Avert this disaster
Sir, – What a wonderful success for the documentary
Strangers No More (“Film about South Tel Aviv school wins Oscar, but 120
students still face deportation,” March 1).
What a wonderful tribute to
principal Keren Tal, her dedicated staff and the 831 students, all providing
living examples of tolerance, love and how to live together with mutual respect
and dignity. And what a huge boost for Israel in displaying its heart and soul –
and utterly destroying any basis for the hatred and bias of those attempting to
persuade the world that Israel is an apartheid country.
What a disaster
it will be if the minister of the interior doesn’t immediately back down from
his heartless (and totally un-Jewish) policy of deporting not only the 120
migrant children at the school, but the rest of the 400 youngsters under threat
All credit goes to those who have been fighting this order
(including Sara Netanyahu), but everybody should now be encouraged to shout from
every corner of the country: No! Absolutely not! Israel cannot be a party to
such a cruel, mean-spirited and utterly stupid policy! HARRY BRODIE
Sir, – In “How can an intelligent people like the Israelis only
see the short term?” (Comment & Features, March 1), Jean Asselborn,
Luxembourg’s foreign minister, tries to blame Israel for the Palestinians’
problems by stating that 1.5 million people live in Gaza in an area “seven times
smaller than Luxembourg,” causing “very difficult conditions.”
population density of Gaza comes to about 4,200 people per square kilometer.
Petah Tikva has a population density of 5,800; Tel Aviv has 7,600; New York City
has 10,600. No one claims that living conditions in these places is especially
Petah Tikva Waste of newsprint
Sir, – To take up
close to half of Page 4 of the March 1 Post reporting the purported sexually
ambivalent tendencies of the monster Adolf Eichmann is tantamount to discussing
whether he suffered from ingrown toenails or chronic heartburn. To say that we
neither know nor care would be a gross understatement.
In the future,
please find something more newsworthy and palatable to include in your
Jerusalem Laudable editorial
Sir, – I wish to thank
The Jerusalem Post for praising J Street as a “laudable endeavor to present a
viable left-wing, pro- Zionist alternative to American Jews” (“J Street’s
fragile alternative,” Editorial,, February 28).
I hope that instead of
emphasizing only the relatively minor issues on which it might disagree with J
Street, the Post will fully cover the crucial central issues on which the two
agree – Israel’s legitimacy, defensibility and security, and the need for a
peaceful resolution to the conflict that will ensure her existence forever as a
sovereign, strong and safe Jewish democratic state.JAMES ADLER
Sir, – At the recent J Street conference in Washington,
DC, I saw an energized and committed group of people – almost all of them Jews –
who care deeply about Israel and the Jewish people, and who are very concerned
that the policies of the current Israeli government and religious leadership are
doing a great deal of harm. I believe that acting and speaking out on these
concerns are the highest form of patriotism and Jewish responsibility.
did not hear a single comment from anyone who didn’t care deeply about Israel’s
future as a Jewish state. As with all healthy organizations, I heard a lot of
introspection and selfcriticism.
I am saddened that so many of my Jewish
friends have resorted to the Fox News-like tactics of lies, partial truths and
distortions in an effort to demonize J Street and smear its donors and
Virtually every viral email I have received was written
and/or forwarded by people who were not at the conference and who have had no
first-hand contact with anyone from J Street.
What we have now in the
Jewish and pro-Israel movement is a healthy alternative. For Jews who believe
our top priority is to protect and defend the State of Israel, then AIPAC
provides a great way to leverage that feeling.
(I support AIPAC
financially and have served on its local board.) For those who believe our top
priority is to live out our Jewish values and are focused on the commandments to
work for peace, to improve the world, and to love the stranger, then J Street
provides a vehicle to leverage that approach.
As a serious Jew who cares
deeply about both Israel and Jewish values, I am thrilled that both
organizations are part of our political and Jewish landscape.LARRY
Tucson, Arizona ...and one less laudable
Sir, – It is regrettable that
“Balancing NGOs democratically” (Editorial, February 25) sees fit to base its
main thesis on a false attack on B’Tselem.
The editorial, to borrow your
own language, does little more than a “near-copy-and-paste job.” It repeats a
deliberate miscalculation of B’Tselem’s Cast Lead casualty statistics by NGO
Monitor, rehashing claims that a public statement by Hamas’s Fathi Hamad about
losses incurred by Hamas somehow casts doubt over B’Tselem’s
Any suggested “discrepancy” stems not from shortcomings in
B’Tselem’s rigorous methodology or legal analysis, but from The Jerusalem Post’s
insistence in following NGO Monitor’s bogus arithmetic.
Hamad, the recent
unlikely darling of Israeli government propagandists, lists not only casualties
of Hamas’s military wing, but of police officers and members of other security
forces. The Post intentionally and unethically misrepresents B’Tselem’s casualty
statistics by excluding our list of 248 police officers. When following Hamad’s
math and adding the figures of combatants and police officers, it is found that
his ballpark figures match B’Tselem’s data to the same extent that they
correspond with official Israeli figures.
Additionally, real commitment
to transparency and even a modicum of intellectual integrity mean not
withholding from the Post’s readers the simple fact that the funding provided by
Western governments to self-critical Israeli human rights NGOs is a drop in the
ocean compared to European government support to every facet of Israel’s economy
and society. It is also dwarfed by the torrents of money provided by foreign
business magnates and evangelical Christians to promote the expansion and
entrenchment of the settlement project.
As part of our commitment to
transparency and accountability, B’Tselem already holds itself to higher
standards than those demanded by law. Israel must remain a strong, vibrant
democracy, and this requires that someone holds up a critical mirror on our
government’s activities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. We shall continue to do
so with pride in spite of the attempts to discredit us.SARIT MICHAELI
Jerusalem The writer is spokesperson for B’Tselem
The Editor notes: Among the
points our editorial sought to make was that B’Tselem uses highly controversial
criteria for defining who constitutes a “combatant” – criteria that do not
recognize the realities of battle with terrorist organizations like Hamas.
B’Tselem, for instance, does not classify as combatants any of 248 Gaza police
officers killed at police stations in Operation Cast Lead; according to the
Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, a “decisive” majority of them “were members
of the military wings of the Palestinian terror organizations and fighters who
had undergone military training.”