Letters to the Editor, October 21, 2020: Hadassah goes to bat for Erekat

The readers of The Jerusalem Post have their say.

Letters (photo credit: PIXABAY)
Letters
(photo credit: PIXABAY)
Hadassah goes to bat for Erekat

Joel Kutner, Jerusalem
So senior PLO official Saeb Erekat, in serious condition with the COVID-19 virus, has been admitted to Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem.
A number of questions come to mind. Didn’t the PA prohibit its citizens from seeking medical attention in Israeli hospitals? Or does that restriction apply solely to the hoi polloi? Additionally, why didn’t he seek medical attention in one of the state-of-the-art hospitals that the PA has built with the generous handouts from our friends in the EU? Oh, they don’t have any since the PA prioritizes $350 million dollars per annum to incentivize and reward their people who murder Jews.
So, Dr. Erekat who spares no effort to slander, demonize and delegitimize our country at every opportunity while vilifying our sons and daughters in uniform, is receiving top-notch care at Hadassah. How noble of us! One could fantasize and believe that upon discharge Erekat will voice appreciation for that top-notch care he received from Jewish and Arab Israeli doctors and nurses and recant his oft-repeated libel of Israel as an apartheid state. More likely he will leave quietly and return home to incite hatred for Israel within the PA and demonization of our country in the world arena.

Shani Weiss, Zichron Ya'acov
Regarding “Erekat remains in critical condition” (October 20), even the most cursory Internet research uncovers a long litany of blatant lies, distortions, false charges and malicious misrepresentations uttered by PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat over the years to harm the standing of Israel in the world and deprive it of some of its inalienable rights. His outrageous words and actions are responsible to some degree, directly or indirectly, for the deaths and suffering of many people and for the lack of a just peace in our region.
I pray that in the merciful and talented hands of the dedicated Arab and Israeli medical professionals at Hadassah Hospital he will have a speedy cure from the coronavirus and from his obsessive hatred of the Jewish state.

Brutal zealotry
Yigal Horowitz, Beersheba
Today’s (October 20) Jerusalem Post carries two horrifying stories of Islamic-inspired barbarism.
After French teacher’s beheading, Jewish groups urge members to rally against Islamic terrorism,” reports that 18-year-old Abdoullakh Abouyezdio Anzorov decapitated a teacher in Paris who had showed caricatures of the prophet Muhammad to his students. In “Jordan cracks down after men chop off kidnapped teen’s hands,” kidnappers, in an act of revenge against the father, cut off the hands of a 16-year old and attempted to blind him.
These horrific acts hark back to the darkest pasts of human history when supposed witches were burnt at the stake, religious heretics were tortured to death, adulterers were stoned to death and more. For most of the world those times are long gone, never to return. The merciless Islamic zealots, however, are still living and killing as in the dark ages.

No place like home
Len Bennet, Ottawa, On.
Regarding “Europe, Palestinians condemn plans for 5,255 new settler homes” (October 18), there are no “West Bank settlements.” There are neighborhoods and towns in Judea and Samaria. The Israeli government has approved proposals to accommodate natural growth.
It is not relevant that the Palestinian Authority and Hamas are unhappy. They are always unhappy and express their displeasure with terrorism. They have clearly repeated that only Israel’s demise will satisfy them. They are lucky Israel’s treatment of them is on a higher plane than what the Jews who fell under Egyptian and Transjordanian control in 1949 suffered.
Their useful idiots, the EU, France, Italy, Great Britain, Germany and Spain, have only two goals; to embarrass Israel internationally and to get Arab contracts. They may impress those living with sporadic Islamic terrorism, but not those facing it daily.
Home construction in Israel is not dependent on them.

Judge by deeds and results
Jay Shapiro, Jerusalem
The publication of “Anyone who thinks Trump is good for the Jews is a ‘frier’” (October 16) written by the vice chair for media and policy for Democrats Abroad-Israel as an opinion piece rather than a paid advertisement was disappointing to this long-time reader of The Jerusalem Post. It allowed its opinion section to be sullied by a venomous partisan and personal attack on President Donald Trump and those who intend to vote for him.  The writer’s screed included expressions (to name a few) such as “amoral narcissist,” “lack of all morality, empathy and care for human life, impervious to human suffering,” and an “incurable narcissistic psychopath incapable of basic empathy.”
Her dismissal of Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in accordance with the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act (a move that was prevented by three previous presidents, two Democrats, one Republican) as a superficial dog-whistle with minimal impact other than to buy the immutable loyalty of his Christian evangelical base, is an indication of how a political position can blind one to reality.
The actions of a public figure should be judged by performance and results rather than by personality.

Full throttle with the bottles
Daniel Feigelson, Rehovot
Regarding “Gov’t approves deposit for large bottles to encourage recycling” (October 19), Tobias Siegel’s report on the cabinet’s decision to include drink bottles of 1.5 liters and larger among those requiring deposits was both befuddling and bemusing.
It was befuddling because it notes that the statute itself does not authorize such collection on bottles of that size, yet the report doesn’t explain under what authority the cabinet acts. The report also mentioned the involvement of the so-called High Court of Justice, but does not explain how the HCJ entered the picture. Evidently it is too much to expect JPost reporters to address such questions.
The report was bemusing because it implies that the haredi ministers are in favor of requiring deposits on larger bottles, and yet, as I recall, when the statute was passed 20 years ago or so, the haredi MKs were against requiring refundable deposits on large bottles, asserting that this would be a burden on the large families their parties represent, since such families buy many large bottles. That the money would be refunded seemed to have been lost on those MKS, and their position was reminiscent of the lawmaker from a US farm state who opposed the adoption of daylight savings time, reasoning that the extra hour of sunlight would burn the crops. Or perhaps those MKs assumed at the time that their constituents couldn’t be bothered to return their bottles for a refund of the deposit, and therefore requiring a deposit effectively increased the price, but now with 20 years’ hindsight, those same MKs give their electors more credit than they used to.

Are we able to be stable?
Toby F. Block, Atlanta, GA
I find “Gantz threatens bill to stop Netanyahu forming next gov’t” (October 18) frightening. It’s bad enough when the two largest parties in the Knesset have 33/35 seats and neither can put a viable coalition together, but now the predictions are that the candidates for forming the government will have 21 to 24 seats each and will be subject to threats that one or both parties with eight seats each could topple the government at any time. Will Israel have more years of multiple elections ahead?
Of the four parties named as potential coalition partners for Naftali Bennett, only Yisrael Beytenu  has been in existence more than eight years. In fact, Blue and White, as currently constituted, and Yamina came into existence only last year. I can see why some Israelis feel unsure that the parties for whom they voted will create the kind of government those voters expected. Of course, dealing with the coronavirus pandemic only makes things worse.
Israel is clearly in need of electoral reform with voters being presented with fewer, more stable parties, each of which should be required to present a well-defined platform and have lists consisting of candidates pledged to working to achieve the party’s goals. Perhaps some candidates could be elected to represent specified districts rather than all seats being chosen at-large. Raising the electoral threshold would probably be advisable. And there should be a published list of ethical standards expected of Knesset members and an effort to define the relation between the courts and the Knesset.

Set the date
Debra Forman, Modi’in

I began reading “Country to take first steps of reopening on Sunday” (October 16) with the usual amount of “here we go again.” After all, we have been opening and closing our country for a long time now.
I read that the prime minister said the lockdown was a success, measured by the declining rates of infection. He also, to my “astonishment” mentioned to all present at the corona cabinet meeting, that if the rate of infection goes up, he will reimpose restrictions. If the rate goes down, he will continue easing the restrictions.
The rest of the article went on to explain in detail, how the lockdown will ease and who will benefit from some of the re-openings. There was quite a bit of explanation about yeshiva students and staff – but the one small sentence at the end of the long paragraph that caught my eye, as a grandmother, was the one that said “students will be allowed to leave the yeshivas for purposes of dating.”
Finally, the corona cabinet got one thing right: the importance of the pursuit of dating for all the young people caught in this crazy year. Kol hakavod to them!

Photo finish
Karen Cohen, Ashkelon
Regarding “A photographer’s risky business” (October 19), I can only imagine how challenging it is for journalists – news reporters and photographers – to churn out their work day after day in this crazy place and time of inflamed passions. These dedicated professionals deserve thanks and encouragement from the public, not blows and derision.
Marc Israel Sellem’s outstanding photographic talent and skills have been enhancing every section of The Jerusalem Post for almost as long as I can remember. May we continue to benefit from his prolific quality output for years to come and may he encounter no further disturbing incidents from the public.

UN Human Rights Violators Council
Neville Berman, Ra’anana, Israel

Regarding “US slams election of abhorrent abusers to UNHRC after China gets seat” (October 14), the Preamble of the Charter of the United Nations contains the following amongst its lofty aims:
“We the peoples of the United Nations determined to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person.” It then goes on to say “to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbors.”
The Preamble was written by Field Marshal Jan Christian Smuts, who was the prime minister of the Union of South Africa.
The lofty ideals in his writing did not extend to the racist policies that he perpetuated in South Africa itself. There were no “fundamental human rights or dignity” in South Africa nor did it “practice tolerance and live together as good neighbors” for the black or mixed-race population of South Africa while Jan Christian Smuts was prime minister. What absolute hypocrisy.
The fact that China, Russia and Cuba have been elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council is very much a continuation of the hypocrisy that has existed at the United Nations since its founding. The Human Rights Council has nothing to do with Human Rights. Its main function appears to be the protection of countries that are themselves gross human rights violators. The Human Rights Council is really an oxymoron.

A plan for Sudan
Larry Honig, Rishon Lezion

Regarding “Trump announces deal to take Sudan off the state sponsors of terrorism list” (October 20), there are still several thousand Sudanese refugees in Israel. If Sudan really does transition into a more democratic regime that can shed the vestiges of the defunct previous problematic regime, the timing may be auspicious for those who wish to return to their homeland to have an opportunity fulfil their dream – with Israel’s aid.