Letters to the editor, June 19, 2023: Whitewash of an apology

Readers of The Jerusalem Post have their say.

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

Whitewash of an apology

Regarding “Ryanair CEO apologizes for attendant saying flight to TA is landing in Palestine” (June 18): It is not possible that an announcement stating that Tel Aviv is in Palestine was merely a mistake. It has all the hallmarks of intent, and this whitewash of an apology from the Ryanair CEO is truly offensive.

Have they questioned the person’s political affiliations? Possibly not as it would likely fall foul of their HR policies, etc. What further comments can and should be made I must leave to those best informed on the subject and its implications going forward. 

However, if accepted it all smacks of turning the other cheek to avert an international incident and no doubt any relevant business ramifications.


Tel Aviv

File photo of passangers leaving a Ryanair aircraft at Modlin airport near Warsaw, Poland June 26, 2014.  (credit: REUTERS)
File photo of passangers leaving a Ryanair aircraft at Modlin airport near Warsaw, Poland June 26, 2014. (credit: REUTERS)

More respect and dignity

Regarding “A little respect and courtesy may go a long way” (June 16): Ruth Wasserman Lande needs only look at the previous page of the same day’s newspaper to find the cause and the solution to the problem. Andrea Samuels, in “The end of an era,” explains the reason: a lack of discipline in the school system.

It appears to me that parents have far too much control over the teachers, especially those whose children are probably the cause of the unruliness in the classes. Instead of the teachers telling the parents that if they know better, they should teach their children themselves and take them out of the school, the teachers must cower to the parents’ demands.

You can see the difference between the religious MKs, who come from a more strictly controlled school system and as such show more respect and dignity when dealing with or talking to or about their fellow MKs, and the non-religious MKs.



Love and unbreakable bonds

Wow, wow, wow: Finally, Adam Milstein with his amazing, provocative, Israel-positive article, “Changing the narrative” (June 15), shows the Post readers who is a proactive go-getter for Israel. What a true Zionist and “collaborator” he is with words, action, and vision.

In the past few months, especially since the election of a far-Right government, we’ve been inundated with articles describing our descent into dictatorship, autocracy and “colonization of the land.” They are, however, some of the more benign descriptions of our country’s possible demise, sad as that sounds.

Well, Mr. Milstein turned that conjecture right on its head. There are some Jews of the Diaspora, however, who fail to see the true miracle of the Jewish state’s founding and growth. Being outside of Israel, they may have difficulty connecting with their Jewishness and therefore connecting with Israel. They are the ones we need to focus on to further the narrative that “Israel’s existence, its persistence, and its unparalleled resistance are miraculous.”


He further acknowledges that we need to press home the importance of bolstering and increasing the flow of Jewish groups, especially the youth, to the land and inculcate them with love and unbreakable bonds, showcasing our history and shared values. Hopefully, they will become emissaries for Israel in the Diaspora.

Because there are those outside of Israel who have adopted and fostered antisemitism, Israel must go on the offense, and take “the war to the turf of the enemy.” We must not apologize for our Jewishness, and teach our children the same, as well as getting our story out there, proudly and truthfully. This way we will maintain the correct narrative and be much more proactive, rather than reactive.

Keep writing these bold articles Mr. Milstein and make sure to get it published in as many papers as possible. Your positive, compelling take on an extremely important subject is proof of a true Zionist lover of Israel. We needed this inspiring wake-up call. We needed to hear that we’re still strong, democratic, peace-loving, and proud of what we’ve accomplished.



Societal or moral good

Eliyahu Federman’s “Israeli settlements can also help Palestinians” (June 14) was both poignant and condescending. Mr. Federman certainly meant well by pointing out that his murdered cousin, Meir, was beloved by his Palestinian neighbors and did not represent the stereotypical settler.

It very well could be that people like Meir and his Palestinian friends could lead us on a path to peace. But to imply that the settlement enterprise in general is good for the Palestinians because it helps them economically is akin to saying that slavery was good for the blacks in the US South because it provided them with food and shelter.

An incidental economic benefit is not necessarily representative of a societal or moral good. Real peace requires reciprocal empathy, a mutual acknowledgment of peoplehood and justice and fairness for all.


Beit Shemesh

Aggressive counsel

It should come as no surprise that political commentator Douglas Bloomfield continues with his years-long attack on the former president and current presidential candidate, in “Donald Trump and the purloined papers” (June 15). True to form, there is no mention in the column of current incumbent Joe Biden, either by way of his poor performance, or by his seeming continuing decline in mental acuity.

Recent days have shown evidence from credible FBI witnesses of bribes in the millions of dollars to Biden and many of his family members from Ukrainian businessmen in return for positive policy decisions, and Bloomfield is silent on these allegations. 

In announcing his indictment against Trump, Special Counsel Jack Smith incredulously lectured the US people: “We have one set of laws in this country, and they apply to everyone”. Former Democratic leaders have been fingered with similar offenses, but yet skate free. Hillary Clinton, as secretary of state, was forced under subpoena to release the contents of her private server, yet the hard drive was “acid washed” and hammered allegedly to avoid revelations.

Obama’s attorney-general gave her the all clear on this. Clinton has even reappeared on Twitter in recent days to gloat over Trump’s current woes, promoting her “But Her Emails” cap. Then there is Joe Biden, who as senator and then as vice president, had top secret documents scattered in multiple locations, with the FBI permitting his personal lawyers to vet them without oversight.

All of this smacks of two tiers of justice, one for Democrats and another for Trump. In three presidential campaigns, Trump has been the target of attacks. The first was in 2016 over the Russian collusion charge, which has now been totally refuted in the recently released Durham report, followed by the outcome of the 2020 presidential election being affected by the false narrative of the Hunter Biden laptop being Russian disinformation, neither of which facts is discredited by the columnist.

Of the 37 counts brought by Special Counsel Smith [full disclosure, no relative of the letter writer], the majority of them were brought under the 1917 Espionage Act. This act was brought into effect as the US was entering World War I, with the intent of discouraging anti-war dissent. Nothing in Smith’s indictments speaks to espionage or treason by Trump, these being the main points of the act. On the other hand the fairly recent Presidential Records Act, which would seem to cover the matters at hand, is not used at all.

Part of the evidence against Trump was obtained from his lawyers, which is usually covered by the protection of client-lawyer confidentiality, which is a right, except in extreme circumstances. Also a group going by the name of The 65 Project is aggressively attacking prospective lawyers for Trump, by a variety of ploys, to discourage them from defending him. (For fact checking, please refer to the Dershowitz piece in the Gladstone Institute.)

One of the fundamental rights of American citizens is the right to aggressive counsel, which right was not lost to the Unabomber or to O. J. Simpson. And so it seems that the intent is to take Trump out at any cost, with a recent poll showing that around half of Americans agree that this trial is politically motivated.

As with Special Counsel Jack Smith for the Trump documents, a special counsel was also appointed regarding the Biden documents. Robert Hur hasn’t been heard of since his appointment by the Dem’s Attorney General Merrick Garland back in January. Anyone figure this out?



Possible war

Regarding “Western official: New Iran deal meant to stop Israeli attack” (June 18), it is very important that diplomacy succeeds and Iran not be attacked for several reasons.

Iran’s nuclear facilities are widely scattered, heavily reinforced, and deeply underground, so there is no guarantee that attacking them would be successful. It might set back Iran’s nuclear possibilities by only a few years and would incentivize Iran to develop nuclear weapons to discourage future attacks.

Attacking Iran would likely result in a surge in oil prices, greatly worsening economic conditions and likely causing a worldwide recession.

It would also likely result in increased terrorism, widespread missile attacks from Iran proxies that would damage many Israeli cities, and a possible war with Iran.

It was a major blunder for former US president Trump, in response to strong pleading by Prime Minister Netanyahu, to pull out of the 2015 agreement. Iran is now much closer to obtaining a nuclear weapon and is in a much better bargaining position.

Many retired Israeli military and strategic experts support a US return to the nuclear agreement as the best approach for Israel’s security.

Of course Iranian statements and actions should continue to be condemned and strong sanctions against Iran should be continued until their behavior greatly improves.



No clear separation

Regarding “Beware of rushing into a US-style constitution” (June 14): The headline did not seem to match the article which seemed to be a comprehensive review of various constitutional principles without coming to any conclusions. I suspect it was heavily edited to fit the space available (editor’s note: incorrect).

In fact there were a number of points which seemed to suggest that Israel needs a constitution if only to prevent the Supreme Court from making the rules up as it goes, to match its political inclinations; one of the government’s main objections to the current situation.

In Israel, there is no clear separation between the executive and legislative branches of government, and lacking an adequate constitutional framework, the powers of the Supreme Court seem to be whatever they define it to be. The purely proportional system for election to the Knesset virtually ensures an unstable government which is generally subject to the whims of minor parties for survival.

The situation cries out for the complete development of a constitution similar to the one in the US.

I would favor a bicameral system: one house, the “house of the people,” elected proportionately, and a second, the “house of the land,” elected on a constituency basis. The chief executive should be elected in a separate election, as is the president of the US, by popular vote. He or she could then select whomever is best suited for the various ministries; but would be limited to eight years in office.

Supreme Court justices would be selected by the executive branch, but would have to be approved by the house of the land. Once approved, they could remain until retirement at 75, thus ensuring the independence of the court.

All legislation would have to be passed by both houses and signed by the chief executive before becoming law. Basic laws including those defining individual human rights would have to be passed by both houses by a super majority and signed by the chief executive.

The annual budget would have to be approved by both houses and signed by the chief executive.

Such a constitution would ensure stable government, protect individual rights and provide suitable representation for all the various tribes in the Israeli democracy.


Ma’aleh Adumim