Letters to the Editor March 2, 2020: Sanders/ Ocasio-Cortez Team

Readers of The Jerusalem Post have their say.

Letters (photo credit: PIXABAY)
(photo credit: PIXABAY)
Sanders/ Ocasio-Cortez Team
The “Sanders and AIPAC” editorial (February 26) concludes that is “a shame” that Sanders is trying to disturb the bipartisan support for Israel. It is beyond a “shame” – it is pernicious, evil and a grave threat to the well-being of the only safe haven for the Jewish people. This from someone who says he is Jewish.
Yet it gets worse! Commentator Thomas Friedman suggests for UN Ambassador Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, member of the antisemitic “Squad.” If Mr. Friedman can seriously suggest her to be UN Ambassador, then it’s pretty clear that his musings about our small country are tainted by severe bias.
It’s also clear that something is wrong with the Democratic Party vis-a-vis the State of Israel.
Bernie Sanders, while lauding Fidel Castro, refers to our prime minister as an autocratic racist. Enthusiastic Sanders supporters, whose knowledge of history is largely limited to social media, pronounce his regurgitation of socialist dogma as progressive. If Sanders gets the nomination, it will be a disaster for the Democratic Party. If he manages to be elected president, it will be a disaster for the United States.
Rachel’s Tomb to become a mosque?
Regarding “Netanyahu promises sovereignty over Hebron’s Tomb of the Patriarchs” (Feb 23), in addition to Hebron, other Jewish holy and archaeological sites should be added to the sovereignty list.
Last month, Arye Savir reported in Tazpit News Agency that the PA seized a Hasmonean-era fortress in the Shomron and converted it into a “Palestinian tourist site” as part of its campaign to transform Jewish heritage sites into “Palestinians sites” while systematically demolishing archaeological findings.
The Shomrim Al Hanetzach‎ (Guarding Eternity) organization recently discovered that the PA had installed a massive flag mast and lighting at the fortress of Arama, a Hasmonean archaeological site that dominates the ancient road from Shechem (Nablus) to the Jordan Valley, the latest example of their systematic desecration of Jewish archaeological sites. In 2017, Nadav Shragai wrote in Israel Hayom, “King Herod’s grand Third Palace is being systematically destroyed by the Palestinians, who are stripping its stone and building homes around it. The site is in Area A, meters from Israeli-controlled territory, but the Israeli government can do nothing... Here is a lesson that teaches us how the Palestinians today treat remnants of the past.”
In 2018, Judith Abramson reported in JerusalemOnline how “Palestinian tractors and bulldozers arrived at an archaeological site where the ancient city of Archelaus once stood. The Palestinians completely leveled the compound in order to locate hidden archaeological treasures to sell in the antiquities market... Just as ISIS destroyed sites in Iran and Syria that were thousands of years old, the same situation is occurring here. This is a deliberate and systematic destruction of an archaeological site.”
In 2000, the Palestinians destroyed Joseph’s Tomb – not to mention the methodical destruction of all synagogues in the Old City from 1948 to 1967 and the bulldozing on the Temple Mount
The Palestinians declared they will convert Rachel’s Tomb into a mosque. In 2010, Nadav Shragai wrote in JCPA, “UNESCO has declared that Rachel’s Tomb near Jerusalem is the Bilal ibn Rabah mosque – endorsing a Palestinian claim that first surfaced only in 1996 and which ignores centuries of Muslim tradition.”
While Israel preserves al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock, Arabs have proven that they cannot be trusted to respect Jewish Holy sites or archaeological sites. Israeli sovereignty should be applied to those sites for their preservation.
Rachel’s Tomb could be converted into a mosque; Joseph’s Tomb and other Jewish archaeological treasures could be destroyed if left out of sovereignty list.
Silver Spring, Maryland
What King Felipe VI didn’t say
King Felipe VI omits to apologize for expulsion of the Jews from Spain” (February 23), raises a thought-provoking case against the Spanish avoidance to tackle such a painful issue as the expulsion of the Jews from the Iberian Peninsula.
Both King Felipe VI and his father, King Juan Carlos I, demonstrated their democratic spirit and are pivotal figures of one of the most vibrant democracies in the world. Precisely because of that, one would have expected a noble gesture from them, a more frank approach to the problematic past of their kingdom.
Deeply-rooted antisemitism is still very much alive in Spain. Even the Spanish language, with all its beauty, has pejorative words in its vocabulary that depict Jews as negative characters.
Schools in Spain have consistently failed to teach the lessons of the expulsion of its Sephardic Jews and the torment inflicted upon them. An open discussion of this dark chapter and a proper apology coming from the King would send a potent message against any form of discrimination.
King Felipe VI made a moving speech at the World Holocaust Forum, but it lacked a very important component. I hope the monarch will find a future opportunity to speak about the plight of the Sephardic Jews and ask for forgiveness.
Tel Aviv
No solution in sight
Regarding “Gaza rocket fire continues after PIJ declares unilateral ceasefire” (February 25), I’ve lived in Ashkelon for almost 50 years and have experienced missile barrages from Gaza from before there were family shelters and Iron Dome. I believe the South of Israel will never know peace. This was especially evident in the last round of firing. The Jihad was responsible for “starting it,” so the Israeli Air Force attacked only the Jihad targets. Israel continually reacts, and as long as there is no Israeli loss of life, Israel retaliates accordingly, as though these are rules agreed upon by both sides.
Terrorists in Gaza have learned that as long as bombs and missiles explode only in the South, the present government will continue to hurl empty threats that, by now, should fool no one. There is no attempt to arrive at some kind of truce so there is no reason in the world why citizens in the South should expect any peace.
As Albert Einstein supposedly said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” That pretty well sums up what’s been happening and will continue to happen in southern Israel.
Regarding “Israel’s dilemma regarding the Palestinian Arabs” (March 1), like most plans, Trump’s “Deal of the Century” has its good and bad points. The best parts of it refocus the discussion on the real reason there has been no progress toward resolving the Palestine-Israel conflict: The Palestinians have been unwilling to accept any solution that does not advance the destruction of Israel. Trump’s plan does this by putting Israeli security concerns ahead of movement toward a Palestinian state.
The plan has two key weaknesses: 1) The territorial component is far too complex to work. Much like the 1947 partition plan, it creates places where conflict is likely, almost inevitable, absent a desire on both sides to live in peace. Had there been such a desire in 1947, even that partition plan might have worked and the conflict would not have lasted as it has. 2) It maintains the illusion that a Palestinian state is part of the solution. It isn’t; it’s part of the problem. The Palestinian leadership wants that state not as a neighbor to Israel, but as an alternative to Israel. As long as this is the case, there is no basis for a solution, however creative.
The one critical development that will lead to peace is a willingness of the Palestinian Arabs to acknowledge that Jews will have rights in the region. As long as they reject this idea categorically, there is no solution in sight.
Framingham, MA
Coronavirus conundrum
Regarding “7th Israeli tests positive for novel coronavirus” (March 1), since qualifying as a physician 50 years ago, I have worked in Suriname, the Netherlands, and mostly in Israel. I have also learned about traditional and non-Western medicine, and am amazed that homeopaths have not spoken about the ongoing coronavirus crisis. Are they worried about being ridiculed?
They know that isopathy (a high dilution made from the virus or from excretions from an infected patient who is otherwise healthy) is the quickest way to heal some diseases. I have seen isopathy cure nearly all cases of mononucleosis. One tablet [EBV 200] is enough to revive exhausted people within days!
While we cannot be sure which disease or infection isopathy may heal, if all proper precautions are taken in preparation, there can be no harm trying it against a rapidly spreading disease.
Corona as isopathy can be prepared in a few days wherever cases are discovered. If it works, it may save many lives. If not – the damage will be a small financial loss.
In my long experience, backed by academic research, the herb Portulaca helps against flu, including swine flu. It may also prove useful against Corona.
Please help spread the message. Let not Western pride cause the death of many.
Regarding “Israeli team: In a few weeks, we’ll have a vaccine” (February 28), it is great news that we may have a vaccine ready in three months, especially in light of Prof. Shemer’s prediction of “between eight and 12 months” (“Ruining the dream,” February 28). Preparation of a facility to mass-produce the vaccine should begin immediately. The loss that might be incurred if approval of the vaccine were to be delayed is negligible compared to the billions that would be saved for the battered world economy for each day that a vaccine is available. Think, for example, of saving the threatened Tokyo Olympics.
Motorcycle morons
Regarding “Tel Aviv start-up taking tech one step further” (February 28), another outstanding discovery reported by Hillel Fuld! The entire column had me spellbound, but I must admit my great dismay at not even a few sentences about how the entire situation could have been avoided to begin with. Too many motorcycle drivers drive too fast and too carelessly.
As someone frequently on foot in Jerusalem, I don’t remember a motorcyclist ever stopping at a crosswalk while I’m crossing the street. Some motorcyclists speed up to pass a car stopped at the crosswalk, whizzing in front of me or behind me, causing me to jump. When I’m on a bus in heavy traffic, motorcycles fly by on both the right and left (on or beyond the divider line), and I shudder to think what happens when a child, cat, or pedestrian takes advantage of stopped traffic to cross the street, whether on a crosswalk or not.
Motorcycles go down my one-way street in the wrong direction and seem to feel that roads belong to them. Isn’t there anything the police can do about this? Do motorcycle drivers lose their licenses for life, pay huge fines, and have their motorcycle confiscated when they cause an accident, however slight? These terrorists shouldn’t be permitted to get away with this recklessness.
Beersheba’s two curses
Panel debates ways to bring residents to the Negev” (February 27) focuses on the aim to bring more residents to the Negev and Beersheba. I have lived in Beersheba for 49 years and in that nearly half-century, it has come a very long way: full of upscale restaurants, malls, entertainment/movie centers, municipal parks and solid middle-class residential neighborhoods that look no different than anywhere else in Israel.
Beersheba, however, suffers from two curses. 1) It is not on the sea like the cities dotting the Mediterranean shoreline. That cannot be corrected, although a “lake” is under development. 2) The so-called “downtown” or “center” of the city is a decaying relic of the Ottoman occupation. This couple of square kilometers can easily compete for a worldwide title of the least attractive conglomeration of buildings anywhere. Heroic attempts have been made to improve its appearance but to no avail.
The only solution is to raze the entire area and start afresh. A piecemeal approach doesn’t seem to work.
Misguided Mladenov
Regarding “European ambassadors hold Jerusalem meeting with Israel over E1 fears” (February 27), has UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process ever condemned the Palestinian leaders for inciting their people to violence while refusing to negotiate on Israeli proposals for the establishment of the first-ever-to-exist Arab State in Judea and Samaria? Can he cite the International Law that says that Palestinian leaders can change their positions at will?
After all, at Arab insistence, the 1949 Rhodes Armistice Agreement specified that the “Green Line” was not a border, yet Mladenov has accepted the Palestinian leaders’ more recent demand that Israel must return to the 1949 armistice lines. In addition, the lands that the Palestinian leaders now say they must have for a state are precisely the lands to that they said they made no claim to in the founding documents of the PLO in 1964.
Why is Mladenov condemning Jews building homes instead of condemning the firing of missiles at civilian population centers and the launching of airborne incendiary devices that set crops and nature reserves ablaze? Has he considered telling the Palestinian leaders that expecting Israelis to put their lives on hold until a negotiated settlement is reached obligates the Palestinian leadership to come to the negotiating table and actually negotiate?
Atlanta, GA
Ticket to ride
Luxembourg’s idea of free public transportation, as reported in “Luxembourg makes public transport free” (March 1), is the best innovation since the invention of sliced bread! This idea will, at one stroke, reduce traffic congestion, reduce air pollution caused by vehicle exhaust fumes and benefit the needy.
The cost could be covered by a surcharge on vehicle fuel, which would further encourage vehicle owners to use public transport. Operators of public bus services should be exempted from this surcharge.
Beit Zayit