February 25, 2019: Gantz vs. the English language

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February 24, 2019 22:38
Letters

Letters. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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Gantz vs the English language

Regarding “Gantz is saying Anglo olim aren’t Israeli enough” (February 21), Blue and White Party leader Benny Gantz’s criticism of PM Netanyahu for wasting his time studying English while he, Gantz, was involved in more important activities exhibits both ignorance and arrogance. Historically, the effectiveness of our spokespersons in presenting Israel to the outside world is proportional to their fluency and mastery of the English language. I have heard some of the people in the Gantz party list addressing an Anglo audience and they were usually pitifully inadequate. Is there anyone on the political scene today who can equal Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s articulate eloquence such as his addresses to the UN or to the American Congress?

This whole issue reminds me of the late Moshe Kol, who as tourism minister greeted a large convention of foreign travel agents with the following:

“Welcome to Israel and its wonderful bitches (beaches).”

DR. SAMUEL DERSHOWITZ
Jerusalem

Jolly Roger Abbas

Regarding “Rejecting ‘piracy,’ Abbas says pay-for-slay policy to continue” (February 21), Abbas accusing Israel of piracy is the pot calling the kettle black. In response, the PA will not accept the lesser payments from Israel? Okay, wonderful! Sounds like a plan!

Maybe our present government or one of the parties running can remind me why exactly we send money to terrorists at all. Why do we even bother to communicate with a leader who only spews fourth hatred, advocates murder, incentivizes and rewards murderers and dubs them heroes and martyrs? This all begins from a very young age when kindergarten-aged children are brainwashed with hate and ingrained with poison that excites them to become martyrs who try to kill the ones sending them money to begin with. Are we in Chelm?

Perhaps The Jerusalem Post should not even bother to publish this rhetoric. Giving this story a prime spot on page 2 is pretty pathetic. Abbas’s rants and raves should be deemed irrelevant and not even make your pages anymore. Enough is enough.

Israel needs to take care of their own. At least withholding something is a beginning – although it pales in comparison to so many who have been buried because of the PA’s generous support of these terrorists.

PHYLLIS HECHT
Hashmonaim

Egregious extremist language

Regarding “AIPAC condemns Netanyahu for welcoming in Kahanists” (February 24), the Left is using every tactic available to remove Netanyahu from office. It now has help from a liberal pulpit rabbi, AIPAC and the American Jewish Committee, and The Jerusalem Post uses the “Kahanists” in their description of the Otzma Yehudi party.

When I read Rabbi Benny Lau’s quote, “A vote for Bayit Yehudi is a vote for Nazism,” I couldn’t believe my eyes. This wasn’t a Muslim cleric or Communist Party leader, but an Orthodox rabbi calling Jewish lovers of Israel Nazis. Would this be tolerated if he called Arab MKs who support Hamas and other terrorist groups Nazis? Apparently he is looking for some sort of political gain from his statements, but from the pulpit on Shabbat?

As for AIPAC and the AJC, where is their policy of supporting the Israeli government on either side of the political sphere? They shouldn’t be labeling Otzma Kahanists because real Kahanists are not allowed to run for the Knesset. Otzma is not joining the Likud and doesn’t support the Likud’s compromises on national affairs. Israel is governed by a parliamentary system, not the two-party system of the US; there is horse trading between parties that most Americans don’t understand.

With all the hate and antisemitism around the world, including in Congress, one would hope that these organizations would be more concerned about true haters of Jews and not overreact regarding a fringe party with minimal support in Israel.

We don’t have Jewish Nazis running for the Knesset, but we do have Nazi impersonators serving in Congress.

JONATHAN SURASKY
Ra’anana

If Rabbi Beni Lau had been there, he would have supported the 10 spies and have villified Calev and Yehoshua. It behooves Rabbi Lau to actually learn what Rabbi Kahane taught – Lord knows Rabbi Kahane authored enough books – and not accept what Rabbi Kahane’s enemies say he taught.

DAVID HEIMOWITZ
Kfar Saba

Calling Rav Meir Kahane a racist is a common but patent lie. Kahane spoke against only those that hated and/or threatened the Jewish people. He understood and recognized the true intentions of Yasser Arafat and the PLO. He saw their Nazi-like murderous barbarity and the existential threat a two-state solution would pose to the Jewish state of Israel. Kahane was a true lover and defender of the Jewish people.

MARVIN SHER
West Long Branch

I am offended by the prominence you gave Sunday to persons who equate the Bayit Yehudi Party with the satanic Nazi Party. You headlined shameful statements made by Rabbi Benny Lau who in politics was a leading proponent of a left-wing Orthodox party and who was misusing his Shabbat pulpit for a vulgar political attack on a religious right-wing party.

This is contrary to your newspaper’s policy. I recall editorials published in The Jerusalem Post attacking those who wantonly use the term “Nazi” against those with whom they disagree. Please refrain in the future from publicizing persons who “Nazify” Israeli politicians. Perhaps you would even be kind enough to give Bayit Yehudi equal time and space to respond to this vilification.

SHIMSHON HALPERN
Karnei Shomron

Mounting errors

The “Palestinians” declared victory over Israel when they swarmed into the closed area of the Temple Mount after breaking down the gate installed to keep them out (“Palestinians force open Temple Mount Golden Gate,” February 24). The gate was necessary after a court order in 2003 to close that entrance, due to illegal activities there by “activists” (better, terrorists) affiliated with Hamas and the Islamic Movement in Israel.

Fatah Central Committee member Mohammed Shtayyeh pointed out that this was the second time that they had forced Israel to yield to their demands in the past two years. He was referring to the 2017 Israeli decision to install metal detectors and security cameras on the Temple Mount after two policemen were killed by Arabs. When terrorist in a suit Mahmoud Abbas threatened Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that no Arab would ascend the Temple Mount, they were removed.

The Arabs have the measure of Netanyahu, and aware of his fear of confrontation, once again our enemies prevailed in our holiest site. Is there no end to the humiliation that we are prepared to accept?

EDITH OGNALL
Netanya

To the moon

Regarding Yafit Ovadia’s informative article “Beresheet launches, heads into orbit on way to the moon” (February 24), the launch of the Israeli spacecraft Beresheet was truly a special event, but the proposed landing on the moon in April will be an even more momentous occasion.

In 1948, we were rightly overjoyed to obtain our own small piece of land. Who would have dreamt that 70 years later we would be part of a very selected club of nations reaching so far skyward?

Who knows – in the not-too-distant-future, it may be that Hebrew will be one of the languages spoken on Mars.

STEPHEN VISHNICK
Tel Aviv

Thrashing the threshold

It’s said that in certain countries where prostitution is unacceptable, there are places with women whom, for a fee, you can marry for a little while and then divorce on your way out.

That practice comes to mind in connection with recent electoral alliances. In order to cross the electoral threshold of 3.25%, political parties join together on the understanding that as soon as the vote has taken effect, they will split up again. (“Netanyahu paves path for Kahanists to enter Knesset,” February 21.)

These make-believe alliances serve only to demonstrate the silliness of the threshold. If Tom has enough voters for one seat, and so does Dick and so does Harry, why force them to form the temporary Tom, Dick and Harry party? In a Knesset with 120 members, why not let a party with 1/120 of the votes receive one seat in its own right? Alternatively, if it’s unthinkable to have such a small fraction of the public represented, why not reduce the number of Knesset members? If we had 70, each representing 1/70 of the public, then the work of the missing 50 Knesset members could be performed by professionals who would be less expensive and possibly more competent.

MARK L. LEVINSON
Herzliya

Katz out of the bag

Recently appointed acting Foreign Minister Israel Katz, began in spectacular fashion by scoring an own goal. No doubt it is because Israel has so many friends in the world that he felt it appropriate to stick his finger in Poland’s eye. Instead of doing so, he could have said something like the following:

“It is true that when Poland was occupied by Germany some Poles cooperated with the Nazis in hunting down and killing Jews; it is also true that some courageous moral Poles risked their lives to save or hide Jews. The majority did nothing. This was a pattern that was followed by most countries that were occupied during the war. However, it is notable that today Poland is a country where a Jew can walk the streets without fear, and where synagogues and Jewish institutions do not need guards at the door. This, unfortunately, is not true of some other European countries.” It is inappropriate to lay the sins of their grandparents on today’s generation of Poles.
To add to our problems we have failed to extradite an accused pedophile to Australia, another of Israel’s staunch friends. The excuses are paper-thin. The accused was mentally nimble enough to flee from Australia as soon as charges surfaced; the argument that she is mentally incompetent to be extradited is unbelievable.

STEPHEN COHEN
Ma’aleh Adumim

US Ambassador to Poland Georgette Mosbacher is absolutely right to slam Acting Foreign Minister Israel Katz for saying “Poles suckle hatred of Jews with their mother’s milk” (Feb. 20).

Such undiplomatic language only serves to antagonize and should be avoided by anyone holding public office. As Voltaire observed, “Though everything that you say should be true, not everything that is true should be said.”

MARTIN D. STERN
Salford, England

“Irresponsible verbosity” may be Greer Cashman’s opinion of Israel Katz’s words regarding Poland during the World War II period (“Grapevine,” February 20). I dare say his words were not diplomatic, but Cashman should note it took more than 75 years before any Austrian government was prepared to acknowledge that Austria was not just a victim of the Nazis but in many cases complicit with them. That successive Polish governments since the fall of Communism cannot get their heads around the fact that Poland’s experience is no different is not something that should be tolerated in silence.

It is this Polish government that in addition now seeks to criminalize free speech critical of Poland’s complicity with the Nazis, even though they regard themselves as occupied. There is no need to apologize about anything to do with the Polish antisemitic past.
May Poland one day have leadership enlightened enough to acknowledge their responsibility for what happened to Jews in Poland in the 1930s and 40s.

PETER SIMPSON
Jerusalem

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