Letters to the editor, March 1, 2021: Why the Left has been left bereft

Readers of the Jerusalem Post have their say.

Letters (photo credit: PIXABAY)
(photo credit: PIXABAY)
Why the Left has been left bereft
Nadav Tamir’s “The harmful effect of despair on Israel’s Left” (February 28) filled me with despair for the Left. It’s hard to shock an 85-year-old, but Tamir has succeeded. 
He writes, “The result is to perpetuate the occupation and to continue the rule of populism and corruption.” He speaks of his guru Shimon Peres advancing the cause of peace. Is my memory failing or wasn’t there a huge rise in terrorist acts after the Oslo Accords? 
As for the “occupation,” does he mean the Israel-hating Arabs occupying Jewish land whose leaders pay their terrorists for the murder of Jews? Does he have no knowledge of the Mandate for Palestine, which is still in legal force, that gives all of Judea and Samaria to the Jews? Does he not remember that we have offered the so-called Palestinians (a misnomer if there ever was one) a state of their own on our land three times, which has thrice been rejected? 
He refers to our populism (?) and corruption. The boot is on the other foot; corruption is rampant in the PA. Finally, does he really believe the leaders of the “Palestinian people” want to live in peace with Israel? We hear them daily screaming “From the river to the sea.” Their children, for almost 50 years (hence several generations) have been fed Jew-hatred in schools, in the media, etc. 
These people have no intention of living peaceably with Israelis. Until that message finally sinks in, the Left will bring much misery upon us if they ever get into power.
Rishon LeZion
Nadav Tamir fails to grasp the fact that the Palestinian Authority and Hamas are not looking for peace or accommodation with Israel. On one hand they say they do not want any cooperation with Israel and on the other they whine that Israel is not giving them vaccines.
Tamir should know that they could have had their state many times over but it’s so much easier for them to remain “refugees” being supported by the gullible European Union and now again by the US with no accountability for a future for the population under Hamas or PA authority.
Wake up Nadav: it takes two to tango.
Petah Tikva
Bern: Your turn to learn
Worse than despair is self-delusion. Nadav Tamir is deluding himself if he believes that there is any difference in the goals of Mansour Abbas and those of Mahmoud Abbas and the Joint Arab List. 
Mansour Abbas wants one country – Palestine – between the River and the Sea. Mahmoud Abbas, the Joint Arab List, and Hamas, envision “two states” as a Palestinian state from which all Jews have been banished and an Israel that has been converted into a Muslim-majority state after being overrun by millions of Arabs claiming descent from the Arabs who fled Arab-initiated violence that failed to prevent Israel’s rebirth in our ancestral homeland. Jews would be second-class citizens in such a state, if they were tolerated at all.
I am sure there are many Palestinians who have been able to resist the best attempts of Palestinian leaders to turn them into violent Jew-haters. Unfortunately, civilians don’t get to sign treaties.
On a related topic, regarding “Sanders slams Israel for not sending COVID vaccines to Palestinians” (February 25), one wonders:
• Did Senator Bernie Sanders criticize the PA for refusing to accept anti-COVID supplies from the UAE because the shipment was routed through Israel’s Ben-Gurion airport? 
• Did Sanders tell the PA that it would have had sufficient funds to buy vaccines if it wasn’t paying lifelong stipends to Palestinians who’ve murdered Israelis (and/or the murderers’ families)? 
• Has Sanders suggested to the PA that Israel clearly doesn’t need to “establish a foothold” on Judaism’s holiest site and that the PA should certainly have graciously accepted that Israel’s offer to set up Arab-staffed vaccination sites there to serve the thousands of Palestinians who flock to prayer services, risking being infected and spreading disease?
Atlanta, GA
Bernie Sanders’s anti-Israel screed about the country not delivering COVID-19 vaccines to Palestinian Arabs reveals the senator’s need to learn some historical facts.
He should start with learning that under the Oslo II Agreements of 1995, Israel is not responsible for vaccinating Palestinian Arabs. Annex 3, Appendix 1, Article 17 of these Agreements specifies that the Palestinian Arabs – and only the Palestinian Arabs – will operate their own vaccinations program. Article 17 was insisted upon by the Palestinian Arabs.
He should learn that during December 2020, the Palestinian Authority Minister of Health publicly stated that Israel was not being asked to provide vaccines, and that they would be sought from other sources. 
These statements were repeated by other Palestinian Authority officials. In fact, shipments of vaccines from Russia and from COVAX were arranged by the Palestinian Authority to meet the vaccination needs of their population. He should learn that nonetheless, Israel subsequently generously donated and facilitated the transfer of some vaccines to its implacable enemies in Judea, Samaria and Gaza.
He should learn that Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria rests on the San Remo Agreement of 1920, was codified by the League of Nations in 1922, and was legitimized by Article 80 of the UN Charter. He should review UN Security Council Resolution 242, which its authors confirmed had the intent of not forcing Israel back to the indefensible Green Line of 1949. 
And he should review the aforementioned Oslo Accords, which with the force of international law grant Israel’s rights to a presence in the disputed – not “occupied” – territories west of the Jordan River. He should learn that therefore his notion of Israel as an occupying power is incorrect.
All of his dour jeremiads criticizing Israel are a sorry substitute for Sanders being willing to put in the work to learn the facts of the situation. But then Sanders might have to give up his favorite Israel-related pastime: unjustified criticism.
Williamsville, New York
Intransigence comes with a price
Regarding “Use land for peace formula to end Israeli-Palestinian conflict” (February 24), of course, Mideast peace is possible. Look at the recently concluded Abraham Accords as well as the other Muslim and Arab countries that have, or are close to establishing formal relations with Israel.
Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Erikson must understand that there are two main impediments to peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority and Hamas: 1) The PA and Hamas hate each other almost as much as they hate Israel. 2) The PA believes in a Jew-free Palestine and a Muslim-dominated Israel, while Hamas believes that every Jew in the world is to be killed.
The Palestinian entities appear intractable. However, the Arab League and the US can bring pressure to bear to advance peace. They must let the PA/Hamas know that intransigence comes with a price. The former American administration did it by cutting funding and diplomatic contacts. The new administration should encourage a pay-to-play policy.
Left to fend for themselves, the PA will flounder worse than it is now and Hamas may get more aggressive with disastrous consequences.
There is a plan on the table. The Peace to Prosperity model offers a truly viable two-state solution, where Palestine will be slightly larger than what Jordan and Egypt occupied in 1949 and Israel will have secure borders. This is the position the US must support, not the 1949 armistice lines nor the 2002 Saudi plan.
Ottawa, On.
Poor Purim COVID choices
This morning’s (February 28) Jerusalem Post opens with a front-page photo that really woke me up and makes my blood boil! The subtitles explain: “People wearing costumes celebrate Purim at Habima Square in Tel Aviv on Friday,” “Passover relief plan at risk as masses break guidelines,” “Thousands gather at Purim parties before curfew starts.” 
 A Purim curfew was intended to prevent further infections due to just such gatherings as these. Selfish, insensitive people are the reason that the rest of us cannot get on with our lives. They are the real villains of the piece. After this, the lockdown is irrelevant. 
Also in that photo is an unmistakably large cross, prominently displayed. This is totally inappropriate in a Purim celebration whose raison d’etre is the freedom of the Jewish people from total annihilation. If not for Purim, there would be no Jews living today to celebrate anything! Don’t they get it?
Not even half a laugh
Regarding “SNL’s Michal Che is not an antisemite” (February 23) the subject of humor is really the story of the Jews. As a Jew, I don’t like to listen to jokes about my people’s alleged cheapness. Jews are the most philanthropic people in the world as one can see from the names of medical buildings all over the world.
Jokes about all-powerful Jews controlling things are OK because it’s nice to feel powerful and you can always tell the jokester that if I’m so all-powerful, how come you still have a job?
Jokes about Jews mistreating Arabs are out of bounds because for more than 1,000 years Jews in the Arab world were discriminated against, had to wear distinctive Jew clothing so their Arab masters would be able to identify them and force them off the sidewalks onto the road so their betters could walk uninterrupted, etc.
Speaking about mistreatment, Islam’s greatest hero is celebrated for chopping the heads of 600 Jewish men and boys followed by the enslavement of their wives and sisters. So please don’t tell me that I am slave master.
But I’m not thin-skinned. I’ll accept Michael Che’s unfunny (and untrue) joke about Israelis refusing to vaccinate Arabs if he will also make jokes about black welfare queens and other ethnic targets.
Calgary, Alberta (Canada) 
Let’s not make a deal
Richard Schwartz writes (“Nuke deal dealings,” Letters, February 17) that the Iran deal signed in 2015 was successful in halting Iran’s path toward creating a nuclear weapon. 
The Iran deal did nothing of the kind. 
That “deal” allows Iran to produce as many nuclear weapons as it wants to produce once the date of the sunset clause is reached (which is very soon). At best, full compliance with the Iran deal only delays the building of nuclear weapons by Iran. In the meantime, Iran is gaining the experience necessary to build nuclear bombs and develop the intercontinental missiles necessary to deliver the bombs to their destination. Iran continues to state its objective of wiping Israel off the map. Words can have deadly consequences. 
He concludes by writing that it is essential that diplomacy should be tried because a military conflict would have devastating consequences for Israel, the US and the entire world. It seems that the professor has forgotten the history of World War II. 
The policy of appeasement and diplomacy gave Nazi Germany the time to greatly expand its military capabilities. The end result was a devastating war with over 60 million people killed and six million Jews exterminated. Had Britain or France taken military action against Nazi Germany in 1933, that war would never have occurred. The preemptive strike by Israel on both the Iraq and Syrian nuclear facilities prevented a much more deadly war from becoming a reality. There are times when a preemptive strike is preferable to diplomacy. 
The return of the US to the present Iran deal and the lifting of sanctions will embolden Iran and will be catastrophic for the Middle East. 
Inevitably it will lead to diplomacy by other means as described by the Prussian General Carl von Clausivitz.
A fact-based diet
On February 17, 2021, Dr. Richard Schwartz, a professor of mathematics, wrote in The Jerusalem Post (“Cancel Cancer.” Letters, February 17) that “humans are far closer to herbivorous animals than omnivorous or carnivorous ones in terms of our teeth, hands, digestive system, stomach acids and other aspects.”
As a veterinarian with over 30 years of practice on a wide range of animals, I can tell you that he is factually incorrect. 
The physiology and anatomy of the human digestive system is fully suited to an omnivore (eaters of both plants and meat), containing elements similar to carnivores (meat eaters) and to herbivores (plant eaters). Herbivores use their mouths (lips, tongue and teeth) to acquire food while carnivores tend to use their “hands” to bring food to their mouths, as do humans. 
The structure of the human head and its dentition attests that humans are not naturally vegetarians. True vegetarians have hypsodont (high-crowned continuously erupting) teeth that are suitable for grinding plants. Carnivores and omnivores have brachydont (low-crowned) teeth, as do human beings. 
Hominids, including humans, have Bunodont cheek teeth typical to omnivores such as bears, raccoons and pigs. Herbivores have a differently shaped skull and jaw and attached musculature than carnivores. Humans have a unique structure in this regard, attesting to humans being omnivorous. 
The digestive systems of carnivores are short and break down fats and proteins efficiently using strong acid and enzymes; both ingestion and digestion times are short. Herbivores ingest plant material composed of cellulose whose digestion requires microbial fermentation. They spend most of their waking hours consuming large quantities of plant material that then spends a lot of time in the digestive tract because it must first be broken down by microbes and then absorbed.
Roughly speaking, carnivores have a small ratio of body length to intestinal length, herbivores large and omnivores in between; sheep – 1:27; ox – 1:20; pig – 1:14; human – 1:6; dog –1:6; cat –1:4.
There are also significant differences in vision: the eyes of herbivores are generally situated on the sides of the head, providing a broad field of vision that enables them to detect predators. Prey animals, in contrast, have their eyes situated frontally, side by side, in order to provide depth perception, essential for hunting. Human eyes are situated as in predators.
 Of course in nature there is great variety and thus exceptions to the generalizations stated above. But in general, on the continuum between herbivores and carnivores, physiologically and anatomically humans are situated in the middle, and certainly not far closer to herbivores, as claimed by Schwartz.
In summary, Schwartz once again appears in the your paper promoting his faith-based agenda of vegetarianism and does not let the facts get in his way. It is not clear to me why The Jerusalem Post gives him a nearly weekly forum in which to spread his misrepresentations of both Judaism and science. 
He is entitled to his opinion and there may be valid reasons for someone to choose a plant-based diet, but he would be better served by being factual.