Letters to the Editor March 6, 2023: Taiwan-Israel

Readers of The Jerusalem Post have their say.

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


The article by MK Boaz Toporovsky headlined “Music as a bridge” (March 1) pointed out a crystal clear notion that arts in nature including music should serve as media to promote coexistence and humanity. It is regrettable to see the distortion of art and music and its misuse as an agent to spread hate language and discrimination.

Taiwan and Israel are the two countries in the world which have constantly faced unequal treatment; the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) to Israel and inertia to Taiwan in the setting of international organizations. However, Taiwan and Israel are the countries immediately joining the international humanitarian relief mission to search for lives after the 7.8-magnitude earthquake severely hit Türkiye and Syria on February 6. Our rescue teams’ noble mission have been highly appreciated by the victims and their families. 

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of our representative offices in Taipei and Tel Aviv. Taiwan and Israel share the value of democracy, freedom, human rights and innovation. We are pleased and proud to see what we have accomplished to promote the cooperation in the fields of trade, culture and technology.

For instance, the bilateral trade volume has maintained double-digital growth in recent years; Taiwan currently serves as the fourth largest market in Asia for Israel. In addition, we have seen a strong momentum in people-to-people exchanges of visits.

Among them, many are from the art circle, including dance troupe members and indigenous artists who believe love has no border. This should be a universal language for everyone across the globe. This is what I want to echo, Boaz Toporovsky, and this is the belief held dearly by fellow democracies.



Taipei Economic & Cultural Office

Tel Aviv

Actual number of attacks

In his “Just who is pogroming whom?” (March 3), David Weinberg notes that “In 2022, there were more than 5,000 Palestinian terror attacks against Israeli Jews.”

According to Rescuers Without Borders - Hatzalah Judea and Samaria, the actual number of terror attacks against Jews in the area they recorded for 2022 was 7,386 incidents overall, with 31 people murdered and 734 injured. The violence was categorized as shootings, firebombings, rock throwing, burning tires, explosive charges, laser blindings, paint bottles, car rammings, knifings, road blocks and fireworks firings.

Even this list is not fully complete for while it is based on IDF call-ins and ambulance alerts, numerous “minor” acts are ignored by the Jewish residents, especially against buses, if no damage is caused.



Conflict of interest

Regarding “Where did Prime Minister Netanyahu go?” (March 3): Yaakov Katz apparently either doesn’t read his own newspaper or has a short or selective memory. On February 3, the Post reported, “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cannot involve himself in the legislation and process of the judicial reforms proposed in January, Attorney-General Gali Baharav-Miara told Netanyahu in a letter on Thursday, as it would be a conflict of interest with his ongoing corruption trials.”

I believe that this answers his question. However, it leads to another question. If Netanyahu has a conflict of interest why doesn’t the attorney-general have the same conflict of interest, since her office is prosecuting the cases?

Actually, since the proposed legislation has proposed separating the attorney-general from the prosecutor-general and other provisions relating to legal advisers to ministries, she has an even greater conflict. Why has no one in the media pointed this out?

Actually, I fail to see Netanyahu’s conflict with most of the items being proposed. For example, the proposed change in the method of appointing Supreme Court justices can have no impact on his current trial. The reasons for this are obvious. The justices trying his case are already appointed, for one thing. The proposed change can’t have any immediate impact, even in the event of conviction and appeal, since the number of new justices to be appointed in the near future is fewer than four, out of 15 sitting justices.

Bear in mind that it took 48+ years in the United States to change the composition of its Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade. That case was decided in 1973 and only in 2022, in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, was there a court that had the composition necessary to make that change. This is despite the fact that appointment of Supreme Court justices in the US is a purely political process (the president nominates and the Senate approves each appointee).

I don’t agree with all of the legislation being proposed in their present form (I find the Deri law extremely repugnant), but, for example, I don’t know of any other country which doesn’t have a method for overriding a veto of a law passed by the legislature. That doesn’t mean that I agree that a simple majority is sufficient for this purpose.

I believe that the media and the opposition have blown this effort out of all proportion and are impeding an improvement to the present system.


Petah Tikva

Who remembers the book Cry, the Beloved Country, written about apartheid in South Africa in the 50s and 60s? While you cannot define Israel as an apartheid country, you can indeed cry over the present ongoing turmoil which is tearing us apart.

I fully endorse Yaakov Katz’s analysis of our prime minister today; he lacks his usual fire, he looks tired, he sounds tired and I feel he is not in control of events. In life you have to know when to step up, but equally you have to know when to step down.



Midgets of character

I am simply amazed at the lack of judgment being exhibited by The Jerusalem Post. To put a former South African day school principal on the front page of the editorial section suggesting he knows more than the entire Israeli electorate is chutzpah by both of you (“He must go, and only the Likud can save us,” March 5).

Note in his statements that Solly Kaplinski says he never admired Netanyahu. Really? I guess a comparison of a former school principal vs a decorated commander in the IDF’s elite Sayeret Matkal, an Israeli ambassador, an MK, a finance minister (who vitalized the Israeli economy) and a prime minister leaves the question of admiration in the lurch.

The Post may have lost its direction, but it knows what it is doing by promoting this type of opinion. It has thrown in its lot with midgets of character who are the real enemies of democracy, those who preach open rebellion against the duly elected government.

It has never been an argument about long-needed judicial reform; it has always been about a do-over of the election.



Life on the line

Andrea Samuels clearly and poignantly articulates what it means to have a child serving in the IDF (“The things I can’t tell you,” March 3).

Although she rightly states on numerous occasions while her concerns for her offspring’s safety are always to the fore, she for all the right reasons is unable to relate same.

However, as Samuels ultimately states, she is so proud of her child, and I can concur that we Israelis are all so very proud of every soldier who puts his/her life on the line for us and the nation. They are always in our prayers, thoughts and sincere wishes for their safety and well being.


Tel Aviv

Misinformation and cover-up

The Jerusalem Post updates its readers in “Why COVID lab-leak controversy matters” (March 3), by saying that the US Energy Department concludes that the pandemic began with a lab leak. This was corroborated by FBI Director Christopher Wray in his interview with Fox News in recent days by saying that his agency knew this “for quite some time now.”

Really? For how long have they known this? And why wasn’t it announced at the time? This is the same conclusion that then-president Donald Trump announced in April 2020, based on security information that he had seen.

We know now that the World Health Organization was giving cover to the communist Chinese government over the lab leak. In the respected medical journal The Lancet, 27 authors had fraudulently stated that they “stand together to strongly condemn conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin” – so much for healthy and open debate among professionals.

In the years of investigations into the coronavirus, not one case has been found in nature. Many commentators detailed problems at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in the months before the outbreak of the pandemic, including prior lab outbreaks, low biosecurity standards, and even deaths of its staff from infection. Banned by law in America, gain-of-function research was conducted by the lab, and we know now that this was actually funded by and coordinated through US agencies.

The virus apparently has all the characteristics of human intervention, and the gain of function would explain why the virus could so easily adapt through the variants, naming after the letters of the Greek alphabet, all the way up to Omicron.

Enjoying the benefits of hindsight, it is amazing that all the world’s medical organizations, supposedly looking after us, played a part in the misinformation and the cover-up over the pandemic. Is it too much to expect that we can learn anything from this history of the past few years?



Dismissive and offensive

Morton Klein’s article “Cancel culture comes to Conference of Presidents” (March 2) is so pathetic. I totally agree with him. These American “leaders” are so contaminated by the cancel culture that is poisoning the US today that they refused to meet with Israel cabinet ministers who are in the midst of the political crisis.

How can we all understand the issues if dialogue is forbidden? Who do they think they are? Could anyone imagine Israeli members of a leadership organization insulting members of the US Congress? I feel they have lost their right to criticize us or to comment about how we are managing at a crucial point for our government.

Their mandate is to be aware directly about just such issues, to be informed and to explain things to their members objectively. This new attitude is dismissive and offensive. I think we will have to forget about their credibility from now on.



Tragic consequences

Regarding “Where Jordan and the Palestinians part company” by Neville Teller (March 2): This should be sent to the US president, all American senators and the rest of the countries who profess friendship with Israel. I also mean our MKs, who think they can deal with PA head Mahmoud Abbas, even though he has rejected every effort to come to a two-state solution because it would mean actually accepting the State of Israel.

Any financial contribution to the PA should be rejected. Such funding brings on the terrorists and an education system which glorifies terrorism against the Jews, as has again recently been shown with tragic consequences. Any relinquishing of territory in the West Bank would lead to Hamas and its devastating rocket capabilities. Jews can build homes in America, Great Britain, France, Germany and any civilized country. Why can’t they build them freely in the West Bank, where Jews had lived for thousands of years until kicked out by Jordan in 1948?

As for Gaza, if they had cooperated with Israel in 2005 with industry, commerce and a tourist industry on the Mediterranean coast, it could have been a little Switzerland.