January 28, 2015: Enough problems

Readers respond to the latest 'Jerusalem Post' articles.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Enough problems
Sir, – Regarding “Yisrael Beytenu to distribute ‘Charlie Hebdo’ magazine after Steimatzky pulls it from stores” (January 26), shame! What has happened to our Jewish teachings and values? Hillel taught: What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbors.
To this day we are angered and upset to see the old Nazi cartoons degrading Jews. We have enough problems without importing more hatred from France or elsewhere.
Sir, – In the past I have admired Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman for his ability, and sometimes courage, to speak out strongly on controversial subjects.
Unfortunately, his intention to have activists from his Yisrael Beytenu party acquire Charlie Hebdo magazines and hand them out free of charge is completely beyond my comprehension.
There comes a time when freedom of speech has to be superseded by good sense and also good manners. It is simply stupid and extremely bad manners to hand out a publication that might be offensive to a large part of our population, namely Israeli Arabs.
Kol hakavod to Steimatzky.
What it did was not capitulation to extremist intimidation – it was a sign of sensitivity to the feelings of fellow citizens.
Far from reality
Sir, – While I have the greatest regard for the opinions of Prof. Alan M. Dershowitz and admiration for his untiring efforts on behalf of Israel and world Jewry, I have to say that “The case against the ICC investigating Israel” (Comment & Opinion, January 26) presents a picture that is too far from reality. He is so infused with love of Israel and assurance of the rightness of its position that he makes statements that border on the ridiculous.
Dershowitz says that the foundations of the Palestinian case will lie on the statement that the 1949 armistice lines would have to be accepted by the court as the de jure borders of a pseudo- state called Palestine. Unfortunately, this is indeed the view of the Palestinians, their Arab brothers and most of the rest of the world. Just because we say it isn’t so doesn’t mean it isn’t so to them.
He says that “Israel offered generous proposals in 2000/01, 2008 and most recently in 2014, none of which was accepted.”
Try to find a single Palestinian or Arab leader who will subscribe to that view. He also says that Israel “is a vibrant democracy governed by the rule of law.” In the eyes of our opponents (and who is to say not also in the eyes of the court) we are a neo-Nazi, apartheid, racist regime of child-killers.
We need to remember that the best form of defense is attack. Look into the history of every judge, prosecutor and witness. Find the stuff that either disqualifies them or deters them from speaking for fear of revelation.
Drag the whole International Criminal Court process through the mud – which is where it belongs if they go ahead with this farce.
Sir – Prof. Alan M. Dershowitz makes a statement that fully stretches the imagination. He refers to Gilo and other suburbs of Jerusalem, as well as to Ma’aleh Adumim, as areas that “Palestinian leaders have long acknowledged would remain part of Israel in any negotiated resolution, despite being beyond the Green Line.”
No “Palestinian leader” has ever acknowledged this. If any has, I should like to know who.
What’s in a name
Sir, – Sarah Honig’s “Zionism and etrogism” (Another Tack, January 23) touches a very interesting and, at the same time, sensitive question of the true meaning of Labor’s and Hatnua’s electoral slogan, claiming they represent the “Zionist camp.”
Does it mean that Israeli citizens who are not active members of these parties or those who will not vote for their “camp” are not Zionists, and that they are against Zionism as a historic movement? As a retired linguist, I have my personal objections for the wrong interpretation and usage (abuse) of the words “Zionist” and “Zionism,” especially among our politicians.
In my view, Zionism’s aim has been to convince and encourage Jews in the Diaspora to return to Zion (Jerusalem). Following that logic, a Zionist is a Diaspora Jew who prepares to immigrate to this region. Before, but especially after, the modern State of Israel was created, all Jews who made aliya fulfilled their Zionist dream.
Therefore, all Jews who live in Israel should be considered merely Israeli citizens, having their Jewish nationality (and religion) as well, no matter to which political or ideological orientation they belong.
Sir, – With regard to “Labor activist files petition for Bayit Yehudi to change its ‘misleading’ name” (January 26), years ago I overheard a discussion. The subject was a well-known Jewish gangster.
My mother: He has no right to call himself a Jew!
My father: A Jew is a Jew. Even if he makes a picnic on Yom Kippur, he is a Jew. God doesn’t let go of us so easily.
Bayit Yehudi is full of Jews. Some say good Jews, some say bad. But a Jew is a Jew.
A bit extravagant
Sir, – H.A. Goodman’s assertions on behalf of a nuclearized Iran (“Why bombing Iran would be a strategic mistake for Israel and America,” Comment & Features, January 21) seem a bit extravagant.
It is most unlikely that nuclear weapons would transform Iran into a force that would stabilize our region. Far more likely is that they would redirect Iran’s destabilizing impulses away from the Arab-Israeli conflict and into the Persian Gulf.
A nuclearized Iran would feel emboldened to assert Shi’ite supremacy in a manner that conventional Iran shies away from.
Most specifically, it would have no problem challenging the House of Ibn Saud for control over the holy cities of Mecca and Medina.
While such a turn of events would be an unmitigated bounty for Israel, I remain unconvinced that America, even Obama’s America, would accept such a development with equanimity, notwithstanding the compelling logic of the late nuclear weapons expert Kenneth Waltz.
Imperfect Rav Kav
Sir, – The other day I purchased a round-trip ticket on Israel Railways from Beit Shemesh to Beer Sheba with a Rav Kav smart card.
When I placed my card on the turnstile to make my return trip, I was denied entry to the train platform.
I turned to a clerk. She read the card on her computer and told me that I had already taken my return trip! I protested and was courteously instructed to speak to the station manager, who read the card, asked me a few questions and allowed me to board. (He, too, was most courteous.) If I hadn’t by chance arrived long before my train was to depart, the delay meant I would have missed it.
In the course of our conversation, the station manager mentioned that there were many cases like mine. Conclusion: The Rav Kav is not reliable. It leaves us helpless in the face of technical glitches, human error and dishonest brokers. Who loses? The consumer.
Even if the Rav Kav were reliable, there is something wrong with the consumer having to rely on the seller for confirming that it has in fact been loaded, and for knowing how much credit remains. There will always be glitches.
Beit Shemesh
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