January 19, 2015: Sour Grapes?

Readers respond to the latest 'Jerusalem Post' articles.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Sour grapes?
Sir, – Stephen Pollard, editor of Britain’s Jewish Chronicle (JC), attacks the methodology of last week’s report by the Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA), calling it “utter nonsense” that gives “an entirely false reading” of British Jewish feeling (“Why should British Jews leave?” Observations, January 16). I question his credibility on the issue.
The CAA’s detailed and sober effort, which gained widespread British media coverage, found that out of 2,230 Jews who voluntarily filled out a survey, 25 percent had considered leaving Britain. In contrast, on August 15, 2014, Pollard’s JC published a sensationalist front-page headline screaming “63% say there may be no future for Jews in UK” above a photo of a hate poster with the equation “Zionists = Nazis,” a Magen David and a swastika dripping blood.
So what’s the problem? The story was based on a random straw poll the JC conducted of only 150 Jews – a truly unscientific and meaningless sample. In addition, it turns out it was just about to publish its own new, competing poll of British Jewry, which Pollard promotes in his Jerusalem Post piece. Could it be he is upset because the CAA stole all the headlines?
Tel Aviv
Muslims on terror
Sir, – With regard to “Liberman labels Erdogan an ‘anti-Semitic, neighborhood bully” (January 15), the poison proliferated by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and others is what really nurtures terror. Of course, we need better security, intelligence and communications, but at its core, terrorism is born of the hateful incitement taught as religious dogma at many Muslim schools throughout the world, and then reinforced by imams.
While the vast majority of Muslims are not terrorists, they know about these teachings and yet, garbed in over-righteousness, preach that Islam is the religion of peace! Until the Muslims themselves drastically reform their schools, stay tuned for much more hatred, intimidation and violence.
Sir, – Arabs who claim the moral high ground regarding cartoons in Charlie Hebdo should first examine the rampant anti-Semitism that dominates their own media. But then, Jews do not butcher Muslim journalists or shoot up Halal markets.
Ramat Gan
Take the initiative
Sir, – With regard to “First UN assembly on anti-Semitism to be held next week” (January 14), here is a golden opportunity for Israel to host its own international conference to discuss global terrorism.
Invite all faiths, including Muslim leaders. Let them raise their voices for everyone to hear: “This is not our way. Stop killing, stop murdering and start praying.”
I realize that perhaps for some Israel might not be an ideal venue, but at least let it initiate the project. Maybe it would be a worthwhile Jerusalem Post undertaking. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Tighten the screw
Sir, – The situation is clear and so are the rules of the game. If Europe does not change its values, the Islamists living on that continent will punish it. They know how democracy works and they hide behind it in order to destroy it.
They are organized. They are armed. There are leaders who think and plan. There are soldiers who destroy and do the killing. This is war and Europe cannot afford to lose it.
There will be more attacks. The reasons are not important. The purpose is terror. The method is hitting the innocent who live by the book of democracy just to show how weak and toothless the book is.
The concept of proportionality does not exist in the mind of an Islamist. Some silly, infantile caricatures have triggered a massacre followed by a purely anti-Semitic one. In the end, Shari’a Law will sink down like a black cloud on Europe, saying that Islam must be accepted as the only way.
In the meantime, Europe is losing the battle because it has its hands tied by legislation. Laws must be adapted to the situation.
The special services in charge of security know who is planning what, but there are no legal tools to work against it.
There are no clear paths that lead toward the enemy because a secret enemy it is.
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls mentioned a change of legislation. That change is necessary. It is necessary now. Europe must tighten the screw before the crack in the joint gets wider.
Viby Sjælland, Denmark
Words matter
Sir, – With regard to “Words matter” (Editorial, January 11), when I began working as a librarian at Hebrew Union College Library in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1982, the Library of Congress assigned the following subject heading for Judea and Samaria: “Israel-Arab War 1967 – Occupied Territories.”
After much pressure from the Jewish Librarians’ Caucus, we were given the more neutral subject heading “West Bank.” I do not believe the Library of Congress will substitute “Judea and Samaria” in my lifetime (I’m 84).
No surprise
Sir, – What a surprise that there is a jihadist cell in the West Bank (“Hebron Islamic State members indicted for terrorism,” January 6)! Israeli forces have been helping Syrian rebels from the Nusra Front for quite some time by offering them safe haven and medical treatment. This, despite al-Nusra being an organization condemned by the UN and the US.
Of course they are eventually going to link up with many angry Palestinians and offer them their own particular way to freedom! When the US encouraged Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan, it paid a heavy price. It is inevitable that extremists now being encouraged by the Israeli government will eventually turn on their benefactors. And it is not the decision- makers who pay the price.
Elgin, Scotland
Needless worry
Sir, – My nephew recently decided to have his son’s bar mitzva in Israel, an event to which he invited his entire family and close friends from around the US. The event was hailed, not merely as a symbol of our continuing support for the State of Israel, but also as an opportunity to bring our family still closer and provide rich and satisfying memories for its younger members.
Then reality hit home. I started hearing the fears of many relatives about visiting a country overrun with Palestinian terrorists.
Many of my friends added to those concerns by expressing surprise that I could allow my family – my children and grandchildren – to be exposed to such dangers.
These were not unfounded concerns of relatives or friends without serious links to the nation or religion. These were the reactions of a sophisticated audience whose attitudes have been largely shaped by the news as reported in The New York Times and television newscasts each day of the week.
Then the day came. We all stepped off the plane in Tel Aviv – and never again thought in terms of terrorism or violence or danger of any sort.
Except for our problems with the language, we could have been in New York or Chicago or any other metropolitan community. The people were friendly and helpful, the landscape (particularly Jerusalem) stunning and unique, the antiquities fascinating. Altogether, the trip was entirely as advertised – interesting, instructive, pleasant and without fear or anxiety of any sort.
There is much about which to be concerned in the State of Israel, but really not much more than or different from most communities in the world.
Ann Arbor, Michigan