letters to the editor 88.
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Sir, - Your editorial "The Apartheid libel" (February 15) asked why Israel is treated differently by Westerners to the numerous Muslim nations with their illiberal laws and human rights infringements. Israelis and Jews might hesitate to answer, but I, a Christian, will.
While anti-Semitism is a factor for some, for most it is because they see Muslim nations as inferior to Judeo-Christian ones. Simply, they have lower expectations of nations such as Sudan, Mauritania and Saudi Arabia than they do of Israel.
In true multiculturalist style, they scorn Israel; but given the choice of life under the legal systems of these Muslim countries, or of Israel's, need one wonder how they'd choose?
It is a bizarre, quite unwanted compliment for Israel - but a compliment all the same.
Sir, - When my husband had open heart surgery at Jerusalem's Shaare Zedek, Arab and Jewish patients were treated side by side. While the patients had their afternoon rest I went to eat my lunch in the room set aside for visitors. The relatives of the Arab patients invited me to join them. "Tfadali" (please), they said.
I went to sit with them at their table. We discussed the well-being of our dear ones and praised the devotion of the doctors and nurses, some of whom were also Arab. I used the Arabic I had picked up working in Israeli mother and child health clinics, visited by Arabs as well as Jews.
Is this what they call apartheid?
DR. SUSI LEVENE M.D.
The Zionists created UNRWA
Sir, - Re "Who UNRWA is, and what we do" (February 14) by Karen Koning Abuzayd, the commissioner-general of UNRWA, I would like to draw your readers' attention to chapter 11, page 235 of Ilan Pappe's The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, which states:
"One of the UN's first misguided decisions was not to involve the International Refugee Organization (IRO) but to create a special agency for the Palestinian refugees. It was Israel and the Zionist Jewish organizations abroad that were behind the decision to keep the IRO out of the picture: the IRO was the very same body that was assisting the Jewish refugees in Europe following the Second World War, and the Zionist organizations were keen to prevent anyone from making any possible association or even comparison between the two cases. Moreover, the IRO always recommended repatriation as the first option to which refugees were entitled. This is how UNRWA came into being."
The Zionists created UNRWA. Now shut up and let it get on with its humanitarian work.
A new reality for the evacuees
Sir, - Kudos for your editorial "The forgotten evacuees" (February 18). Now what? This isn't the first time well-meaning people have bemoaned the plight of the Gush Katif refugees, but so far not much has been done to help them. I suggest that those well-meaning people who signed the "moving petition" noted in your editorial do more than just urge the government to act.
The government has proved itself unwilling or unable to help. Why don't those prominent signatories use their brainpower to help find a solution to the misery and injustice inflicted on those who were promised a solution?
Let them sit down with the refugees, listen to them and together identify the problems. Then, using their connections, let them start advocating for the solutions in the Knesset - and in the private sector, where they can really do some good.
Their concern shouldn't end with the petition. The petition should be an impetus for change.
Deckchairs on the 'Titanic'
Sir, - Two headlines on page 2 of your February 14 issue focused on what the world needs to do about Iran. MK Yuval Steinitz said it was up to the US ("US must prevent Teheran from obtaining nukes, Steinitz tells 'Post'"). Avigdor Lieberman said it was down to sanctions ("Lieberman says sanctions can stop a nuclear Iran"). A third story quoted Israeli officials urging the EU to stand firm.
And what was Israel's government debating? On page 3 they were arguing over who gets the Tourism Ministry ("Herzog vows to not be Peretz's pawn"). Sounds like rearranging deckchairs on the Titanic.
Let's pray for a leadership of realists who can face up to the two certainties of our times: that Iran will get nuclear weapons, and that only Israel can ensure its own defense.
As Hillel put it: "If I am not for myself, who will be? And if not now, when?"
Sir, - MK Yuval Steinitz sounded very confident about the ability of the Arrow defense system to protect us from missiles armed with a nuclear warhead ("The difference is not in the warhead," February 16). The question the interviewer didn't ask him - and which I've never heard answered - is: What if Iran fires off 50 missiles simultaneously, 47 of which are duds and three of which contain nuclear warheads?
Hebrew 'Fox News'
Sir, - "The Ben Caspit Show" (February 18) described perfectly why I stopped watching Israel's three main TV channels and why, after desperately seeking fair and balanced media venues, I found one in the fabulous Fox News.
I salute Yisrael Medad and The Jerusalem Post for exposing the dictatorial, overriding far-Left bias of Israel's mainstream media, where other viewpoints are rarely given a hearing.
Although the Israeli public is coerced into paying an annual TV tax whether it tunes in or not, balanced programs and news reports are the exception rather than the rule.
Fox News unabashedly presents the more "conservative" side, though it doesn't shy away from presenting left-wing views. It is fresh, balanced and a joy to watch as, unlike its rivals, it speaks directly, often with humor, to viewers and not down to them.
Israel desperately needs a Hebrew-language version of Fox News.
Israeli voicesTeeny influence
Sir, - On a day when the media reverberated with the implications of the Zeiler Committee's report on police improprieties, your Comment section featured yet another of Shmuley Boteach's puerile homilies ("Fiddling while celebrities burn," February 19). This piece might exert some influence on the readers of a teen magazine - but if an adult has not grown out of celebrity worship by the time he or she has a career and a family to support, then nothing will work.
Shmuley himself appears to have not outgrown this stage.