Letters Letters to the Editor April 27, 2020: Simplistic and naive

Readers of The Jerusalem Post have their say.

Letters (photo credit: PIXABAY)
(photo credit: PIXABAY)
Simplistic and naive
In “A Corona opportunity” (April 23), the editors gush over a heartwarming image of an Arab healthcare worker caring about his Jewish patients, as if this is something new and exciting. Of course there have always been wonderful Arab Israelis who serve the entire country and all population groups.
The problem is, sadly, that the vast majority of Arabs have been thoroughly brainwashed by a false and violent narrative against the Jews, making impossible any serious reconciliation with most of them, or we would have had the wonderful peaceful relations we all wish for many years ago.
The editorial falls back on the simplistic and naive refrain that the Nation State Law is a cause of our badly strained relations with the Arab population. Actually, this photo story tells us the opposite. An observant Jew who is proud of who he is inspires and elicits respect and admiration from others. Thus the kind nurse helping a patient put on tefillin.
Similarly, an Israeli Jew who stands up proudly and is not ashamed to proclaim that this land is indeed our nation state, will inspire and elicit respect from our non-Jewish neighbors.
On the same day that we could smile about a photo of a peaceful Arab doing something nice, we were smacked in the face once again with the news of yet another Arab terrorist attempting to kill an innocent Israeli, and we know that the terrorist’s family will now receive a handsome sum of money from the Palestinian leadership to acknowledge his “contribution” to their false, sick and violent cause.
We pray for the day when this Arab nurse becomes the norm among his people, when we will welcome and love all the Arab Israelis who will join our peaceful quest for a better world.
             DEBORAH BUCKMAN
             Tzur Hadassah
Positions available
Regarding “Bloated new government” (April 22), the unemployment situation and collapse of thousands of small businesses have apparently inspired our prime minister and “alternate” prime minister to open a new and exclusive employment agency to help remedy this situation. They will make sure that some 36 of their closest disciples and cronies will be employed immediately and lucratively as ministers in the so-called emergency government.
And they have even extended this wonderful gesture by supplying another 16 paid positions as deputy ministers – not to mention the option of being appointed as ambassadors as a consolation prize for those bypassed in the first two categories. Everyone else will simply have to make do with their “regular” salaries and perks as “ordinary” MKs.
As for the citizens of Israel, of whom at least 26% are presently unemployed or facing total financial ruin, no need to worry: the government approved an NIS 80 billion relief package, though we must be patient until it is actually implemented, if ever.
So to our illustrious leaders I say: “A plague on both your houses” – both meanings intended!
             GERSHON HARRIS
             Hatzor Haglilit
Amotz Asa-El is bitterly opposed to the deal setting up the Likud-Blue and White “unity government.” Based on 36 ministers, it deserves his and our loathing.
However, Amotz compares it to the USA, which has merely 17 cabinet ministers, failing to mention that the USA also has 50 mainly self-governing states with a total of 1,972 and 5,411 state and house legislators and each state boasting a governor, deputy governor and cabinet.
Comparing the Israeli and USA governments is invidious political punditry, misleading and unacceptable.
A coalition with 36 ministers, 16 deputy ministers and a second prime minister residence – what unbelievable chutzpah, especially after three non-decisive elections and an economic situation from hell.
A Knesset that works only for the good of the Knesset but now with larger salaries and titles for more members +all of them should be thrown out.
Beit Shemesh
A month ago I thought nothing could be worse that having another election. How wrong I was.
Kibbutz Kfar Hamaccabi
Go jump in the lake
For years Israelis have been warned into near depression and hysteria by reports of the falling water level of the Kinneret. Now, due to the recent rainfalls, the water level has risen almost to the upper red line (“Is there now too much water in the Kinneret?” April 24).
Do we deserve some peace and tranquility from this turn around and good fortune? Obviously not. Sarah Vorsanger and Dominik Doehler inform us that according to Sukenik, a senior environmental researcher, this might cause flooding of Tiberias and infrastructure, especially if the winds pick up
Cyanobacteria, notorious for the production of toxins, due to the rotting of vegetation on the submerged shores, may jeopardize the quality of the lake water, and don’t hold your breath or drink the water, levels will probably fall again to dangerously low conditions.
Whatever happens, environmentalists seem to be in a mind-set of predicting possible future catastrophes.
             SHALOM GUREVICH
Clean bill of health
Why did Health Minister Yaakov Litzman have to mull about removing himself from the Health Ministry? He knew that staying as minister was too hot for him to handle.
Even if he personally learned the lesson of the consequences of not adhering to public health rules of his own ministry which the general public are required – notwithstanding that some smell of totalitarianism – he knew there was no chance that his constituents would.
There was zero to mull about. For everybody’s good, he should not have stayed a day longer as the head of that ministry.
             PETER SIMPSON
Tales of the annexation
Regarding “France threatens Israel ties over settlement annexation” (April 23), Messrs. De Riviere and Borrell apparently need a history lesson.
After enduring 19 years of illegal Jordanian occupation of eastern Jerusalem, Judaea and Samaria and the ethnic cleansing of Jews from those areas, Israel liberated the land in 1967 after Jordan fired on western Jerusalem, having allied itself with Egypt and Syria, which had instigated a war with the open intention of destroying Israel and annihilating Israel’s people.
Israel offered to trade land for peace within a year of the war’s end, but the Arab League replied with “No peace. No recognition. No negotiations.” Even after the signing of the Oslo Accords nearly 30 years ago, Palestinian leaders continued to refuse to negotiate. Both Yasser Arafat (2000/2001) and Mahmoud Abbas (2008) flatly rejected Israeli proposals that could have led to the establishment of the first-ever-to-exist Arab state on essentially all of the disputed territory, with shared governance in parts of Jerusalem.
Now, having rejected the Trump Peace Plan (sight unseen), Mahmoud Abbas has the audacity to incite his people to violence and financially reward those who answer his call.
Proponents of a two-state solution should be encouraging the Palestinian leaders to begin preparing their people for peaceful co-existence with Israel and urging the leaders to return to the negotiating table, realizing that it isn’t only Israel that needs to make concessions.
The communities that Israel seeks to annex are located in Area C, which has long been slated to become part of Israel in any peace agreement (95% of the Palestinian population lives in Areas A and B). Israel isn’t “creating facts on the ground.” Israel is simply seeking to break the logjam built by decades of Palestinian intransigence.
             TOBY F. BLOCK
             Atlanta, GA
Regarding “Palestinians decry Netanyahu-Gantz gov’t, warn annexation ends peace deal” (April 21), I wasn’t aware that there were peace talks at all. All I see is Palestinian leaders defaming and making slanderous statements against the Israeli government while accepting medical aid to stop the spread of corona.
The Palestinians will never agree to the Israeli state, as having to build a Palestinian independent state would mean losing their never-ending “refugee” status.
So whom are they trying to frighten?
             FREYA BINENFELD
             Petah Tikva
Whenever I see a headline in the vein of “J Street deeply alarmed,” I know that something good is happening for Israel.
Their latest cry about the possibility of annexation is a case in point. J Street came into existence at the behest of George Soros and his sycophant lackey, Jeremy Ben Ami, who pushes their corrupt and damaging agenda mostly out of ego and the need to be accepted by the world that relishes any chance to join in Israel-bashing.
J Street has embraced the destructive Obama doctrine by backing Joe Biden for president, is pushing for the United States to re-enter the one-sided Iran agreement and is backing every known anti-Israel candidate it can find for the US Congress and Senate.
It’s outright deception for them to call themselves a “pro-Israel” lobby. They are frauds with their name belying their actual agenda, which is to harm Israel and support the Palestinians and any other group that sets itself up to destroy the Jewish state. In the face of Palestinian rejectionism, J Street, the Israel Policy Forum, the Union for Reform Judaism and Peace Now, just to name a few, need to stop doing the dirty work for our antagonists.
With friends like them, who needs enemies?
             ALLAN KANDEL
             Los Angeles, CA
As Herb Keinon indicates in his article, “To annex or not?” (April 24), Israel faces a major decision on whether or not to annex parts of Judea and Samaria.
Along with the Commanders for Israel’s Security, which includes “the overwhelming majority of retired IDF generals and their Mossad, Shin Bet (Security Agency) and police equivalents,” I believe that Israel should not annex, because annexation would, among other negatives:
• Make Palestinian terrorism more likely, something especially harmful when, as another April 24 article indicates, there would be “Coronavirus danger if Palestinian protests erupt after annexation.”
• Decrease already slim chances for a resolution of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.
• Negatively affect relations with other countries.
• Widen the splits between Israel and most American Jews and most Democrats, including presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
Professor Emeritus, College of Staten Island
Zooming in on teachers’ attitudes
Possibly some of the blame for the selfishness and lack of sympathy shown by recent behavior of Israel’s teachers to their students during the corona virus could be explained at least partly by the example shown by the Education Ministry.
Teachers have been told to use Zoom without any guidance how to use the system or how they can adapt the material to be used.
No doubt the Ministry has more important priorities related to who will be the education minister, who will be his deputy and the perks they can expect to receive…
             STANLEY CANNING
             Kibbutz Kfar Hamaccabi
Corona comments
Regarding “As many as 10,000 coronavirus test kits from China found faulty” (April 23), I wonder who ordered these tests that cost millions of shekels. Holland, Spain and Turkey have all complained about the faulty tests China supplied them.
There may be something suspect about China selling tests for a virus that originated from their shores, but it’s downright silly to purchase these tests without checking if they really work.
About two weeks ago, the ultra-Orthodox Israeli town of Bnei Brak was erroneously reported to have a COVID-19 infection rate of 38%. Subsequently, however, the Israeli HMO that originally released this figure recognized that there had been an error in calculations, and that the actual figure was only about 3% to 4%. Other media outlets issued corrections in response to the HMO’s reanalysis of the data, and it should be noted also by The Jerusalem Post.
Why is this important? In addition to the ethics of journalism rendering accuracy vital, there is an unfortunate antisemitic trope that scurrilously represents Jewish people as a source of contagion, disease, and as a threat to the health of non-Jews. An apotheosis of this trope was the 1940 German Nazi film, The Eternal Jew, which presented Jews inaccurately in this way, and helped pave the path to The Holocaust.
When a responsible media outlet finds that it has echoed an erroneous report like this one, which antisemites might use as ammunition, it is incumbent on that media outlet to issue corrections.
             DANIEL H. TRIGOBOFF, PH.D.
             Williamsville, New York
Regarding “Keeping eyes open won’t show us the virus but the beauty of Israel” (April 24), kol hakavod to Yaakov Katz for his inspirational and upbeat remarks in. Katz shares a poignant lesson from his grandfather, who survived the Holocaust (the story of the “benkl”), about the importance of facing challenges in life. This vital lesson was embraced by his eight grandchildren about “keeping their eyes open” on visiting a friend, on the bus or on the streets of Israel...
Numerous examples are given to illustrate how Israelis come together in the face of a crisis like the coronavirus: soldiers delivering food to B’nai Brak, Arab medical staff enabling Jewish hospital patients to observe their Jewish heritage and a staff member from the Defense Ministry who acts in a heroic fashion to help a family in need. In short, Katz focuses upon what unites us as Israelis, instead of “what divides us.”
These vignettes should be shared with the wider media. Israel’s “real story” is one that needs to be heard because it will offer hope and optimism to many people around the world who are experiencing despair.
             RICHARD CORMAN
It seems that there are two sides to the COVID-19 coin, with mixed messages causing confusion.
Apparently, IKEA, essentially a mall, can open, but a person is prohibited from venturing (less than 500 meters) into the sea. The salt water is probably healthier than the inside of a huge mall (longer than 500 meters).
Also, hair salons and beauticians, etc., can “provide services under Health Ministry regulations.” What does that mean? Will there be some authority from that department checking on all these places – many of which are in the malls?
Everyone over seven years old must wear a mask (except when exercising?!) or could be at risk being fined? How much?
The constantly changing rules are all very contradictory and confusing. We hope that in the not-too-distant future, life will return to some semblance of normality.
             SALLY SHAW
             Kfar Saba