Letters to the Editor

Birds of a feather

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Birds of a feather
 Your July 22 lead article “Israel, PA in African diplomatic battle” is very much an example of the idiom “Birds of a feather flock together.”
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir is a fugitive from the justice of the International Criminal Court, where he is accused of abuse of human rights, war crimes and genocide. He is thus well qualified to partner with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who has shown himself to be equally adept at human rights abuses, probable war crimes and continual rhetoric agitating for the genocide of Jewish Israelis.
The only difference between the two is that the world chooses to view Abbas through rose-tinted glasses rather than judge him on his words and actions, which place him in exactly the same category as Bashir. It would appear that an increasing number of African states have had enough of this sort of behavior.
Threatened as they are by Islamic extremism, common sense tells many African leaders that they are far better off with Israel as a friend who can assist and advise them in the fight to defeat the extremists. The irony is that Abbas, in running around with Bashir while making accusations against Israel at the very same ICC, lays bare his own duplicity, dishonesty and cunning.
 Treatment of Trump
Surrounded by staunchly pro-Israel Jewish advisers, an Orthodox Jewish daughter and son-in-law, and a running mate noted for his fierce defense of Israel over a 12-year period in the House of Representatives, Donald Trump has no “Jewish problem,” save perhaps in the jaundiced eyes of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Democratic Party’s designated attack dog.
That The Jerusalem Post should be proffering even a left-handed nod to this contention (“Trump’s Jew problem,” Editorial, July 22) is unfortunately pretty much in line with the unending parade of cartoons in your editorial pages depicting the Republican Party’s presidential nominee as a cross between a demagogue and a lunatic.
One waits, hopefully not in vain, for a single editorial comment on Hillary Clinton’s reported receptivity to the writings of arch anti-Israel polemicist Max Blumenthal, the son of long-standing Clinton political confidant Sidney Blumenthal.
The younger Blumenthal likened Israel to Nazi Germany and called for the dismantling of the Jewish state and the evacuation of most of its Jewish population in his 2013 book Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel.
The elder Blumenthal is apparently the conduit through which these anti-Israel tirades have found their way to Mrs. Clinton’s attention. If her famous 45-minute phone harangue of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over a Jewish apartment house in north Jerusalem is representative of what we’ll be getting from her as president, it would appear that the Blumenthals have done their job well.
 The Jerusalem Post has consistently maintained the highest standards of ethics and principles of publishing and dissemination of the news. This has enabled it to be regarded as one of the leading newspapers in Israel.
Therefore, it was quite disappointing that you chose to cite Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, as the lead headline for your July 21 front page (“Democratic chair to ‘Post’: Trump fosters anti-Semitism”).
Wasserman Schultz’s comments on Donald Trump are the opinion of a professional politician interested in furthering the prospects of her candidate. You unfortunately allowed yourself to be used to do this among the many American citizens residing in Israel who will vote in the upcoming election.
One can only hope that this unusual breach of principle will prove to be an exception to an otherwise extraordinary record.
The Jerusalem Post certainly has the right to adopt whatever editorial policy it wishes. And I have chosen to remain a subscriber for the past 14 years even though I am bombarded daily with the leftists rants of Jeff Barak, Susan Hattis Rolef, Gershon Baskin, Douglas Bloomfield, etc.
However, when you use the front page, above the fold, for what amounts to a paid advertisement for Hillary Clinton, I think you have gone way too far.
You may not be happy with the GOP’s choice for presidential candidate, but to pillory Donald Trump based on the specious complaints of Debbie Wasserman Schultz is ludicrous, and certainly not newsworthy.
 Playing politics
I refer to “Kahlon says Israel has a real estate bubble and it is going to burst” (July 22) and the subsequent publication of his proposal to impose an annual tax on owners of more than two apartments.
I do not own more than two apartments, so this does not affect me. However, for a finance minister to impose a tax in order to force the transfer of ownership of property from one group to another is, to put it simply, ridiculous.
This is not Communist Russia.
Mr. Kahlon knows that prices are based on supply and demand. He succeeded with the cellular sector, where he increased the number of suppliers, and prices dropped. He is now taxing investors when they purchase property, while they own it and when they sell it.
There is no bubble, but he sure is trying hard to create a crash of what there is. And if thousands of investors start selling their apartments, what do they do with their money? Create a stock market bubble instead? I advise Mr. Kahlon to put his efforts into increasing the housing supply. That is how you solve the problem. I also ask him to please do his job and stop playing politics.
LOUIS ZETLER Hoshaya The writer has a law degree from the University of Cape Town, with undergraduate studies in commerce and economics at the University of South Africa.
Anti-Semitic manifesto
With regard to “EU working paper blames ‘occupation’ for wave of Palestinian terrorism” (July 21), if this working paper had been published by the Palestinian Authority or some extreme neo-Nazi group, we might be able to dismiss it as “only an internal draft that has not yet been presented to EU institutions,” and to which “Israel would respond only if it were formally presented to the EU in September.”
But this is an anti-Semitic manifesto, with Israeli Jews being blamed for self-inflicted terrorism because of the “occupation,” “loss of hope among the Palestinians in the two-state solution,” their “poor living conditions” and every possible psychological/ physiological malady that Palestinians might suffer.
And don’t forget that the wave of terrorism since October 2015 is the result of those sinister and subversive “right-wing Israeli politicians and religious groups” that “began to question the status quo on Arab rights at the Temple Mount complex in the Old City.”
Finally, we purposely manipulate archeological digs “to denigrate Palestinian historical links to Jerusalem.” On the other hand, terrorism in Europe is “not of the same ilk,” clearly implying that terrorism and the loss of Jewish lives in Israel is justified and comprehensible, while the murder and maiming of European residents is not.
Our government must take definitive action against this so-called first draft in no uncertain terms, including by summoning the European Union ambassador for clarifications and condemnation in no uncertain terms of accusations that hearken back to the darkest days of European history and its treatment of Jews.
G. BEN-SHMUEL Hatzor Haglilit