Letters to the Editor July 29, 2020: Wily Wiley

The readers of The Jerusalem Post have their say.

Letters (photo credit: PIXABAY)
Letters
(photo credit: PIXABAY)
Wily Wiley
Until I read “UK rapper’s antisemitic posts abhorrent” (July 27), I was unaware of Richard Cowie (known as Wiley, a rapper), whose virulent antisemitic posts on Twitter were allowed to remain online for an inordinate amount of time before they were taken down. His outbursts were of such enormity that they constitute a hate crime and many are now calling for UK law authorities to investigate and take appropriate action.
Wiley has nearly a million followers on his various social media platforms and when his racist anti-Jewish posts are re-tweeted, they reach even more people. Therefore it is incumbent of these sites to heighten their monitoring of such hateful posts, remove them more speedily and close such offending accounts. Many users have called to stop using Twitter for 48 hours to protest this.
Finally, Wiley himself has previously had bestowed upon him the honor of an MBE and many have written to the Honors Forfeiture Committee requesting they seriously consider its removal for bringing the honor into disrepute, which constitutes very strong grounds for having the honor withdrawn.
Jewish lives matter, too.

STEPHEN VISHNICK
Tel Aviv

Wiley, you tweet and re-tweet things about Jews like “You are the most vile people in the history of humanity;” “You people commit the worse (sic) acts of genocide;” “Jewish (sic) would do anything to ruin a black mans (sic) life” and more.
As an ordinary Jewish person who knows that none of that is true and has suffered more than my share of physical and verbal abuse throughout my life for the accident of being born into this faith – if this letter reaches your eyes, I’d be curious to know from you or others like you where such strong and hurtful baseless beliefs come from.
Thank God for celebrities like Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Charles Barkley and now Ice Cube, who project a different message that I have always believed: that when it comes to being victims of racism, blacks and Jews (some of whom are black) are on the same team.
MO IRVING
Philadelphia

There has been an awkward effort by some liberal Jews to excuse recent manifestations of antisemitism in the black community by athletes and celebrities as just ignorance. That excuse just got weaker now that it has been revealed that Rodney Muhammad, the president of the Philadelphia NAACP, posted on Facebook a caricature of Jewish people identical to what one finds in Der Sturmer. Further, with a straight face, he said he does not see why Jews should be offended. This sick bile from a man whose views are respected in the black community.
Many of Muhammad’s constituents are evidently comfortable with his Julius Stretcher-like Facebook post. At this point there does not appear to be any significant difference between the antisemitism of Black Lives Matter and the antisemitism of the Philadelphia NAACP. The more important question for those members of the Jewish community who are not willfully blind is whether there is any difference between the antisemitism of the Philadelphia NAACP and the rest of the national organization?
RICHARD SHERMAN
Margate, Florida

I know, I know
Herb Keinon discusses the growing credibility gap between the Israeli public and government concerning its dealing with the corona crisis. Some 71% of the public had confidence in the government on May 7 – down to 47% today (“Coronavirus credibility gap,” July 28).
But this statistic just reflects the fact that the public is slowly coming to the realization that nobody knows how to deal optimally with the coronavirus. The main failing of the government has been that they have forgotten how to say, “We don’t know.” As have many others.
For example, in the same article, Michael Levitt, an American-British-Israeli Nobel Prize winner in chemistry, was reported to have said in a KAN radio interview on March 18 that he would be surprised if the Corona deaths in Israel would surpass 10. Why would anybody ask or expect Levitt, even though he has a Nobel Prize under his belt, to be able to predict the number of deaths from Corona? And that in March when literally nothing was known about the virus, why didn’t Levitt simply say, “I don’t know”?
In the media, experts are constantly being questioned: “When will it be over? When will there be a vaccine? Will it be effective? Is it safe to visit Grandma and Grandpa?” Who is more to blame, the interviewer asking the unanswerable questions or the experts who have lost the ability to say, “I don’t know”?

YIGAL HOROWITZ
Beersheba

Stop complaining; start acting
Regarding “Nation descends into coronavirus chaos” (July 20), how about the residents of Israel taking matters into their own hands?
Instead of demonstrators packing together without masks and fighting police and disrupting neighborhoods how about a mass movement to actually obey the very well-known rules to slow the spread of the coronavirus, i.e. social distancing and wearing a mask properly (covering both mouth and nose) whenever they are in the vicinity of others who are not part of their household.
Yes, the political leadership here is chaotic, but the demonstrations that break all the rules will only intensify the epidemic and prolong the misery of the entire population.
What if parents told their teenage children that they would not die if they did not have a big year-end party where all the rules are broken, but having the party might lead to a chain of infection that will cause death? What if they told their children to take the money that would have been spent on the party and donate it to someone who desperately needed funds? What if parents would tell their children that they should sacrifice their party for the greater good of the health of the society? What a teaching moment for good values that would be.
Citizens of Israel, stop complaining and start doing your part in stopping the virus by obeying the universally acknowledged rules.

BETTY KRUGER
Jerusalem

“Three ways Netanyahu tries to delegitimize protests against him” (July 26) purports to explain the techniques supposedly used by the prime minister to “delegitimize” the protests.
Channel 12 reports that 130 police officers contracted COVID-19 from demonstrators. While the country is in a desperate plight because of the virus, the demonstrators are doing their best to spread it far and wide. They don’t care how many people get sick and how many die. What could possibly discredit them more than what they are doing?

MICHAEL GREENGARD
Jerusalem

Is buying Chinese goods good?
Regarding “China takes over US consulate premises in Chengdu as ties worsen” (July 27), for years American presidents subscribed to a policy called the US-China Relations Act of 2000. This act encouraged American citizens to buy goods produced in China. This was considered to be good for American consumers, since China was able to produce these items at such low cost. Professors of economics throughout the US praised this policy, and claimed it was good for the American economy.
As time progressed, America stopped manufacturing these items on US soil. Before long the rest of the world had their items produced in China. This, unfortunately, included Israel. Why not? After all, it’s so cheap. Everyone turned a blind eye to the fact that all this was produced by using slave labor. In addition, China runs “correction facilities” – better described as concentration camps – where many Chinese citizens are incarcerated and tortured until they fall in line with the government’s expectations. Many victims ultimately die from these tortures.
Now that the coronavirus – which originated in China – has afflicted the world and countless people suffered financial losses consisting of trillions of dollars (not to mention lives lost), we see what price the world paid for all the “bargains” that we got from China. Yet Western governments still have no qualms doing trade with the Chinese government, a rogue nation, regardless of its human rights abuses. It’s time for the West to halt all trade with China.

I. SIEGMAN
Beit Shemesh

The Iranian deal with China goes further than mentioned. Not only will China have access to some Iranian ports, but the Chinese are reported to be planning a new military base in the vicinity of the port of Chabahar – this could monitor the US Fifth Fleet in the Gulf, just like them operating the new Haifa Terminal where they can monitor not only Israel Navy movements but also that of the US fleet in the Mediterranean. Further, the $400 billion deal also includes closer military cooperation, including weapons development, combined training and intelligence sharing.
Our government must be completely crazy to allow Israeli businesses to trade with Chinese companies while they are to engage with our enemies in weapons development, let alone intelligence. How can they justify letting them control our major dairy industry company Tnuva through a state Chinese company?
DR. COLIN L LECI
Jerusalem

As perceptive as a bat
Regarding “Going batty in times of corona and politicking” (July 24), I look forward to Liat Collins’s column every Friday and I have never been disappointed. This weekend’s article was superb; the information regarding the bats was, well, “eye-opening” and Taiwan’s stringency about cleanliness and wearing masks, even pre-COVID-19, resulting in hardly any deaths (fewer than 10 in a population of over 23 million) and no economic ruin, should make the rest of the world wake up and take note. Her description of her navigation woes, even with WAZE and Google Maps, had me wondering if she were writing about me by mistake.
I smiled throughout each description, shaking my head, saying, “Been there, done that.” Glad to know I’m not alone.
She’s a talented word acroBAT.
LINDA KURAS MIZRAHI
Petah Tikva

Big budget battle
I have to ask why Benny Gantz thinks he should have a say about the budget. This is not the function of the Minister of Defense. When (and if) he becomes prime minister, then it will be his purview.
In the meantime, I believe the nation should remember that more than once Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu brought the country back from the brink of financial disaster and has established us as one of the most stable in the world. When all were floundering, Israel was prosperous, so let him try to use his magic wand. Because of what is happening around the world, it simply makes sense to pass the budget for only one year, as times are not normal, and we do not what is waiting for us.
That said, once a budget is in place, Mr. Netanyahu, let’s face it, you need to seriously consider stepping aside to allow someone – hopefully from your political camp – to take up the reins. But at this time you are creating too much pandemonium!

ANNABELLE HOROWITZ
Petah Tikva

Tender gender topic
Regarding “Coalition stability in danger over conversion therapy bill” (July 23), how appallingly hypocritical it is of our “liberal” Israeli Knesset to ban conversion therapy for individuals who wish to overcome their homosexual tendencies.
If the claim is that this therapy is ineffective and a waste of the patient’s time and money, then in time the therapy would cease to exist and there’d be no need to outlaw it. But the basis for the ban is the “untenable” suggestion that anyone might prefer to be straight. Yet when a person born with male organs decides he is really a woman, (or the reverse) the state spends large amounts to fund sex-change operations.
No one is requesting the government pay for conversion therapy. And certainly any person undergoing the therapy necessarily must be a willing party to the process if it is to be at all effective. So why is the free choice of the individual wishing to undergo “conversion therapy” to be summarily dismissed while the transgender choice is respected as well as funded?
Respect for individuals’ personal choices must not be limited to those whose choices find favor in the eyes of the relatively new liberal worldview. Our society is becoming more concerned with political correctness than consistency of principles.
SHARON LINDENBAUM
Rehovot

My husband and I are child psychologists who too often meet children who have been bullied into gay sex. We often meet children who experiment in taking medicines that will cause them to change their sex.
Our job as mental health professionals is to explore with the child and with the child’s parents whether the choice of gay sex or sex change is a healthy step to take.
For the Knesset to enact a law that would forbid mental health experts from doing their job seems to be most inappropriate.

DR. ARIELA RUBIN
Jerusalem

COVID calculus
While I don’t want to get into an argument about numbers, I think it’s important to have things in the right perspective. A letter writer (July 27) states that Israel is in number six for coronavirus in the number of cases. I believe that this was for the number of new daily cases in a particular week, and as reported by The New York Times, rarely a supporter of Israel.
Using the total number of cases from the beginning of the scourge, Israel is actually #23 with 6,736 cases per million population (all data from worldometers.com); the US at #10 with double the number of cases; and #1 is Qatar with 38,929 cases per million.
I prefer to think in terms of the number of deaths by population, since this is what is the most important. Here Israel is #67 (51 deaths per million), US # 11 (453 per million), Sweden #7 (564 per million), the UK #3 (674 per million) and San Marino #1 with 1,238 deaths per million.
I believe that the above information gives a truer picture. There are plenty of actors in the world trying to put Israel in a bad light, and so we need to get the correct information out there.

DAVID SMITH
Ra’anana