Regarding “Unity agreement: Nothing that couldn’t have been agreed on in April 2019" (April 21), while it is wonderful that we may finally be on track to having a properly constituted and functioning government, at least two things about the entire affair are highly troubling:
1) Why did the nation have to suffer needlessly through such a long period of costly, embarrassing uncertainty and repeated elections if everything now agreed on would have been equally acceptable a full year ago?
2) This tardy togetherness will be astronomically costly, with duplicate prime minister residences, an unprecedented number of ministers and staffs and more – and this at a time that a million of us are out of work and struggling to meet expenses.
My wife and I are debating whether the grant of total NIS 1,000 we received as senior citizens should be donated back to the government to help cover the bloated salaries of do-nothing Knesset members, bloated ministries, deputy ministries and two residences of prime and vice (a most apropos word) prime ministers.
So we compromised. Maybe we’ll only donate NIS 500.
We’re still deciding what to do with the other NIS 500, whether to pay our bills to Bezeq or to the electric company, both of which have done absolutely nothing to help consumers reduce expenses at a time when we are stuck at home making more phone calls to socially distant family and using more electricity than usual.
Refuge in a trendy mall
“Coronavirus: Hamas chastised after Palestinians flock to new shopping mall” (April 20) reports the eye-opening facts that this new mall is in the Nuseirat “refugee camp” in Gaza, and that “hundreds of Palestinians” are shopping there.
This article should be plastered on the front pages of all foreign newspapers. Goodness, the world sees the Palestinians as living in poverty, subsisting in “refugee camps” with no heat, running water or sanitation.
It’s time for people to wake up and smell the coffee. They can probably find an excellent selection in Gaza’s Hype Mall.
The Palestinian Arabs are masters of propaganda. We are constantly being bombarded in the international and national media that Gaza is about to implode, explode, collapse, disintegrate. The water is undrinkable, the children are starving. Passionate pleas are repeated endlessly to stop the brutal treatment of the Gazans by the Israelis.
On the other hand, The Jerusalem Post informs that hundred of Palestinians flocked to a new expensive mall in defiance of corona defense measures initiated by Hamas. (Hamas promotes its anti-corona measures by pointing out that it has closed the Shati beach resorts, restaurants, coffee shops, etc.).
Of course, Gaza neighborhoods are always referred to as “refugee camps,” even in the Post. The new mall is in the Nuseirat “refugee camp.” The beach resorts are in the Shati “refugee camp.” Where in the history of conflicts have the displaced persons managed to lodge themselves in eternal “refugee camps” festooned with expensive malls, beach resorts, wedding halls, magnificent places of worships (mosques), innumerable restaurants and coffee shops?
The equivalent distortion would be to refer to the communities in Israel populated by displaced, persecuted, Jews from Europe and the Muslim world as the Tel Aviv refugee camp, the Beersheba refugee camp and so on. We have much to learn from the Palestinian war propaganda.YIGAL HOROWITZBeersheba
Regarding “Germany’s largest paper to China’s president: You’re endangering the world” (April 20), I never would have expected to give kudos to a German newspaper man, but Julian Reichelt, editor-in-chief of the German newspaper BILD, read the riot act to China and its president with both guns blazing.
We don’t know exactly how China manipulated the early news regarding the COVID-19, we just know that they did and they did so in their usual self-serving, try-and-fool-the-world manner we’ve grown a custom to seeing from them. Where most political leaders and journalists shy away from directly attacking the communist-run country due to China’s economic might and sincere threats to use it (remember the NBA basically begging for forgiveness for one general manager’s tweet against the Chinese government and the ensuing boycott?), Reichlet pulled no punches slamming China for being too nationalistic, for stealing intellectual properties and reliance on surveillance of its own people among other nefarious actions.
Your picture accompanying the article said it all: the Chinese president smiling and greeting a known terrorist who most likely played a pivotal role in hiding pertinent information about the virus that may have cost the lives of many thousands of people.ALLAN KANDEL
Regarding “Coronavirus: This is China’s Chernobyl moment” (April 16), the “human right’s lawyer” who gave the interview intentionally misleads readers with selective facts and spread hatred toward China and its government.
It was not mentioned that Dr. Li Wenliang is a member of the Communist Party of China. Earlier this month, he was awarded the title of National Hero by the government of China and is being deeply commemorated by all the Chinese.
It was not mentioned that Dr. Ai Fen is not disappeared and she is still active on the front-line of Wuhan Central Hospital. Interested readers can follow her on Chinese social media Weibo for her almost daily updates.
It was not mentioned that three days before Dr. Ai Fen and Dr. Li Wenliang shared the message on social media, Dr. Zhang Jixian at Hubei Hospital of Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine, reported the first three suspected cases through the official channel and sounded the alarm. On December 30, the same day when Dr. Ai and Dr. Li “blew the whistle,” Wuhan government issued an “urgent notice on the treatment of pneumonia of unknown cause.”
And of course, it was not mentioned that polls by multiple international institutions show that China enjoys the highest domestic support rate regarding its social system and development path among all the countries surveyed. Since it is a successful path, why should we change course? Since it enjoys the people’s support, why should we give it up? To draw a line between the CPC and the people is to challenge the entire Chinese nation.
China is a huge country striving to achieve modernization, and much remains to be improved. We welcome all well-intentioned advice that views China through the objective lens. Please stop distorting the facts and turning white into black.WANG YONGJUN
Spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy in Israel
Corona and politics
Regarding “Corona and politics shouldn’t mix – but they do” (April 17), I would like to congratulate Yaakov Katz. The article clearly expresses thoughts that have been swimming around in my subconscious mind that I have not been able to express, that there is something wrong with the way the crisis has been handled.
The use of the crisis as a political football to promote personal advantage, the manipulation of data and quotation out of context to give the impression that Israel is at the forefront of the battle can only be condemned in the strongest possible terms.
Katz’s contention that the IDF is the only organization in the country that can handle the crisis in an absolutely integrated fashion is well based, and more’s the pity that it did not happen.
Regarding “Israel publishes plan to protect elderly; death toll rises to 178” (April 21), in seeking to protect the elderly, we must be careful not to stereotype people in this age group. While there is great concern for the corona-virus high death rate evinced recently in nursing facilities, we should note that patients in nursing homes comprise only about 10% of this age group.
As for the other 90% who are deemed at higher risk for the virus, it is important not to fall into the trap of ageism. When society is divided along age lines with those under 67 going back to work and out in society, and those over 67 isolating at home, this is effectively cutting off a large part of the population. What measures are being put into place to protect the jobs held by seniors?
Compassion is nice, but the nation needs to take a proactive stand, perhaps in more rigorous antibody testing, to make sure that all citizens regardless of age are treated equitably.
“Israel’s defense industry switches gears in the war against coronavirus” (April 20) reports that ventilators will be produced “…on production lines which usually produce bombs and missiles.”
Could this be the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy from almost 3,000 years ago stating that people will “beat their swords into plowshares”?
Regarding “As coronavirus antisemitism spikes, Israel launches counter-campaign” (April 20), antisemitism is a mental illness that has poisoned Christians and Muslims since their respective inceptions 2,000 and 1,400 years ago.
4,000 years ago, Jews revolutionized how the world functioned, creating laws based on morality rather than on family/tribal loyalty. Hebraic law forms the basis of all Western legal systems.
Both Christianity and Islam reverted to tribalism: i.e., what one believes is more important than what one does: the way to heaven is based on accepting Jesus as the savior, or Mohammed as God’s messenger.
In their insularity, neither Christians nor Muslims can understand why others won’t see “the” truth. Over the centuries they have felt it their duty to enlighten or punish non-believers. They have treated the world with disdain – raped, looted and plundered with holy righteousness.
Christianity sprang directly from Judaism; Islam adopted Jewish stories as their own. Neither accepts the Jews’ refusal to submit. Both have treated the Jews as renewable resources to be robbed and persecuted.
Antisemites cannot understand how this tiny group of people can survive and thrive. Their Nobel Prizes and contributions to society far beyond their numbers, rankles them.
Regarding “Israel to Palestinian Authority: Stop slandering us or face repercussions” (19 April), just what might those repercussions be?
For decades, our enemies have been slandering us, maligning us, threatening us, allowed to steal our narrative as the people who have sole ownership of the Land of Israel, yet we allow our enemies to thrive, humiliating ourselves to those whose sole mission is our destruction.
We should be proud that God returned us to our historic Jewish land – not ashamed, as so many seem to be, which can be the only reason they are afraid to stand up with pride and declare our sovereignty throughout the Land. When one is handed a precious jewel, it is to be revered and loved: one land, one people, as promised to our forefathers and their progeny in perpetuity.
As Yom Haatzmaut approaches, let’s celebrate it as free people in our own land.EDITH OGNALL
Regarding “Coronavirus immunity offered to donors of charity linked to major rabbi” (April 20), I have to assume that some context is lacking. Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky would never guarantee complete immunity from corona. At most he might give a bracha.
One must understand the amount of potential hilul hashem and slander this is going to cause. I read some comments – people saying he should be thrown into a corona ward and worse. And these are only the people who comment, which very few do.
This article warrants more thorough investigation. Until someone speaks to the rabbi himself and gives him an opportunity to clarify and respond, it cannot be considered fair.J. HANDLER