January 13,2020: Black mark on hatred of Jews

Readers of the Jerusalem Post have their say.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
Letters
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Black mark on hatred of Jews
In “Where are African American leaders condemning antisemitism?” (January 12), Daniel Mandel shows that Jewish liberals and others don’t want to admit that there is such a thing as black antisemitism. The ADL, CNN, MSNBC and other liberal institutions won’t admit it and neither will New York Mayor Bill De Blasio.
It simply doesn’t fit the liberal narrative of accusing Trump and white supremacists for all antisemitic attacks. Better to stay quiet is the theme. The reason that Congresswoman Ilhan Omar was not condemned for her antisemitic comments is because of pressure from the black caucus.
Antisemitism in the black community is twice that of the general population and is not being dealt with. Consequently, we can expect more attacks by young blacks on ultra-Orthodox Jews.

MATTIAS ROTENBERG
Petah Tikva
Impeach Trump for Israel’s sake?

Regarding “Impeachment isn’t only about Ukraine, but also Israel” (January 9), the writer seems to say: Look what President Trump did, withholding aid from Ukraine. He could do that to Israel if he isn’t impeached and wins reelection.
Ukraine got the aid. Why would we believe that replacing US President Donald Trump with someone from the Democratic Party is the way to continue USA aid to Israel? Some Democratic candidates already stated that they would withhold aid to force changes in Israeli government policy. Would a Democrat would have moved the US Embassy to Jerusalem, recognized Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, supported a strong response to the UN’s one-sided knee-jerk hostility to anything having to do with Israel, etc?
The writer says Trump’s reelection “could mortally endanger consistent US support for Israel.” But evidence shows it is safer for Israel to keep Trump in the White House.
MARIA LISSITZ
Jerusalem
Impeach Trump for Israel’s sake? Who could write a piece so unconnected to reality?
Instead of praising US President Donald Trump for all that he has done for the state of Israel – moving the embassy, recognizing Israel’s sovereignty on the Golan Heights, stating the obvious that Judea and Samaria communities are not illegal, closing PA offices in Washington, defunding UNRWA and most aid to the Palestinians that support their terrorists, the writer is concerned about US continued support.
Considering how Barack Obama mistreated Israel for eight years with his biased acts and disrespect for Israel’s leader, why should we vote for a Democrat? These candidates look forward to teaching Israel a lesson by tying aid to Israel to how they feel Israel treats its archenemy and deals with terrorists.
Moreover, the article was factually inaccurate. Rand Paul is not from Florida but represents the state of Kentucky. Choose writers who are more knowledgeable and don’t just repeat all the fake news and talking points that the media and left-wing progressives use to brainwash young adults.

JONATHAN SURASKY
Ra’anana

Peacemakers: Get real

In “It’s not just ‘leftists’ who support a two-state solution” (January 12), the writer’s basic premise is that there exists only a binary, mutually exclusive choice regarding Israel’s adjacent Arabs: either all of the Land of Israel or a shrunken pre-1967Jewish and democratic State of Israel.
It appears axiomatic to him and the Left that no form of Israeli sovereignty over all the land can be democratic without being overrun by an Arab vote.
What escapes their mind-set is that some of the world’s largest representative democracies own territorial possessions whose residents have rights only to a local vote. Territory possessed by Israel could have the same political rights as any territorial possession owned by democracies such as the US, England, France and others: only a local vote.
In Israel’s case, declaring Judea and Samaria as Israeli possessions would have no impact on Israeli democracy or its Jewish character. What’s more, peace, as Leftists define it, can only come once Israel’s hostile enemy regimes, their forces and media are properly neutralized and the population re-educated to acceptance and tolerance of non-Muslim neighbors.
Should that occur, full Arab employment via Israel will obviate further need for global welfare. Arabs could be relieved of their paralyzing Zionophobia. Claims of abject poverty will evaporate and a rebuilding of their long-neglected infrastructure will dramatically provide benefits of peace desired by all.
No other “peace” plan has ever had the slightest chance of success in the real world. It’s been over 50 years and time for the Left to embrace reality.
GERSHON DALIN
CEO Emeritus, The Israel Christian Nexus
The mission of foreign missions
Regarding “Diplomats protest new fund-raising policy for overseas Independence Day events” (January 10, if the Israeli consulate network were a business whose mission was to earn a monetary profit for the shareholders, then the Foreign Ministry’s policy of “allowing” its consulates to turn to locals to help underwrite Israel Independence Day events would be warranted.
But, as poignantly noted by the foreign consular personnel, “the role of Israel’s envoys and diplomats is to represent Israel and the policy of its government, and not to beg for the generosity of rich people in order to finance our official activities.” The Foreign Ministry’s new policy, coupled with its inadequate funding of its consular activities (including the closure of some consulates in vital locations), effectively amounts to a mandate that the consuls engage in fundraising. The protests against the new policy by worldwide consular staff are quite justified.
The supposed protections in the Foreign Ministry’s policy are doomed to failure. If corporate donations are prohibited, then corporations can easily circumvent such restrictions by engaging individuals to write the donation checks in their own names.
Whether personal or corporate, donors would tend to expect a quid pro quo for their contributions. In such regard, it must be noted that there are many nominally Jewish individuals and organizations in America and elsewhere in the Diaspora whose politics are at odds with Israel government policies and objectives. Various purportedly Jewish institutions in New York, such as the Jewish Museum, have permitted their facilities to be used as venues for anti-Israel speakers and programs.
That donations from locals might compromise and impede Israel’s diplomatic efforts is not too far-fetched; groups whose philosophies are at odds with official Israeli government foreign policy have already been permitted to insinuate their divergent agendas into New York’s Israel parade.

KALMAN H. RYESKY
Petah Tikva
When visiting Israel last September, I had a conversation with an official from the Prime Minister’s Department about the damage being done by the manner in which Foreign Ministry officials and Israeli emissaries abroad were being treated by their own government. In an increasingly hostile world in which anti-Israeli sentiment and antisemitism are rampant, they have a particularly difficult job to overcome ignorance, prejudice and biased media reportage to present Israel in a positive light and foster understanding for the complexities of the Middle East. I felt that the official had little real interest in what I had to say.
The January 5 Israeli cabinet vote to “allow” foreign missions abroad to raise and accept donations for holding Israeli
Independence Day and other events in countries in which Israeli missions are based, together with the limitations now imposed on the use of embassy funds is bizarre. Ambassadors should not be demeaned by having to go cap in hand, begging money from potential donors to hold a public relations event. They should not, in any circumstances, be perceived as competing for and trying to divert money from charitable causes to which Israel’s supporters donate to the sponsoring of events beneficial to Israel that government traditionally funds. Those who are traditionally invited to such events in recognition of generous donations to Israeli charities or support given to Israel should not be asked to partially pay for them. Requiring any ambassador or embassy official to do so places them in an intolerably embarrassing position.
Public relations are not assisted by Foreign Ministry officials both in Israel and abroad being treated as enemy combatants by their own government. The continuing dispute should have been resolved long ago and the foolish cabinet decision made on embassy fundraising should be swiftly rescinded. There are moments when those who wish Israel well simply despair at some of the foolishness of Israel’s internal politics.
ALAN SHATTER
Former Irish Justice and Defense Minister


Stealth balloons

Regarding “Israel unveils breakthrough laser to shoot down missiles” (January 9), new laser technology plus the Iron Dome, sophisticated drones, satellites, advanced intercontinental missiles and more are safeguarding our country – so why are we unable to pop simple low-flying balloons setting our crops and countryside ablaze?
MICHAEL MOHNBLATT
Tel Mond
Election enlightenment

“Criminal behavior” (January 6) informs us that the “sole goal” for the upcoming elections should be the removal of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from office. The writer then proceeds to describe the situation in Israel today: “low inflation,” “low unemployment,” “the (situation on the) border remains quiet,” and even mentions “Israel’s plan to enter a long-term ceasefire agreement with Hamas.”
The article concludes, “Everything leads back to Netanyahu, and his… lack of fitness to serve as the country’s prime minister.” I, for one, fail to see the logic in the writer’s arguments. Are these really reasons to unseat the prime minister?

D. FINKEL
Efrat
Regarding “New women’s party aims to be surprise of election” (January 8), parties are uniting and e forming, but that is not likely to prevent another tie vote with the ludicrous need for a fourth round.
What should be done is to pass a “basic law” that if no party is able to muster a majority necessary to form a government, then the two parties with the most votes will be the only candidates in a new election within a month’s time and the party with the majority will form the new government. The candidates should be required to debate the issues – and not just conduct a negative campaign to replace the incumbent government.

SHIMON GALITZER
Jerusalem

Hit the gas

Regarding “Heavily polluting Hadera power plant to be converted to natural gas” (January 8), converting the existing units at the Hadera power plant from coal to natural gas means a major improvement in the air quality in the Hadera area and the entire country.
This welcome decision is in marked contrast to the hypocritical demonstrations last week against the test and commissioning of the Leviathan gas field. The results of the test and activation of the distribution system mean that air pollution between Netanya and Haifa will be decreased. These people have suffered from air pollution for the last 40 years.
In “The next disruptive technology,” Gershon Baskin blasts Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by claiming that natural gas will become irrelevant shortly. However, the project has not cost the country much to develop and the private companies paid for the rights to explore.
Baskin claims that there will soon be alternate sources of energy storage that will make the gas field obsolete. I hope that we do become much more energy efficient so that we will be able to reduce air pollution, but that this is a long-term project. In the meantime, there will be a significant reduction in the air pollution levels in central Israel and we all benefit from the taxes and royalties being paid to the government.
SHMUEL SCHWARTZ
Ra’anana
Heterophobia in the heartland
Regarding “Schools to hold sessions to protest new round of homophobic statements by Peretz” (January 12), when Education Minister Rafi Peretz says that he is grateful that his children grew up to be heterosexual, he is bashed as being homophobic.
Apparently you can be proud of being a homosexual, but you can’t be proud of being a heterosexual.
Sounds like “heterophobia” to me.
LARRY ISRAEL
Rehovot
Get even with Evangelicals
“Israel should reciprocate Evangelical support” (January 10), quotes Robert Nicholson, leader of young Evangelist missions to Israel that are relevant to the current popularity of the Christian Evangelist movement in Israel. Of particular interest was the mention of the great divide between how American and Israeli Jews view Evangelists.
Here in Israel, Evangelical support – both moral and financial – is greatly appreciated, and for many Jews is the only contact with Evangelism.  In America, on the other hand, there is less of a relationship between Jews and Evangelists, partly, as the article points out, because of geographical and social separation, but also because Evangelism in America is associated with huge rallies aimed at spreading the Gospel, oftentimes including proselytizing the audiences.
That being said, the Evangelist connection to the political scene spans both countries. Billy Graham, one of the most famous Evangelical leaders in the US, was an adviser to many presidents, as many Evangelical leaders here in Israel have connected to prime ministers.

MARION REISS
Beit Shemesh


Law of diminishing returns

Regarding “Chief Rabbi Yosef under fire for attack against FSU olim” (January 8), I suspect that Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef knows that the Law of Return was designed to prevent Jews suffering persecution from hesitating to seek refuge in Israel because they would be forced to leave non-Jewish spouses, children, or grandchildren behind in countries where they, despite not being Jewish according to Jewish law, would suffer discrimination for their “Jewishness.”
It is a shame that the Chief Rabbinate placed roadblocks to conversion in the paths of people who entered Israel legally but were not halachicly Jewish. Those who showed interest in exploring their Jewish roots should have been welcomed with open arms.
Haredi parties, wanting haredi men to retain their de facto deferral from service in the IDF, could have asked for those men to be allowed to do National Service by teaching classes on Judaism to people seeking conversion and, perhaps, some of those preparing for conversion would even support haredi parties – a win/win that is a missed opportunity.
TOBY F. BLOCK
Atlanta, GA


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