June 11: Unbalanced

Witness Dershowitz's mindless support for decidedly leftist, and clearly anti-Israel Samantha Power.

June 10, 2013 22:16

Letters 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )

Graffiti guise

Sir, – The repeated emphasis on analyzing why the so called “price tag” attacks occur and what should be done about it, as well as the overemphasis in the news section of the Post and the media in general, bodes ill for us ( “The ‘price’ we pay for ignorance,” iEngage, and “Graffiti is not terrorism,” both June 7) .

For many years, synagogues in Israel have been desecrated and daubed yet there has been little outcry from either the public or the government on the scale we are now witnessing when it comes to the same thing occurring at non-Jewish places of worship.

Indeed, no special government committee was set up to advise what compensation would be handed out to the Jewish population and organizations affected and certainly nobody spoke about classifying these acts as terrorism! However, over the years, there have been numerous arson attempts to damage life and property by the deliberate and willful act of creating fires around the country – an act of war. Indeed, such destruction has not been widely reported, commented or analyzed in any degree as the so called “pricetag” acts.

Yet these arson attempts, as confirmed by the fire department, are far more dangerous and are specifically designed to damage Jewish property and life in an attempt to force us out of our country. In the last 10 days such repeated acts have been almost ignored – including those around Armon Hanatziv, the Peace Forest and the Jerusalem Forest, as any citizen in Jerusalem is aware from the stench of burning timber penetrating the city.

Indeed this has now flared out to around Beit Shemesh and Lachish. Why have the security forces and the police attempted once again to draw a veil over this intolerable situation? Both government ministers and the opposition remain silent – what are they afraid of? It is far worse to willfully attempt to destroy life and property than to daub political graffiti.


Sir, – Barry Leff conveniently selects the EU’s definition of terrorism to argue that we should apply a more nuanced approach to evaluating price-tag attacks (“Graffiti is not terrorism,” June 7).

However, that convoluted 67- word definition is seriously flawed. One hallmark of a just and ordered society is predictability.

People must know whether or not they are committing a crime when deciding how to act. That is why democratic governments are not allowed to enact “ex post facto” laws criminalizing actions that have already taken place.

The EU’s definition provides no such certainty. It contains so many modifiers and undefined terms that it results in legal judgments with no consistency or predictability.

It also allows government officials to avoid calling something terrorism when it is politically expedient – as Leff may intend in price-tag situations.

There is a much easier twostage process for evaluating terrorism: 1. Apply a simple definition to determine whether an act is actually terrorism and 2. Evaluate the seriousness of the particular terrorist act when deciding what penalty to impose.

Under this method, all members of society know exactly what is or is not terrorism. It provides law enforcement agencies the tools to investigate and stop these attacks, while allowing courts the leeway to impose lighter sentences for actions that have less serious consequences.


Zichron Ya’acov

The writer is a senior fellow at the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism at IDC and a former law professor.


Sir, – The strange after-effects of The Jerusalem Post Conference in New York continue. Just witness Alan Dershowitz’s article last week (“Samantha Power will wow them at the UN,” Observations, June 7).

Dershowitz concluded his participation in the conference by denouncing hecklers from the Right, and promising, essentially, to never again engage the Right, since they did not appreciate his own point of view. And, while Dershowitz is a passionate and effective advocate for Israel, it does not mean that he is correct on any single issue.

Witness his now mindless support for decidedly leftist, and clearly anti-Israel Samantha Power. He apparently wants us to believe that all of her blatantly anti-Israel statements, and indeed her statements about her own adopted country, can be balanced by the fact that she is a former student and a friend.

And, note, that she has been nominated for ambassador to the UN – an organization so steeped in its anti-Israel, and frankly anti-Western, mindset that common sense would dictate a choice of someone more committed to Western, democratic values.


Anchorage, Alaska

Fantasy land

Sir, – As usual, Yaakov Kirschen’s Dry Bones cartoon was brilliant (Observations, June 7).

We were lucky we didn’t leave the Golan when the US government and many of our politicians who live in a fantasy land of place called “peace” were pushing us to. Now, when our neighbors are falling apart, there is a new push for us to give up Judea and Samaria for this impossible dream called “peace” – coming from the same fantasists that tried to convince us to sell the Golan to the Syrians for the good of Israel.

Now we are getting pressure from a variety of places that this is good time to show how wonderful, progressive and kind we are by giving the Palestinians Ben-Gurion Airport, Latrun, Jerusalem and all the other parts of our land for this impossible fantasy of “peace.”


Haifa Peace partners?

Sir, – The editorial “Rami Hamdallah?” (June 6), asks what possessed US Secretary of State John Kerry to praise the appointment of Rami Hamdallah as the prime minister of the Palestinian Authority.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas appointed Hamdallah, president of An-Najah University in Nablus, a hotbed of anti-Semitism and hatred for both Israel and the US, to lead the Palestinian government.

At Hamdallah’s university, an art exhibition was mounted honoring the slaughter by a Palestinian suicide bomber of women, men, children, and entire families eating pizza in the heart of Jerusalem. The artists had constructed a replica of the Sbarro Pizzeria, site of the massacre.

Visitors pushed to see realistically sculpted body parts and pizza slices strewn throughout an environment set for a performance artwork. Wearing a terrorist’s military uniform and black mask, the performance artist entered the mock pizzeria under a sign “kosher Sbarro” and set off a simulated explosion to the cheers of the crowd. Upon entering and leaving, the visitors enthusiastically wiped their feet on Israeli and American flags used as doormats.

The An-Najah art exhibit reveals the true beliefs of “moderate peace partners” Abbas and Hamdallah. Kerry needs to acknowledge this dangerous change of guard in Ramallah as the enemy of peace.



Sir, – Tolerance is laudable, as Isi Leibler writes, but a certain condescension inevitably goes with it – I “tolerate” the other, although I’m sure I’m right (“Religious tolerance and mutual respect,” Candidly Speaking, Comment and Features, June 6).

We expect the outside world to acknowledge the Jewish character of the State, yet the varying sections of the population profess different and seemingly opposing views on what that Jewish character is.

Perhaps, instead of “tolerating” views other than our own, we might look for values that all sections could agree on. There are surely many Torah/Jewish values that could be claimed by the different sections.

Why stress the disagreements, when there is so much in Judaism that defines who we are?


Beit Shemesh

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