Don’t roll out the red carpet
Some of the editorial “Politics at our borders” (August 17) is incorrect.
I came on aliyah as a lone soldier from the US nearly 10 years ago. After my army service, I began my university studies and worked at airport security to make ends meet. Since I spoke native English and virtually native Hebrew (the Army does that), I was for six years part of a small group that interviewed incoming passengers whose names were flagged.
The Border Police have an advanced computer system designed by a brilliant computer engineer that amalgamates information from many sources: the Shin Bet, the Mossad, the police, Interpol, etc. Peter Beinart and others like him were flagged for their participation in a demonstration and altercation in the West Bank with IDF troops in 2016.
When Beinart arrived in Israel this month, the security authorities were not only concerned that he might again act in a similar fashion for PR purposes (the previous time, his friends videoed soldiers restraining him physically) but also that he might be used by terrorists to commit even more egregious acts. Technically, Beinart was on a list of individuals who could be refused entry to Israel because he had committed crimes here, but this list is not always enforced strictly because of the PR consequences. The questioning of Beinart was designed to try and find out if he had intentions of repeating his crimes or committing new ones, and even more important to try and find out whom he was working with on the Palestinian side.
This questioning is very sensitive, because it can be turned on its head by someone like Beinart and used for public relations purposes. On the other hand, the questioning helps to warn Beinart and his cohorts against violence and other criminal acts, and can uncover important security information.
These are the facts and the logic behind his less-than-warm welcome.BEN JAMES
In all the furor regarding the questioning of Peter Beinart and inconveniencing virulent critics of Israel upon entry to our country, we need to bear in mind that our nation is fighting for its survival. Arrayed against us are numerous and dangerous forces bent on our destruction.
One of the most powerful ways to embolden our enemies is to show them that they are not alone. They are heartened and strengthened when they perceive that many of our “friends” share their view. Judaism and Zionism are the head and the tail of the same coin. When you call for the dismantlement of the Jewish people’s long-denied homeland, you are demanding the destruction of the Jewish people. Pure and simple.
So, what should we say to those who constantly agitate for our demise? “Certainly, Sir, when would you like us to start?”
Or is it legitimate to cause them at least some discomfort at the front door?JUDAH HARSTEIN
How US Jews will vote
Despite the claim of the Democratic op-ed writer that a “Record number of Jewish voters will reject Trump in November” (August 19), the Orthodox community in the US will vote in record numbers for Republican candidates, in effect endorsing US President Donald Trump.
Trump has been very good to the Jewish community and to Israel. This is our main concern when voting. Trump released from jail former kosher meat executive Sholom Rubashkin and Jonathan Pollard, both of whom were serving unreasonably long terms. Niki Haley, in the UN, has been a great supporter of Israel. The US Embassy was moved to Jerusalem.
Canceling the Iran deal was greatly in Israel’s interest. The non-Orthodox are more concerned with social issues, which is where the Democrats are very progressive; the Orthodox are more conservative on these issues.
Trump has been the best president for Jews.HYMAN ARBESFELD
Deconstructing the Apartheid libel
Regarding “Israeli Arabs want July 19 as International Apartheid Day” (August 20), I wonder whether former MK Mohammed Barakeh asked any South African who suffered apartheid whether it is offensive to them.
As an ex-South African who knows well what real apartheid entails, I find it totally offensive to name such a day in Israel. In apartheid South Africa:
• Black people were not allowed in white hospitals and received third or even fourth-class medical treatment
• Black people could not enter post offices, restaurants, cinemas etc. Sometimes there would be entrances for whites and separate ones for non-whites; other services simply did not exist for blacks
• Black people sat on separate benches in parks – if they were lucky enough to find a park with those benches. They also were relegated to separate beaches.
• Black people had separate buses or were permitted only upstairs in double decker buses
• Black people were not allowed to go out at night in white areas unless they had a “pass” from their white employer
• Black people who worked in homes for whites were lucky to go to their own homes in the townships once a week and usually could not look after their own children
• Black people, although the majority, did not have a vote and certainly did not have any representation in the South African government.
I could go on ad infinitum.
So where is the similarity, I ask? Those who have never experienced actual apartheid may be fooled by the libel from ignorance but to someone who has lived in both South Africa and Israel, the comparison is offensive and odious!NAOMI SIDELSKY
Protesting the word “protesters”
Recent Jerusalem Post coverage of Gaza says, “Palestinian reports say protesters have gathered along the border fence...”
Does the Post consider “Palestinian reports” to be a reliable source? Those who riot in the Gaza Strip, who burn tires (of which Gaza seems to have an endless supply), who are armed with Molotov cocktails, IEDs, knives, guns and more, and who attempt to breach the border fence are not “protesters.” These people are rioters – if not terrorists.
Hamas social media provided Google maps for the rioters highlighting routes to Israeli villages and kibbutzim that had been marked for attack. To characterize these as the acts of “protesters” plays along with Hamas propaganda and helps advance the Hamas goal of increasing the condemnation and isolation of Israel.JULIA LUTCH
Corbyn’s open hostility
Regarding “MP Corbyn called for Britain to boycott Israel in 2005 rally” (August 20), as a British Zionist, I find the argument about whether Jeremy Corbyn’s anti-Zionism is antisemitism irrelevant.
If he becomes our next prime minister, the UK will become openly hostile to the State of Israel, and that is enough reason for any thinking British Jew to oppose the election of a Labour government under him.ROBERT BRYNIN
Bridges of cheese
As a civil and structural engineer (now retired), I found the article “Is a bridge forever?” (August 19) incredible – especially when I saw at the end that the writer had some “background in construction.”
I feel that there is a degree of irresponsibility displayed in publishing such an article because it naturally arouses unnecessary anxiety and indignation in people who know nothing about construction – which means most people.
To clarify the reasons for anxiety and indignation I shall give a similar example in a better understood sphere, i.e. health. It is similar to asking a series of questions such as “Do our doctors here check the patient’s blood type before giving an infusion?”
The inference in the article is absolutely clear, that the aspects of structural design, approval, construction, supervision, and maintenance mentioned, are not dealt with properly, thus endangering everybody.
The issues questioned are such a basic, standard, integral part of any construction process in any reasonably developed country that construction cannot take place without them.
For light relief, I might answer a typical one of his questions. “Does anyone go around to our old bridges and check that the concrete poured 20 or 50 or 100 years ago is still maintaining its strength and hasn’t turned into cheese?” The fact is that concrete gets stronger and stronger as time goes by.
Qualities beyond courage
In your editorial on Maj.-Gen. Yair Golan (“Stay out of the IDF, August 19), you correctly describe his courageous career in the army, which is quite similar to the careers of the other three candidates for the post of chief of staff.
However, as opposed to the other three candidates, Golan does not enjoy a consensus among Israeli citizens, who question his personality, character and Weltanschaung following some of his comments.
Whoever heads our army must enjoy the full trust and support of our population, as every family is serving in this army on a broad scale. I, like many of my colleagues, have serious doubt about Golan’s judgment and priorities when it comes to warfare and the lives of our young soldiers.
I would not want to entrust my children or grandchildren to an army governed by his agenda and distorted moral values.SHLOMO FELDMANN
The photo of Uri Avnery on Page 1
of Tuesday’s paper was taken by Ariel Jerozolimski.
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