August 14, 2019: ZOA and JStreet: No comparison

Readers of the Jerusalem Post have their say.

August 13, 2019 19:25

Letters. (photo credit: REUTERS)

ZOA and JStreet: No comparison

Your article about the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations (CoP) (“Who is William Daroff, the Next CEO of the Conference of Presidents?” August 6) falsely and inaccurately states that the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) was “accepted” into the CoP.

The ZOA was not voted into the CoP. ZOA is a charter member, one of the 16 organizations that actually founded the CoP in 1956.

Your article also implies that since the ZOA was “accepted” into the CoP, then J Street’s bid for admission should have been approved, too. That’s absurd.

ZOA is an ardent pro-Israel organization. J Street is not. Despite how this group tries to paint itself, J Street supports anti-Israel UN resolutions; accepts millions from self-proclaimed anti-Zionist George Soros; legitimizes Arab terrorism against Israelis; supports groups that promote the anti-Israel and antisemitic BDS movement; and poisons the minds of college students against Israel, instead of building their connection and support.

Comparing the ZOA, the oldest pro-Israel organization in the US, which has always told the truth about the Arab war against Israel and unrelentingly fights anti-Israel bias in the media, on campus, and wherever it exists, to a group that works to destroy support for Israel and sides with its enemies, is wrong and insulting.

National President, Zionist Organization of America

Mounting problems

Your editorial “Terrorism Alert” (August 12) rightly praises our security forces for their diligent efforts to maintain order at religious sites, prevent terrorist attacks, and quickly find those who have perpetuated such attacks. But these actions do not exist in a vacuum.

For instance, order must be maintained at religious sites because the Muslim population refuses to share religious spaces, emphasizing our need to maintain control over places that should be shared. Yet when do we ever “shout out” the intolerance of our neighbors and that religious sites need to be shared?

The money that funds continued missile development and supports terrorist attacks from both Gaza and in Judea and Samaria (“The West Bank”) comes from Qatar and Iran, yet the transfer of money from Qatar is enabled by our own government! Is that not a perfect subject for a new George Orwell novel, following the classic 1984?

We live in a country with very few natural hazards: there is rain in the winter, sun in the summer; typhoons, tornadoes, etc., are practically non-existent. It’s not Mother Nature that we need to fear, but our neighbors – and how we, ourselves enable their behavior.


A number of our rabbis forbid Jews from ascending the Temple Mount for fear of unknowingly stepping on the site of the Holy of Holies and thus committing an act of desecration. But there is no criticism of the thousands of Muslim feet that trod the sacred ground. Are we to believe that only Jewish feet are impure? How odd that the rabbis should end up agreeing with Abu Mazen that the Jews, and only the Jews, pollute the Mount. The extremes, as the expression goes, do meet.

Tel Aviv

Why they call it the blues

Jeff Barak skirts the underlying issue that is the bedrock of Israeli existence in his critique of Blue and White leaders in “Blue and White’s empty threats” (August 12).

This nation is in a magnetic thrall that holds it firmly in attack mode. The underlying violence that pervades Israeli life is used by the arms factories, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his clones to control the nation. Any politician worth his salt understands this. It is the other official language of this country: violence.

The public lurches from killing to killing with a desperate voyeuristic fascination. Each drama commands endless TV clips and in-depth documentaries. Underneath it all is this sick pride that the devastated family and friends profess after each disaster. Do they ever stop to think how their lives are being manipulated by the arms and ammunition factories who line the pockets of the sadistic self-seeking politicians?

The statesmanlike thinkers among them never make the top slots. Making peace and concessions is so passé. Israel has been there and done that and it isn’t lucrative enough for the so-called peacemakers.

Who cares whether we have a unity government or more of what we continue to endure? We the people do not think in terms of peace, so our leaders don’t, either.

If we put a little money into educating our children with other children who are also part of this nation, it could cause a flicker of hope. But it is so much more thrilling to buy more weapons of mass destruction and sit in our bomb shelters and make others sit in theirs.


Extreme moderation

Regarding “The haredim, Israel’s moderates” (August 11), it was commendable on Gedalia Guttentag’s part to publish an article on the fast day of Tisha Be’av trying to paint the haredim in a favorable light. Most of them, like other segments, have areas where they make a positive contribution to society. However, moderation has never been one of their strong points.

Had Deputy Minister of Health Yaakov Litzman been a little bit more moderate in his response to the draft legislation, like his haredi coalition partners, we wouldn’t be going through this awful procedure of two elections that sow division in Israeli society.

A poll published in the haredi weekly Kav Itonut just this last week reported that the respondents said that in the hypothetical case that no haredi parties existed, 26.8% of the haredim would vote Likud, 25.1%(!) Otzma Yehudit, 20.8% URP, 9% Noam.

Moderate indeed!


Some problems do have solutions

Your editorial “Public Performance” (August 11) reminded me of the saying “Two Jews, three opinions.” You’re never going to able to satisfy everybody, so why even try?

The promoters of the Afula event had a simple solution, which they chose to ignore: three seating sections, one for men, one for women, one for couples. Ergo, women who do not wish to sit with strange men – no problem. Men who do not wish to sit with strange women – ditto. Men and women who wish to sit together – three for three.

Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out.

Tzur Yitzchak

‘All My Sons’
“‘Beverly Hills’ is back, ‘Our Boys’ are here...” (Billboard, August 9), demonstrated either enormous ignorance or amazing left-wing bias. The HBO series Our Boys was described as “about the murder of an Arab teen just as war was breaking out in the summer of 2014.”

Excuse me? On what planet does the writer live? Any half-informed idiot (apart from the use of the plural “boys”) should know that this series is about the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens and also incidentally (for PC sake) about the later murder of an Arab teenager.

Has The Jerusalem Post returned to its earlier calling... The Palestine Post?

Petah Tikva

Writer Hannah Brown responds:
The HBO series Our Boys is focused mainly on the kidnapping and murder of Mohammed Abu Khdeir and the police investigation into this crime. It does reference and discuss the murders of the three Jewish boys that preceded the Abu Khdeir murder and the title certainly refers to all four teenagers. The creators of the series have discussed their decision to structure the series this way in interviews. When I wrote the column to which Mr. Koslowe refers, I had not yet seen the series but had read interviews with its creators and talked about the content with the public-relations firm promoting it. Now that I have seen the first five episodes that were released to the press, I can confirm that the series focuses on the ordeal of the Abu Khdeir family, the murderers who targeted this teen and the police investigating this crime.

Nuke it out

In “US, Russia nuke tensions may be even worse than Iran threat” (August 12), Yonah Jeremy Bob writes, “The threat posed by a potential nuclear Iran is no laughing matter. But neither is the escalating threat of a nuclear exchange between the US and Russia.”

The Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) doctrine is still in effect between the US and Russia, but does not apply to Iran, since, as Bernard Lewis warned, “For people with this mindset, MAD is not a constraint; it is an inducement...”

Speaking to an audience of international experts in Sochi last October, Russian President Vladimir Putin said: “The aggressor will have to understand that retaliation is inevitable, that he will be destroyed and that we, as victims of aggression, as martyrs, will go to heaven. They will simply croak because they won’t even have time to repent.”

This may indicate that Putin’s concept of the MAD doctrine differs from the classic Soviet one. Is this just rhetoric or should Putin’s invocation of martyrs be a reason for serious concern?


Xenophobia and carbon footprints

It’s enough to boil your blood.

“Palestinian education needs transformation now” (August 12) accurately outlines the messages of hate in the Palestinian education system and correctly calls for change, but in the never-ending drive for so-called “even-handedness,” they feel that they also must state that some Israelis suffer from xenophobia concerning their Palestinian neighbors and that this must change.

Could be. Xenophobia is defined as “having or showing a dislike of or prejudice against people from other countries.”

When the Gazans stop supporting Hamas and calling for the end of the Jewish state and the Palestinians in the West Bank stop supporting terrorism, making payments to the families of terrorists, etc., any xenophobia will quickly disappear. In the meantime, its hardly xenophobic to dislike the enemies who are committed to killing you – even though they are honest enough to say so.

On another topic, regarding “Art in the time of climate change at Edinburgh Fest” (August 12), this year’s festival is centered around tackling climate change, saving the world from global warming. 450,000 people will attend, including 57 shows about the environment. Some of the shows will be pedal-powered.

This is pathetic. Don’t they see the irony? Imagine the number of airplanes, cars, trains, ferries, ships and buses mobilized to bring this army of “climate worriers” to the festival and then back home. Imagine the tremendous heat carbon generated by this massive movement of people.

The only really climate-friendly approach to save the planet would have been for everybody to stay home and to hold the festival online. That’s the kind of drastic cultural change required.


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