Poor to abysmal
Sir, – In my opinion, MK Avigdor Liberman restricted himself too
greatly when he concentrated on “our region” (“The unsuccessful history of
peacekeeping in our region,” Observations, June 21).
The record of the
UN’s peacekeeping forces around the world ranges from poor to
The UN’s record of saving lives in South Sudan, Liberia and
Darfur and in the Abyei area of Sudan is abysmal. In Mali, the French have acted
on their own to counteract Muslim fanatics, not relying on the UN’s MINUSMA. The
lack of action in during the massacres in Rwanda is something that will reflect
poorly on the UN for a long time.
UNMIK in Kosovo has done little to
protect non-Muslims (mostly Serbs) in the area. The UN’s record in Afghanistan
is not stellar by any means. Its observer group in India and Pakistan is almost
unknown and deservedly so. Border clashes between those countries have totally
ignored the UN presence.
The only UN action that might be considered
successful (if one is very generous in one’s definition) was the police action
in Korea, and that was the direct result of the behavior of the United States
before, during and after. South Korea has continued to exist, but “peace” is not
exactly a word that applies to the Korean peninsula.
minister David Ben-Gurion’s saying “uhm, shmum” [uhm is the Hebrew pronunciation
of the UN] was very apt.
HAIM SHALOM SNYDER
Petah Tikva Open migration
Sir, – I found the story of the chiffchaff very interesting (“Common chiffchaff
makes rare southern journey to nest in Israel,” June 20).
The birds are
obviously taking advantage of the new open skies policy.RODNEY LEVER
Tzur Moshe Gender equality
Sir, – The Rabbinical Council of America must no
longer assert that 50% of the Jewish population is incapable of carrying out the
the duties of a rabbi (“For women graduates of Rabbi Avi Weiss’s NY academy,
ordination comes with controversy,” June 20).
Rabbi Avi Weiss, who for
decades has fought for the Jewish people, leads the way for gender equality and
the potential contribution of thousands to Torah learning and tending to the
needs of congregations. Would that all members of the RCA were as wise and
sensitive as Weiss.BERNARD SMITH
Jerusalem Taught to hate
Sir, – I was
horrified, dismayed and just plain angry to hear about the idea of having a
drawing contest depicting haredi soldiers as “hardakim” – which implies weak
mindedness or insects – in cartoons, and giving prizes for the best ones (“Danon
calls for action on haredi campaign against soldiers,” June 20).
ago was it that the Nazis had drawings of Jews with big noses and fat bellies
posted in cartoon-like forms? How can they encourage such hatred when the Arab
school children have books teaching them that we are the enemy – and that means
ALL of us.
I well remember the song from the South Pacific musical that
said “you’ve gotta be taught to hate, you’ve gotta be carefully
It never made the charts, but it sadly resonates, even
Ramat Beit Shemesh Intellectually dishonest
– People like Dr. Ira Helfand and organizations like International Physicians
for the Prevention of Nuclear War are naïve at best and intellectually dishonest
at worst (“Nuclear expert: Israeli warheads are a threat to its own security,”
All the non-proliferation agreements and monitoring measures
have proven themselves woefully inept at preventing those intent upon developing
nuclear capability for evil purposes, despite economic sanctions and political
Some nuclear programs were only discovered accidentally, as
when the Libyan regime attempted to acquire nuclear triggers.
proponents such as Global Zero speak in terms of global disarmament, yet their
flashy, Hollywood-star-spiked propaganda campaigns are typically directed
towards the West. It is a one-sided affair.
Israel today is the only
nation that is regularly and openly threatened with annihilation by nuclear
weapons. Yet Helfand addresses our Knesset. It is so easy to find a receptive
audience in democratic Israel. Ours is not a culture of martyrdom and adoration
of the latest ballistic missile.
Were Dr. Helfand and his sort honest,
they would take their message to the University of Tehran or persistently
protest in Pyongyang.
Too dangerous? Might cost them their lives? They’re
never shy about asking Israel to risk its existence.GABE GOLDBERG
Jerusalem In the noose
Sir, – Congratulations to the brave Labor leader Shelly
Yacimovich who had belatedly the guts to expose the well-known corrupt,
extortionist union leadership activities of the Ashdod ports (“On the
waterfront,” Editorial, June 20).
This type of immoral, monopolistic
activity by these thugs should be wiped out by our community like an infectious
These gangsters and hoodlums are no different to criminals that rip
our money out of our pockets without compunction.
Where has the Histadrut
been all of these years – asleep? I feel sorry for Yacimovich who now has her
neck in the noose for telling the truth.JACK DAVIS
Jerusalem A noble end
Sir, – The article in The Jerusalem Post titled “On the road to recovering
Spain’s Jewish roots” (June 19) has a glaring mistake.
Contrary to what
the article says, King Juan Carlos did not apologize for the Spanish Inquisition
in 1992. Maybe the reporter confused the Inquisition with the expulsion of the
Jews from Spain, which took place on March 31, 1492 – 500 years
On March 31, 1992, I covered – for several American Jewish
publications – a ceremony at the Bet Yaakov Synagogue in Madrid to commemorate
the expulsion. The ceremony was presided over by King Juan Carlos and Queen
Sophia, with former Israeli president Haim Herzog and rabbis from several
countries in attendance.
The king never apologized for the Inquisition,
or the expulsion, in his speech that day. Nor did he say, as the article states,
that “the expulsion of the Jews was the worst mistake Spain ever
In his speech, a copy of which I have, the King did say that “we
have lived times of deep respect for liberties and also times of intolerance and
persecution for political, ideological religious reasons.
What matters is
not the reckoning of our mistakes or accomplishments, but the will to project
and analyze the past in function of the future [and] to work together in pursuit
of a noble end.”DANIEL SANTACRUZ
Beit Shemesh Destroy from within
Balad MK Jamal Zahalka has surely won the “can you top this chutzpah award”
(“Balad pushes bill to make Israeli Arabs and autonomous minority,” June
His suggestion that Israeli Arabs be officially designated an
autonomous minority with full rights to determine their attachment to the
Palestinians and the Arab world is a blatant attempt to eventually cause the
downfall of the Jewish state. Which “international law” allows citizens of a
country to teach allegiance to their country by referring to Israeli
independence as nakba, a catastrophe? That which the Palestinians have been
unable to do militarily and politically in the United Nations, they are now
attempting to destroy from within.
Zahalka states that Arab children do
not know what they are doing here. If that is indeed the prevailing opinion in
the Israeli Arab communities, perhaps I don’t either.SARA SMITH