The article titled “Int’l Olympic Committee head to attend Israel’s memorial for Munich massacre victims” (August 28) was quite disturbing. Why, one must ask, did it take 50 years for an official from the International Olympic Committee to attend the memorial?!
If this crime had been perpetrated against any other country’s athletes, would it have taken half-a-century for the IOC president to first attend? Obviously not.
To believe ‘better late than never’ provides any comfort in this case is to be totally out of touch with reality. Once again, Israel is shown no respect by the international community. Enough is enough.
MICHAEL D. HIRSCH
Regarding the editorial “7 days a week” (August 28): Running the light rail in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem on Shabbat should not be a problem. The technology to drive a train autonomously is already available; there are trains already running without human operators. Technically it is a trivial problem compared with driving an autonomous vehicle on the roads. Hence all that needs to be done to make it Shabbat compliant is to make it free on Shabbat.
The major problem is to deal with the existing drivers and their union. I would suggest that a deal should be made to guarantee that no driver will lose his job, so the new system would have to be introduced gradually. First the autonomous trains would run only on Shabbat and on late night runs. As drivers retire or can be transferred to other positions they would not be replaced. Obviously new lines would be run autonomously.
To make the rail in Jerusalem more useful, it should be extended at its limits by shuttle buses, which would be timed to match the rail. At the southern end, buses could take passengers to Hadassah-Ein Kerem until such time as the rail is extended to the hospital. At the northern end, shuttle buses could take passengers to outlying areas like Ma’aleh Adumim and Givat Ze’ev. The problems are mainly psychological, not technical; all that is required is the political will to think outside the box.
While an editorial is not reporting the news but voicing an opinion, your latest editorial on promoting seven-day-a-week public transportation is a misstatement of truth.
The elephant in the room is the fact that Israel is the only Jewish country in the world. The signature of being Jewish is keeping Shabbat. Your editorial states: “There is no other place where public transport operates only six days a week.”
Is there any other Jewish country where keeping Shabbat is an alternative value?
This is an unfair and misleading statement. The public transport is kept closed not to punish anyone, but to allow those who keep Shabbat not to be under pressure to lose their jobs when they want to keep Shabbat.
Regardless of how many surveys you quote that claim the public supports such a move, people died for the country and changed their lives to come to live in a country where Shabbat is a value that is worth keeping. Traditional people who don’t keep Shabbat understand this and never considered it a “siege.”
Either Shabbat is a value which the government of Israel respects or it is no longer a place that makes being Jewish special, and if not what is the need for a ‘Jewish country.’
It is painfully obvious how our roads are overcrowded, but while opening the public transport on Shabbat would make it easier for some, it would come at a cost of our Jewish heritage. It would be nice if The Jerusalem Post would recognize the obvious and instead of using words like siege, which inflames the public, emphasize the beauty of a country that takes one day off from the rat race and focuses on the wonders of the creator and sanctifies our creator.
RABBI YEHUDA LAVE
Get up and help themselves
I am not surprised that “UNRWA says it faces existential funding crisis” (August 28), and so it should. Finally, after the 73 years of actively ensuring the perpetuation of the so-called refugee status of millions of Arabs, the countries which have traditionally donated funds to this corrupt and pathetic group of Jew-haters, have come to recognize the futility of trying to relieve the self-inflicted misery of these people, their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren – ad infinitum.
Indeed, the countries which have reduced their contributions have finally begun to realize that they have for years been encouraging the education of the Arab youth to hate Israel and Jews in general, by issuing school textbooks replete with specific vilification of Jews; that for years they have permitted the basements of their UN premises to serve as missiles and weapons storehouses.
Being the only UN body which is focused on one specific group of people, one would have thought that they would invest their time, energy and the money of their unsuspecting donors in encouraging these miserable people to get up and help themselves, just as Israel did immediately after the many thousands of Jewish refugees, thrown out of the Arab countries, arrived destitute and penniless on our shores.
It did not take 73 years to integrate them into a full, fruitful and satisfying life as equals in Israeli society. No, they were absorbed immediately and assisted to help themselves (which, by the way, is the ultimate form of charity).
So, the anachronistic and ridiculous organization UNRWA does not deserve to receive funding, and the present crisis may even encourage them to use their money properly to get these people into the mainstream of life, and to cease to allow their continuing exploitation to serve as pawns in the Middle East political confusion.
Invading polar bear
The United Nations Security Council has a monthly meeting on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict (“UNSC members slam ‘unjustified’ IDF raids on Palestinian NGOs,” August 28).
At this meeting, most members opposed the closing of the Palestinian NGO offices claimed by Israel to be associated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). The Norwegians especially expressed their disfavor of the closings; they had not seen sufficient evidence to support the closure.
The Norwegians have only one border – neighboring Sweden. The last time they were invaded was in 1940 by the German Navy in WWII. For about 80 years they have lived in peace and quiet – no problems, only an occasional polar bear invading Oslo. Since when does Israel have to justify its actions against potential terrorism to Norway?
The UNSC has time to discuss the closure of Palestinian offices; maybe their time would be better spent on Russia’s invasion and rape of Ukraine, Iran’s terror programs, increasing drought and famine killing hundreds of thousands annually.
The UNSC needs a new name – the United Nations Outrageous Hypocrisy Council (UNOHC).
Never received an apology
Regarding the editorial titled “Israeli service is out of order” (August 26): In the United States, there are basically two mottoes between businesses and customers: “Caveat emptor” and “The customer is always right.”
Regarding the first, the buyer should check the details of a purchase – ingredients, conditions for use, etc. As for the second, I once worked in a well-known upscale department store and a customer returned an expensive dress that she claimed had never been worn; despite sweat stains under the arms, she received a 100% refund.
In another instance, my sister bought a few jars of Gerber baby food; when she opened one, it was moldy. She contacted the company and a few days later received a package of 24 new jars of baby food and an apology. In more than 40 years of living in Israel, I have been insulted, accused of lying about a damaged product, and I’ve never received an apology.
But I’m still here, so I obviously put up with this unpleasant reality which unfortunately seems to be getting worse. Remember when Israelis refused to buy cottage cheese and Milky because the Israeli products were cheaper in Europe?
Repetitive, monotonous and boring
I read with amazement and disbelief the latest article by Gershon Baskin (“Yes, a state of all of its citizens,” August 25). As usual, but regarding this even more than ever before, I wondered in which world he lives.
In one of his past articles he declared that he was no longer a Zionist. This did not bother me as I believe that everybody is entitled to his opinion, but in his latest article he advocates for the dismantling of the Jewish State of Israel and its replacement by what he calls “a state of all of its citizens.”
This does affect me and my family because, when we made aliyah fifty years ago it was due to the desire to live in a Jewish country, to be part of a history of 4,000 years, to change “Next year in Jerusalem” to “Now and always in Jerusalem.” It is quite possible that this was not the reason why Baskin came here, but it is the reason why millions of Jews came and stay here.
I have criticized Baskin in the past for being a “Johnny one note.” His articles are repetitive, monotonous and, even worse, boring. But this time, his article was so way out that I am starting to have serious doubts about his sanity.
Doesn’t he know that all polls show that if there are free elections in the Palestine Authority, Hamas would win by a landslide? Can’t he imagine a situation when Hamas is in the government of his “state of all its citizens?”
Doesn’t he know that Hamas, in its constitution, states that its mission is not only against Israel but against all Jews whom they blame for all the ills in the world?
Doesn’t he remember the riots of May 2021 in mixed cities, with destruction, fires and murders? Those riots would be only a dress rehearsal for what we would have here if we become “a state of all of its citizens.”
Israel is the nation-state of the Jews in which non-Jews have full civil rights. Non-Jews, like Jews, can vote, stand for election to the Knesset, serve as judges, treat Jewish and non-Jewish patients in the same hospitals and medical centers. What non-Jews cannot do is demand that Israel become a non-Jewish state.
A general statement of all the world’s people seeking to be free will not replace the line of “Hatikvah” of Jews longing, for 2,000 years, to be free people in our own land – the land of Zion and Jerusalem.
If some Arabs feel that they are not treated as well as Jews, a good part of the problem comes from Palestinian leaders having long discouraged Arabs living in Israel from taking citizenship, telling even those who are Israeli citizens not to vote. In addition, the large predominantly Arab faction in the Knesset – Joint List – is a coalition of a number of mostly Arab parties which have a long history of praising Israel’s enemies and ignoring the needs of Israel’s Arab communities.
In the words of Hillel, “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I?” Israel should not be expected to deny its Jewish heritage because some Muslims don’t like living as a minority in a Jewish state. No one is forced to live in Israel. Any Muslim who would prefer to live in a Muslim state should be free to move from Israel.
Yet, Muslims unhappy in Israel have shown no tendency to move en masse. They rightly fear that Palestinian leaders will label them as “collaborators” for having lived in Israel. They also rightly fear that Muslim countries will not accept them because the actions of corrupt Palestinian leaders have made many Muslims suspicious of Palestinians.
TOBY F. BLOCK