Letters to the Editor July 12, 2023: New kind of democracy

Readers of The Jerusalem Post have their say.

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

New kind of democracy

Regarding “Protesters take to streets for nationwide demonstrations today” (July 11): If we have the Supreme Court to decide what legislation is reasonable or not, then why bother with democracy at all?  Forget all the ballyhoo about elections, let the justices decide; they know what’s best for us.

Also why bother with elections when we can have the leftist mob decide what’s good for us too? They can declare they are democratic and we can do away with the whole messy apparatus of elections; a new kind of democracy called autocracy.



Demonstrations used to mean a widely publicized event, often with live performances, held in the central square of a city with minimal disruption for those with better things to do. Now protesters are harassing the spouses and children of their political opponents, and engaging in spontaneous wildcat mob protests aimed at disrupting the lives of the general public, who did not get a vote to decide that they should be compelled to sit in traffic or not reach Ben-Gurion Airport for their long awaited (and expensive) trip abroad.

Have the protesters not stopped in their zeal to think why their ever-escalating shenanigans go unopposed by the police? Perhaps they are playing into Bibi’s plan of presenting a stark choice to Israelis of his way or anarchy, in a similar style to Orban or Putin. 



I think it is important and commendable that protesters take to the streets for nationwide demonstrations. I am aware of the great inconveniences and even dangers this poses to many Israelis. As I write this on Tuesday morning, I wonder if I will be able to attend the Whole Food Plant Based conference scheduled for the afternoon in Jerusalem, that I have been looking forward to for weeks, or even if it will have to be rescheduled.

However, when the most extreme, unreasonable government in Israel’s history tries to take away the Supreme Court’s ability to declare unreasonable actions unreasonable, taking away a main check on governmental overreach, greatly weakening the foundations of Israeli democracy, then protests, even with the unfortunate negatives, must be continued.

Many Israeli jurists have long warned against the proposed legislation. They include attorneys-general and presidents of the Supreme Court, and there has also been widespread opposition from Israel’s economic and hi-tech leaders and many world leaders.

Hopefully, Prime Minister Netanyahu and his governing coalition will recognize the great harm that their proposals are causing to our entire nation and will work with the opposition to create legislation that a strong majority of Israelis will support. 



Abbas’s antisemitism

Regarding “Biden: Israeli gov’t is ‘one of most extreme’ in 50 years” (July 10): How Joe Biden, a US president who has often stated that Israel’s security is sacrosanct, is able to state that he is “one of those who believes Israel’s ultimate security rests in a two-state solution,” despite all the evidence that Israel’s security is the last thing in the mind, heart and plans of Mahmoud Abbas and his ilk, defies one’s imagination.

If the president is unaware of what Abbas states in Arabic when addressing an Arabic-speaking audience, may I humbly suggest that he ask Hady Amr, who he appointed last year to be the US special representative for Palestinian affairs, to access the evidence of Abbas’s antisemitism, masked as anti-Zionist occupation of Palestine, which Itamar Marcus – the founder of Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) – presented at this month’s Pulse of Israel Conference in Jerusalem.

Said Abbas: “Jews were subjected to massacres by some state every 10 to 15 years from the 11th century until the Holocaust… Why did this happen?...The hatred of the Jews is… due to their social role that was connected to usury, and banks, and so forth” (official PA TV, April 30, 2018).

Palestinian journalist from Jordan Muhammad Al-Burini, of Abbas’s ilk, has referred to the Holocaust as “truly fabricated” (official PA TV, Talk of the Hour, June 8, 2023). No, President Biden: Abbas and his PA do not want a negotiated peaceful two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The unpalatable truth is that the PA/PLO/Fatah’s plan, just like the undeniably clearly spelled-out ultimate aim of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah, Iran, and others, is the destruction of Israel; the wiping of Israel off the face of the map.



Don’t want to share

Apparently, extremism is in the eye of the beholder. And President Biden considers it “extreme” for Israelis to feel that they should be able to build on land that is of religious and historic importance to Jews; land that was liberated from two decades of illegal Jordanian occupation only after Jordan, allied with Egypt and Syria in a war, openly instigated with the intention of destroying the Jewish state and annihilating her people.

Never mind that Israel has offered to share the land with the Palestinians only to have proposals from left-wing, centrist, and right-wing prime ministers refused because Palestinian leaders don’t want to share the land – they want it all, from the river to the sea.

Yet, President Biden doesn’t think it is extreme for Arab and Palestinian leaders to have refused to rehabilitate Arabs who fled (Arab-initiated) violence in the 1940s and to have condemned the descendants of those Arabs to remain in refugee limbo for generations through a UN agency which abets Palestinian leaders in teaching these Palestine refugees that killing Jews is a Muslim’s ticket to Heaven.

All the while, the leadership also demands that the “refugees” remain on the world’s dole until Israel gives the “refugees” the homes which the “refugees” claim their parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents lost when the State of Israel was established in the Jews’ ancestral homeland.



Vote with their feet

Regarding “BIG shopping centers to join Tuesday’s protest” (July 10): Note that this is only the first reading of the current “Reasonableness Standard” legislation and there is still some way to go through the legislative process before it can become a law.

Yet BIG’s controlling owners and management have decided that they can prejudice all their tenants and all the customers who shop at their centers. 

It seems that their shops would have a legal right to keep their doors open to protect their businesses. Furthermore, customers who are prevented from shopping on Tuesday will vote with their feet and shop elsewhere, perhaps never to return to a BIG shopping center.

One wonders whether BIG’s directors have really thought through the consequences of their actions, and whether as a public company they are fulfilling their primary responsibilities to their tenants, customers and shareholders.



Totally mixed

I read with interest Jonathan Schanzer’s account of his Friday night sojourn in the ER at Shaare Zedek Medical Center due to a broken leg (“Breaking a leg in Jerusalem,” July 10). 

Schanzer waxed eloquent about the care he received from a cadre of Arab doctors and attributed the ethnic diversity of the staff to the fact that it was the Jewish Sabbath. However, it should be pointed out, that on any day of the week in any Jerusalem hospital, the medical and nursing staff is totally mixed including Arabs, Jews and others. So I am gratified that he saw fit to repudiate in his column the canard that Israel is an apartheid state.

I can understand his frustration at not being able to obtain crutches to use until his flight that night although he admits being able to get about with the help of a wheelchair, until his friend bought him a set in Ramallah. He frets over what he perceives as the Sabbath shutdown, although his own experiences belie that worry. I also wonder how easy it would have been for him to obtain the crutches immediately on his arrival in the States on a Sunday morning.

It should also be noted, that not only are emergency services, such as Hatzalah, available all day on the Sabbath, but even Sabbath observant doctors and nurses will arrive in hospitals for their shifts with the help of rabbinically-approved vans, driven by non-Jewish drivers.  I wish Schanzer a speedy recovery, and hope that he returns soon to explore, sans broken leg, the ethnic diversity, not only in our hospitals, but in our universities, museums, malls, and cultural institutions.


Beit Shemesh

Warm relationship

I was surprised that Mark Regev’s article “The growth of an alliance: Inflection points in US-Israel ties” (July 7) omitted any mention of president Lyndon Johnson. He was arguably the most friendly US president toward Israel. It was during his tenure that Levi Eshkol became the first Israeli prime minister to be granted an official state visit to Washington, in 1964. The two statesmen established a warm relationship which stood Israel in good stead in the difficult period before, during and after the Six Day War in 1967.

Johnson was also the first US president to agree to supply Israel with offensive weapons including A-4 Skyhawk aircraft and Patton tanks. Shortly before his term ended in 1969, Johnson signed an agreement for the sale to Israel of 50 Phantom F-4 jets which was of vital importance to Israel as France, hitherto Israel’s prime supplier of fighter aircraft, had imposed an arms embargo on Israel in the wake of the 1967 War. 



Antisemitic bilge

The article “BBC anchor accuses: ‘IDF happy to kill children’” (July 6), by Zvika Klein and Sam Halpern, highlighting a BBC anchor’s take on the Jenin offensive, was appalling and vile.

There is no question in my mind, at this later stage of my life, that the majority of the world is antisemitic. They can couch words, sentences, and speeches in any kind of language, including diplomatic and journalistic, and the same bile comes through.

The “host” of this deplorable interview, Anjana Gadgil was determined to get former prime minister Naftali Bennett, her “guest,” to admit that the Israeli military staged this operation for the sole purpose of killing innocent children, ages 16 to 18.

That these midget-sized killers were armed to the hilt with knives and or guns, when they set out from their homes, to kill a few Jews here or there, apparently skipped her recollection; as did the reality that these boys and girls have been raised from birth on hatred for Jews, and that the mantra that the only good Jew is a dead Jew is their calling card to the world.

Bennett was shocked, but came back at her with the incontrovertible truth that only terrorists were killed, and their ages held no sway with the IDF when identifying them as terrorists. 

How the world can look at Israel as the aggressor in all arenas of our existence is mind boggling. We don’t stand a chance to turn the tides of hatred unless we systematically up the ante on our public relations. We must counter every antisemitic article, speech, and protest with the strongest rebuttals possible. 

Forget politeness, forget diplomacy, and push forward our agendas of who we are and in what we believe – the freedom to live our lives peacefully on our land. We don’t owe anyone any portion of this land nor any explanation as to why we don’t.

After 3000 years and the shorter 75 years of the State of Israel, the Jews have finally fought back, reconquered our land, and established a hi-tech, global behemoth for our people. That automatically gives us footing on more solid ground to move forward. 

All should take heed of how former prime minister Bennett responded to the ignorant woman interviewer and respond similarly when faced with antisemitic bilge from others. Antisemitism must be eradicated at all cost and on all fronts.