With regard to “Kahlon refuses to back down in furor over new public broadcaster” (March 19), the Israel Broadcasting Authority/Israel Broadcasting Corporation dispute draws attention to the fact that politics is the only mainstream profession for which no formal qualifications are necessary.
GERRY MYERS Beit Zayit
You report that Education Minister Naftali Bennett said “the public doesn’t understand” the fight over the nascent Israel Broadcasting Cooperation. Indeed, the “little guy” is lost in the battle of the “big guys.”
The IBC plans to close down the quality rock radio program “Meziot,” broadcast on 88 FM on Fridays at 2-4 p.m. This program has won three international prizes and is enjoyed particularly by Anglos in Israel due to its global content. At a time when Israel presents itself to the nations of the world as multicultural, diverse and inviting, it is counterproductive to eliminate world-class programming.
The loyal followers of “Meziot” request to enlighten the new broadcasting entity as to the wide-reaching effects of its “technical” decisions. The voice of the little guy can indeed be raised on the Keep Meziot petition at http:// www.atzuma.co.il/keepmeziot.
MEREDITH SPITZER Efrat
The saga of English-language news broadcasts continues. I cannot figure out what the problem is, but it seems very short-sighted not to have a news broadcast for English speakers.
Hebrew is the language of Israel; naturally, there are Hebrew news stations. French is the language of France, but there is France24 in English. China delivers an English-language news broadcast, as does NHK in Japan. Even Al Jazeera has an English-language news channel.
English-language news is essential in Israel, not only for those residents who cannot understand Hebrew, but for tourists, journalists, visiting business people and, indeed, Israelis who would like an “English” version of the news.
Time to get motivated once and for all and instigate a continuation of English-language news in Israel!
SALLY SHAW Kfar Saba
So, like the Arabs and antisemitic patrons of like-minded NGOs, Emek Shaveh fears (and understands) that archaeology will demonstrate Jerusalem’s historic Jewish past (“Left-wing NGO denounces Israel Prize laureate David Be’eri,” March 20).
The group is not ashamed to use the same term that practitioners of the Inquisition used in condemning Jews to be burned at the stake: “Judaizing.” Imagine that! The sin of Judaizing Jerusalem! When our ancestors left Egypt, they were accompanied in the Exodus by the eirev rav, the mixed multitude of non-Israelites who escaped on Israel’s coattails and made nothing but trouble, instigating rebellion and misconduct during the years in the wilderness. The Torah does not say what became of them.
I think they can be found today in Emek Shaveh and their fellow NGO instigators of trouble in the rebellion against the people of Israel.
YERUCHAM REICH Jerusalem
In your March 20 Comment & Features section, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof addresses the plight of 20 million people in four countries facing famine.
Aside from placing the blame on US President Donald Trump for their desperate situation, Mr. Kristof advocates that US foreign aid “could be delivered more sensibly.
It’s ridiculous that one of the largest recipients is a prosperous country, Israel. Trump’s budget stipulates that other aid should be cut, but not Israel’s.”
Israel, because of its belligerent neighbors, has to spend billions annually for self-defense. Could it be that Mr. Kristof deliberately overlooks the fact that Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East and, at great expense, it assists many destitute and impoverished countries financially, physically and medically?
LEONARD KAHN Zichron Ya’acov
Dealing with China
It appears that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cast caution to the wind in embarking on an official visit to China (“China hopes Israel, Saudi Arabia will assist Middle East peace,” March 19). Has he forgotten that last December, China, as one of the permanent members of the UN Security Council, voted for Resolution 2334, which says Israel’s “settlement activity” constitutes a “flagrant violation” of international law and has “no legal validity”? In demanding the cessation of such activity, China and other nations voting in favor of the resolution fail to recognize that the territories involved are “disputed areas,” not occupied areas; hence, they are not covered by the Fourth Geneva Convention. The resolution was the first since 2009 regarding the disputed areas and the first to address the issue of settlements with such detail since Resolution 465 in 1980.
Chinese involvement in Israel’s internal affairs – and trade – should not be encouraged. Besides owning the Israeli dairy giant Tnuva, constructing a new private seaport, involvement in the new rail link between Beersheba and Eilat, and the attempt by the Fujian Yango Group to buy Israel’s Phoenix Holdings Ltd., we have become a dumping ground for shoddy, thirdrate Chinese products rejected by the West as sub-standard.
It is time we had a responsible person as foreign minister, and not a jack of all trades but master of none.
COLIN L. LECI Jerusalem
Invasion of privacy
Seth Farber’s “The danger of the Chief Rabbinate’s databases” (Comment & Features, March 19) is so relevant to our reality today: Everything is “out there” on the Internet. Private information can be hacked or revealed, even without our knowing about it.
The special historic care taken by the rabbis to protect people of questionable status must be preserved.
This would allow room for decisions to be made to include these people in the Jewish community with the dignity they deserve, as Rabbi Farber explains.
Enough with the labeling syndrome and invasion of our privacy!
MARSHA ROTH Jerusalem
I read with great interest about the visit to Israel by Roly Keating, chief executive of the British Library, in the March 19 Grapevine feature.
Keating’s visit is an opportunity to ask the Library to lend Israel its original copy of the Balfour Declaration for the 100th anniversary of its November 2, 1917, issuance as a fitting centerpiece for the many events being planned here.
ANDREW BALCOMBE Jerusalem
Further to the voluminous and often uninformed arguments comparing apartheid as was practiced in South Africa to Israel, herewith a major fact never stressed: In the days of apartheid South Africa, not even the most radical of leftist organizations advocated the destruction of the state and replacing it with something else. They confined themselves to changing the country’s constitution to give equal rights to all inhabitants, irrespective of color or race.
The so-called anti-apartheid movement against Israel is a violent coterie of organizations endeavoring by all means to destroy the state.
The right of the Jews to a homeland was established in 1922 by the League of Nations in a vote of 52 to 0, and, albeit in much reduced form, this was confirmed by the United Nations in 1947 by a two-thirds majority. Factually, Israel was established by the non-Jewish world based upon the League of Nations argument that “recognition has hereby been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for the reconstructing their national home.”
I submit these arguments to counter the false claims of all those who challenge Israel’s legality and endeavor to compare it with the erstwhile policy of South Africa.
BERNHARD LAZARUS Tel Aviv