LETTERS: Open eyes

This standard of journalism gives one the confidence that there are indeed other people out there who are not held captive to the “politically correct,” but see with open eyes.

November 8, 2016 21:27

Letters. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Open eyes

Top marks for “Rein in Bitan” (Editorial, November 7), which reaffirms one of the main reasons I read The Jerusalem Post (and recommend it to friends disheartened by the general media). Rarely have I encountered a piece in which I could identify with every word – it painted an accurate picture of the failings of both the Right and the Left, as well as the distortions on both sides that are so frustrating.

This standard of journalism gives one the confidence that there are indeed other people out there who are not held captive to the “politically correct,” but see with open eyes.


Fairness doctrine

In “The future of public broadcasting in Israel” (Think About It, November 7), Susan Hattis Rolef correctly states that “public broadcasting is also expected to be...

politically balanced, enabling all legitimate points of view to be heard.”

As a political scientist, she must surely be aware that there is empirical data to prove that this is not the case with public broadcasting, and indeed has never been the case. Your excellent Media Watch columnists have frequently given examples. I will content myself with two of my own, which provide irrefutable evidence of inexcusable bias.

While interviewees and columnists are certainly free to express their opinions, there is, on the other hand, a sacred duty that news editors be completely objective and show no political bias whatsoever. This is not the case with the news editors at the Israel Broadcasting Authority.

It is a matter of simple geometry that the farther you move away from the center, the more extreme the position. Therefore, there can be no justification whatsoever for news editors to refer to people such as Baruch Marzel, Itamar Gvir and their followers as being on the extreme Right unless at the same time, people such as Uri Avnery, Chaim Baram and Prof. Moshe Zimmerman, and organizations such as Breaking the Silence and B’Tselem, are described as being on the extreme Left.

Another example is that of the radio’s sole legal commentator, Moshe Negbi, who has held his position of influence for half a century! Despite protests – and indeed, a letter four years ago from the radio’s own ombudsman stating that “there is merit to the objection that more variety of opinion is necessary” – Negbi’s contract is renewed annually.

This commentator expresses very definite views on all matters of policy, legislation and court decisions, and there is no prize for guessing which side of the political scene finds expression in his views.

This is nothing short of a scandal.

LOUIS GARB Jerusalem The writer is an attorney.

Palestinian scrolls

 I can’t believe that the Palestinians intend to make the Dead Sea Scrolls a part of their history (“Palestinian Authority makes play for Dead Sea Scrolls at UNESCO,” November 6). They seem like children who can dream about anything with no basis or fact.

What bothers me more than this stupidity is that the countries that make up the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization are so venal. They lie down in the mud, face-down, and then proclaim: “Walk all over me; I am filthy with mud anyway, so the more you walk on me, the better I like it.”

This is what has happened to UNESCO, and this what has happened to the countries that belong to it. This is what has happened to the dreams of an organization meant to promote educational, scientific and cultural benefits. What a laugh! TOBY WILLIG Jerusalem There has been discussion about whether “Palestinian” is a real nationality or just a construct invented by the Arab world to allow it to create a Middle East for Muslims only.

The unceasing efforts to have the United Nations declare that Jewish history has no connection to Jews, including the latest delusional play for the Dead Sea Scrolls, make it clear: “Palestinian” is a mental illness.


Poor judgment

Regarding “German art exhibit compares swastika with Star of David” (November 6), the worldwide resurgence of antisemitism only 71 years after the end of the Holocaust traffics in libeling and slandering Judaism as a Nazi-like entity, and Juraj Kralik’s work falls squarely into this category.

Given Germany’s enormous guilt for committing industrialized genocide against Jews, I would have hoped that the artist might refrain from exhibiting this disgrace altogether. The deliberate decision to do so does not speak well of his judgment.

His explanation is similarly flawed.

He was quoted as stating that the piece “does not aspire to comment on an individual/isolated ideology, religion or faith.” Yet the juxtaposition clearly has the impact of just such a comment.

For Kralik to deny that his art is an act of communication is at best an indication of oblivious narcissistic solipsism. Worse, he may have intended his art to be deliberately provocative without caring about its alignment with Germany’s Nazi past. Truly awful is the possibility that he is a closet Nazi. None of these possibilities speak well of him or his art.

Finally I am unimpressed, to say the least, with his account of his suffering while creating this art work, and I take strong issue with his implication that somehow the Nazis were suffering in any way while inflicting genocide.

DANIEL H. TRIGOBOFF Williamsville, New York

 Focus elsewhere

With regard to “Violent fracas breaks out at Western Wall during progressive prayer rally” (November 3), if the Women of the Wall really want to do something for women, they should stop wasting their time in the battle to destroy the peace and serenity of the Western Wall.

They should focus their energy on economic equality.

Women in Israel make much less doing the exact same work as men. If these women could devote their energy to changing this travesty, they would be lauded instead of ridiculed and reviled.


 Legislative oversight

Regarding your October 28 editorial “Roll back the revolution,” which outlines the powers conferred on unelected officials to veto policies initiated by the Knesset, perhaps the British model, in which the unelected members of the House of Lords have a supervisory role over legislation passed by the House of Commons, offers a rational solution.

In Israel’s case, the attorney- general can block Knesset policies. In the UK, the House of Lords can recommend revisions, in which case legislation returns to the Parliament for further consideration and to be passed or rejected.

As Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked pointed out, the attorney- general should not be the final arbiter of legislation passed by the Knesset. Although a veto has been exercised only in exceptional cases, this power is excessive. The British model could represent a better route.


 Sports shortcoming

On Saturday, there was a fullfledged international rugby match between Israel and Croatia at the Wingate Institute.

Does your esteemed sports staff care to explain why there was not one word before or after the match? A proper international involving our country – is this not more worthy than British soccer or American baseball? LIONEL MALLACH Haifa

 The Sports editor responds: We sincerely regret not covering this match. We had no idea it was taking place. If there is any sort of mailing list from the rugby federation, we would love to be included.

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