August 4, 2019: AOC: All-Out Crazy

Readers of the Jerusalem Post have their say.

August 4, 2019 22:07

Letters. (photo credit: PIXABAY)

AOC: All-Out Crazy

We knew it had to come: “AOC has a lot to say about Israel,” August 1). Of course, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has become an instant expert in the Palestinian/Israeli conflict, but falls short of offering any solutions. She agreed with radio host Ebdo Darden that the “occupation” is “very, very criminal.” She expresses the opinion that for Israelis this is a generational issue, but of course is not able to substantiate that opinion. To my mind, this is far from the situation. The next generation of Israelis is highly unlikely to find a change of mind in the largely intransigent Palestinian population.

She then sanctions rioting by our enemies (who gave her that right?). To the majority of Palestinians this is taken to be a pass to kill innocent Jews. Her naivety will encourage the next generation of “useful idiots” who reward the Palestinians for holding out for the total destruction of Israel.

We urge her to stay at home, literally and figuratively, where I’m sure she can occupy herself.


Blame Canada

Regarding “Canada court: West Bank wine ‘not made in Israel’” (July 30), the ruling of the Canadian federal court that wine originating from Judea and Samaria cannot be labeled as a product made in Israel is in keeping with Canada’s poor record of governmental decisions regarding Jews. In 1939, for example, Canada turned away the MS St. Louis with 908 Jewish refugees on board. It went back to Europe, where 254 died in concentration camps. To Canada’s everlasting shame, that country so vast in size accepted a mere 5,000 Jewish refugees during the 1930s and 1940s in a climate of widespread anti-semitism.

So no one is surprised at this latest decision in the Canadian court. To mis-quote the late great Shakespeare, “A wine by any other origin would taste as sweet.”

Mevasseret Ziyyon

Transmitting values to our kids

In recent weeks, there have been articles and letters calling for parental responsibility for child safety in locked cars, in monitoring daycare centers, etc., and “Absolved from charges but not societal scorn” (August 2) highlights another area that bears examination: a child’s moral and ethical development.

This could start as early as elementary school, where children should understand the importance of the learning environment and respect for teachers, to the inhumanity of bullying, and continue to the question at hand, the respect for both the opposite sex and for themselves in terms of their emotional and social maturation.

The donning of kipot by some of the newly released Israeli boys accused of sexual assault during questionable sexual activities in Cyprus, is an oxymoron, since Jewish philosophy emphasizes the sanctity of the relationship between man and woman, husband and wife.

It is understandable that the parents of these young boys were happy to see them at the airport, but where were the parents when their children flew out of the same airport weeks before? What questions did they ask of their children and what guidelines did they offer then? It is up to parents, who represent the values of society, to model the behavior they would like to see of their progeny, and it is the responsibility of society to transmit its values to the young in all situations.

Beit Shemesh

While Israeli youth were giving the police in Cyprus extra work and the newspapers something to write about, it should be noted that other Israeli youth were competing with success in the European Junior Swimming Championships and the European Junior Athletics Championships, winning medals – including gold medals!

Unfortunately, it was the Israeli youth in Cyprus who received the “publicity.”


Jerusalem not holy to them

In “Shabbat in Jerusalem” (August 4) we are told that although Israel is a Jewish state, there are all types of Jews here – those that uphold Jewish laws and those who do not. What the non-observant do in their private lives is their business, but they are not entitled to expect the Laws of kashrut and the sanctity of Shabbat to change for them. 
Non-Jews here have the right to practice what they believe. However, having chosen to live in the Jewish Land, they need to come to terms with our ways – not the other way around. One either accepts us as we are (or should be) or goes elsewhere There should be no events held on Shabbat that infringe on the specialness of the day; therefore it was very much in order for the Jerusalem Baroque Orchestra’s concert to be canceled. A country proud of its Jewish heritage needn’t make excuses.

As for the claim that Jerusalem is holy to three religions, it is really holy to only one. Jews have prayed to return for over 2,000 years. The fact that Jesus, who was born and died a Jew, lived here does not entitle Christianity to make claims to it and the belief that Mohammad may have tethered a horse somewhere in the vicinity of the Temple Mount, the Jewish holiest site does not entitle Islam to a claim. Those people who wish for non-kosher food and to make Shabbat a day like any other, got off at the wrong stop. 

This is not and was never meant to be a country like all others. We should be proud to be different because we are different.


“Jerusalem is a city that belongs to all of its residents.” Nicely said. Each group should be respectful of each other’s practices and beliefs. Just as there was room for a gay parade in Jerusalem supported by thousands – many not residents – so, too make room for Shabbat also supported by thousands, mostly residents. The accommodation of scheduling around Shabbat is a basic requirement for mutual respect of each other’s practices. Your newspaper recognizes this distinction by your own policy of “Published daily except Saturday, in Jerusalem.”

Ramat Beit Shemesh

Shaffir’s smears

“Election season” (August 2) criticizes Transportation Minister Bezalel Smotrich for his harsh ad hominum attack on MK Stav Shaffir for words she wrote on Twitter after a LGBTQ teen was stabbed in Tel Aviv. While you present Smotrich’s response in great detail you do not quote Shaffir’s original tweet stating only that she blamed the religious Right for the stabbing. Moreover, your report is disingenuous as you omit to mention that the teen is an Arab from Tamra, apparently stabbed by his brothers who objected to his alternative life style. The teen is hopefully now on the road to recovery.

I have looked at Shaffir’s tweet. She did not mention the religious Right in so many words, but wrote that “the knife that stabbed the 16-year-old teen this week is the same knife that stabbed Maia in 2018, the same knife that stabbed Shira to death at the Pride Parade, the same hate that murdered Nir and Liz at the Bar Noar [gay youth club] in Tel Aviv, a hatred incited by rabbis, cabinet ministers and members of Knesset, so that gays cannot be feel safe anywhere in Israel.”

Clearly, the brothers from Tamra were not influenced by anything rabbis or Jewish religious members of Knesset may have said. This was an internal Arab affair. Neither can any of the other incidents she refers to be traced to language used by rabbis, cabinet ministers or members of Knesset. The identity of the murderer or murderers from the Bar Noar has never been discovered. If Smotrich’s response is intemperate, what is one to say about Shaffir’s smears and false accusations? Perhaps in this election season she should also restrain her rhetoric?

This is not the first time you have quoted Smotrich’s words out of context.


Beyond Baskin’s platitudes

Gershon Baskin speaks of a Palestinian state having a “Jewish minority in the State of Palestine” (August 1). Will this minority be under “occupation?” Can they fight for their own state at the UN? How can they have a life of equality in all respects when the leadership has declared that the state has to be Jew-free? Ethnic cleansing?

Will they have the same freedoms as the Arab minority in Israel with the ability to have their own political party, medical care and freedom of speech? What guarantees are there that the conditions of Jewish minority freedom are met? After all, in Gaza, the guarantees were never met. How would the penalties be imposed if they weren’t?

If Hamas is a part of this state, how do we know that they will not take over and all guarantees would be declared null and void?

I am sure readers would like to read about the hard-nosed practicalities relating to the noble idealism he expresses.


Parking and the Negev

There is a tendency to extrapolate unfortunate incidents into a wide-ranging discussion and interpretation of Israel’s failings. In “Murder in the heartland” (August 2), Amotz Asa-El partially blames of the recent parking lot murder on Israel’s coastline population density. He wants to transfer millions of people to the sparsely populated Negev in the spirit of Ben-Gurion’s vision. This will lead to fewer murders and easier parking!

Unfortunately, Asa-El ignores basic psychological urges: 1) to live in densely populated areas for various cultural and economic reasons and 2) to live near the sea, oceans, lakes and rivers.

 In the United States, 55 to 60% of Americans now live in 772 counties adjacent to the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, the Gulf of Mexico and the Great Lakes. The Washington DC-based Population Reference Bureau reports that between 1960 and 1990, the coastal population density in the United States increased from an average of 275 to nearly 400 people per square kilometer. In 1990, the most crowded coastline in the United States, from Boston through New York and Philadelphia to Baltimore and Washington DC, had over 2,500 people per square mile and it is steadily growing. Nobody seems to really want to live in Stillwater, Oklahoma even though parking spaces are readily available. In China 60% of the population lives in coastal megacities.

It is a complicated problem. Millions of people living in the Negev between Beersheba and Eilat is not going to happen and is not the solution.


Kidnapping scandals

In “Yemenite, Mizrahi, and Balkan families to protest alleged 1950s kidnappings” (July 31), mention is made of a committee established by Rabbi Uzi Meshulam, set up to investigate this scandal. The attempt by this committee to publish its findings was prevented by a gag order. In a democratic society, information should not be arbitrarily suppressed. There should be a regulation requiring the publication of the reasons for a court’s issuing a gag order. Such a regulation should exclude “in the public interest” – a cover-up formula – as a reason, unless accompanied by a detailed explanation of why the suppression was necessary, in the public interest. In the case of the Rabbi Meshulam committee’s report, it is obvious that the gag order serves only to hide governmental misdeeds or lack of action in the kidnappings scandal. May I suggest a JP editorial on this subject?

Tel Aviv

Rockin’ Ron Dermer

In “In America, Lapid would see that Ron Delmer is a rock star” (July 30), Shmuley Boteach rightly sings the praises of Israel’s ambassador to the US Ron Dermer and admonishes Yair Lapid for his overt criticism of one of Israel’s most eloquent defenders on the world stage.

However, in this era of divisive politics where the friend and confidante of my political enemy is automatically my enemy, this instance is especially detrimental and destabilizing and should be ignored as merely corrosive politicking of the worst and most disruptive kind.

Tel Aviv

Thank you, Shmuley Boteach, for the excellent article “In America, Lapid would see that Ron Dermer is a rock star.” When I read the words of Yair Lapid in his senseless tirade against Ron Dermer I really felt Yair Lapid had certainly ‘lost the plot’ and needed to take a good long rest away from the political scene.

I have taken a keen interest in the career of Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer for many years. He is an outstanding defender of the State of Israel with outstanding knowledge, great wisdom for such a young man and unbelievable courage.

I admire enormously his determination as a young man, with a family of several children, not to be tempted by the many millions he could be making by selling his own image. I know that Boteach is right because I have met American Christians visiting Israel and staying in Netanya and they all want to talk about Ron Dermer, whom they adore.

It would be a catastrophic error to replace him at this time in our history Yair Lapid should choose another straw to grasp if he wants more votes and not attack a fantastic loyal, devoted young man who besides all his great skills is lucky to even have “film star” looks, if not “rock star” looks.


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