Letters to the Editor May 10, 2023: Withdrawn lawsuit

Readers of The Jerusalem Post have their say.

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

Withdrawn lawsuit

Regarding “Prominent personalities listed in Jeffrey Epstein’s newly-found calendar” (May 3): This article reports that I was accused of having sex with a young woman connected to Jeffrey Epstein and that I categorically denied it. It fails to report however that the woman has now withdrawn her lawsuit and admitted that she may have been mistaken in identifying me.

It also fails to report that I was Epstein’s lawyer before he pleaded guilty and ceased to see him after he served his prison term. I did absolutely nothing improper. The article, reported from a JTA source, is irresponsibly worded.

Please correct the record.


New York City

Two peas in a pod

I must admit that I’m more than a little intrigued as to the testimony Ari Harow will be providing as a state’s witness in Case 2000 (“Ex-PMO chief Harow, Erdan set to testify in Netanyahu trial,” May 8).

That the prosecution was willing to trade jail time for a mere five months of community service and lower the fine from five million shekels to seven-hundred thousand suggests that the former chief of staff’s narrative will be hermetically protected from astute cross examination. Which, of course, makes sense. It is, after all, the boss and not the underling that the prosecution would prefer to place behind bars.

What’s troubling, though, is that fraud and breach of trust are by no means insignificant charges; that the requisite punishment for such crimes is being bartered and horse-traded as if they were minor infractions seems to lack perspective or proportion. The Israeli public may not have been grievously harmed by Harow’s actions, but I suspect that someone facing a similar indictment but less well connected would not have been offered such a generous plea bargain agreement.

The arrangement, I presume, precludes Harrow from hiding behind Israel’s version of the Fifth Amendment, but are there guarantees that he won’t suddenly “not remember” key details, discussions, or events? And despite the fact that he and his former employer may no longer be two peas in a pod, it would not surprise me at all if he was quietly promised some plum position in return for finding a way to let Bibi slide safely off the hook.

After all, once you’ve breached the public’s trust, doing it a second time is that much easier.    


Ginot Shomron

All over Israel

Regarding “Reckless driving on public transportation” (May 7): Thank you to Liza Judah for exposing this issue. She described very impressively a situation that exists all over Israel, and all her examples are similar to those experienced by myself and many friends in Haifa.

I have one piece of advice to offer: If the atrocious driving behavior causes an accident that results in a visit to the hospital, either to be admitted or to be checked and treated in the emergency room, keep the discharge papers, get a police report and send them to the bus company with precise details: time of day, where and when and which bus line was involved. In this way they can trace the name of the driver.

At some stage their insurance company will protest at the number of claims and hopefully those drivers will be fired. When there are serious accidents reported in the media, it is often revealed that the records of those drivers show several previous driving crimes.



Unabashed efforts

Regarding “The kids are not alright” (May 5): It was deeply disturbing encountering repeated moral equivalency while reading the new editor-in-chief’s take on “extremism among Israeli young people – both Jewish and Arab.”

Noting that “a startling number of recent attacks targeting both Jews and Arabs have been perpetrated by attackers under the age of 18,” he mentions in the same breath (with only a comma separating) “a January shooting that wounded a Jewish father and son in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan was carried out by a 13-year-old Arab boy, and a 17-year-old Jewish teen has been held in administrative detention in connection with the deadly rampage through the Palestinian village of Huwara in late February.”

Incidentally, the so-called “deadly rampage” through Huwara (and it is unclear who was responsible for the Arab casualties), started as a protest following the murder in broad daylight of the two Yaniv brothers from Har Bracha in the middle of Huwara, which has a history of hostility toward Jewish drivers who daily navigate the town to get to work and back home.

While accounts differ regarding the protest, it appears that when Arabs began hurling rocks at the Jewish protesters, the situation quickly got out of hand, with some extremists torching cars in junk yards.

Another example of moral equivalence in the editor’s column is his reference to social media platforms “awash with posts and videos glorifying and encouraging violence and offering instructions on how to murder Israeli Jews, and the streets of Jerusalem are stalked by roving gangs of Jewish and Arab teens seeking easy targets.”

Again, just a comma separating the two thoughts. How can the two be compared? How many roving gangs of Jewish teens are there really? And how can you fairly compare it with the many stabbing, shooting, and lynch attempts that Arab teens have perpetuated in recent times?

While the Israeli curriculum educates children toward a democratic, pluralistic society in which people from diverse backgrounds coexist, Palestinians are being educated to hate Jewish Israelis. The Jerusalem Post reported in 2020 that “Palestinian children are being systematically taught to hate Jewish Israelis and violently resist a Jewish presence in Israel, a comprehensive review of Palestinian school textbooks has found.” And perhaps this incitement also has a spillover effect on some Arab teens residing in Israel.

I am not maintaining that all is alright with Israeli kids, but I reject the unabashed efforts at political correctness and moral equivalency. With dozens of innocent Israeli Jews murdered by Arab terrorists in the past two years, it is small wonder that Jewish teens express high levels of fear and hatred.

Maybe if Israel’s defense establishment can eliminate the terrorist infrastructure, strengthen its deterrent effect, curb the “pay for slay” and take other steps to combat terrorism, Israeli kids will grow up with less negative “stereotypes.”  


Ginot Shomron

Make each day count

Rabbi Raymond Apple’s tribute to old age, “‘Aren’t you dead yet?’” (May 8), hit its mark with me. With its references to the Book of Psalms, it inspired me to try harder to make each day count. (I am 90+.)


Beit Shemesh

Raymond Apple’s article brought a big smile to my face and filled me with glee. I am a “feather-duster.” I just turned 89, and am still active, although I live in a retirement village.

The residents here are extremely fortunate to be offered a very full list of activities and entertainment every day of the week in which to participate both physically and mentally. I am personally in charge of running one of the classes, helping and volunteering in many activities and have had innumerable letters published in The Jerusalem Post.

My attitude is “while I can, I do.” My dear departed mother lived until 102, and I’m hoping I have inherited some of her genes. May we all be blessed to live a long and healthy life.


Tel Mond

Increasingly fragile

I do not share Ofer Kenig’s view of Israel’s Supreme Court as a bastion of democracy (“Next target: The electoral process,” May 7). Sitting judges have a veto over the appointment of new judges and have rejected qualified candidates because of differences in ideology.

A court which orders Jewish communities dismantled based on claims that the communities were built on privately owned Palestinian land, without requiring proof of ownership from the claimants, has become an advocacy group for people who don’t necessarily have Israel’s best interests at heart.

Furthermore, a court which can strike down a law the judges consider “unreasonable” is not a “check and balance” on the Knesset; the court has taken control of the Knesset, and balance will be restored only when the Knesset can check (override) the court’s ruling. 

I do agree, however, that both the coalition and the opposition should have a say in this. An override should require a two-thirds majority in the Knesset.

Kenig’s fear of a party with a big majority in the Knesset rigging elections so that power would have little chance of switching hands is, to say the least, a bit overblown. Since Israel first experimented with the direct election of the prime minister in the 1990s, coalitions have become increasingly fragile.

The largest party in the Bennett/Lapid government held only 17 seats, a clear indication that real electoral reform is needed. Certainly, I agree that the reform must be aimed at strengthening Israel’s democracy, not at favoring Right or Left, or any party in between. The aim should be to have fewer parties that are likely to be around long enough for voters to hold them accountable for keeping the promises made while campaigning.

Thus, parties should be required to publish their platforms, distribute them to the public, and obtain a specified number of voters’ signatures before being allowed to stand for election. They should also be required to pay a registration fee to the Central Elections Committee with the monies collected to be used to cover the cost of public debates and associated post-debate polling.

Parties deemed unlikely to meet the election threshold would have to sit out the current election but would be eligible to try again after the elected Knesset had completed its term.