Letters to the Editor: October 17, 2018

Readers of the Jerusalem Post have their say.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Real refugee problems
While I agree with most of what Zalman Shoval says in “If not for UNRWA, there would be no Palestinian refugee problem” (October 15), he makes one major mistake. When discussing the situation re: Jordan and the contention of Khalil Jahshan in his article in Foreign Policy that defunding UNRWA would destabilize Jordan, Shazar fails to point out that Jordan, alone among the Arab nations that received Palestinian refugees, actually gave them Jordanian citizenship.
Accordingly, they are not and never have been eligible for UNRWA support, since they ceased to be refugees when they accepted Jordanian citizenship. Therefore Jordan has been receiving UNRWA funding under false pretenses for all these years. The real question is why has not anyone bothered to defund Jordan long before now. The State of Jordan should be grateful that it has been getting these funds for many years illegally. Maybe they should be asked to pay them back.
The Jerusalem Post has on various occasions published articles saying that there were as many as 700,000 “original” Palestinian refugees. This unqualified statement needs much more analysis both as to its source and accuracy.
According to historical reports, there were roughly 600,000 Jews and 600,000 Arabs living in the Mandate just prior to the War of Independence. If 700,000 fled then one could not account for an Arab population of 1.8 million currently in the pre-67 cease-fire lines of Israel. My understanding is that 200,000 were displaced by war, 200,000 were told to leave by the surrounding Arab states and 200,000 remained.
Surely this should be a matter of recorded historical fact and research and not a canard given credence by Israeli newspapers?
Consequences for BDS
Regarding “High Court freezes deportation of Alqasem” (October 15), the true face of Lara Alqasem is that she is the leader of the anti-Israel Students for Justice in Palestine organization in Miami that demonstrated last year to prevent the deportation from the US of Palestinian terrorist Rasmea Odeh, who placed a bomb in a Jerusalem supermarket in 1968 that killed Hebrew University students Eddie Joffe and Leon Kanner,
Strange that there was no outcry when Maccabi Haifa’s star basketball player Romann Sorkin, who plays for the University of Oregon and holds a valid student visa was recently denied entry into USA for Maccabi Haifa’s US tour! The decision US Immigration was respected.
Alqasem evidently has ulterior political motives and Israel has the right to refuse her entry into the country for her anti-Israel activism.
Preventing Lara Alqasem from studying here is a lost opportunity. Here she would have learned the truth about Israel. She would have seen that both justices and injustices exist here, that everything is not black and white, just like in every other country in the world.
When I was her age, my friends and I passionately debated and demonstrated against what we felt were injustices both in our own and in other countries, without actually examining the problems to discover the truth. I don’t think much has changed since then.
If she wants to study here, why not let her? The authorities are only reinforcing the BDS ideology by sending her home.
According to MK Michael Oren, detaining an admitted and allegedly former BDS activist is causing political damage to Israel. Well, what doesn’t cause political damage to Israel?
Some people maintain that deporting BDS activists only reaffirms their view that Israel is a “discriminatory police state.” Would it be legitimate criticism to point out that “discriminatory police state” perfectly describes the Palestinian Authority and the shocking treatment of Palestinians who sell property to Jews?
One often hears about “legitimate criticism” of Israel, but where does one encounter legitimate criticism of Palestinians? Oh, wait! That would be colonial-racist Islamophobia. Oren is right about one thing: Israel has the right and the duty to prevent the entry of those it has reasons to believe might want to destroy it.
Davis, CA
While Gaza burns
Regarding “Gaza warned of ‘fearsome blows’” (October 15), why is Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman telling the Gazan residents to overthrow Hamas? Those residents support Hamas and hand out sweets whenever an Israeli is killed. Liberman needs to be concerned about what is happening to Israelis and our land, not our enemies.
As for any truce with Hamas, who in their right mind would consider making a deal with terrorists whose primary reason for living is to destroy Israel? How many times do he and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu think they can threaten and do nothing? Unfortunately, even if they actually did follow through, it would not be to destroy them, but would still leave the terrorists setting our agenda. The prime minister, who continues with concessions to our enemies like a broken record, told the cabinet at Sunday’s meeting, “If Hamas does not stop its violent attacks against Israel, then Israel will stop them through forceful actions. It will be very painful.”
Hamas has been allowed to amass hundreds of thousands of rockets and missiles, to infiltrate and murder and burn our land and is well aware that after all the years of threats, no one has the will to take it to the next step and eliminate them. Like the 10 spies who saw themselves as grasshoppers, we have sadly taken on the same mantle.
God help us, because we are determined not to help ourselves.
Israel is widely hailed as The Start-Up Nation, but it is failing dismally to deal with the ongoing firebomb and incendiary balloon and kite attacks Gaza.
A real start-up-nation would have dealt with the problem long ago by setting up powerful wind-blowing towers all along the security fence area. The result would be to blow all the incendiary and explosive devices back into Gaza, setting large sections of Gazan territory on fire and having Hamas and the entire population screaming abjectly for mercy. This would soon put an end to the whole Palestinian incendiary business and to the costly daily fires in Israeli territory.
I cannot for the life of me understand why such a program has not long ago been put into effect by the Government. Are we really and truly the amazingly inventive Start-Up-Israel or simply an over-hyped upstart? You can be sure that Sabraman would long ago have solved the Gaza fence problem!
There are none so blind
Regarding “Israeli academics ‘heartened’ by European non-cooperation with Ariel” (October 15), shame on these (so-called) academics. Not content with their own boycott (yes boycott – a boycott by any other name would still smell as ...) of this institution, these defenders of freedom and democracy, in pursuit of their ideology, will disregard the law of the country and spread lies despite the fact that Ariel University is open to all. To paraphrase a well-known aphorism, there are none so blind as those who refuse to recognize reality.
It is very troubling to realize that higher education is in the hands of these academics.
Engendering problems
Regarding “Rivlin swears in 24 rabbis as Rabbinical Court judges” (October 16), could this be true? Is this where we are living? President Rivlin (a male) swore in 24 male rabbis as Rabbinical Court judges.
Not only are all the rabbis male, but Justice Minister Ayalet Shaked (who was there) was not allowed to be in the ceremonial picture. What is worse – that they are all male or that Shaked (a female) allowed herself to be bullied in such an atrocious manner?
The male rabbis in the front row of the picture all (except one) have their hands folded in front. Are they afraid that Shaked will try to make a move and shake their hands at some point in the ceremony?
If the justice minister allows herself to be insulted and demeaned in this manner, no wonder women are fearful of speaking out or for that matter appealing to the courts of these misogynists.