Letters to the editor: Witless fans

The US military has hundreds of thousands of combat troops stationed in NATO and SEATO countries, including Japan, South Korea, Germany and Turkey, and many more on ships throughout the world. It does not have one combat soldier stationed in Israel.

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August 22, 2016 22:22
Letters

Letters. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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Witless fans

With regard to “Scottish soccer club to face charges over abundance of Palestinian flags” (August 21), surely, the best punishment for the fans would be to write out the “90 laws” that “discriminate against indigenous Palestinians who make up 20 percent” of Israel’s population.

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I, for one, would love to know what they are.

This list should then be sent to all those poor Palestinians who make up so much of our population, asking them if they would like to leave this “apartheid state” and live somewhere else.

I am sick of the lies that are fed to unsuspecting people who haven’t the wit to go and check them.

FREYA BINENFELD Petah Tikva

Lurid headline

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I have yet to see a more lurid headline than “Will Barak testify against Netanyahu?” and sub-headline “MKs demand hearing after accusation that PM harmed national security” (August 19).

My immediate reaction was, Good Lord, what has Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu done to us? Has he given state secrets to our enemies? Only when I read further did I see it was all due to a simple a statement by former prime minister Ehud Barak, who, like former president Shimon Peres, tends to run off at the mouth with unsubstantiated accusations and extremely foolish prognostications.

They are two very bad “prophets” that Israel is burdened with!

MICHA’EL S. BLOCH Kochav Yair

Others get more

According to your Washington- based correspondent Michael Wilner (“US Green party presidential candidate calls to end Israel aid,” August 19), Israel receives more US foreign aid than any other country. Let me explain why this is incorrect.

The US has mutual protection treaties with 36 countries (NATO and SEATO), and is obligated by treaty to come to their defense.

Israel is not a member of either organization, and has no such treaty with the US.

The only time a US president (Dwight D. Eisenhower) promised (in a letter to then prime minister David Ben-Gurion) to protect Israeli interests, it was to keep the Gulf of Aqaba open to Israeli shipping. But another US president (Johnson) did not honor this commitment, consequently forcing Israel to attack Egypt and begin the Six Day War.

The US military has hundreds of thousands of combat troops stationed in NATO and SEATO countries, including Japan, South Korea, Germany and Turkey, and many more on ships throughout the world. It does not have one combat soldier stationed in Israel.

The US military budget is $600 billion a year. Divide that budget by the 36 countries in the treaty organizations, and note that each treaty member receives about $17b. in US aid per year to stay under the umbrella of US protection. Compare that to the $3b. a year Israel receives from the US.

Is Israel really the largest recipient of US aid?

JOEL LEVINE Sunny Isles Beach, Florida

Google it

In “Historians say Warsaw’s bill on ‘death camps’ extreme” (August 19), we learn about Poland’s efforts to clarify that the death camps set up in Poland during World War II were German, not Polish. These efforts draw attention to the record of Polish anti-Semitism, which includes the Jedwabne pogrom, in which Jews were burned alive during the Holocaust by their Polish neighbors.

Readers interested in current and historical Polish anti-Semitism can start their search for information by googling “Polish anti-Semitism,” “Jedwabne,” “Wasosz” and “Radzilow.”

GERRY MYERS Beit Zayit

Misleading claim

Reuven Hammer (“Can Israel teach American Jews about Jewish identity?” Observations, August 19) writes that “since the vast majority of American Jews are not Orthodox, why is it that two-thirds of the money is going to Orthodox groups, and none whatsoever to the Conservative or Reform groups that represent the majority of organized religious Jewry?” While the vast majority of American Jews are non-observant and, in deed, indifferent to Jewish religious tradition, this does not mean they have any commitment to non-Orthodox movements.

Even Hammer’s clever switch of terminology by referring to those he calls “organized religious Jewry” is disingenuous in that the vast majority are “paper members” only, unlike the Orthodox, who are regular participants in synagogue activities.

If I am not mistaken, their Jewish identity is so diluted that a majority of them are marrying non-Jews who do not even go through the “conversions” their movements provide. So though his first claim might well be true, the second is not, and it is entirely – and possibly deliberately – misleading.

MARTIN D. STERN Salford, UK

Transportation woes

Following on the heels of Israel’s valiant efforts at the Rio Olympics, one could be forgiven for thinking that our national sport is judo. But one would be sadly mistaken, for it is surely our famous free-style highway driving.

The rules are simple and strictly adhered to by all competitors.

One gets behind the wheel of the most powerful and largest vehicle affordable, and sets off at breakneck speed in an effort to reach a destination in the shortest possible time. A total absence of any policing on our roads enables and facilitates all participants to freely engage in any maneuver that will hinder, impede, delay or otherwise hold back any other car in the immediate vicinity. A prerequisite for success is an innate ability not to anticipate any threat of danger.

Such a shame that there is, as yet, no official designation for this sport in the Olympics. If there were, we Israelis would take gold every time!

DAVID S. ADDLEMAN Mevaseret Zion

I just came back from London, where I was very impressed with the public transportation system, especially the speed of getting on and off buses.

The driver does not take money, which means a great savings of time in not having to give tickets and change to those who have no card. To get on the bus, a visitor has to have an Oyster card, which can be bought at many shops.

Nobody is allowed to get off at the front of the bus, which means people can get on straight away and place their card on a magnetic plate without stopping.

Compare this to our system – we have delays waiting for people who like to get off at the front, where the doors are so narrow.

I am also amazed at Egged’s 947 line to Jerusalem, and how many people give the driver large notes for a single fare. Multiply this on most buses around Israel and you can see how much time and money we could save.

W. MALKINSON Ra’anana

I enjoy using the train service.

But it’s always a hassle to arrive at Jerusalem’s Malha station. There aren’t any buses, and the few taxis that wait outside have drivers who are rude and uncooperative, and generally won’t take you anywhere unless you live far enough away to make the ride lucrative.

I have no intention to please the taxi drivers by moving house, but why should I have to hike to the Malha shopping mall to get a taxi home?

RAYMOND APPLE Jerusalem

CORRECTIONS

• The mayor of Sderot is Alon Davidi, and not as stated in “Rocket hits Sderot, Israel responds with planes, tanks” (August 22).

• The headline “Beitar Jerusalem draws with Kfar Saba” (Sports, August 22) should have been “Beitar Jerusalem draws with Maccabi Petah Tikva.”

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