Letters to the Editor October 31, 2022: Let’s hope

Readers of The Jerusalem Post have their say.

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

Let’s hope

Regarding “Candidates head into Election Day” (October 30): Almost all the articles in The Jerusalem Post during the last few days have dealt with the variety of opinions of the current political parties and the personalities of those who strive for recognition and support from the public. That is just fine and appropriate, because tomorrow the fate of our country will be substantially sealed one way or another.

So let us all just hope and pray that these elections will bring us a firm and stable government, a government whose sole aim is the good of the country; and bring us an end to the bickering, the mutual insults, the bitterness and, yes, even hatred which has been so prevalent in our public parlance. It is this withering mutual deprecation and delegitimization which unfortunately has leaked its poison into the general social atmosphere and is no longer the exclusive hallmark of the political spectrum.

Let us hope and pray that Knesset debates and general public discussions start to be conducted with mutual respect, where one side of a discussion listens to the other speaker and only when the other has finished his words, allows himself politely and respectfully to disagree.

I refer particularly to the so-called ‘interviews’ of prominent people on radio and television, when the interviewer is totally uninterested in what his interviewee has to say and constantly interrupts him in order to press his own agenda, so that most of the interview consists of two or more people speaking simultaneously, each out-shouting the other, with neither side giving way, resulting in an unintelligible cacophony, with the listener being totally unable to understand what either is saying.

Yes, we can but hope.



A sense of pride

Further to Rabbi Noah Farkas’s article “Our time is now” (October 28), weakness, or the perception thereof, makes one a target for insult, assault and injury. I would add a fourth step to his suggested program to fight the flames of antisemitism: a large-scale education program in martial arts, especially krav maga, in every Jewish community center.

Nothing instills a sense of pride in Jewish identity more than the ability to defend oneself as a Jew in an hour of need. I propose a joint effort involving our defense establishment and Jewish community leadership overseas to dispatch post-army personnel to the Diaspora to provide the necessary training.



Rehavia ghosts

The news article “Jerusalem Church land controversy at standoff” (October 28) is the latest installment of the long-running saga that continues to be ignored by the Knesset. But the article presents two aspects that should be noted.

First, the group that bought the rights from the Church is led by a lawyer named Noam Ben-David. In most countries, responsible journalists would investigate this person, would list the names of each Ben-David investor, who they are, where their funds came from, etc.

If the group sells the real estate rights to any other investors, especially those outside the country, those new persons should likewise be listed and investigated. We live in a country with a lack of responsibility. Maybe that is because those who cause harm to others are never “named and shamed.” They are allowed to operate in the shadows.

Second, Ben-David claims that most of the Rehavia apartment owners at risk “do not even live in Israel.” He unknowingly provides a solution to the problem. If he is buying a “ghost apartment,” let his group reap their ill-gotten gains. However, if the current owner actually lives in Israel, Ben-David’s profit should, as was suggested in the article, be limited to 5%. If this encourages Rehavia ghosts to sell their apartments to young Israelis struggling to find a place to live, all the better.



Enormous pride

The article “IDF to draft women into borderline tank units” by Anna Ahronheim (October 28) reads as a script for a Hollywood film introducing us to a new super heroine.

Her story relays the reality on the ground where we learn females can now serve in the Armored Corps’ tank units, protecting this country’s borders. It fills one with enormous pride that those chosen have gone through extensive training and have achieved this special opportunity to serve in combat positions.

However much we kvell regarding this major achievement, the day when our tanks can stand down along with their operators will be one that will surely give us even greater pride, and no doubt for the families of our heroes and heroines it will provide a special peace of mind.


Tel Aviv

Hezbollah is delighted

He who doesn’t learn from history or even past mistakes, is a fool. (Of course, one has to admit to the mistakes.) Why? Because we haven’t learned to depend only on ourselves for our security (“Lebanon maritime agreement: US to back Israel with security, money guarantees,” October 30).

US President Joe Biden pledged, in a letter, to provide Israel with security and economic guarantees he is expected to give Prime Minister Lapid in light of the historic maritime agreement the Jewish state reached with Lebanon. 

If it’s such a good agreement, why the need for guarantees? Lebanon is still an enemy state run by Hezbollah that is delighted with the agreement. The enemy threatens and we retreat. Our ׳friends’ are there until they’re not there. When push comes to shove, we are alone as we’ve always been.

The Holocaust should have been the last time we looked to non-Jews for help. Six million Jews, a million-and-a half slaughtered children, are testament to that and nothing has changed. Israel throughout the years watched as Hamas and Hezbollah changed from a few hundred thugs with guns to strong armies with hundreds of thousands of deadly weapons and missiles that threaten our very existence.

Yet now that another force has arisen, we are not taking the necessary decision to totally destroy it (“PA: We expect more Lions’ Den terrorists to give themselves up,” October 30). We are allowing PA head Mahmoud Abbas, whose sole purpose in life is our total destruction, to protect them and also strengthen his own terrorist capabilities.

This is the same Abbas who Israel has been supporting for ever, in the hope that the PA will take over the surrendered Jewish land of Gaza from Hamas. Go figure that one out!



Cashing in on Election Day

Regarding “Gantz renews security ties with Turkey during Ankara visit” (October 28): Bibi and his cohorts are no doubt bending over backward to figure out how to douse the optimism generated by the positive relations growing between Israel and Turkey. That things went sour between the two, a decade or so ago, is indeed unfortunate, and if the flotilla incident that brought Israel and Turkey into a frigid situation is looked at objectively, neither were blameless. It’s high time that this ugly matter stop being a source of aggravation and that the two share, again, the friendship that they once enjoyed and from which, they both profited.

And, to be sure, the mutual benefits go well beyond tourism. An alliance between the two countries – one Jewish and the other Muslim, but both with an appreciation and understanding of western culture and values – could be a shining influence on this entire part of the world. Israel has already broken the arrow with several countries which not long ago expressed warlike hostility against the only true democracy in the Middle East, and despite some cynicism (including my own) the accords seem to be holding.

Advancing diplomatic and security relations with Turkey can only have positive results, enhancing the contribution each country makes to both their immediate neighbors as well as to the international community. Oh, and not to be forgotten or understated, regional cooperation will send a barbed message to Iran that the ayatollahs will find impossible to ignore.

Is this initiative of the current caretaker government mere window dressing and nothing more than a way of cashing in on Election Day? Maybe, but that’s okay with me. I’m not suggesting that improved relations with Turkey – though undoubtedly important and significant – should sway votes toward Lapid or Gantz, but I see no reason not to take advantage of this opportunity.

Bibi may just manage to cobble together 61 mandates composed of haredi introverts and fire-breathing fear-mongers. Once that happens, any potential understanding with Turkey will fly off the table.  


Ginot Shomron

‘Big Oil’

Regarding “‘Freedom, Freedom, Freedom!:’ Protests sweep Iran as Mahsa Amini memorialized” (October 27): I can see western corporate-fossil-fuel-interest CEOs hoping for Iran’s government to fall thus enabling “Big Oil” to access Iran’s rich oil fields.

The Iranian revolution’s western-nation expulsion was primarily due to US (and even British) interest in further harvesting Iran’s plentiful oil resources.

Not surprising, the expulsion was a big-profit-loss lesson learned by the foreign-nation oil corporation heads, which they, by way of accessing domestic political thus military muscle, would not willingly allow to happen to them again. Perhaps the 2003-11 US invasion of Iraq, and then its oil fields, is an example of this.​It may be that if the relevant oil company heads were/are in fact against Iran, then likely so are their related western governments and, via general news media support, national collective citizenry.  


White Ro​ck, British Columbia

One man’s virtue

Regarding the editorial “Israel not at fault” (October 27): Iran’s sale or gift of drones to Russia has been framed as Iran joining the Russian invasion of Ukraine. I am sure western war planners are considering ways to make Iran pay for its belligerence. What is forgotten is that Turkey is supplying its drones to Ukraine and except for Russia no one is accusing it of expanding the war. I guess one man’s virtue is another man’s vice.



Changing socks

Regarding “Nobody to vote for” (October 28): I greatly appreciated David Weinberg’s column on voting based on one’s convictions. But what does one do when the leader of the party changes his position as often as he changes his socks? How can one believe anything they say? 

Their actions are often at odds with their words. I truly cannot figure out for whom to vote this time.