I was amused by the juxtaposition of the photograph of our prime minister on the front page of the January 18 Jerusalem Post accompanying the article “If Gandhi could see this now....” with the article directly beneath it (“Air force appoints first female squadron leader”).
It brought to mind another possible headline for the latter article: “If Ezer Weizman could see this now...” – a woman squadron commander in the IAF and our prime minister, a veteran of Sayeret Matkal, no less, darning socks, or at least so visually close to it – to bring the irony home! JONATHAN TOPPER Jerusalem Contradiction in terms According to reporter Adam Rasgon in “Abbas: Jerusalem is the gate to peace and war” (January 18), Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas “has long called for non-violence. He has reportedly ordered his security forces to prevent attacks against Israelis.”
Really? Then why, as we read in “PA paid terrorists nearly $350 million in 2017” (January 10), does the PA pay out millions to terrorists or the families of terrorists who murder Israelis?
Ashdod Merely a different truth
I confess that I find Gershon “One Note” Baskin’s Encountering Peace columns boring, monotonous and repetitive. His basic premise, that everything would be marvelous if only Israel would end its occupation of Palestinian land, is probably a tad too optimistic.
In “The past is beyond us” (January 18), Baskin takes a further step in his efforts to whitewash a Palestinian leader’s words and actions. He calls PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s two-hour libelous, lying, history-falsifying and antisemitic rant a different “truth” from the one “we [Jews] hold dear.”
To paraphrase Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s famous quote, everyone is entitled to his own opinions but not his own facts. Mr. Baskin and Mr. Abbas are entitled to their own opinions, but not to their own facts – or their own truths.
Savyon We’re being bamboozled
With regard to “Trump cuts UNRWA funding in half” (January 17), how long are we going to permit ourselves to be bamboozled by UNRWA when, according to Dr. Daniel Pipes, 99% percent of “Palestine refugees” are fake? In his January 10 blog entry, Dr. Pipes writes: “And even if no one replaced US donations, denying UNRWA money does not get to the heart of the problem, which lies not in its sponsored activities but in its perpetuating and expanding population of “Palestine refugees” in three unique, even bizarre ways: allowing this status to be transferred without limit from generation to generation; maintaining the status after refugees have acquired a nationality (such as Jordanian); and assigning the status to residents of the West Bank and Gaza, who live in the putative Palestinian homeland. These tricks allowed UNRWA artificially to expand the refugee population from 600,000 in 1949 to 5.3 million now; an accurate count of real refugees now alive numbers around 20,000.”
There is absolutely no logistical or bureaucratic reason that the United Nations’ primary refugee arm, the UNHCR, cannot assume UNRWA’s responsibilities.
UNHCR’s mandate is to protect and provide assistance to refugees and help them be either repatriated, settled where they already are or resettled in a third country. That is a goal that is both noble and realistic. In addition, the organization does not transfer refugee status from one generation to the next.
I’m somewhat willing to believe UNRWA if it says Hamas stored weapons in its facilities or used those weapons in close proximity to its facilities without its consent. (Without its knowledge would be going a bit far, for rockets are hard to miss down in one’s own basement.) But its generosity in transferring refugee status from one generation to the next and its policy of imbuing in its clients a serious sense of hope solely for their return should make donor nations sit up and take notice.
Perhaps the same people who laud UNRWA should be out there protesting against UNHCR for being so stingy.
Jerusalem Linking in, linking out
Now that cabinet ministers will receive a salary increase (“NIS 5,000 raise for ministers after MK pay nearly surpasses theirs,” January 16) and the budget for allotments for those with disabilities has been given a boost (“Disability allotments to increase by NIS 2 billion,” January 4), is it not about time that pensions were increased as well? Since I first received a pension payment many, many years ago, the amount has been static – no increase due inflation or any other reason.
Maybe we need pensioners to start causing havoc on the roads by arranging demonstrations at peak hours, just a those with disabilities did? There are also other ways to show dissatisfaction with the system. After all, when we paid taxes, they always increased when our salaries increased, including for linkage to the cost of living.
Could not the same method be used when payments are made?
Has doubts about global warming The hatchet job “Why Israel should not be extolling President Trump” (Observations, January 12) starts by using pseudo-science to try to show that US President Donald Trump is an ignoramus in denying global warming when there supposedly is an overwhelming consensus that it exists – otherwise, why would the Sea of Galilee be at a 100-year low? I’m sorry, but I remember that some global warming reports originally showed no problems but were then “adjusted” before being issued to ensure continuing funds for research into the “problem.”
If the Sea of Galilee is now as low as it was 100 years ago, what caused it to be so low back then? And to claim that global warming must be true because 195 nations signed the 2015 Paris accord clearly shows author Richard H. Schwartz’s American background – no native-born Israeli would dare claim that the number of states voting for a resolution proves anything.
Maybe there were some truths buried in the piece, but any political manifesto has them.
I agree that President Trump is not politically correct – but he’s right.
Modi’in Unconscionable behavior
With regard to “Will aliya from Ethiopia be delayed yet again? (January 9), Jewish children are being condemned to starving to death.
These are the children of families that left their village homes to come to the Holy Land after being promised help for their journey from the Jewish Agency and other bodies. They followed the directions given them and relocated near the airport. Many of these people were seeking not only to fulfill an age-old dream, but to reunite with close family members who had already made aliya.
Families that were promised assistance never received it and are now trapped, waiting without food, shelter or money. How can we stand by and not save them? Not only have they suffered increased oppression in Ethiopia (as many Jews, particularly those from Arab countries, suffered when members of their communities began to return to Israel), they have also been subjected to innumerable delays and bureaucratic complications keeping them in a continuous state of limbo.
This is unconscionable behavior. We do not know how we, as a Jewish nation, can stand up with pride while we condemn our Ethiopian brothers and sisters to misery and possible death.
LENORE and NAOMI LEVIN