December 19, 2016: Truly embarrassing

Readers respond to the latest Jerusalem Post articles.

December 18, 2016 21:26

Envelope. (photo credit: ING IMAGE/ASAP)

Truly embarrassing

I was hoping that the citizens (yes, citizens, not settlers) of Amona would accept the compromise devised by Bayit Yehudi party head Naftali Bennett, “IDF ready for clashes,” December 16.

But after reading some of their comments, I fully understood their hesitation.

The memory of the evacuation of Gush Katif still burns in the hearts and minds of a large majority in this country, and the fact is that after more than a decade many of the former residents of the bloc are still unsettled and in dire straits – despite all the government promises.

The people of Amona did not want to take that risk.

This brings me to the Supreme Court. We scream against antisemitism around the world, but perhaps we should first look at what is taking place here at home.

Why was the evacuation of Gush Katif initially set to take place on the saddest day in the Jewish calendar, Tisha Be’av (and then hurriedly postponed for a day)? And why was the evacuation of Amona set for the first day of Hanukka? Even if you are a secular Israeli, don’t you understand that our right to even be here is because of our Jewish religion? Everyone has the right to personally observe or not observe – they do not have to answer to me or anyone else, except the L-rd above.

But what about the public face being shown to the world? Why should they respect us if we have no respect for our own traditions.

Truly embarrassing!

Petah Tikva

Wrong protocol

Caroline Glick in “A Trumpian Israeli initiative,” Observations, December 16, is wrong about America’s reaction to the Golan Heights law, and she utterly mischaracterized prime minister Menachem Begin’s response to the reaction.

Thirty-five years ago, on December 18, 1981, just four days after the Knesset incorporated the Golan Heights into Israel, the US suspended the MoU on Strategic Cooperation as punishment for the law. President Ronald Reagan’s America reacted to the law by rejecting Israel as a strategic partner in the battle against global communism. Out popped the centerpiece of the entire neo-conservative world view.

In response to such brutal treatment, Begin publicly excoriated the Reagan administration, charging it with treating Israel as a vassal state and a banana republic. Whatever Begin intended to accomplish with his fierce public rebuke of Reagan and his administration, the following is certain: Menachem Begin was not operating according to the “protocol” of “it’s better to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission.”

How these errors and distortions impinge upon Ms. Glick’s understanding of Donald Trump’s election is an important matter that, first and foremost, she ought to address.


Wrong choice

From the December 18 report “Trump’s choice as Israel envoy: J’lem is the capital,” it’s clear the emperor really has no clothes.

America’s president-elect has abandoned all pretense of a negotiated, two-state peace settlement with his nomination for ambassador to Israel, David Friedman.

Friedman leads a tax-deductible fund donating billions of dollars annually to a settlement, its sprawling clutter of outposts, its media outlet that often propagates misleading information and out-right false news.

He advocates a unified, Jewish- only Jerusalem as home to the American Embassy. He supports/ encourages continued settlement expansion and appropriation of Palestinian-owned land.

The nominee is on-record for considering Jews (like me) “worse than kapos [prisoners in Nazi camps who were assigned to supervise forced labor or carry out administrative tasks]” and denying the existence of Palestinians.

He has spun and broadcast conspiracy theories and lies about the political views of those he considers enemies and he is also known for collaborating with Evangelical notables and right-wing Jews and Israelis who advocate one state – Jews-only – between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River.

As an American, I’m embarrassed.

As a Jew, I’m ashamed. I see nothing in these views or this nomination that represents either America or Judaism as I know it.

O’Connor, ACT, Australia

Bygone democracy

It is sad and frightening that the United States’ ambassador nominee to the State of Israel, David Friedman, is so arrogant, self-righteous, dogmatic and intolerant in his views that he feels compelled to demonize and denigrate, among others, a majority from his own faith who do not agree with his views.

Paraphrasing Robert F. Kennedy: A man of this ilk does not rely on persuasion, or the worth of his idea, but rather he would deny to others the very freedom of opinion or of dissent which he so stridently demands for himself.

Adolf Hitler put it more succinctly when he espoused that his ideology was intolerant... and peremptory demands... the complete transformation of public life to his ideas.

Where has tolerance, freedom of discourse without retribution and the basic precepts of democracy gone?

Dallas, Texas

Syrian kinder

It occurred to me that it would be very positive on several levels if Israel would consider allowing a “Kindertransport” arrangement for the children experiencing the appalling suffering in Syria.

My own views are fairly hawkish on security issues, and I fully appreciate the point made by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, when he stated last year that Israel lacks the demographic and geographic depth to step up to the line.

However, I would hope that since we in Israel do genuinely care about humanitarian issues, we would be prepared to get involved, in the case of children who pose zero threat to us.

Secondly, but importantly, this is an incredible public relations opportunity, just sitting there, waiting to be picked up by Israel.

Imagine what the world will say.

Thirdly, this may be a way to bring about a situation whereby thousands of young Arabs will have warm feelings toward Israel.

Good deeds are remembered for many years.

Sir Nicholas Winton’s heroic work whereby he brought young Jewish children to England to stay with foster families is still being celebrated more than 75 years later.

Would Israeli families be willing to provide a home for a Syrian child? I would hope so.

Admittedly they speak a different language and belong to a different religion, but that was also the case when non-Jewish English families fostered Jewish child refugees.

Those kind families probably needed to overcome some inhibitions, but they did what was needed.

It is my fervent hope that this letter prompts some very serious discussion and hopefully action on this topic.

Readers interested in helping out may send a private message to the letter-writer at


Kudos to R. Sanders of Jerusalem for pointing out a calendrical error in political correspondent Gil Hoffman’s Frontlines report on December 9, “Political preparations for Christmukkamona.”

The last time the first night of Hanukka fell on Christmas Day was 2005 and not in 2011 as stated. On Christmas Day 2011, Jews around the world lit the sixth candle of the holiday of lights.

In addition, the occurrence of the first Hanukka candle being lit on Christmas Day only happened three times in the past 100 years. Mistakenly reported, Hanukka in 1918 began at nightfall on November 28.

The Post regrets the error.

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