November 9: Striking a nerve

George Orwell was right when he said that some ideas are “so stupid that only intellectuals” may hold them.

November 8, 2010 23:02
November 9: Striking a nerve

letters 88. (photo credit: )

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 use.

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 adjustments.

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 them.


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.

Prime Minister 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.


Sir, – 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 “Palestine.”

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.


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 Kampf.

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.


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 boring.

Most people don’t want to see two women, or two men, for that matter, dancing together.

The whole essence of the show is lost.

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 style.

Why does Israel have to be the forerunner in this and gain publicity for something that’s just not good imagery?

Herzliya 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.

Mitzpe Hoshaya

Sir, – 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.


Sir, – A man with ideals and the integrity to adhere to them is always “controversial.” I admire every view that Danny Seaman stated.

Telz Stone

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 Office.

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!


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