Letters to the Editor, November 15, 2021: Our land

Readers of The Jerusalem Post have their say.

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

Our land

The first sentence in Grisha Yakubovich’s article (“The next pointless Gaza operation,” November 14) proves just how dangerous it is to give up any part of our land. It is disgusting that after one year, never mind 14 years, that Hamas still exists. What kind of sovereign state allows its enemies to survive and strengthen and the answer is that we are not really a sovereign state but fodder for a hostile world that would rather we did not exist. Yes, we could have, as Yakubovich writes, conquered Gaza, vanquished terrorism and destroyed Hamas’s capabilities but he wrongly suggests that that is the last thing Israel should do and for the very defeatist idea that Israel would sustain enormous harm to its international legitimacy. The very last thing that should concern Israel is legitimacy from a world that hates us and deprives us of our historic rights to the Jewish land which is something that must never be in doubt.

Israel must stop looking for approval and this ridiculous gratitude when the world says we have a right to defend ourselves with the caveat of course that we don’t cause harm to our enemies. Israel will be drawn into a full-scale war with Hamas at some point and as has been proven time and time again, at a time to suit it and therefore Israel cannot afford to wait for this but must go on the offensive with the aim of total destruction of the enemy – collateral damage is not our problem but that of the one who seeks to destroy us first – and make sure that any loss on our side is the very minimum. We have but one small piece of land that is ours and if we lose that, then as a people we are lost. The meek and humble Jew must never again be seen. One People-One Land forever.



On trial in Turkey

Regarding “Couple who took photos of Erdogan’s palace to be held until trial, court rules” (November 14), in the summer of 1961, as one of four students, we were on our way by jeep from London to India and back. We stopped for a rest on the shores of the Caspian Sea in northern Iran.

There, in the waters, I saw for the first time in my life a huge hovercraft, which in those days was quite a remarkable item. Of course we took pictures, as tourists do. We were immediately grabbed by the secret police and “invited” for immediate interrogation at the station. After about 30 minutes of questioning, when our identity as innocent students on an adventure was quite apparent, they graciously gave each of us a piece of chocolate and sent us on our way.

Albeit, it was still in the reign of the Shah, nevertheless, it was a far cry from the treatment meted out to the unfortunate young couple of Israeli tourists in Turkey, whose only “sin” was to photograph a beautiful building.

So here we have it, Turkey once again is trying to teach Israel a lesson, just as it did when, in May 2010, when it demanded compensation for the action taken by Israel in defense of its sovereignty on the Mavi Marmara ship – and all this at the human cost to the luckless Israeli couple of holidaymakers.



It is noteworthy that the US Department of State issued a travel advisory which includes “Do not travel to Turkey... due to terrorism and arbitrary detentions.”

The Israeli government should adopt the practice of issuing travel advisories, and it should be mandatory for travel agents to bring these to the attention of clients, when appropriate.


Beit Zayit

It’s hard to understand why Israelis continue to flock to Turkey, a country led by an antisemitic, anti-Israeli dictator and a media saturated with lies and distortions concerning Jews and Israelis. The recent arrest of two Israeli tourists for taking a picture of Erdogan’s palace will probably have no effect on Israeli tourism. Nobody knows how long these two poor souls will now languish in the infamous Turkish prisons. Even a short visit to one of these can lead to life-long trauma. Is the trip to Turkey because of the huge breakfast buffets? The seaside hotels? The famous ‘all you can gorge’ Israeli breakfast buffets are not sufficiently exhaustive? The Israeli beach hotels are not sufficiently luxurious? Self-respecting Israelis should avoid Turkey like a hot branding iron aimed at your forehead.



Climate catastrophe

Regarding “UN conference agrees to deal aimed at averting climate catastrophe” (November 14), the report rightly acknowledges that the deal gave the poorest nations more promises, but no guarantees. I think indigenous peoples’ voices were missing in drafting the final draft, although they are formidable warriors in the fight against climate change. They continue to be trapped by festering injustices, spiritual and religious disenfranchisement, disempowerment, neglect and ill-health due to western industrialization and colonization on their territories. In addition to land and demography, water isn’t only a human right, but is also indispensable for life, drinking, bathing, cooking, cleaning, watering crops and animals, construction, and thereby, economic survival, social cohesion, inclusion and health. It’s time to shed a brighter light on the human rights violations endured by indigenous populations worldwide.



The Mufti and the Holocaust

Mark Regev correctly cited (“Palestinians and the Holocaust,” November 12) that the Palestinian Arab leader the Grand Mufti Amin al-Husseini was complicit in the Holocaust. However, Mr. Regev omits the most damning evidence of Palestinian Arab guilt in the planning of the Holocaust:

At the Nuremberg Trials, Adolf Eichmann’s deputy Dieter Wisliceny testified under oath that, “The Mufti was one of the initiators of the systematic extermination of European Jewry and had been a collaborator and adviser of Eichmann and Himmler in the execution of the plan.” No one at Nuremberg contradicted Wisliceny’s sworn testimony.


Margate, Florida

Democratic Israel

It would be wise to advise Gershon Baskin that freedom of speech (“The state of our democracy,” November 11) is not an unrestricted liberty and that all too often there are consequences for biased or unsupported statements or accusations. Someone, for example, yelling “Fire!” in a crowded movie theater for no reason other than to watch the panicked stampede will likely be dragged before a judge and jury, as will, I would hope, ill-designing malcontents who make baseless charges against one’s fellow man, an institution or a government.

As do many others, I find Baskin’s pointless and superficial ramblings both nonsensical and amusing. Like a seal who flaps its fins while balancing on a ball, Baskin does little more than juggle absurdities, knowing full well that they are, for the most part, similar to the attention-seeking tantrums of a toddler. And the column that The Jerusalem Post gives him, well, that’s basically the fish that gets thrown to the seal for a job well done.

Accusing Israel of denying its Arab citizens basic human or civil rights, though, crosses a line. Most certainly Baskin has at one or another time entered a mall, university or hospital, so surely, he’s aware of how libelous his accusation is. His repeated calls that Israel should condescend to terrorism and abandon all restrictions related to security are, by now, boring and commonplace. Lacking the ability to suggest something new or innovative, he resorts to regurgitating his ideas over and over. Which really doesn’t bother me. His most recent accusation, however, cannot simply be shrugged away.

Not only does his charge provide the fodder that fuels the resolve of BDS supporters and the slander of antisemites, it gives credence to the lie that Israel is an apartheid state. Indeed, how it passed The Jerusalem Post’s editorial board is somewhat surprising. Some years ago, the Post had a Left-leaning columnist who had the audacity to say that he understood and sympathized with the drive behind suicide bombers. He was, not long after, let go. The Post, similarly, should wave goodbye to Mr. Baskin and bring on board a more responsible and thought-provoking commentator. Believe me, there is no paucity of serious thinkers who take issue with Israel’s Center-Right policies.

I am curious, though, if Baskin thinks that the Israeli Arab community views him as their champion. If anything, they’re thoroughly enjoying having a Jew make a fool out of himself and betting just how far he’ll be permitted to go. Oh, and one other thing. You know the guy I mentioned earlier, the one who yells “Fire!” in a crowded theater? Well, more often than not he’s the one that gets trampled on first. Something that those with a tendency to be verbally reckless should keep in mind.


Ginot Shomron

Gershon Baskin’s article shows us once again, and again, ad nauseam, the lengths to which Baskin goes glorifying the “Palestinian people.”

He tells us week after week how Israel keeps the Arab population down, not allowing them self-determination while failing to explain why the so-called government in Ramallah refuses to sit with Israel and negotiate. Most Israelis now feel that the hard-won territory, belonging to us to begin with, should never be given back.

Baskin would have had more credibility concerning his belief of an undemocratic Israel, had he started his diatribe, instead of ending it, and attributing it to his “beliefs “ with the quote by Abraham Lincoln: “You can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”

You can’t continue to sprout your leftist, anti-Israel nonsense some of the time to all, nor all the time to some. But by regurgitating the nonsensical theories of the beaten-down Palestinian Arabs all the time, you’ve lost what little credibility you may have once had. Give it up, please!



Ridiculous claim

Greer Fay Cashman highlighted (“Grapevine,” November 10) the predicament of Palestinian physician and peace activist Izzeldin Abuelaish, who suffered the loss of three daughters and a niece, with another daughter and niece severely injured by Israel tank fire in Operation Cast Lead.

While he deserves every sympathy for this personal tragedy, it is quite ridiculous for Cashman to support his claim for financial compensation in Israeli courts. When he brought his family to Gaza, he must have realized the risk he was taking and cannot blame Israel for the outcome. Let him instead sue Hamas for causing the war. Can anyone imagine an Englishman who went to live in Berlin before World War Two suing the British government for losses he incurred because of Allied bombings?


Beit Shemesh

Simplest and straightforward

It was interesting to read the different approaches of Gil Troy (“The ever-bonded people”) and Naya Lekht (“Not my mother”), both published on the same op-ed page on November 10, regarding the seemingly conflicting feelings of Americans vis-a-vis Israelis, regarding Israel-bashing and Jew-hatred.

After all is said and done, and all the scholarly and political arguments are exhausted, it might be that Lekht’s bottom-line approach will win the day. When she answered the provokers – Do you believe your mother did this? – she was reducing the discussion to its simplest form.

I recall in my days working in a large New York City high school, I was surprised one day when a close and long-time colleague questioned my frequent vacation trips to Israel: “How can you visit an illegitimate country who stole its land from another people?” I could have answered her with a long historical discourse, but somehow one simple sentence popped out of my mouth. “Do you know that Israel is, in fact, one of the few countries in the world that was actually created by the United Nations?” 

She was taken aback and blurted out: “I did not know that? Is it really true? That is very interesting.”

With that, the conversation ended and she continued to be a willing listener to my Israel travel tales. 

I don’t know whether she became a fan of Israel or even of the Jewish faith, but I do know that one significant fact got out there into the mind of at least one person.

Sometimes, the simplest and most straightforward path can have the most impact.


Beit Shemesh

Don’t postpone

I was excited to read (“Ministers to expedite immigration of 5,000 Ethiopian Jews,” November 10) that our ministers agreed to fast-track immigration of 5,000 members of the Ethiopian Jewish community, due to the deterioration of their conditions caused by a civil war in Ethiopia.

Please, Aliyah and Integration Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata (Ethiopian born!), don’t let us postpone any longer before conditions become impossible and then it could be too late. These Jews have lived so long under hard conditions, dreaming of the day they will make aliyah to “Yerusalem.” Most of them also have been separated from their families who live in Israel.

We are a nation that knows how to support and rally together in a crisis. Unfortunately, we have had experience in this sphere more than most countries.

They will be welcomed with open arms!