Letters to the Editor February 23, 2020: You can’t have it all

Readers of The Jerusalem Post have their say.

Letters (photo credit: PIXABAY)
Letters
(photo credit: PIXABAY)
You can’t have it all
Regarding “British MP: Palestinians must bring more to table than a sympathy plea” (February 20), MP Steven Crabb has the right idea about the Trump plan. Like any other plan that has been or will be proposed, it must be a work in progress. And the key to any plan’s evolving into a workable solution is for the Palestinians to come to the negotiating table realizing that they, and not just the Israelis, will have to accept a plan that does not give them 100% of what they want.
It’s good that Crabb recognizes that giving Iran carte blanche to spread terror across the Middle East did not lead to Iran’s becoming “a more responsible international player.” I would hope that, one day soon, he will realize that asking Israelis to refrain from building on land of religious and historic importance to Jews, land of strategic importance to Israel, land liberated from an illegal occupier (Jordan) in a defensive war, is not a reasonable request. Following decades of Arab and Palestinian intransigence, how can Israelis be asked to place their aspirations and rights on hold until a negotiated settlement has been reached?
TOBY F. BLOCK
Atlanta, GA
Israel is a Jewish state
An open letter to Avigdor Liberman” (February 18), an article on Avigdor Liberman’s political shifts, makes no mention of other shifts that Liberman and his fellow Russian olim would like to make, and, indeed, are making here. They came to Israel after years of being denied permission to emigrate. They wanted to come here as Jews, to come to the only state of the Jews. And, once the Russian gates were opened, they came here en masse.
But they obviously forgot, or chose to forget, that the state of the Jews is also a Jewish state. They opened as many non-kosher markets as they were able to, keeping those stores, and others they owned, open seven days a week and on Jewish holy days, closing them only on Yom Kippur. Shabbat is being trampled on, as are other laws and traditions. When the British ruled here, they respected our religious traditions, allowing public transportation on Shabbat in only one Jewish city, Haifa.
Why were the British more respectful of our religion than Liberman and his party? It is time their eyes – and minds – were opened to the traditions we have faithfully been upholding here, and stop trying to make Israel “just another country.” If that’s what it is, so many of us would not be here.

RHEA ISRAEL
Rehovot
Don’t know much about history
Lindsay Goldman (“Anti-Israel pulpits,” Letters, February 19) seems to have been brainwashed, or she has never learned much history.
She apparently is unaware that the nascent state of Israel was attacked by overwhelming Arab armies who encouraged local Arabs to leave their homes by promising them more land after the Jews were thrown into the sea. Transjordan, whose forces were helped by the British, managed to conquer eastern Jerusalem and the “West Bank” and proceeded to massacre/expel the remaining Jews. They made the area Judenfrei and proceeded to damage anything that was Jewish.
The fact that there are numerous Arabs in Israel who don’t want to be part of a Palestinian state and the fact that there are no Jews in Jordan or other Arab countries should be a clue to Goldman which countries are apartheid. Certainly not Israel.
There were also countless Jewish refugees from Arab states who lost everything and have yet to be compensated. No refugee fund was established for them; they were absorbed by the state, while Arab refugees were ignored by their own to be used as propaganda pawns.
We have been forced to take security measures to prevent terrorists from blowing up buses, slitting babies’ throats or shooting diners in restaurants.
If she knew history and the current reality better, she would have appropriate answers for Apartheid Week propagandists. It is sad that she has been duped by their lies.
FREYA BINENFELD
Petah Tikva
Jump on the peace train
The Kingdom of Jordan, which systematically destroyed every synagogue in the Old City during the 19 years that they controlled it, has issued an official condemnation of an Israeli plan, including an 1.8-mile tunnel, for a new rail line leading from the Jerusalem train station to the Western Wall (JPost.com, February 19). Amman Foreign Ministry spokesman Daifallah Al Faiz said the international community should “take on the responsibility to oppose Israel’s illegal and illegitimate measures. This is a blatant violation of international law.”
Ironically, one notes that Jordan has failed to condemn the tunnels dug by terrorist group Hezbollah under the Israel-Lebanon border or those dug by Hamas from Gaza into sovereign Israeli territory with the express purpose of giving terrorists access to kill Israeli children.
Jordan’s leaders reveal their hypocrisy in condemning a tunnel intended to facilitate religious worship and promote tourism. The trite claims of violation of international law against Israel ring hollow, especially under these circumstances.
Nor does it say much for the credibility of the Israel-Jordan peace agreement, but it does show that a piece of paper to record peace between Arabs and Jews is worthless without genuine both Arab goodwill and more importantly, Israeli military might to enforce it.
DESMOND TUCK
San Mateo, CA
Boycott consistently
So in Ramallah there is a six-meter two-ton bronze statue of Nelson Mandela. (“Caught in the Middle of Palestinians’ Normalization Debate,” February 18).
Does the statue note the fact that in 1997 Nelson Mandela accepted an Honorary Doctorate from Israel’s Ben Gurion University of the Negev? Unlikely. Since, as reporter Lahav Harkov writes, “the PLO condemns interaction with Israeli society,” it would seem the PLO has no choice, notwithstanding a statue in Ramallah, to add Nelson Mandela to its blacklist of people who interact with Israel.
RICHARD SHERMAN
Margate, Florida
Shout out
Regarding “Vatican: No ‘smoking gun’ in wartime archives of Pius XII on Holocaust” (February 20), Father Norbert Hofmann, the top Vatican official in charge of religious relations with Jews, states that Pope Pius XII was a “cautious man... under the circumstances of the occupation it would have been difficult to shout out.”
It is exactly when circumstances are difficult that religious institutions and their leaders have a moral responsibility to shout out for those whose voices cannot be heard.
Do not confuse the saving of a few hundred “Pope’s Jews” with a Church that is anti-Jew, a situation that continues to the present day.

SAM ROSENBLUM
Beit Shemesh
More even distribution of wealth
Regarding “Israel’s economic growth has left most people behind” (January 20), the speed of innovation and change should help improve living standards.” However, a recent Jerusalem Post article pointed out that the percent of wage earners in Israel having to live at the minimum wage level has actually risen in recent years, in spite of the technological and business advances being made here. This would suggest that increases of industrial income have not been translated into improved Israeli living standards in many cases.
It is nice to hear of the newly enhanced billionaires in the hi-tech industries, but for the Israeli economy to enjoy this improvement as a whole, a more even distribution of wealth is needed. This is not to suggest a Sanders-type of socialist impediment to encouraging innovation, but it does identify a need for employers to be more forthcoming with profit distributions to their employees.
A similar problem was encountered in the US following the significant Trump business tax decrease. It was uncertain if the anticipated increased net income of US industries would be translated into elevated salaries of the workers or would be used to buy back outstanding stock issues. Soon after the tax modification, salary increases of basic workers continued at the typical 3% level. Only as the year-end holidays approached was workers’ buying power enhanced.
GARY STEINMAN
Jerusalem
Dangerous curve ahead
Eli Kavon, along with his cadre of doomsayers who are predicting the accelerating disappearance of American Jewry (“Charles Krauthammer on the dying Diaspora,” February 20) are misreading the numerous surveys of Jewish affiliation as well as support of Israel. They regard the data as a single statistical curve that reflects this trend for the entire Jewish population.
A much more realistic picture may be obtained by building two statistical curves; one representing the traditional observant community; namely Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox and the second the rest of the studied population. Here we find a rapidly declining curve along with a rapidly ascending one. The subsequent conclusions and predictions become rather obvious
DR. SAMUEL DERSHOWITZ
Jerusalem

Still-vivid horrors
Regarding “Suffering and resolve: Walking with survivors on the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz” (February 18), when I went on the March of the Living several years ago, I was paired with an 83-year-old woman, Sylvia Kagan, who wanted to find the barracks in which she had been imprisoned when she was 16 years old. The first thing she said as we walked through the infamous gates of Birkenau was “there was no grass growing when I was here.”
As we walked though endless barracks looking for her particular one, she pointed to the double electrified fence surrounding the camp. Ordinary people walked on the road outside, she explained, and occasionally would throw an apple or piece of bread inside. She recalled how on one occasion, someone threw a roll that landed in between the two electric fences. For the starving girl in front of her, this was too much of a temptation. She ever so gingerly extended her hand through an opening in the fence to retrieve the roll, when suddenly, smoke began coming out of all of her orifices. Sylvia recalled that no matter how starved she was, she never went near the fence. For her, and for all of us, the horrors of that place and time were as vivid as they were decades ago.
As Anat Barber points out in her article, seeing Auschwitz through the eyes of a survivor, is to experience viscerally the unspeakable murder that took place there.

MARION REISS
Beit Shemesh
Don’t sweat the small stuff
Like any big operation, the IDF can suffer from flaws, and it is the responsibility and duty of major newspapers (“Fixing the IDF,” February 23) to report on these flaws and inform the public. Major matters like the over-reporting of haredi enlistment and flooding of the Hatzor Air Force base need to be investigated and the causes corrected.
However, embellishment of the reportage with minor trivia diminishes the impact. A platoon commander said that he does not see Ethiopians at night because they are black. This statement is largely a statement of fact. Ethiopians are indeed blacker than “whites” and perhaps the commander was in the middle of explaining why Ethiopians are better scouts at night because it is more difficult for them to be seen by the enemy. It is reminiscent of the Anti-Defamation League in the USA counting as antisemitic tweets that state that Jews are good businessmen or that Jews are well-educated. Both are true.
After intensive investigation, it turned out that native Americans don’t mind names like the Cleveland Indians or Chicago Black Hawks. They couldn’t care less. The threshold on the counting of racist statements has to be raised for responsible reportage.
YIGAL HOROWITZ
Beersheba
Temple Mount turmoil
Regarding “Ex-MK Glick detained for walking ‘too slowly’ on Temple Mount” (February 19), during the derelict governance of British Mandatory Palestine, Jews were forbidden from blowing a ram’s horn in the vicinity of the Western Wall. To blow the shofar there was to defy the British. So was praying aloud. So was reading from the Torah in public there.
That was then; this is now. Now, Jews forbid Jews from praying on the Temple Mount. Praying Jews are preyed upon both by the Muslim Wakf and the Israeli police. IDF Commander Motta Gur’s June 1967 words, har habayit beyadenu (the Temple Mount is in our hands) morphed into a fata morgana at the hands of defense minister Moshe Dayan. He handed the Temple Mount to the Jordanian Wakf, making Jewish prayer there a dangerous venture veiled behind tightened lips, hidden behind inconspicuous whispers and surrendered to inaudible prayers.
Prayers are forbidden on the Temple Mount to Jews. Jews are preyed upon by an Israeli police force hell-bent in allowing the rule of Hell to be dictated by the Wakf. This travesty occurs on Judaism’s most supreme and cherished plot of planetary realty: Har Habayit.
To sadly counter Motta Gur’s chilling words, Har Habayit lo beyadenu (the Temple Mount is not in our hands).
LEVI J ATTIAS
Gibraltar
Moovit miracle
Regarding “Ness Ziona-based Moovit expands to 100 countries” (February 23), as a car-less commuter who goes everywhere by bus, bike and foot, Moovit is an integral part of my mobile life. Consulting it multiple times a day gives me the information needed to make my travels immensely more efficient.
I must take this milestone opportunity to congratulate the visionaries and geniuses who created a service so supremely valuable that it has quickly scaled up to hundreds of millions of grateful users around the world. I wish them continued success!
ALVIN THOMAS
Tel Aviv
Speaking opportunity
In “Belgium cancels invitation to UN for anti-Israel NGO” (February 23), we learn that Brad Parker suddenly finds himself with an open speaking date due to the sordid history of rabid anti-Israel activism of his NGO.
On the same page, we read that Gazans plan to resume their violent March of Return riots. Suggestion: Why doesn’t Parker consider setting up a podium to deliver his balanced and well-reasoned musings to the “peaceful” demonstrators, who will no doubt listen with utmost courtesy, respect and appreciation?
Just sayin’...
SID BRODY
Jerusalem