Drive-by shooting in Samaria
How typical of the press to spotlight the “cries of ‘Vengeance!’” heard for less than a minute, and also to miss the entire point (“‘Tower of light’ Rabbi Raziel Shevach buried at Havat Gilad,” January 11).
The sounds of protest for vengeance during Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett’s eulogy were quickly quashed out of respect for the Shevach family. What you failed to report was the anguish and tears that flowed freely and unabashedly from former Sephardi chief rabbi Shlomo Amar while eulogizing his beloved and cherished follower.
At times, it was too difficult for the rabbi to continue to speak. It was simply heartbreaking.CHAYA HEUMAN
Israel could stop once and for all such tragedies (“Rabbi, father of six, killed in drive-by shooting in Samaria,” January 10).
It is simple. If such a murder happens again, the village the terrorist comes from (our police can likely determine this) should be bombed indiscriminately, destroying dozens of homes. Of course, the world and many Israelis would be outraged by such savagery, but this outrage will not physically harm any Jew.
As for our own morals, the playing field between us and the terrorists is not level. We play morally; they do not. This is right as long we do not continue to lose the lives of our brethren.
Nazi Germany and Japan would not have been defeated had the Allies not undertaken similar “immoralities.”
In the final analysis, fewer lives, both Jewish and Arab, will be lost if this is done. Have we got the guts? AVIGDOR BONCHEK
On barring entry to BDSers
In “BDS blacklist punishes thoughtcrime” (Comment & Features, January 11), Michael Markovi compares Israel to the despotic regime of Oceania in George Orwell’s 1984.
The comparison is grossly flawed. Israel does not prevent or in any way discourage its citizens from criticizing their government. Preventing foreign nationals from entering Israel with the purpose of defaming it, delegitimizing it and spreading malicious propaganda about it is another matter.
There is no inherent right that is granted to foreigners to enter a country to disrupt it. This is so even in peacetime. Yet Israel is at war, and has been since 1948.
One of the current aspects of this war is that Israel’s enemies are seeking to delegitimize it after they have tried (unsuccessfully) more than once to destroy it physically. The BDSers want to come here to fight that battle on our soil.
Israel is not punishing foreign BDS advocates for “thoughtcrime” – it is attempting to protect itself from foreign-directed sedition.
Michael Makovi says: “If BDS illiberally advocates embargoes and sanctions – even against academics – then the Israeli government should respond by maintaining the moral high ground.”
I would say that the government is responding properly – and also paradoxically by helping the BDSers maintain the moral high ground. By not allowing them entry to Israel, it is helping them avoid hypocrisy. After all, if they want to boycott Israel, why would they want to come?
Haifa Shooting ourselves in the foot
Readers’ complaints about ex-diplomat Ilan Baruch’s January 9 opinion piece “Sigmar Gabriel is right” (“Ex-envoy distorts the facts,” Letters, January 11) are highly justified and confirm the many complaints received via our voluntary advocacy network that some members of the Foreign Ministry are not talking the language of official government policy.
If Baruch’s opinions are widespread in the ministry, we are really shooting ourselves in the foot.
Two or three years ago, when we approached the Foreign Ministry on the subject of BDS, we were told that we should not get involved, as “we know how to handle the situation.” Recent history shows the ministry does not know how to handle the situation. Responsibility for BDS has since been assigned to Public Diplomacy Minister Gil Erdan. We have seen some action, but maybe it is too little too late.
However, The Jerusalem Post
sees fit to publish opinion pieces about BDS such as “BDS blacklist punishes thoughtcrime,” which bears no reference to the aims of the organization as expressed by its founder, Omar Barghouti, about the “right of return” for refugees of the 1948 war and their progeny – a euphemism for destroying Israel by turning its Jews into a minority.STUART PALMER
The writer is chairman of CoHaV, a worldwide network of activists promoting the case for Israel.
Ilan Baruch writes that German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel is right in comparing the plight of the Palestinians to those who suffered under the apartheid regime in South Africa.
Either Mr. Baruch and Mr. Gabriel have no clue about the apartheid regime or they have a myopic view of reality in the “occupied” territories.
The term “occupied” used in a pejorative, rather than literal, meaning has obscured the truth that the area referred to as the West Bank has never been sovereign Arab land. The plight of the Arabs has resulted from 70 years of their leaders’ rejection of a Jewish state in any part of Mandatory Palestine that had been designated as the Jewish homeland.
Whatever the complexion of current and past Israeli governments, it is the Palestinian leadership that has the means to emancipate its people.
Until they achieve pragmatic leadership, their condition will remain.
Right time for school vacations
With regard to “Bennett, Kahlon launch plan to add school days” (December 9), the recommendations below have been suggested by me before, but obviously, the people in the Education Ministry do not read letters to the editor.
Cutting short school vacation during Pessah, Hanukka or Sukkot is counterproductive because it is just around these festivals that parents take time off from work to enjoy leisure activities with their children. Additionally, the weather is usually pleasant and conducive to outdoor activities.
The nightmare experienced by parents (and grandparents) each year is the long, hot summer vacation – two whole months and more of weather conditions that force children and their caregivers to seek activities in air conditioned homes or expensive leisure centers. Few parents can take off such a long period of time, and grandparents are not always available.
If 10 days need to be added to the school year, this is the very time to implement it. Start the summer vacation in August instead of July, and continue it through mid-September to include the High Holy Days and Sukkot, when school is disrupted anyway.
Thinking outside the box might solve the problem.
Haifa ‘Post’ puzzles him
The levels to which The Jerusalem Post
sinks never cease to amaze me – a photo and caption appeared on your front page “enlightening” us to a most newsworthy item regarding “International No Pants Day” (“Bottoms up!” January 8).
I do not understand why people are up in arms about Yair Netanyahu’s disgusting behavior.
If an alien from Mars came for a visit to Israel and saw that news item, he would probably think that normal Israeli behavior includes riding the light rail in one’s underwear.
Is there no one on your editorial staff with even a little bit of common sense? I really want to give up reading your paper, but my wife insists on doing your crossword puzzle.NACHUM CHERNOFSKY