June 16: The draw of humor

Let’s get back to cartoons of the Kirschen type, that make us laugh and bring humor to the forefront.

June 15, 2013 22:36

Letters 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )

Paper perception

Sir, – Haaretz has again been exposed in the truly horrifying article by Yisrael Medad and Eli Pollak (“The self-perception of Haaretz,” Media Comment, June 13).

That paper tried to distance itself from the popular perception, by widely advertising as “Haaretz. Not what you thought.”

One could well riposte: “No. Even worse!”

LOUIS GARB Jerusalem

The draw of humor

Sir, – Hannah Brown wrote a great article about Yaakov Kirschen, the cartoonist who draws “The Dry Bones” (“Why is this cartoonist different from all other cartoonists: Animix festival honors Yaakov Kirschen,” Arts and Entertainment, June 13).

We’re sure that his “Passover Haggadah” will be a big success. I just wish that his cartoons would be back in your newspaper, instead of the crude and gory cartoons you’ve been featuring lately, which also lack any sense of humor.

Let’s get back to cartoons of the Kirschen type, that make us laugh and bring humor to the forefront.


Waze and means

Sir, – It occurs to me that Israel should immediately announce to all anti-Israel activists and their sympathizers that they should no longer use Google since it now owns Waze – which is made in Israel and therefore is contaminated (“It’s official: Google gets its Waze,” June 12).

Furthermore, I would think that Yair Lapid can now return the VAT tax to 17% as the income tax Israel will gain from the sale of Waze will more than make up for the recent increase.


Sir, – Waze should have come up with a version of their software which would be very useful for the southern part of Israel. Since the South of Israel has been under Kassam and Grad rocket attacks from Hamas in the Gaza Strip numerous times, forcing residents to find shelter in 30 to 60 seconds, the app would find the optimal route between two points (usually between home and work) while minimizing the time to take cover, i.e. the route would stay close to buildings where one could take cover within a few seconds.

I am sure that this “Grad Waze” version would be a hit in these parts of the country.


‘Just’ revenge

Sir, – The police told us a day after the new arrests in the Bar Noar shooting that this was not bias-motivated violence, but details the court now allowed them to share show otherwise (“Bar Noar murders were revenge for sexual assault, police reveal,” June 12).

If the alleged killer would have gone to the presumptive sexual molester’s home or workplace or had sought to hurt him on his way, it would have been “just” revenge.

However, senselessly the shooter went to a LGBT youth center, reportedly expecting to find him there, but when he didn’t, he shot randomly at those present, including people of the age of his relative, the supposed victim. This is similar to having a grudge against one Jew and therefore trying to hurt as many Jews as possible.

This is called a hate crime – targeting people because of loathing their group.

And if there never was such a rape, as the lawyer of the youth claims, then the hate crime of this murderer becomes even clearer.

It is high time and fitting that Israel introduce a hate crime law whereby violators see their punishment doubled.


Firm policies

Sir, – Israel should continue its policy of never negotiating with terrorists, as was its policy in time of Golda Meir and Menachem Begin (“Poll: 85% oppose releasing prisoners for peace talks,” June 11).

In the past, those terrorists sent suicide bombers to murder innocent Israeli citizens, whom I know did nothing wrong. When such news came here, being a parent of two children, it struck anger in myself and very deep sympathy for those parents and relatives who lost their loved ones.

Yet I do not remember the US demanding that those murderers be found and be brought to justice.

I hope that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu continues the firm policies of not negotiating with terrorists. Israel continues to be on my three times per day prayer list.

IGOR KONETZOV Surrey, Canada

Obeying orders

Sir, – If Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower, is guilty of treason, then what were the Nuremberg trials all about? One of the bottom lines of Nuremberg was that a soldier has the right, even the obligation, not to obey orders he feels to be immoral, illegal and or constituting a crime against humanity (“Former CIA worker Snowden revealed spy programs ‘to inform public,’” June 10).

It would seem to me, that it would not take a great stretch of the imagination to incorporate what Snowden did into the Nuremberg bottom line. Even The Jerusalem Post, in an article by Yonah Jeremy Bob (“Edward Snowden vs Anat Kamm,” Analysis, June 11) clearly distinguished between Snowden’s action and that of Anat Kamm.


We cannot explain it

Sir, – Standing in line waiting to enter The Pearl Harbor Memorial in Hawaii, I chanced to speak with a former general who had been an instructor at the American War College (“The war nobody wanted” and “Triumph and tragedy,” Comment and Features, June 10).

He was very enthusiastic about the many Israeli soldiers in his classes, who had been sent there to study at that facility and exclaimed that they were extraordinary students.

His subject matter was to analyze the various wars and the strategies that were used.

When I inquired what is taught about Israel’s Six Day War, he said quietly: “We don't teach it, because we cannot explain it.”


Serious strike

Sir, – The article entitled “Israeli nuclear expert: Iran strike won’t cause civilian catastrophe” (June 2) was riddled with inaccuracies and misrepresentations of my study, The Ayatollah’s Nuclear Gamble: The Human Cost of Military Strikes against Iran’s Nuclear Facilities.

Had Lappin contacted me, I would have been glad to correct the many distortions attributed to Dr. Ephraim Asculai’s paper which served as the basis for Lappin’s article. The Ayatollah’s Nuclear Gamble is an analytical study of the humanitarian consequences of military strikes on Iran endorsed by many leading specialists in the field.

The article misquotes our study as saying that “radioactive fallout from military strikes on Iranian nuclear sites could leave up to 70,000 Iranians dead.”

This is not correct. In our report, I have stated that casualties can range from 5,000 to 70,000, should only 1-20% of 371 tons of uranium hexafluoride gas at Isfahan’s Uranium Conversion Facility be released into the atmosphere.

My study puts a large share of the blame on Ayatollah Khamenei and the regime in Iran for taking the Iranian people down the path of possible conflict with the US and/or Israel.

The Iranian people are thus caught in the Ayatollah’s nuclear gamble and could pay severely in the event of military strikes.

Let there be no doubt: Humanitarian consequences would be grave and long-lasting.

I urge readers in Israel and around the world to read the study for themselves. It is my duty as a scientist and a humanitarian to warn of the very real dangers of the consequences of a military strike on Iran. Iran’s nuclear dilemma is not a cause, but a symptom of a dictatorial regime that is willing to sacrifice innocent Iranian and Israeli lives to guarantee its survival.

KHOSROW B. SEMNANI Salt Lake City, Utah The writer is the founder of the nonprofit Omid for Iran

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