December 14, 2014: Don’t cave

Readers respond to The Jerusalem Post's latest articles.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Don’t cave
Sir, – I am writing in regard to your front page article on December 10: “Poll: Most say poor Netanyahu-Obama ties are harmful.” The US is only interested in an Israeli government they can control. US President Barack Obama has harmed rather than helped American-Israeli relations.
Does Israel want to sacrifice its own people to keep America happy? They also need us and threats to our prime minister should not make us cave in to their demands. We should respect our prime minister. I respect him for not giving in to countries who don’t want us to exist.
Vigorous fight
Sir, – Once again our government pretends that another Palestinian achievement is insignificant and merely an “administrative step” with “no substance” (“Israel belittles Palestinian upgrade of status at ICC,” December 10).
This goes hand-in-hand with similar dismissals of so-called “non-binding” resolutions calling for a Palestinian state that are becoming the new fad in European parliaments, even among Israel’s “friends,” not to mention the often-heard belittling by Israeli leaders and MKs of calls for economic, political, social, cultural and especially academic boycotts from all over the world.
When will we stop playing the ‘macho’ game of acting as if all of these growing trends are mere inconvenient annoyances that will pass? The world doesn’t understand or care about the technical details of this or that Palestinian achievement or anti-Israel action. Every Palestinian advancement is a major victory which brings them more recognition, global exposure and sympathy for their cause.
We must treat these so-called insignificant Palestinian achievements as what they are: major PR victories that must be taken very seriously and fought very vigorously by the prime minister on down.
Hatzor Haglilit
New and newer
Sir, – You ran a story about Israeli techs getting into the Guinness Book of Records by developing the smallest-ever “New Testament” (“Israeli firm develops world’s smallest New Testament on nano-sized chip,” December 10).
I’m shocked they would use the Christian terminology. Think about what is being suggested! “New” always implies “better,” so theirs is “better” than our holy book, which they call the “Old Testament”? Jews (and others whom we can educate) should always call these the “Hebrew Bible” and the “Christian Bible”. Which is what they are!
Santa Monica, California
Beating Bibi
Sir, – Gil Troy advises Isaac Herzog how to beat Bibi (“How Buji can beat Bibi,” Center Field, Comment and Features, December 10).
He says Herzog has to be “realistic, hard-headed, demanding” and must be ready to woo every group, from Russians to Sephardim and beyond. But it is precisely these characteristics that Herzog and others seem to hate about our prime minister.
Nevertheless, Troy does mention something that Bibi doesn’t have: Chaim Herzog and Rabbi Isaac Herzog. Troy is certain these two antecedents of Herzog will earn him “respect from the Right” and “from the religious.”
Perhaps if his father or grandfather were running, that would be true, but having yichus never “beat” anyone, especially Bibi.
Sir, – In Gil Troy’s column on Wednesday, he states, quite rightly, that in order to win, Buji must “explain, in ways that no peace-processor, leftist or Obama administration representative has, now peace can possibly be possible in a volatile, hate-filled, missile-laden, anti-Zionistic, anti-Semitic region, with our lovely Palestinian neighbors led by an ailing Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and an evil Hamas.”
He goes on to give other advice on winning. What Mr.Troy doesn’t do in his piece is give the explanation required.
Of course, if there were anyone who could show a plan that meets the above-mentioned criteria, she or he would be assured of a victory. Unfortunately, no one has yet uncovered the secret.
Petah Tikva
Political agenda
Sir, – Ms. Greer Fay Cashman is unfortunately at it again. Last week’s letter section referred to her use of a gossip column to promote a political agenda, and on December 10 she referred to Ir Amim as an organization “monitoring activities in east Jerusalem which threaten to undermine the city’s stability.” Ir Amim is itself an organization which threatens stability through its extreme leftist agenda.
Details can be found in your own contributor Gerald Steinberg’s “NGO Watch” articles.
Troublesome tree
Sir, – A massive hanukkia placed in the center of Manila or beside the Vatican in Rome would be an unexpected and unnecessary gesture for the Jewish inhabitants. Similarly, the Christian minority residing in the one and only Jewish state should not be indulged by the Acre Municipality with a Christmas tree in the center of town (“Christmas lesson, editorial, Comment and Features, December 9)! The Jerusalem Post disagrees.
This free-thinking mentality has entered the minds of most of us... at the expense of core Jewish values. The Torah exhorts Jews to be tolerant and apply our laws equally to Jew and gentile alike. And tolerant we are.
The Jerusalem Municipality, for example, distributes free Christmas trees to members of the church. The government of Israel financially supports the upkeep and salaries of all religious institutions. But at the same time, the Torah instructed us to obliterate all the religious symbols of the original pagan inhabitants “lest they swallow you up.”
We must be cautious of the slippery slope of broadmindedness and indulgence. Today the Acre Municipality acceded to Christmas trees. Tomorrow might bring demands for public crucifixes and crèches.
Sir, – So Acre Chief Rabbi Yosef Yashar is a “bigot.” The dictionary defines a bigot as “a person who is utterly intolerant of any differing creed, belief, or opinion.” As you grudgingly concede he is a man who is receiving a prize from Rotary for his work in fostering coexistence between Arab and Jews. That’s a bigot? Of course not, but since he is an Orthodox rabbi so anything may be said, even though there is no drop of integrity in an editor who can write such a thing.
According to the definition, since you are intolerant of his belief, you are the bigot.
And what’s the burning issue? The Jewish state should put up Christmas trees (in the Knesset and other places). You have no Jewish pride. Tolerance of religion? Of course. Actively displaying their ornaments? Why should we?
Jerusalem Crass comparison
Sir, – Professor David Newman (“Revisiting a clash of civilizations,” Borderline Views, Comment and Features, December 9) notes that “religious fundamentalism has adopted a political extremity... which would belie any alternative messages of peace and brotherly love.”
He goes on to list five categories of negative religion, including “religion in the name of beheadings” and “religion in the name of settlements.”
To consider the peaceful and constructive return of Jews to the heartland of our ancient homeland as morally equivalent to the unspeakable crimes of ISIS and similar groups is proof of the George Orwell maxim that there is no limit to the absurdities that an intellectual will believe.
Priority is given to letters that are brief and topical, and which bear the writer’s name and place of residence, as well as the name and date of the Post item being referred to. They may also be edited and shortened.
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