Letters to the editor, January 10, 2021: Where might Joe go?

Readers of the Jerusalem Post have their say.

Letters (photo credit: PIXABAY)
(photo credit: PIXABAY)
Where might Joe go?
Iran’s announcement that it is increasing uranium enrichment levels to 20% – when the peaceful use of nuclear energy only requires less than 5% – should leave no doubt of Iran’s intention to build nuclear weapons. (“At max speed, new Iran enrichment could cut nuke breakout to 6 weeks,” January 4).
Iran has made clear in dozens of public pronouncements over many years that its overriding foreign policy goal is the annihilation of the Jewish population of Israel. Hitler made similar pronouncements in Mein Kampf that the world ignored. At this point, only antisemitic politicians, journalists and academics can be willfully blind to Iran’s malevolent purpose in enriching uranium beyond the point necessary for peaceful use.
We’ll see what approach the new American administration takes.
Margate, Florida
The Israeli media remained almost silent when the Obama/Biden administration promoted and failed to veto UN Resolution 2334, which legitimized the BDS movement and gave international legal status and a rallying point for antisemites globally.
The Biden Administration is fixated on creating a Palestinian state and will pressure Israel to accept conditions that would endanger its security and future. Only Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has the experience and strength to not buckle; the Israeli media can be expected go along with Biden and say little; the media largely supported the unilateral with drawl from Gaza and opposed Netanyahu at that time.
By remaining silent as to the dangers of the Biden administration, the Israel media is showing itself as naive, appeasers, collaborators or traitors.
Ontario, Canada
Nadav Tamir seems to be under the illusion that Iran is actually interested in not pursing nuclear weapons (‘Restoring the nuke pact is in Israel’s interest,” January 7). Has he learned nothing from history?
You cannot appease a tyrant nor can you suppose that he is interested in the same goals that you are pursuing. Know your enemy! The mullahs are no different other tyrants who use liberal “peaceniks” for their own ends, which are far from peace.
So there is no way that Israel “must” cooperate with President-elect Joe Biden in its own genocide. Thanks, but no thanks.
Petah Tikva
Calling the shots
Regarding “200 rabbis call on Israel to make COVID vaccine available to Palestinians” (January 5), they are doing so not so much because eradicating the virus will help protect the health of Israelis, but as an ethical imperative.
Regrettably, the Palestinians, unable to accept the concept of their weakness and incompetence are refusing Israeli help. It is the same mental state as the Palestinian refusal to accept the reality of a Jewish state, which Palestinians refer to as a nakba (catastrophe). Accepting medical help could be classed as a Grade B nakba, but a nakba nevertheless.
This anyone-but-Israel philosophy was recently demonstrated by PA leader Mahmoud Abbas’s October 2019 decree forbidding his people from using Israeli hospitals. It’s hard to help someone when they tell you that they don’t need your stinkin’ help.
Even if Israel offered widespread vaccinations no questions asked, many Arabs would refuse because radicals in their community would convince them that the vaccinations are a plot to sterilize them or some other paranoid lunacy.
Perhaps the 200 rabbis could be persuaded to learn how to perform inoculations and visit Gaza and other Palestinian areas to provide non-Israeli inoculations for the Arabs. I’m sure Israel would go all out to assist them.
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
When Israel sells electricity to the Palestinians we only get partial payment – and that only after threatening to cut off the supply. When the Palestinians break into the water pipes, they not only damage the water system but the PA refuses to pay for the water used. When they are asked to cooperate regarding garbage disposal, they prefer to throw the rubbish into landfills that pollute the aquifer. There are countless examples where with some good intention the Palestinians could have better and more honest and fruitful relations with Israel.
Israel offered to help the Palestinians as far back as March 2020 when the dangers of COVID became apparent, but the PA refused to talk about bettering the plight of the Palestinian population and as reported in The Jerusalem Post, the PA has yet to formally request aid from Israel.
If the mostly Reform and Conservative rabbis really cared about the Palestinians, they could donate from their organizations to supply the vaccine to the Palestinians, but why should the Israeli government “give” vaccines – in preference to the Israeli population – to those that a) refuse to make peace with us, b) slander Israel at every opportunity and c) continue to encourage and reward terrorists to murder us? Every goodwill gesture that Israel makes is rebuffed.
Vote by note
Now that we are facing yet again new elections, I am reminded of a letter that I wrote to The Jerusalem Post (that was printed) soon after making aliyah 10 years ago when I had the opportunity to vote for the first time as a proud Israeli.
My complaint then was: Why are we still voting by placing slips of paper in an envelope when we in Israel are the “Start-Up Nation” that developed nanotechnology? We are still voting as Salah Shabati did decades ago.
Having now seen the obvious significant fraud potential in the vote counting in the recent American election, I will now very happily select a slip of paper and put it in an envelope when I vote here once again in March.
Reason #986 why I am so happy to be living here in Israel...
Ma'aleh Adumim
Slaps, perhaps
I beg to differ with Reuven Mann’s assertion (Letters, January 3) that Jonathan Pollard’s reception at Ben-Gurion Airport by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was “a slap in the face of the US.”
Pollard did not become a hero in Israel and among Jewish communities worldwide simply because he did a service for Israel and got caught. What he did was a crime against the US, but if he had served just his time as a spy for an ally of eight to 10 years, he most probably would have been largely forgotten and not become the cause celebre he subsequently became.
Netanyahu’s reception was an expression of Jewish fellow feeling for someone who had suffered an egregious extended injustice because he was a Jew. This was a well-deserved message to the US Justice Department and all those presidents who did not lift a finger to release him when they all had the opportunity to do so.
I suspect that Netanyahu’s gesture will not make much of a difference to the American-Israel alliance. Other more newsworthy factors unfortunately will.
No longer a Zionist
One has to feel pity for columnist Gershon Baskin.
It was sad enough when Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas proved he was living in a fantasy world, yet he still kept promoting the propaganda of Palestinians who, when speaking in Arabic to their own people, made clear they were working to destroy us. Reading his columns was like listening to a broken record (apologies to the younger set who may not know what a record is).
Apparently, he finally recognized how repetitious his writing had become and decided to change. So what happened? He apparently read the article where Peter Beinart, after years of doing his best to create division in the American Jewish community while disingenuously claiming to be a Zionist, declared that he was no longer a Zionist and used his typical convoluted style combining impeccable disdain for facts and logic to obfuscate his real objective, i.e. obtaining more paid speaking engagements and bolstering his status with The New York Times.
So Baskin has now, instead of parroting Yasser and Mahmoud, apparently decided to mimic Beinart and declared “I no longer call myself a Zionist” in the opening line of “White supremacy, Jewish supremacy,” January 7). Apparently, for some, one small Jewish state on this large planet of ours is one Jewish state too many.
Gershom Baskin does not like Israeli policies that involve Israeli Arabs and Palestinians.
As he surely knows, the situation of a small Jewish state surrounded by peoples who do not (or at best grudgingly) accept its existence and who carry on warfare against it by any means possible, raises very difficult moral and practical problems. Baskin has every right to his views on what the optimal solutions are and, as a free person living in a free country, has every right to express his feelings about it.
Baskin’s feelings lead him, however, to renounce his allegiance to “Zionism.” If one took that seriously, and not as an expression of bad temper, it would involve him in an absurd self-contradiction. Zionism created the state in which he can use the columns of this paper to denounce his country’s government and his fellow citizens. To oppose “Zionism” means to want to get rid of the very state in which he is a free citizen and to replace it with one in which, assuming it allowed him to exist and live in it, he would be anything but that. Zionism no longer means trying to create a Jewish state; it means trying to preserve one that already exists and which, laudably, is open to its own citizens raging against it.
Baskin is sawing off the limb on which he sits. That is childish – but also dangerous.
Political Science, Kenyon College, Ohio
Gershon Baskin – a self-admitted Palestinianist, not a Zionist – is finally being honest as to where he stands on the Israeli-Palestinian issue.
Perhaps he will now begin to lecture his long-lost Palestinian tribe. He should admonish and castigate them for their hate-mongering education system, for their culture of violence and death. Their mantra ‘From the river to the sea’ is their hope, desire and longing for the total annihilation of the Jews in Israel. We might call this “Palestinian Supremacy.”
He should lecture the Palestinian Street regarding the utter moral and financial corruption of their leaders. Their lies and false hopes spread over the last six decades have created a dejected and demoralized Palestinian society. What have they created in the last six decades with the exception of terrorists and malignant slogans extolling death and mayhem? Six decades of wasted time.
Perhaps this Palestinian Supremacy, not exceptionalism, is in line with White Supremacists who have the same end game in mind: the slaughter of all Jews.
This is our land, however small, and there is no rational reason as to why we should share our ownership of it with another people, be they real or imagined.
Baskin mentions “the Palestinian citizens of Israel.” There are no Palestinian citizens of Israel. There are Arab citizens of Israel, and so his argument collapses but his vision is clear. His article continues disturbingly. He equates Israel and Israeli pride and ownership with White Supremacy and with Nazis. That is a disgusting low, even for Baskin.
He claims the white supremacists’ response to Black Lives Matter (a racist and antisemitic group themselves) is All Lives Matter. How is that statement racist? A claim that Only White Lives Matter would be racism. Baskin then continues to subtly equate all of US law enforcement as being white supremacist Nazis because they believe All Lives Matter. Doesn’t Baskin believe that all lives matter?
His next irrational step is to link Israeli law enforcement and the military to the white supremacist ideology. Finally, he claims to be a democratic purist. He trots out a cute simplistic phrase that “no country can be a little bit democratic in the same way that you can’t be little pregnant.” If he could provide an example of a pure democracy, that would be welcome – but failing that he should remember that unlike a democracy, a pregnancy lasts only nine months.
M. Leventhal
Capitol offence
Several recent articles bemoan the assault on American democracy as evidenced by the violent assault on the US Capitol. The articles apparently want to underscore how fragile democracy is and hence how we must be ever fearful of its demise. Comparisons are made between what is happening in the US and here in Israel – violence at the US Capitol could be mirrored at the Knesset.
While violence could occur at any time, even in relatively peaceful societies, democracy in Israel as well as the US will always prevail. Our respective democracies are not fragile. They are robust. And the primary reasons are that both countries are governed by the rule of law, have strong institutions and shared beliefs in their history.
So stop the moaning, stop the worrying, stop the warnings of the imminent fall of democracy – whether in the US, Israel or many other democracies that have robust institutions. Democracies will experience turmoil from time to time, but they will survive.
Of course, we should never be complacent and be ever watchful against political violence. That said, all the print wasted on warnings and predictions of the demise of democracy would be better spent on supporting initiatives that make democracies stronger.
Wrong way to inoculate
You kindly printed a letter of mine last week where I felt that the administration of this vaccine (which is meant to save lives) is not being done correctly, as verified by pictures seen in the press. Without my knowledge, this letter found its way to Florida (an overseas reader?) and is on Facebook, backed up by a senior medical authority.
And yet you publish another picture (on January 8) quite clearly showing the totally incorrect way to administer an IM vaccination. How many of us are not being properly vaccinated? Do any of The Jerusalem Post staff or readers fear that they will have a decreased immune response, even though some person stuck a needle in their arm?
Correct method: Hold the syringe and needle in your dominant hand and gently stretch the skin around the injection site using the non-dominant hand. This displaces the subcutaneous tissue and aids needle entry (Dougherty and Lister, 2015).
Pinching is for subcutaneous injections! It’s about time that one of our own senior doctors spoke up!