Letters to the Editor October 11, 2021: Do Biden’s bidding re: China?

Readers of The Jerusalem Post have their say.

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

Do Biden’s bidding re: China?

The Biden administration is pulling the old “enemy of my friend is my enemy as well” card out of the hat and is bending Israel’s arm to ensure subdued enthusiasm for doing business with China (“White House ups pressure on Israel to crack down on China,” October 8). 

Not that caution and suspicion are unwarranted; on the contrary, China is more than capable of duplicity and would not think twice about creating a confrontation between Israel and the US. But any decision to tread lightly should originate from Jerusalem, not Washington. The special bond that exists between the two countries and the political and financial support Israel has come to expect from Congress should not be regarded as a choking yoke that prevents the pursuit of divergent and differing priorities.

Israel and China have much to offer each other and the US should not be permitted to stand in the way of a mutually beneficial relationship. In addition to the obvious economic rewards of doing business with China, cultural and academic exchanges promise significant advantages to the people of both countries. Israel’s well-deserved international reputation for innovation and China’s engineering accomplishments surely complement each other; as long as there are no hidden agendas or surreptitious hanky-panky, there is no reason why the two countries cannot work and prosper together.

I am troubled by the little regard China has for human rights, but that alone is not sufficient reason to ignore the growing powerhouse that the Red Dragon has become. Nor would I worry excessively about cracks in the foundation that binds the US and Israel as allies. Here and there daylight is already peeping through that foundation, but there is no appreciable weakness. And any ongoing involvement that Israel has with China will not cause a diplomatic crisis with the US… or at least shouldn’t.

Plainly speaking, Israel would be overly foolhardy to ignore what China has to offer and should not hesitate to rebuff any American pressure to do otherwise. There are limits to gratitude and allegiance; the Biden administration should be aware of this. 


Terrible terror terrain

In an otherwise fine article (“Fighting terror and transforming the Shin Bet”, October 8), Yaakov Katz offers up a ludicrous misrepresentation of reality when he cites unnamed “defense officials” as saying that PA leader Mahmoud Abbas is “one of the only Palestinian leaders to not encourage terrorism.” 

Indeed, Abbas is much more circumspect than his counterparts in Hamas and other terror organizations who call outright for our bloodshed; but it is patently absurd to imagine that by repeatedly issuing public incitements like saying that Jews visiting the Temple Mount are “defiling Al-Aqsa with their filthy feet,” erecting statues and monuments to terrorists, and obstinately upholding the PA’s “pay-for-slay” policy as the most important item on his agenda, declaring that every last penny the cash-strapped PA has will go toward the “heroic” murderers and would-be murderers in our jails and to the families of “martyrs” – as repeatedly pointed out in your own paper, a clear-cut cash-based incentive to commit terrorism if there ever was one – he “doesn’t encourage” terrorism. 

And this is without even getting into the unceasing incitement and glorification of terrorism that Fatah spews on social media, which he must be held accountable for as their chairman.


US says stance against unilateral settlement activity ‘very clear’” (October 10) should make every self-respecting Israeli furious. How dare America interfere in our Jewish homeland? Are we a satellite of theirs, that they can dictate our policy? 

State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters in Washington, “We believe it is critical for all parties to refrain from those unilateral steps that exacerbate tensions and again, undercut efforts to achieve a negotiated two-state solution.”

If not so tragic, I would laugh. A negotiated settlement with terrorists that have no entitlement to any part of this land nor any long-term intention to respect our rights. It is about time our leadership got off its knees in subservience to this very much over-rated America that when the mood takes it, turns its back on those who thought it was a friend – Afghanistan being the latest – whenever they want to tighten the noose. 

As our leaders past and present have been afraid of speaking out loudly and clearly, I will take this opportunity to say it for them. This is, always was and always will be the Jewish land for the Jewish People. It is not up for negotiation in any form whatsoever. Make no mistake, America, you need us as much if not more than we need you. We are a strong people who have survived centuries of Christian and Moslem persecution and God returned us to our historic land to build and settle it for the Jewish people. 

One land, one people. Get used to it.


Olim team dream theme

In “The era of aliyah is not over,” (October 8), World Zionist Congress chairman Yaakov HaGoel, states, “Aliyah is an old-fashioned value. It worked for the 1920s and 1930s, but today Jews can live anywhere in the world and that’s perfectly fine. Aliyah is not necessary.” 

While that statement may be partially true, because obviously there are some places where Jews cannot live, he failed to more accurately say, “Jews can live anywhere in the world if they’re willing to not wear a kippa, a Magen David or clothing that clearly identifies them as a Jew.” It is during these very perilous times, when Jews often need to hide or camouflage their identity, that aliyah has become more of a consideration than ever, but, sadly, for the last couple of years, the process, for many interested parties, has been slow-walked or stalled due to in-fighting within the Aliyah Committee or no real desire to receive their overseas kinsmen into our ranks. 

As the article mentions, Aliyah Day begins on Tuesday night. HaGoel admonishes us to “commit to helping new olim” (already here) and extends an invitation to Jews all over the world, letting them know that the State of Israel is waiting for them. Maybe he can pass on that message to those who have been unwilling or hesitant to open the doors and receive all Jews of all stripes – religious, secular and otherwise.


Hamas: Sanders panders

Regarding “Bernie Sanders to support Iron Dome funding in exchange for Gaza aid” (October 8), it is a shame that Bernie Sanders does not understand that there is no moral equivalence between Israel and Hamas. 

There was no need for Hamas to fire missiles at Jerusalem to “protect” the Holy City. Israel was not trying to damage the al-Aqsa mosque or even to prevent Muslims from praying there. Israeli police were simply trying to stop Palestinians from hurling rocks and fireworks at Jews praying at the Western Wall and at the police themselves. Doesn’t Sanders understand that the Palestinians’ actions were, in fact, desecrations of the mosque’s sanctity? 

Nor were “settlers” trying to drive Arabs out of their homes in eastern Jerusalem. The tenants in question live in homes from which Jews were evicted by Jordanian troops during Jordan’s illegal occupation of the “West Bank.” After Israel liberated the land Jordan had occupied, the Arab tenants who had moved into the Jewish-owned homes were allowed to stay. The tenants were asked to pay nominal rent, which they did until the PA told them to stop paying. Jews who have been able to prove that they are the rightful owners have gone to court, seeking back rent or eviction (for non-payment of rent for nearly three decades). 

Certainly not a situation to be resolved by Gazans firing missiles at civilians.

Sanders errs as well in assuming that both Israel and Hamas will use the aid money to benefit their people. Israel, of course, will replenish its supply of the missiles needed for the Iron Dome, an act that will benefit Israelis (by destroying incoming missiles that, if unintercepted, would maim and kill Israelis) and will also benefit Gazans (by making it less likely that Israeli troops will need to enter Gaza to destroy the munitions and missile launchers that Hamas has hidden among the civilian population). 

Any monies given to Hamas, conversely, will go to enrich the rulers or to finance the purchase or building of more missiles or be used to conduct further research into how Iron Dome units can be made less effective in destroying missiles aimed at Israel.


NEETS in the streets

Muslim Arabs are killing each other and it’s our fault? In “Fighting crime through education in the Arab sector" (October 10), Ismael Abu-Saad places the blame for crime in the Arab sector squarely in the laps of the Jews of Israel. Budgetary inequality, under-representation of Arabs in education, inequality and discrimination in the curriculum. 

There is no mention of some of the dystopian aspects of Muslim Arab culture and society. This is best illustrated by the factor two difference in the percentage of NEETS (people not employed and not receiving an education or vocational training) among Muslim Arabs compared to Christian Arabs. 

It is also demonstrated by the high percentage of NEETS among Orthodox Jews and the widespread poverty in this sector of the population. But they are not out there killing each other – or anybody else for that matter. 

As long as Israeli Muslim leaders cannot squarely face, dismantle and re-invent their Muslim “Allah Akbar” mentality, nothing will change. 

Just look at the sad state of many of the Muslim countries: Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran. Libya, Afghanistan, etc. It is not a coincidence. 


Guys just wanna have fun

Heavily armed Taliban militants – men only, of course, no women – took over an amusement park (“Taliban fighters go out for a day of fun,” October 10), riding the pirate ship, horses and other attractions and nibbling on snacks. 

What a welcome relief it must be from the daily drudgery of committing widespread human rights violations – particularly against women and American hostages and allies.

No one gambols like the Taliban can.


Temple Mount: Okay to pray today

Judge Bilha Yahalom’s legal ruling allowing Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount was narrowly focused on overturning Aryeh Lipo’s ban from the plaza. But commenting on his conduct, she wrote, “The appellant stood in the corner with a friend or two; there was no crowd around him, his prayer was quiet, whispered.”

“I have not found that the religious acts carried out by the appellant were externalized and visible,” she ruled, determining that such prayer did “not violate police instructions,” and canceling his ban from the site.

The PA, Hamas, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and others are vigorously protesting this decision and warning of dire consequences if not reversed. No Jew, they insist, has a right to pray on “Haram al Sharif” (The Temple Mount). It is an abomination if an impure Jew dares to pray there.

The details of the latest episode are not surprising or ground-breaking. We have been living in this self-created world of alternative reality, hate, threat and humiliation since 1967 when defense minister Moshe Dayan gave the keys of our holiest site to the enemy thinking... I don’t know what he was thinking but it certainly was not as a Jew.

Unlike Dayan, the great Israeli poet Uri Tzvi Greenberg did think and feel like a Jew and wrote, “he who controls the Mount controls the heart. The rest is body parts.” 

To him and all Jews of healthy spirit it is not a question of a “few stones” (as some disparagingly refer to the Mount) not worth arguing about. If the stakes were not worth fighting over, why did Jews dream of and insist upon returning specifically to this little land of stones?

Greenberg, Lipo and Jews who faced the Mount three times daily for millennia knew why, and so do the Arabs.

Something was lost by some Jews after the return to our land. Can we regain it? Our future depends upon it.

Don’t take my word for it. Ask the Arabs.


Troy gets coy

Gil Troy (“Harris wins the ‘Fine People on Both Sides’ Moral Equivalence Prize,” October 6) properly castigates US Vice President Kamala Harris for her shameful relativizing of truth by not responding to a college student’s libelous attack against Israel. 

However, Troy is guilty of comparable misrepresentation, misleadingly citing Trump’s finding “‘very fine people on both sides’ of the racist antisemitic riot in Charlottesville in [August] 2017.” 

In truth, at no time did Trump indicate anything other than contempt for and rejection of neo-Nazis and other racists. Only one small part of his comments that week has been repeated endlessly and inaccurately in the rush to accuse Trump of sins real or imagined. 

The Charlottesville demonstration was a dispute over the removal of statues honoring people who held beliefs that are now rejected. Those favoring removal argued that any public recognition of such people must be erased. Many of those opposing removal believed that the monuments should be used for honest reflection and education. 

On August 12, Trump stated, “We all must be united and condemn all that hate stands for... We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides.” 

Trump expanded on his initial statement two days later: “Racism is evil, and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.” 

Trump was even clearer the next day. While he observed that there were “very fine people” on “both sides” of the issue of whether it is appropriate to display certain monuments in public, he emphasized, “[N]eo-Nazis and the white nationalists should be condemned totally.” 

Troy also displays selective political amnesia, describing Barack Obama in glowing, almost reverential terms, while forgetting that he was one of the more anti-Israel presidents. A month before he left office, the US allowed the adoption of a landmark UN Security Council Resolution stating for the first time that Israel’s settlements on territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, had “no legal validity,” and demanding a halt to “all Israeli settlement activities.” An Israeli official observed that Obama had colluded with Palestinians in a “shameful move against Israel.” 

While Harris and antisemites on the Left certainly deserve Troy’s robust criticism, Troy himself is a leading contender for the “Mischaracterization of Presidents’ Actions to Fit One’s Own Political Views” Prize. 

EFRAIM COHENZichron Ya’acov

Iran: The itch to enrich

Regarding “Iran claims 120 kg. jump in 20% enriched uranium” (October 10), thank you, International Atomic Energy Agency and the UN for the appeasement shown to the Iranian regime, which allows them to be a short step away from putting nuclear weapon ability into the hands of a terrorist and hegemonic regime.

Israel, the US and eventually the entire non-Islamic world are at risk because the proof produced and presented by Israel was disregarded.