Letters to Editor May 11, 2020: NYT says ‘nyet’ to impartiality

Readers of The Jerusalem Post have their say.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
NYT says ‘nyet’ to impartiality
As a young man some 60 years ago, my father counseled me that the worst antisemites are self-hating Jews. This came to mind as I read “‘NYT’ report causes uproar” (May 10), reporting how the New York Times, in an article about Israel’s progress on curing coronavirus, vilified Israel by gratuitously inserting that the Jewish state is “best known for pioneering cutting-edge ways to kill people and blow things up.”
This is but the latest link in a long chain of despicable Times articles regarding Israel going back decades.
“How low can you go?” perfectly describes the Times in its coverage of Israel and the Jewish people.
Tzur Yitzhak
Get past the impasse
Regarding “Israel to expand Efrat settlement by 7,000 homes, squeezing Bethlehem” (May 6), Peace Now and Hanan Ashrawi just don’t get it.
The driving force behind the Trump peace plan and Israel’s move to annex a portion of Area C is the desire to deliver an important message to the Palestinian Authority: It’s been half a century since Israel liberated land that Egypt and Jordan had been illegally occupying; it’s been almost three decades since the Oslo Accords were signed; Israel is not going to be held hostage to Palestinian intransigence any longer.
If the Palestinians are going to take advantage of the opportunity the Trump plan offers them, they should start developing their economy and begin building in Areas A and B. They should also begin preparing their people for life in a state co-existing with the nation-state of the Jewish people. This will entail stopping incitement of violence against Israelis and telling the remaining Palestine “refugees” and their descendants that their future lies in a new Palestinian state (not in Israel).
Atlanta, GA
Regarding “Peace work” editorial (May 10), once again, the editorial board buys into the misnomers used by the international community to the detriment of the State of Israel.
I have given up on The Jerusalem Post refraining from using the term “Palestinian” for a non-people (as opposed to the term Palestinian Arabs) as well as refraining from calling Judea and Samaria the “West Bank” (a term created in 1948 for territory that even Jordan eventually conceded is not theirs).
Now we have the term “annexation.” It has been pointed out by various columnists in the Post that, although the results may be the same, annexation has a negative connotation that Israel is doing something illegal.
The proper term to be used should be “applying sovereignty.”
The new Israeli government should accept President Trump’s plan. It requires the Palestinian Authority to:
1) Negotiate in good faith, a concept it does not understand. Witness the various intifadas and terrorist attacks after the Oslo Accords were signed.
2) Cease its “pay for slay” policy. That will never happen. Even now it pays terrorist families in full to the detriment of its own citizens.
3) Agree to a two-state solution. That will never happen, as it still believes that all of the State of Israel, from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, exists on Arab territory.
As US Ambassador David Friedman points out, if the PA does not show up to negotiate or does not meet the conditions outlined in the peace plan, then Israel will have kept its side of the “Deal of the Century.”
And as we know from past experience, “the Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity!”
Ganei Modi’in
Corona chronicles
Regarding “Israel’s coronavirus is on the decline: Lockdown, Mother Nature or math?” (May 6), “Government action had nothing to do with the country’s success in the battle against the novel coronavirus, according to MK Ofer Shelah (Yesh Atid-Telem).”
The assertion by MK Ofer Shelah (Yesh Atid-Telem) that “government action had nothing to do with the country’s success in the battle against the novel coronavirus” is sheer nonsense.
Israel has 16,314 cases and 238 deaths with the population of 9.2 million, so it has 27 deaths per million population which is ten times less than Sweden has per million.
I just cannot imagine that Israel could tolerate 2,380 deaths, which would approach the number of deaths in the Yom Kippur war.
How to explain such numbers? Israel imposed strict restrictions early on and a lockdown at the very beginning of the exponential curve. I believe that it helped that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has Master of Science degree from MIT, whereas Boris Johnson studied humanities at Oxford and Trump has a bachelor’s degree in economics from the Wharton school – so Netanyahu was much more receptive to the scientists’ advice.
In addition, the health care providers (Maccabi for instance) monitors remotely every mildly infected person three times a day.
As a resident of the Nofei Yerushalayim retirement home in Bayit Vegan, I was shocked to read the article “Where there’s a will there’s a way” (May 7), a sweeping generalization of the treatment of residents in retirement homes during the coronavirus pandemic.
My experience has been totally different from what was described. We have been carefully monitored and cared for by the staff since the onset of the pandemic. Families could not visit us in our homes, but masked, gloved and keeping our distance, we could see individual family members, receive shopping, could order and receive food and other requirements. Over the last fortnight, family members booked 30-minute visits and met residents in designated public places outside or inside. Staff kept families fully informed and arranged videos with messages from each family to individual residents, which were screened in various locations in the building.
Meals were always available. We were never restricted to our own apartments, provided we were suitably attired and kept our distance. Residents could always meet one or two other residents. We were encouraged to go out onto the large balcony for fresh air and exercise. Morale was and is high. All residents, staff and nursing personnel were tested and were all negative.
We were never totally isolated and our public places were used sensibly. We never felt abandoned.
Supreme wrangling
A “fight to the death” is taking place, though substantially camouflaged, in the Supreme Court these days (“Coalition deal for Court approval,” May 6).
The Knesset is striving to retrieve its lost, democratically elected power, while the Court is insisting on maintaining the authority, which it so cunningly usurped. A struggle between the disciples of the former Chief Justice Aharon Barak (former Chief Justices Dorit Beinish and Miriam Naor and present incumbent Esther Chayut) and the disciples of the former justice minister Daniel Friedman (former justice minister of Ayelet Shaked and present incumbent Amir Ohana) as well as Knesset Speaker Yuri Edelstein.
It is a fight for the definition of the boundaries of the concept of Separation of Powers – a concept that goes to the very heart of democracy; a fight between the will of the people as expressed by the elected members of Knesset and between the “right” of the Courts to apply the subjective test of “reasonableness” to any decision taken by the majority of MKs.
That is what this is all about and nothing else.
If nothing else, at least the proceedings of our Supreme Court have shown the Knesset and rest of us how responsible adults can behave when they’re meeting together (“Polite, but ready to do battle,” May 4). How high-caliber individuals who disagree with each other can accomplish important work by actually listening to each other! There is no need for them to act like spoiled children who constantly interrupt, shout, call names, are rude and disrespectful, and even have temper tantrums.
Something I’ve been wondering about for a very long time now: Whatever happened to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty? Have Israelis decided that the media can present all the facts about a case and that someone is guilty just because charges have been laid?
Pure motives?
Based on the infighting over ministries as a result of the coalition deal (“Likud set for ‘world war’ over portfolios,” May 10), the average voter can infer only one thing: No Israeli politician wants to be just an “ordinary” Knesset member. It’s beneath his or her dignity to be anything other than a minister or deputy minister.
We voters would never attribute this hunger for ministries as anything other than the desire to better serve the State of Israel. But just to be sure that the would-be ministers have that pure motive and aren’t in it just for glory or power or honor or a car and driver, I would make the following suggestion: All ministers would get paid 20% less than ordinary Knesset members; deputy ministers would be paid 10% less.
In light of our current economic situation, I’m sure that all those MKs who want to serve the country as ministers would be more than willing to make this financial sacrifice.
Biden v. Trump on Israel
In “Where Biden would break from Trump on Israel” (May 8), Herb Keinon quotes presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Biden proclaiming, “I strongly oppose Israel’s settlement policy.”
There have been naysayers throughout our short history. In 1948, the US State Department opposed a vote at the UN to establish Israel as a state. There was opposition to Israel taking out the Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007; continued antagonism to Israel annexing the Golan Heights in 1981, vehement exhortions by the Left when the United States moved its embassy to Jerusalem and now again with Israel having a once-in-a-lifetime chance, through Trump’s Deal of the Century, to annex a mere 30% of the West Bank and the Jordan Valley as a security buffer zone. Much has been said, over and over again, that this latest annexation will deliver a blow to a two state solution.
Offering the Palestinian Authority 70% of the West Bank, fantastic financial benefits to raise their people out of poverty and grant dignity to its citizens in a noble way via building of a much-needed infrastructure of hospitals, health care, schools, roads, housing and much more. And the PA vociferously turns down this deal. What partners are there to negotiate with? The PA, which incentives their children to kill our children and has summarily refused to consider every offer of peace granting two states?
If the PA would only consider sitting at a table with Israel to discuss the Deal of the Century, and perhaps use it as a starting point and then eventual acceptance, they may discover the Trump Deal provides a palatable, pleasant way to achieve a just and genuine peace.
The difference between former vice president Joe Biden and US President Donald Trump on Israel is like night and day.
In the very last days of its lame duck term, to cripple Israel and the president elect, the Obama-Biden administration railroaded Resolution 2334 through the UN Security Council, completely breaking with US policy, calling the Western Wall and the Jewish Quarter of the Old City “occupied Palestinian territory,” ignoring thousands of years of Jewish history in the region – not to mention branding neighborhoods like Ramat Eshkol “illegal.”
Biden may try to smile and spin his hostility, but he already concedes that he is “totally opposed” to basic policies of the incoming unity government. The Trump administration, on the other hand, has supported Israel like no predecessor before.
If you want to harm Israel and pit it on a collision course with the US, then hey, Biden is your man.
Beit Shemesh
Setting the record straight
It is most unfortunate that the article “Senior religious-Zionist leader Rabbi Nachum Rabinowitz dies at 92” (May 7) was marred by a falsehood.
Rabinovitch did not denounce Yitzchak Rabin as a “moser” (informer against the Jewish people). I remember vividly that before Rabin’s assassination, Rabinovitch was interviewed on the radio. After defining what a moser is, he was asked if the prime minister actually was a moser. He responded in effect, “Chas veshalom. Mesirah depends on intent. The prime minister is misguided, but his intent is for the welfare of our country.” I heard this interview replayed after Yitzchak Rabin’s murder, minus that portion where he forcefully denied the accusation against Rabin.
An anthology about the prime minister was published here and in England. One of the writers repeated the calumny that Rabinovitch called Rabin a “moser.” The rabbi sued the publisher in an English court for libel and won. That publisher was forced to destroy all copies of the book and pay a substantial fine.
Regarding “Far-right German leader: Victory over Nazis ‘day of absolute defeat’” (May 8), it is difficult to deal with the memory of wartime defeat. The German politician who says that day was an “absolute defeat” is stating a historical fact.
There is large museum (Panorama) in the center of Cairo celebrating the fabulous victory of Egypt over Israel in the 1973 war. How? Their history stops after the first day, in which they were, in fact, victors. No mention is made of their ultimate loss. Would it be better for Germans to have a museum dedicated to their sterling victory in WW II in which history stops in 1941?
Or perhaps the Germans could take a page from the American South. Segments of that population proudly display the Confederate flag and glorify and romanticize a war started with the aim of keeping certain people in a category of subhuman possessions. Should Germans wave Nazi flags glorifying their short-lived Reich?
Calling Germany’s absolute defeat just that is coming to terms with reality.