Jerusalem Post Letters to the Editor: Not democracy

ow can a parliament exist when representatives of an integrated Arab population have such ideas?

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February 8, 2016 21:55
Letters

Letters. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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Not democracy

With regard to “Netanyahu instructs A-G to look into Balad meeting with terrorists’ families” (February 7), I cannot understand how there can be members of Knesset doing harm to the people of Israel.

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Is this democracy? Who can defend such actions? How can a parliament exist when representatives of an integrated Arab population have such ideas? Why don’t they issue a statement as citizens of Israel, saying the murder of Israeli people in their own land is terrible? They should denounce such acts unequivocally.

I fail to understand the Israeli mentality that permits such people to be in the Knesset, and I fail to understand how the Arab population of Israel could elect such people. This is not democracy. It is stupidity.

TOBY WILLIG Jerusalem

Beware the flop

I read Michael M. Cohen’s “An intractable conflict with no solution?” (Comment & Features, February 7) with bated breath. What new, brilliant, out-of-the-box and audacious suggestion for solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was he going to reveal to his readers? Unfortunately, he had none.



His piece would certainly have been more convincing if he had come up with something concrete.

And I have a word of caution with respect to his example of high jumper Dick Fosbury at the 1968 Olympics.

Following Fosbury’s victory, budding high jumpers rushed to emulate him. Unfortunately, not enough word of warning was given as to the danger of landing after a “Fosbury Flop,” and a number of athletes were permanently injured.

Sometimes, out-of-the-box solutions can have out-of-thebox consequences. In other words: Proceed with caution.

ELLIE MORRIS Aseret

Please explain

I read with great interest “Explaining ourselves” (Editorial, February 5), bemoaning Israel’s lack of credible and effective hasbara (public diplomacy), and would like to bring to your attention my correspondence with the Foreign Ministry several years ago.

I offered to organize a group of highly educated and articulate professionals, doctors and lawyers, American-born, who would be willing to travel to the US to explain Israel’s stand at parlor meetings and press conferences. And at our own expense – Israel would not have to pay a penny. The curt response was that Israel was doing just fine and had no need for our services, period.

It seems that the Foreign Ministry owes us an explanation.

MOSHE DICKMAN Jerusalem
The writer is a neurologist.

On reading your editorial, I thought of 15 wasted years of non-hasbara. How I could weep! On September 6, 2001, just five days before 9/11, you published my letter pleading for your government to send an English-speaking ambassador to London to replace the incumbent who, when interviewed that week on a BBC flagship radio program listened to by almost every opinion-maker in the UK, might as well have been speaking Chinese. I received some very positive feedback from several Israelis, but your Foreign Ministry remained unmoved.

I later learned that in almost every country with an Israeli diplomatic presence, non-native speakers were considered adequate to argue Israel’s case. I was even told by a professor of politics that what happened behind the scenes was important whereas public diplomacy was irrelevant! In the meantime, erudite Arab spokesmen gave interviews in perfect English to UK audiences. By the time your government sent Ambassador Ron Prosor years later, the Arab message was firmly entrenched, and any hasbara was invisible.

It is no wonder that anti-Israel sentiment as well as anti-Semitism have taken such a hold. Could an all-out, heavyweight and properly funded diplomatic effort reverse this unhappy state of affairs?

BARBARA M. GLYN London

Your editorial bemoans our inability to explain ourselves to the world.

A very inexpressive way to do this is to produce a fact sheet of 10-15 pages. It could contain photos of newspaper articles announcing the many times the Palestinians rejected Israel’s various peace offers. It could also contain simple facts on the “territories” and who possessed them before the Six Day War.

It should be given to every one of the world’s representatives at the UN. They won’t read it, but our ambassador there could refer to it every time the term “occupied territories” comes up.

If the big lie can succeed by constant repetition, then the big truth can succeed in the same way.

AVIGDOR BONCHEK Jerusalem

Critiquing the critic

Hannah Brown is, of course, entitled to her own opinion (“On the small screen,” Billboard, February 5), but I must beg to differ with her verdict on the BBC costume drama War & Peace.

Many people are watching it both here and in England, and I have yet to hear of one person who doesn’t consider it outstanding.

The Times and The Daily Telegraph are calling it the greatest costume drama of the century.

I would hate to think of readers of Ms. Brown’s column being put off and missing out on such superior drama, which gets better and better as it goes on.

Your readers should at least give it a try and judge for themselves.

VERA FREUDMANN Ra’anana

Winning approach

With regard to “Under pressure, education minister to advance law nixing core curriculum studies for haredim” (January 28) and “Core curriculum” (Letters, February 1), we will never convince the ultra-Orthodox community to accept the core curriculum if we base our arguments on a value system that is unacceptable to them.

In order to make it palatable, we must make it relevant to their concept of a Torah education. I therefore propose to show that without a core curriculum, their ultimate and exclusive Torah and Halacha values cannot be properly understood, illustrating this argument with a few examples: • Without a basic knowledge of mathematics, Maimonides’s chapter on the sanctification of the month is virtually incomprehensible.

• A knowledge of geometry is essential to understand many issues raised in the tractate Eruvin, where, for example, a rectangle must be converted to a square.

• One cannot adjudicate questions of kashrut today without a working knowledge of chemistry.

• The complex issue of halachic times such as sunrise, sunset and twilight is best understood with a knowledge of astronomy.

• There are numerous questions on the use of modern technologies on the Sabbath and holidays that require a fundamental understanding of the principles involved.

• The tractate Hulin requires a knowledge of biology and anatomy.

Perhaps a core curriculum where math and science education is applied to halachic issues would be the winning approach.

SAMUEL DERSHOWITZ Jerusalem

CLARIFICATIONS

• Unlike what was stated in “Israeli Right rallies around Rubio” (February 8), J. Philip Rosen is the former, and not current, chairman of American Friends of the Likud.

• Prof. Gerald Steinberg is associated with NGO Monitor, and not as stated in “38 to 1” (Letters, February 8).

• Unlike what was written at the top of the February 5 front page in the box promoting his op-ed piece “Artist confronts France’s embrace of Iran’s genocidal regime,” which appeared on Page 13 in the same issue, Mel Alexenberg is not a “French” artist. “After nearly half a century as an Israeli citizen,” he told The Jerusalem Post in response, “I think I qualify as an Israeli artist.

The only time I saw France was through a train window.” We regret the error.

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