spain – or is it?

Regarding Spanish King Felipe VI honored for citizenship law (March 29), I’m baffled.

He was honored by the Latin American Jewish Congress in recognition of the citizenship law passed by the Spanish government in Oct 2015 allowing all Sephardi Jews and their descendants across the globe to obtain Spanish citizenship. He was quoted as saying “We have been working for some time to recover Spain’s Jewish heritage.”

But just last month Spain voted in the UN Human Rights Commission to condemn Israel (again)!

Could it be that Spain has replaced centuries of antisemitism with the new updated version: anti-Zionism? What benefits accrue to the tens of thousands of Sephardi Jews who are pining to get Spanish citizenship? Will their slaughtered or exiled ancestors come back to life?

Could it be that the Spanish leopard hasn’t really changed its spots but it wants the tourism pesos of thousands of naïve Israelis and other Sephardi Jews that visit yearly despite 500 years of persecution and exile?

Perhaps you should reconsider before you confirm that next flight to Barcelona!

RICHARD A. LOPCHINSKY, MD, FACS
Jerusalem

Gaza goings on

Regarding “A night on the Gaza border, waiting for another war” (March 28), the country held its breath over Shabbat to see what Hamas would do to us. Half of our army is down there, sitting on their hands at a huge cost to the country. The waiting continues.

Seth Frantzman makes the popular (and wrong) statement, “No one wants a war.” Hamas shows us over and over that they do want a war. Otherwise, they wouldn’t keep attacking us. That includes the “mistaken” missiles fired at the center of the country as well as the “usual” targets in the South.

This war with the Arabs has been going on for a century in varying forms; they never agreed to our being here and living in our own land.

This “waiting period” reminds me of the one before the Six Day War. At that time, also, there was a huge mobilization of our forces near the border with Gaza. Egypt’s president Gamal Abdel Nasser had closed the Straits of Tiran and sent the UN peacekeepers home. In every speech, he threatened to throw the Israelis into the sea.

Frantzman spoke of the (inevitable) next round, which will happen as though we are caged mice on a wheel, doomed to go round and round on it – until we finally decide to win this 100-year-war and finally get to enjoy our beautiful country and our own place in the sun.

THELMA JACOBSON
Petah Tikva


Regarding “Gaza Strip: A problem with no immediate solution” (March 28), Ori Wertman wrote,  “Nowadays, thanks to the Iron Dome defense system, rockets and missiles fired from the Gaza Strip hardly pose a threat.”

Tell that to the Wolf family (and many others). But for luck and the quick thinking of the head of the family to get them all to the shelter within the seconds afforded them prior to the rocket impact, the rocket would have caused the demise of the whole family.

In “Gaza – now and forever, Gershon Baskin condescendingly states, “Israel does not hold sole responsibility for the horrible situation of Gaza” but in turn puts scant blame on Hamas, which plays the victim card again and again. He fails to mention that the majority those killed rioting along the border were Hamas terrorist operatives, yet dwells on the lack of phone arrangements for Palestinian prisoners, adding unnecessarily that the “Palestinians are not going anywhere.”

This we are fully aware of, as their leaders are primarily concerned less with building their people’s future than with destroying ours.

Peace requires brave moves, but they have to be met by equally bold measures by the other side.

It is the paramount duty of a nation to protect its people and in the face of an implacable enemy this sometimes calls for the strongest of measures.

In response to Baskin, neither are the Israeli people going anywhere and we will not allow a terrorist entity to run roughshod over the most vulnerable among us.

STEPHEN VISHNICK
Tel Aviv

Infectious antisemitism

Regarding the editorial “Political antisemitism” (March 29), the debate over the hyphen in “antisemitism” is not essential. The meaning as defined from the very start was as “hostility toward or discrimination against Jews as a religious, ethnic, or racial group.” The intended scope was limited to Jews alone.

Historian Paul Johnson put it best: “It is widely assumed… that antisemitism is a form of racism or ethnic xenophobia… But if antisemitism is a variety of racism, it is a most peculiar variety, with many unique characteristics. In my view as a historian, it is so peculiar that it deserves to be placed in a quite different category. I would call it an intellectual disease, a disease of the mind, extremely infectious and massively destructive. It is a disease to which both human individuals and entire human societies are prone.”

MLADEN ANDRIJASEVIC
Beersheva

Golan and ongoing goals

Regarding “EU states unanimously reject Golan sovereignty” (March 28), Syria wants the Golan Heights back so that they can resume their attacks on the innocent and defenseless Israeli farmers who live on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, below the Golan plateau, where they spent the years before 1967 sleeping in shelters. The Golan Heights was a Syrian military base until 1967, closed to civilians. Today it is home to thriving Israeli farming communities and tourism attracted by the peace and fresh air of the Golan as well as Jewish historic sites such as Gamla and the 30 synagogues that served the Jewish communities living there till the Muslim invasion in 650 CE.

The war in the Middle East started when five Arab armies invaded Israel in 1948. It “ended” in a temporary ceasefire in 1949. Fighting was resumed in 1956 and again in 1967 when Syria persuaded Egypt to block the Tiran Straits and to expel the UN peacekeepers from Sinai.

Syria, the UN, EU, etc., should remember that going to war is a gamble. If you start a war and then lose, you have lost and you cannot demand your money back! Nations have to pay a penalty for aggression and are not entitled to a reward.

CHARLES OREN
Herzliya

The EU is enraged. Tiny Israel has the fortitude to stand up to the Islamic juggernaut, while Europeans are watching their countries and cultures being swamped.

As for UN resolutions against the seizure of land by force, the UNSC has it backwards. International law states a nation cannot keep land seized in an aggressive action. However, Syria was the aggressor. Israel defended itself in a war of genocide launched against it. Self-defense is not a hostile act. It is the core reason for the existence of nations.

America recognized a fact. That’s not revolutionary. It’s honesty.

Israel is America’s aircraft carrier. It provides the US with billions of dollars in technical upgrades to their military equipment. It is America’s eyes and ears in a violent sea of dictatorships. It shares their values.

Eurabia will try to protect its fragile business contracts for as long as possible, but its fate is precarious.

LEN BENNETT
Ottawa, Canada

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