Sir, – I read with interest that the Palestinians have begun to call the present violence against Israelis the “knife intifada” (“Soldier, woman killed in two terrorist attacks,” November 11).
We just marked the 76th anniversary of Kristallnacht in Germany.
On that infamous night of pogroms, many Nazis and their sympathizers sang the “Horst Wessel song,” one of the most popular Nazi anthems. That song called for war against the Jews “until Jewish blood spurts from the knife.”
Sadly, we seem now to have come full circle. Thank God that the Jewish people is no longer stateless.
ARNOLD I. KISCH
Jerusalem Tsunami of hate
Sir, – I identify completely with Daniel Gordis (“Can we please stop talking about hasbara?” Dose of Nuance, November 6). I too feel in my gut that, as he so succinctly states about public diplomacy,“no matter what we do, hasbara is essentially useless and hopeless.”
It sometimes takes my breath away in shock to open the Internet news, only to find the most twisted slander against Israel. Not only twisted but often outright lies. It’s like a tsunami of hatred once again aimed at the Jews. The grudging envy of Israel’s accomplishments and unwillingness to give credit where it is due, is just pure anti-Semitism. Even though the Islamic fanatics who attack the Jewish state are also a great danger to the rest of the world, there seems to be an acceptance of them, by the muted response to their atrocities.
In closing, Gordis sums it up so well when he asks “Why has the international community’s moral compass become so utterly dysfunctional?” I think that compass is being blocked by a dark presence of outrageous, barely concealed, hatred.
Netanya Free press
Sir, – Susan Hattis Rolef (“Sheldon Adelson and democracy,” Think About It, November 17) makes a strange and illogical case defending her anti-democratic argument in favor of destroying the free newspaper Israel Hayom
Her main objection is that Israel Hayom
backs Netanyahu without reservation, but admits that the same objection can be applied equally to Yediot Aharonot
, which takes the opposite position. She nevertheless tries to parry this weakness on the basis that “Yediot Aharonot
is not a freely distributed newspaper, and anyone who doesn’t want to read it simply doesn’t purchase it.”
Is it beyond her imagination to appreciate that anyone who doesn’t want to read Israel Hayom simply doesn’t pick it up? This attempt of politicians to play “Big Brother” and decide what the public should or should not read is more fitting to the world of dictatorships than to an unfettered democracy and Rolef belittles herself by supporting it.
She also blames the closure of “the veteran Ma’ariv” on the success of Israel Hayom
. As other dailies have survived, it is more likely that Ma’ariv
died because it was no longer satisfying its “veteran” readership and did not manage to adapt.
Beit Shemesh Enforce this
Sir, – My health club has large signs banning the use of cell phones but nobody takes notice.
Rehovot, my home town, has a broad street leading off the highway.
Large signs clearly indicate there is no parking at any time, yet the road is always crowded with parked cars. The police seem to have accepted that this is the norm and no action is ever taken.
Laws that are ignored by both offenders and enforcers simply destroy the whole fabric of social order. The health club should expel anyone using a cell phone or remove the signs and allow people to talk as much as they like. Police in Rehovot should have a officer on permanent duty, ready to hand out heavy fines, or take down the signs and allow free parking.
So, why are we getting yet another unenforceable law (“Crosswalk headphone ban progresses,” November 20)– the bill against using headphones on crosswalks. Are we to have police at every crosswalk? Will we have to remove our hoods before crossing the road to show we are not hiding earphones? Will long hair become illegal? Can we wear ear-muffs in the winter? An advertising campaign to make people aware of the dangers of “walking under the influence” is a fine idea. A law that will have no enforcement and poses more questions than answers is not the way.
Rehovot Let them howl
Sir, – Perfectly and eloquently put, David Weinberg (“The essentiality of anger” Know Comment, November 21) hits a large nail on the head. Most responsible politicians in this country seem either to be missing, or incapable of learning from history while mouthing useless platitudes to an increasingly enraged public. Aside from a reactive demolition of terrorists’ homes, talks of loosening restrictions on bearing arms and so on, they stop far short of doing anything meaningful. Its time to revoke citizenships of Arabs who actively engage in terror and are known to be subversive and participating and doing everything to try and undermine the Jewish nation. Some will howl that it is “undemocratic.”
So what? Democracy is for responsible people and not for them to abuse the freedom that they have but have shown that they do not deserve. People will protest that removal of citizenship is a violation of the law, and courts will rule against it. Time then, to change the law and the courts.
Effective change is long overdue and to have a government govern with clarity, firmness and strength, proactive and not reactive. Peace Now, Meretz, the United Nations and the European Union and co.
have done much to bring us to where we are, and with our acquiescence, while emboldening Palestinian terror. If those organizations choose to “deal with the devil” let them, but not at the expense of this nation.
Nahariya The messiah arrived?
Sir, – M. Sepahan’s fantastical article (“It actually wouldn’t be such a ‘bad deal,’” November 20) regarding the potential nuclear arms agreement with Iran is unadulterated over-optimism. One of the most outrageous comments is in regard to Iran’s cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency. I can find no confirmation that the Parchin military base has been opened for inspection, an urgent demand of the West.
More wishful thinking is that Israel’s security would be enhanced by a deal that doesn’t strip Iran of unneeded centrifuges and enriched uranium. To state that Iran’s ability to build atomic weapons would end with an such an agreement is wishful thinking. With centrifuges and five percent enriched uranium galore, Iran would remain a nuclear threshold country poised to bully (at the least) its neighbors.
If Sepahan’s conclusions were true, we would know that the messiah has arrived.
Alfei Menashe Give him bus fare
Sir,- Rarely do I agree with Gershon Baskin, but regarding his November 20 piece (“Unlike religious wars, political wars have solutions”) I concur that he should stand guard in a Palestinian neighborhood in east Jerusalem.
I would encourage him to bring along a bodyguard or two for his own protection. It seems doubtful that many or any residents of east Jerusalem would take up his call “to stand guard in front of Jewish kindergartens and synagogues in west Jerusalem.”
If anyone from east Jerusalem was brave enough to try this, I can only imagine their fate upon returning home and their neighbors found out what they did.
Baskin’s perennial insistence on a political solution to the intractable politics of the Arab-Israeli conflict only perpetuates the status quo and makes finding innovative solutions more elusive.
Politicians, like Gershon Baskin, are the proverbial used-car salesmen, touting the old junkers in their lot.
Nahariya & Roseburg, Oregon RESPONSE
With regard to remarks by reader Jack S. Cohen of Netanya (“Readers comment on Tuesday’s attack in Har Nof,” Letters, November 20), defense correspondent Yaakov Lappin responds: The assessment of last week’s deadly terrorist attack on a Jerusalem synagogue, according to which the attackers acted alone without the direct assistance or involvement of terrorist organizations, is the dominant view in the defense establishment, following an initial investigation.
This does not mean that the murderers committed their bloody crimes in a vacuum. As my analysis stressed, the terrorists were fueled by ongoing and systematic incitement to violence and religious hatred, which permeates the Palestinian media, and is peddled by Hamas and Fatah on a daily basis.