Letters to the Editor February 9, 2022: Be a fair sport

Readers of The Jerusalem Post have their say.

Letters (photo credit: PIXABAY)
Letters
(photo credit: PIXABAY)

Be a fair sport

Recently, The Jerusalem Post published multiple articles maliciously attacking China and the Beijing Winter Olympics. 

The Chinese Embassy in Israel has lodged representations in various ways to refute the lies and clarify the truth. 

As the international community, including Israel, is enjoying the Winter Olympic Games, and as China and Israel are celebrating the 30th anniversary of diplomatic ties, the Post, once again, published an article on February 7 that made groundless accusations on China and the Beijing Winter Olympics (“Genocide Olympics,” Emily Schrader). 

We were shocked to see that the politically-biased article, full of lies and fallacies, insults the Olympic Movement and smears China’s image, for the publication of which we express strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition to the Post. 

A few days ago, the Olympics successfully kicked off. The opening ceremony was attended by around 170 official representatives from nearly 70 countries and international organizations, including 31 heads of state, heads of government, key members of royal families and heads of international organizations. 

 THE EMBLEM OF the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics is seen on a glass door at the National Alpine Skiing Center in the Chinese capital, last week. (credit: TINGSHU WANG/REUTERS) THE EMBLEM OF the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics is seen on a glass door at the National Alpine Skiing Center in the Chinese capital, last week. (credit: TINGSHU WANG/REUTERS)

Many more state leaders and heads of international organizations made phone calls or sent letters to the Chinese leaders to wish the Olympics a great success and the Chinese people a happy Lunar New Year, reflecting the international community’s firm support for China, for the Beijing Olympics, and for the Olympic Movement. 

Athletes from Israel and other countries are competing fairly and realizing their dreams in Beijing. Faced with the changing yet chaotic international landscape, peace, friendship, understanding and inclusiveness are needed more than ever. 

The Beijing Winter Olympics add solidarity to the world. The politicization of the Olympics by some anti-China elements who act like clowns is not only an abuse of world athletes’ human rights, but also an affront to the Olympic spirit. 

Their unpopular attempt is doomed to fail.

As we noticed, many articles were published on The Jerusalem Post spreading vicious slanders against China. It is contemptible that the articles were full of the Cold-War mentality and ideological prejudice without even looking at the truth. People would ask, what forces are behind this author to support the long-term groundless and malicious attacks on China? We warn those forces who smear China and undermine China-Israel friendly ties: justice shall always prevail. 

Their scheme will never succeed. 

We urge The Jerusalem Post to stop publishing malicious slanders against China, and provide the Chinese side with a balanced platform for stating the facts and our legitimate position. 

WANG YONGJUNSpokesperson of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the State of Israel

Amnesty inaccuracy

Regarding Amnesty International’s report accusing Israel of being an apartheid state (“Amnesty: Stop arms sales to ‘apartheid’ Israel,” February 2), as a former South African who spent more than 30 years living under apartheid, I feel it is incumbent upon me to explain what apartheid really was, and what led the world to condemn it. 

In a nutshell, apartheid was the systematic legislative deprivation of the majority black population of the rights and privileges afforded to the minority white population of South Africa.

The first major act of apartheid was the removal of people classified as non-whites (blacks) or Coloureds (mixed white and black people) from voting or forming political parties. This resulted in more than 80% of the population being deprived of any representation in Parliament.

Secondly, the Group Areas Act confined the majority black population to living on 18% of the land. Hundreds of thousands of people were moved to undeveloped areas far from any employment centers under this act. 

The pass laws made it an offense for blacks to be in a white area without a permit or pass. The Immorality Act and the Mixed Marriages Act made it a criminal act for having sexual relations or marrying a person of a different race category.

The Bantu Education Act was designed to prevent blacks from receiving higher education. The Censorship Act was used to ban any publications that showed blacks in a favorable light. 

Labor laws were passed that defined an employee as anyone except a “kaffir,” a derogatory term for blacks. This deprived blacks of any rights associated with workers’ rights. The minimum wage for blacks was a fraction of the minimum wage for whites. 

Blacks were not allowed to legally buy liquor or own guns. All personal rights were defined by race. 

Apartheid was promoted as separate and equal opportunities for development. There was nothing equal in the implementation of the policy. All the best facilities were reserved for whites. 

Blacks could not enroll in schools or universities, or use hospitals, public libraries, beaches, restaurants, hotels, buses, trains, taxis, parks, public toilets or any other facility that were designated for “Whites Only.” The use of every amenity was defined by race.

The situation in Israel is the exact opposite of everything stated above. The irony is that the present government in Israel includes an Islamic Arab party. This alone demonstrates the absurdity of stating that Israel is an apartheid state. 

So why did Amnesty International publish such a false report? 

The answer is very clear. Amnesty International is trying to demonize Israel. The secretary-general of Amnesty International, Agnès Callamard, is a serial hater of Israel. She previously served on the United Nations Human Rights Council, which annually condemns Israel while giving a pass to the real human rights-abusing nations of the world. 

She has also accused Israel of poisoning Yasser Arafat. 

The report by Amnesty International is a patently misleading report based not on facts, but rather on political expediency. It should be condemned by anyone interested in the truth. 

NEVILLE BERMANRa’anana

To Amnesty International: “A picture is worth a thousand words.” 

Have a look at these pictures: A mixed group of shoppers at Mamilla Mall in Jerusalem; doctors and nurses of varied ethnic backgrounds at a public hospital treating patients of varied ethnic backgrounds; Israelis greeting Ethiopian immigrants descending from their plane with flowers; Israelis of varied ethnic backgrounds on a train (including soldiers of varied ethnic backgrounds); Knesset members in debate…

MARSHA DALINModi’in

Regarding “The apartheid libel is a nuclear weapon” (February 7), I feel that Rabbi Warren Goldstein is “overdoing” it. I won’t call it fear-mongering, but…

Already, as Tovah Lazaroff reported in the news section of the same issue (“Israel not apartheid state but must uphold international law, UK says”), several countries have already warned against the wild use of the A-word. 

Antisemitism is the basic danger, of course. But yet another A-word is a constant feature: apathy. In today’s confused climate, the world is not ready, interested, nor even united enough, to see Israel in a similar light to that of South Africa during apartheid times. 

And, smile or not, but Israel currently has a lot of “official” friends who are not prepared to join such a movement.

And when that includes the “nouveau riche” Arab countries, a damaging boycott is not on the cards.

Regarding the definition of apartheid, which is based on racial discrimination, that of course is a simple no-no apropos Israel.

And if the racial issue were instead to be described as “tribal discrimination,” then practically every country in Africa and the Middle East would be a sanctions target. 

STEPHEN POHLMANNTel Aviv

In almost every conflict, each side is convinced that it is correct, yet the truth lies roughly in the center. We see this in the Middle East in the wars between the Israelis and Palestinians.

Having endured centuries of persecutions, expulsions and even massacres, many Jews decided that enough was enough and decided to return to the safety of their ancient homeland in Israel. They also decided to toughen up to survive any more bullying.

The Palestinians, along with the surrounding Muslims, opposed the return of their Hebrew cousins into what they also considered to be their homeland and holy land. And so the scene was set for a tit-for-tat war where each side sees itself as the victim, but neither one benefits.

The fact that the Jews had hardened themselves enabled them to fight off a massive Muslim majority and to survive. But it has prevented them from finding peace with the Palestinians.

The Palestinians have also rejected both peace and a two-state solution on numerous occasions.

Originally, when Israel was seen as the underdog, much of the world supported her. But David has become Goliath and Goliath has become David. The Palestinians are now considered to be the victims.

We tend to exaggerate and overstate things. Apartheid was a uniquely South African evil. Amnesty International has changed what it was; none of the apartheid laws that was practiced in South Africa are applied by Israel.

When it came to light that there were many Africans of Hebrew descent in Ethiopia whose lives were in danger, Israel airlifted them to the Holy Land. They were accepted as Jews and were absorbed as equal citizens. And in Israel, Muslims are free to vote, with representation in the parliament.

MARTIN ZAGNOEVJohannesburg

Stand up, Israel

Im Tirtzu’s Douglas Altabef laid out a simple course to get Israelis back on track regarding their own sovereignty over Eretz Yisrael and to recapture the unshakable belief they are living in their rightful homeland (“Restoring our deterrence,” February 3).

Allowing outside forces (the US, the EU and so on) to not only influence but affect actions that threaten our existence is self-destructive, while gaining us no friends or even good publicity for our selfless actions.

The Galut Syndrome that Altabef refers to pervades all of Israeli society, and one can point back to our 1967 takeover of Jerusalem’s Old City as an egregious starting point.

At the Temple Mount, Har Habayit, not only are we allowing another country to control Israeli territory, but we are also allowing our enemies, who wish us no well, to control an area in the heart of our capital.

And our enemies are fighting over who gets to take control (Jordan, the PLO, Turkey to name a few). And we allow them to limit our rights to be there and pray there.

It seems like a cruel joke. Today, our Knesset and our Supreme Court refuse to enforce our rights pretty much anywhere in the country (Sheikh Jarrah, Area C and so on).

We will be no worse off, no better accepted, no less vilified than we are today if we retake control over our country.

In fact, we’ll be more respected and more accepted for standing up for ourselves, which will also help deter our enemies from thinking we’ll be gone one day. 

Enough is enough.

ALLAN KANDELLos Angeles

The Palestinian Authority and the leadership in Gaza not only practice apartheid (no Jews allowed) but also flout international law with impunity with absolutely no backlash from the international community.

In fact, they are encouraged by the large amounts of money being given to them, a large part going to the pay-for-slay policy and antisemitic textbooks for children, and the automatic majority in the UN.

Once again Jews are fighting for their lives and the phrase “never again” rings hollow.

To the ministers who are afraid of “what America may say” – they should resign immediately. If we are not for ourselves, who will be there for us.=

FREYA BINENFELDPetah Tikva

Sue them

I wish to extend my heartfelt thanks to Herb Keinon for another one of his calm and reasoned perspectives (“Of Amnesty, Whoopi and atomic responses,” Front Lines, February 4) on the Whoopi Goldberg affair and for shining the spotlight not on the mistaken opinions of a well-meaning but ignorant celebrity, but rather on where the danger for Jews really lies.

I am not one who carelessly uses Holocaust terminology lightly, if at all, but I need to say here that the Amnesty International report is nothing less than the Mein Kampf of the progressive human rights movement.

It is a libelous manifesto for the destruction of the Jewish state, the home of the Jewish people. And it is as fictional as The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and as lethal. 

Whoopi Goldberg’s opinions would have been forgotten the next day without all the Jewish establishment brouhaha, the calls for her permanent dismissal from ABC and the coarse attacks on her character/personality.

The campaign of slander against Israel as being an “apartheid state” has gained great momentum in past years. But the time for editorials, TV interviews and assorted expressions of impotent rage by Jewish and Israeli officials in the face of this has surely passed.

Dare I suggest that it’s time for the Israeli government or the professional Jewish organizations to produce their own reports refuting this, clause by clause, and more effectively, of suing HRW, or now, Amnesty International, in court, as Neville Teller suggested in his letter in the February 7 edition? 

FRUMA ROSENTHALJerusalem

Respect that

Shmuley Boteach wrote a wonderful article portraying a new dawn rising in the Middle East and “with it the possibility of Jews and Muslims reaching out to each other as God’s creations and Abraham’s children” (“The miracle of Jewishness in Dubai and UAE,” No Holds Barred, February 1).

In his column, Boteach mentions the many experiences he had in Dubai and the gratitude and respect shown in Dubai for the Jewish people along with tolerance and understanding for their devoted practices. 

What Boteach was remiss in his article, was praising someone else other than himself, and that would be President of Israel Isaac Herzog.

President Herzog showed incredible devotion and sensitivity on his historic visit to Dubai. As the Israeli president visited the UAE for the first time, the whole world set their eyes upon him to see what he did.

And what he did, was, as all presidents are, be very well dressed and show the utmost sensitivity in his grooming: that is referring to having in full display his untrimmed and unshaved stubble, as the president is still in a state of mourning for his beloved mother, may she rest in peace.

Our president has shown the world that there is no compromise in his religious traditional practices no matter where or in front of whom he will be. 

How much more meaningful that this coincided with the Daf Yomi daily study in Tractate Moed Kattan, which has been detailing the various mourning practices. 

All hail to the chief! Kol hakavod to President Herzog!

PHYLLIS HECHTHashmonaim