Letters to the Editor June 24, 2020: What’s true in Peru

Readers of The Jerusalem Post have their say.

Letters (photo credit: PIXABAY)
(photo credit: PIXABAY)
What’s true in Peru
Peruvian Jews move to Israel to flee COVID-19 and street riots” (June 17) uses language, qualifiers and distorted descriptions that do not conform to the real situation that is being experienced in my country. Its content exhibits a total lack of knowledge of Peru’s recent history and is disrespectful to a population that is suffering with much sacrifice from a health crisis from which no nation has been spared.
The author of the article, Marcus Gilban, who resides in Rio de Janeiro, uses the word “flee” in the title of his article based on expressions such as “lagging economy,” “street riots” and “food shortage,” which may lead the reader to think that, due to the situation, Peru is a country from which one must escape.
The article quotes the representative of the International Community of Christians and Jews of Latin America, Gustavo Gakman, resident in Israel, who says that in Peru there is a “very high state of tension” and that it is “a country that was already in a state of financial calamity even before the pandemic,” which shows a lack of knowledge of the Peruvian reality.
Peru has not been oblivious to the negative effects of the pandemic crisis, whose impact has been reflected in the health system and in the economy of the population and sectors of the country’s economic activity. The government has implemented a comprehensive economic relief and containment program to protect the vulnerable population, providing support to private enterprises and implementing a series of economic support measures for citizens and private sector, reflected in effective bonds, deferred tax payments, credit guarantees, among others.
Moreover, members of the armed forces, police personnel and medical staff are on the front line, facing an invisible enemy that does not distinguish between socio-economic levels.
Peru is one of the few countries in Latin America that has been growing steadily for 20 years, at an annual average of 4%. Throughout successive governments, a prudent and sustained macroeconomic policy has been maintained, which has made it possible to significantly reduce poverty rates and generate employment. The measures implemented by the Peruvian government to address the negative effects of the COVID19 pandemic have been made possible precisely by the positive economic and financial performance of Peru. To claim that there are “street riots” in Peru due to food shortages and to portray the country with a calamitous picture is not only false, but also denigrating and inappropriate.
In expressing to you my absolute respect for freedom of expression, which must be exercised in a responsible manner, I should be grateful if you would make this communication public so that your readers may have a better idea of what is really happening in my country.
Peruvian Ambassador
Deep surprise and discomfort were generated in our community by the article describing the situation of the Jewish community in Peru in terms that do not conform with reality.
It is true that despite the enormous efforts of our government, the country is going through an extremely difficult time and that the pandemic has had a very hard impact on the health and economy of citizens, especially affecting our low-income compatriots. It is true that there is difficulty in finding some medicines, but there is no looting in the streets, as the article describes.
Members of the Jewish community are also affected, but community aid institutions operate in such a way that we are serving the needs of our most vulnerable members, including during the quarantine ordered by the authorities. With much effort, the community is managing to cope with the crisis.
The Peruvians that decided to immigrate to Israel made their decision long before the arrival of the virus to our country; they did not do it as a consequence of the pandemic; we attach the explanatory letter written by the young man to whom are attributed statements that he did not make.
For all the aforementioned, we strongly request the publication of an article presenting the real situation of the Jewish community in Peru.
We pray to God that our beloved Peru and the rest of the world may quickly overcome the difficult time we are living through.
Human Relations Committee
Jewish Association of Peru
A recent article reported on a recent flight helping Israeli citizens who were in Peru as well as new immigrants to arrive in Israel.
It is mentioned that my decision to immigrate to Israel was caused by the current state of emergency and the health situation in Peru. Also, I am quoted saying that from my window you can see riots in the street. This information is false and does not respond to reality.
My decision to move to Israel is something I had planned several years ago. I had a ticket purchased for April, before the pandemic. Because of the restrictions taken by several countries due to COVID-19, this flight was canceled while I was still in Lima.
During the months in Lima, I was never in danger. I stayed in my house, following the instructions of the Peruvian government, waiting for the restrictions to be lifted and travel to Israel.
Upon learning of the situation in Peru, where there are Israeli citizens with the intention of returning to Israel, as well as cases like mine that already had have plans of immigration, the International Community of Christians and Jews initiated coordination for flight from Lima to Israel.
The reason for my aliyah to Israel is not related to the current pandemic. That is why I am asking the media that published the information to correct or clarify the mentioned situation. It is really very uncomfortable for me to have words put in my mouth that could seem as a non-existent contempt for Peru.
| understand that it was not the intention to manipulate the facts and harm anyone. However, spreading false information of this nature causes great harm to my community and family, so | am asking you to find ways to correct the information in order to redress the damage caused.
Thank you in advance for your understanding and collaboration.

Mind over matter
Biden blasts BDS: Why it matters,” (June 22) doesn’t matter at all for the simple reason that if some miracle happens and Joe Biden does become the next US president, his term will be whisked away from him with lightning speed.
Suddenly, all the Democratic Party leaders will collectively agree that Biden’s declining cognitive health has impaired him and that, sadly, he must be replaced by his vice president, the hand-picked favorite who had always been the one intended to run the country and radically change its trajectory. Congress members Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, proponent zealots of the BDS movement, will yet, again, inject themselves into the party’s thinking and boycotting Israel will become a main tenet of the new Democrat position. Anyone who thinks otherwise is simply being naïve or hoping no one will see the obvious.
Let’s not kid ourselves, BDS is far from dead and very much a serious threat to Israel should Biden get elected to office.
Bat Yam
Risk is not acci-dental
With the coronavirus on the rise again, it is important that the issue of dentistry be examined. There is no profession more at risk for propagating the virus than dentistry.
Apparently under pressure from the Israel Dental Association, which wanted permission for dentists to get back to work, the Dental Department of the Ministry of Health has been irresponsible in their decisions regarding dentistry during the pandemic. Compare their decisions to the recommendations of the CDC in the US and you understand which group is taking this seriously.
Currently Israeli dentists and their staff are being put at risk, as are their patients. The answer is in obligatory testing of all dental patients – on the same day or the day before treatment. In the months of this pandemic here in Israel I have not seen any media attention, either print or electronic, on this subject. I call on The Jerusalem Post to correct this now.

Pitchfork ‘York’
Muslims and Jews in St. Louis are calling for the removal of a Crusader statue named after King Louis IX, who was a notorious antisemite and Islamaphobe They also want the city re-named; “Confluence” and “Scott” have been suggested, among others (“Muslims, Jews call for removal of Crusader statue,” June 22). Catholics are against the name change as an affront to their religious beliefs. The city, instead of being unified, is in an uproar.
Why stop at St. Louis? New York should be re-named. The city of York in Britain was the center of one of the worst antisemitic massacres of the middle ages. The city’s entire Jewish population was massacred in 1190. Many families committed suicide rather than be forcibly baptized. Do New York City’s Jews have to be constantly reminded that their city is named after a medieval city that was infamous for its Jew hatred?
Given its large Jewish population, New York City should be renamed New Jerusalem.

Back to our ABCs
Regarding “Endemic hate education in PA schools” (June 21), kudos to the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center and David Bedein for researching and exposing the degree to which the PA educates their children with the ABCs (Animosity, Bigotry and Contempt for all Israelis). This will qualify them to graduate as terrorists and martyrs.
The only problem here is: What’s new and who didn’t know that already? This indoctrination has been spoken about since the beginning of the Oslo Accords and way beyond. Therefore, it behooves us –yet again – to wonder why the basic tenets of education have never been amended? Why would Israel talk about peace with anyone who is simultaneously teaching hatred, bigotry and training terrorists? Why would we provide arms, food, water and electricity to people who are only energizing from this and then sending hatred and terror back in return?
Israel needs to halt all contact with the PA until it amends their textbooks. This is the only way to protect the young minds from terrible brainwashing and save them from becoming terrorists – ironically on the shekel of their enemy Israel. This is so preposterous and foolish that those in the government adhering to and administering current policies deserve only the same respect that one would show the “wise” old council of the silly world of Chelm.
Regarding “Big tech selective outrage” (June 23), the so-called social media outlets – Facebook, Twitter, Google, Instagram, TikTok and others – have unleashed on society sleazy hordes of degenerates who can enjoy instant gratification by their imbecilic posts:
There, with one hate-filled post, I’ve done something – I’m a full-fledged antisemite, I’m part of a group. My opinion is out-there and is gathering lots of “likes.”
This is a full-fledged war and no efforts by the social media platforms alone will contain it. Hate speech will have to be carefully defined and criminalized, just like a physical attack. It is not sufficient to remove the hate posts from the social cesspools; the worst offenders will have to be found out, prosecuted in court, and sentenced with substantial fines or jail time. So-called absolute freedom of speech will have to be somewhat compromised for a while until a new norm of behavior can be established and accepted.
We are at war – it’s time to realize it.

Monumental destruction
Thank you for publishing Walter Bingham’s chillingly brilliant article “A Taste of the American New Deal” (June 21), analyzing the unprecedented societal upheaval taking place in America.
Regarding the destruction of statues in the US, he points out that the so-called “anti-fascist” radical anarchist monument destroyers are akin to the Nazis, who also classified art that did not suit them as “degenerate art” and summarily destroyed it.
He further notes that the Antifa movement (short, ironically, for anti-fascist) is actually acting as a fascist group in their philosophy and their wanton destruction of history and culture.
He wisely asks if book burning comes next.
Yes, it does.
And may I ask us to further consider what comes after the book burning?
Let’s hear more from the venerable nonagenarian Mr. Bingham. He has understands the situation very clearly.
Regarding “Statues, history and community memory” (June 18), mobs in America are tearing down statues of Christopher Columbus, president US Grant, Francis Scott Key, etc. Dictionaries are changing definitions of words – like “racism.” Libraries are pulling classic works, such as To Kill a Mockingbird and Huckleberry Finn, off the shelves, and media groups are pulling the plug on cop shows, movies like Gone with the Wind and more.
These anarchists in the US may well have been inspired by the successes in the Mideast of groups like ISIS, which blew up major antiquity sites in Palmyra; the Jordanians, who destroyed hundreds of graves on the Mount of Olives and dozens of synagogues in the Old City; and the PA, which carried out massive illegal operations to erase Jewish history on the Temple Mount, burnt Joseph’s Tomb and so much more.
Are tolerance and mutual respect dead? It is never okay to destroy the world’s cultural and historical heritage to advance one’s own narrative and agenda, no matter how good violence and wanton destruction may make you feel at any given moment. Criminals who do so should be arrested and prosecuted.