Feeling good

I rarely (almost never) feel good after reading a newspaper in Israel.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Feeling good
In my youth, I created a news program called Good News America.
It reported only good news, happy experiences and joyful stories.
But it was short-lived – seems no one really wanted to watch good news exclusively. Today, I don’t know if anyone will want to read this, but I feel I have to say how proud I am of our government leaders.
Our prime minister is going where no Israeli leader has gone before in opening new channels of communication and integration in Africa (“Netanyahu: I will soon meet Muslim leader of African state,” July 8). And Yair Lapid, not always my go-to person for political acumen, wrote a scathing, detailed and honest “UNRWA – Who asked you?” (Observations, July 8) that was long overdue.
I rarely (almost never) feel good after reading a newspaper in Israel.
But in your July 8 issue, there was a lot to relish and a lot that made me feel proud of my government and my country.
Do it now
Your article “UK ambassador: Brexit may make Israel relationship more important” (July 8) indicates that the UK is going to redouble efforts to strengthen international ties, including with Israel. However, very disappointingly, Ambassador David Quarrey also says he does not anticipate seeing any change in the short term.
During the Brexit campaign, Prime Minister David Cameron went on record as asserting that only by remaining in the European Union could the UK influence unbalanced EU policies against Israel. Nonetheless, the UK joined with the rest of the EU in claiming – falsely – that Israel is an illegal occupier of the disputed West Bank. More recently, it voted with EU countries like France and Germany to accuse Israel of being the sole violator of health rights in the world, based on Palestinian blood-libel claims.
Ambassador Quarrey should know that there is much that the UK can do – right now – to improve ties with Israel. It could, for instance, immediately agree to stop playing politics and make the joint Israel-UK scientific research grant scheme open to researchers from Ariel University.
Right now, the UK is engaging in unlawful discrimination by boycotting the funding of all forms of cooperation with the likes of Ariel University.
With regard to Melanie Phillips’s “The Brexit earthquake” (As I See It, July 8), although Parliament has the power to block Brexit, it is unlikely that MPs would flout democracy in such an obvious manner.
However, my fear is that having cast my vote as an unwavering “Outer,” the danger ahead for us Brexiters and the UK is that the eventual deal with the EU will be such that one is barely able to tell the difference between being “in” and being “out.”
Large grain of salt
There is nothing new in the non-story repeating Amnesty International’s latest charges against Israel (“Amnesty: Israel and Palestinians need to own up to war crimes,” July 8). NGO Monitor research shows that Amnesty has issued at least 18 documents in the two years since the 2014 Gaza war that accuse Israel of “war crimes” during that conflict.
Your article mentions Amnesty’s allegation that Israel failed to investigate the “hundreds of serious violations, including war crimes, documented by human rights groups.” But neither Amnesty nor the other rights groups have “documented” anything other than their extreme bias against Israel. The only evidence they provide pertains to their own lack of rigor and methodology, the erasure of terror in Gaza, their ignoring of inconvenient evidence and their naïve view of Hamas as being interested in abiding by international law and investigating violations.
Once again, it is clear that statements by groups like Amnesty International need to be taken with a large grain of salt.
The writer is chief of staff for NGO Monitor.
Weeping angels
Dov Lipman’s emphasis on thanking God is positive (“Israel needs more ‘God-speak,’” Observations, July 8). But a belief in God also means that we believe we were created in His image.
We should not merely be thanking God as something outside us; we should internalize that God is a part of us. As such, it is our responsibility to actively defend ourselves against the lies and slander that seek to destroy us.
If there were angels in heaven, they would be weeping at our silence.
Netanya AIPAC’s moment There are two lessons we can learn from Caroline B. Glick’s “AIPAC’s moment of decision” (Column One, July 8).
Jewish leaders face intense heat from the current US administration.
To undermine American support for Israel, AIPAC is being pushed by President Barack Obama to keep pace with far-left J Street. If the wishy-washy leaders of AIPAC continue to yield to Obama, the organization will be transformed into a watered-down J Street and will no longer serve Israel’s interests.
Either AIPAC stands up to the pressure or American Jews must inaugurate yet another organization.
If the heat is too intense, it is time to leave the kitchen! The second lesson – directed at American Jewish voters who place Israel’s security as their highest priority, not those whose main interest is gay marriage and transgender toilets – is that Jews who really care about the future of Israel must scrutinize a presidential candidate’s advisers. It should come as no surprise that advisers who are outspoken critics of Israel and unabashed apologists for the Palestinians will advise the candidates to follow their recommendations.
If Jews had taken the time to examine advisers, we would not have raised our eyebrows when the Carters and Obamas betrayed Israel.
Caroline B. Glick makes false allegations concerning AIPAC. She did not contact us concerning these allegations, nor did she give us an opportunity to respond.
Her column makes a completely false accusation about AIPAC’s position. AIPAC’s position has consistently been that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and should remain undivided, and we have supported moving the US embassy there.
That remains our position, and we did not remove the language concerning Jerusalem from the platform, contrary to this column.
AIPAC actually worked to strengthen the 2012 Republican platform on Jerusalem. When it was noticed that Jerusalem had been omitted from the original draft, we urged that language be included reflecting Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
The writer is spokesman for AIPAC.
Forceful statement
Rather than demonstrating with banners and voices of protest, as has been done against the Chief Rabbinate over the case of US Orthodox Rabbi Haskel Lookstein and his conversions, would it not be more effective and eloquent for rabbis to publish large advertisements in all major Israeli newspapers asking the Chief Rabbinate to either step down or radically change its methods and halachic rulings, which now only embarrass Judaism? Demonstrations might help, but that is not the way rabbis should express their displeasure and even strong disagreement with their colleagues. Sometimes a forceful statement is better than a verbal outcry.
The Jerusalem Post
has no way of knowing whether all – or even any – of the people shown in the photograph accompanying “One stretch of West Bank’s Route 60 has claimed 25 terrorism victims” (July 10) are “Israeli settlers.” They should have been described simply as “people” or “mourners.”