Letters to the Editor, June 17, 2020: Where there’s a will

The readers of the Jerusalem Post have their say.

Letters (photo credit: PIXABAY)
Letters
(photo credit: PIXABAY)
Where there’s a will
“Aides guilty of exploiting Shoah survivor’s assets” (June 15), about “two men who had assumed the role of legal aide and general guardian” of a 92-year-old man and made him write a will and sign a power of attorney, emphasizes the significance of executing a legally drafted Durable/Continuing Power of Attorney and Will while one is still mentally competent.
The former document nominates the person/s who would make decisions in the following areas: health (e.g., choosing between medical procedures), financial (e.g., performing bank transactions) and personal (e.g., deciding on a caretaker) if one is legally determined to be mentally incompetent; only then is the document initiated, and it is revoked upon resuming competency or dying. The latter document expresses to whom, how, when, and under what conditions one wants his/her assets to be distributed after death.
These documents helping to prevent exploitation of incompetents can also be written to comply with halacha.
TIRTZA JOTKOWITZ, ESQ.
Jerusalem
Swede and sour
I was incensed to read (“Swedish ‘ambassador to TA’ opposes Israel support,” June 15) that Sweden’s new ambassador to Israel refuses to be called that.
Erik Ullenhag refers to himself as “ambassador to Tel Aviv.” Last I heard tell, (pun intended) Tel Aviv is not a country.
Sweden’s foreign ministry explained, “We use both the expression ‘Ambassador in X city’ and ‘Ambassador to X country.’ No problem – he can live in Tel Aviv while working as Ambassador to Israel.
Israel’s Foreign ministry maintained that there was “no significant reason to refuse to accept his ambassadorship.”
I have one. Mr. Ullenhag is a fictitious ambassador to a fictitious country and Israel still lacks a Swedish ambassador. An ambassador’s stock in trade is tact and diplomacy, and he lacks both. It’s time to send this fake ambassador packing and look for a real one. This is not Alice in Wonderland!
DEENA SPIGELMAN
Jerusalem
Something to shout about
Regarding “Anger breeds violence breeds anger breeds violence” (June 15), I have lived in Israel since 1969 and heard something from my son, who is over 50 years old and still has a high role in the Israeli army. My son is a gentle, quiet man who never gets angry. He told me that it is impossible to stop the robbery from any large Israeli army stations because the law forbids the soldiers from shooting the thieves.
 He also mentioned that another son, who is an officer in the police, told him that most reports of robbery are tossed into a trash can because the police try to show that they are lowering the rate of crime by not reporting things they do not have the staff large enough to handle such crimes.
There are some excellent policemen, but many of the good ones were busy setting up crimes against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. These other things are never investigated.
Unlike my wonderful children who remain quiet and do their jobs as well as they can, I am angry and am shouting – regretfully, in the language I speak best.
Is this why we have come to Israel?
BARBARA SHAMIR
Jerusalem
Iranian irony
Regarding “UN confirms Tehran’s role in Aramco attack” (June 15), it is a shame that reporter Seth Frantzman leaves the most important part of the article for the last line:
The UN and the entire world will once again do nothing, even in the face of independent proof.
SAM ROSENBLUM
Beit Shemesh
When Harry met Eddie
“Harry Truman and the cause of Jewish statehood” (June 14) omits some information about the impact of Edward Jacobson.
Truman and Jacobson were friends in the army in World War II. After the war, they together opened a haberdashery store. Unfortunately, they went bankrupt. Jacobson turned to Truman and told him, “I am a businessman. For a businessman to go bankrupt is not a tragedy. But you started in politics. If you go bankrupt, this would be the end of your career.
Truman replied, “This is very generous of you. How will I ever pay you back?”
Jacobson responded, “I will have an IOU on you. Perhaps you will succeed in politics and I may need a favor from you.”
Some 20 years later, the Zionist organization approached Jacobson and asked him to go to Washington and plead with Truman to meet Chaim Weizmann. He did and cashed in his IOU.
This is history.
HILLEL BRACHFELD
Jerusalem
The 30% solution
Jason Greenblatt is correct: Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) are not Palestinian land. (“Greenblatt to Post: Applying Israeli law in West Bank is not illegal”).
But he does not go far enough. One cannot “annex” or “occupy” land one already has sovereignty over. The Jewish people were given sovereignty over Judea and Samaria in the San Remo Agreement (1920). The League of Nations ratified this status. The United Nations Charter in Article 80 requires every one of its members to honor these prior agreements. So even from 1948-1967 when Jordan illegally occupied Judea and Samaria, it was part of the Jewish homeland according to international law.
For all the above-mentioned historical reasons Eugene Rostow, former US Undersecretary of State (1965-1969) and Dean of Yale Law School (1955-1965) in The New York Times on September 19, 1983 declared Israel’s right to the settlements “unassailable”.
RICHARD SHERMAN
Margate, Florida

Jason Greenblatt made a glaring contradiction in stating that the land Israel is planning to annex is not Palestinian land but disputed and at the same time its annexation cannot be considered as an illegal seizure of lands.
The global community is overwhelmingly opposed to such a move which entrenches apartheid, undermines UN resolutions, international law and a two-state solution framework and ignites the flames of disgruntlement and indignation. Jordan, a serene oasis in a turbulent region and a pivotal partner for peace and interfaith dialogue, is also vehemently in opposition. Israel cannot continue its unilateral and expansionist measures and expect nothing.
DR. MUNJED FARID AL QUTOB
London

Regarding “PA: We don’t want intifada, but annexation may start one” (June 15), veiled threats of violence and false claims that Judea and Samaria are “illegally occupied Palestinian lands” (which has been refuted by numerous unbiased international law experts) combine to try to dissuade Israel from realizing its legitimate and inalienable rights as the indigenous people in its homeland.
Nations of the world that have been bullying Jews for centuries feel that they can drive Israel back to the indefensible temporary 1949 armistice lines (which they disingenuously call the 1967 borders) and create a dangerous PLO/Hamas terror state. For this “peace,” nearly a million Israelis would have to be expelled from homes where they have lived all of their lives. How? To where?
There are many workable solutions if both sides have good will. Israel will keep trying. But as long as the uncompromising Arabs make unfair and unreasonable demands and threaten violence, little progress will be made.
LARRY FRIEDLANDER
Jerusalem

Lahav Harkov is right that “Phased sovereignty option doesn’t make sense” (June 16). We need to act fast and decisively and do what’s best for Israel.
We should declare Israeli sovereignty over all areas where there are Jewish communities plus all areas that are critical to protecting our borders, including the entire Jordan Valley, regardless of whether that calculates to 30% or 35% or another percentage.
How different is that from the status today? If the Palestinians really want peace, let them come to the negotiating table. If they do not want peace, then let them stay where they are under Israeli military authority.
SHIMON GALITZER
Jerusalem
The king’s speechless
Regarding “Jordan’s King Abdullah refuses to speak with Netanyahu” (June 15), Jordan’s leader apparently decided to be part of the problem. We hear that he’s not answering phone calls from Netanyahu, because after all, complete intransigence has been such a successful policy for Palestinians for such a long time that it would be a shame to ever make a change.
It’s too bad, because he is uniquely positioned to be part of the solution. Nobody really wants an independent Palestinian state in the bits of territory that could possibly be available for it under any circumstances short of eliminating Israel. On the other hand, neither Israelis nor Palestinian Arabs want to forcibly turn tens of thousands of Palestinian Arabs into Israelis.
The answer is Israeli control of security and differential citizenship, Israeli for those who opt for it and Jordanian for those who prefer it.
Hussein, pick up the phone!
NAOMI SANDLER
Jerusalem
Racism runs rampant
In “Keshet’s use of blackface puts its int’l production company in trouble” (June 16), reporters Lahav Harkov and Seth Frantzman deride Keshet for its racism – in all of its years, its popular Eretz Nehederet show has not employed an black actor in a recurring role.
Apparently, we are all guilty of racism. It seems to be the new norm. In “George Floyd and Ethiopian Jewry: Do American Jewish organizations care about black Jews” (June 14) Joseph Feit calls the lack of support for Ethiopian Jewry by the American Jewish Organizations outright racism. Many Ethiopians living in Israel today consider Israeli society racist. The 900,000 US policemen implicated in the killing of George Floyd and other blacks over the years are guilty of systemic racism.
The USA is a racist society. Ashkenazi treatment of Sephardim in Israel: racist. Chinese students in US universities attacked due to the coronavirus: racist. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cries out that the Arabs are coming out in droves to vote: racist. Trump is, of course, a racist. Israeli treatment of Palestinians in the West Bank: racist. Israeli treatment of its Arab citizens: racist. Rioters who are supposedly against racism selectively attack Jewish businesses: those businesses must be racist.
In my own Physics Department of about 20 senior faculty members, in its early years there were five professors of Iraqi origin. No Tunisians, Moroccans or Libyans. Apparently, we had something against North African Jewry. We, too, were racist.
The obsessive demands for equal representation of all minority, disadvantaged groups in all walks of life is impossible to fulfill. The frenzied cries of racism are just that – a frenzy.
YIGAL HOROWITZ
Prof. Emeritus of Radiation Physics
Beersheba

Regarding “Gone with the anti-racist winds” (June 15) any years ago, when I was a young teacher in a prestigious and diverse New York City High School, I decided to illustrate the insidiousness of racism by showing a vintage silent film from the 1920s: Birth of A Nation. This movie about African-Americans in the South taking their place in local government and society during the Reconstruction period after the Civil War (1865-1877), depicted them in the most demeaning, vicious manner that would have made Gone With the Wind seem like Pollyanna.
By dissecting the film in class, I was hoping to alert my students to the techniques of hiding racist themes in ordinary scenes so that my students could be vigilant in detecting the seeds of prejudice.
Little did I know that a few parents had expressed concerns about the showing of the film. It is to the credit of the school administration that the only intimation I ever had about this was my principal’s mildly asking me about my plans.
 It was one of my most successful demonstrations of an historical event, and I repeated it annually with everyone’s approbation.
I wonder how such an effort would be considered today, and what a loss to historical and critical thinking it would have been, had the past been denied.
MARION REISS
Beit Shemesh
Right description
Regarding “Anti-racism marchers in Paris yell ‘dirty Jews’” (June 15), the first sentence of the report then referenced “French anti-racism protesters” in Paris who the day before were replicating the Black Lives Matter protests in the United States. The Paris protest was partly hijacked by self-proclaimed pro-Palestinian activists waving Palestinian flags and displaying anti-Israel placards. The placards were intended to persuade gullible Europeans that Israel is responsible for police brutality and racism in France and the United States.
Those shouting “dirty Jews” and carrying the placards were intentionally feeding the centuries-long antisemitic narrative deeply embedded in some Europeans’ psyche that if something bad happens anywhere, it is the fault of the Jewish people.
Those yelling “dirty Jews” at a protest cannot and should not be described as anti-racist. They are openly racist and antisemitic and happy to advertise it. Others protesting who facilitated and tolerated such conduct should also not be described as anti-racist. None protested the antisemitism of those yelling nor attempted to silence them or to exclude them from the protest.
Perhaps your headline was intended as irony. Unfortunately, in today’s world, irony bypasses too many people. A better headline? “Antisemites hijack Black Lives Matter protest in Paris” or “Pro-Palestinian protesters openly antisemitic.” Words and accuracy matter.
ALAN SHATTER
Former Irish Minister for Justice, Equality & Defense

All this destruction and lawlessness reminds me of the Nazi period. Then they wanted to destroy Jewish culture by burning books synagogues and art – and finally the Jewish people.
Is this what awaits the whites in America?
Why on earth would you bring “your huddled masses” to your shores in order to destroy the American dream?
All the liberals over there, your days are numbered because you are seen as being the “white privileged” and the fact that you helped their cause will not save you.
America and Europe are on the brink of a revolution they bought upon themselves
FREYA BINENFELD
Petah Tikva