April 20, 2017: Barghouti’s op-ed

The time is long past when Barghouti should have been placed in solitary confinement without communication with the outer world.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Barghouti’s op-ed
With regard to “Politicians slam ‘New York Times’ for Barghouti op-ed” (April 18), Israel bears much of the blame. What other country on this planet would allow a murderer serving five lifetime prison terms such freedom of communication? That Barghouti should also be permitted to act as political leader, calling for more prisoners’ rights while Israeli prisoners in Palestinian jails are not even allowed visits by the International Red Cross, is beyond belief.
The time is long past when Barghouti should have been placed in solitary confinement without communication with the outer world.
It would be quite reprehensible and a flagrant violation of journalistic integrity for The New York Times to print a letter – even more so an op-ed illegally smuggled out of prison – by Marwan Barghouti.
Barghouti’s lying diatribe is a totally disingenuous fabrication and a false representation of why he and other Palestinians are so deservedly in prison. In any other country – certainly in the Middle East – he would have been executed for his litany of despicable and heinous crimes.
Perhaps now he should remain in solitary confinement to the end of his days, caused by either a hunger strike or natural causes!
I invite all my good friends here and in the US to reconsider their attachment to The New York Times after the blatant display of its vicious, antisemitic editorial policy.
Publishing a piece by Marwan Barghouti as if he were some prisoner of conscience instead of a convicted murderer of Jews is beyond the pale. Printing an article by Goebbels after World War II would have been no worse – and just like people believed Goebbels, readers will take Barghouti’s lies, presented as if they were legitimate journalism, at face value.
The belated decision to correct the inaccurate description of Barghouti does nothing to mitigate the effect. True lovers of Israel cannot just ignore this.
In the spirit of the Passover Haggada, I believe it is time for The Jerusalem Post to say dayenu! – enough of carrying New York Times articles. There are many of us who cannot comprehend printing regular diatribes by the Times against both Israel and US President Donald Trump.
The Times is the “paper of record” that, during World War II, relegated the Holocaust to its back pages. Now fast-forward, and it carries an op-ed by Marwan Barghouti without informing its readers that he is a murderer serving multiple life sentences, thus giving him legitimacy in the eyes of the unsuspecting and unknowing, and providing a terrorist with a platform for his propaganda.
What purpose does your carrying Times articles serve either the Jewish people or the State of Israel? Does Haaretz not do enough damage in providing a vehicle for leftist, anti-Israel propaganda?
Beit Shemesh
Erdogan’s powers With regard to “Erdogan declares referendum victory” (April 18), it seems that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been allowed to become a mini-dictator with sweeping powers. It reminds us of how Hitler was originally voted into power.
I think the West needs to make it clear to Turkey that we will not tolerate another Islamic dictatorship during this era of war with radical Islam.
New York
Our souls and Syria
The Syrian civil war is a highly complex struggle with a large number of rebel groups of various religious backgrounds – a struggle that few well understand.
If columnist Melanie Phillips claims to be one of the few, she did a poor job elucidating it (“The West’s ideological quagmire,” As I See it, April 14).
The struggle goes way beyond the Shia-Sunni divide and has claimed close to half a million victims in addition to countless refugees. It is a war in which it would be highly erroneous to assume that my enemy’s enemy is my friend. The West has no ally in this fight, and all sides are virulently anti-Israel.
Many have validly pointed out that the sheer number of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s victims is much more a source of consternation than the despicable use of chemical weapons. But the large number of deaths didn’t happen in a day.
US President Donald Trump’s recent cruise-missile strike was not designed to remove Assad from power – which would leave a void where still more violence and chaos would reign.
In my opinion, it had a whole different purpose: It was to make a statement that we care and will not sit in silence when fellow humans are cruelly tortured.
While the attack could not restore life, inaction would send a message of apathy not only to the world, but also to US citizens.
I recently read an anecdote about Jewish Holocaust victims who heard that the Allies were going to bomb the concentration camps to end the systematic death machines. Though they understood that they would meet their deaths in the process, they were heartened to hear that someone out there cared enough to do something.
According to newly released documentation, we now know that the world knew of Hitler’s plans far earlier than thought.
There were plenty of reasons to ignore the information even without considering antisemitism as a factor, but ultimately, those silent democratic countries paid a price with their apathy – they lost a piece of their soul.
Let us not lose our soul in this quagmire.
Climate warning
With Earth Day just ahead on April 22, it is a good time to consider the existential threat that climate change poses to Israel and, indeed, all life on our planet. An outrageous exaggeration? Please consider the following:
• Climate change is a major threat to humanity, largely caused by human activity. This is the view of science academies worldwide, 97% of climate scientists, almost all of the many peer-reviewed articles on the subject that have appeared in respected scientific journals, and the leaders of all the 195 nations meeting at the 2015 climate- change conference in Paris.
• The previous three years have successively broken temperature records. Every decade since the 1970s has been warmer than the previous decade. The last 17 years were the warmest since 1880, when temperatures began being recorded.
• Glaciers worldwide and polar icecaps have been melting more rapidly than climate experts predicted.
• There has been a significant increase in the number and severity of heat waves, droughts, wildfires, storms, floods and other climate events. Military experts believe that these events will result in tens of millions of desperate, hungry refugees making instability, violence, terrorism and war more likely.
• While the many recent severe climate events have resulted from an average temperature increase of slightly above one degree Celsius, we are now on track for a rise of at least four degrees Celsius – which would result in an unlivable world.
Many climate experts believe that the world is on the brink of a tipping point where climate change could spin out of control, with disastrous consequences.
The Jerusalem Post would do a great public service, a sanctification of God’s name, by using its excellent writers and editors to help increase awareness of the seriousness of the threats and the steps that should be taken to help avert a climate catastrophe.