April 14, 2018: Imagining utopia

Our readers respond.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Imagining utopia
Gershon Baskin never ceases to imagine utopia with Hamas-led Palestinians (“Israeli-Hamas negotiations now!” Encountering Peace, April 12). To be blind to the facts is incredulous! Imagine 30,000 terrorists or even civilians who declare that they will pull down the border fences and murder the civilians and everybody else on the other side – but imagine them marching on Russia. Imagine the Irish marching on England or the Jordanians marching on Syria.
The fact that so many of those killed have been Hamas terrorists, probably armed with guns and other weapons, seems to be overlooked by Mr. Baskin, who defines the participants as peaceful civilians out for a stroll, with no intention of approaching the border. What absolute poppycock.
A “peaceful” Hamas that spends billions of dollars to build cross-border tunnels at the expense of starving civilians cannot be trusted one iota. Hamas wants to murder, not negotiate! Killing any human being is regrettable, but I think even Mr. Baskin would prefer the death of a Palestinian terrorist than that of an Israeli citizen. (At least I hope so.)
Ma’aleh Adumim
Gershon Baskin refers to the current wave of demonstrations and asserts that “Hamas does not control these protests, nor could Hamas at this time order people to come out and risk their lives.”
Week after week, The Jerusalem Post provides a platform for Mr. Baskin to publish material that is not based on reality. I am all in favor of your newspaper promoting a wide range of views and opinions, but surely the bar defining the level of acceptable contributions should be set a bit higher.
Zichron Ya’acov
That’s Israel today
In “Way to the wall” (Editorial, April 11), you review the current abysmal situation regarding visits to the Western Wall, which has become a focal point for all the dysfunctional behavior of our ultra-Orthodox and political functionaries.
Rabbi Eliezer Berland, a convicted sex-offender, was allowed to ride in his chauffeur-driven car right up to the Wall. A woman who arrives in a short-sleeved shirt (or, heaven forbid, short pants) might be cursed, physically attacked or even stoned.
That’s Israel today.
...But so is this
My husband and I (92 and 86) were sitting in a garage waiting for our 20-year-old car to pass inspection. Suddenly, one of the workers appeared with two glasses of freshly squeezed orange juice for us.
Where in the world could this happen except in Israel, where we care about each other!
He hears them knocking
I couldn’t agree more with the premise of “Why search for potential Jews when there are Jews knocking on your door?” (Comment & Features, April 11). This is not only true of Ethiopian Jews, but also of Messianic Jews, who are not being welcomed by the Interior Ministry’s monopoly on “who is a Jew” and are being scorned and turned away.
No Jew should be denied their God-given right to live in the land of their forefathers, and no Jewish bureaucracy should be the sole arbiter of what Jews are forbidden to think, espouse or believe.
The time has come to reject this blatant discrimination and persecution, as well as put an end to the demonizing and fear-mongering against Jewish-born individuals who live, marry and die as Jews but are deemed to be disqualified as such. Religion and ethnicity are two separate entities and must be treated that way by the state that was established to be a haven for those born into that ethnicity, irrespective of political or religious views.
There can be no tolerance for weeding out Jews who have not opted to validate Orthodox Judaism as the only true expression of the Jewish faith. True democracy allows for diversity of opinion, thought and discourse. To shut that down hermetically by force is unconscionable, demeaning and against everything Jews have fought for throughout the centuries.
Can we really afford to advance the same types of bigoted and prejudicial biases that have been perpetrated toward us by nations to which we looked for acceptance, mercy and tolerance? Aren’t we supposed to be better than that?
Har Adar
A young Rivka
In her Grapevine feature of April 4 (“Who will be mayor of Jerusalem?”), Greer Fay Cashman ran a mini-biography, starting at age 14, of the actress and entertainer Rivka Michaeli on the occasion of her 80th birthday. Allow me to add some relevant details regarding Ms. Michaeli’s career before age 14.
She was an active participant in the children’s ensemble of Jerusalem Radio’s Youth Corner (yes, there was such a thing), directed by Miriam Hermann. Miriam was an outstanding radio personality in the 1940s through the 1960s, initiating, inter alia, the adaptation of novels from Israeli and world writers to radio dramas (taskitim) for live broadcasts. There was also the program Iton Lifnei Hamikrofon (Newspaper on Microphone), for which I functioned as editor and for which child “journalists” sent dozens of contributions each week, testifying to the program’s popularity.
Pre-14-year-old Rivka Michaeli’s participation in these programs – not mentioned by her or her interviewers for reasons best known to herself – was the starting point for her later artistic career.
After Miriam Hermann died of cancer at a young age, she became dead and forgotten – as happens to many Israeli intellectuals after their passing. Her name has not been mentioned, to the best of my knowledge, in the many historical and sentimental commemoration broadcasts on the history of the Voice of Israel.
Miriam deserves better, and this letter is a humble attempt at keeping her memory alive.
Not what it used to be
I don’t know what has happened with our state television since it changed to the new corporation, but it is not how it used to be, what with all the commercials, pop-ups and shrinking screens.
Every so often, there are commercials or promotions for upcoming shows. There are many times when there are five items on the screen, with no connection to what one is trying to watch. For those who say “Don’t watch,” I agree, but it is a sad situation when one cannot support one’s local Israeli shows.
Channel 10 uses a red banner that reminds one of the Red Alert; it is most disturbing and surprising that they are not aware of this or, better still, do not do away with it. Channel 11 has The Chaser. It’s a good show, but music drowns out the questions and the answers of the contestants.
Then there are the “presenters” of shows like Rising Star or Israel’s Got Talent who try to take over the show. In my opinion, they just affect the ratings downward. Specifically, an anchor of the nightly news as well as the financial show often seems to be dozing off while on camera.
I believe that anchors should be changed. Some seem over-confident and, as such, are not a pleasure to watch or listen to. By changing them, it keeps the anchors more professional and, of course, gives others, especially younger ones, an opportunity to advance. In contrast, most of the younger reporters are much more professional and a delight to watch.