Letters to the Editor: Missing anthem

Something smells at Hebrew U.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Stop the idolization
All this time I thought it was only Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who was desperate enough to go to any lengths to make nice with our enemies. Now, lo and behold, I see that the new great white hope, US President Donald Trump – Israel’s latest idol – is no different. (I suppose it is surprising only if one forgets that both men have massive egos and delusions of grandeur, which is exactly the reason they should see how they humiliate themselves.) Trump has tasked Jared Kushner, his son-in-law, with brokering a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, and to this end he looks to the Saudis for help.
To make sure he made a good impression on that terrorist-supporting country, Kushner reportedly called the CEO of defense contractor Lockheed Martin directly and asked her to reduce the cost of a missile defense system so that Saudi Arabia could buy it.
Trump might be good at making real estate investments, but in the Middle East, where his only true and constant ally and friend is Israel – the country to which he does not afford the courtesy of speaking from the Knesset and whose leader was told that the US president did not want his company when he visited the Western Wall – he is showing himself to be a prize idiot.
Israel, it’s time to start showing some pride and stop the idolization of this mere mortal who has gone back on every promise he made, very similarly to the way Netanyahu has behaved toward the people who voted for him.
Eligibility methods
I find it interesting that US First Lady Melania Trump and Sara Netanyahu, wife of our prime minister, went to visit Hadassah University Medical Center in Ein Kerem.
I recently was told that as a Maccabi health fund member, Hadassah would no longer honor my vouchers. Maccabi no longer issues them to its members.
How can I get this policy changed? Should I become a politician’s wife?
Missing anthem
With regard to “Hebrew U. under fire for refusing to play ‘Hatikva’” (May 19), does the name of this university need to be changed to The Hebrew Muslim University? How can a “Hebrew” university refuse to play Israel’s national anthem at a graduation ceremony? It is absurd. This university that receives government funds to survive shows no respect to the hand that feeds it.
In the US, almost every university includes students from other nations and religions, but the national anthem is still played and no one objects. They understand that they are living in that particular sovereign country.
Why should Israel be any different? It seems that the members of the administration of Hebrew University need an education.
I well remember many years ago attending a similar ceremony for a family member where “Hatikva” was in fact played. It was no surprise to see many Arab students remaining in their seats, refusing to stand in honor and respect for the anthem of the country that had enabled them to benefit from a first-class education.
The decision in subsequent years to cancel the playing of “Hatikva” may well have to do with this phenomenon and the wish of the university governors to avoid an unpleasant situation. A better solution for everyone concerned would be for those Arab students to attend an Arab university abroad where “Hatikva” is never played.
Zion Academics are known to be above everyone and everything.
What amazes me is that an audience of mostly Israelis sat through a formal graduation and not one stood up to sing our national anthem.
Something smells at Hebrew U.
Tel Aviv
Instead of heaping opprobrium on the leaders of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, should we not praise them for making constructive efforts to ensure it is becoming more like all western, democratic universities, where all aspects of Zionism are slowly but surely being exorcised? Additionally, by following an anti-Zionist trend, Hebrew University will attract many new students from the more intensely ultra-Orthodox community.
40 years
In “40 years to the ‘The Revolution’” (Frontlines, May 19), Lahav Harkov writes that many Likud politicians blame an Ashkenazi elite for Israel’s woes. Likud politicians often appeal to voters of Mizrahi origin by insinuating that for the past 40 years, an Ashkenazi elite has been working behind the scenes to thwart their policies.
However, the Likud is the party that has been slashing social services, public housing and public transport – with the result that Israel now holds a near-record in the gap between the rich and the poor in the developed world. The privatization of public enterprises and a corrupt political and business culture have ensured that corruption runs rampant throughout society.
Businessmen and politicians share power and funds. Police and magistrates who investigate corruption are accused of bias. Journalists are inevitably part of a conspiracy.
A revolution indeed! We can now celebrate 40 years of privatization and rampant corruption.
Dignified representation
It was heartwarming to see our culture and sport minister, Miri Regev, representing Israel in such a dignified and beautiful manner at the Cannes Film Festival (“Woman in gold,” May 18). Her “Jerusalem of Gold” gown was worthy of our holy city.
CHAVA LEBOWITZ Jerusalem Climate facts In regard to Ruthie Blum’s “A sorely needed change in climate” (Right from Wrong, May 8), it is disappointing to see The Jerusalem Post publish an opinion piece that displays a profound ignorance of climate science and is factually wrong.
Ms. Blum writes about “tens of thousands of physicists and physical chemists who have debunked claims by the climate-change fanatics.” This is false, with no evidence to support it. On the contrary, according to the “Scientific Consensus” page on the NASA website, “Multiple studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals show that 97 percent or more of actively publishing climate scientists agree: Climate- warming trends over the past century are extremely likely due to human activities. Most of the leading scientific organizations worldwide have issued public statements endorsing this position.”
Ms. Blum falsely calls climate change “a disputed phenomenon millions of years in the future.”
According to the vast majority of climate scientists, climate change impacts are occurring now, including extreme heat in Jerusalem.
Her column sits well with a multi-billion-dollar campaign by the fossil fuel industry to discredit climate science while putting all of humanity in danger.
The writer is a rabbi and founder and executive director of the Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development.
Despite the bloat
Currently, the French government has 16 ministries. The US administration has 15, with the secretary of state being the most senior succession-wise, after the president, vice president and speaker of the House of Representatives.
Other countries have even similar numbers, and in all cases, the foreign minister is among the most senior-ranking ministers. But Israel, far smaller, has some 26 ministries, with the concomitant personnel and expenses. At the same time, we – who need it most – are unique in not having a full-time foreign minister right now.
It is beyond incredible that we leave the information battlefield to our enemies. Our authorities should be ashamed of themselves.
Tel Aviv