Regarding “J’lem accuses Swedish FM of supporting terrorism” (January 13), on October 22, police shot dead 21-year-old Anton Pettersson after he stabbed to death two people and wounded two more at a school in Trollhattan, Sweden. Does Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström classify this as an “extrajudicial execution” or the “disproportionate use of force,” which is what she accuses Israel of in dealing with the ongoing spate of attacks by Palestinians? As a Swedish citizen, it saddens me that the best Sweden can come up with as its top diplomat is an incompetent, uneducated (she is only a high school graduate, without any academic degrees) former bank clerk who has a pathological obsession with the Jewish state.
Wallström’s unrealistic, twisted worldview – that the victim, in this case Israel, has to be “investigated” and held “accountable” for defending itself – will definitely not earn Sweden a seat on the UN Security Council.
ERWIN PAVEL Ra’anana Full contiguity
With regard to “Regavim: EU funding Dead Sea road to help annex area to Palestinian Authority” (January 13), the road leading from the back of Gush Etzion provides access to the Jericho area and Samaria. This justifies Israel’s annexation of the Etzion bloc and other areas surrounding Jerusalem, as the Palestinians will still have contiguity between the areas north and south of the city.
ZVI FINK Modi’inThe bard gets it
As Will Shakespeare said, “the lady doth protest too much, methinks.” I write, of course, of Lara Friedman of Peace Now (“No comparison between Israeli NGO bill and US law,” Comment & Features, January 13).
Friedman states that Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked’s NGO bill and a US law of similar nature bear no comparison, as Shaked’s does not concern money given by foreign individuals or organizations, only by foreign governments.
A case can indeed be made for including the former in this legislation.
What is much more interesting, however, is Friedman’s reminding me how long Peace Now has been annoying me – since 1978! I do not doubt the honorable motives of the original 348 IDF officers and soldiers whose letter led to the founding of Peace Now. But it is apparent that without the funds of foreign governments, it cannot survive.
This is because it does not enjoy the same level of support from local or foreign individuals and organizations that right-leaning NGOs do.
If NGOs such as Peace Now cannot raise enough money from local supporters or rich foreigners or organizations, it is painfully clear that neither the people of Israel nor many rich individuals abroad share their vision. It is also clear that their support from foreign governments is solely on of an ideological basis.
If the “people” do not support an idea, it will die a natural death.
YISRAEL GUTTMAN Jerusalem
It is puzzling that those who define Israel as a confident and open society are so intent on opposing our efforts to achieve transparency regarding the source of funding for NGOs.
Why would those who tout democracy and free expression object to contributors being identified?
MARCELLA WACHTEL JerusalemOne deterrent
I must agree with reader Edith Ognall’s sentiments, that “dead terrorists have lost any entitlement to a normal burial” (“Still vulnerable,” Letters, January 13).
Indeed, I don’t understand why their bodies deserve burial at all.
These animals, who have no regard for human life, should, in my opinion, have their bodies sprayed with pig’s blood and then incinerated. It will then, maybe, occur to their brethren that there is no paradise awaiting them, only Hell and damnation.
Perhaps these suicidal practices will then stop.
ARIEL BROCH Shadmot Mehola
Your editorial “B’Tselem’s fire” (January 12) was spot on in saying: “It was difficult to miss the glee with which some people, particularly those with a leftwing agenda, jumped to the conclusion that B’Tselem’s offices were set on fire by far-right activists....” It might just as easily have been set by B’Tselem supporters to deflect public attention from the unsavory activities of far-Left activist Ezra Nawi, who was detained on Monday night at Ben-Gurion Airport while attempting to flee the country.
Of course, law-abiding humanrights activists would never do such things, any more than it is conceivable that peace-loving Arabs could possibly have burned down the house in Duma. Even to suggest such a line of thought must be condemned by all right-thinking people (of course, only to be found on the political Left) as being intrinsically racist, sexist and homophobic.
Luckily for B’Tselem, the cause of the fire was an entirely non-political short circuit, so nobody can accuse it of responsibility for another Reichstag fire.
MARTIN D. STERN Salford, UK Too much hypocrisy
Lately, we have been exposed to far too many instances of hypocrisy. Here are just a few examples.
• US Ambassador Dan Shapiro is concerned about Israeli democracy because of a proposed law for more transparency by foreign-funded organizations (“US Embassy expresses displeasure with NGO transparency bill,” January 12). Could this be a case of the Yiddish expression dem ganev brennt der hittel (the thief feels his hat is on fire, or a person is feeling guilty)? I suggest that Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked inform Shapiro that in order to “save” our democracy, she will copy the US Foreign Agents Registration Act in its entirety.
• When the media reported a fire at the B’Tselem office in Jerusalem, the NGO quickly blamed it on “right-wing incitement.”
However, when it turned out to be an electrical short, there was no apology. After all, incitement can only come from the Right.
What B’Tselem, Peace Now, Breaking the Silence, et al do is not for the purpose of incitement.
It is for “human rights,” although they seem not to include the human rights of Jews.
• We have the case of an anti-religious, left-wing activist trapping Arabs willing to sell land to Jews in order to hand these Arabs over to the Palestinian Authority so they can be tortured and killed. What a patriotic “human rights” activist! Why is Ezra Nawi not being charged as an accomplice to murder? • Then we have those who proclaim all the time that this is a “Jewish and democratic state” yet are most vociferous against making Shabbat a true day of rest. Sad to see that Tel Aviv, the country’s “first Jewish city,” is most vociferous in its objections.
How right was the Prophet Isaiah so many years ago when he said Mehorsayich u’macharivayich mimeich yetzeiu (Your destroyers and detractors will come forth from within you)! MENACHEM DAYAGI Tel Aviv Short-sighted penalty
The new law taking effect in Jerusalem for apartment owners who leave their properties empty for most of the year (“Bill approved to double property tax on capital’s ‘ghost apartments,’” January 5) is short-sighted and unduly punitive.
Many of us who purchased such dwellings did so out of great love for Israel, and not as an investment, as we pay house committee expenses monthly even though we don’t regularly benefit. We ourselves don’t rent out our apartment, as our children, who live in other cities, come and stay periodically.
We have come to Israel during every intifada and war, when the shops are empty. We should not be penalized for choosing to buy a home in Jerusalem, the capital belonging to every Jew worldwide.
R. SIMON Jerusalem