Letters to the Editor: April 17, 2019

Readers of the Jerusalem Post have their say.

Letters (photo credit: PIXABAY)
(photo credit: PIXABAY)
Swear words
Regarding “New PA government sworn in” (April 14), PA President Mahmoud Abbas installed his new government. They were not elected by the people; they were hand-picked by Abbas himself, who is half-way through the second decade of his four-year term as president.
How will they differ from his last team? Will they make peace with Hamas and stop cutting off their power? Will they take seriously the soon-to-be-released American plan for ending the Arab-Israeli conflict?
They must know that everyone, including their Arab neighbors – is fed up with their shenanigans. Now may be their last chance to reach an acceptable compromise with Israel. After this, America, Israel and the Arab League may just ignore them and work out a modus vivendi without them.
Ottawa, On.
Electoral math
In “One week after” (April 15), Susan Hattis Rolef seems to take solace in the fact that the right-wing bloc is “diminished from 67 to 65 Knesset seats.”
This is deceptive, though. It does not indicate that the right-wing bloc’s popular support has slipped. Actually, the exact opposite is true.
The New Right and the Zehut parties together won nearly as many votes as Shas, which was awarded eight seats. If those votes for the Right had not been lost, the real strength of the right-wing bloc would have netted them 70 seats or more.
The right-wing preference of the voting public could not have been more conclusive and it is unfortunate that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu now has to “make do” with a coalition of only 65 seats.
Had Netanyahu not had the foresight to encourage formation of the United Right Party at the last minute, the Right would probably have lost even more seats and might not have been able to forge a coalition at all – despite their huge electoral victory.
Bat Yam
The Jerusalem Post keeps repeating the false claim that the “Right” bloc outnumbers the “Center-Left” bloc 65-55. The opposite is the case. The Center-Left outnumbers the Right 55-49.
The tally of 65 for the “right” erroneously includes the 16 Knesset seats of the haredi parties. These parties are neither Right nor Left. They have no foreign policy and no stated policy on the Palestinians. They are focused only on their internal affairs and funds for their institutions. They go with whatever party holds promise to win and grant their demands.
That includes “United Torah Judaism,” which once sat in a government with Shulamit Aloni and the Left. The truth is that more Israelis voted Center-Left than right. To claim otherwise misrepresents the Israeli electorate and gives more power to Rightist thinking than it merits.
What they mean but don’t say
Regarding “Report: Trump plan won’t include Palestinian state” (April 16), what the rejectionist EU forgets (or prefers to ignore) is that “two states” represents two very different ideas for Israelis and Palestinians.
Palestinian leaders seek a Palestinian state from which Jews have been ethnically cleansed and a tiny Israel within the 1948 “Auschwitz lines,” overrun by millions of people raised in societies that honor and reward people for murdering Jews. They want Israel to accept these multi-generational descendants of Arabs who fled 70 years ago during the Arab-initiated war aimed at preventing Israel’s rebirth in its ancestral homeland. By gaining citizenship, the hordes of new citizens could then vote to drop all vestiges of Judaism from Israeli law.
Israel, on the other hand, envisions a Palestinian state coexisting peacefully beside the nation-state of the Jews, with members of minority groups having full civil rights in their state of residence.
Unfortunately, the Palestinian leaders have shown no interest in accepting such an equitable situation.
One hopes the Trump plan will introduce much-needed new thinking – and the EU should be less biased and more open-minded.
Atlanta, GA
Strength in unity
Regarding “No to a national unity government” (April 15), I would like to point out a number of reasons why I believe Jeff Barak was wrong and we should push for a unity government.
1. A unity government would lower the risk of extortion by the smaller parties.
2. Benny Gantz has no experience running a government and this opportunity would give him invaluable experience.
3. Netanyahu will very likely have to leave office within a year because of his potential legal problems.
Unfortunately, I do not believe that Netanyahu would allow a unity government to be formed because he is well aware that this would give a real potential rival too much of a boost.
Less is much more
In “Eurovision under attack? Gaza activists threaten the contest” (JPost.com, April 16), The Jerusalem Post website gives prominent coverage to a digital terrorist who threatens to harm the Eurovision contest if we do not meet Gaza’s demands.
I strongly oppose not only the terrorist’s hate-laced propaganda methods, but also Post’s decision to provide a generous and valuable platform publicizing the ultimatum – including a link to their disturbing video.
Thanks to the Post, many people have now viewed the video who otherwise would probably have been blissfully unaware of its existence. This may deter people from attending.
I urge the decision-makers at the Post in the future to ask themselves whose interest they are serving when they provide so much free promotion for the publicity of hate groups. If you feel the news is indeed important, perhaps a small, modest mention would be preferable to the exaggerated treatment it got this time.
No preconditions?
Regarding “PA FM: ‘Abbas ready to meet Netanyahu with no preconditions’” (JPost.com, April 16), yes, PA President Abbas means “no preconditions” – as long as they need to make no compromises or concessions. They will “negotiate” only if Israel agrees in advance to create a first-ever Palestinian state on the 1948 ceasefire lines, expel thousands of Jews from their homes, divide Jerusalem and open Israel to Arab “refugees.”
Other than that, all topics are open.
Right turn
The article “How Israel’s Youth have grown right-wing (April 12) correctly highlights the trend of younger generation to be sharply right wing, due to failed promises of peace through risky concessions to the Arabs (Oslo accords and leaving Gaza and South Lebanon) and touches on the demographic shift due to the high birthrate of the haredi and religious Zionist communities.
However, the article fails to note that the demographic shift is in large measure due to the flight of the secular young generation to leave the country to the greener pastures of the US and elsewhere.
For example, the city with the second largest Israel population is Los Angeles, California where up to 350,000 thousand Israeli citizens reside. The numbers climb to almost 1,000,000 throughout all of the North America.
Throw in the latest Pew survey that shows that 75% of these yordim (expats) intermarry, and with the low birth rate and late marriage rate among the secular young generation in Israel, it is no wonder that the future power in Israel will soon shift towards the religious sector. This will obviously increase the influence of the “transfer parties” as well as the Orthodox rabbinate leadership, and will only accelerate the flight of the secular community, making for a different Israel indeed in the near future.
Givat Ze’ev
Channel love into action
I read “What to do about lone soldier deaths” (April 5), with much dismay. My husband and I have tried to become involved with lone soldiers and contacted the organization involved. We were told we could come and help serve lunch; nothing else was offered.
Though no doubt helping serve a meal would be appreciated, I had thought that there would be some sort of fostering program, to link lone soldiers to a family so he/she could come over for a rest, have a place to do their laundry, get some help to deal with Israeli bureaucracy and perhaps have a nice home-cooked meal every now and again. There is such a great love for lone soldiers in this country that I find it absolutely shocking that there is no program in place to channel this love into action!
What is even more appalling is the lack of a safety net for these young heroes, once they have left the army! The army and the government of Israel have shamed each and every one of us, because we now know we have not looked after our sons and daughters.