November 5: Shame on them!

The attempt by certain MKs to silence the Israel Hayom newspaper is beyond outrageous.

By
November 4, 2014 21:49
Letters

Letters. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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Shame on them!

Sir, – The attempt by certain MKs to silence the Israel Hayom newspaper (“A dangerous precedent: The ‘Israel Hayom’ bill,” Terra Incognita, November 3) is beyond outrageous.

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There are numerous free newspapers being published in the Western world without so much as a peep out of mainstream papers that still charge their readers. The Village Voice in New York used to be a paid newspaper until several strong competitors adopted the free model and proved it could be profitable.

The Voice followed suit and has been thriving ever since.

In Israel, Haaretz is a moribund daily surviving off handouts from Germans yet this is considered acceptable. And Haaretz had no objections to Israel Hayom so long as it was printed on Haaretz’s presses.

The primary culprit here is Yediot Aharonot, which could easily mimic the free model. In fact, it is being distributed free in more and more venues. So what is preventing it from being free across the board? The answer is it knows that even if it were free, most Israelis would prefer Israel Hayom, which is significantly more consistent with the sentiments of a majority of Israelis and just happens to be a far better paper all around. Apparently, advertisers know this, too.

Members of the Knesset’s frustrated Left will stop at nothing to undermine the majority. This apparently includes outright censorship of the press. Shame on them!



J.J. GROSS
Jerusalem

Sir, – There can be no doubt that Israeli politicians and others have honed into a fine art the ability to explain away a concept proposed for specific or personal reasons as a general moral principle.

As Seth J. Frantzman notes in his excellent column, “If Israel Hayom switched support to Labor, then suddenly Likud would be saying ‘no free newspapers’ and Labor would be saying ‘free speech.’” This reminds me of the ancient practice of writing equipment tenders that seemed to be completely general but which included a clause stating that the cabinet of the computer had to be blue. At the time, only one vendor (which will remain nameless) painted its cabinets blue.

MOSHE GOLDBERG
Haifa

Doesn’t recall


Sir, – In “The pyromaniacs” (Think About It, November 3), Susan Hattis Rolef writes: “True, the number of Jews (and others) killed in Palestinian terrorist activities rose sharply after Oslo, but so did the number of Jews killed and murdered by other Jews.”

As I do not recall such internecine violence, a citation by Ms.

Rolef about who, when, where, why and how we supposedly killed our own would be enlightening.

ESTER ZEITLIN
Jerusalem

Looking out for us

Sir, – It might be true that a good US-Israel relationship is of vital interest to both parties.

However, suggestions in your October 31 Observations section by former deputy foreign minister and ambassador to Washington Danny Ayalon (“Restoring relationship with US is vital interest to Israel”) and Labor MK Nahman Shai (“Bibi needs to mend US-Israel ties”) that we make some kind of gesture or overture is both absurd and a message of weakness and capitulation to a hostile government.

The Obama administration thinks it can get away with publicly insulting our prime minister (like him or not) and has made repeated attempts to strong-arm us into a phony peace that would be to Israel’s detriment but for which the Americans would take the credit.

Mending fences is always the right thing to do, but in this case the fences need mending from the direction of the US administration, which has from the beginning tried to manipulate us and make its support dependent upon our bowing to its wishes.

The Obama White House should know that we don’t bow down to false gods, nor do we look to them as our financial or military salvation – so long as the Almighty is looking out for us.

COOKIE SCHWAEBER-ISSAN
Gizo

Views from Jordan

Sir, – If only a fraction of Arab leaders were only a tenth as rational as HRH Prince el Hassan bin Talal (“Revisiting the peace process: Jordan-Israeli relations,” Observations, October 31). The fact that they are not and that most prefer the culture of lies and incitement is as much the prince’s tragedy as ours.

It is no accident that Hassan remains a marginal figure with little influence, even in his own palace. Although one cannot agree with all he writes, there is a tone of desire for genuine peace in his article. Yet even he avoids the very simple and basic point that nothing will happen until the Arab world accepts Israel’s and Zionism’s legitimacy, and not just its physical existence (as he does apparently).

In his quote about it being better to be around the peace table than be on the menu, why not admit that neither of these two possibilities exists if you are invisible and illegitimate. You cannot negotiate with what is not, but should be, there.

ANTHONY LUDER
Rosh Pina

Sir, – What hypocrisy and lies are spewed by Abdullah II regarding Israel, the Palestinians and the Temple Mount (“Jordan’s Abdullah compares ISIS to ‘Zionist extremism,’” October 22).

He, whose kingdom’s existence probably depends on a good relationship with Israel. He, whose father killed thousands of Palestinians belonging to Black September in 1970-71. He, whose father destroyed just about anything Jewish that existed in Jerusalem’s Old City and the West Bank from 1948 through 1967. He, whose father was opposed to the possibility of having Palestinian sovereignty in the West Bank and then attacked Israel and lost control of those areas.

The nerve of Abdullah to lie about Israel’s management of all the holy sites of all religions while the rest of the Arab world is killing Christians with impunity and destroying their churches.

There is no country anywhere in this part of the world that respects these holy places more than Israel. Not even Jordan.

Here is another case of where the victim is accused of being the aggressor when everyone knows that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has been the one promoting the unrest. We deserve an apology from the king but I will not hold my breath waiting for it.

BILL WEBER
Jerusalem

In the soup...

Sir, – With regard to “Washington distances itself from comments insulting Netanyahu’s character” (October 30), the row over the alleged insult to our prime minister by an unnamed Obama administration official is, I am convinced, a row over nothing.

I believe the official was misheard and that he was trying to convey how warm and universally liked Netanyahu was. The phrase the official used was chicken soup! HYAM CORNEY Netanya ...but not yogurt Sir, – Israel, which demands its young people serve in the military to defend their beloved country, has a high child-poverty rate (“UNICEF: Israel’s child poverty 4th in West,” October 30). It also has a law mandating a distribution monopoly for dairy products that adds no value, only cost.

I love Israeli yogurt, unlike the paste-like yogurt in America. But I won’t buy it. Why does one pay $1.40 for a yogurt here and 50 cents (or even 39 cents when on sale) in the States? Does Israel import its milk or pay its workers more than American workers are paid? Israeli children: Let them eat yogurt.

RUTH MOSS
Beersheba

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