Striking a nerve
Sir, – Regarding “Artists renew calls to boycott Ariel theater”
(November 7), how can intellectuals who are considered cultured and intelligent
mimic tactics used by anti-Semites and anti-Zionists? They not only justify the
tactics that condemn and punish an entire population, but encourage their
How can a respected, educated person who is supposedly knowledgeable
of our history and the political situation be unaware that in peace
negotiations, there will be a need for a border settlement and an exchange, if
necessary, of territories? Even Palestinians know that Ariel, after a final
peace agreement, will be part of Israel and that there will be territorial
Why have the armistice borders of 1949 become sacrosanct to
these intellectuals? These borders were not so considered by the UN Security
Council. Its Resolution 242, in Paragraph 1, says that the Israeli armed forces
should withdraw from “territories” and not from the territories, which means a
realignment of borders was to be expected.
George Orwell was right when
he said that some ideas are “so stupid that only intellectuals” may hold
Sir, – I’m very pleased to see that Israeli
artists are still Jewish before anything else. Their Jewishness lies in the
knowledge that continuing the farce that Ariel is in Israel helps to scuttle
chances for peace.
Perhaps the Palestinians will agree, finally, to allow
Ariel and other such places over the Green Line to become part of Israel proper.
Perhaps not. That has to be determined by discussions.
Netanyahu’s statement ridiculing the artists has no place in any discourse. I
say right on to these courageous men and women who know that their position does
not please a lot of people. You may not like what they have to say, but they
deserve the right to say it – as do we all.LEONARD ZURAKOV
– The front page of the November 7 Jerusalem Post says it all. First,
self-appointed experts in international law (with their monopoly on Israel’s
national conscience) piously declare that it is immoral for Israeli artists to
perform in Ariel.
Directly below is an article headlined “Jews will be
driven from Palestine like they were from Europe, Hamas official says,” with the
clearest possible response. Mahmoud Zahar was not referring only to Hebron,
Jenin and Ramallah, not even together with Ariel and Efrat, but to Haifa, Tel
Aviv, western as well as eastern Jerusalem, and indeed all of
Zahar pulls no punches about his desire to liquidate both
the Jewish state and the Jewish presence – in which he could easily prevail if
we follow the Ariel protesters and insist on leading not with our fists but with
our jaw.JAC FRIEDGUT
Sir, – The public is hearing constantly
from Hamas that Jews will have no existence at all in the state of Palestine.
They will be expelled and become refugees around the world, repeating the
scenarios that Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany prepared for the Jews before WWII.
This is a nightmare warning and Hamas is as explicit as Hitler was in Mein
The idea that Hamas can be made to accept Israel is absolutely
insane. It is therefore a mark of shame against the nations of the world as
represented by the UN, which has allowed this kind of talk to continue unabated.
Hamas can never be a peace partner of any kind.THELMA SUSSWEIN
Trashy and boring
Sir, – I think that Israel has it all wrong (“Another
world-first for Israel – same-sex partners perform on ‘Dancing with the Stars,’”
November 7). Part of the beauty of the program is watching the interaction
between female dancers and their male partners. Why does Israel have to spoil
the format by putting two female dancers together? To my mind it is trashy and
Most people don’t want to see two women, or two men, for that
matter, dancing together.
The whole essence of the show is
Is this a precedent? Will there be more and more same-sex couples
dancing? If the gay and lesbian communities want a same-sex dancing program, let
them have it, but I reckon that most of the television-watching public would
prefer to see men and women dancing together in the traditional
Why does Israel have to be the forerunner in this and gain
publicity for something that’s just not good imagery? LINDA SILVERSTONE
Pituah Seaman’s supporters
Sir, – Israelis are quick to blame the foreign press
for its generally negative reporting on Israeli affairs. I think that the
November 5 column Editor’s Notes (“Danny Seaman’s farewell voyage”) explains
much of the reason.
Israel is known to be the most desired foreign
country that a journalist can be posted to, but as Seaman indicates, it is not
the easiest to report on correctly or in an unbiased manner. I believe the
problem lies in the way in which foreign reporters are too easily accredited
with a press card.
The following should be basic prerequisites for a
newly posted journalist to obtain the card: 1. The applicant must reside in this
country for a continuous period of, say, three months.
2. The applicant
must pass a comprehensive history test of the Middle East after completion of
the residential period.
Further, the right of revocation of the press
card and the reporter’s Israeli work permit should be implemented more freely
when a journalist reports untruths or in a biased or unprofessional fashion. And
once revoked, it can never be reinstated.
As for the Aftonbladet
reporters, it should be explained to them that they will never get a press card
in Israel again – not after 90 days, 180 days, a year – never! Then some of the
foreign press may get the message.ARYEH ZETLER
Danny Seaman should be decorated and rewarded for his heroic, lonely and
constant battle against misinterpretation and outright lies emanating from
mainly antagonistic international media (as well as our own), which delegitimize
and defame the State of Israel.
Thanks to democracy and a free press, we
are inundated with scores of journalists (not all accredited), most of them with
zero background in history and fed by Palestinian stringers – as they dare not
venture into Gaza and are ill advised to dispatch anything but a pro-Palestinian
narrative from Ramallah.
I’ve always admired Seaman’s dogmatic insistence
and defense of facts and historic perspective in attacking the often outrageous
lies of our detractors and enemies. How shameful that he has been so
distressfully undermined and undervalued by his superiors.
I wish him
well in the future and pray that this fervent Zionist will be given the
opportunity to use his undoubtable talent and continue serving his
country.GISH TRUMAN ROBBINS
Sir, – A man with ideals and the
integrity to adhere to them is always “controversial.” I admire every view that
Danny Seaman stated.PESACH GOODLEY
Sir, – As someone who
works diligently to tell Israel’s narrative and often despairs at the failure of
the Israeli government to speak the truth unapologetically, I wish to commend
Danny Seaman for his loyal years of service to Israel via the Government Press
Few are the public servants who are as devoted to the state and
people as Seaman has shown himself to be. When he leaves his position as
director of the GPO, we will be the poorer for it.
Danny, I salute you!