Letters to the editor February 14, 2022: Smotrich - hero or goat?

Readers of The Jerusalem Post have their say

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

With regard to the headline in Friday’s paper concerning MK Bezalel Smotrich. Let us first just look at the inherent contradictions disclosed in your report and in the comments of your editor, Yaakov Katz.

1. The fact that a fully legitimate member of the Knesset on a visit to the Jewish communities of the Diaspora is snubbed and insulted by these people, is reprehensible and diplomatically inexcusable in itself.

2. One of the main messages which Smotrich was bringing to our Jewish UK friends is reflected in your headline “Smotrich equates Jews in the UK to pre-Shoah Germany”. This statement is strongly backed up by none other than your own report in the very same edition of the Jerusalem Post in the international news section headline “2255 antisemitic incidents marked last year in the UK – the highest total ever reported in a single year.” What Smotrich was saying to the UK Jews was wake up, look around you and don’t say it can’t happen here, because it can and indeed, as you yourselves show, already is.

3. And as for your Editor’s astounding question which he poses “how did we allow a politician who speaks this way to become legitimate?” Well, sir, is it not you and your newspaper which lauds, praises and incessantly raises the principle of Democracy? He became legitimate because a certain proportion of the Israeli voting public voted for him and his party. Or is this just another example of everybody being entitled to your opinion?



The Editor’s Comment on the front and back pages of The Jerusalem Post, February 11 ( “Normalizing Racism” ) criticizes MK Smotrich for his racist and homophobic words and attitudes.

However, the editor has not removed G. Baskin’s weekly column, which is very difficult for a Zionist Israeli to tolerate and despite countless readers begging you do so. You have normalized Baskin’s views by continuing to publish him and yet complain about Smotrich.

PA and PLO leader Abbas pays murderers to kill Jews; however, you do not criticize MKs who visit him and do not press him to stop this.

Your criticism of racism is correct; however, your troubling inconsistencies are not appreciated.



What a change of tune! I refer to Yaakov Katz’s admirable front page writing in The Jerusalem Post on February 11, which he now seems to almost rescind in the editorial two days later, on Sunday.

I made aliyah ten years ago from the UK, since Israel was a Jewish state and your level of Judaism was not in question, only that you were Jewish.

What a terrible impression Smotrich must have made in his offensive and out-of-place manner of speaking!

Unfortunately, the ultra-religious parties have had too much power in the past – overriding Netanyahu’s wishes. The Meron tragedy might not have happened if they had not interfered. This was why I was so disillusioned when our current prime minister was also persuaded not to repair the damaged section of the Kotel, despite previous promises.

How long will it be before Israel will be known as the Ultra-Religious State? If you’re not like us, don’t come?

I, for one, do not want to be forced into that category.


Tel Mond

Cost of living

In “Government’s cost of living plan” (February 11), Zachy Hennesey neglected to inform us if the government will include help for low-income families, the elderly and Holocaust survivors. What is proposed is a whitewash of a huge problem. VAT can be reduced across the board, Holocaust survivors can be given a decent increase in supplemental income, price controls can be introduced to stem the avarice of large companies seeking to increase their profit margins.

The plan introduced here is skimpy. The groups most neglected are, by far, seniors, single parents and Holocaust survivors. We cannot toss these groups under the bus.



A welcome overture

What a wonderful upbeat article, “The Abraham Accords are rooted in community unity, not common enemies,” by Ali Al Nuaimi, on February 9.

He brings the raison d’etre for the accords to the readers, some of which are military and defense, fighting COVID-19, cultural exchanges and, in my opinion the most important, educational programs, especially for the youth.

He talks about the youth in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as being the focus for all of us, no matter where we are. How right he is to understand that children, from the time they are born, are innocent and have no pre-formed attitudes. Behaviors that are witnessed among some of the other Arab countries’ youth indicate that their attitudes are learned and most likely from a very early age.

This brings to mind an article on August 13, 2021, by UAE Ambassador to Israel Mohamed Al Khaja, who also wrote that his country is hoping to create a new future for children to know that peace is the solution to fixing problems, not war.

It is obvious that, not only are these two gentlemen on the same page, but their country realizes how hard we all must work to achieve co-existence among our two nations, as well as the entire region.

How refreshing to have mutual understanding and determination to make these agreements be a true bridge to the future. How could other Arab nations see the fruits of this labor and not want to be a part of the revolution.

My hope for these accords is that our closest neighbors, the Arab Palestinians, will eventually see the light and teach their children to love instead of hate.

As Mr. Nuaimi stated in his last paragraph, “...the people to people... through means that affect everyone’s lives daily – those means (will) touch hearts.”

We welcome you with open arms and hope your country’s visions become the new norm.



Happy Valentine’s Day

It was more than a little disconcerting while reading the Friday Post to come across a virtual-all-page advertisement for a Valentine’s Day event (“Falling in love - it’s Valentine”). The Roman Catholic Church has worked tirelessly for the longest time to take the religious significance out of this celebration, getting the public at large, including the press, to incorrectly refer to it as Valentine’s Day, instead of St. Valentine’s Day.

Let us not fall prey to such traps!


Tzur Yitzhak


I totally agree with Michal Shaul’s criticism of the idea by Education Minister Yifat Sasha – Biton to convert matriculation exams in the humanities into the writing of an interdisciplinary seminar paper (February 13). Such an endeavor is totally beyond the capabilities of the average student. Even superior students will be hard-pressed to create something of value with any original input. It will lead to widespread plagiarism (conveniently available in the digital age) and the enlistment of parents, older siblings and literate friends into a group effort. In addition, its evaluation by the teachers will be highly subjective. Moreover, woe be to the teacher who will fail a student – a never-ending string of urgent demands for re-evaluation will follow. Those with a passing grade will also demonstrate for re-evaluations to higher grades. Even in the exact sciences, where the level of subjectivity in the evaluation is much lower, the demand for second and third evaluations of exams in the universities has reached impossible levels. Dr. Shaul is 110% right, the plan won’t work – abandon it.



Flavorful fluden

Greer Fay Cashman’s mention of fluden (Grapevine, February 13) transported me more than 60 years back in time, to my mother’s kitchen in Brooklyn. Her fluden was parve, made with ground, blanched and unblanched almonds. What a job it was!

First we had to shell an enormous amount of almonds with a nutcracker. Then, half of them were blanched by being immersed in boiling water. We kids would pop each almond out of its skin. The next step was to dry the almonds in the oven, after which they were ready to be ground by hand in our meat grinder, which we affixed to the kitchen table. The unblanched almonds were ground separately and only then could my mother begin to add the other ingredients. No wonder it was a once-a-year cake.

Thanks for the memory.