Letters to the Editor May 8, 2023: Even older

Readers of The Jerusalem Post have their say.

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

Even older

We were quite surprised to read the information in your article titled “98-year-old Australian woman makes Aliyah” (April 21) that in 2012, a 100-year-old Jew from Brazil became Israel’s oldest oleh.

In fact, previous Jerusalem Post articles had reported on the aliyah of our grandmother, Belle Goldstein, the oldest American to make aliyah at the age of 102. Furthermore, on March 29, 1998, The Jerusalem Post also reported that two people had made aliyah from the former Soviet Union at the even older age of 111.

Belle Goldstein’s aliyah was widely covered at the time, not only in The Jerusalem Post, but also in other newspapers in Israel and even in the American press.


Kfar Gidon


Merion, PA

America’s friends

US working with protesters against judicial reform – Levin,” (May 2) explains that the US State Department has given over $38,000 since 2020 to the Movement for Quality Government, which in turn has been leading the recent wave of anti-government demonstrations. This means to say that the Biden administration is attempting to work against the democratically-elected government, and this combined with President Joe Biden’s weak attempts to unfriend Netanyahu.

We’ve heard news over the decades of the CIA and other American actors working against despots in various dictatorships, but one doesn’t expect this to happen against America’s friends.

Israel needs to deal responsibly with the issues at hand and not have undue US interference in what are essentially internal matters.



Shocking and frightening

Regarding “Coalition tensions persist with haredi parties,” (May 5): According to Shas spokesman Asher Medina, “in a fair and correct world where justice is a beacon,” the so-called “Deri Law” should have been the first bill on the Knesset’s summer agenda. In fact, in a truly “fair and correct world guided by the beacon of justice,” a twice-convicted criminal like Deri would never be allowed to become neither a minister nor member of the Knesset.

It is shocking and frightening to understand from Medina’s outrageous statement how Shas perceives the concept of justice. It obviously has nothing to do with legality, morality or even propriety, but rather a bureaucratic tool to ensure that Arye Deri be officially reappointed to key positions of political and governing powers at any cost.

This is even more disconcerting when we remember that this misuse of “justice” is part and parcel of the proposed judicial reforms. God help us!


Hatzor Haglilit

Falling into the trap

I am happy to see that Avi Mayer has made an excellent start as the new editor-in-chief of The Jerusalem Post and wish him much success in all his undertakings. It is only regrettable that Mayer has now fallen into the trap of moral equivalence between Jews and Arabs (“The kids are not alright,” May 5).

There is no comparison whatsoever between the very few acts of terror by Jews against Arabs, shocking as they are, acts which have been unequivocally condemned by government and opposition and by Israelis in general, and the constant stream of terrorist attacks by Arabs against Jews.

Just now Mahmoud Abbas, head of the Palestinian Authority, called the murderers of the Dee sisters, Maia and Rina, and their mother, Lucy, shahidim – martyrs, and such vile acts appear to have considerable support among the Palestinian population.

Israeli schoolbooks teach about peace between nations and “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” while Palestinian school textbooks, including in east Jerusalem, are replete with gross antisemitic incitement. Not to talk of the money that the PA funnels to murderers of Jews in jail or to their families.

The song of revenge sung by young Jews is distasteful and it would have been better had they had not done so, but it is only a song. I am also weary of the repeated regurgitation of the past history of the present Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich or the present National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, including the reference to Ben-Gvir’s membership in the outlawed Kach organization when he was a teenager, or to remarks made by Smotrich in 2016.

All in all, I object to nitpicking the comments by government ministers, often out of context, or constantly recalling details from their past.

Moreover, one should beware of surveys (Mayer includes a number of them), because one can never be sure of the surveyor’s agenda or whether they had asked leading questions in order to get the answers they prefer.

I do not know about other readers but I read the Post to get positive vibes; enough of the constant negative references to trends in Israel. Let us all strive to present an optimistic face of Israel to the world while trying to educate Israeli teenagers in our schools to be proud of their country and to want to serve and contribute to it in every way they can.



Avi Mayer makes a compelling read. However, I must take issue with his description of some of our teens and his concern. While I would never encourage revenge acts by any civilian, I’m not sure that these kids are headed to delinquency by meeting on the streets and singing songs, regardless of the content. These are the same teens, for the most part, who will be fighting for our country within a few years.

I don’t know the numbers of Arab teens who move to terror acts and more, but I’d say the ratio is far greater in a society that pays for terror; and the bigger and more gruesome the attack, the higher the reward. Those teens grow up with a never-ending message of hate for Jews and Israel, and are encouraged at times by family and school.

No such horror takes place in Jewish homes, no dancing in the street when an Arab terrorist is killed, no handing out candy, and certainly no payments made to whomever took the shot. Of course we are relieved when the terrorists are found and possibly killed, but it’s doesn’t descend into celebration.

I agree wholeheartedly, however, that public figures, in the government especially, need to tamp down their rhetoric. Parents also must be responsible for knowing where their children are and with whom they associate. Guns must never be left out in the open and children from an early age should be taught that the gun itself doesn’t kill, but rather the person holding it.

I truly believe that Israeli teens and Israelis in general are not raised on hatred and in comparison to the rest of the world, are a peace-loving, altruistic, family-oriented people who want peace and health.

That peace, however, is never going to come unless the neighbors in our midst stop their killing rampages and learn to live together. In addition, they are the ones whose leaders, parents, and clerics must ensure that their children “are committed to building  a shared society.” They have not and therein lies the problems. Israeli parents and teachers hopefully teach their children right from wrong.

I have hope, though, that the Israeli teens dancing and singing on street corners will be the ones to continue with the path forward to peace.



Being torn apart

Dear Joanne Nihom: I just read your profound article titled “Reaching out beyond borders” (May 3). It spurred me on to also address the prime minister, to tell him for the sake of our country – the only country which we have and love – as follows:

Dear Prime Minister Netanyahu: It is time to let go, and by so doing you may save your reputation as not the longest serving prime minister, but as the worst prime minister of Israel, before it is too late.

I am aware of all your accomplishments in the past, but now it is time to bow out and let this nation which is being torn apart to come together without you.

I sincerely hope that you will take on board what is happening to you and your family. Take up the plea bargain that was offered you and fade out. Enough damage has been done and is being done.



Imperiled planet

Regarding, “Reinventing Jewish holidays and rituals” (May 7), there is one change that has the potential of shifting our imperiled planet onto a sustainable path – restoring the ancient New Year for Animals. It initially involved tithing animals for Temple sacrifices. Transform it into a day devoted to increasing awareness of Jewish teachings on compassion to animals and how far current realities for animals are from these teachings. 

When Jews become more aware of how horrendously framed animals are treated and how seriously Jewish teachings on compassion to animals are violated, many likely would shift toward plant-based diets. This would reduce the current massive destruction of forests to create pasture land, and land to grow feed crops for animals and enable the reforesting of the over 40% of the ice-free land currently used for these purposes.

The additional trees would sequester much atmospheric CO2, reducing it from its current very dangerous level to a safer one. In addition, there would be far fewer cows emitting methane, a greenhouse gas over 80 times as potent as CO2 in heating the atmosphere.

It was good to see an article in the same issue titled “Jewish institutions awaken to climate crisis, with hundreds pledging action.” This is highly commendable, but there was no mention in the article of “the cow in the room,” that animal-based agriculture is the leading cause of climate change. It is essential that this be recognized and acted on so that we can leave a habitable, healthy, environmentally sustainable world for future generations.



Concessions and surrender

Itamar Ben-Gvir has to accept that his appointment as a minister in the Netanyahu government was nothing but a sham and he should leave before being thrown out (“Ben-Gvir: Return of terrorist bodies is a ‘serious mistake,’” May 7). It’s not as though Prime Minister Netanyahu had made any secret that he accepted Otzma Yehudit as a last resort, but also made clear that he would be the one in the final analysis to make decisions.

I have no idea where Ben-Gvir got the idea he was joining a right-wing government, as Netanyahu’s policy has always been and is now, one of concessions and surrender. It is not only a serious mistake to have handed over to the Palestinian Authority the three bodies of terrorists who were killed in a shooting at Jit Junction in March, but I would venture to call it criminal, and without a thought of the anguish it causes.

As for the hypocrisy of visiting the shiva homes, I consider that to be shameful and arrogant. While our bereaved families mourn the ever increasing deaths of loved ones, the terrorists who murdered them are returned for a burial with honor and praise as heroes. It is almost like murdering the fallen over and over again.

Netanyahu still has not been held to account for his abandonment of the bodies of two soldiers killed and abducted by Hamas in Operation Protective Edge. This was a war where Netanyahu told Hamas he had no intention of destroying it and therefore accepted every truce called for by Hamas which of course gave them the opportunity to rearm and reorganize, ready for the next attack.

He also accepted the final truce called for by Hamas without making any demand for the bodies of the soldiers. Why is he allowed to continue to dishonor those who paid the highest price for their home, the historical Jewish land.