Letters to the Editor February 20, 2023: Receipt for the train ticket

Readers of The Jerusalem Post have their say.

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

Receipt for the train ticket

Regarding “Nuance and proportion are sorely lacking” (February 17): Thank you for pointing out the hypocrisy of the current US administration’s position on the Israeli judicial reform debate. The Democrats did it too (or something pretty similar) and they certainly wouldn’t have appreciated it if a foreign government would have interfered in the process. Indeed nuance and proportion are missing, and will stay missing so long as the prime minister’s role is gagged by the imperious attorney-general, due to what she claims is the prime minister’s “conflict of interest.”

Conflict of Interest? If there is anyone with a conflict of interest, it is the attorney-general. Exactly how can the prime minister’s involvement in the legislation seeking a compromise affect his trial which is already ongoing and already has appointed judges presiding over it? 

Of course it can’t and it won’t. The attorney-general, on the other hand, has a lot to lose. It’s her unbridled and unchecked power that is at stake. That’s why she is preventing reasonable (like that word?) discussion.

The only person who can truly bring the various sides to compromise and consensus is the prime minister, with the help of the president prodding the opposition to sit and actually have a rational dialogue with the promoters of the reform without the yelling and screaming and temper tantrums.

The attorney-general should immediately recuse herself from all related discussions and rescind her gag order on the prime minister, or resign. Her actions just highlight the urgent need for judicial reform, at least the part about the role of the attorney-general as a real government adviser with checks and balances, and not being a law unto herself (or himself).

One more point: The Jerusalem Post should investigate the influence that hostile foreign funding from the New Israel Fund (and maybe other foreign bodies) is having on the fueling of the protests, as Ruthie Blum pointed out several times (“Israel’s vilified majority isn’t swayed by the protests,” February 17). 

Protesters are proud to show the receipt for the train ticket they took to Jerusalem to protest, according to Kan radio. Congratulations, but what about all the organized buses (especially during the weekly Balfour protests of 2020-2021), and the tens of thousands of flags and signs.

Do the protesters pay for all of those? Not likely. The Post should investigate how all this foreign funding is fueling the fire, with the hope of literally setting Israel ablaze. The real enemies of Israel are rejoicing as they use good naive people of Israel (who think they’re trying to save democracy) as pawns to pull Israel apart.  


Zichron Ya’acov

Cooler heads

In “A nation on the brink” (February 17), Herb Keinon’s point is well-taken. Israel’s legislative body and its judiciary need to provide checks and balances on each other. Currently, many people feel the judiciary is in a dominant position.

Sitting judges have essentially free rein in choosing new judges and many feel the judiciary has arrogated too much power to itself.

On the other hand, the Knesset might have too much control over court decisions if MKs were the ones nominating and approving new justices, or if the Knesset could override a court decision with a simple majority of 61 votes (meaning a ruling coalition could strike down a court ruling without any input from the members of the Knesset opposition).

Let’s hope cooler heads will prevail. Knesset members should have more say in the appointing of judges without becoming the sole deciding factor. The Basic Law: Legislation should be written and approved, including a mechanism allowing for judicial review, with a supermajority of the Knesset (perhaps 80 votes) needed to overturn a court judgment of unconstitutionality.



Our backyard

I am furious that you printed an article, and put it on the front page of your Friday edition, which blames social media for minors turning into murderers (“‘Social media led minors to terrorism,’” February 17). This is totally without merit.

I saw videos of Hamas-run summer camps and nursery schools and kindergartens where these children were indoctrinated with songs and combat tactics to take the life of a Jew. The children wore uniforms, suicide vests and carried guns and rifles. The songs praised anyone who killed an infidel. The Arabs, by voting for Hamas and Fatah, have shown their true colors. Social media wasn’t around when they started their campaign of terror.

The little children are now teenagers and the seeds that were planted have taken root. It’s time to put the blame where it belongs. Where are all the religious leaders condemning these barbarous acts? Where are the parents of these children? Who prepares the delicacies that are given out in the streets when Jews are murdered?

The Arab textbooks are riddled with lies about Israel. The war of 1948 never stopped. The goal of the Arab world is for the destruction of the State of Israel. They lost in 1948, in 1967, in 1973 in 1982, and in the continuous acts of terror.

Why doesn’t The Jerusalem Post report that the nine Arabs who died in Jenin were active terrorists and murderers? Why don’t you tell your readers that Jerusalem was never the capital of any people, but the Jewish people? Why don’t you tell your readers that King David established Jerusalem as the capital of Israel?

It’s time to stop supporting the poor Arabs who can afford the guns, rifles, and rockets that they store under apartment buildings. What do you fear? We evacuated 8,700 Jews from Gaza for the sake of peace, and all we got in return is a state of terror in our backyard.

Pray for the peace of Yerushalayim.



Israel is fine

Gershon Baskin’s ”nightmare” take on the Zionist dream exhibits poor reality testing, to the point of delusion (“Mea culpa,” February 16). Reborn Israel is indeed the nation-state of the Jews, as dreamed by the Zionist movement prior to 1948.

The country effectively protects its citizens against the plethora of external threats from terrorists and from countries trying to wipe it out. It has a booming economy, a tech sector that is the envy of the world, is a model of democracy in the midst of a totalitarian region, and grants equal legal and civil rights to all of its citizens.

Is Israel perfect? No. Israel needs a reformed electoral system, Supreme Court, and probably a formal constitution. It can also be argued that Israel has been lax in addressing Palestinian violations of the Oslo Accords in Area C of Judea and Samaria.

So from where, exactly, does Baskin derive his nightmarish vision? He posits that because the Palestinians are mortal enemies seeking to destroy it, Israel is a nightmarish failure. This is utter balderdash. Was the US nightmarish because Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, or because Al-Qaeda brought down the Twin Towers on 9/11? Of course not. The nature of one’s existence is not to be determined by the opinions of one’s implacable enemies.

I submit that Baskin has a maladaptive, dichotomous view of reality. For Baskin, if everything isn’t perfect, then everything is terrible. This sets him up to see nightmares everywhere because, after all, what is perfect? Seeing Israel as a nightmare despite the country’s achievements is a near delusion, a predictable consequence of his dichotomous world view. Israel is fine. The nightmare is in Baskin’s head.


Williamsville, NY

When your back is to the wall, don’t call Gershon Baskin; that’s the lesson you can learn from his article. This is a man who proclaims to love Israel but is racked with guilt about its existence because the Arabs also want it. He’d like to give them huge chunks of Israel because he thinks it would bring peace.

His self-flagellation is unnecessary; the rest of the world enthusiastically does it for him as the Arabs fan the flames.

After beating himself up about the behavior of Israel toward the Arabs, he conveniently omits that it is their nationalistic fervor and religious teachings that make our very presence here anathema to them, and that only our demise will satiate them.

I for one am not ready to live in an undemocratic Muslim Arab state, pay the dhimmi tax, and go into exile again, but Baskin may be .

Mea culpa? More like mea delinquio.


Zichron Ya’acov

Unbridled jealousy

Lapid proposes a 60-day freeze on judicial legislation just to give him more time to organize increased demonstrations and incitement (“Lapid proposes 60-day judicial legislation freeze,” February 16). From the moment that Netanyahu won the past election, Lapid’s ego and jealousy caused a panic reaction.

His concern that a perceived destruction of democracy in Israel would spread globally and cause the intimidated cancellation of cooperative projects and international investments in Israel, is ridiculous.

Lapid’s stupid panic mongering brings unneeded interference by US government advisers, who come for one-day trips to tell the Israeli government how to govern. This too is ridiculous.

This just proves the hazards of unbridled jealousy, and how its effect can unhinge an entire nation, even bringing out the worst, with threats to murder democratically-elected legislators. 

Is this Lapid’s idea of democracy?

In the US, the Constitution of 1787 united the states when they broke away from Britain. Soon thereafter, the Bill of Rights was amended to the Constitution.

The Knesset is only debating reforming the judicial system, not taking it over, as Lapid would have you believe.



Privilege and an honor

I have difficulty understanding why The Jerusalem Post published an article by Yoni Dayan (“Learn about democracy,” February 14), stating that he would not serve in the IDF if he is opposed to a government policy – which has not yet been voted into law – and he calls upon others to join him.

I came on aliyah in 1969 and served in the IDF, including during the Yom Kippur War, under a Labor government whose policies I disagreed with almost totally. The ability to serve and defend the Jewish state that arose after almost 2000 years of an often difficult Diaspora is a privilege and an honor that befell our generation. To avoid it because of a temporary political situation is a serious mistake in judgment.



Duty of every government

News that Yad Vashem is facing a severe financial crisis is nothing less than a blemish on Israel as a whole (“Yad Vashem faces losses, expects to cut staff,” February 15).

It must be the duty of every government here to always see that this major institution continues its highly important role in recognizing and highlighting the horrors and heinous acts of the Holocaust, and in turn does not suffer any undue financial pressure.

We owe it to the six million who perished and to the too few who survived.

If not us, who?


Tel Aviv

Reserved as a Jewish homeland

Where does the United States have the right to try dictate to Israel where our boundaries should be and where our citizens should build their homes (“US: Settlement legalization inconsistent with democracy,” February 14)? It is incumbent upon us to daily remind them – and the world entirely – of the San Remo declaration of 1922 incorporated into the articles of the League of Nations and fully transferred to the United Nations.

Great Britain received the Palestine mandate in the understanding that the area was reserved as a Jewish homeland. We know well, how well they maintained that obligation, resulting in the loss of millions of Jewish lives at the hands of Nazi Germany.

Dear United States, Native Americans have a much greater moral right to demand lands stolen from them than the US government has the right to determine how we act in our God-given land.


Petah Tikva