Letters to the Editor May 2, 2022: The time is now

Readers of The Jerusalem Post have their say.

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

The time is now

I was disturbed and frustrated upon reading your report concerning the official adoption of BDS by none other than the Harvard Crimson, the student newspaper of the prestigious Harvard University (“‘Harvard Crimson’ backs BDS, a sign of anti-Israel sentiment on campus,” May 1).

Any politician or indeed businessman will have long ago come to the realistic conclusion that it doesn’t matter what the facts are. What makes the impression is what you say they are. And in business, success depends, not on the quality of the product but on the marketing. It matters not whether you have an amazing item to trade, or a ridiculous useless gadget, if you don’t market it your business will fail. In a nutshell, it is not what it is, but what you say it is.

Nowhere do we see this phenomenon clearer than is reflected in the universities and in the international political and diplomatic world around us. No matter what Israel actually does, that which influences world opinion is what the Arabs are saying that we are doing.

Let us be quite candid about it, the Arabs are far better organized in the sphere of public relations and marketing than is Israel. The message that the Arabs have so successfully inculcated into the popular awareness in most of the countries of the world is quite clear – the Israelis (Jews) are killing Arab children, starving Gazan residents, poisoning their water, storming al-Aqsa, etc. Indeed they are now only a hair’s breadth away from the time-old blood libel, using the blood of Christian children for our Matzot!

Ask any student in the universities of the “enlightened” countries about what goes on in Israel and your hair will stand on end when you hear his answer, replete with Arab propaganda, fed to him relentlessly by the Arab PR network. A lie, if repeated enough times, becomes a fact and a fact repeated enough times becomes a fundamental and basic premise and semantic rubric upon which policies and philosophies are developed.

Thus we have been told that there is a Palestinian national heritage – that Palestinian land is occupied, that there is a West Bank, that al-Aqsa is under attack and, yes, even that there is a third generation of “refugees” in the “refugee camps.”

When will our leaders learn the importance of getting our message across? I believe that the only way this problem may be addressed with the seriousness that it deserves would be to set up a new dedicated ministry of the government, “The Ministry for International Public Relations,” which is totally devoted to getting the Israeli truth across to the policymakers of the world, to the universities and to the ordinary man in the street. And the time to do this is now.


Another day, another death

And so we absorb yet another Israeli death in the land to which we were returned to build and settle for the Jewish people (“Security forces catch Palestinian terrorists who killed Ariel guard,” May 1). The land has become our grave. There is no part here where we are safe from our enemies and we made it so. Of course the terrorists didn’t offer up resistance when caught.

Why should they? They and their families will be given money by the terrorist in a suit Mahmoud Abbas commensurate with the murder, one terrorist already having had the luxury of being a guest in what we call a prison where all amenities and privileges are supplied.

It is interesting to note that the same privileges and amenities are withheld from Jewish prisoners which tells us a lot of the esteem in which we hold ourselves. Enough with condolences and mealy-mouthed excuses. We have a right and indeed a duty to live here and a right and duty to make sure that our enemies don’t. “One Land One People,” and it’s up to us who that will be.


Better than no deal

Kudos for publishing “IRGC designation should not prevent nuclear deal” (April 29) by Prof. Chuck Freilich, former Israeli deputy national security adviser, and Major-General Yair Golan (ret.), former deputy IDF chief of staff. These military experts stress that “a nuclear deal is critical to Israel’s national security.” Contrary to the views of many, they point out that “most of the important limitations on Iran’s nuclear program would remain in effect until 2031, a significant period.”

As with any negotiated agreement, the Iran nuclear deal is far from perfect, but, as they indicate, it is far better than no deal at all. Most US and Israeli strategic experts agree. The reason that we have to consider further painful concessions today, they argue, is “because of the disastrously misguided decision by president Trump, with the encouragement of then-prime minister Netanyahu, to withdraw from the nuclear deal in 2018.”

Of course many of Iran’s statements and actions should be strongly condemned but, as the authors point out, “nuclear weapons pose a potentially existential threat; Iran’s other weapons and activities do not.”


Terrible for America

I fear David Weinberg is correct that Joe Biden will cut a bad nuclear deal with Iran (“Don’t be fooled: Biden will cut a bad deal with Iran,” April 29). Indeed, I suspect the leaks suggesting a deal is unlikely are a subterfuge designed to lull to sleep those who recognize the insanity of the deal being negotiated – or, more accurately, being written to Iran’s specifications – and then spring it on a Congress paralyzed into abdicating its constitutional obligation to approve or reject treaties, again misrepresenting it as an executive agreement, as president Obama did with the original JCPOA.

However, David Weinberg omitted at least one bit of reality and is partially wrong about something else. The deal isn’t just a bad one from Israel’s perspective; it’s also a terrible deal from America’s perspective.

And while Biden is busy reversing many of the policies of his predecessor, he isn’t reversing all of them. Mainly, he’s reversing the best foreign policy decisions Trump made, while continuing those – often his worst policies – which were consistent with or continuations of president Obama’s policies.

I’m writing this as someone who remains a registered Democrat in the United States and still regards Biden as the best alternative among those who sought the Democratic nomination for president in the 2020 election.


Take a lesson

Regarding “Shin Bet: Ben-Gvir acts could have led to ‘significant harm to national security’” (May 1), incitement is a crime in Canada. The maximum penalty is two years in jail. It should also be considered a crime here.

MK Ben-Gvir incites hatred and disrespect for the law and anyone who doesn’t agree with his racist points of view. He has built a cult with a following who dismiss the rights of Arab citizens, mock the rule of law and will do anything to stir up trouble as long as it gets him publicity.

I think that the media should stop paying attention to his shenanigans, that he should be ‘fired’ from the Knesset, and severely punished for his antics. We don’t need people like him who are full of hatred in parliament. Take a lesson from Mansour Abbas, Mr. Ben-Gvir.


Ministry of Truth

Amotz Asa-El reveals his own bias while decrying Elon Musk’s pending acquisition of Twitter (“The war on truth (3),” April 29). He says, “Big Business [read Musk] says it, too, wants a role in the War on Truth.

Unfortunately, it’s the wrong role, and the wrong warrior.” Put more simply, for Asa-El and his cohorts on the Left, you may lie if we agree, but we will shut you down if we disagree even if what you say is true.

Thus, they are silent regarding multi-billionaires Mark Zuckerberg controlling Facebook or Jeff Bezos owning The Washington Post. What they fear most is that, if Twitter allows more diverse participation in the marketplace of ideas, their own sacred truths will no longer be accepted as gospel.

Asa-El lauds Twitter as the site that allows national leaders like Iran’s Ali Khamenei to address the entire world while erasing president Trump’s account for “spreading lies and hate.” Apparently, repeated lies about your country’s nuclear arms program and threats to annihilate Israel are acceptable, but woe betide anyone who defends himself against specious allegations of Russian collusion. (Note that the bloodthirsty Russian tyrant with whom Trump purportedly colluded retains his official Twitter account.)

Asa-El conveniently ignores several fundamental questions: Who should decide what is “true?” What if that determination later turns out to have been erroneous? Will anyone be held accountable? How will those whose lives were devastated by the “mistake” be compensated? (Consider, for example, the deaths and social dislocation that might have been avoided had Big Tech not interfered with open discussions of COVID-19 therapeutics and competing public health policies.)

In a move that should terrify us all, the US Government has arrogated to itself the role of final arbiter, creating a Disinformation Governance Board to be headed by a 33-year-old “expert” who has asserted absurdly that political censorship does not exist. Rumor has it that some government officials wanted this board to be named the Ministry of Truth. They were sorely disappointed to learn that George Orwell had stolen their thunder. 

EFRAIM COHENZichron Ya’acov

Waving boldly and strongly

Regarding “From Ukraine to Jerusalem” (April 29), it was heartwarming to read of these two admirable women who, with only a suitcase in hand, made their way out of war-torn Ukraine to eventually find the route to Israel. Over the decades of this country’s existence many have made the journey to aliyah, which for some has been perilous for others a straightforward decision, but for all a wish and a dream come true.

The overriding message, and none truer, is that when circumstances force you to seek refuge elsewhere it is that blue and white flag which is waving to you boldly and strongly. This realization is most pertinent in a week when we commemorated Yom Hashoah, with our thoughts and prayers for the millions who were cruelly denied ever having that special opportunity.


What might have been

Regarding “Bennett: Not even the cruelest wars today are like the Holocaust” (April 28), on Thursday, Israelis observed Yom Hashoah – Holocaust Remembrance Day. A wailing siren brought everything and everyone to stand silently across the country. Traffic came to a halt as people remembered their loved ones and reflected on the weighty mantra of “never again.”

No one shouted for the blood of Germans or celebrated Israel’s victory over the Philistines. Jews did not spring out of their cars and rush to the Temple Mount armed with rocks and fireworks to throw at the Palestinians. They just stood there and thought about what might have been.

Contrast this to the Palestinian Arabs who every Ramadan attack Jews, many of the attackers shouting for a repeat of the massacre of Jews carried out by Muhammad. Their relatives in Canada were about to celebrate Al Quds Day where as usual radical voices spew hateful comments about Jews and Israel, which had they been said about any other minority like for example the indigenous people, the event would be shut down faster than you can say Justin Trudeau.

But the march will go on, and the Jews will nod knowingly wondering when “never again” will become sometime soon.