July 24: Stay out of Sinai!

"I criticize Linda Epstein for advocating that Israelis vacation in the Sinai."

Letters 521 (photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
Letters 521
(photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
Stay out of Sinai!
Sir, – I criticize Linda Epstein (“Love affair with Sinai unabated despite security threats,” Travel Trends, July 22) for advocating that Israelis vacation in the Sinai.
Yes, it’s beautiful. Yes, some Beduin, like Salah, are friendly hosts. But can Salah protect his guests from murderous jihadis or mercenary Beduin intent on kidnapping or killing Jews? It’s too bad that some friendly Beduin are tarred with the same brush, but that’s no reason to irresponsibly advocate vacationing in the Sinai, where the Egyptian government provides little or no protection for Israelis (Arab or Jewish).
If cheap and beautiful beaches are your desired vacation venue, what’s better than Thailand, a country that’s friendly toward Israel?
Alfei Menashe
Sir, – I was flabbergasted by your decision to publish Linda Epstein’s piece enticing Israelis to holiday in the Sinai, and even providing the contact for a local travel agent.
Anybody who bothers to seriously inquire about the current security situation in the peninsula would inevitably come to the conclusion that the terrorist network is well entrenched there and that the Egyptian authorities have become absentee landlords.
There is a real threat of being kidnapped, as terrorists, some operated from Gaza, are lurking, waiting to attack Israelis ignorant enough to cross the border.
Hardly sporting
Sir, – Not all news is serious or of great portent, but it is high time that a newspaper of the eminence and age of The Jerusalem Post refers to the world’s oldest golf tournament as The Open (“Scott still the man to beat at British Open,” Sports, July 22).
No one in the English-speaking world objects to the World Series being called by that name despite the fact that the competition exists only in the US. But even the most stalwart of American lovers of golf have to admit that The Open, which is indeed a world-inclusive competition, takes place in the United Kingdom every year.
Sir, – I am greatly surprised that I have seen no mention in your sports pages of the wonderful fact that the Israeli wheelchair tennis team recently won the world championship in Seoul, beating Great Britain in the finals.
This small team of three players – Boaz Kramer, Shraga Weinberg and Noam Gershony – is now going on to England to compete in the Paralympics, obviously with high hopes. As you are giving so much space to the Israeli contingent to the Olympics, I sincerely hope you will do the same for players on the Israeli Paralympics squad who, with hard work, overcome severe difficulties and great pain to achieve very high standards.
Silman’s legacy
Sir, – “Silman was no martyr” (My Word, July 22) is a brilliant piece. In my mind, Liat Collins is becoming the spokesperson for the silent, sane majority of Israelis.
It is obvious that this poor, sick man’s memory is being used as a tool for political and ideological gain. I can’t help but wonder what the outcome would have been had the note not made accusations against the prime minister and finance minister.
Sir, – “Silman was no martyr” is a spot-on column. Obviously, Liat Collins did what she could for Moshe Silman, more than others might.
I travel a lot (out of Israel) and always come back feeling grateful for the wonderful country we have, despite all our problems and need for improvement.
Sir, – “Silman was no martyr” highlights the difference between those who are adept at describing a problem and those who act to bring about change.
When Moshe Silman spoke to Liat Collins on the telephone he gave her several leads on ways to investigate how he and many others were the victims of bureaucratic indifference. Had she or others at The Jerusalem Post pursued these leads we could have learned a lot about how the poor are not being treated in a humane fashion.
The protesters are using this tragedy to focus attention on our societal ills, to let us know that they are being ignored yet again by the powerful in Israel. Collins just doesn’t get it if she only looks at the methods being used by the protesters while ignoring the very basic problems besetting a large segment of our people.
Intent counts
Sir, – It always amazes me how a terrorist who has all intention of killing as many Israelis as possible, but because he’s inept or something goes wrong and he only is able to wound his victims, receives a relatively minor sentence (“18 years for terrorist who wounded eight in Tel Aviv,” July 20). This sentence is simply because his victim didn’t die.
Shouldn’t the motive of the perpetrator be taken into consideration by the judges? Why isn’t he given at least a life sentence? If he manages to be released through some prisoner exchange don’t we know he will try again? URI HIRSCH
No love of the land
Sir, – Gil Troy (“Yes, there is no occupation – legally and historically, not morally or practically,” Center Field, July 10) is wrong when he writes: “The core issue remains how two stubborn peoples in love with the same land learn to live together.”
The issue is not Palestinian Arab love of the land but hatred of Jews and the Jewish state.
That’s why they turned down 95 percent of the British Mandate for a Palestinian state offered by the Peel Royal Commission in 1937, a state larger than Judea, Samaria and Gaza in 1947, and statehood throughout almost all of Judea, Samaria and Gaza in 2000 and several years later.
Palestinian leaders like Mahmoud Abbas, Saeb Erekat and Ahmed Qurei have all rejected the notion of accepting Jews in a future Palestinian state. PA media, mosques, schools and youth camps all promote hatred and violence against Jews while the hadith, the Islamic holy commentaries on the Koran, call on Muslims to seek out Jews and “kill them.”
New York
The writer is national president of the Zionist Organization of America
Criticism unwarranted
Sir, – With regard to “Swiss media ethics” (Media Comment, July 5) by Yisrael Medad and Eli Pollak, I would like to state the following: The authors of the article accuse the Neue Zürcher Zeitung in general and our correspondent to Israel in particular of unprofessional and biased reporting. As an example, some parts of an article by our correspondent on the situation in Susya were cited.
We have been carefully reviewing all of the NZZ’s reporting on the West Bank during the past six months. Our conclusion, which is shared by trusted professionals, is that solid and unbiased reporting of a high standard has been assured.
In the last paragraph Medad and Pollak issue a warning regarding further contact with our correspondent. This comes near to a call for a boycott, particularly as our correspondent is cited with her full name.
I am astonished to see that your highly prestigious and honorable paper gave clear approval to such a practice, which we consider to be in contradiction with the principle of a free media.
The writer is foreign editor of Neue Zürcher Zeitung