Regarding “US report on human trafficking says Israel failed to meet basic standards” (June 20): The US government has delivered a veritable blizzard of criticisms of Israel, all of which are overblown or even flat-out false. It seems that the Biden-Harris administration’s fulminating hatred of Israel is starting to overcome any considerations of diplomacy or truth.
It is ludicrous for the US to criticize Israel for an inadequate effort to eradicate human trafficking. The Biden-Harris administration has permitted Mexican drug cartels to take control of the country’s southern border, and to flood the US with millions of illegal immigrants. A significant fraction of these people are being trafficked, yet this administration says and does nothing about this humanitarian disaster, in part because it is too busy criticizing Israel.
It is ludicrous for the Biden-Harris administration to criticize Israel for building homes for Jews in the Jewish homeland. Article 80 of the United Nations Charter designates all of Israel, Judea, Samaria and Gaza as territories belonging to the Jewish state. Such criticism amounts to a policy of apartheid, insisting that because Palestinians want these territories, Jews should be ethnically cleansed from them. I thought that ethnic cleansing of Jews and stealing their property was an idea defeated in 1945, yet now the Biden-Harris fanatics seek to reanimate it.
It is ludicrous for the Biden-Harris administration, the EU or anyone else to criticize Israel’s actions to eliminate Palestinian terrorists and terrorism emanating from Jenin. This administration deliberately violates the 2018 Taylor Force Act prohibiting US funding of the Palestinian Authority if it supports terrorism, as the Palestinian Authority's “Pay for Slay” program continues while we give them hundreds of millions of dollars annually.
It seems that for the Biden-Harris administration, if the day ends in “y” it’s a good day to unjustly criticize Israel. However, these people, who live in the very rickety glass house that is in the US today, should not be throwing rhetorical stones.
DANIEL H. TRIGOBOFF
Wash the windows
Like many people living in Israel, I have to ponder one of the pressing questions at this time of the year: No, not judicial reform, but whether to wash the windows before the onset of the dry season, or whether we will have an early summer rain? As we know, we had several rainfalls through the first half of June, not just the odd sprinkle but enough to flow in the gutters, and accompanied by significant thunder activity.
While any rain is welcome here, I did ask myself at the time if the climate warriors would claim this for their side. I was therefore happy to read the article “Thunderstorms in June? Why it’s raining” (June 15) which explained that while this was unusual, it could not be explained as global warming; this from a real scientist, Hadas Saaroni, a climatologist at the Porter School of the Environment and Earth Sciences at Tel Aviv University.
Saaroni continued to say that similar events were experienced in 1992, 1978, 1965, and 1957 and that climate change can only be determined over a long series of events.
This is in stark contrast to the climate alarmists, many of whom are not scientists in any related field, who give us dire warnings of catastrophic rises in sea levels in the next two decades, enough to swamp much of Tel Aviv; or that life as we know it will end unless US taxpayers cough up many trillions of dollars to sponsor the famous congresswoman’s Green New Deal.
Regarding “Government creates a fast track for settlement building; PA, Jordan furious” (June 19): Once again the world leaders and our closest allies have reared the ugly head of anti-Israel rhetoric. Building residential housing for Jews has become a rallying cry the world over; the poor Palestinians.
Where was the hysteria in 2005 when the democratic State of Israel made a gut-wrenching decision to evacuate every Jew from Gaza, all 8,700 of them, most forcibly? They did it for the sake of peace. The Arabs were to begin the process of establishing a state. Infrastructure was left intact for that goal.
The Arabs destroyed all the infrastructure and established a state of terror with no intention of appreciating the opportunity. Where is the hysteria about the thousands of rockets stockpiled in Gaza and used against the tiny Jewish state?Where is the hysteria for the Jewish brothers, sisters, mothers, and fathers who have been murdered by Arabs during these past few months in a wave of terror?
There used to be glorious Jewish communities in Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Egypt, and Sudan. They no longer exist.Six million Jews were butchered during the Holocaust. Many more were maimed and orphaned. They all lived in beautiful Jewish communities.Israel doesn’t have to apologize to anyone for building housing for its people.
Israeli communities in Area C of Judea and Samaria (under full Israeli control per the Oslo Accords) are not the reason that the conflict with the Palestinians remains unresolved. In fact, businesses in those communities should be lauded for employing both Israeli and Palestinian workers and serving both Israeli and Palestinian consumers.
Those businesses are the first step toward achieving the Israeli vision of two states for two peoples, a Palestinian state coexisting with the nation-state of the Jews, with members of minority groups having full civil rights in their country of residence. Sadly, that isn’t the goal Palestinian leaders are striving to reach.
They seek a Jew-free Palestinian state and a Muslim-majority Israel, populated by “Palestine refugees,” millions of people claiming descent from Arabs who fled Palestine during Arab-initiated violence in the 1940’s; people who have grown up in UNRWA camps, being taught that killing Jews is a Muslim’s ticket to Heaven.
Instead of complaining about Jews building homes on the land of religious and historic significance to them, anyone seeking improvements in the lives of the people living under the administration of Hamas and the Palestinian Authority should be urging Palestinian leaders to end their efforts to defame and dismantle the Jewish state, and begin working on building a state in which their people (including the Palestine refugees) can become productive citizens.
TOBY F. BLOCK
The long shadow
The article by Stephen M. Flatow headlined “No nurseries for Jewish babies?” (June 18) makes the statement that “there is not one word in the Oslo I accord of 1993, or the Oslo II agreement of 1995, that prohibits Israeli construction in the 60% of Judea-Samaria that Israel controls.” He then asks why the Biden administration is demanding that Israel cease settlement activity if this prohibition cannot be found in any agreement that Israel has ever signed with any Arab government.
Unfortunately, the Biden administration is largely staffed by people who adhere to the policies promoted by former President Obama. Obama’s ideas on the Israeli-Palestinian situation were a priority issue in his first foreign policy speech delivered at a university in Egypt.
He stated that “for more than sixty years [the Palestinians] have endured the pain of dislocation. Many wait in refugee camps in the West Bank, Gaza, and neighboring lands for a life of peace and security that they have never been able to lead. They endure the daily humiliations – large and small – that come with occupation. So let there be no doubt: the situation for the Palestinian people is intolerable.”
Obama then stated that he intended to “personally pursue” a two-state solution “with all the patience that the task requires.”
On December 23, 2016, just weeks before Obama’s eight years as President would end, Obama took full advantage of a situation in the UN Security Council to promote his strong support for the Palestinians. He refused to exercise America’s veto power over UN Security Resolution 2334. The resolution passed 14-0 with America abstaining.
UN Resolution 2334 “reaffirms that the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace.”
The resolution then demanded, “that Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and that it fully respect all of its legal obligations in this regard.”
The long shadow of Obama’s pro-Palestinian outlook still dominates the State Department. This is why the Biden administration is opposed to Jewish settlements in Judea-Samaria. In refusing to veto UN Security Council Resolution 2334, Obama was clearly trying to create a Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital, with borders based upon the armistice lines prior to the Six-Day War in June 1967.
Despite Obama’s intellectual brilliance, his understanding of the Middle East has proven to be naive at best, and disastrous at worst.
Thank you very much for publishing the article “Love without borders” (June 19) to introduce the captivating exhibition of Taiwan’s indigenous artist Yosifu Kacaw at the Design Terminal in Bat Yam, which marks 30 years of cooperative relations and friendship between Taiwan and Israel.
Unfortunately, an error crept into that article and I would like to clarify that the country that the artist presents is ROC, and it is well known as Taiwan.
YA PING (ABBY) LEE
Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Tel Aviv
Ready to pull together
The news that the Knesset would, again, be voting on legislation to monitor domestic abusers (“Cabinet moves electronic bracelet bill for abusers to Knesset,” June 19) proves that our disjointed government is ready to pull together when the cause is just.
While I was not surprised that the compromises agreed to be reasonable and purposeful, I was not expecting National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir to provide a cogent argument that protection from intentional miscarriages of justice must be included in the law. Fabricating charges and testimony against a spouse as a means of revenge or hatred is not unheard of; Ben-Gvir was quite right in pointing out that a balance between the prevention of domestic violence and the rejection of false accusations is nothing less than crucial. I was also pleased to see that there is apparently no opposition to giving the courts when deemed necessary, the authority to circumvent the provisions of the proposed legislation.
More interestingly, where are the haredim on this issue? They disdain to display dirty, domestic laundry in public, preferring to handle such matters within the confines of their community. Will haredi abusers, too, be required to have their movements monitored, or have they demanded some exemption or alternative as payment for supporting the legislation?
And just out of curiosity, is there a comparable protocol to protect Israel’s most vulnerable population group – children? I’d like to think that convicted pedophiles and violent-prone teachers and nannies are being similarly tracked and monitored.
When faced with an abusive spouse, adults, after all, can fight back, call the police, or scream for help. Children are, for the most part, helpless. And while monitoring bracelets cannot hermetically protect them from acts of sexual perversion or violence, they are most certainly better than nothing.
Teach our children
Ruth Wasserman Lande, in her article “A little respect and courtesy may go a long way” (June 16), has highlighted the horrendous lack of respect among some, not all, of our citizenry, but did not expound on those she cited. I’ll try.As I’ve written before, some behaviors are innate but most are learned. When children see parents and relatives talking and acting disrespectfully, that becomes their learned example of how to proceed in life.
Israeli children call teachers by their first name; not in America. Israeli children yell and scream while walking in the streets after 12 midnight; again, rare in America, because police would be called and respond.
And in the public sphere, especially government, look at the faces of MKs contorting with rage as they attempt to shout above all in the Knesset plenum; the US chambers of Congress, while not always quiet, would never tolerate such behavior.
So, with just the above few examples, why should we expect grown-up adults to be any different than what they’ve learned as children? There are no law-enforcement measures in place for hazardous road driving, with motorcycles leading the way to death, let alone no enforcement for simple parking issues such as parking on sidewalks and blocking foot traffic.
Because of these phenomena, we must teach our children respect for parents and elders, respect for teachers, and respect for each other. We have to step back somewhat to the “old days,” when no child or adult for that matter, would speak to others without a modicum of deference, cordiality, and kindness.
There should be in place a requirement that all public employees: police, government, teachers, etc., take courses in customer service with an emphasis on esteemed dialogue and actions. It would have to be a prerequisite for entrance into any of the public sector jobs, and should also address anger management.
In addition, the prime minister must reign in the rhetoric and actions of those in the government that are out of control. He must take back the road to which he promised he would navigate and make sure the functioning of the government reflects the dignity of its members, starting at the top.
With all these suggestions, let’s hope that Israel and its people will heed the call for courtesy and respect and act like the responsible adults they should be.