Letters to the Editor: Gifting etiquette

This uninformed president must finally be informed that there is no “Palestinian people.”

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Gifting etiquette
With regard to “Obama: Safe and secure Israel in America’s interest” (September 22), I would have suggested to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that as a farewell gift, he give US President Barack Obama a copy of Joan Peters’s From Time Immemorial.
This uninformed president must finally be informed that there is no “Palestinian people” other than the Jews of the Land of Israel. Thus, what he sees as “Palestinian land” does not exist.
Regarding the US Embassy’s “oops” moment in its Rosh Hashana gift-giving, which included wine produced by the Zion Winery in Mishor Adumim (“US Embassy meets Brussels Airlines,” September 21), I find it quite curious that the embassy’s gift list included such prominent far-Left NGOs as Peace Now, B’Tselem and Yesh Din.
I am now curious as to which far-Right NGOs made the gift list.
Can that be reported as well? Or weren’t there any?
Ma’aleh Adumim
Wants a reply
With regard to “As PM arrives, UN speeches ignore Palestinian violence” (September 21), US President Barack Obama told the United Nations General Assembly that Israel would be better off if it did not “permanently occupy and settle Palestinian land.” I have a few very basic questions for the president: • On what factual and legal basis do you use the term “Palestinian land,” presumably referring to Judea and Samaria? • Did these territories ever belong to an independent national entity as opposed to an occupying power after the Jews were driven out 2,000 years ago? • When the Jordanians forcefully conquered and illegally occupied these territories from 1948 to 1967, did anyone refer to them as “Palestinian land”? • While it is true that individuals and tribes owned parcels of land in these territories during the time of the Ottoman Empire, were they called “Palestinians,” or did they even refer to themselves as such? • The US government has declared that an Israeli presence in these territories is illegitimate, but this sentiment does not establish illegality. The most one can conclude is that you, Mr. President, don’t like it. Why are you, a highly educated lawyer, and your community of international meddlers so unwilling to recognize Israel’s legal claim to the land? • Given the facts on the ground – namely, the presence of large numbers of Israelis and Palestinians occupying this contested space – reality will in the end determine who will live there, something that can be arrived at only with changes in attitudes. But with “Palestinian land,” are you not attempting to influence the outcome in a way that is prejudicial to history and completely ignores the legal validity of the claims of each of the sides? This is not a true or false questionnaire, Mr. Obama. Please try to provide hard and unchallenged evidence rather than rhetoric for your replies.
Provocative nonsense
Without knowing more than what was reported in “Survey shows that 70% of Europe’s Jews won’t go to synagogue on High Holy Days” (September 21), I, like some of those cited, feel confident in saying that the survey results are not worth the paper they are written on.
The claim that a sample of 78 respondents can represent the diversity of hundreds of thousands of Jews in communities from Rome to Moscow and Paris to Budapest because “many communities have similar characteristics” is patently absurd. The story refers to a margin of error of ±4.9%, as if to give it some scientific credibility.
But even this is wrong. Assuming that this was a random sample – which it almost certainly was not – the most that can be asserted is that with a 95% probability, the percentage of Jews saying they will not attend synagogue on Rosh Hashana is somewhere between 60% and 80%.
It is dismaying and disappointing that The Jerusalem Post would choose to give such a prominent position to a story based on such flimsy and misleading evidence. You should really check your sources before blurting out such provocative nonsense in front page headlines.
The writer was a senior executive in market research and polling firms prior to his aliya.
Great satire
Your article “Israeli activist heading for Gaza with protest flotilla” (September 21) must have been satire. Zohar Regev couldn’t have been serious. The following are some choice passages.
You report: “The Amal [one of the vessels] set sail last week, but due to engine difficulties had to turn back for repairs.” Then you quote Ms. Regev: “We want to show the world that women can sail, take care of the engine, and do everything on a boat.” Poor them! Further on, she states: “We are asking Israel to lift the blockade... ending the occupation.... Lift the blockade and we will see what happens.” Well, yeah.
Where was Ms. Regev when we gave away Gush Katif and threw thousands of productive people out of their homes? Who took over in Gaza? We even left the Arabs hothouses to begin their new lives; they used the metal pipes to make rockets, which they promptly fired at us.
Why on earth would anyone do this a second time? And the wonderful ending? “We need [to] lift the blockade, and the occupation, and then we may [my emphasis] be able to really live in peace with our Palestinian brothers and sisters.”
She would be glad to have those “brothers and sisters”; her Jewish brothers and sisters would probably, God forbid, be dead.
As satire, of course, the article was perfect!
Petah Tikva
Status quo at Wall
I was amused to read Jeremy Sharon’s report saying that Conservative rabbis will speak about the failure to implement pluralistic prayer at the Western Wall during their High Holy Day sermons (“Non-Orthodox start Kotel letter campaign,” September 21). I would respectfully suggest that they use this opportunity to speak about Judaism, Jewish education and the high rate of intermarriage.
I would like to emphasize that all Jews have prayed at the Western Wall in its present state for 2,000 years. Those who want to change this arrangement are the ones causing the problem, not those who are following 2,000 years of tradition.
If the rabbinical leadership of the Conservative and Reform movements would stop inciting their followers, there would be no problem.
The writer is chief rabbi of Dimona.
Pleasant surprise
In Shulamit S. Magnus’s “Ben-Gurion moment at the Western Wall” (Comment & Features, September 20), one sentence in particular caught my eye. “Fifty years later,” she writes, “more people than I can count say, ‘I can’t stand the place, never go there....’” I invite Ms. Magnus to visit the Kotel on one of the intermediate days of Succot, when tens of thousands of people of all stripes will stream there. She might be pleasantly surprised.
Wrong stuff
In “Two decades of excellence” (Billboard September 16), the restaurant reviewer writes: “The first item listed under the specials was a fish we had never heard of, which went by the same name in Hebrew and English: Balutine.”
Anyone with even the most basic knowledge of food preparation knows that ballotine is not a fish, but a method of cooking fish or chicken.