November 11, 2019: PA constantly cries poverty

Readers of the Jerusalem Post have their say.

Letters (photo credit: PIXABAY)
(photo credit: PIXABAY)
PA constantly cries poverty
The Palestinian Authority claims with unrelenting frequency that it is in financial crisis and wants money. However, according to Mahmoud Abbas, “If we are left with one penny, we will spend it on the families of the prisoners and martyrs (i.e. murderers) because they are the “stars in the sky of the Palestinian national struggle, and they have preference in everything.”
International aid has been used by the PA to fund the financial incentives it uses to motivate Palestinian terrorists. Moreover, since 2017, the PA has made monetary gifts to Harvard University that total more than a million dollars.
Despite its non-stop agonized cries of dire financial need, the PA has money to spare for terrorists and for Harvard, which the apparently require PA funding more than its ordinary citizens do.
Davis, CA
Problematic statements
In “Is Israel a democracy” (November 10) Moshe Dann states that voter turnout in Israel is only two-thirds because of two major flaws in the political and electoral systems: 1) Voters to parties that do not cross the threshold are not counted and 2) Members of Knesset are not accountable to the voters. But voter turnout in the two great democracies of the USA and France where these ills do not exist is also about 60 to 70% (Pew Research Center).
In another problematic statement, Dann says that the legislation promoted by the Blue and White party that would require a prime minister to resign if indicted is an example of “deep state’’ corruption. Corruption is usually defined as “dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power, typically involving bribery involving money.” Blue and White is not in power and no bribery has even been suggested as a motive for their actions.
The article is inaccurate and could also be called ‘corrupt” in line with his own use of the word.

Words matter
“High Court: HRW head can be deported” (November 6) comes across to an Israeli as factual and balanced throughout, but some suggestions are given below for applying certain principles in such articles so as to avoid confirming the usually distorted picture of the facts held by the impressionable outside world – the majority of whom have very little accurate knowledge about Israel and its problems.
Many people do not read entire articles, but skim through the beginning only in order to grasp the main thrust. Hence the great importance of emphasizing Israel’s viewpoint before, rather than after, the long section quoting Israel’s detractors’ statements, as in the following two suggestions applied to the above article.
1) The understanding of Israel’s justification for deportation could be increased significantly and more powerfully expressed by adding a couple of words to this one sentence in the opening paragraph “…boycott activity that delegitimizes and so tries ultimately to destroy Israel.”
2) The word “occupied” appears three times in the quoted B’Tselem statement, without any comment. A large proportion of readers, knowing no better, will accept this as fact. The brilliant propaganda machine of the Palestinians has taught so successfully that this is the main and justified reason for their ongoing “struggle” against Israel. This contributes the lion’s share to the hate that Israel encounters in Europe, on American campuses and elsewhere.
Whenever this appears, some formula should be prepared to inform readers that this concept, if not totally fallacious, is aimed at destroying Israel – and is at the very least a strongly disputed notion which refers to “occupation” of the whole of Israel, none of which ever belonged to a “Palestinian people.”
Moshav Shoresh
10% green energy – plus a bit
The article “10% green electricity for Israel in 2010?” (November 10) is not truly accurate.
While everything in the article was correct, it was very blinkered and only considered half of the story. It talks about the small percentage of green energy that is being supplied to Israeli homes, but completely ignored Israel’s nearly 100% use of dudei shemesh to heat water, which greatly reduces the need for electricity, green or otherwise.
Israel has enough negative things to write about without understating the size of Israel’s green footprint.
Sanders putting money to bad use
Regarding “What would a Bernie Sanders presidency mean for Israel?” (November 8), Matthew Duss, Bernie Sanders’s foreign policy director, claims to understand that Palestinian leaders are corrupt and that Israel must protect her citizens from those who wish to destroy the nation-state of the Jews.
But what is his boss’s proposed solution? Give more money to Hamas (we’ll say it’s for the people, but we know Hamas leaders will put it in their bank accounts or use it to attack Israel) and reward the Palestinian Authority’s intransigence (no, you don’t have to make any compromises; we’ll force Israel to let you have a state and make them give you a capital in Jerusalem).
Sorry, Bernie, your fond memories of your time on a kibbutz just don’t cut it.
Atlanta, GA
Young Israel
The article “Israel invests less in healthcare than most OECD countries” (November 8) is somewhat misleading. The cost of healthcare is also a function of the demographics of the country. Whilst most OECD countries have almost 20% of the population aged 65 and over, Israel has barely 12% (OECD statistics). From 2000 to 2018, France has risen from 16.2% to 19.7%, Germany from 16.2% to 21.4%, the UK from 15.8% to 18.2%. In the same period, Israel has risen from 9.8% to 11.7%.
Consequently, the cost of healthcare must be higher in those countries where the elderly population is significantly higher
Hurting the charitable
As a woman, I was shocked that Gera Margaliot chose the charity concert sponsored by Ezra LeMarpe to fight her battles against womens’ rights (“Secular and religious clash over charity concert,” November 6). Ezre Le Marpe, which Rabbi Firer established, helps all who suffer from various ailments and need special help. It provides rehabilitation programs and lends all kinds of equipment that sick people need with no payment involved. It provides needed help through the good will of contributions.
Firer runs this program. He doesn’t sit in a fancy office and fly around the world. People swamp him for medical advice in his modest office in Bnai Brak. They benefit from his extensive knowledge about medical needs. His knowledge is respected by doctors, who are honored when he refers patients to them. This religious man practices Torah and abides by it strictly in his private life.
In his charitable work, he helps anyone who needs him – men and women. Some people come to him in the small hours of the night. I saw women come to his office for help. According to the Torah, when a man in a room with a woman should leave the door open; he does.
Firer is an example of the way Jews should behave. He practices Judaism and helps all mankind. His request for male performers only should have been honored; he deserves to be respected for his religious beliefs (according to strictly Orthodox Jews like him, a man is not supposed to hear a woman singing).
Unfortunately, the males who were supposed to perform do not understand this and were frightened by the women’s lib activists, because they don’t want to lose their support among women fans.
Ironically, if any of the people who acted against this concert ever need the help of Rav Firer, he will be there for them.
Kfar Saba
Who are these women from the Israel Women’s Network who purport to represent Israeli women as feminists? What is their real agenda?
As a woman, I believe that a true feminist is one who lives her life according to the goals she has set for herself. What does this have to do with the right of Rabbi Firer, who has helped so many regardless of gender, religion or religious affiliation, even if his religious beliefs led him to organize a concert with men performers, but non segregated seating and a woman presenter? Why does this concert bother them when there are many more worthy issues?
Their protests and eventual canceling of this concert is an affront to women like myself who see ourselves as feminists and who want nothing to do with the self-appointed watchdogs of the Israel Women’s Network who have nothing to do with feminism but whose goal seems rather to sow discord in our society.
Relegate butter to the gutter?
Butter is not a healthy food and the fact that it is missing from Israeli supermarket shelves is surely a blessing in disguise (“Blame spreads as butter battle persists,” November 1).
The fat contained in butter is of the saturated variety that clogs arteries and raises cholesterol – a central cause of heart disease. So say a final goodbye to butter and hello to all the great and healthful alternatives! For cooking, olive oil is an easy substitute, using ¾ cup for every cup of butter. Spread avocado on your morning toast. Fancy a bagel ? Use peanut or almond butter.
So stop searching those shelves for butter and use your search engine for other replacements and be healthier!
Mevaseret Zion
What happened to Portuguese Jews
Contrary to what “Portuguese town to get country’s first eruv in 500 years” (October 27) says, there was no expulsion of Jews in Portugal in 1497. Scholars – including Cecil Roth, author of A History of the Marranos and Henry Kamen, author of Inquisition and Society in Spain – agree that the expulsion was a misnomer.
Thousands of Jews found refuge in Portugal after the 1492 expulsion from Spain and four years later, in December 1496, King Manuel ordered Jews and Moors to leave the kingdom by the next November. But once they arrived in Lisbon on the day of departure – some 20,000 – they were forced to convert to Christianity, which forced many of them remain in the country.
Two contemporaries of King Manuel described the forced conversions of 1497 and don’t say anything about an expulsion. One was the historian Jerónimo Osório in De rebus emanuelis; the other was renowned astronomer and mathematician in Sefer Yuhashin (The Book of Genealogies).
Ma’aleh Adumim
Heroic Holocaust secret
Regarding “World War II pilot’s heroic Holocaust secret revealed” (November 6) about the flight to England of 732 Holocaust orphans, your readers might be interested in some background on the RAF footage.
Together with the late Sir Martin Gilbert, author of The Boys: Triumph Over Adversity (and former president of the group), I directed and produced the film on “The Boys,” released in 2004 and shown on different TV channels, including the History Channel, in 2004 and 2005. Gilbert was a long-time consultant to the Imperial War Museum. We discovered the unmarked RAF footage in the voluminous archives. It took a bit of time to identify the footage. When now-fully grown “Boys” were shown the footage and saw themselves as refugee children, they recalled their journeys to refuge in Britain. All were extremely excited to see the previously unknown footage that had suddenly “miraculously” appeared from the dusty depths of those IWM archives.
Without meaning to discredit the “heroic” RAF service of pilot Halsey Roscorla, the flights were all peacetime flights. The first took place in August, 1945, from Prague to Carlisle in England. A second flight flew from Munich to Southampton, and yet a third flight left from Prague to a few places in Britain.
The pilots did a fine job in getting everybody safely from the hell of postwar Europe to the relative calm of postwar Britain.
Granting permission for these 732 orphans to come to Britain was an outstanding humanitarian act of the British government.
A few of The Boys later came to settle in Israel, a number migrated to the States, but most stayed and grew up in Britain. They meet each year in London in early May to celebrate their liberation, and there is a strong “second generation” group that helps perpetuate the memories. They are all strong supporters of Israel.
Motza Ilit

The charge of the Light Brigade

On October 31, 1917, The Australian Light Horse brigade created history as the last great cavalry charge in military history.
Unlike the failure at Gallipoli, the Australian Light Horse defeated the entrenched Turks at Beersheba to allow the further capture of Palestine from the Ottoman Empire.
Two great Australian generals orchestrated the maneuver: Lieutenant General Harry Chauvel contrived and ordered the charge, and Brigadier General William Grant led it.
Yet it attracted no reporting in Australian News media. It is sad to reflect that Australian history celebrates the defeat at Gallipoli but forgets the victory at Beersheba.
We remember and honor those brave Australian Light horsemen buried at Beersheba.
East Kilara NSW
Three options for Mandelblit
In “The assault on Israel’s judicial system...” (November 6), Prof. Yedidia Stern lays out three options for decisions that Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit can make regarding the PM: “1) File a grave indictment, 2) press less serious charges or 3) close the case(s).”
However, there are three more options, the first two entrenched in the Jewish principle of “When there is a dire need to act, you must (may?) jettison your law.
1) Since the person of the present PM is the main stumbling block to the formation of a government, the AG indicts him, thus removing him from the political arena, despite any doubts the AG may have about the truths of the allegations, thereby enabling a stable functioning of the state.
2) On the contrary, since the presumed culpability of the PM is what is presented as the stumbling back in the formation of a government, the AG fully exonerates the PM, in spite of his feelings about the possible veracity of the allegations, thus again paving the way to a functioning government.
3) Since the allegations have been in the public domain for so many years, the AG would conclude that judges cannot humanly be objective and free of preconceived views and therefore close all cases, on the basis of sub judice.