Proximity talks should lead to proximity peace: They will have theirs,
and we will have ours (“Obama to PM: US commitment to Israel
‘unshakable,’” May 4). Nothing should or will be solved unless we talk
face to face, with no conditions.
JerusalemThe problem with our hasbara...
– Top White House official Dan Shapiro is quoted in Tuesday’s Jerusalem
Post as saying that the United States does not believe a solution
between Israel and the Palestinians “would cause Iran to end its
unacceptable pursuit of nuclear weapons” (“Shapiro: No solution can be
imposed,” May 4). However, on Page 1 of the same paper, Industry, Trade
and Labor Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer says that “the Egyptians
understand that the solution to the Israeli-Palestinian issue is ‘key’
to tackling other regional issues such as Iran.”
This is the perfect example of what’s wrong with Israeli hasbara.
government has justifiably been trying very hard to show that what
happens on the Israeli-Palestinian front, whether it’s building homes
in Jerusalem or other “sensitive” issues, has no bearing on Iran’s
desire to destroy us. And then one of our own ministers comes along and
shoots those efforts in the foot.
Only by sending out a clear
and unified message will Israel succeed in making a dent in our hasbara
efforts. If one of our top leaders is not on board with that message,
then his authority to speak on our behalf must become restricted.JOSH HASTEN
Jerusalem...and Lag Ba’omer bonfires
– As a resident of Jerusalem, I must convey my disgust at the aftermath
of garbage and damage by the unruly participants of the recent Lag
Ba’omer festivities (“Fanning the flames,” Photo, May 2).
desecrates the honor of the occasion. It violates Gan Sacher, the
largest and one of the few green spaces for relaxation and exercise in
Jerusalem. The drunken louts and vandals celebrated the occasion by
leaving the park in a condition that can be only described as a filthy
eyesore of broken bottles, food scraps and plastic containers.
the taxpayers need to be penalized for the cost of the garbage
collectors needed to pick up this refuse, when there were sufficient
dumpsters and rubbish containers available? Who will pay to repair the
damage left by the bonfires, which melted the asphalt of the sidewalk –
or will it be left as it is, an uneven surface of dangerous potholes?
my opinion, this is another act of environmental terrorism, which is
continually repeated at the park and, I observe, throughout the city.
is the municipality enforcement of rules and regulations for this area?
Gan Sacher needs to be nurtured and protected against these selfish,
uncaring individuals, whose behavior lacks pride and respect for one’s
– The suggestion by Kadima Party council head Haim Ramon that haredi
youth should be totally exempt from IDF service so they can enter the
workforce at enlistment age is worthy of serious consideration (“Haredi
MKs rail against TA mayor’s comments,” May 4). It may well be a
solution to what has become a social problem, namely that those with no
real aptitude for full-time Torah study continue in it nonetheless, at
The advantages to the economy would more than
outweigh any potential shortfall in IDF enlistment – after all, these
men generally do not serve in it at all under present conditions.MARTIN D. STERN
Salford, EnglandA different cover-up
– If found guilty, all those who benefited illegally from building the
Holyland monstrosity in Jerusalem should be made to pay for Christo to
cover the buildings up – permanently (“Cover art,” May 4).ANNE HORENSTEIN
Ra’ananaNo laughing matter
– Cory Franklin’s sense of humor leaves much to be desired (“It is
possible to laugh at Adolf Hitler,” May 3). There is nothing funny
about the originator of the Holocaust and initiator of a world war that
cost an estimated 60 million lives (40 million of them civilians).
misguidedly cites the Three Stooges’ You Natzy Spy (1940), Charlie
Chaplain’s The Great Dictator (1941), Jack Benny’s To Be or Not to Be
(1942), and a wartime Daffy Duck cartoon as examples of laudable – and
Jewish – satire of Hitler. The epitome of this genre is supposedly Mel
Brooks’s The Producers (1968).
What Franklin ignores in this
facile cinematography is that the three movies and cartoon were made
before the Holocaust, when satirizing a mere dictator was perhaps the
boldest move of which Hollywood was capable in defense of democracy. It
took many decades after the war for the film industry to come to terms
with the satirized dictator who became the perfecter of genocide. The
Producers did not target Hitler, but used him as a plot device in the
scheme devised by the lead characters.
The YouTube parody that
Franklin defends – and any similar unthinking attempt to make light of
a person who was responsible for so much human suffering – does not
only trivialize the Holocaust, but reveals a basic lack of ethical
values, if not common sense. Franklin’s decision to conclude his
apology for “Hitler humor” with a pathetic attempt at a joke about
would-be Jewish assassins places him solidly in the company of Daffy
Jerusalem A little good news?
– I imagine that I am far from being the only person in this country
who is profoundly distressed, disturbed and depressed by the unending
daily fare of horrific violence and sadism offered on the local news
and media, and which for past year or more has become our staple news
We seem at times even to be outdoing Sodom and Gemorra
in the torrent of criminal deeds of members of our society who run the
whole gamut of wrongdoing from teenage gang-rape (“Police arrest four
Bat Yam teens for allegedly raping 12-year-old,” May 4), pedophilia,
murder (“Oshrenko family murder trial begins in Beersheba,” May 4) and
child-abuse, to more mundane misdemeanors such as high-level corruption
(“Might Ehud Olmert be indicted yet again?,” May 4) and drunk driving.
No sector of Israeli society seems free from infection.
We have to stop and ask ourselves: Is this the society that Herzl
envisaged? Is this the society prevailing in a Jewish state? What has
happened to our vaunted Jewish values? Where are the religious and lay
leaders setting an example to stem the tide of lawlessness and
violence? What is wrong with our society? Is it weak education? Is it
the difficult economic situation that turns the young and unemployed
into criminals? Is something wrong with the Jewish-Zionist ethos
itself? Is it the arrogance of freedom run riot?
I do not know. But I do know that I often cringe with shame when
listening to the local horror news, and switch it off. We all know that
this country is capable of far better things, of many noble and
selfless acts and great achievements, but the telling of this is
largely confined to days such as Independence Day. Perhaps the news
media should realize that drowning us in exposure to our sins is only
lowering the individual and national morale. Because this is not the
society we came here to build, and the sooner the Almighty sends the
messiah to halt our self-destruction, the better!