I am in complete agreement with Isi Leibler (“Netanyahu messed up, but it is time to move forward,” Candidly Speaking, January 17), except for one line: “No other Western leader has been subject to such concentrated, venomous attempts to portray them as despicably avaricious.”
We have just witnessed a prolonged election campaign in the United States in which Donald Trump overcame 17 rivals in primary elections and one opponent in the general election despite being subjected to 17 months of vicious attacks by the mainstream, leftist media.
Both the broadcast media, led by ABC, CBS, CNN and MSNBC, and the major print media, especially The New York Times, never let up in trying to bring down Mr. Trump while they coddled Hillary Clinton, as they did President Barack Obama for eight years. Only the Fox News Channel represented fair and balanced reporting and provided opportunities for those from the Left to the Right to express their views on its opinion shows.
Despite the attempts of the leftist media to affect the outcome of the election, Mr. Trump triumphed. These media outlets are now confused and can’t figure out what went wrong. Even today, accusations are leveled against Mr. Trump even though they are unsubstantiated.
The difference with the situation in Israel is that there is no right-wing media outlet to counter the overwhelming attacks on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by the leftist broadcast and print media. As pointed out by Mr. Leibler, the leftist press in Israel protects leaders who adopt the leftist political agenda, which the majority of Israelis have rejected in the voting booth.
Regarding the case involving Arnon Mozes, publisher of Yediot Aharonot, we are talking about conversations that are well over two years old. Israel Hayom maintains its advantage in circulation despite the fact that Yediot is also given out for free at gas and train stations.
The problem with the leftist media in both the US and Israel is that they think the public consists of ignoramuses incapable of making an intelligent voting decision in line with their intelligentsia agenda. Surprise, surprise! We are not that stupid! AVRAHAM FRIEDMAN
Until July 2007, there were three main daily Hebrew newspapers in Israel, all leaning to the left, with Yediot Aharonot enjoying the biggest readership.
Israel Hayom was founded to give a voice to the Right, and in order to reach a higher level of readership, it was distributed for free, while the financing was taken care of by advertising and Sheldon Adelson.
By 2011, Israel Hayom became the daily newspaper with the highest circulation, probably thanks to its non-payment policy.
As a consequence, there was concern that the other newspapers would not be able to survive.
For that reason, Zionist Union MK Eitan Cable proposed legislation to ban free newspapers.
The disappearance of for-pay dailies might create a democratic deficit, but the previous situation, in which no newspaper represented opinions of the Right, was equally undemocratic.
The idea of Yediot presenting a more balanced approach with a more rightist outlook seems reasonable in that context.
I find it perfectly normal for Yediot publisher Arnon Mozes to have offered a compromise to the leader of the governing coalition, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Neither can be blamed for trying to conceive a solution to a real dilemma for Israeli society.
To call this corruption is totally insane.JACQUES PICARD
With the media scrutinizing and hounding Prime Minister Netanyahu all these years, and with one allegation after another evaporating into thin air, chances are that he is likely one of the most virtuous politicians Israel has.
The story of cigars and drinks sounds well within the realm of friendship, and the story of negotiations with the publisher of Yediot Aharonot (apart from the fact that nothing came of them) is, I suspect, quite common in the relationship between politics and media.
Israel is facing enormous challenges that require all the prime minister’s attention. It’s time for character assassination based on petty allegations to cease.JOSHUA ROWE
Manchester, UKThreats of hell
With regard to “Fatah spokesman: Moving US Embassy to Jerusalem will ‘open the gates of hell’” (January 16), Osama Qawasmeh and his cohorts apparently are hell’s gatekeepers.
This hyperbole is reminiscent of the 1947 boast by Abdul Rahman Hassan Azzam, secretary- general of the Arab League, that the establishment of Israel would lead to “a war of extermination and momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacre and the Crusades.” Instead, the war ended with what the Palestinians call the Nakba (catastrophe).
Their leaders should learn from the past.
Arabs know that our claims to the Land of Israel supersede theirs; they are terrified lest this be discovered, so they issue funereal threats and oratory to cover up their lies. This did not work in 1947, and it will not work now. It might even lead them to becoming residents of hell, and not its gatekeepers.ALFRED INSELBERG
Kenneth Lasson is wrong (“Why Trump should move US embassy to Jerusalem,” Comment & Features, January 15).
Such a move is bound to drag the region into a religious war and protract the vicious cycle of lawlessness, terrorism and extremism in an already traumatized world. Moreover, it would rekindle religious emotions in neighboring Jordan, the largest host of Palestinian refugees per capita and whose Hashemite rulers are the legal and historic guardians of Jerusalem’s Islamic and Christian holy places.
The holy city should remain a citadel of peaceful and harmonious coexistence between the three monotheistic faiths. As King Abdullah II has advocated, a city closed to any monotheistic faith is a catastrophe.MUNJED FARID
AL QUTOBLondon Improving legislation
A ministerial committee recently voted unanimously to support a bill, proposed by 11 MKs from a broad spectrum of political parties, to ban NGOs like Breaking the Silence from speaking in government schools (“Ministers: Ban Breaking the Silence from schools,” January 9).
In its current form, the bill is an amendment to the Law of Government Education (1953), and while it does not refer directly to Breaking the Silence, it focuses on groups that undermine service in the IDF. While the goal of the bill is clearly desirable, I believe there is a more comprehensive and consistent legislative answer to limiting activities of such foreign- funded NGOs.
It is well-known that Breaking the Silence is one of about 25 NGOs funded by foreign governments, and therefore subject to significant disclosure requirements as provided in the so-called transparency law passed by the Knesset last July.
All of these NGOs should be banned from speaking in public schools, not because of any particular position they advocate, but because they are agents of foreign governments and have no place declaiming their agenda, whatever it might be, in such places.
Accordingly, I suggest that the bill be submitted as an amendment to the transparency law, and not to the education law. In this way, other necessary limitations on all foreign-funded NGOs could be legislated – such as closing them to girls performing alternative national service – without the need to specify the NGO involved, the issue being advocated or where it is being carried out.