February 4, 2018: Yehonatan and Ahed

Our readers sound off about the week's hottest news topics.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Yehonatan and Ahed
Regarding “Geffen apologizes for comparing Tamimi to Anne Frank, Hanna Szenes” (January 29), a Palestinian girl, with the purpose of filming a video that would demonize Israeli soldiers, kicked, slapped and insulted two soldiers who remained undaunted. The poet Yehonatan Geffen was so impressed with her “heroism” that he compared her with Anne Frank, a symbol of the Holocaust; with Hannah Szenes, a heroine who fought against the Nazis; and, for good measure, Joan of Arc.
He was criticized by practically everyone in Israel (except another artist ,who defended him and took advantage of the opportunity to criticize the minister of defense for being an immigrant and having an accent when speaking Hebrew).
Geffen, a few days after publishing his poem, declared that he would not change a syllable. But finally, confronted with a storm of protests, he apologized, saying: “I made a mistake.” When asked why he did not apologize through the media, he replied: “The media is trash, it just looks for gossip to make me look like an idiot.”
Mr. Geffen, I apologize for disagreeing with you. You do not need the media to make you look like an idiot. For that, you are self-sufficient.
Tel Aviv
Having read Yehonatan Geffen’s poem on Ahed Tamimi, both in its original Hebrew and a translation in English, I find little to classify Geffen as a “poet.” There is nothing poetic or aesthetic or evocative or romantic or appealing in either version. From a literary perspective, his poem is dull.
Geffen delves in calculated controversy, pathetic provocation and obscene offense. Tamimi is not Anne Frank. Tamimi is not Hannah Szenes. Tamimi is victim of the manifold myths, legless lies, singular spite and voluminous violence chartering Arab-Palestinian society. She has suckled violence. She spews violence.
Yet I do not agree with Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman that Geffen’s voice should be silenced on the radio for expressing political views – I would silence him for being a dismal poet.
It is incredible how much propaganda and willful distortion have been involved in the Ahed Tamimi affair. It is said that she has been involved in anti-occupation and anti-Israel activities ever since she was a seven-year-old fighting for the Palestinian cause.
I would like to ask the following questions:
Is it possible that in rural Palestinian society, any female, even if just seven years old, can decide to go out into the streets and do her own thing? Is it possible that she and other females of her family were not sent and indoctrinated by the head of the family, the father, to go out into the streets, throw rocks, curse and abuse Israelis?
Has the father been reimbursed for these activities by Qatar, the Turks, Hamas or the Palestinian Authority? Most probably. After 10 years of clipping coupons, he must be a very wealthy individual.
Anyway, this has gone on quite undisturbed for about 10 years. So what kind of “occupation” is this anyway? Can you imagine this happening in any other country? First and foremost, let us use as an example that Righteous Among the Nations, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan – would he allow a Kurdish girl to abuse and curse his soldiers without cutting her head off? Impossible!
What “occupation” is this anyway under which individuals feel free to attack soldiers, police officers and ordinary citizens and nothing happens to them? Everything is inverted and used for propaganda; journalists and photographers are invited to record with glee and publish these “heroic” acts against the Jews.
Enough is enough!
Pences at the Wall
I was at the Western Wall during the recent visit by US Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, so I read your editorial “A compromised Kotel” (January 29) very carefully.
Since that Tuesday afternoon, I have read many distortions and agenda-driven pieces. The Kotel plaza and surrounding areas were closed to the public for hours. There was layer upon layer of security. Local school children had to wait behind barriers for their transportation home, as streets were closed to traffic from 11:00 a.m. After passing through security, including x-rays, searches and the swabbing of hands for explosives, the media had to wait for an hour to enter the area.
You write: “At first, an additional obstruction of a canopy that further blocked the women’s view was imposed.” The canopy may have blocked the view, but it was erected to protect the media from the rain that was forecast. As soon as it became clear that it was not going to rain, it was removed by the US staff.
You write further: “Women were later given chairs to stand on so as to improve their view.” As a relatively short American-Israeli photographer who often has to stand behind tall video guys (on a wobbly chair, if I’m lucky), I was pleased by the quality of the chairs and the support the #PenceFence provided for them.
Proper credit has not been given to the US staff in charge of the Kotel event. One former employee who volunteered that day remained calm and competent, and took action to assist the Israeli journalists in getting better access to the vice-president, who was at the Wall for one minute.
The real stories that day were Karen Pence, who lingered much longer at the Wall, and the fascinating artifacts and video shown to the couple. What a shame that the #PenceFence became the focus of the social media, and then the print media, to the exclusion of everything else that happened on the day.
I noted with interest your editorial, with its robust remarks about the rabbi of the Western Wall and holy sites, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz. Why, therefore, do you publish his weekly column in The Jerusalem Post Magazine?
Two states won’t work
Of the deficiencies presented in Chuck Freilich’s “The two-state solution is the only game in town” (Comment & Features, January 29), the following are most significant:
1. The Palestinians were never interested in a state of their own. They just don’t want the Jews to have one. This has been confirmed by their consistent failure to accept previous proposals that would have turned over to them almost all of Judea and Samaria, as well as east Jerusalem, and by their failure to acknowledge the existence of Israel as a Jewish state.
2. Removing 100,000 people from their homes is abominable. The removal of 8,000 people in Gush Katif brought horrific tragedies to many families. Where would these people live? In a tent city as refugees?
3. Divide Jerusalem? How would the borders be patrolled and protected? How would the infrastructure be rearranged? Because of the design of Jerusalem, would I have to go through three or four international checkpoints to get from one place to the other?
4. What about the 5 million refugees who would flood into the Palestinian country? How many would be terrorists, Hamas or ISIS agents? What would their presence do to the ecology of our land?
5. How long would it take for missiles to be launched at our international airport from nearby high points?
Sorry, the two-state solution won’t work.