Letters to the Editor May 15, 2023: Extraordinary

Readers of The Jerusalem Post have their say.

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


The photo of Smokey Robinson accompanying the article “‘I feel as good as I felt when I was 40’” (May 14) was nothing less than extraordinary. To believe the young man in the photo is 83, stretches one’s imagination.

It literally took my breath away.


Kochav Yair

Common sense

Regarding “License to kill?” (May 12): This inflammatory article conflates two separate issues, both affecting emissions into the air. Whereas particulate matter and certain gases may well affect public health, CO2 is not one of them. CO2 is produced by burning fossil fuel, in Israel’s case, natural gas; it has no health hazards whatsoever, though as a so-called greenhouse gas it may contribute to global warming, though Israel’s contribution is miniscule in comparison to that emitted by the rest of the world.

In fact, the use of natural gas to generate electricity is one of the cleanest and safest methods currently available in Israel. The mining and purification of the multiple minerals and rare earth metals and glass and aluminum required to manufacture solar panels require large energy expenditure, and generate polluting byproducts, which is why solar electricity is so expensive.

Solar panels are not by any stretch of the imagination 100% “clean” products; nor do we have any plans for dealing with them when they have to be scrapped after 20 years or so.

Israel does not have an energy crisis yet, though an expanding population and increasing standard of living will naturally increase electricity demand. Therefore, streamlining the process of approval for new power plants is definitely a positive step. The government is to be commended for prioritizing common sense over vague environmental objections.


Ma’aleh Adumim

Abject, abhorrent and amoral

Why the Post continues to allow Gershon Baskin’s weekly articles, the latest, “The false unity of Jerusalem” (May 11), is truly beyond comprehension.

His take on the Arab situation in Israel is abject, abhorrent, and completely amoral. That he can even consider writing an article about a ‘downtrodden’ Arab friend who was not able to be with his wife in Jerusalem proper, due to laws concerning residence, was chutzpah personified. In the middle of over 1,000 rockets aimed and fired at civilian populations within Israel, how could he believe we would even care about a residence problem, let alone want to try to change it.

He poses the question: “How is it even possible that after 56 years, some 40% of the population of the capital of Israel are not citizens of the State of Israel?” Should he step down from his Arabist soap box, he would surely place the blame on the Arabs controlling his beloved “Palestine.” There is no state of Palestine, no infrastructure being built to improve lives, no outside funding going to the people, instead of lining the pockets of the “elite,” and no effort made to teach their children right from wrong.

We all know children are born completely innocent. Their only concerns as babies and children are food, being kept clean and healthy, and love. Most other behaviors are not innate, but learned; learned and taught by Arab families and teachers that Jews don’t belong on the land and need to be wiped off the face of the earth.

In all wars, the winners have the right to the spoils. In the war of 1967, our “spoil” was the glorious recapture of Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria. Baskin and the world have seen that we have protected all religions and buildings within Jerusalem, while the Arab population tries to kill us on an ongoing basis.

Why countries have involved themselves in the Israel-bashing, BDS, and interference even in the workings of our government, is beyond comprehension. It truly is antisemitism rearing its ugly head, and Baskin helps it along with his Arab-loving weekly columns.

It’s time for the Post to take back the moral high ground. Put an end to Gershon Baskin’s articles and relegate him to your archives. He now has so many new organizations that he keeps adding to his bio, that I’m sure he’ll be kept busy without burdening us with his hateful take on Israel.



Double dose

On the same day, you presented your readers with a double dose of extreme journalism. Gershon Baskin would like to give up half of Jerusalem, while Douglas Bloomfield, taking leave for once from attacking his favorite targets Trump and Netanyahu, devoted a whole article to discredit Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (“DeSantis, the dark prince of woke,” May 11).

Bloomfield fantastically calls DeSantis “the dark prince of woke,” inter alia for daring to prevent biological men from using women’s facilities solely on the basis of their own statement of their sex and regardless of the obvious truth.

Baskin is just an unrealistic dreamer with more concern for Arabs than for his fellow Jews, but Bloomfield’s writings are more serious, as he is incapable of writing a balanced article.

He can only find faults with Trump, but ignores his significant achievements, e.g. almost solving the southern border crisis while Biden denies there is a crisis; making America self-sufficient in fuel while Biden had to beg Saudi Arabia to increase oil supplies; making America respected in the world instead of Biden’s humiliating Afghan debacle; moving America’s embassy to Jerusalem; and getting the anti-COVID drugs produced in record time, among many other achievements.

Over a long period of time, you have printed letters vigorously opposing these writers. Supposedly there are many more who think the same way, but haven’t written in, yet the Post continues to give them regular significant slots.

Of course, you must print articles with which I do not agree, but they need to be balanced. It is about time that The Jerusalem Post dropped these two bigoted writers.


Beit Shemesh

Terrorist enterprise

The article “Wash, rinse, repeat” by Herb Keinon (May 12) fairly accurately depicts the current situation in Gaza. However, the situation could have been completely different. In 1993, Israel concluded an agreement with the Palestine Liberation Organization led by Yasser Arafat, known as the Oslo Accords. Israel agreed to recognize the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian people and the PLO agreed to recognize Israel.

A new organization known as the Palestinian Authority was created. As a first step, control of Gaza and Jericho was handed over to the PA. This was supposed to be followed by a five-year interim period leading to final status talks which would also include Jerusalem, the West Bank and other issues.

The possibility of Palestinians and Israelis living side by side in peace seemed at hand. What could go wrong?

Control of the airport in Gaza was given to Arafat. Gaza has excellent beaches and is about 10 degrees cooler than the Gulf states in summer. The airport could bring in thousands of tourists. Tourists create jobs and prosperity. Optimism for a better future took hold.

International hotel chains came to look at Gaza as a potential site for a tourist industry. Holiday Inn, Intercontinental, and Howard Johnson hotels each offered to build huge hotels in Gaza. Arafat demanded a share in the hotels. The hotels explained that they would pay taxes on their profits, but would not give Arafat shares in the hotels.

Arafat then demanded that he would appoint all the staff at the hotels. The end result was that the hotels withdrew their offers. Soon thereafter Israel closed the airport in Gaza as it was being used to smuggle weapons into the Strip. Arafat had ended any prospect of prosperity for Gaza. Massive corruption and poverty followed.

In 2007, Hamas overthrew the PA in Gaza and took control. PA officials were thrown off buildings, and arms that Israel had given to Arafat in order to control Gaza were seized by Hamas. Hamas immediately introduced a system that radicalized an entire society against Israel. A group calling itself Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) also established itself in Gaza. The name tells you exactly what they stand for.

Both Hamas and PIJ are supported by Iran. They are not boy scout movements with good intentions. Despite being Sunni Muslims, both groups are sacrificing the population of Gaza for the aims of the Shi’ite mullahs of Iran. Iran does not care how many people in Gaza are killed. All it is interested in is promoting the destruction of Israel.

Instead of a thriving economy and tourist destination, Gaza has become a terrorist enterprise that has brought nothing but poverty and destruction to its inhabitants. The firing of rockets at Israel will inevitably only make the situation worse for those living in Gaza. They have only themselves to blame for not taking the alternative road that could have led to a better life.   



It’s about time

In her article “Rockets and attacks of hypocrisy” (May 12), Liat Collins wrote: “The name Islamic Jihad is more than a hint of its aims and nature.”

Kudos to Liat Collins for being the first journalist I am aware of to point to the word jihad in Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s name. It is about time that the world understands that both Ukrainians and we here in Israel are under rocket attack from regimes following totalitarian ideologies.




I thank David Weinberg for his wonderful birthday tribute to Cynthia Ozick, a towering Talent of Jewish literature (“Celebrating Cynthia Ozick at 95,” May12).

I have been reading her for 50 years, holding my breath at times over the sheer majesty of her prose/poetry and sometimes humor. Having met her a few times years ago, I can agree with Weinberg over her total lack of ego or pretense. She came across as totally interested in the person with whom she was speaking, without a word about herself.

When you read her essays, passionate polemics, and sheer love of the Jewish people, there are no words to describe them other than astounding.

So thanks David Weinberg for introducing her to probably hundreds of younger readers who may not know her, and for calling attention to one of the greats of our Jewish literature of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Hopefully, this will inspire some new and younger fans who can appreciate her.



Abject surrender

I’m afraid I must disagree with Avi Mayer, the new Jerusalem Post editor-in-chief on “What to do about Gaza” (May 12). Offering a better life for the Gazans and relying on others to pressure its leadership to accept a true non-belligerency has been tried before without success.

The real answer may be found in the outcome of World War ll. When Germany invaded Poland and Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, resulting in over 60 million deaths over the next six years, the goal for defeating the Axis enemies was laid out. It had to end with total defeat and unconditional surrender of the belligerents with no quarter given.

Germany and Japan became truly pacified with their people accepting the outcome. Yes, the world will condemn Israel, but our people who are forced to live near their shelters and are constantly battered with psychological trauma, deserve our first consideration.

That is required now in the never ending cycle of attack and retaliation. Eliminating three terrorist leaders does not solve the problem. They will be replaced by three others who will continue to long for the destruction of Israel. The Palestinian leadership must be totally eradicated with abject surrender. This could have happened after the Six Day War, but unfortunately that path was not taken by Eshkol and Dayan.

With new leadership followed by making life better with economic aid and conditions, the Palestinian people will come to see the wisdom and advantages of a true peace. Until this is done, the people of Sderot, Yad Mordechai and Rehovot will continue to suffer and live an unacceptable lifestyle. That should not be allowed to continue.