Letters to the Editor, July 20, 2020: Free money

Readers of The Jerusalem Post have their say.

Letters (photo credit: PIXABAY)
Letters
(photo credit: PIXABAY)
Regarding “Money giveaway scheme highlights discord” (July 17), we should thank Mr. Netanyahu for all of his service to the country over the years, but it is time he stepped down to allow the next generation to develop and take the needed steps in these difficult times.
Handing out money to those who do not need it does not trigger economic growth. It increases national debt and interest on loans the next generation will pay.
Why after months of experience gained in the fight against corona do we look like we are unprepared for the current wave of corona? Why are good people like MK Naftali Bennett and others who performed well cast aside when we need them?
DOUGLAS HANDELMAN
Jerusalem
Old Chinese (?) proverb: How do you know that you are going to the polls soon? When the ruling party hands out money to its citizens like candy.
ARYEH ZETLER
Yokne’am
Our unemployment rate is 21%. My math indicates that 79% are gainfully employed, yet this government wants to give money to all. This is clearly not an economic benefit. That leads one to conclude that the decision was made for political reasons to boost Netanyahu’s rating. Once again he shows what his priorities are.
STANLEY CANNING
Kibbutz Kfar Hamaccabi
Enriching Ehud Barak
Regarding Amotz Asa-El’s column “What do they want from Wexner?” (July 17) and the allegations made by Yair Netanyahu as well as the motivations that Asa-el attributes to Netanyahu the father, the title begs the question of an overseas private foundation gifting Israeli civil servants. There remain unasked and unanswered questions.
The law, as I understand it, prohibits gifting civil servants. The Wexner program offers not only a year’s tuition at the prestigious Kennedy School of Government, it also provides round-trip airfare for the awardee, his/her spouse and minor children. It provides free medical insurance for the entire family in addition to a living allowance and round-trip container transport. The sum total of all these benefits is by no means insignificant. Which raises a number of additional questions unaddressed by Asa-el. What is the vetting process for the program? In addition to the prominent names mentioned in the article, are there any data detailing distribution by geographic, socioeconomic and ethnic (Ashkenazi, Mizrahi, Ethiopian) parameters?
Asa-El’s sarcastic defense of the Wexner program and its more-than-generous “remuneration” to Ehud Barak (while technically “kosher” still reeks to high heaven) notwithstanding, the contractual association with a governmental body should be subject to public scrutiny.
For the record, US President Donald Trump never said that the race rioters at Charlottesville included “very fine people.” That that quote was taken out of context is documented fact.
JOEL KUTNER
Jerusalem
Beinart’s boondoggle
Regarding “Beyond Beinart’s states of the mind” (July 17), does Peter Beinart really expect Zionists to throw in the towel? Does he expect them to accept a binational state where Jews would soon be in a minority status?
What possible reason would any Jew want to return to the pre-1948 condition?
For 2,000 years Christians have persecuted Jews. Jews have been looted, expelled and murdered at the whim of their Christian masters. They have been treated as renewable resources to be robbed, allowed to re-build and be robbed again. The Islamic world treated Jews the same way for the past 1,400 years.
There were two major cataclysms in my lifetime, the Holocaust and the expulsion of 1,000,000 Jews from Muslim lands. Why would any Jew trust that this ingrained pattern will not repeat itself?
Israel serves as a safe haven for Jews. It is also an enormous success. It is a cultural, intellectual and technological dynamo that is attracting immigrants who want, rather than need, to settle there.
The Palestinian Arabs will – or will not – develop their own state based on the American Peace to Prosperity plan. Israel will move forward. It will not be kicked around. It can take care of itself.
LEN BENNETT
Ottawa, On
Back to no future
Regarding “Israel bests Germany” (July 15), letter writer David Smith correctly criticizes MK Yair Lapid’s misrepresentation of statistical data about pandemic effects in Germany as compared to Israel, thereby denigrating Israel internally and to rest of the world.
Smith suggests that one has to rethink on the name of the “Yesh Atid” Party. I think I have a more appropriate name for it: the Ein Atid Party
SHLOMO FELDMANN
Givatayim
MASKulinity: The science
Concerning your articles about wearing a mask outside, it is important to note new scientific findings about protection against this disease:
• Speech droplets are the primary vehicle for transfer of the viral particles from an affected person to a near-by individual.
• The two-meter social distancing practice is suitable for a closed space. However, in a light wind (such as on the beach) the virus can travel three times further.
• Oral droplets containing viral particles can remain in the air for as long as 14 minutes or more, long after the infected person may have left a normal conversation.
• Loud singing or speaking can emit thousands of oral droplets per second, thereby increasing the viral load in the air.
• Swabs used to collect throat samples for testing typically contain more viral particles when taken via the nose than the mouth. Thus, leaving the nose uncovered by a mask is potentially more dangerous than an uncovered mouth.
• The viability of the virus outside the body when deposited on plastic, such as a water bottle, is 6.8 hours.
GARY STEINMAN, MD, PHD
Jerusalem
Vexed by the veto
Regarding “Palestinian seeking path to circumvent US veto at UNSC” (July 16), the UN was long ago hijacked by oil-rich countries that back hostile UN actions against Israel, while actively and very “indulgently” supporting the Palestinians.
Addressing the UN Security Council in December 2016, UN secretary-general said, “Over the last decade I have argued that we cannot have a bias against Israel at the UN. Decades of political maneuvering have created a disproportionate number of resolutions, reports and committees against Israel.”
Now, the Palestinians are seeking a path to circumvent the US veto at the Security Council so they can block Israel from formally declaring sovereignty over portions of Judea and Samaria from which the indigenous Jews were ethnically cleansed after the 1948 war. This manipulative maneuver should surprise no one.
Consider The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the UN in 1948. The world became increasingly dependent on oil, and in 1990 the Organization of Islamic Cooperation issued the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam, which declared that “The Islamic Shari’a is the only source of reference for the explanation or clarification of any of the articles of this Declaration.” This conflicts with international human rights enacted by the UN, but no one seems concerned.
However, the American veto, a fundamental right of US membership in the Security Council, is now a source of great concern at the UN, with pressure to somehow override or cancel it at the whim of the Palestinians, the Arab bloc, and those dependent on them for oil.
We should all be very concerned about this attempt at hijacking. It would mean the death of the UN.
JULIA LUTCH
Davis, CA
So the Palestinians are upset that a single country can circumvent the vote of many states at the UN. Don’t they always play by different rules than those that apply to everyone else?
Wasn’t Jordan’s illegal 19-year occupation of eastern Jerusalem and Judea, demanding that no Jew could live there perfectly fine? Shouldn’t Palestine “refugees” (millions of people claiming descent from Arabs who purportedly fled the area decades ago) be treated differently from all other refugees in the world, with refugee status passing from one generation to the next in perpetuity, remaining on the world’s dole until they get homes they assert that their parents, grandparents, great-grandparents lost? (UNHCR considers five years a “prolonged stay” in a refugee camp).
And aren’t all parties to a conflict allowed to insist that signing a peace treaty doesn’t necessarily mean that the war is over?
The Oslo Accords envisioned Area C becoming part of Israel 20 years ago. The world has allowed the Palestinians to exercise their privilege far too long.

TOBY F. BLOCK
Atlanta, GA
The EU’s anti-Israel manEUvers
Regarding “EU building for Palestinians in Area C” (July 15), by the time the government decides to implement Israeli law in Area C, there won’t be any land to implement sovereignty over. It will all have been taken over by the EU and the Arabs
Is the government really powerless to prevent this illegal building or is it taking action?
HERBERT KOPPEL
Jerusalem
BARImetric pressure at the ‘NYT’
Regarding “Bari Weiss resigns from ‘New York Times’” (July 15), Winston Churchill wrote: “Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality that guarantees all others.”
Bari Weiss’s resignation from the Times is exactly what Churchill was referring to.
RICHARD SHERMAN
Margate, Florida
While I am appalled (but not surprised) at the low level of partisan muck into which the formerly great New York Times has evidently sunk, I am proud of Israel’s English-language paper of record, The Jerusalem Post, which continues to publish articles and letters that reflect a broad range of views and foster a “rigorous discussion of ideas.”
Please continue to provide “intelligent discussion from all shades of opinion” (even though I feel that a few of your op-ed columnists fall more than a bit short of the “intelligent discussion” standard).
ARLENE FAUNCE
Bat Yam
Reform school
Stop the insults” (July 14) calls out the prime minister’s son for his insulting language – something that can be agreed upon. Accordingly, I fail to understand why “Rabbinical reform” (July 12) can be highly insulting to Chief Rabbi Yosef.
One may differ with some of his words but why threaten with defunding the Chief Rabbinate and tell him to get packing? Would you dare write in a similar tone about Supreme Court justices? They can’t even be probed by the Knesset.
It is ironic that the non-Orthodox branches of Judaism are presiding over a 70% rate of intermarriage and yet they are not called to order. Tragically, their youth for the most part is not interested in Israel and most don’t even know about the Western Wall and its various sections.
I love our non-religious Jewish brothers and therefore urge them to examine themselves.
YITZCHOK ELEFANT
Chief rabbi of Dimona
In the editorial, “Rabbinical reform” (July 12), the writer criticizes Sephardi Chief Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef for his negative view of Reform Judaism. The writer says that we should be tolerant of all forms of Judaism.
Rabbi Yitzchak Isaac Herzog, who was Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel, called Reform Judaism a new Christianity. Rabbi J. B. Soloveitchik of Boston who was a leading Modern Orthodox Rabbi in America, stated that Reform Judaism had contributed to a spiritual Holocaust in America. These are powerful words indeed, from two prominent rabbis who are not considered to be “extreme.”

EPHRAIM STEIN
Jerusalem
Regarding “Rabbi should know Jews indigenous, scholar says” (July 13), Reform Rabbi Andy Kahn freely offers an outrageous public service announcement.
It seems we Jews are not who we thought we were. We ignorantly and blissfully prayed three times a day for thousands of years to return to our native homeland, said “Next year in Jerusalem” at every occasion and faced the direction of Jerusalem when we prayed only to find out that we were really mistaken.
Why, we could have taken Uganda as a homeland when it was offered. We are not indigenous to the land of Israel proclaims this expert historian. (Either are the Palestinians, he says.) Whew, good that he cleared that up.
Apparently we need to ignore the Torah, archaeology and the work of so many esteemed historians who stubbornly cling to this notion of Jewish indigenousness.
Kahn is sadly in good company with Palestinians who insist that they were here first. The level of his historical acumen and his ability to pervert the truth are on par with Holocaust deniers (who know it never happened but are ready to remedy that lapse).
It was prophesied long ago that our enemies would come from within. It would be an unpleasant job, but it seems that Kahn and his ilk have nevertheless stepped up to the task.
This representative of Reform leadership exemplifies what many of us understood all along. The early reformers wrote that they were merely trying to make Judaism more palatable for the masses. Indeed, they made something more palatable – but it wasn’t Judaism.
As the article said, “A rabbi should know better.”
YEHUDIT LIPNER
Jerusalem