Letters to the Editor June 12, 2023: Some small hope

Readers of The Jerusalem Post have their say.

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

Some small hope

As I get older, my memory has dulled, but I do remember Avi Mayer’s pledge, when recently taking on the role of editor-in-chief, to keep The Jerusalem Post a Zionist enterprise.

So how do we get a front-page op-ed article from Nadav Tamir of J Street (“The opposition is digging its own grave,” June 11) with the descriptive tagline proclaiming it a “pro-Israeli lobby?”

Further back in the opinion section, writer Troy Fritzhand publicizes the views of Martin Indyk in his article, “Is US aid to Israel conditional?” Side question: Has Indyk ever been right on anything?

I suppose there is some small hope for the Post’s questionable Zionist bona fides: Check out the really humorous piece by Howard Blas, “From pitching to prayers,” obviously written for an American audience, promoting quicker Shabbat prayer with the inspiration of new rules quickening the pace of baseball games.



Will of the people

Mishael Churgin (“Have the protests been successful?” June 8) argues the case for democracy in Israel. Is it democracy when the unelected judiciary has so much power and can overturn legislation voted on by the majority of voters? 

The proposed judicial overhaul in Israel would increase democratic accountability by making judges more accountable to the public. The proposed changes would improve the balance of the judicial branch, making it more representative of the public it serves.

This could result in judges who more accurately reflect the values and attitudes of the Israeli population. So l look forward to seeing Churgin at the pro-government demonstration on a Thursday night in support of the will of the people.

The proposed judicial overhaul will also promote transparency and accountability in the appointment process, making it more public. This could increase public trust in the judiciary by ensuring that members are selected based on their qualifications and merit alone.

Churgin is invited to assist the judiciary to be in line with modern democratic standards while ensuring that it remains current and relevant to the needs of the Israeli people.

Is it a democracy when the opposition blocks highways, prevents babies from sleeping and harasses the population in residential areas? As written in the Post last week (“Barak’s plot exposed,” June 5), these protests were organized and paid for, a long time before the new government – in anticipation. The protesters are just dupes for the Left who cannot garnish enough votes, and a way to remove Bibi, jealous as they are of his popularity.

To me, the only “success” of these protests is to provide the proof of the empty-heads, and gullibility of those who spent time screaming obscenities and disrupting our lives. US Vice President Kamala Harris spoke from the same level of expertise.



In his article, Mishael Churgin claims that the protests have been successful. He states his opinion that if these laws are passed, “they would allow the legislative branch to override laws vetoed by the Supreme Court and allow the government to decide the composition of the judiciary, essentially turning the judiciary into a  puppet of the legislative branch.”

What a revolutionary idea, except that it is precisely the nature of the democracy in the United States, Britain and France – the elected government appoints the judiciary. I do not see how, if there is a choice, it can be concluded that it is more democratic for the judiciary to control the legislature, which is the undemocratic situation that prevails in Israel, than vice versa.

What he prefers is “mob rule,” have enough protests by enough people and you can overturn the control of the elected government. He makes clear what the real goal of the demonstrations is when he says that “the protests forced Netanyahu to consider the opposition’s opinions on the reform.”

In other words, a determined minority can force an elected government not to be able to carry out its legislative agenda. This is dangerous for the rule of democracy in which the people are supposed to be sovereign, not the courts.



Two-state delusion

In his latest column, “Sabotaging Saudi-Israeli peace” (June 9), the consistently excellent David Weinberg reflects on what we in our English-speakers discussion group have been saying for some time, that the current US administration has been undermining Israel and the Saudis becoming more openly allied.

The main difference is that Weinberg places the blame on the empty windbag Tom Friedman, while I and many others believe that it is the extreme pro-Palestinian ex-Obama holdovers, John Kerry, Robert Malley, Wendy Sherman, Hady Amr, etc. who remain fixated on their two-state delusion, who are the stumbling block. 



So obtuse and delusional

I read Gershon Baskin’s piece, “Why I do what I do” (June 8), and was perturbed that someone who had a seemingly responsible position in the Education Ministry could be so obtuse and delusional.

Despite having been told by the PLO’s top representative to the UN “over my dead body” when it was suggested to him that the PLO should recognize Israel, and an Intifada following the Oslo Accords, he still persists that Israel is at fault for the lack of peace between the Palestinians and Israel.

I applaud his efforts to get Israeli Jews and Arabs to know each other better, but I think that everything he tried after that showed that he had reached the limit of his capabilities.

If, as an educator, he looked at the textbooks being used in the areas controlled by the PLO and Hamas, he would understand who is really to blame for the current situation.

As Pat Frank wrote in Alas, Babylon, “It takes two to make a peace but only one to make a war.” Clearly, with the position held by the leaders of the Palestinians who are not citizens of Israel (I use that designation in accordance with Mr. Baskin’s definitions), there isn’t a second party that wants peace with Israel.

I believe that Mr. Baskin should go back to what he was good at and leave the rest of us, who do see things clearly, to muddle through on our own.


Petah Tikva

Bedrock guarantee

The indictment of Donald Trump represents a critical juncture in American democracy (“Trump risked national secrets, US prosecutors allege in indictment,” June 11).

It is inconceivable that Trump would have been indicted if he were not running for reelection. Echoing the odious Russia collusion hoax, the entrenched powers do not trust the electorate to make the “right” decision in 2024.

This is a transparent attempt by the Justice Department, FBI, and other government agencies, probably colluding with the White House, to prevent the American people from expressing their will.

Ironically, this action may have guaranteed Trump’s triumphing in the Republican primaries and possibly strengthened his chances of winning the general election. This perversion of the system of justice is so appalling that it has validated his accusations that “the swamp” is out to get him.

Introducing the indictment at a press conference, US Special Counsel Jack Smith asserted, “We have one set of laws in this country, and they apply to everybody.” Remember that Joe Biden took classified documents to which he had no legal right while senator and vice president, allegedly storing them for several years in numerous unsecured locations.

Further, it is no coincidence that this indictment was announced on the same day that the obstructionist FBI director finally allowed members of the House Oversight Committee to review a document credibly implicating Joe Biden and his son in an international bribery scheme. Trump stands accused while the Bidens walk free.

Trump allegedly asked one of his attorneys, “Wouldn’t it be better if we just told them we don’t have anything here?” Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton stored classified documents on a private server likely hacked by foreign adversaries. She allegedly destroyed over 30,000 documents rather than comply with a congressional subpoena.

Despite Clinton’s lying that none of them was classified, then-FBI director James Comey closed the investigation stating that “no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.” Apparently, this dispensation is available only to Democrats.

The government’s law enforcement apparatus has been weaponized to indict the leading opposition candidate to unseat the incumbent president.  More sinister than simple election interference, it is the unelected bureaucracy’s warning to all Americans: “If you dare to oppose us we will destroy you.”

Everyone, regardless of party affiliation, should be terrified. These developments nullify the bedrock guarantee of equality under the law as well as America’s standing as moral arbiter of the free world. We may be witnessing the devolution of a once great democracy into a totalitarian state à la China, Russia, and North Korea.


Zichron Ya’acov

Far more principled

It is distressing to read the article headlined “After indictment, 2024 GOP hopefuls rebuke Justice Department, not Trump” (June 11). This makes me wonder what has happened to the once far more principled Republican Party that had thoughtful moderates like Nelson Rockefeller, Jacob Javits and Clifford Case.

Now it seems willing to continue backing its former president even though he told over 30,000 lies during his administrations, continues to spread the “big lie” that he won the 2020 presidential election, despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, and evidently thinks he can get away with anything without losing the support of his dedicated base.

It is essential that he be properly punished for his many shameful actions so that future presidents will recognize that nobody, no matter how high their office, is above the law.



Ageist and sexist

Judy Siegel-Itzkovich’s article, “OECD: Israel Facing acute shortage of physicians” (June 2), points out in a succinct and well-documented fashion the causes of the stated problem.

As is often the case, part of the answer is within the stated problem. The article points to the problem of 50 percent of physicians approaching retirement. The obvious solution is to eliminate or elevate the mandatory retirement age for hospital work.

There is a reluctance to hire older physicians. Reasons have never really been adequately given for the 67-year-old (64 for women) retirement age for hospital work – not mandatory for work in a clinic.

It is ageist and sexist. If there is a concern over diminished quality of care due to the age of the physician, this can easily be resolved by testing, various forms of which have been put forward by reputable groups.

As a retired OB/GYN, recently having made aliyah, I have experienced this discrimination due to my age. I have even offered to volunteer part-time.

Having a great deal of knowledge and experience, many physicians in the targeted age group have a lot to offer in terms of patient care and teaching of doctors in training. While I did my three-month hospital adaptation phase to transfer my board certification to Israel, several problems I observed could be helped by experienced physicians, often from other countries.

Yes, there is a “brain drain” of physicians to other countries but it works both ways. There are several issues built into the system which negatively contribute to the phenomenon of physicians leaving. Over the last few years, I have observed the health system’s and government’s disingenuous lamenting of a physician shortage with no real solutions developed.

It is not that difficult. The people of Israel deserve the highest quality of patient care in a timely and caring manner.



Nothing to negotiate

Amotz Asa-El, in “Mr. Putin: Stop this war” (June 9), demonstrates that he does not understand who Putin is. Otherwise, after what Putin has done to the Ukrainians, Asa-El would not write: “One meeting, Mr. President, one meeting with Ukraine’s leader can stop the bloodbath and reboot your situation. One meeting, after which the two of you will jointly order a ceasefire, launch a humanitarian rescue operation, and start diplomatic talks that will take years to produce peace but minutes to undo war.”

Zelensky will not negotiate with Putin for the similar reason Netanyahu will not negotiate with Iran – there is nothing to negotiate about. Iran wants to destroy Israel, Putin wants to destroy Ukraine. Ukraine knows that unless Russia withdraws to the 1991 borders, nothing will have changed and Putin would just wait until he is ready to attack again.

Perhaps Asa-El does not realize what the Russian general staff has been considering. Yuri Fedorov is one of the best military experts and what he said was shocking. The Russians had decided to use more drastic means to stop the Ukrainian counteroffensive since they realized that they cannot stop the Ukrainians by military means.

Freezing Ukrainians in the winter by destroying their electrical infrastructure and forcing them to negotiate on Russia’s terms did not work. The other crazy idea, which has been under consideration for more than a year, is to attack the cascade of hydroelectric dams on the Dnieper by using passenger airliners like the Il-62 or Tu-154, not in use because of the sanctions, fill them up with 18 tons of explosives and target the dams.

Dictators should not be appeased. Churchill spent his wilderness years 1929-1939 trying to get the message across. Some have still not heard it 80 years on.