Letters to the Editor, October 26, 2020: A fan of Sudan

The readers of The Jerusalem Post have their say.

Letters (photo credit: PIXABAY)
(photo credit: PIXABAY)
A fan of Sudan
Regarding “Sudan is the third Arab state to announce Israel ties” (October 25), US President Donald Trump should win the Nobel Peace Prize for succeeding where others have failed. The previous US president got the prize without contributing anything of lasting benefit to world peace.
I would like to add a historical postscript to the announcement of diplomatic ties between Israel and Sudan.
This is not the first time that there has been a relationship forged between the two countries with the US as mediator. Back in 1984, when thousands of Ethiopian Jews were stranded in Sudanese refugee camps in horrible living conditions, it was a diplomatic threesome between the US State Department, the Jewish Agency and Israel that, albeit secretly, engineered the agreement by which the Jews were surreptitiously allowed to leave Sudan for Israel in Operation Moses.
It is indeed a great achievement today to have ties between Israel and Sudan publicly formalized in a normal diplomatic relationship.
Beit Shemesh
The article that isn’t there
There were seven articles about the United States election in the weekend edition (October 23) and more in Sunday’s paper, covering almost every aspect and opinion.
Except one. The article that wasn’t there: about the revelations of emails on Hunter Biden’s computer and from his former business partner which indicate that Joe Biden and his family were engaged in many lucrative deals with foreign countries in the past few years. The FBI is now investigating.
The New York Post broke the story, but in an unbelievable and unprecedented breach of journalistic responsibility, virtually all of the mainstream media – newspapers, social media and television – have refused to report it. By this inaction, they are clearly influencing the outcome of the election.
It is extremely disheartening that The Jerusalem Post has also declined to report this. Not a word. For what reason? Please reconsider your responsibility to your readers, who are clearly following the election campaigns closely, and give them accurate information on this vital topic.
The Erekat ethical conundrum
“Erekat’s Hadassah care must be top priority for Israel (October 21), makes the case that Saeb Erekat (chief Palestinian negotiator and current corona victim) should receive care at Hadassah as a top priority so that Israel does not lose its moral compass.
Other news articles in the same issue, report on 1) rockets fired at Israel from Gaza, 2) a tunnel discovered from Gaza to facilitate murder of Israeli citizens in a surprise attack, and 3) a UAE delegation visit declared “shameful” by the PA. In other words, in parallel with our ongoing war with the Palestinians, including kidnapped citizens and much more, Israel must save and comfort its enemies.
But imagine what might happen if the corona wards are full of Israeli victims when the next Palestinian leader/enemy falls ill with corona. Should Hadassah set up a private room or possibly an entire ward for the Palestinian leaders/enemies? Should the hospital send corona patients home a few days earlier to make room for Erekat and others? They would have to be a Jewish patients, if it were Arabs, the UN Human Rights Commission, the UN General Assembly, the Human Rights NGOs would bear down on us screaming, “Racists, oppressors, colonialists, murderers!”
I will not weigh in here on whether saving Saeb Erekat’s life should be a national priority for us. However, the writer’s use of two classically Jewish principles to prove that this man should be saved is spurious.
Rei’akha (in Leviticus 19:16) does not mean “neighbor,” it means “fellow Jew.” A rei’a – friend, really – is somebody with whom I have a mutual relationship: he looks out for me and I for him. Thus ve’ahavta le’rei’akha kamokha (Leviticus 19:18).
The individual in question is not our friend, as he has clearly demonstrated over the decades.
Secondly, there is just no way that the rabbis intended Yisrael in the phrase Kol Yisrael areivim zeh ba’zeh to mean all people living within the State of Israel. They meant the members of the Jewish community. And even if they did mean what the writer suggests, Erekat would forcefully deny that he is a citizen of our country or that he considers himself one of us.
Alon Shvut
The article presents Jewish sources on the obligation to treat a non-Jew, yet there is no mention of the attitude of Jewish law to treat someone whose raison d’etre is to murder Jews.
Saeb Erekat promoted generous cash bounties for anyone who murders Jews. That PLO legislated cash for killing in 2015: generous PA grants to killers and their families for life.
As a journalist who has accompanied foreign reporters to cover funerals of more than 200 Jewish victims at the hands of PLO killers, I can see the faces of their families in front of my eyes as I write this.
A case in point: Following the murder and funeral of Tali Hatuel and her four children, I accompanied a foreign journalist to the home of the PLO killer who had died in the terror attack. We were greeted by a joyous terrorist family, because the PLO had just informed them that they would be paid five times the standard amount because their martyred son had murdered five Jews, including four little kids.
The PLO did not know about the embryo that Tali was carrying, or they may have paid them six times.
All this is part of the legislation that Erakat promotes.
Perhaps The Jerusalem Post will balance this piece by interviewing families who eat their hearts out every day, knowing that the killer of their loved one now receives a pension for life for it.
To make matters worse, the Post too often describes murder convicts as “security prisoners.”
Director, Israel Resource News Agency
A word of gratitude to David Weinberg (“Treating Saeb Erekat,” October 23) for so eloquently expressing my sentiments in regard to the hospitalization of Erekat at Jerusalem’s Hadassah University Hospital.
I totally rejected the publicized allegations that there is a moral or Jewish imperative to afford him our top-notch medical care – whether to garner “Brownie points” or engender a feel-good nobility from the care afforded even to an enemy. Weinberg puts into accurate focus the cruel enemy Erekat proved himself to be and the damage he has wreaked on our country. He is an inveterate serial liar and supporter of the Palestinian terror that has claimed all too many Jewish lives.
Granted, once our defense minister granted the unwarranted consent to admit Erekat to Hadassah we were obligated to afford him the best medical attention for which Israel is feted. However, in contrast to all the misguided preachments that ab initio we are bound to afford him such largesse, lost in the shuffle is another rabbinic aphorism attributed to R. Elazar in Midrash Tanhuma, Parshat Metzora: He who is merciful to the cruel will, in the end, be cruel to the merciful.
Waks and facts
“Trump’s record on Israel is not as people tend to think” (October 21) by Greg Waks is the only op-ed on US politics in this day’s issue. There is no article with any other point of view to provide balance to this anti-Trump piece.
To its credit, the article 1) avoids using the wildly inappropriate type of incendiary language that marred previous anti-Trump op-eds published in The Jerusalem Post and 2) also lists a fair number of US President Donald Trump’s achievements that benefit the Jewish state – although, curiously, it fails to mention transferring the US Embassy to Jerusalem, which has inspired a number of other countries to initiate similar diplomatic moves to our eternal capital.
The article goes on to claim that Democratic candidate Joe Biden would be a better friend to Israel, yet fails to support that questionable assertion with even a single relevant achievement of his. It also completely avoids Biden’s failings in this sphere. Where was he, for example, when the Obama-Biden administration, in the final days of its hold on power, hastened to betray Israel by orchestrating the passage of the one-sided UNSC Resolution 2334? Breaking with decades of US policy, this resolution branded Jewish presence in much of Jerusalem (including the Kotel) and in all of Judea and Samaria a “flagrant violation” of international law with “no legal validity.” It has been brandished by Israel’s enemies ever since.
If Biden disagrees with even a single word of this deplorable resolution, which damages chances of ever achieving a just peace, he has never said so. With the ascendancy of far-Left anti-Israel elements in the Democratic Party, there are grounds for worry that a Biden administration be the most anti-Israel in US history.
Greg Waks has the temerity to assert that then-vice president Joe Biden – who along with his boss Barack Obama handed over $1.7 billion in unmarked cash to the corrupt theocratic regime in Iran – is and has been a better friend of the Jewish state than US President Donald Trump.
The bulk of these funds were utilized to prop up and expand terrorist organizations in the Middle East, making them an even greater threat to Israel with more and better weaponry and capabilities.
Who needs enemies when you have a good friend like Joe?
Tel Aviv
Unwise lies
Regarding “The Second War on Truth,” (October 23), I understand and accept that the Amotz Asael is on the Left of the political spectrum, that he hates US President Donald Trump and that he feels Trump’s continued tweeting after the 2016 election was a lie rather than a change of heart. I don’t agree, but all this is acceptable in political discourse.
But why must Asael compare Trump’s tweeting to the lies of Nazi Germany? This I cannot understand. It is a trivialization of the Nazis and of the murder of six million Jews. Could he not have found some other way to make his point?
Modi’in, Israel
Targeting US President Donald Trump only, Asael neglects the troubling untruths uttered by Trump’s opponent, Democratic candidate Joseph Biden – not only about his policies like fracking, but more egregiously about his family’s illicit earnings.
Biden claimed that he knew nothing at all about his son’s and brother’s influence-peddling activities, but it is increasingly evident that he not only knew but was actually involved in those schemes – and profited from them. He falsely and baselessly proclaimed that the story of the affair was debunked. Add his absurd claim in the most recent debate that the hard drive now in FBI hands is the product of a Russian collusion conspiracy (despite confirmation of the authenticity of the emails from many who received them) and you have some of the biggest and most disturbing whoppers in recent political history.
This is food for thought for people who say that they like Trump’s policies but are voting for Biden because “character matters.”
Don’t aspire to be a ‘frier’
The Letters columns on October 19 and 21 published eight letters that all disagreed with the criticism of US President Donald Trump in “Anyone who thinks Trump is good for the Jews is a ‘frier’” (October 16). Does this reflect the nature of the general response or the editorial policy of the paper?
One can summarize the arguments presented in the letters by a quote: “The actions of a public figure should be judged by performance and results rather than by personality.”
I believe that as Jews we should base our judgement on elements that are consonant with our traditional values. There are two actions to which Judaism has ascribed ultimate importance that are serially trampled by Trump: humility and shaming. Moses was our greatest prophet who was wise, powerful as well as a great leader. However, his greatest attribute was his humility. In addition, our sages have decreed that someone who shames a person publicly forfeits his place in the world to come.
By these standards, Trump has failed miserably.
“Who’s the ‘frier’?” (October 25), a rebuttal to the Democratic spokesperson’s comments, posits that Jews would be friers to vote for former vice president Joe Biden and not President Donald Trump.
The president’s Middle East policies were more than a breath of fresh air; they threw out the stale and dirty laundry of years (of “peace making”) past, and even washed out the blood on our shirts from the previous president who didn’t have our back, for sure.
Yet, when choosing a leader (or president) character does matter, and hence my vote goes for the other side, just like it went for someone else besides our prime minister (who also has accomplished much, but at the expense of our democracy).
The means do not justify the ends.
Exit the echo chamber
With wisdom, sensitivity and humor – while roping in surprisingly relevant topics as diverse as Taiwan and Yisrablof sports – “Herd immunity vs herd mentality” (October 16) motivates us all, whatever our point of view on protests, prayer, pandemics and politics, to express ourselves civilly and listen to each other thoughtfully and open-mindedly.
In these contentious times when people are too quick to default to polarizing extremes in their thought, speech and writing, Liat Collins’s pleasurable and knowledgeable voice is one of the first I seek out each week when I open the Friday paper.
Oh, Olmert
In “The Chicago Seven in Jerusalem” (October 23), Ehud Olmert compares the demonstrations in the USA in the late 1960s with today’s protesters.
There are many significant differences, including the enormous restraint of our hard-working police (unacknowledged by Olmert), the fact that we are not involved in a highly controversial overseas war – and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will not disappear into oblivion like US president Richard Nixon. Netanyahu’s legacy is already much greater than Olmert’s.
The article concludes by stating that the participants in Israel are violating “stupid regulations that were completely unjustified.”
Thank heavens Olmert is no longer prime minister. The regulations in place to protect the community (including me) from catching the coronavirus are perfectly reasonable and in accord with best health practices. Please take a break, Mr. Olmert, from your disruptive, disturbing recommendations that you would have opposed when you were in power.