Letters to the Editor June 7, 2023: Dystopian image

Readers of The Jerusalem Post have their say.

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

Dystopian image

It was heartbreaking to read “Israel’s future: A tale of two (or three) Zionisms” (June 5), Moti Kahana’s dystopian image and picturing of an Israel 75 years from now becoming an “Iran or Saudi Arabia;” a country that “if you drive on Saturday you get stones thrown at you,” and which is evolving into an era “of animal sacrifice and public stoning.”

Kahana, an outstanding philanthropist who has devoted much of his time and resources in many humanitarian efforts, especially with Syrian refugees, glorifies the secular aspects of Israel, including Tel Aviv’s hosting “one of the largest Pride parades in the world.” He so fears the possibility of religious encroachment on the lifestyle of the secular Jew that he is active in a group that is encouraging Israelis to move abroad, especially to the United States.

In the 21st century no law will ever be passed that will coerce anyone to become an observant Jew. But at the same time, after 2000 years we did not create a state to erase all vestiges of Judaism. The secular educational system has succeeded in moving in that direction. There are school children who don’t know what a siddur is, or have ever experienced the beauty of a Friday night family dinner, or know anything of our people’s history.

Kahana is obsessed about a religious bogeyman who will control lives, something that will never happen. It boils down to whether we will have a Jewish state, or another United States or Romania (his family’s roots), many of whose citizens are Jews by birth only. As a Jew who recently became a new immigrant to Israel from New York, I only wish him well and hope that all his work of good deeds continues for many years.



In Moti Kahana’s article, he challenges, “ask any proclaimed Zionist when the movement began.” Well, my answer is that it began when the Jews were exiled to Babylon. Our prayers have always mentioned a return to Zion. We break a glass at a wedding not to forget Jerusalem.

Our claim to this Holy Land is that God, who created it, gave it to us as our inheritance. He also gave us the Torah, which proclaims in the Ten Commandments to remember the Sabbath and keep it holy. Yes, Moti, that is why religious laws and customs are being “infused” into this special and wonderful country.



One man

While many in Israel have wondered what or whom is behind all these protests these last 20 weeks plus, Yaron Schwartz seems to have uncovered what’s really going on (“Barak’s plot exposed,” June 5).

It all seems to point to one man, Ehud Barak, a decorated general of the IDF, but more importantly, a failed former prime minister.

The protests these past months have not been about the judicial reform that our government wants to implement, but rather they have been about bringing down the duly elected Netanyahu government. Barak’s so-called Black Flags movement, whose goal is to “bring down Bibi,” was established long before the November 2022 election, or any mention of any judicial reform legislation currently winding its way through the Knesset.

If what Yaron Schwartz says is true and can be proved in court, there should be no question that Ehud Barak deserves to be indicted and tried for sedition immediately.

In America, seditious conspiracy carries the statutory maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison plus fines.

I wonder what the penalty for sedition is here in Israel.


Ma’aleh Adumim

Credulous and feckless

Characterizing Iran as cooperating with a fraction of IAEA inspection demands is equivalent to saying that someone is a fraction pregnant (“IAEA chief: Iran only cooperating with a ‘fraction’ of nuke inspection,” June 6).

There is a larger purpose to IAEA monitoring of Iran’s nuclear program: the detection and prevention of the development of Iranian nuclear weapons. Without complete and thorough monitoring this cannot be achieved.

This is exactly why Iran complies with only a fraction of IAEA requirements. It does so to forestall a credulous and feckless Western world from taking the needed actions to remove the threat, while Iranian centrifuges spin away and add to an already problematic quantity of weapons grade uranium.

Iranian compliance with IAEA monitoring is a dichotomy, not a continuum. It either is or is not cooperating in a way that permits the IAEA to perform its intended function. So far Iran is not cooperating, and in the absence of a credible deadline to cooperate or face military action to remove the Iranian nuclear threat, Iran will continue not to cooperate with the IAEA.


Williamsville, NY

This is critical

I found “An extra-parliamentary constitution” by David Raab (June 4) to be extraordinarily interesting. Having spent a lot of time recently thinking about governance in general, and Israeli governance in particular, it was gratifying to find that there were others who take this seriously.

I could not agree more with Raab that this is critical. The fact that we do not have a constitution in Israel is the basic reason why we do not have stable governments, and ultimately a stable society. I would very much appreciate knowing more about Raab’s efforts, possibly to find out how I could help.


Ma’aleh Adumim

Warming up faster

How shameful. While climate experts are increasingly warning that the world may soon reach a tipping point when our climate spins out of control, and there has been a significant increase in the frequency and severity of heat waves, droughts, wildfires, storms, and floods, with even worse climate events predicted as the world continues to heat up, then we see an article headlined: “OECD warns: Israel not set to meet climate ambitions” (June 1).

Making this lack of action even more concerning is that we are in an area warming up faster than the world’s average and are especially threatened by the effects of climate change. It is projected that as early as this summer we will several times be experiencing temperatures as high as 49 degrees Celsius (120 degrees Fahrenheit) and that the Mediterranean Sea may rise by a meter (over three feet) by mid-century and 2.5 meters (over eight feet) by 2100, inundating the coastal plain that contains much of Israel’s population and infrastructure.

It is essential that Israel become a leader in efforts to stabilize the world’s climate, helping to shift the world onto a sustainable path and leaving a habitable, healthy world for future generations.



A Muslim’s key

Regarding “Capture the flag” by Gershon Baskin (June 1): The Palestinian flag would not be a contentious symbol if Palestinian leaders were building the infrastructure needed by a viable state, developing the economies in Gaza and Areas A and B of Judea and Samaria, and preparing the people living under their administration for life in a state coexisting, peacefully, with the nation-state of the Jews. But none of that is happening.

Hamas fires missiles at Israeli population centers and the PA incites Palestinians to attack and kill Jews, rewarding those who answer the call. The UN continues to abet Palestinian leaders in their dream of turning Israel into a Muslim-majority state, peopled by multi-generational descendants of Arabs who fled Palestine in the 1940s during Arab-initiated violence aimed at preventing the emergence of a modern Jewish state in the Jewish ancestral homeland.

That these Palestine refugees, as UNWRA calls them, have been taught that killing Jews is a Muslim’s key to entering Heaven, is a very good reason for display of the Palestinian flag to be considered an incitement to anti-Israel violence. And Gershon Baskin’s failure to mention Palestinian intransigence as the reason that the conflict remains unresolved renders his opinions on the matter not only meaningless but dangerous.



This is our country

Regarding Yaakov (Mendy) Or’s “A frightening vision for Israel” (May 30): The only part that is frightening is the fact that some Israelis don’t really believe that this is our country. If they did, they would not be afraid to declare sovereignty over Judea and Samaria and populate it with more Jews. If you ask the Arabs, they emphatically say that the whole country is theirs (from the river to the sea).

There should be no fear that cabinet minister Bezalel Smotrich’s proposal will prevent a Palestinian state; the Arabs have rejected one, numerous times, starting in 1948. If not for their threats to throw us into the sea in 1967, they would still be living under the benevolence of the Jordanians and the Egyptians.

We Jews have lived all over the world as residents of foreign powers. There is no reason why the Arabs living in our land can’t live under Israeli sovereignty.

Guaranteed, if given the choice, they would opt to remain in Israel rather than relocating to any one of our neighboring failing states. When the Jews believe this is our promised land, the rest of the world will too.



Extremely shaky

Buried deep in Douglas Bloomfield’s latest anti-Republican rant (“Pence the pious hasn’t a prayer,” June 1) is a sentence that proves conclusively his political bias and dishonesty: “[Donald Trump’s base] remains loyal to the twice-impeached… disgraced former president.”

It is unnecessary to go into the circumstances of the first unsuccessful impeachment which rested on extremely shaky legal grounds. We need only consider the impeachment for alleged Russia collusion which Bloomfield supported wholeheartedly.

Despite Representative Adam Schiff’s incessant assertions that there was ample evidence of Trump’s guilt “in plain sight,” no such evidence has ever been produced. The recent Durham report, a damning indictment of the FBI, demonstrated that the allegations against Trump were nothing more than scurrilous lies with no evidentiary foundation.

According to former attorney-general William Barr (by no means a Trump supporter), the Russia collusion hoax was “one of the greatest injustices ever done to a presidential candidate and a president.”

The news media gleefully colluded in the efforts to take down the president. Bloomfield was an ardent accomplice in this sordid enterprise. Ignoring the overwhelming evidence of this monumental deceit, Bloomfield continues to use the hoax to demonize Trump and, by extension, anyone who supports him.

Bloomfield calls Trump “disgraced.” In truth, Bloomfield’s continuing reference to proven lies for political purposes is disgraceful. His column is simply a propaganda organ for the Democratic Party.


Zichron Ya’acov