See no evil
Your report on the situation with the so-called talks on the Iran deal (“EU mediator says weeks, not months, needed to conclude deal with Tehran,” December 28), in which, incidentally, the two main parties to the discussion do not even sit in the same room, brings to mind the age-old saying ”there is none so blind as they who will not see.”
After eight rounds of “negotiations,” the EU and the US are still clinging with their fingernails to the latest declaration of the “butcher of Iran” that only a few weeks are needed to reach a new deal. Last month it was just a few months. Next month will be just a few days. Thus he is deflecting the formal criticism of his behavior and all the while our butcher is steadily proceeding to attain the level of enrichment needed for their nuclear attack on our country.
Is it only we that can see it how their devious plans are coming to fruition?
The EU has fallen for their Arab-style negotiation (saying yes and meaning no). The US of A has fallen for it and there is no wonder in that: they have no clue whatsoever of the Arab/Middle East culture of lies and half-lies, of pretending to agree to some palliative, while planning the result which they have always intended. They persist in judging their rivals with the same western standards of decency and honesty.
They did not learn from Afghanistan, from Iraq, from Syria, from Vietnam.
They will not learn when it comes to Taiwan, Ukraine and, yes, Israel itself.
The great paper tiger will whimper and once again crawl away and contemporaneously do everything in its power to prevent us from defending ourselves, by ourselves, until it is too late.
The EU does see, the US does see – but they just don’t want to. What did the first monkey say? - “I see no evil.”
The sky is falling
There has been a spate of articles, mostly by American rabbis, decrying the restrictions on COVID travel into Israel placed on Diaspora Jews, the last one raising the specter of an accelerating divide threatening Jewish unity (“The pandemic’s collateral damage,” December 28). Jewish unity also continues to be threatened by the continuing brouhaha concerning who can pray and where and when at the Western Wall. All this is in the midst of a pandemic that is killing so many.
Real unity would be that American Jewish leaders (irrespective of their denomination) would proclaim that they stand by Israel no matter what; that they understand and commiserate with the difficulties Israel faces; that nothing can come between us.
Instead, all we get is hysterical cries that the sky is falling and that Jewish unity is disintegrating. Maybe we need more intelligent and sensitive American rabbis.
YIGAL HOROWITZ Beersheba
Incitement instead of peace
Note to Ahmad Tibi: In 1967, Syria allied with Egypt in a war instigated with open genocidal intent (“Government approves NIS 1b. plan for Golan Heights, will build two new towns,” December 27), Egypt and Syria – and fellow traveler, Jordan – lost that war. Israel’s victory not only put an end to Syrian sniper attacks on Israeli farms located at the base of the Golan, but it also liberated Gaza from Egyptian occupation and eastern Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria from Jordanian occupation. Israel’s offer to exchange newly liberated land for peace and recognition was rejected by the Arab League at Khartoum in 1968.
Israel’s 2005 withdrawal from Gaza was reciprocated by Hamas’ increasing the number and types of attacks directed at Israeli population centers from land that Hamas administers. While telling the world he has no choice but to encourage his people to violently resist the “occupation,” Mahmoud Abbas twice flatly rejected Israeli offers that should have led to the establishment of the first-ever-to-exist Arab State of Palestine. Abbas also rejected the Trump administration’s Peace to Prosperity plan even before details were released. Instead of negotiating with Israel, Abbas incites people living under PA administration to kill Jews and rewards murderers (and/or their families) when the killers answer Abbas’ call.
The Syrian civil war has dragged on for far too long. Israel needs to keep the Golan so that it doesn’t become a gateway for Iranian attacks on Israel via Syria. Syria was one of the nations that caused the 1967 confrontation. Syria has no right to demand the return of land lost while Syria was trying to destroy Israel and annihilate Israel’s people.
TOBY F. BLOCKAtlanta
I am not sure how I should address the way I feel. I woke up in the morning with such a high after seeing the documentary on the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra’s 85th birthday. My heart was filled with such pride, watching this amazing orchestra come into being before the State of Israel was proclaimed – just the same way we made the desert bloom and today we are one of the most resourceful countries in the world. In other words, a miracle.
Then I read in The Jerusalem Post that former interior minister Arye Deri agreed to a plea bargain approved by Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit under which he will resign from the Knesset for tax evasion and only pay a NIS 180,000 fine. Wow – this means he won’t go to jail again, he’ll remain chairman of Shas, holding on to all his wealth and maybe return to being an MK in the near future.
Like Yaakov Katz so adamantly pointed out (“No return,” December 27 editorial), how can an ex-convict, still with a kippah on his head (which I point out) be let off so easily? Also astounding is our Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit agreeing to this. What a way for him to end his career with such a blemish. This is a terrible disgrace to be so corrupt and still one day hold another high position in the Knesset.
Something is so rotten in the “State of Denmark” as Shakespeare once said, but this is not Denmark but my country Israel, which has been my home since I immigrated from the lawless country of South Africa nearly 50 years ago.
Thank you, Yaakov, for your editorial: there is and will be a way out. Our present government is another miracle and long may it be so.
Outside Israel is not home
There is a lot of truth in what Becca Wertman writes in her article (“By closing its borders, Israel is asking olim to choose,” December 27) although I have to say, I totally disagree with the heading. When one makes aliyah, the choice should already have been made. There has been a lot of confusion in the government’s policies as it appears there are many disagreements in what should or should not be done. We definitely need more clarity and less confusion in order for the public to understand the situation as it changes. However, the most important thing, however painful it is, is making the country safe for us to be healthy and if that means closing down the airport, then it should be a no-brainer.
The government has enough money to help out businesses in trouble and when a policy regarding the pandemic is issued, there must be proper oversight with penalties that will make someone think twice about going rogue.
I take exception to Wertman, not only about olim having to choose, but by repeatedly referring to outside Israel as home. When one makes aliyah, it means coming home although it appears that she only did so believing she could go “home” whenever she wanted and her family could visit her whenever. Of course in an ideal world families should be able to be with their loved ones whenever they choose but we live in anything but an ideal world.
Until the pandemic has been brought under as much control as it can possibly be, and we have to face the unpleasant fact that it is probably here to stay in one form or another, there will be hardships. It is difficult but not insurmountable with today’s technology for which we must be very grateful because it means we are not totally cut off from family and friends.
AOC doesn’t deserve help
Emily Cohen (“We’re in a shmita year,” December 26) urges cancellation of student loans so that young people can save, pay their rent without fear, quit their high-paying corporate jobs, and “think beyond their next paycheck.” What she is describing is the dream of millions of Americans who did not have the opportunity to go to college. Why should these Americans have to scrape by while graduates of expensive universities get a free pass? It would be just as reasonable to cancel the mortgages of Americans in need.
What about those who played by the rules? Many former students and their parents struggled to pay for education while limiting or paying off debt. They should not be expected to subsidize someone else’s education.
Many of the people who would benefit from loan cancellation simply made a gamble that did not pay off. They chose to attend expensive universities with the expectation that they could recoup their costs later on. Unfortunately, many studied subjects that were of interest to them personally, but were not marketable in the real world.
There may well be some former students for whom partial debt cancellation makes sense based on their individual circumstances – e.g., current salary and future income expectations, value of their work to society, level of debt, and commitment to continuing efforts to meet their obligations. Across the board debt relief for all former students, however, would be nothing more than a mass transfer of wealth to the educated class.
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a perfect example of someone who does not deserve this help. She is single, earns $174K/year, and drives a $60K Tesla yet says the government has an obligation to bail her out.
Future students can limit their debt by attending community colleges for two years and then transferring to low cost state schools. This would reduce the number of applicants for more expensive universities, giving those institutions an incentive to lower their obscene tuitions. The universities’ huge endowments should be made subject to normal income tax, motivating them to use these funds to shrink administrative costs, fund educational activities, and offer interest-free loans rather than building their bloated bank balances even further.
EFRAIM COHENZichron Ya’acov
The fate of the West
Regarding “125 countries back unprecedented UNHRC war-crimes probe vs. Israel” (December 26), may I remind the United Nations what antisemitism is?
The widely accepted International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition states that if Jews are treated differently than others, that’s antisemitism. Criticism of Israel is legitimate. Treating Israel more harshly than you would anyone else is not.
If there are calls to destroy Israel, that is antisemitism. To claim Israel commits human rights abuses, builds illegal settlements and practices apartheid is antisemitic, whether the statements are made out of ignorance or malice.
There are massive human rights abuses in areas under PA and Hamas control. Minorities live precariously. Gays are thrown off buildings. Honor killings are common, as is female genital mutilation. None of this is Israel’s responsibility.
The Nation of Islam, Black Lives Matter, and the myriad tentacles of the Muslim Brotherhood are aggressively fighting the West. CAIR, Hamas and the Muslim Students’ Associations (MSA) are part of the Brotherhood. CAIR’s function is to infiltrate and influence governments. MSA sponsors the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions’ and the Israel Apartheid Week libels, spreading turmoil on our campuses and beyond. SJP (Students for Justice in Palestine) is Hamas’s representative in universities.
Antisemitism is the world’s longest running sin. Christians and Muslims have persecuted Jews for 2,000 and 1,400 years respectively.
With the exception of short periods, Jews have never been accepted or treated as equals. They have been invited into nations, exploited, been allowed to rebuild, only to be robbed again. They have been thrown out whenever rulers found it necessary.
From Mohammad beheading the Jewish men and enslaving the women of Medina in the 7th century, to the Crusades, to the Inquisition to the Holocaust and the wars of genocide launched against Israel by its neighbors, Christians and Muslims have exhibited an inexplicable animosity toward the minority from whom their religions emanated.
Do they hate the morality imposed by the Ten Commandments? Do they chafe at a people who have overcome all adversity, only to continue to survive and, when allowed, to gift the world with learning, art, medicine and creativity way beyond what their numbers would indictate?
The free world is under attack. China supports BLM. Russia funds Antifa. Political Islam is leading the charge and the UNHRC is the point of the spear.
What befalls Israel will be the fate of the West. Leaders of the free world will tolerate this outrage at their peril.