Lost in translation
Regarding “The English University of Jerusalem?” (December 16), the Hebrew University has a perfect right to decide what the language of instruction will be, which national anthem to play or not to play, and whether or not to support the BDS movement. Similarly, the taxpayer has the right to decide to which universities it wishes to give financial benefits and which it does not wish to support.
Academic and cultural freedom mean that these bodies have the right to spit in the face of the taxpayer, but does not include their right to put their hand into the taxpayer’s pocket in order to do so.
The current controversy in the Hebrew University is a difficult issue with no perfect solution. One compromise is to keep the language of instruction as Hebrew in the BA degrees. Sounds reasonable. However, even in BA degrees in this digital age, many instructors will avail themselves of PowerPoint presentations in at least part of their lectures, and this will only increase over the years. (Try to translate “PowerPoint” to Hebrew.)
Social activists raised a valid concern that instruction in English would further dash the hopes and ability of the periphery and the disadvantaged to attend university. This bears some similarity of the age-old issue “to feed the poor or to teach them a vocation” – in other words, teach in Hebrew or force them to master English.YIGAL HOROWITZ
Professor Emeritus of Radiation Physics
BeershebaIn your dreams
As someone who follows what the Arab leaders say to their constituents in Arabic, and what the imams preach on Fridays in the mosques in Israel and worldwide, I feel that the three points mentioned in the article (“An alternative strategy for Israel in Gaza,” December 14 ) are devoid of all reality.
1) A robust ceasefire understanding: How many times have we tried that and with what results? Rockets directed to every town in the South; kites with bombs and incendiary devices; schoolchildren bused paid to riot and attack the IDF patrols on the border.
2) A comprehensive Gaza rehabilitation: We know that money sent by Europeans and others to rehabilitate Gaza goes to terror tunnels; to Hamas leaders; to UNRWA schools that teach hatred; and to convicted terrorists and their families.
3) Restoration of PA management of the Gaza Strip: Who isn’t aware of the problems the PA is having as factions argue over who will lead them when Abbas resigns/expires; the rising power of Hamas in the West Bank; and the non-existent power of the PA in the Gaza Strip where its supporters are lucky to be jailed and tortured instead of murdered.
Every Israeli dreams of peace, but even dreamers cannot ignore reality.
Regarding “The West Bank generals speak” (December 14), these generals apparently believe that we should build a wall between us and the Arabs and give them a state and then we will live with a minimum of attacks by them.
The generals suppose that the difficulties we have with the Arabs have something to do with land. Perhaps they are so focused on Israel that they don’t see the big picture.
The Arabs have rejected every offer of a state: the Peel Commission, UN partition and every subsequent offer by Israel have all been rejected. Every war the Arabs started with Israel was not for land, but to destroy (in their words annihilate) Israel and to kill Jews, period.
If the generals believe that completing the separation barrier will deter Arabs, then they did not learn much during their years of service. Didn’t the Gaza evacuation teach them anything?
Reflect on all the attacks on non-Muslim countries from 9/11 through Europe, Africa, Asia... what grievances do Islamists have with these countries? Why are more than 1,000 murdered every month on the Allah altar?
Once men thought the answer to Nazi ideology was appeasement. It didn’t work. Too late, they learned that no amount of pretending would obviate the need to confront and fight the evil. All the sacrifices the West makes to placate Islam are worthless. It is no accident that Jews and other “infidels” are being killed by Muslims. They have been raised to do this.
Instead of developing means to reduce and eliminate the Islamic threat, these generals suggest surrendering to that threat. We are kicking the can down the road until Islam can overwhelm us. Then we will pray to Allah for their kindness.
All our measures must be defensive to satisfy the Left – a sure road to defeat. Future generations of Arabs and Jews will pay a far heavier price for peace because we fail to act decisively today.PHILIP BRIEFF
I read the article written by people who claim to be “Commanders for Israel’s Security.” As a grandmother of army age boys, I am alarmed. As a student of history, I am appalled.
They mentioned we should get “strict adherence to the ceasefire.” Like now? We still have to deal with violent armed riots every Friday.
They say that Hamas would have to yield control to the PA, including giving up their arms. Who is going to make them?
But the worst part was the thought of a “comprehensive Gaza rehabilitation.” Every couple of months or so somebody comes up with an “updated” form of the Marshall Plan, which came with the end of World War II. With one glaring omission. Europe also needed to be rehabilitated at that time. The civilians – many of them former Nazis or their supporters – were starving and homeless. But people forget that before the Marshall Plan came into effect, the Nazis had been defeated, bombed to smithereens. In other words, for peace and rehabilitation to work, the enemy has to see with his own eyes that he had spectacularly lost.
My late mother used to say, “Only a genius could be so stupid.” I wonder if she would have said the same thing about these commanders.
I am glad that they are retired.THELMA JACOBSON
The “Commanders for Israel’s security” have the same slant on an old theme: “When you can’t beat them; appease them!” The whole premise of their argument is based on the supposition that Hamas leaders Haniya and Sinwar can and should be persuaded to allow Abbas and his PLO to once again take over control of Gaza! Should that not be possible, “we should shower Gaza with more monetary and other gifts – and when they have nice jobs and housing – for sure that will moderate their behavior.”
Really? Haven’t we tried that over and over again with exactly the opposite result? After they got $15 million, they shot 400 rockets into the Eshkol region!
I suggest the following: After every rocket barrage, incendiary balloon attack or rushing the border fence, cut off water, electricity, food, fuel, etc. Only after a full week of quiet allow these in again – and to blazes with the negative media response. Let’s see how that works. Maybe we’ll see the overthrow of the whole Hamas edifice by the Gazans themselves.
MICHA’EL S BLOCH
Killing Jews isn’t news
Recently, a gunman shot a group of innocent people in Israel; the next week a gunman shot a group of innocent people in Strasbourg.
Both atrocities were perpetrated by Arab terrorists.
The event in Israel was not worthy of attention in the international media; the event in Strasbourg was highlighted in agonizing detail on BBC, CNN, etc.
Few realize that Strasbourg sits on German land that was brutally occupied through an act of war. In 1944, French soldiers took back the city from Hitler – in exactly the same manner that Israel took back the Golan Heights and Jerusalem from Hitler’s ally two decades later.
Ironically, Strasbourg is home to the Council of Europe, the European Court of Human Rights, the European Parliament and the International Institute of Human Rights. A hypocritical European Community sits in these buildings and smugly condemns an Israeli “occupation” of its own homeland that carries at least the same authority that they enjoy... on the occupied west bank of the Rhine River!STEVE BERGER
Over the Hill
Regarding “Lamont Hill can keep teaching job, says Temple U,” (December 14), as a two-time Temple University alumnus who taught for more than 20 years at the City University of New York and at Yeshiva University, I, along with many of my fellow alumni, have been following the developments regarding how Temple University is dealing with Marc Lamont Hill and his anti-Israel public comments.
Many Temple students and alumni, myself included, believe that the Temple University administration has grown too insouciant of a campus environment that has come to facilitate anti-Jewish utterances and physical violence against Jewish students, in ways that Temple would not tolerate if directed against members of other groups.
While it is certainly appropriate for Temple to honor Prof. Hill’s free expression rights, Temple greatly needs to protect the rights – and Personal safety – of its Jewish constituency.
KALMAN H. RYESKY
Returnees to the homeland
Regarding “Settlers to rally today to demand better security along Area C roads” (December 16), those who reclaim and return to their own property that has been stolen by others should be called resettlers, returnees or restorers. Using the term “settler” in all media is a negative half-truth that can be termed a lie.
If Abram Leon Sachar’s 1930 warning about Nazism, inter alia, had been heeded, the Holocaust might have been deterred. Islamic terrorism today seeks our annihilation again.
The Jerusalem Post
should lead everyone to commend the return and restoration of our ancient homeland.ESTER ZEITLIN
Regarding “NGO: Over 1 million Israeli children in poverty” (December 14), it is both depressing and infuriating to see the photo accompanying this article which shows a child rummaging in garbage dumpster looking for food.
We support a population that feeds at the public trough while not contributing to our national security or economic well-being because they believe their way of life entitles them to be taken care of by others.
How can we justify this situation?SHEBA F. SKIRBALL
Protea Hills, Shoresh
Janice Gaines (Letters, 12 December) is spot on. It is as if English-speaking olim have been shoved to the bottom of the queue.
I am used to the traditional system of depositing checks into my account using a bank teller. Yet now advanced banks, like the loss-making Israel Discount Bank, have done away with this proven method without advising the customers.
To deposit checks into an account, one first has to fill out all the check details on a special envelope including the payees’ bank details. All of this was a semi-automatic process service provided by the tellers. Effectively, the customer is now doing the work of the teller and having to pay the bank for the privilege.
Meanwhile the tenured staff can go to their clubhouse, the bank branch premises are undergoing extensive expensive renovations that are still not complete after many months, and in the disarray, the bank staff is lethargic about helping English-speaking customers.SID LEVINE
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