February 26 Mr. Clean

Jerusalem Post readers have their say

Letters (photo credit: PIXABAY)
(photo credit: PIXABAY)
Mr Clean
“A-G backs decision to investigate Fifth Dimension” (February 25)) raises questions:
Is Blue and White leader Benny Gantz the “Mister Clean” that was presented to us a year ago when he entered politics? Maybe. Perhaps he will answer the following questions:
1) How, as chairman of the board of Fifth Dimension, he did not know that his company “won” an NIS 50 million contract from the government without a public tender being held? Was it just coincidence that he was a former commander-in-chief of the army and his friend, the then police chief, was on the other side of the table?
2) Was he not aware of the fact that the company that he headed was totally unprepared for undertaking the performance of that contract and that there was no way that they could fulfill it?
3) Where are the NIS 4m. of taxpayers’ money that went “down the drain” when his company went bankrupt ?
4) Was Gantz aware that the main investor in his company was “a Russian businessman with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was sanctioned by the United States for his connection to “malign activity” by the Russian government?
5) Where are the 100 or so employees who were peremptorily sent home with no work and probably no pay? What are they saying about our challenger to the throne?
6) Why does he not sue Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for libel when Netanyahu stated that Gantz pocketed NIS 4m. before walking away from the company ?
7) Why is no one quoting the report of the State Comptroller on the affair, which clearly shows that the company that Gantz headed provided false information about its operations? Why are the media treating Gantz with velvet gloves while they continue to treat Bibi with knuckle-dusters?
What does it portend for the future of the country if Gantz is elected?
It bears repeating that neither Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu nor Blue and White leader Benny Gantz have been convicted of any crime and both should be considered innocent until proven guilty.
Bat Yam
Shameful Sanders
Regarding “AIPAC: Sanders’s statements are shameful, odious” (February 25), US Democratic presidential nominee hopeful Bernie Sanders has proclaimed the Israeli government to be racist and accused AIPAC of fostering bigotry. While one might reasonably observe that the Israeli government is dominated by right-wing thinking, AIPAC is left of center by any reasonable measure. What does this mean?
Conspiracy theorists routinely accuse the American Jewish community of being one thing or another in the political spectrum. Sanders made it easy by drawing his battle lines so clearly.
Those who argue for inclusion of the opinions of all Jews “inside the tent” must now admit Sanders has other ideas. His chumming up to Jew-haters Linda Sarsour, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar in addition to his other indiscreet friendships, makes it painfully clear that Bernie is a threat to Jewish survival.
Some in the Jewish community might be disappointed about this turn of events. Contrarily, it makes it a lot simpler to face the fact that like it or not, no Democratic candidate promotes, in good faith, the well-being of the State of Israel and the Jewish community at large.
The real danger is that the younger generation, whose paltry understanding of ongoing persecution of Jews is too weak to balance out the sickening utterances of Bernie Sanders, will vote for him. Their parents no longer have any such excuse.
San Mateo, CA
Senator Bernie Sanders now seems to be surging to win the Democrats’ nomination to face President Donald Trump.
Sanders, claiming to be “100% pro-Israel,” accuses the Netanyahu government of being racist, forgetting that the prime minister was duly elected by the Israeli people and the main opposition has essentially the same position regarding “the situation.”
As usual, the Palestinians get a free pass. Recent surveys show their overwhelming support for armed resistance (i.e. killing innocent Jews); they accept payments from foreign donors for killing those same Jews; and you can be sure that the ongoing attempts by Gazans to break the borders into Israel are not so that they discuss peace with the neighbors.
Coronavirus – Let my people run
Regarding “Tel Aviv, Jerusalem marathons could be canceled due to coronavirus” (Jpost.com, February 23), per directive of Israel’s Ministry of Health, the Tel Aviv Marathon organizers limited participation in this weekend’s race to Israelis only and there are talks of canceling the 10th annual Jerusalem Marathon next month.
While I applaud Israel for doing what it can to keep citizens and visitors safe, the non-Israeli participant ban in the sporting event does not make sense when at the same time non-Israeli visitors can generally come into Israel as long as they have not been to high-risk countries impacted by the coronavirus within a certain timeframe. There is a greater risk of a carrier infecting others in higher-density, enclosed areas, such as religious pilgrimage sites, places of learning, in a light rail car, etc., than in running outdoors in a marathon. As Israel is the land of innovation and “out of the box” thinking, there must be a better way to address the very real concerns of the coronavirus and be thoughtful on risk mitigation without barring some tourists seemingly randomly.
As an avid runner with a spiritual connection to Israel, I have observed that the marathons help promote international goodwill. As a runner for Run for Zion (www.runforzion.com), a charity that builds bridges between Christians and Jews and partners with various Israeli nonprofits to invest in an array of nonprofit projects, I found that everyone I shared with about Jerusalem Marathon had something positive to say about Israel. Positive vibes toward Israel cannot be taken for granted with BDS and the rise of antisemitism; sports provide an international platform to help build those vital bridges of peace and understanding.
The non-Israeli participant ban in the Tel Aviv Marathon and the potential cancellation of the Jerusalem Marathon promote a spirit of fear instead of courage and resilience that Israel is known for. What would make more sense is to allow non-Israelis who make it through the thorough immigration airport screenings to participate and share how when a virus tries to triumph, good can and will prevail.
Chandler, AZ
Honor thy parents
In “Honor your parents: the Bible’s most difficult commandment” (February 25), Rabbi Boteach brings out important ideas about the commandment to honor one’s parents.
Importantly, the commandment is to honor parents, not to love them. Love cannot be commanded – except for the commandment to love the Lord your God.
The honor due parents is respect for them as people (imperfect though they may be). The mitzvah (commandment) involves actions such as not sitting in your parent’s seat and not calling them by their first names (they are not your friends or peers).
 It also means providing them with food, clothing, shelter and healthcare if the need arises. This may not be out of love, but out of respect for the people who gave you life and raised you.
The way we show honor to our parents teaches our children how we would want them to honor us!
Making up ‘rights’ where none exist
In “Palestinians to UNHRC: Trump’s peace plan is a capitulation plan” (February 25), one has to grudgingly admire the brazenness of the Palestinians in how they spout their baseless rhetoric with a straight face – and seem to get away with it.
The article gives many examples; here are only four of them:
• Trump’s plan is a not a capitulation plan, it is a fair proposal based on reality that requires compromise from both sides. What is a capitulation plan is the Palestinian “demand” that Israel retreat to the indefensible 1949 armistice ceasefire [Auschwitz] lines.
• They speak of their “inalienable rights” – including “the right to a sovereign state with Jerusalem as its capital.” In truth, they have no “right” at all to a state that never existed and a capital that never was theirs. They can hope for it to magically happen, but to claim that it is an “inalienable right” is laughable.
• “There will be no solution... without the right of return for Palestinian refugees. There is no example in the history of the world where more than half a century later, millions of people, including the families of grandchildren and great-grandchildren of attackers who lost a war they initiated to annihilate an indigenous people can afterwards claim a “right of return” to that land.
• The “Palestinian people... have roots in this land for thousands of years.” No, not true. It is the Jews who have roots in this land for thousands of years, not the Arabs, who first came to the Jewish homeland much more recently – in the imperialist Muslim invasion in the seventh century.
As long as the world allows the Palestinians to wallow in and propagate illusions and untruths such as those cited above, there can be no just solution to this dispute.
Givat Ze’ev
How great are your deeds
“Science and Torah collide: How yeshiva students ended up at CERN” (February 20) describes the visit of students from the Migdal Hatorah Yeshiva to CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research. This yeshiva apparently prides itself on the incorporation of physics and science into the curriculum along with, but supposedly not competing, with Torah studies.
On the surface, the visit sounds/looks like a good idea. The visit gives the Orthodox kids a glimpse of the complexity of the scientific world around them. CERN scientists describe new ideas on the hypothesis of dark matter to explain the universe and suggest that it is simply matter and anti-matter transforming back and forth so quickly that we cannot observe it.
The visit may look like a good idea, but the reactions of the students raise doubts. One student exclaims that he was left with a “greater appreciation of God’s incredible creation.” Another student says it “allows us to connect with God in a deeper way and connect with God’s creation in a way that engages the intellect.”
Having none of the basic scholastic requirements necessary to even begin to understand the conundrums of dark matter, anti-matter, big bangs, special and general relativity, etc., the students enthusiastically recite the mantra of the “wisdom and creativity of God.”
But, not to worry – the meals were kosher, courtesy of David Walles of Kosher Travelers.
Holocaust fact and fiction
Regarding “Amazon in Holocaust row over ‘Hunters’” (February 25), there is criticism of the series Hunters for using a fictitious game of chess at the Auschwitz death camp in which humans play the pieces and are murdered.
Although this game might be invented, be sure that depraved games using Jews as objects were in fact played at Auschwitz. The Ukrainian guards, to overcome the boredom of killing thousands of people every day, invented games such as throwing humans as far as they could from the third floor of a building. They preferred children for this game since they were lighter. Also there was standing naked women up in the shooting area and targeting their genitals. Apparently there were prizes for winning these games.
Even the SS officers found these games too depraved and complained to the camp commandant and they were banned.
Much has been written about the urgent need to educate and re-educate the world on the terrible crimes of the Holocaust, lest the world forget and atrocities re-emerge.
A new Pew Research Center survey (“Lasting impact of Muslim-Jewish visit to Auschwitz,” February 25) reports the disturbing statistics that only 45% of Americans answered correctly that six million Jews were murdered; a further 29% were not sure, the others responded incorrectly.
But it’s all a matter of perspective. These surveys require a “calibration survey.” Comedian Jay Leno once sidewalk-interviewed passersby in Los Angeles: 50% of responders did not know whether Canada was to the north or the south. Many had never heard of Canada at all.
The statistics about the Holocaust could and probably should be viewed as a great success, not a failure when compared to the general ignorance of the American public about almost everything.