Letters to the Editor March 31, 2021: Sooper bloopers

Readers of The Jerusalem Post have their say.

Letters (photo credit: PIXABAY)
(photo credit: PIXABAY)
 Sooper bloopers
Regarding “Colorado shooting: Ten killed including one policeman” (March 23) and “Boulder shooting suspect will undergo mental health assessment” (March 25), I find it puzzling and even disturbing that at no point does The Jerusalem Post ever bother to share with its readers the simple objective and relevant truth that the shooter is Muslim and that he traveled out of his way specifically to massacre people at an identifiably Jewish target.
The murderer, who praised ISIS, passed a number of closer supermarkets in order to massacre shoppers specifically at the King Soopers supermarket, which advertises itself on the Web as “Your one-stop shop for kosher groceries” and is included on a Vaad Hakashrus of Denver list of stores that carry kosher items. A simple Google search shows, for example, that the yelp.com website includes King Soopers in its list of “Top 10 Best Kosher Supermarkets” in the region.
The Post and virtually all of the American mainstream news outlets never even mention these easily accessible facts, yet one can easily imagine how they would have reacted and reported if a Jew – say one who identified with Meir Kahane – had mowed down shoppers in a market that advertises that it caters to Muslims.
How can one explain the media’s reluctance to even mention these relevant details of this news event? Political correctness taken to an extreme? Are they afraid of being accused of Islamophobia? Are they afraid they will be attacked for their honesty by Islamist terrorists, as was Charlie Hebdo in Paris in 2015?
The Post article says, “Police have not yet... identified a motive for the killings.” Okay, maybe the motive was not anti-Jewish; perhaps the murderer was nothing more than a spurned lover. But don’t American Jews who frequent Jewish sites like kosher markets and the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh at least deserve to be told the known objective facts so that they can make informed life-and-death decisions?
Tel Aviv
It is interesting to note that when US Vice President Kamala Harris’s niece assumed that the shooter at the King Soopers supermarket in Colorado was a white male, she quickly (and wrongly) tweeted the racist remark that “violent white men” are the “greatest terrorist threat” to the US.
Disturbingly, that tweet went viral, liked and shared by multitudes. Yet when it turned out that the shooter was a Muslim born in Syria, she was forced to delete the tweet and then (correctly) refrained from generalizing about Muslims from one anecdotal event.
Apparently anti-white remarks are fine, but anti-Muslim remarks would be racist.
One might have thought that the vice president (or the mainstream media) might have something to say about this, but (unsurprisingly), no.
Poll bearers
Israelis went to the polls four times, and it is not unlikely that the inconclusive results will lead to yet a fifth attempt to form a government. When will the asimon fall? 
Our electoral system is failing the nation. It’s broken.
Consider the damage incurred when virtually every branch of government cannot follow policies set by ministers who are transitional, functioning with provisional leaders who attempt to fill what turn out to be interim posts; when budgets are not consistent with needs because each incoming minister’s dictates demand change; and when Israelis vote for a party, yet party members are free to move to a different party. 
An additional failing of our system is the realization that voting for a party has no bearing on the voters’ preferences following the elections since party members are not answerable to the people, but to the party. Essentially voters are not represented in the government because once elections are over, party members make every effort to do what they can to remain in the party, regardless of the wishes of the public. We don’t have a representational government responsible to the people. Our system is rather an “old boys” club. Leaders concern themselves with – and turn to – the public only prior to elections.
We go to the polls to choose from among 37 parties in our small country. The US, for contrast, has a population more than 50 times larger yet they have only two parties (unless an independent chooses to run, adding a third).
 Is this not insane?
 To understand the extent of the insanity, follow the splintering, competition and animosity that result from the process of creating a coalition in order to form a government. “Insane” is an understatement. 
The system is tearing our society apart. Clearly it must be replaced, but what are the chances when it is the Knesset that must bring about change, yet the members’ positions would be jeopardized as a result?
Twice before elections Netanyahu promised electoral change, but after he was elected...
So, must we continue with this farce? 
Regarding “How can Israel form a coalition?” (March 25), the most obvious answer is the one not mentioned: for Likud to form a government with a prime minister other than Benjamin Netanyahu. 
Sometimes even a (great) leader, such as Netanyahu, must sacrifice for the greater good.
Beit Shemesh
There’s an obvious way to establish a stable government without going through a fifth election, which would probably lead to a sixth if not a seventh and an eighth. 
Benjamin Netanyahu needs to resign as leader of Likud and as prime minister and let someone else take over the roles he has generally filled very ably. This would remove the division between the pro- and anti-Bibi blocs that is preventing the creation of a stable coalition.
That does not mean Bibi needs to fade away. He can serve as foreign minister in a government led by someone else; he can serve as president after Reuven Rivlin. He can and should continue to use his talents to benefit our country. But it’s time for his season as prime minister to end.
It’s also time for the prosecutors to drop the highly dubious legal proceedings against Netanyahu. I’m not a lawyer and, as a relatively recent oleh, I’m not as familiar as sabras with Israeli law, but the case has always appeared to me to be based on actions which may have shown lapses in judgement but should never have been considered criminal.
It’s time for Bibi to move on and for all of us to come together.
PA goes postal – stamping on int’l law
Concerning “Palestinians using postal bank for ‘pay-for-slay’ to avoid Israeli law” (March 24) confirming that PLO terrorists use the postal bank for to pay people for murdering Jews, it must be pointed out that there are very stringent local and international laws that forbid the use of the Israel Postal bank for criminal purposes. What could be more criminal than the transfer of cash through the Israel Postal Bank for committing an act of murder? 
To challenge such a policy: file a criminal complaint with the Israel police against the Israel Postal Bank in light of this Jerusalem Post news item, which I as a journalist have researched and verified to be accurate. 
Director, Near East Policy Research
Gantz: An expert marxman
Regarding “Sa’ar, Bennett’s Arab vetoes may give PM first mandate” (March 30), even Blue and White leader Benny Gantz does not see anything wrong with the Islamic parties being in the coalition? 
“He called on Sa’ar and Bennett not to rule out a coalition with parties in the bloc, a reference to the Joint List and Ra’am (United Arab List).” 
Gil Hoffman quotes Gantz as saying: “When I meet with them, I will tell them that it is okay to have principles, but it is also necessary to display the flexibility needed to enable the formation of a government and the replacement of Netanyahu.”
This reminds me of Groucho Marx: “Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them... well, I have others.”
Ra’am is the political wing of the Southern Branch of the Islamic Movement. In 1999, Raphael Israeli wrote about the Islamic Movement:
“A Muslim is not supposed to respect and act according to secular laws made by humans, but follow the Shari’a, the law which emanates from Allah himself. Thus, when the Muslim movement in Israel participates in local elections and elects Islamic mayors, they do not need to swear allegiance to the State of Israel. 
“Moreover, under Israeli law, local councils are entitled to adopt bylaws, for example, governing the separation of sexes at school or forbidding the sale and consumption of alcohol. From the fundamentalist point of view, this is not an enactment of law but merely an application of the law of Allah. However, participation in government at the national level would require acceptance of the secular laws of the Jewish state and behaving in accordance with them instead of cultivating a separate patrimony in isolation and segregation.”
How can Gantz, Yair Lapid and Benjamin Netanyahu ignore this? Has political survival made our politicians abandon all their principals?
NGOs: Up to No GOod
In “Six NGOs ask court to force Israel to provide vaccines for all Palestinians” (March 26) Tova Lazaroff reports on six left-wing NGOs creating a brouhaha to force the State of Israel to provide vaccines to the PA – which couldn’t organize a party in a brewery – and has refused assistance until now.
Apart from the facts and figures that prove that the PA is incapable of providing basic amenities, Lazaroff fails to investigate and report on the private Israeli initiatives to vaccinate local populations in Judea, Samaria and the PA. Take for example the initiative of Mayor Oded Revivi and the Efrat municipality. Efrat has been providing inoculations of local Arab residents for weeks now.
Perhaps those human rights physicians and rabbis represented by the NGOs, should rather do something real and helpful about inoculations instead of creating a misleading public and international demonstration that can be taken up by our enemies.
Elazar, Gush Etzion
Six leftist NGOs have petitioned the High Court of Justice to force Israel to provide enough vaccines to the Palestinian Authorities to inoculate its entire Palestinian population even before the Israeli population is fully vaccinated. 
The unadulterated gall in this horrific demand is absolutely mind-blowing. The NGOs want the Israeli government to sacrifice the lives of Israeli citizens (both Jewish and Arab) by slowing down the Israeli vaccination program, surely leading to an increased death rate and also creating an increased risk of variant infiltration which could re-start the entire pandemic in Israel. 
All this for a Palestinian population governed by elected enemies who wish to destroy the Jewish state. The High Court cannot and will not uphold these outrageous demands but the NGOs will have fulfilled their bloated desire to look pure and holy, if only in their own misguided eyes.
Fear of Ben Gvir
Rabbi Yoav Ende avoids a key historical difference between the condemnation that Rabbi Meir Kahane received from many Jewish quarters and the condemnation Itamar Ben Gvir has not received (“Israeli society needs to draw a red line on political extremists,” March 25).
Kahane lived and was assassinated by Muslims prior to the Second Intifada. Having over 1,000 Jews blown up at Passover Seders, discos, pizza parlors, on buses, in department stores and restaurants, and many thousands more maimed for life opened the eyes of many Israelis as to what manner of evil they have to deal with on a daily basis – “A New Shoah,” as described by author Giulio Meotti. 
The Second Intifada – which was financed by the PA and its agents as documents seized from Yasser Arafat’s lair revealed – was suspended only because of increased Israeli security measures, especially including a wall/fence. There is no reason to believe that those Muslims responsible for the Second Intifada would not return to slaughtering Jews in an identical manner if given the opportunity. 
The Second Intifada preceded Ben Gvir’s emergence, and that makes a significant difference.
Margate, Florida
Oil spoils
Regarding “On Iran, US won’t wait for Israel to sort itself out” (March 25), after decades of news consumption, I’ve still yet to come across a mainstream news outlet that notes how one of the main reasons the Iranian Revolution occurred was due to foreign oil companies, notably those of the US (but perhaps even Canada or major European nations) exploiting their resources. 
I understand that it was a profit-losing lesson learned by the oilmen CEOs that they would never allow to happen to them again, by way of accessing always-willing domestic political thus military muscle. If the relevant oil companies were/are against Iran, then likely so are their elected governments and usually by extension (via mainstream news media) so are the citizens.
White Rock, B.C., Canada
Going against the grain
“Can the world produce enough food?” (March 24) misses “the elephant in the room,” the fact that so much of the world’s grain is fed to farmed animals. 
At a time when an estimated nine million people worldwide die annually of hunger and its effects and over 10% of the world’s people are chronically malnourished, about 70% of the grain produced in the US and about 40% produced worldwide is fed to animals destined for slaughter. What makes the situation even more shameful is that healthy foods like corn, soy, and oats, high in healthy fiber and carbohydrates and devoid of cholesterol and saturated fat, are fed to animals, producing foods with exactly the opposite characteristics, contributing to the current epidemic of heart disease, cancer, and other life-threatening diseases.
Besides reducing the scandal of widespread hunger and widespread illnesses, shifting away from animal-based diets would have the further advantages of reducing climate change and other environmental threats, risks for future pandemics, animal abuse, and the wasteful use of land, energy, water and other resources.
At this season of freedom, it would be very beneficial for our health, the environment, hungry people and animals to end our “enslavement” to animal-based diets.
Professor Emeritus, College of Staten Island