Letters to the Editor: September 15, 2014

Readers respond to The Jerusalem Post's latest articles.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
Letters
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Rarefied visit
Sir, – Barry Leff concludes his tour of Hebron (“A rare visit to Hebron,” Observations, September 12) by coming up with only two alternatives: removing Hebron’s 700 Jews, who have reclaimed a millennia-old birthplace of Judaism, or shifting the burden of security from the “majority” to the “minority.”
There is a third alternative that Leff omits, and that is to demand that Arabs live peaceably with the Jews in their midst. There is something perverse, not to say counterproductive, in accepting Arab intolerance and xenophobia as a given and expecting no adverse consequences.
Terrorism and murder should result in disruption to the perpetrators, just as firing rockets should draw a harsh response in kind. To expect otherwise is what is truly unfair, both to Jews and, not least, to Arabs.
IRVING WIESEN
Jerusalem
Sir, – Barry Leff answers his own question in his final paragraph: It is precisely because the 700 Jews living in Hebron cannot be assured of their safety living alongside the indigenous Palestinian population that arbitrary measures need to be implemented to protect them from harassment and worse.
No one wants to deprive Palestinians of their livelihood. I am waiting to visit Hebron with an organization called “Palestinians for Peace Now,” should it ever happen. No one would be more delighted than me.
LEILA CUMBER
London
Sir, – In 1996, when I was living in London, a friend gave me a copy of the Palestinian Weekly, dated September 6, 1929, which belonged to an employee who had served in the British Police in Palestine. The front-page headline was: “The week of riot and horror, barbaric massacres at Hebron, Motza and Safed.” The reporting included the testimony of eyewitnesses.
The Jewish community in Hebron lived side-by-side with Muslims for years on the same street where Americans for Peace Now feel sorry for the closed Palestinian shops. To refer to today’s Jewish community of Hebron as a settlement is just ignorant. A rabbi is expected to know the religious importance of Hebron to the Jewish people.
JOE GELLERT
Netanya
Abnormal situation
Sir, – In “Normalizing Israel” (Savir’s Corner, September 12), Uri Savir offers a number of disturbing examples by placing Jewish communities around the world in place of the Arabs he feels are not treated fairly in Israel.
But the examples are not in their proper context.
What would happen if Jews were to stone cars and maim passengers just because they drove through Golders Green? Or Jews were to burn down the underground station and prevent the subway trains continuing northward to Edgware? Such actions would not be tolerated by the local authorities.
And actually, groups of Arabs in Europe do chant “Death to Jews,” so we know what it’s like and we don’t like it. In Israel it’s perhaps dozens of chanters; in Europe it’s thousands. And when 90 percent of violent terrorist activity, including the latest fad of slicing throats, is carried out by Muslims, we have good reason to be upset and wary.
As we seem to be at war with our Arab neighbors every two years and there are no calls from the Palestinians for genuine peace and harmony (all Arab areas must be judenrien!), how are we expected to relate to them? DAVID AMINOFF Jerusalem Academic credit Sir, – In “Academic denied Illinois post due to Israel tweets threatens to sue school” (September 11), you give Steven Salaita a lot of credit by calling him an “academic” because he held a teaching position at Virginia Tech, although many have called into question his work on indigenous people.
That Salaita threatens to sue the school and calls for public support sounds true, but his history of poor educational work goes back long before there were any tweets on Gaza that showed his bias against Israel.
The University of Illinois should be given high praise for checking the history and qualifications of potential employees.
SHARON ALTSHUL
Jerusalem Negative impact
Sir, – Harris Zvi Green (“The court’s in session,” Comment & Features, September 11) accurately details the many flaws in the UN Human Rights Council’s “independent International Commission” to investigate Israel’s conduct during Operation Protective Edge.
However, Israel should be very careful not to rely on emotion and preconceptions in deciding whether or not to cooperate.
Israel’s experience with the Goldstone Commission is instructive. The panel’s conclusions were every bit as damning as had been expected from the outset, yet nobody questioned their validity because of Israel’s failure to cooperate. Israel might have felt vindicated for staying away, but the negative impact was not reduced in the slightest.
The Israeli instinct not to legitimize the Human Rights Council’s kangaroo court is certainly understandable. Still, it removes even the slightest possibility that Israel’s position might be reflected in the final report.
Israel should provide precise evidence demonstrating why its actions were entirely legal and moral, with appropriate references to Hamas’s reprehensible actions for comparison. There will be time enough to condemn and refute the final report.
EFRAIM A. COHEN
Zichron Ya’acov
The writer is a former US diplomat
Not a word
Sir, – I opened your September 11 issue and realized the importance of the day only when I saw the date at the top of the pages.
The entire front page did not mention a thing. Or the second.
Or the third. Not a word about the atrocities of 9/11.
Is it because it has already been 13 years and people don’t see the importance of an article about this awful terrorist attack? How can we as a Jewish nation not think of it as important? Don’t we always say never forget? I understand that we don’t live in the United States and this is not at all the same as the Holocaust, but it indeed is something very important that people should be reading about. I have never sent a letter of complaint before, but this particular topic really bothered me, especially because it is not in the school curriculum and students don’t learn about it anymore.
I hope that maybe next year it will be covered in your pages a little bit better.
ARIELLA JAKOBOVITS
Ra’anana
The writer is an 11th-grade student

Groveling PM
Sir, – With regard to “PMO: Take down illegal foot bridge to Mugrabi Gate” (September 4), an Israeli government official was quoted as saying: “Why create unnecessary areas of friction. Responsible leadership wants to reduce areas of friction, not add to them.”
Responsible leadership would respect the rights of Jews at their holiest site rather than see them humiliated and treated like criminals.
Responsible leadership does not continually surrender to the enemy. Unfortunately, this seems to be the natural way of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who, according to your report, said the issue was “highly sensitive in Jordan and throughout the Muslim world.”
The footbridge is necessary for the safety of non-Muslims while Muslims use the main entrance – which should be the one used by Jews. One must not upset Muslims.
For a groveling prime minister with no pride in himself, his people or land, Netanyahu must surely earn himself the Nobel Prize – because he is not earning himself any respect.
EDITH OGNALL
Netanya
CORRECTION
In “A journalistic rite of passage” (The Jerusalem Post Magazine, September 12), the visiting group of journalists met with Alon Shvut resident Cheryl Mandel, mother of fallen soldier Lt. Daniel Mandel, and not as stated.