April 30, 2017: Opinion on opinions

If the newspaper isn’t going to serve the purpose of filling out the facts I can just skip the articles and go directly to the crossword puzzles.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Opinion on opinions
Desperately seeking an actual newspaper! It seems that less and less of The Jerusalem Post’s front page is devoted to actual news. Do the editors assume that the public can’t wait to open the paper to find out what it is the reporters think about the news? The headline “Does Netanyahu’s Breaking the Silence litmus test waste diplomatic capital?” (April 27) featured on today’s front page sent me in search of some straight news. I didn’t bother to read the article because I have the old fashioned notion that I prefer to hear the unadorned facts first and form my own opinion, rather than have the story be presented through the prism of somebody else’s opinion.
Of course, I already was aware of the basic facts from radio and television news reports. If the newspaper isn’t going to serve the purpose of filling out the facts I can just skip the articles and go directly to the crossword puzzles.
Ministerial meeting
In regards to “PM sets policy: We won’t meet diplomats who meet with Breaking the Silence” (26 April), will the hypocrisy ever end? Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may have canceled his meeting with the German foreign minister but as nothing here happens without his approval, the gushing President Reuven Rivlin made sure he was greeted with special warmth and of course the usual photo ops for posterity. Nothing like showing how we are prepared to demean ourselves.
In any event, what’s the big deal with Gabriel meeting Breaking the Silence, which like the rest of the traitors to our country, is allowed to spread their hate. Is Gabriel doing anything worse than Netanyahu who negotiates with the terrorist organization Hamas and agrees to their demands to allow more goods into Gaza, just as he agreed to all their cease fires during Operation Protective Edge and even negotiating with it for the release of our soldiers’ bodies that he did not bring home because he would not fight against Hamas to win? And what about the constant calling on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to return to negotiations so that we can surrender more of our land to that terrorist and his organization that daily calls for our destruction and honors all terrorists that murder Israelis.
What the German foreign minister is doing is nothing compared to our shortcomings. It is not hard to believe Gabriel when he implied that Netanyahu was using the issue to gain domestic political points especially with Rivlin doing the honors in his place.
After canceling a meeting that was to take place with the visiting German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel who had ignored Israel’s request that he not meet with subversive groups such as Breaking the Silence why did Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu feel it necessary to call Gabriel afterward to explain his decision? In doing so, Netanyahu not only weakened his justified cancellation of the meeting but also shamefully provided Gabriel with the opportunity to snub the Prime Minister of Israel by refusing to take his call. Perhaps Israel now requires a minister of explanation.
I subscribe fully to “The unacceptable behavior of the German foreign minister” (April 27) by Isi Leibler.
Sigmar Gabriel was an official guest of the Israeli government in Israel during the very sensitive Holocaust Remembrance Day.
He spend his precious time here by meeting 2 organizations – B’Tselem and Breaking the Silence – which are deeply discredited in Israeli society and its elected government. This diplomatic and moral affront to his hosts, mainly Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is contrary to acceptable diplomatic rules, and in this case, shows lack of sensitivity and moral character.
If Chancellor Angela Merkel wants to foster a friendly relationship with Israel, she must ask her foreign minister to apologize in front of the Israel government, and its prime minister.
If not, she should dismiss him.
The Korean equation
Congratulations to your astute analyst Yossi Melman for reporting on the shifting sand in official Israeli thinking about the implications for Israel in the Korean crisis “North Korea and the Jewish question” (April 27).
He brings the latest thinking of a “senior Israeli officer” that a conflict between the US and North Korea might reduce US military aid to Israel.
Such narrow procurement vision of the said officer lacks wider geopolitical perspective.
Melman hints at this when he reminds us that “North Korea is a supplier of missiles and maybe even nuclear technology to Iran.”
Focus on the North Korea-Iran axis is critical to any full understanding of the issues involved beyond Israel’s arms supply chain. There is no clearer vision of this than in recognizing that the distance westward for an intercontinental ballistic missile between Iran and New York is the same as the eastward distance between North Korea and Los Angeles.
In the mutually beneficial US-Israel strategic alliance, Jerusalem has primary responsibility for Hezbollah, Iran’s proxy, whether in Syria or Lebanon. In parallel, Washington has primary responsibility for North Korea, Iran’s supplier of military hardware and technology. From this perspective, cutting North Korea back at least to conventional military size, and the signal this would send to Iran, is highly important to Israel’s security.
As part of this larger equation, the senior officer would be well advised to focus instead how Israel plans to increase hi-tech military assistance to South Korea. This is a matter that US President Trump would clearly appreciate.
The writer is a retired US Foreign Service officer.
Have some respect
Here we go again.
The siren sounds in memory of our fallen soldiers. The terrible, unearthly wail often catches us while we’re standing in the supermarket, with a trolley overflowing with meat to be barbecued and treats to enjoy at our picnic.
Am I the only person to feel a deep sense of shame in this situation? I have lived in Israel for over 50 years, and until recently, I thought that maybe I was wrong, and that bereaved relatives are somehow comforted by our life goes on attitude.
Recently, however, another factor has made its appearance, namely, that the supermarket chains are competing for our custom, advertising on TV and sending flyers, announcing their special prices for Independence Day feasts.
I call on all people who have some sort of conscience to think about how we can honor the dead in a more civilized way.
Ungallant remarks
No wonder we have a bad image abroad. Some people all over the world will be appalled as I was at the words of a government minister who called for Jewish settlement to stem perceived Beduin encroachment; “Gallant: Beduin are taking over Negev” (April 26). I wish all government ministers would first try out their sentences with the words “Jews are taking over our neighborhood/country” instead of Beduin, (or whoever) and see how it sounds. The Beduin are citizens and have to live somewhere. Why not focus on finding an equitable agreement which will encourage more efficient use of land and the goal of turning unrecognized settlements to ones which comply with Israeli zoning regulations?
Ramat Hasharon