Sir, – It was extremely upsetting to see “AP report: Over 60% of Protective Edge casualties in Gaza air strikes were civilians” as a headline on Page 2 of the February 15 Jerusalem Post. This erroneous article about air strikes on Gaza homes, posted by the AP and then shared by JTA, is not true.
In response to this irresponsible “reporting,” the respected journalist Richard Behar, on the website Israellycool, wrote that the January report of the Meir Amit Intelligence and Information Center “announced that 1,600 of the 2,140 Gazans who were killed have been identified as such: 55% are combatants, and 45% non-combatants.” The Jerusalem Post also published these carefully checked statistics, as opposed to the irresponsible AP figures originating from Hamas sources.
“Why did this matter?” Behar asks. “Because every time a major media outlet reported that ‘a majority’ or ‘a vast majority’ or the ‘overwhelming number’ of casualties were civilians, it reverberated around the globe like a missile – fueling anti-Israel and general anti-Semitic sentiment (and violence against Jews in Europe and elsewhere).”
Sadly, Behar seems to be all too correct.
Sir, – I am very upset over “UK artists to boycott Israel” (News in Brief, February 15) because the majority of the artists are either little known or of dubious background, possibly supporters of radical Islam.
The Jerusalem Post plays a very important role in presenting Israel’s image as fairly and justly as possible. It seems to me that serious vetting should be undertaken regarding people being quoted, surveyed or cited.YOEL NITZARIM
Sir, – I suggest our government immediately respond with an advert in The Guardian. It should declare Mike Leigh, Roger Waters and the other signatories persona non grata to “play music, accept awards, attend exhibitions, festivals or conferences, run master classes or workshops” until they show respect for Israel, a country constantly seeking peace with its Palestinian neighbors – whose leaders continue to reward us with calls for our destruction.JACKIE ALTMAN
Sir, – The cutting off by 700 British artists of further cultural ties with Israel prompts the following possible responses: • Gee, no more recitals in Netanya or readings in Herzliya or workshops in Tel Aviv? We’re so crushed. How could you? • So you’re planning to stay out of the lives of Israelis? What could be a nicer present? • We’re sorry you feel that way but we wouldn’t dream of trying to change your narrow, closed minds. As our grandparents would say, go in good health.
(Actually, we wish you everything you wish us. And more!) British artists, listen up! Would calling you smug, self-righteous, willfully-blind, hypocritical bigots be too mild? Perhaps it would.JACOB SHERMAN
Sir, – I watch Family Show and Rising Star. We have tremendous talent here in Israel, so UK artists, if you don’t want to come, we can manage without you.BELLA FIELDING
Netanya Glick nails it
Sir, – Once again, Caroline B. Glick brilliantly nails it. “Mainstreaming Jew hatred in America” (Column One, February 15) accurately describes President Barack Obama’s treatment of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as “shabby and slanderous.”
Whether Obama’s repeated juvenile behavior is inspired by a dislike for Mr. Netanyahu or perhaps by an intense jealousy, it is disturbing and appalling. It makes one think of a schoolyard bully who gets more aggressive when his target stands up to him, as Mr. Netanyahu does, always like a true statesman, for the sake of the nation and people he represents.
Unfortunately, Obama’s reluctance to voice (much less take a clear and strong stand against) the jihadist threat Israel faces does a great disservice to Jewish people everywhere and might even lead the misguided to justifying deplorable acts of anti-Semitism.
What is so perplexing is the fact that some Jewish individuals and organizations continue to fund/support/vote for Obama and like-minded Democrats. Is it naive to wonder why party loyalty is more important than taking a stand for their own? If that’s the case, shame on them.LINDA SLOBODIAN
Sir, – The article “In Japan, the Holocaust provides a lesson in dangers of nationalism” (February 12) by Cnaan Lipshiz was very heartening, especially to read about the support given to Israel by the Education Center in Fukuyama.
However, when mentioning its admirable theater’s group preparation for its “first international tour in nine years,” I must draw the writer’s attention to the fact that the group was here some months ago, performing for us in Yiddish and Hebrew. It received a standing ovation from the audience! JOY COLLINS Tel Mond Gun control Sir, – In his February 2 letter “Armed nation,” reader Fred Crown-Tamir expresses the desire that Israeli citizens be given easier access to hand guns.
An article that appeared in the Jewish Daily Forward two years ago (“Israel has Fewer Guns, Fewer Deaths than US,” February 11, 2013) presented the following statistics: civilian firearms per 100 people: US – 88.8, Israel – 7.3; gun deaths per 100,000 people: US – 10.3, Israel – 1.6; gun homicides per 100,000 people: US – 3.1, Israel – 0.94.
The Foreign Ministry reports that since Sept 2000, 1,244 people were killed in Israel by terrorist actions within and beyond the Green Line (not counting soldiers in combat). This comes to an average of 89 terror fatalities per year.
There have been several reported incidents in which a terrorist was shot by a passerby, but only after the damage had been done. The only event I can recall where an armed civilian saved himself was during a 1979 Nahariya attack, when a man shot dead a terrorist who broke into his apartment.
To protect yourself while walking in Tel Aviv, you would have to have your gun in hand, loaded and cocked, while you stalked down the street looking warily in every direction, like point man in a patrol.
The bottom line is that the odds of stopping a terror attack with a hand gun are very low, whereas the more guns there are, the chances of getting killed by a gun go up. The conclusion: More guns mean more dead people, not greater safety.TREVOR DAVIS
Look who failed
Sir, – One cannot help but be astonished at the assertion by Isaac Herzog that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed in his efforts to mobilize US and international support to oppose the development of the Iranian nuclear program.
Mr. Herzog might ask himself how much he contributed to this difficult challenge. Perhaps had he and his erstwhile partner, Tzipi Livni, strongly supported the prime minister and presented a united Israeli voice against both the Iranian threat and Barack Obama’s stance on the issue, the US president and others might be more understanding of the matter.
Are we to expect the world’s leaders to be more concerned about the dangers we face than are those who wish to lead Israel in the coming years? Apparently, the urge to discredit and malign Prime Minister Netanyahu overrides the necessity to act in the true interests of Israel’s security and the safety of the Israeli people.
The phrase “politics should stop at the water’s edge” could not be more applicable.S.R. SAMPSON
Rehovot This letter appeared on February 16 with an improperly edited sentence that changed the intended meaning. The Letters editor apologizes both to the writer and to readers.