Letters to the Editor July 17, 2023: Pure evil

Readers of The Jerusalem Post have their say.

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

Pure evil

Regarding “Swedish Torah burning threat was false alarm, but FM warns of future events” (July 16): There is only one word for Sweden’s decision to permit the burning of the Torah – evil, pure evil. And when a society makes an evil choice like this, whoever in Sweden doesn’t actively oppose it is also evil.

Silence is acquiescence. I never imagined that I would see this degree of evil during my lifetime. God help the world to actively fight against this terrible evil.

The fact that the person who asked for permission to burn the Torah did not end up doing the burning, thank God, does not at all diminish the evil of Sweden granting that permission. Any country that officially sanctions this evil is itself evil, period. And it will remain evil until it officially renounces its terrible decision, and apologizes for it.


Ramat Beit Shemesh

I think that the Swedish sense of “the right to free speech and demonstration” has sunk to an all-time low and has reached the dregs at the bottom of the barrel. In your report, you note that the intended perpetrator said he was only trying to “throw a spotlight on the Swedish laws that allow for such events to take place.”

Well, if that is indeed the case, he is to be lauded for this courageous act. If we give him the benefit of the doubt and do not say that this was an ex-post-facto attempt to whitewash his vicious machinations, it indeed highlights the basic flaw now being brought to the fore in the liberal policies of the Western world.

Yes, we do have rights, freedom of speech, of religion, of thought and personal privacy. But jurisprudential philosophy dictates very clearly that where there are rights, there are corresponding duties. The individual in exercising his rights has the moral obligation and duty to use them well for the common good.

Liberalism in its present-day extreme form has forgotten about this corollary.



Lighten the color

Israeli presidents have spoken before the two houses of the US Congress in the past, so Mr. Herzog’s upcoming address is not quite setting a precedent. Except, of course, the air in the rotunda this time will be somewhat frostier than it has been for previous presidents. And Bibi is not exactly helping warm things up (“Netanyahu sets redlines for Herzog before White House visit,” July 14).

The Israeli position with regard to Iran is no secret, but the red lines that the prime minister has drawn in the sand would best be discussed in a one-on-one framework rather than in front of some 600 legislators, many of whom would like nothing more than an excuse to further aggravate the already dismal relations between Washington and Jerusalem. Israel, I don’t believe, is in any position to demand that there be “no surprises” with regard to policies and protocols.

And as to the first red line, well, is Israel quietly advising the Americans that blue-and-white military action is by no means unthinkable? The two messages spoken in the wrong venue can have disastrous results.

I trust that President Herzog will lighten the color of those two lines when he addresses the members of the House and Senate. He is an excellent speaker and an accomplished diplomat who understands that a pick and shovel is not infrequently more efficient than a bulldozer. A negotiated agreement with Iran will undoubtedly prove to be Biden’s folly, which means that a military confrontation with Iran is all but inevitable.

Mr. Herzog’s mission will be to ensure that the United States respects our position that a nuclear Iran is altogether unacceptable. Bibi’s red lines will most assuredly find expression in the not-too-distant future, but President Herzog, in his remarks this week, should present something more pinkish to represent friendship and cooperation rather than crimson belligerence.


Ginot Shomron

Take precautions

Global warming is here now, and seeing news items of crowds from Athens to Arizona going around without wearing hats is amazing. Now our esteemed prime minister suffered as a result of being hatless and surprisingly not drinking water (“Netanyahu passes out, to remain in hospital overnight: PM said he had spent several hours at Sea of Galilee without a hat or water during heat wave,” July 16).

Although Israel is not as hot as some countries, people should still take precautions and wearing a hat is imperative.

 Apparently, men’s fashion in America followed the style of the president, but because of  John Kennedy’s vanity regarding his hair he did not sport a hat. (In movies of the 1940s and ‘50s,  male characters wore fedoras.)

As Noel Coward sang: “Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.” People, take heed. A cool Panama hat worn at a rakish angle could set a new fashion trend set by the prime minister.


Kfar Saba

A callow disregard

Regarding “Ilhan Omar: ‘No way in hell’ I’ll attend Herzog speech to Congress” (July 14): So, Ilhan Omar, the politicaster Democratic US congresswoman from Michigan, stated last week that there was “no way in hell” that she would attend the speech to Congress by Israel’s president.

Well gee, thank goodness; that settles the problem for me, because, “no way in hell do I care,” and am thrilled she won’t be in the same chamber as our president.

This contemptible, slanderous, malevolent woman has been at the forefront of blood libels, antisemitic attempts at BDS activity, some even within the halls of the US Congress, and continuing attempts to defund Israel. Those include allocations earmarked in budgets for Israel’s security needs.

She has had the audacity to display a callow disregard for the sacrosanctity of the halls of government, peddling her slanderous dialogue about “the Jews” and how many Arabs they have killed. Of course, she fails to mention that these Arab terrorist murderers have been on rampage after rampage, killing Jews, young and old.

In addition, this incompetent “lawmaker” has jumped into the fray of American interference in internal Israeli governmental affairs by chiding us on our judicial reform; yet if pressed on the matter, I’m sure she would not be able to say what the reforms are.

Some of this more recent animosity toward Israel is due to a 2019 Israeli government decision barring her and fellow “Squad” antisemite Rashida Tlaib from entering Israel, because of their ongoing advocacy of boycotting Israel through BDS, and their association with a group that supported terrorism against Israel.

So all in all, it’ll be a good day for President Herzog when he addresses Congress, without having to face off with one of the most vile of antisemites to be roaming the corridors of America’s Congress. America needs to take note of this, especially when attempting to rein in antisemitism and all acts of violence.

When America’s house is in perfect order and free of bias and hatefulness, then and only then, can America preach to other nations, not one day before.



Setting a good example

I admit it; I’m old-fashioned. I’m nearly 90-years-old. I lived in London for 77 years before making aliyah. Though it was long ago, I still remember taking care of my children, teaching them to be well-behaved, making sure that they learned respect, and that they did as they were told.

I was therefore astounded at the article by Andrea Samuels, “Should children be taken to demonstrations?” (July 14). Submitting the children to possible danger is something that caring parents should never undertake. I understand that it is sometimes difficult to leave them behind, but a friend or relative could perhaps be requested to keep them safe for an agreed upon amount of time.

I also feel that it is not setting a good example to teach that if you don’t like something, you just protest. At a young age, they will not understand about fighting for democracy.


Tel Mond 

Will of the party

Amotz Asa-El’s article “The truth about disengagement” (July 14) is, at least in one small but significant detail, the truth but not the whole truth. He writes that the disengagement from Gaza “was conceived and executed not by the Left, but by Likud.”

Ariel Sharon was indeed elected on the Likud ticket, but the disengagement –  far from reflecting the clear will of the party – forced Sharon to give up on the Likud and to instead form a party of his own, Kadima, reinforcing his remaining Likud supporters by bringing in Shimon Peres and other non-Likud figures.

It’s widely supposed to this day that Sharon disengaged from Gaza not for national strategic reasons but for personal reasons, believing that he could trade settlements away in return for the stifling of chatter about his alleged corruption.



Zero tolerance

Avi Hoffman’s opening paragraph in his article “Pushed by a policeman” (July 13) says it all.  He quoted the news report from the KAN radio station about demonstrators attempting to block the intersection opposite the Supreme Court in Jerusalem, saying that “some scuffles with the police ensued.” He himself wound up lying on the sidewalk because he “apparently was not backtracking fast enough.”

Backtracking from what? The previous paragraph states that the procession “began holding up traffic on busy Yitzhak Rabin Boulevard.” Oh, that’s when the police brought out “the Mounties” – when demonstrators were trying to block the busy boulevard.

Correct, Mr. Hoffman: Protesters have the right to protest, make their opinions known. They do not have the right to hold up traffic. Last time I was at a protest, against the withdrawal from Gush Katif, no one was allowed to put their foot in the street in an attempt to block it.

We had to remain on the sidewalk behind our banners. The police (and later IDF) showed zero tolerance then. By the same token, they should show zero tolerance now.

Isn’t that what a democracy does?



Amid all our turmoil, Avi Hoffman felt obliged to inform us that he participated in a demonstration, is fearful of large dark horses, was pushed by a policeman, fell flat on his back, and was not hurt but was embarrassed. Hoffman should be embarrassed by the publication of this article. He goes on to speculate that if he had pushed back at the policeman and the policeman fell on his back, he would have been arrested and convicted even though he is 83-years-old and not a threat to society.

What is the more dangerous threat to society: the demonstrations or the efforts to downgrade the powers of the Supreme Court which are currently dividing and tormenting the country? But a little perspective may be in order. In 1970, worried for their safety, Ohio National Guardsmen killed four and seriously wounded nine students at Kent State University demonstrations against US involvement in the Vietnam War.

This incident occurred in what is arguably one of the greatest democracies to have ever existed. It could happen in Israel, as well, if some 83-year-old hotheads start pushing back at the policemen. This is, of course, the wet dream of what some of the demonstrators want; the geriatric component as well as the younger elements. But beware, it may lead to real chaos.



‘Number, please’

I loved Rabbi Raymond Apple’s article “Saba, give me your phone” (July 12), which paralleled my own phone experiences. I remember picking up the phone in the 1940s and hearing a voice ask me, “Number, please.” At university (St. Lawrence, NY), I recall calling my parents once a month from a tiny closet-like room. Now, I have two phones: a landline and a cell.


Beit Shemesh

Lift ourselves up

Regarding “My roller coaster Israeli week” (July 12): Wow! Gil Troy, I feel I know you personally. You fill my heart and soul with your articles.

I was overwhelmed after I read this, your latest article in The Jerusalem Post. It was so full of love for our crazy and miraculous country. Amid the ups and downs, we sometimes forget these phenomena and have to be reminded through the people who are still creating our country.

We should never forget how many times during our creation we’ve had to lift ourselves up. This is why we are still considered among the happiest people in the world. It’s because of what we have accomplished in the last 75 years. Amen.