Letters to the Editor July 1, 2019: Droning on

Readers of The Jerusalem Post have their say.

July 1, 2019 01:29

Letters. (photo credit: PIXABAY)

Droning on

Regarding “The birth of the drone” (June 28), this is my first time writing feedback about an author, but I just had to send it. I would like the editors of The Jerusalem Post to know that I really enjoyed reading Yaakov Katz’s article about the history of drones. The story of Shabtai Brill is so thrilling, and it is written in a way that makes you want to keep reading more. I hope Katz will get this feedback as he deserves to know that his article is very good and that readers appreciate it.


Tirat Carmel


I am just a layman, but I wonder if drones could catch the incendiary balloons and return them and drop them over Gaza...



Ocasio “Concentration Camp” Cortez

H.A. Goodman’s article “Someone should tell AOC that 1.1 million Jews were murdered at Auschwitz” (June 27) is factually brilliant and right on the money. My only question is will it get to her eyes?


Bat Yam


It was clear from the moment that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took office as a congresswoman from New York that she had an anti-Israel agenda and was willing to use the most egregious antisemitic stereotypical images to promote it.

The fact that the press gave her a tremendous amount of free publicity for these statements led her to up the ante and join the ranks of Holocaust deniers.

I think that instead of rewarding her comments with full-page articles and photographs, not to mention the familiarization of her name to “AOC,” it would be more appropriate to delegate her statements to the back page, if publicizing them at all, as just another unfortunate example of antisemitism from a junior elected official.

It would then be up to her to promote her agenda among her fellow legislators, where without the hype surrounding her in the press, it is unlikely she would garner much attention and or any support.


Beit Shemesh


Beeing there

Regarding “How students can ‘bee’ their best” (June 28), kudos to Eytan Halon for another outstanding column! This gifted writer consistently provides interesting information in an extremely well-written way. His material is much too good to be relegated to the back pages of the paper.

Education is of such key importance that it is criminal not to give it the attention it deserves – which sometimes even requires looking for successful innovations in other countries. More than 40 years ago, my children attended schools in Canada that provided student-centered learning with excellent results.

And despite all the participation, the young people absorbed the importance of – gasp – only one person speaking at a time. They developed into respectful adults, who also were prepared to listen without interrupting.

How can our young people possibly learn very much when it is impossible to understand what is being said because so many students are shouting at once? Even if the school day weren’t so short with the majority of students not able to think effectively due to lack of nourishing breakfasts, the noise level would preclude learning. For the very same reason, it is a miracle that anything is ever accomplished by our Knesset.




Ruthie Blum discusses the changing cultural norms between the sexes in “#MeToo and the harassment of Yaron London” (June 28). Another famous and this time entirely positive personality is being brought to his knees by the #MeToo sexual cultural revolution, this time for an impulsive act of little or no consequence.

An interesting statistic from the USA is that three times more Americans than ever before under the age of 30 are having less sex or no sex at all. The psychologists are having a field day trying to explain the phenomenon. More available pornography (who needs the real thing?), addiction to the smartphones filling the gap of real relationships and nighttime boredom, more youngsters living at home (no easy access to privacy), the list goes on and on.

One reason is overlooked: the growing hostility between the sexes, spearheaded by the #MeToo movement. An attempt to kiss on a date or even hold hands may result in a lawyer’s letter the following day, arrest soon afterward. Why bother? Environmentalists will be pleased – less sex means fewer marriages, fewer births and less consumption.



Kushner’s crusade

The Americans still don’t get it: For the Palestinians, economic prosperity is no pathway to peace (“Jared Kushner: Economic prosperity pathway to peace,” June 26), because it is not and has never been where they are heading.

They are committed to the destruction of Israel and, while they are waiting, position themselves as the poor victim, whom the world is morally obligated to help whose “narrative” is the only truth and whose “historic claims” are non-negotiable. They have gained sympathy and are supported by many nations and institutions such as the UN. Therefore, I think that the real “deal of the century” would be a negotiated international agreement that would force the Palestinians to abandon their victim status, renounce aggression, recognize Israel and build their own nation.


Kiryat Tivon


Thanks to Herb Keinon for bringing us the saga of the economic conference (called workshop) on Palestine (including Israel) and its littoral states, Jordan and Egypt.

The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) claim that a political perspective must precede the economic development and prosperity of millions of Palestinian Arabs is truly nonsensical.

As a retired US Foreign Service officer who worked for 30 years on economic development programs for mostly Arab and Muslim countries, I am witness to the facts. The international donor community has already provided billions upon billions of economic aid dollars to and through the PNA over decades. America alone has contributed hundreds of millions annually in economic assistance. For most of this time, there was a political perspective called “two states for two peoples” on the table. This still remains the case, for better or worse.

If the current proposed economic program, “The Opportunity of the Century,” is a “bribe,” as the PNA now claims, than it has been taking such bribe for decades. There is only one major reason for its policy shift today. It is the PNA’s life-and-death struggle with Hamas all over the Palestinian Arab territories, not just with regard to Gaza. Hamas is the joker in this deadly game because it realizes that if you give people a better future, you reduce their propensity to commit suicide. The PNA refuses to have Palestine itself commit suicide. Israel does not want to have to dispose of the corpse. US President Donald Trump is proposing resurrection.

Destroying Hamas and its deathline to Iran is thus the surest way to achieve PNA cooperation to bring peace and prosperity to all in the region – and to its own people in particular.




I just finished Seth Frantzman’s article “Five takeaways from Trump’s ‘Peace to Prosperity’ plan” (June 26). As with all plans, large or small, the devil is in the details. Even US President Donald Trump, the real-estate mogul, will admit that all projects start with the first shovel full of dirt.

So instead of waiting for the bureaucrats and politicians to evaluate the plan, why not move forward immediately with some (literally) concrete plans to help the people of Gaza help themselves? They can start tomorrow. Assuming that the 2012 statistic from UNICEF is correct, the 51% of Gazans under the age of 18 have surely grown in the last nine years. It seems to me that people are the most abundant “natural resource” available. Instead of protesting at the fence line, launching rockets and incendiary balloons and building tunnels, these young people need to be moved into productive trades.

For those who have the aptitude, send them to tech college to learn plumbing, masonry, electrical engineering, computers, food service, etc. Then may I humbly suggest three projects that could be started immediately. Either build new or convert the Gaza power plant to natural gas; build a state-of-the-art water desalination plant; and lastly, build a state-of-the-art waste-water treatment plant. Good for the general health and hygiene of the people, good for the workers’ bank accounts, good for Israel.

I realize that this is easier said than done; however, the first shovel of dirt needs to be moved somewhere. Speaking of old sayings, how do you eat an elephant? One small bite at a time. Furthermore, beware of teaching a man how to fish. Even if you do so, he may just sit in his boat and drink beer all day.


Mukwonago, WI


Punished in advance

A law is proposed that would restore the legal immunity legislators once had, and people grumble that it is a scandalously “personal” law tailored to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. But what could be more personal than the news that “Panel rejects PM’s third request for tycoons to pay legal bills” (June 25)?

When is the last time the legal system worried about who was paying a defendant’s bills? Does it make a difference to the outcome of the trial? As citizens of a democracy, we should certainly hope not.

The reporter comments that if not prevented, Bibi “could help the tycoon in return for money – which he has allegedly done in the past.” In other words, he is being punished in advance for the possibly that he may repeat a crime for which he has not yet been charged.

To paraphrase Alice in Wonderland, it’s “sentence first, indictment afterwards.”




Our aim at AMIA

It was moving to read Ilanit Chernik’s report on the 25th anniversary of the tragic Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina bombing (UN remembers anniversary of 1994 AMIA bombing,” June 26).

In this respect, we would like to point out a singular initiative of the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, together with the then Archbishop of Buenos Aires, the late Cardinal Antonio Quarracino, which resulted in the erection of a Memorial Mural, dedicated to the victims of the terrorist attacks perpetrated against the Israeli Embassy and the AMIA community hub, as well as to those who were murdered in the Shoah. This monument was inaugurated in 1997, with the presence of former Polish president Lech Walesa and other world dignitaries and constitutes the only memorial emplaced in a Catholic Church, let alone a Cathedral, fully dedicated to Jewish martyrs.

In the wake of the heinous 1994 attack against AMIA, Quarracino visited the ruins and said: “How naïve are these criminals who thought they could defeat Judaism.”

In his last will, Quarracino asked to be buried “next to the Mural,” together with the ashes of his parents, signaling to his successors that this monument should never be removed or relocated. He went further, inviting “Jews who so wish to visit the Mural with their heads covered,” a unique gesture, bearing in mind that Church visitors are always requested to uncover their heads.

Since its inauguration, the mural was visited and praised by world personalities, including former US president Barack Obama.

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio (better known today as Pope Francis) became Archbishop of Buenos Aires following Quarracino’s passing, and in his capacity, he continued preserving and promoting this unique symbol of religious fraternity, which is not widely known, despite its remarkable singularity.



Armenian analyses

After reading “Armenia’s Jewish problem” (June 24), it is clear that writer Jesse Bogner needs a reality check.

Calling Azerbaijan a beacon of religious tolerance – or any kind of tolerance – is laughable. Under Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s government, freedom of expression, assembly and association, have deteriorated

Baku’s extreme sensitivity to criticism seems to get progressively worse (think Alexander Lapshin, a Russian-Israeli blogger who was sentenced to three years in prison in Baku on a charge related to his 2011 and 2012 visits to Nagorno Karabakh).

From election violations (Aliyev’s stronghold) and politically motivated prosecutions (Lapshin) to blatant nepotism (Aliyev’s wife being promoted to vice president) and press suppression (five journalists killed since independence; two journalists recently jailed), Azerbaijan is a violator of human rights.


Former editor of The Armenian Weekly


As a Jew, I have been visiting Armenia since 2005 and have a home there when I am not in Berkeley, CA.

In the early 2000s I attended the dedication of the combined memorial to the Armenian Genocide and the Holocaust, a monument that remains unscathed to this day near the center of Yerevan, the capital of Armenia. The dedication ceremony was attended by the Jewish community, the Chabad rabbi and many others. Jesse Bogner’s opinion piece fails to mention that Israel has yet to officially recognize the Armenian Genocide, although many Israeli scholars and some former government officials do so.

The author’s citation of research does not include comparative data regarding attitudes toward Jews in Azerbaijan and crucially, Bogner does not mention that Azerbaijan is a client of Israeli manufacturers of weapons that threaten and target Armenia and Artsakh.

The latter is a disputed territory, predominantly Armenian until ceded to Azerbaijan by Stalin and retaken by Armenia soon after the fall of the Soviet Union.

Every year I attend an international women’s peace conference in Armenia. Azeri women peace builders do not attend out of fear of retribution from the Azeri government. Not a high recommendation for respect, I would say. Hopefully, The Jerusalem Post will run well-reasoned analysis of the complex political and ethnic dynamics between people who for some time in the past did live together peaceably.


Berkeley, CA and Ushi, Armenia


Freedom of worship?

“Chilean president sorry for Temple Mount snafu” (June 27) describes the Chilean president’s apology for allowing Palestinian officials to accompany him on his visit to the Temple Mount.

Not only should Palestinian officials not be allowed to accompany visiting diplomats, neither should Wakf officials. A visit to the Temple Mount accompanied by Wakf officials undermines the very purpose of having foreign diplomats visit Israel. The Temple Mount is Judaism’s holiest site and is the most significant religious and historical location for the Jewish people. Visiting diplomats should be told the Jewish/Israeli version of the story of the Temple Mount, not the Muslim/Jordanian/Palestinian version. It is about time that Israel appointed an official Israeli representative to accompany foreign diplomats on visits to the Temple Mount.

In addition, the article quotes the Foreign Ministry as saying, “We must distinguish between absolute freedom of worship that Israel safeguards.” If only it were true! Unfortunately, Israel safeguards freedom of worship on the Temple Mount only for Muslims. Non-Muslims, including Jews, are reminded by the police before entering the Temple Mount that they may not bring any religious items and may not perform any visible act of worship including bowing, praying, singing, etc.

We all look forward to the day when Israel will indeed safeguard “absolute freedom of worship” on the Temple Mount as prophesied by Isaiah (chapter 56, verse 7).


Nof Ayalon

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