Letters to the Editor: April 24, 2020

Readers of The Jerusalem Report have their say.

BREXIT PROTESTERS march in the UK (photo credit: REUTERS)
BREXIT PROTESTERS march in the UK
(photo credit: REUTERS)

An attitude of gratitude
I would like to thank editor Steve Linde and everyone at The Jerusalem Report for continuing to publish during these difficult times.  It would have been so easy to stop publishing!  I have only just received the April copy, but I note the titles of the articles are most welcome: ‘Caution, not panic’, ‘staying positive through trying times,’ ‘Anchor of Hope’... and most gratifying of all, ‘The corona crisis: Israeli innovation is leading the battle.’ I would have expected nothing less!!!
Beverley Saunders
Costa Del Sol, Spain
Biran on Brexit
I found Jane Biran’s recent article on Brexit very disappointing as it didn’t convey the reasons why the majority of British voters chose to leave the European Union (“Brexit: A slow and painful divorce,” March 23). That decision came despite the onslaught of establishment opinion that favored the UK remaining. Back in 2016 the British public was subjected to what became known as ‘Project Fear’ including forecasts by the Treasury, the Bank of England and the CBI (Confederation of British Industry) that a recession would follow the very act of choosing to leave the EU. Those predictions were completely wrong, and in fact the British economy flourished.
The EU was seen by most people as a remote, undemocratic and arrogant institution from which Britain gained little. The UK was the second largest net contributor to the EU budget behind Germany, but people felt very little benefit from membership. They mostly saw a string of negatives, primarily a loss of sovereignty with the EU laying down laws affecting all areas of life, a huge influx of Eastern European workers into British towns and cities, the sharing of fishing rights in Britain’s territorial waters and so on. Meanwhile unlike Britain, European states were failing to contribute adequately to NATO. The EU was also seen as a conduit for Middle Eastern and African asylum seekers trying to reach Britain. Given Britain’s experience of Muslim terrorism since the 7th July 2005 attacks and the poor integration of its Pakistani communities, many Britons did not fancy more of the same.
The three and a half years of delay and turmoil between the Referendum and the UK’s eventual departure were due to the Conservative Party choosing the pro-Remain Home Secretary at the time, Theresa May to become Prime Minister. She proved to be a weak and incompetent leader. Her Cabinet was eventually dominated by ‘Remainers’ and they attempted to force through a highly watered-down version of Brexit that would closely tie the UK to the EU but without any say in its decision-making. Her deal with the EU was roundly rejected three times by Parliament. Eventually May was forced to resign after the Conservatives won only 9% of the vote in the elections to the European Parliament in May 2019. Staring down the barrel of oblivion the Conservatives opted for the charismatic Boris Johnson as their next leader. They won a thumping majority in the December 2019 elections on the slogan ‘Get Brexit Done’, which was a final affirmation by the British people of the original Brexit decision.
Jonathan Karmi
Bedfordshire, UK
Very troubling
I found the article, “Ethical imperatives on the West Bank” in The Jerusalem Report (March 23, 2020) very troubling. Its title suggested that it would contain a discussion of moral issues. But, despite an early disclaimer  (“I am not saying that all of the settlers are violent fanatics”), the article goes on to accuse Israelis of attacking peaceful Arabs, with tacit support from the IDF. No particular incidents are described; no names or dates are given. Therefore, the reader cannot search the Internet or other sources to check the veracity of the claims.
I recalled that The Jerusalem Post (a few years back) had run an article on the possible demolition of structures built (some say “illegally”) in Sussiya, in the vicinity of the South Hebron Hills. I recommend it to your readers who would like to hear a bit of the other side of the story (www.jpost.com/Opinion/Legal-Affairs-A-shadow-over-the-land-464524).
I do not condone violence by the Jews living on land Israel liberated from Jordanian occupation in 1967 or by Arabs who now claim the land has always been theirs (a claim that the PLO, itself, denied in its founding charter, issued in 1964). As is the case in so many of these disputes, life would be better for all concerned if the Palestinian leaders would turn their attention from trying to destroy Israel and then would negotiate to end the conflict so that the people living under Palestinian administration could begin to build a better life for themselves and their children.
Toby F. Block
Atlanta, GA
Thoughts on the coronavirus

As the virus was identified
Friends I knew were terrified
That if we all pursued our lives
That most of us would die.
So we locked ourselves away from life
To keep us safe from harm.
But in the end by staying safe
We lost what gave life charm.
I am old and learning now,
That I have had my day.
But to live in fear all tucked away
Is not the way for me.
Though I love life as any man
I’d rather cease to be,
Than hide in fear within my house
Instead of being free.
For now I keep myself away
From most of what I need
To prevent myself from harming those
Who still depend on me.
But no longer I’m afraid of Death
Nor is Death afraid of me
And soon I’m sure that we will talk
Of the future that must be.
He surely knows what to expect
After life is gone.
For after all, he is the one
Who shows the path we’re on.
Is our life significant?
Is it what we expect?
Or is it just futility,
That all will soon forget?
Where Death might go I do not know,
But I’m ready to proceed
Upon this journey to its end
To reach my destiny.
My soul is but a part of G-d
To Whom it shall return
So others can take up my tasks
To continue when I’m gone.
David Goldberg
Skoki, IL