Letters to the Editor August 31, 2022: Relevant to every country

Readers of The Jerusalem Post have their say.

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

Regarding the article “China’s navy begins to erase imaginary Taiwan Strait median line" (August 30): I would like to point out that safe skies and waterways are critical concerns for the global community as the resilience of a global supply chain is a shared interest. Taiwan is located on the first island chain and is the major chip provider; Taiwan’s security is strategically and economically relevant to every country in the world. 

China’s increasing military activities around Taiwan Strait is gravely threatening regional peace and security. Taiwan is responsible for the airspace which provides services to over 1.85 million controlled flights carrying about 72 million travelers around the world. In addition, 88% of the top 10 global freight transports sail through Taiwan Strait, carrying one million barrels of gasoline per day.

Therefore, as a responsible member of the international community, Taiwan will resolutely defend its sovereignty and security, and calls on like-minded friends to support the peaceful status quo of the Taiwan Strait and our pragmatic and professional participation in the international organizations, including the International Civil Aviation Organization, to make for a safer and seamless sky.

YAPING (ABBY) LEE, Representative Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Tel Aviv

Nary a soul

Kudos to Emily Schrader for her piece, “It’s Palestinian rejectionism, stupid” (August 30). She presents a well-documented and well-presented case against baseless Palestinian charges and accusations.

As I have stated many, many times (too numerous to count), the main problem is accepting the existence of a Palestinian people, period. To repeat, we have a number of travelogues written by world-renowned authors, visiting what is today the State of Israel in the early years of the 20th century, all of whom reported bumping into nary a soul! 

Are we to believe that those earlier generations of Palestinians were cave dwellers, and, therefore, not visible to foreign visitors?

Enough already.


Tzur Yitzhak

No mention of Israel

I am responding to the Jewish Telegraph Agency interview with Wolf Blitzer published in The Jerusalem Post regarding his CNN documentary Never Again (“‘We wanted to underscore what the horror of the Holocaust was,’” August 29).

The documentary was well done and I recommend that everyone see it, as Mr. Blitzer incorporated his family history in Auschwitz with the history of the Holocaust and a tour of the Holocaust Museum in Washington.

However, the documentary had three issues which disturbed me:

  1. It was shown in the US on Friday at 11 p.m. EDT. The broadcast on Shabbat lessened the viewing audience, and even for non-observant Jews, 11 p.m. is too late for such an important documentary.
  2. In the midst of the documentary, there was an advertisement from an evangelical Christian movement to pray to Jesus. The juxtaposition of the Holocaust and a plea to pray to Jesus was too much to bear.
  3. There was no mention of Israel in the documentary. The significance of post-Holocaust Israel should never have been omitted. 


New Rochelle, NY

Contradiction in terms

Have I missed something? Has there been an official change in terminology? Neville Teller, in “Jordan and the November elections” (August 30), refers to “Raed Salah, a Palestinian citizen of Israel.” Another mention is made of “voter turnout among Palestinian citizens of Israel in the November vote.”

This seems to me to be an oxymoron, a contradiction in terms. Is it no longer politically correct to use the term Arab Israeli citizen? Teller also uses the term “al-Aqsa Mosque compound” instead of the Temple Mount when referring to Raed Salah’s arrest when demonstrating against the metal detectors placed by Israel at the outer gates at the time.

This is terminology that I would not expect to find in The Jerusalem Post.



Anger and disgust

US ambassador to Israel Walworth Barbour (1961-1973) once told Golda Meir that America had long known that Israel was not its puppet, but Israel should also know that America is not Israel’s puppet.

I recalled the essence of his remark in relation to the Netanyahu-Lapid dispute about the impending nuclear deal with Iran (“Lapid, Netanyahu trade barbs over Iran deal failures,” August 30). Both politicians, like all Israelis, are extremely concerned about Iran developing nuclear weapons.

But is Bibi’s claim in a press release that Lapid and Gantz are weak for not forcefully denouncing the possible deal anything other than unnecessary posturing prior to our upcoming election? What did Bibi accomplish in the past with his forceful expressions of anger and disgust at the American handling of the negotiations with Iran?

He antagonized president Obama and brought Israeli-American relations to a new low. Perhaps I’m naive, but maybe Lapid’s quiet but no less concerned approach is a better way.



Extremely biased history

Some of the FBI’s recent actions against former US president Donald Trump are described in the article “US Department of Justice: Trump documents included top-secret info on intelligence and clandestine sources” (August 28), and yet the agency has a long and extremely biased history against candidate Trump in the 2016 election, then president Trump and now against the possible future candidate for 2024.

Crossfire Hurricane was the codename used by the FBI in mid-2016 in order to paint the candidate as a Russian asset. After Trump won the election against Hillary Clinton, the Mueller investigation was started with the same objectives. Both of these have since been discredited, and the FBI’s bias revealed.

Indeed, during most of his presidency, and because of the investigations into the serious allegations of being a Russian asset, Trump had his hands effectively tied in being able to deal properly against Russian President Vladimir Putin, and we see the outcome of that in the current war situation.

In recent days, Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, has stated that FBI agents approached his company days before the 2020 election saying that the Hunter Biden laptop was “Russian disinformation,” and that he should censor all discussion of the case. At the same time 51 former intelligence agents somehow quickly got together and wrote a letter with the same assertion. 

The laptop has now been shown to be the real thing, and the same 51 former intelligence agents have disappeared like the morning mists. All except one, who now says that their letter served the purpose of the time. Presumably that was to work against the Trump campaign, or in other words to disenfranchise around a half of American voters.

The results of the August 8 search of Donald Trump’s residence by 30 armed agents will track through in the coming weeks and months, but the FBI’s undemocratic actions shine through.



During my quarter of a century as an American diplomat (much of it while holding the highest level security clearance), I learned that many government officials have a penchant for overclassifying documents. Also, as the ultimate classification authority, the president can declassify any documents up to the moment he leaves office. No government agency may question or overrule the president’s classification determinations.

Now let’s consider the many questions unanswered by the Department of Justice’s heavily redacted affidavit:

Did President Trump actually declassify any or all of the documents seized by the FBI?  Classification markings are not dispositive.

The affidavit relies on the Presidential Records Act, a law that contemplates a process of negotiation between the president and the national archivist, and has no enforcement mechanism or penalties. Trump appears to have been cooperating with requests from the archivist to turn over his papers. This included visits to Mar-a-Lago in June to review the papers and how they were being stored. If the visiting authorities had concerns why didn’t they seize the papers immediately?

If the papers are so threatening to national security, why did Attorney-General Merrick Garland take three weeks to decide to request a search warrant, and why did the FBI wait two days after the warrant was obtained to execute it? Also, why is there no reference in the affidavit to concerns expressed by national security or defense agencies?

If the FBI knew what they were looking for, why did they request a warrant so vague and expansive that it was unconstitutional under the Fourth Amendment?

Most important, was Trump treated the same as other high-ranking officials who possessed and may have leaked classified material? Considering the respectful consideration afforded Hillary Clinton, James Comey and Barack Obama, the answer is a resounding no.

In light of the dearth of information contained in the affidavit, it is now obvious that the unprecedented FBI raid on the former president’s home was partisan politics masquerading as law enforcement. The breadth of the search suggests that the agents sought any documents that might be used as evidence for future prosecution of crimes as yet unidentified. The entire sordid affair was a fishing expedition meant to sully a formidable 2024 presidential candidate.


Zichron Ya’acov

Love, support and respect

Regarding “Yes, a state of all of its citizens” (August 25), Gershon Baskin’s articles always invite a lot of critical letters for his love, support and respect of Palestinians.

As for myself, I enjoy reading his articles. This stems probably from the fact that I enjoy reading fictional and utopian literature. Within this framework, I find a lot of similarities in Baskin’s articles, striving to find fictional or utopian solutions for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.



For two thousand years, Jews dispersed around the world prayed to return to Jerusalem and when Israel was created it, invited them to return. They called it the “right of return.” Had the invitation not been proffered, the very nature of Israel would have been corrupted. 

Included among the returning Jews were close to 800,00 Jews who were forcibly evicted from Arab counties. What would have happened to them if Israel did not give them the right of return? Anyone who opposes the miracle of the rebirth of the Jewish community in Israel is opposed to Israel. 

Despite this, Israel has a sizeable Arab population that has the same rights and opportunities as the returning Jews. When polled, the vast majority of Arabs chose to be governed by Israel instead of the Palestinian Authority.



Comic relief

Regarding “Too much news consumption may cause physical ill-being – study” (August 28): I agree with the article, in general, but one shouldn’t bury his head in the sand either. To help relieve the stress of all the bad news, perhaps The Jerusalem Post could include a page of comics, as many American newspapers do.



So much for which to be proud

I found it fascinating and was more than a little envious of the RootOne Jewish/Israel journey many thousands of young US students have embarked upon (“Technology creating sustainable, scalable Israel education,” August 24).

Prior to their arrival in Israel for a trip which is likely to be life-changing for many, they need to participate in an in-depth online educational program covering as mentioned, key concepts in Israel’s history, the roots of Zionism and the diversity of the Jewish people.

They are also linked via Zoom with what years ago would have been labeled a pen pal, which culminates in no doubt an exciting face-to-face meeting during the trip.

Why was I envious? Because for me there is no greater feeling you experience than when stepping off the plane on your first visit.

As we near our 75th anniversary, we have so much for which to be proud, and via these special trips for teens, it should be promoted and conveyed both loud and clear.


Tel Aviv

Don’t reward desecration

Regarding your editorial “7 days a week” (August 28) in support of Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli’s proposal to allow the light rail to operate in Tel Aviv on Shabbat – in areas not heavily populated by haredim and other religious Jewish citizens – once it begins service: I too agree.

But, as a religious Jewish citizen of Israel, I would add a caveat. People who will be working on Shabbat, preferably non-Jews, should not be paid overtime. Instead, they should have a different day off.

As you may recall, El Al used to fly on Shabbat and paid its employees up to 400% overtime to desecrate the Shabbat.

Needless to say, I understand that secular Jews and other citizens should not be forced to own cars or sit at home on Shabbat, but the Jewish state should not reward desecration of Shabbat by offering financial bonuses to work on our day of rest.


Ma’aleh Adumim