Love of the homeland
In “Lost love of the homeland,” (November 29), Gershon Baskin misinterprets the situation, defining the homeland in terms of the extent to which it accommodates Palestinian intentions.
The Nation State Law defines national institutions in a way that reflects the aspirations of the founding nation – the Jewish people. Of course, the flag is our flag and the language is our language.
Canada has two official languages because there were two founding national groups – the English and French. There is only one founding Israeli national group. Palestinians are not a national group with the right to national self-determination; their goal was to prevent founding of the Jewish state.
Only an Anglican member of the royal family, designated in the line of succession, can be head of state in the UK. That’s about 19 people in total. Talk about discrimination. What is the effect on the civil rights of the rest of UK citizens? None.
Only a native-born American can become president. Impact on the civil rights of all other American citizens? None.
There is no necessary connection between the definition of national institutions and civil rights in the nation. All citizens of the Jewish State are equal under the law.
It’s different in territories administered by the IDF in line with the Fourth Geneva Convention, Articles 64 to 78, which mandate the IDF impose civil rights restrictions necessary to maintain peace and order for the benefit of all residents.
Mr. Baskin, if there are people in the world who abhor the Jewish state, that’s because they reserve a place in their hearts to hate Jews. Your homeland remains a light unto the nations, a bastion of democracy under trying circumstances, a wonder.
Victoria, BC, Canada
The chance of Gershon Baskin saying one positive thing about my beloved homeland is remote.
He says it pains him to live here under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but doesn’t explain why so many young people from affluent societies make aliyah, and why Israel is ranked the 11th happiest country in the world. Where is his recognition of the great achievements in hi-tech, medicine, the economy and foreign policy?
Why is there such an increase in countries who wish to trade with us and enter into political arrangements – including Muslim states?
Concessions that Baskin wishes to see have in the past only left us under attack. Yes, we would all like to live in a utopia where we can build bridges, but Netanyahu has his feet on the ground and knows which direction the enemies want to walk.
It would be elevating for JPOST readers for Baskin to write, for once, something that enhances morale and declares pride in our wonderful country.
One has to wonder how much more of distortion of facts Baskin will provide in his demonization of Netanyahu. Stating that journalists, television personalities, artists and people with a public profile are “afraid to express their opinions freely” is so far from the truth that those who hear these opinions all the time will wonder if the writer lives in an igloo.
Similarly, to blame Netanyahu for abhorrence against Israel around the world makes it sound like an Ehud Barak premiership would create a kumbaya atmosphere at the UN. The UN always voted against Israel before Netanyahu was in power.
Furthermore, to claim that Israel’s borders are closed to those who express dissent makes it sound as though Joint Arab List MKs are not permitted to return from trips abroad – which may be a welcome idea to many but is factually untrue. It is telling that Baskin takes issue with “commitment to the Jewish identity” in the world’s only Jewish country.
If Baskin is at a loss for love for his homeland, perhaps he can enlighten us with how his friends in Gaza (and almost all Arab countries) deal with human rights activists who support peace with Israel, freedom of expression, etc. As far as I recall, he has never addressed those issues and probably never will.JERRY GLAZER
Airing all opinions
Regarding “Undermining Israel’s digital resistance” (November 29), writers Manor and Thewlis should look at the situation in the UK and US before casting stones at Israel. Except for Israel, the West is consumed by political correctness; conservative or pro-Israel views are stifled on campus and in the media. Perhaps that why Israelis have a strong reaction to left-wing opinions here and perhaps overcompensate.
It must be said that The Jerusalem Post
gives ample space across the board to all opinions – even when many readers would prefer otherwise.STEVE KRAMER
Confront UN hypocrisy
In the same issue of the Post (November 30), it was reported that the UN General Assembly is set to pass the harshest vote ever against Israel’s heritage and security (“UNGA to disavow Jewish ties to J’lem.”) Yet we read also that the UN’s International Search and Rescue Advisory Group has “accepted” Israel as a member (“Army’s national search and rescue unit joins prestigious UN relief body”). What, a division of the reviled Israeli army?
Israeli search and rescue groups are perhaps the most expert, prompt and devoted of their kind in the world. For years they have been willing to fly anywhere in the world to save lives.
However, this sacrifice has never resulted in open support for Israel in UN voting.
I suggest that we dispense with the dubious honor of accepting membership in this “prestigious” UN relief body, and I hope that our excellent and pro-active ambassador, Danny Danon, as well as America’s Nikki Haley will explain why. CAROL CLAPSADDLE
Yazidi genocide, Israeli response
Further to the articles by MK Ksenia Svetlova and Seth Frantzman (November 27) about the Yazidi genocide at the hands of Islamic State and the recent failure of the Knesset to pass Svetlova’s bill that would have put Israel on record recognizing August 3 as the international day of remembrance of this atrocity, there several things Israelis can do to compensate for the moral fecklessness of the governing coalition on this issue.
They can 1) stand with others on August 3 to commemorate the awful victimhood of the Yazidi people; 2) go to www.yazda.org to learn about the past and ongoing suffering of the Yazidis and about current efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice; and 3) donate on this site to help the surviving Yazidi community which, as Frantzman makes clear, remains highly vulnerable and at risk.BRUCE WARSHAVSKY
Cost of a Gaza war
Regarding “The costs of a Gaza-Israel rocket war” (November 28), Professor Armstrong estimates the economic cost to Israel of the next war with Gaza at $6.3 billion. For the (claimed) population of two million inhabitants of the Gaza strip, this amounts to $3,150 per each man, woman and child. The total for a family, which on the average there has seven children, is $28,350 – a huge amount by local standards.
Considering that for many, life in Gaza is less than pleasant, surely some inhabitants must be longing for a better life. Why not offer $30,000 per family to emigrate from Gaza to a land distant from Israel e.g. Sweden, Oman, Indonesia, Malaysia, etc? Of course, the process would have to be carefully administered.
I hazard a guess that they would be many takers. In this way, pressure will be considerably reduced postponing the next conflict, resulting in a better life for Gazans and Israelis, at the same or lesser economic cost and without the loss of life on either side. Who knows, it may even nearly empty the strip.
Our leaders have been looking for different ways of coping with the Gaza conflict; why not try this? There is nothing to lose and conceivably a great deal to gain.ALFRED INSELBERG
Professor, Tel Aviv University
Praise for the PM
In “The prime minister is treating us as morons” (November 29), Isi Leibler, uncharacteristically, is both banging the drums of war and scaremongering to boot.
He freely admits he is “no military expert;” nor am I. Thankfully, we don’t need to be, as we have possibly the most experienced, courageous and moral military personnel in the world.
We have a prime minister who acts on our behalf and, as recently calmly demonstrated, is not drawn into initiating an action because a terrorist organization was spoiling for a fight, which if currently embarked upon would have presented us with similar problems and a no-win end game. I take major umbrage in the suggestion that this prime minister is treating us as morons. Far from it. There is always going to be information we are not privy to. The enemies at our borders are financed and supported by at least one major third party; I believe this prime minister will initiate action against our enemies on our own timeline when and if required.
Wars are always unpredictable. Cool heads must prevail. Careless talk, likewise, should be heavily frowned upon.STEPHEN VISHNICK
Regarding “Bibi, King of Israel” (November 27), can Israel remain strong and stable after Netanyahu? No one can deny that Israel abounds with great people and thinkers, but the whole Middle
East trusts Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He has been consistent, faithful and wise beyond expectations.
Over the years, fickle people have tried with stupid excuses to get the better of him; they have always been crushed. He ranks with former deputy prime minister Abba Eban, the wonderful prime minister Golda Meir, and a long list of other great Jewish personalities.
Rather than waste the time of this outstanding gentleman, let’s let him go ahead and do his best for his country that he loves so much. If we let him go, we will sink in the dark ages again.
In her November 28 letter, I. Gendelman states, “This area was contested after the cessation of the British Mandate.”
Not so. When the British Mandate ended, sovereignty over all of Palestine, including the 70% that today is the Kingdom of Jordan, belonged to the Jewish people. One need only read the League of Nations/UN Mandate for Palestine to know that Israel holds title to the so-called West Bank, which Jordan held illegally until 1967. No binding UN resolution has ever changed that legal document. There is, and never was, a Palestinian nation, so sovereignty remained with Israel. It is neither occupied nor disputed territory. Sovereignty does not mean Israeli law automatically covers that area. That comes only with annexation, which remains to be decided.
It is incredible that the Education Ministry has not yet entered the Mandate for Palestine in the school curriculum and that our government never uses this legal basis for our rights to the West Bank instead endorsing endorse its disputed status. It would have an immense salutary effect on the next generation, as there would be less reason for the Right and Left to condemn each other. All that would remain is how to solve the problem of the almost two million Arabs on our sovereign soil who demand nothing less than the dismantling of the Jewish state and the creation of a country called Palestine that will not tolerate a single Jew on its land, as is demonstrated both in Gaza and the PA.
It is enlightening to study the Koran and understand what the three stages of taking over land from “unbelievers” entails.
Baskin’s cynicism and one-sidedness reflect the so-called liberal Israeli society. Does the Right love the land and people of Israel less than they do? Do liberals continue to love Israel even though it does not conform to their ideals? Did the Right debase Israeli governments when the Left was in power for so many years?
I see Palestinian Israelis working in Israel, receiving government benefits in Israel, owning land in Israel, shopping in safely in Israel, receiving and giving health care, and on occasion, committing violent crimes against the people, government and land of Israel. I feel very comfortable with how law-abiding Palestinian Israelis are treated.
Neither the Right nor the Left are perfect; neither are Palestinian Israelis. However, ask Palestinian Israelis where they feel secure and under which government they prefer to live. If they answer honestly, it will be Israel, even with the Right in power. Ask many non-Israeli Palestinians the same question and I would think you would get the same answer.SAM ROSENBLUM
In “Ocasio-Cortez compares migrant caravan to Jews fleeing Nazi Europe” (November 28), the Democratic representative-elect’s likening of the migrant caravan in Mexico with the Holocaust is a distortion of history. However difficult their lives and legitimate their desire to seek refuge, the Central American migrants are not fleeing industrialized mass murder in gas chambers or being shot in pits’ like in eastern Europe. Although it may be tempting to compare more recent genocides such as Rwanda with the Holocaust, we should keep in mind noted Yad Vashem scholar of Prof. Yehuda Bauer’s description of the Holocaust as “unprecedented” and as such a unique event in history to which other events may be compared but not equated. To equate the caravan with the Jews fleeing Europe is to trivialize the tragedy of the Holocaust and ultimately may contribute to Holocaust denial.MARION REISS
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