Letters to the Editor November 1, 2021: "Big Brother" Biden

Readers of The Jerusalem Post have their say.

Letters (photo credit: PIXABAY)
(photo credit: PIXABAY)

“Big Brother” Biden

Morton Klein is correct (“US attack on Israeli settlements is antisemitic,” October 30). 

In accord with the Biden Doctrine, members of the Biden administration should be treating Israel with more respect. Instead of criticizing Israel’s approval of homes for Israelis on land of historic and religious importance to Jews, land designated by Oslo to be under full Israeli control, Secretary of State Antony Blinken should be chiding the EU for funding illegal Palestinian construction in Area C (“Binyamin Regional Council tackles Palestinian building in Area C battle,” April 19) and suggesting that the EU instead offer (well-supervised) funding to the PA for developing the economy in Areas A and B, which are under their full or partial administration, respectively.

Along similar lines, instead of complaining that the State Department was not given evidence justifying Israel’s closing six NGOs for their connection to the PFLP terrorist organization, American officials could have discreetly checked the public record and offered support for Israel’s action, noting that halting the diversion of humanitarian aid to Palestinian efforts to destroy the nation-state of the Jews is a necessary step if the Palestinian people are ever to really move toward peace.


I find it pretty incredulous that the US is so concerned about the construction going on in Israeli neighborhoods.

So if community members of Efrat, Alon Shvut, Revava, Givat Ze’ev, Talmon, Ma’aleh Michmas, Beit El and others want to build a new home in one of these neighborhoods, aside from the endless mounds of red tape that our own government showers upon this endeavor, one also needs a permission slip from US President Joe Biden. The US seems to think that this is key in foreign policy relations. 

I think that is absolutely preposterous!


Mortar and murder

The US State Department should not be commended for obeying the law (“US State Dept confirms: Israel would have to authorize Palestinian consulate in Jerusalem,” October 28). Deputy Secretary of State for Management & Resources Brian McKeon dutifully testified to the US Senate that: “We’d need to get the consent of the host government to open any diplomatic facility.” 

It is a shame that the State Department does not have the same respect for the Taylor Force Act, which prohibits even one dollar from going to the Palestinian Authority – directly or indirectly – as long as it continues its “Pay For Slay” program, which pays generous monthly stipends to Muslims to murder Jews. Biden’s State Department looks the other way as the Taylor Force Act is violated by the United States on a daily basis. 

Apparently brick and mortar are more important to the State Department than Jewish lives.


Don’t “settle” for less

Regarding “US ‘deeply concerned’ by Israeli plans to advance 3,144 settler homes,” (October 27), I would like to understand the use of the term “settler” in your newspaper. 

Are they not Israelis and are we not all settling this land? This word now has a negative connotation and I would suggest that its use be discontinued.

If the US would like to lower tensions and ensure calm and avoid damage to the two-state solution, it behoves them to start demanding the immediate cessation of the PA’s pay-to-slay program, to insist their media and school textbooks remove all beatification of terrorists and encouragement of children to seek their own martyrdom by killing Israelis. The Americans and all donors to the PA should demand that the PA leaders cease amassing their own personal wealth and use the monies to upgrade the infrastructure of their towns and cities and the roads that connect them; insist that they build universities for their people so that they may have an educated class to raise their standard of living; more doctors for new hospitals to care for the health of the populace; less hate for their neighbors and more constructive dealings; fewer rallies screaming “From the river to the sea.”

This would make more sense than the US getting their knickers in a twist over homes for the expanding Jewish communities on their own land, sealed in international law by the League of Nations and ratified by the UN.


Can we keep a secret?

Regarding “A government that can’t even score a layup” (October 29), during my service as an analyst for the US Department of Defense I saw firsthand operational units whose significant concerns included the security of sensitive information interact with the public affairs offices whose mission was to promote a positive public image of the governmental units they represented. Many public affairs officers had journalistic backgrounds; they all understood that management of external public information was no less important than managing internal confidential information, and that the two concerns needed to be coordinated with one another. 

Not long ago, while driving in the middle lane on Route 6, a car in front of me made a single discrete lane-change maneuver from the left lane directly to the right lane without deploying the turn signal indicator blinker to inform other drivers of his intentions. This was neither the first nor the most egregious failure I have encountered here in Israel. In angry frustration I blurted out, “Was that guy’s intent to change lanes such a classified military secret that he could not signal it?”

Neglect of required turn signaling on the highways seems more common here in Israel than in America (a national character trait that can easily be monetized by the Israeli government to improve its budgetary resources). I will suggest that Israel’s culture of secrecy, which served the Jewish people well in bygone days before modern technologies facilitated the instantaneous transfer of information, is the common denominator underlying the recalcitrant refusal of Israeli drivers to signal turns and lane changes, the secret deliberations of the rabbinical courts, and the Israeli government’s mishandling of the al-Jalaa Tower and NGO fiascos. 

In order for Israel to effectively coordinate its control over management of internal and external information, the endemic culture of secrecy in Israeli society must be addressed.


Unamusing musings

It is with utter outrage that I respond to Gershon Baskin’s most recent musings (“Looking for the future Palestinian leadership,” October 28). 

As usual, he uses the pages of The Jerusalem Post to self-promote himself with constant references as to his past “achievements.” Whatever they may be. But his most recent article sinks to the lowest of depths. 

He would have Israel free a convicted mass-murderer and self-confessed terrorist – Marwan Barghouti. Baskin even goes so far as to intimate that because Barghouti did not enter a defense, did not recognize the court’s authority, etc., that he is not guilty of the crimes for which he has been sentenced to eventually die in prison. Baskin is so proud of his long-time association with Barghouti that it boggles the mind. I suspect that if the Nazi supporter and Hitler’s Middle East go-to guy, Haj Amin al-Husseini were still alive, Baskin would proudly suggest we accept him as the Palestinian leader with whom Israel should negotiate. 

It is not for Israel to resurrect a Palestinian terrorist, place him on a pedestal and accept him as a negotiating partner. Baskin continues to absolve the Palestinians of all wrongdoing and their lack of morality. He instead continues to promote the illogical idea that Israel must negotiate against itself. 

Furthermore, the Palestinians should be outraged that someone like Baskin is the self-elected arbiter as to who should be their leader. How demeaning and condescending of him. Let the Palestinians decide who to elect as their leader and based on their choice Israel can respond. If the Palestinians have the courage to reject an Arafat, an Abbas and a Barghouti, then just maybe some progress can be made. 

But I wouldn’t suggest holding your breath. 

M. LEVENTHALYerushalayim

All sorts of courts

While Amotz Asa El was spot-on in “For Eitan’s sake” (October 29) concerning the tragic case of six-year-old Eitan Biram, whose custody had been granted to his Aunt Aya in Italy and then was kidnapped by the grandfather who brought him to Israel, he did not give deserved credit to Israel’s judicial system, which determined this issue quickly and effectively. It refused to be entrapped in the contention that a Jewish child can only be “saved” emotionally and religiously if he remains in Israel and that to return him to a foreign environment would sever his Jewish roots.

The act of kidnapping the child and breaking the law should render the perpetrator as being unsuitable for being granted custody, even without the evidence of the earlier conviction for domestic violence. He will be fortunate not to be made accountable for his conduct.

Some 50 years ago when in practice in the UK, my firm acted for a young lady against whom the English Magistrates Court quite unjustifiably granted custody of her six-month-old baby to her then-husband, who convinced them the baby would be better off in France because of his family’s wealth and position. While the English appeal courts quickly reversed the decision, the French were just not interested in returning a “French” baby to England. After three years of procrastination and worldwide support – and then only after presenting evidence that the father had psychopathic tendencies – did the French ultimately hear the case and reunite mother and baby.

I was relieved and proud to learn that our courts are not so partisan.


Eager to help Uyghurs

I am not surprised that Israel has not signed the UN statement on China (“Israel declines to sign UN statement on China’s treatment of Uyghurs,” October 27), although to its credit Israel did sign “onto the Canadian statement [on the Uyghurs] in June at the Human Rights Council.” 

Arab and Muslim regimes have been notable by their silence. I have not heard a single word about Uighurs in Arab media. Also, self-appointed defenders of Uyghurs have mainly done so in search of academic fame, peer-reviewed publications, etc. Otherwise, how were they unable to influence their Western governments or even institutions to do some tangible deeds regarding China. 

Uyghurs endure surveillance, reeducation camps, forced labor, mass sterilizations, confiscation of children, cultural and religious genocide. What we are witnessing is a monstrous, intentional, well-planned and multipronged mass assault on human rights and dignity. Silence is ethically unsustainable. 

If we found ourselves thrown back to the Nazi era, could we justify silence towards the ongoing eradication of minorities or undesirables under Nazi Germany?

DR MUNJED FARID AL QUTOBLondon, United Kingdom

Jump and dump on Trump

A year has gone by now since last year’s US presidential election, yet Douglas Bloomfield cannot get off his Donald Trump jag (“Is Trump sabotaging the GOP?” October 28). Bloomfield seems to be able to totally ignore the total lack of honesty and results from the Biden/Harris administration. US President Joe Biden seems to be well on his way to making Jimmy Carter not the worst US president in living memory. 

The big guns are being brought in in the Virginia gubernatorial vote scheduled in the coming days. A measure of the Democrats’ desperation is when former president Barack Obama downplayed the rape of a 14-year-old girl at her school toilets by a biological male hiding there. The school board covered up the rape, even moving the perpetrator to another school, where he has been charged of the same crime. 

The “Me Too” movement has disappeared in total silence; “Hear the Victim’’ is no longer a rallying call; and the so-called “Pussy Hats’’ (or pink hats) so evident after the former president’s election are mouldering away in the closet.

Was condemnation of rape and other crimes against women only a passing fad of the Left, only to be used when politically expedient?


Like other Jerusalem Post columnists, Gil Troy often denigrates Donald Trump, even when it has little to do with the subject matter of his column. 

For example, in his latest piece (“Nothing sacred: Mocking the Holocaust – and Elie Wiesel,” October 27) Troy rightly denounces Holocaust education distortion and an anti-Zionist speaker hosted by the Elie Wiesel Center for Jewish Studies. He then observes, “This column’s response has been to attack libels, not libelers – which is why I haven’t named the Texas (mis)educator or the Boston (mis)speaker.” Even so, he decided to write, “Associating Wiesel’s name with a lying anti-Zionist is like giving Donald Trump a Marin Luther King bridge-building award.” 

This is of a piece with Troy’s previous assaults against Trump. Recently (“Harris wins the ‘Fine People on Both Sides’ Moral Equivalence Prize,” October 6), Troy detoured from a well-warranted chiding of Kamala Harris to mischaracterize a much earlier Trump statement, thereby making it seem as if Trump supported neo-Nazis and white supremacists. Troy had previously used the same misleading tactic against Trump while censuring American Jews for their failure to unequivocally condemn Hamas’s bombardment of Israeli civilians. (“The new Jews of silence,” May 8, 2019) 

Earlier this year, Troy denounced Alice Walker’s antisemitic poetry. (“I called out Alice Walker’s Jew-hatred again,” January 3) With only two weeks left in Trump’s term, he inexplicably found it necessary to contend in the same article that, “America is afflicted with a president who leads by abuse, polluting our politics by... demonizing those who dare disagree with him.” 

These and other ad hominem attacks are especially troubling because they add nothing to a column’s central discussion. Indeed, they often dilute a column’s impact by distracting the reader away from its otherwise commendable theme. 

It’s time to give it a rest! There is a new president – one who has a history of racist statements and whose performance leaves much to be desired. Troy should end his superfluous Trump bashing and focus instead on the critical issues of the day. 

EFRAIM COHENZichron Yaakov

Riviera reminiscences

I enjoyed very much Yakir Feldman’s article “Wanderlust returns, French Riviera beckons” (October 31). It brought back many memories. 

In 1951, when I was living for three years in London, I joined the Youth Hostel Association and stayed on Ile St. Marguerite – a 20-minute ferry ride from Cannes – for ten days. The hostel was reportedly situated in the castle where the Man in the Iron Mask was imprisoned and cost me five shillings a night (slightly less than the figures quoted in the article!)

I’ve never forgotten it, with its imposing grandeur and secret passages. The island was magnificent – warm and sunny, the lights of Cannes shining across the water where the marina was filled with luxury yachts. Every night there was a dance on the beach for the youth hostellers, accompanied by an old gramophone which to my memory only had one record: “Cheek to Cheek,” which it wheezed out over and over again. 

I still have a copy of the story I wrote about it called “Winter Sunshine.”

Thank you for reviving such magical memories.