Letters to the Editor February 3, 2021: Kosovo knows best

Readers of The Jerusalem Post have their say.

Letters (photo credit: PIXABAY)
(photo credit: PIXABAY)
 Kosovo knows best
Welcome to Kosovo, the first Muslim-majority nation to recognize the obvious – that Jerusalem is the Jewish state’s capital (“Israel, Kosovo establish diplomatic ties over Zoom,” February 2). 
The bold diplomatic step by this small landlocked Balkan nation may help hostile elements in the rest of the Islamic world come to realize that peddling lies and disinformation about the Land of Israel and its indigenous Jews is counterproductive to peace and progress.
I’m looking forward to visiting Kosovo’s new embassy in Jerusalem to welcome and thank them in person – and hope one day to be able to travel to explore the country itself.
Tel Aviv
Shmuley Boteach sketches a beautiful perfect-world scenario (“We must renew black-Jewish brotherhood,” February 2). Unfortunately, I believe, his admiration for the current BLM organization is misdirected. 
While BLM may have once stood for “fighting racial injustice and prejudice,” it has been co-opted by radical elements. The vast majority of active BLM members have allowed their organization to become racist and antisemitic. They are becoming the Black Panthers version 2020. 
The fact that some Scandinavian politician has nominated BLM for a Nobel Prize is laughable. The promise of what BLM could have been is crumbling under the weight of financial and racist corruption. 
Burn, Loot and Murder – BLM – is this what they stand for in today’s world?
Bowman’s low blow
Regarding “Jamaal Bowman removes tweet criticizing Israel’s vaccine policy” (Jpost.com, January 30), of course Bowman removed his “vaccine tweet” condemning Israel, which propagandistically smeared Israel, claiming “this cruelty is another reminder of why the occupation must end.” His now-conveniently “disappeared” tweet did its destructive job, and now is being spread around by others.
Jamaal Bowman knows – and hopes Americans do not know – that Palestinian Authority has a health ministry that is legally responsible for dealing with the health of the people who suffer under its misrule and its leaders said they want vaccines from an other-than-Israeli source. 
The only thing preventing the PA residents from getting vaccines more quickly is the PA’s agenda. According to PA leader Mahmoud Abbas, “We view the prisoners and martyrs as stars in the skies of the Palestinian resistance, and they have priority over everything.” Pay-to-slay monetary incentives and rewards funded by US taxpayers among others are the PA’s first priority for spending international aid, so the health of the residents must suffer.
From 2017 to 2019, the Palestinian Authority “donated” nearly $2 million (actually funded by US taxpayers, among others) to Harvard; that, too, is money the PA could have used for its people’s welfare. There are many additional examples.
The PA is responsible for its choices and actions. The go-to “occupation” excuse is a fraud that prolongs conflict – and Rep. Bowman should be condemned for playing a too-predictable role.
Davis, CA
Iran: Weeks away
Regarding “Blinken: Iran may be weeks away from material for nuke” (February 2), didn’t the European Union still have their inspectors in place? They didn’t back away from the deal. In fact, they voted to remove the economic sanctions on Iran.
Apparently the European Union is completely ineffective and we cannot rely on them to deter Iran from producing nuclear weapons.
Petah Tikva
Cuomo’s slippery COVID facts
“Cuomo to allow NYC indoor dining to return Feb. 14, large weddings in March” (February 1) goes into various discussions on reopenings, including Cuomo’s quote, “Facts change. It sounds inconsistent. No, facts change. COVID facts change dramatically, and they change often. If there are facts, and the facts change, we will have a different situation.” The piece seems to put the self-styled “Luv’ Gov” in the position of a loving father with a steady hand on the tiller of governance. 
This is inconsistent with the facts relating to the state’s nursing homes. 
Back in March 2020, Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered infected people to go to the nursing homes, where the standards fell seriously short of what was required. They could have been sent to temporary COVID facilities provided by the federal government: the US Navy hospital ship Comfort or the repurposed Javits Center, but this didn’t happen, and the facilities went basically unused. Almost 8,000 people died at these group homes as a result, and he blamed their placement there on federal regulations (not true), then blamed former president Donald Trump. Over the summer, in a fit of Hubris, he found time to author American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic. 
It has now been revealed that nursing home deaths were under-reported by as much as 50%, with Cuomo arguing the technicality that nursing home residents who were shipped out to hospital to die should not be included in the data. Who cares, he quipped, where they died. 
Somehow subsequent state law now holds nursing homes operators blameless for these wrongful deaths. Not surprisingly, Cuomo is currently under investigation for the shenanigans. He now blames the Almighty for the deaths.
I suggest that if The Jerusalem Post bothers to update its readers on the status of New York restaurants, it might also add facts about more important state affairs.
The three Bs
Regarding “B’Tselem, BDS and Biden” (February 1), under international law (the 1920 San Remo Accords, the League of Nations, 1922, the Anglo-American Agreement, 1924, and ratified by Article 80 of the United Nations charter in 1945), Israel includes Judea and Samaria and Gaza. There is no “occupation.” However, the Oslo Accords, 1993, defined “disputed territories,” part of which are destined to become an Arab state.
There was never a Palestine, other than the British Mandate, 1920-48, which was held as a Jewish homeland. The Arab residents of the Mandate, half of whom were new immigrants, would have been insulted to be called Palestinians. Only Jews were Palestinians.
The concept of an Arab Palestine was a political invention of the KGB in 1964, when they created the Palestine Liberation Organization. The leader of the PLO, Yasser Arafat, an Egyptian, became the first Arab Palestinian.
In 1947, the UN recommended (they had no legal authority) dividing Palestine into Arab and Jewish sections. The Jews agreed. The Arabs refused and, with the Arab League, launched a war of genocide against the Jews.
When fighting stopped and an armistice declared, Egypt occupied Gaza and Transjordan occupied the newly named West Bank. In the Arab-occupied areas, every Jew was killed or forced out. In Israel, every Arab became a citizen.
Today, Israeli Arabs are equally represented in academia, slightly over-represented in medical fields, have the third largest block in the Knesset, a judge on the Supreme Court and an Arab heads Israel’s largest bank, Bank Leumi. That’s apartheid?
Under the 1993 Oslo accords, the PA controls part of the West Bank, Israel controls part of it and parts are under joint security. Israel gave Gaza, Jew-free, to the PA in 2005.
Those Arabs under PA control are not Israel’ s responsibility or problem.
Refugees languishing in camps in Lebanon, Jordan and Syria are there because the UN wants them there. That’s apartheid.
B’Tselem, Israel’s “leading human rights organization,” has been known to turn over Arabs who sell land to Jews, a capital offence, to the PA for “handling.”
As for BDS (boycott, divest, sanction), their co-founder has declared the sole purpose of BDS is to euthanize (a clear Nazi reference) the Israeli dream.
Surely reporter Daoud Kuttab could have found less overtly criminal organizations to back his thesis.
Ottawa, Canada
A Labor of love
In “Will Merav Michaeli resuscitate the Labor Party?” (February 1), Susan Hattis Rolef makes egregious statements as if they were matters of fact.
First, she refers to “the three extreme right-wing... parties.” Three? Alright, most of us have become used to the referencing of Otzma Yehudit as a Kahanist right-wing danger. But to label the National Union and the Bayit Yehudi as such? What sheer demagoguery. By contrast, has Hattis Rolef ever mentioned any extreme left-wing parties in Israel? I guess not.
Then, while extolling Merav Michaeli’s many (legitimate) virtues and praising her “incredibly effective political moves,” which she suggests “might well put the Labor Party back on the political map,” the writer lets slip that, oops, Michaeli is attempting to lure so many “egotistical leaders of the remaining [center-left] splinter parties” that despite applauding her as the only political leader to hold open primaries, there may, in fact, be “no realistic places left for whoever is elected.” Nonetheless, all hail Michaeli!!
Finally, Hattis Rolef writes that Michaeli is “likely to be the only woman standing at the head of a list in the approaching elections” despite acknowledging Hagit Moshe’s groundbreaking elections as head of the Bayit Yehudi. But, according to Hattis Rolef’s analysis of Michaeli’s machinations with Blue and White, the Israelis, Ofer Shelah, et al, it is she alone who will lead this conglomeration while the elected leader of Bayit Yehudi is what, a non-leader?
If opinion writers are not even-handed, then please at least label them for what they are. Misleading readers is the antithesis of what an esteemed paper should be about.
Efrat, Israel
Funeral furor
Regarding “Thousands flout ministry rules at rabbis’ funerals” (February 1), in Our Mutual Friend, Charles Dickens created an ethical Jewish character called Mr. Riah (believed to be his answer to critics of his portrayal of Fagin in Oliver Twist). Employed by the non-Jewish antisemitic moneylender Fascination Fledgeby, Riah calls on people who default on their loans and confiscating their property. This, as may be imagined, makes him a hated figure. 
Finally, he declares he can no longer continue in this role: “For it is not, in Christian countries, with the Jews as with other peoples. Men say, ‘This is a bad Greek, but there are good Greeks. This is a bad Turk, but there are good Turks.’ Not so with the Jews. Men find the bad among us easily enough – among what peoples are the bad not easily found? – but they take the worst of us as samples of the best; they take the lowest of us as presentations of the highest; and they say, ‘All Jews are alike.’”
Remarkably in 1865 Dickens understood non-Jews’ perception of Jews. If only those Jews here and abroad who flout coronavirus regulations and imperil public health at this critical time employed the clear-sightedness of Mr. Riah.
The media and many politicians have raised public indignation with their furor against the thousands of haredi demonstrators who showed their anguish and sorrow by attending the funerals of two of Israel’s foremost rabbis.
Somewhere in the Israeli halls of justice it is carved in stone that even in this deadly pandemic it is permissible for political demonstrations to take place, especially if they against the democratically elected prime minister, by those who wish to alter the will of the Israeli electorate, even if for everyone else it is not permitted to travel more than a kilometers from home.
Every Saturday night thousands travel many miles to gather outside the home of the prime minister in Jerusalem with noisemakers, making the lives of the ordinary local inhabitants unbearable far into the night having no regard for the elderly or children trying to sleep.
However, it seems that demonstrations that are not political such as demonstrations – even in the open – of more than 10 people in support of a couple being joined in marriage or praying or to show the sorrow of attendees at funerals of the passing of someone for whom you have high regard or love, or any other gathering is against the law
The logic is beyond me.
Beit Shemesh
Exculpating guilty Poles 
Yad Vashem decries Polish libel suit as ‘unacceptable’” (February 1) references a Polish law that authorizes civil suits against anyone claiming that the Polish Nation or the Republic of Poland is responsible or co-responsible for Nazi crimes committed by the Third Reich.
This law is obviously intended to obstruct claims that Poles committed atrocities during WWII. It is convenient to give a name to important/notorious laws, and I suggest this law be called the Jebwabne Law. Jebwabne is a Polish town, the site of a pogrom on July 10, 1941, when at least 340 Jews (of whom 300 were shut up in a barn that was set on fire) were murdered by Poles.
Beit Zayit
Police presence poses problems
The writing was on the wall – literally highlighted in blood red. The Arab public and its political leaders demand a greater police presence and on-the-street activity to fight violence in the Arab communities (“The war on crime isn’t a negotiable commodity,” February 2). 
The police comply, enter an Arab town and attempt to arrest a criminal ostensibly associated with an Arab gang. They are met with a hail of gunfire, they return fire and two are killed in the crossfire – one a possibly an innocent bystander. Now the protesters are out in force, demonstrating against police brutality and systemic racism. Afterwards will be an article asking why protesters at Balfour and haredi protesters have not been killed by police gunfire. The obvious answer – that in these demonstrations, although sometimes violent, the police are not met by a hail of bullets – is ignored. 
The next stage will be the formation of an inter-departmental government committee to investigate police violence and violence in the Arab communities. And, then back to ground zero and demands by Arab political leaders...