Letters to the Editor October 27, 2021: Gauge the building outrage

Readers of The Jerusalem Post have their say.

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

Gauge the building outrage

I read in “Jordan outraged as over 1,300 new settler homes are approved” (October 23) that the Jordanians are “outraged” that Israel wants to add a few houses to the booming university city of Ariel, to the charming towns of Karnei Shomron (22 units!!!) Betar Ilit and others, according to a spokesperson appropriately named All-Fool. 

Their “outrage” is shared by extremist MK Raz who no doubt will send off another hysterical letter of protest to the anti-Israel EU leadership, in which he will claim that towns and cities that have been Israeli for at least 54 years somehow have not been in Israel, perhaps on another planet in his distorted imagination? 

Failure to adjust to reality is a problem shared by our enemies outside and even within Israel.


 300 housing units being built in Beit El in the West Bank (credit: Courtesy) 300 housing units being built in Beit El in the West Bank (credit: Courtesy)

The Jordanians, who methodically destroyed every single one of the dozens of synagogues in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem during the 19 years that they occupied it now object vociferously to Jews living peacefully in communities in small parts of our historical homeland in Judea and Samaria? What hypocrites!

And we provide them with a huge percentage of their drinking water? What are we, stupid?


US State Department spokesman Ned Price expressed concern about Israel’s plan to approve 3,000 Jewish housing units in Judea and Samaria. Price explained the US believes, “It is critical for Israel and the Palestinian Authority to refrain from unilateral steps that exacerbate tension and undercut efforts to advance a negotiated two-state solution.”

Apparently, the State Dept has more concern about new Jewish homes than the continued incitement and demonization of Jews throughout Palestinian society, and the encouragement and financial incentives provided by the PA for killing Jews, as well as its prohibition against “normalization,” which encompasses any meeting, sporting or social event which would bring Jews and Palestinians together.

A negotiated solution requires agreements between two peoples agreeing to live together in peace and security. As long as the PA shows no interest in such an agreement, it is not going to happen, regardless of what the US State Department believes and what Israel does or does not do. 

Why is that so difficult for the State Department to realize?


NGO no-gos

Human Rights Watch (HRW), the powerful NGO behind this campaign against Israel, has a huge budget. Its publications reflect an absence of professional standards, research methodology, military and legal expertise and it exhibits a deep-seated ideological bias against Israel. (“US, Israel clash over Palestinian NGOs declared terror arms,” October 24).

Its FY 2019-2020 expenses were $89 million. Among its major supporters are the Open Society Institute, the Ford Foundation and the Rockefeller Brothers Foundation, all notoriously anti-Israel, some would say antisemitic.

While they claim to accept no government donations, HRW is massively supported by Oxfam Novib, which is funded by the Dutch government.

Due to a 15% drop in funds in 2010, billionaire George Soros made a 10-year, $100 million pledge.

HRW disproportionately focuses on condemnation of Israel and promotes an agenda based solely on the Palestinian narrative of victimization and Israeli aggression.

HRW employs distorted legal rhetoric to accuse Israel of “war crimes” in its delegitimization campaign. They support a Palestinian “right of return,” which would eliminate the Jewish state. They lobby the UN, the International Criminal Court and other bodies promoting unverifiable allegations, equating Israel with Hamas and accusing Israel of willfully killing civilians.

This June, HRW participated in a conference, “Challenging Apartheid in Palestine: Reclaiming the Narrative. Formulating a Vision.” hosted by Turkey. Organizers and other participants are linked with terror groups, including Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

The US should look below the surface of anti-Israel campaigns before following in lock-step.

LEN BENNETTOttawa, Canada

An ill(han) wind blows

Regarding “Ilhan Omar slams Star Tribune op-ed for ‘Islamophobia,’” (October 22), US Representative Ilhan Omar’s open letter against the Minneapolis Star Tribune is just the latest example of Muslims weaponizing “islamophobia” to try to silence legitimate criticism.

Omar, who supports everything about Hamas, including its antisemitic genocidal charter, opposed funding the purely defensive Iron Dome, which has saved thousands of Jewish and Muslim lives threatened by Hamas’s relentless indiscriminate firing of rockets into civilian population centers in Israel. 

The Star Tribune’s criticism of her vote to defund this defensive system was entirely justified. “Islamophobia” as Omar clearly demonstrates has become nothing more than a Muslim cudgel to suppress truth.


Brawe new world

We can only agree wholeheartedly with David Gleicher’s dismay (“Spellbound,” Letters, October 25) when he describes the confusing and awkward transliterations of place names on road signs in Israel, as mandated by the Academy of the Hebrew Language. 

One example he gives is to use the letter “w” for the Hebrew letter “vav.” In view of this, he probably should have spelled his first name “Dawid.”


Bright sight: Pro-semite night

I live in Texas and read your online newspaper. I saw the article “‘Vax the Jews’ banner hung over bridge near Austin JCC” (October 25) about the Austin Texas antisemitic incident of banner and also a report on our local news station.

It would be nice if you could mention that while that incident from some lunatic did happen, so did the “Night to Honor Israel” last night in San Antonio, with a stadium full of people praying for Israel with the Jewish community, and presenting checks for over two million dollars to multiple Israeli organizations from the over 10-million strong members of Christians United for Israel.

It was an incredibly blessed evening, one I hope you will mention on your news.

KATHLYNN WRAYSan Antonio, Texas

Court: Deport

Court orders return of cable car survivor Eitan to aunt in Italy” (October 26) makes me feel pleased that I am not the judge who had to decide the tragic case of Eitan Biran and the question of who will be his guardian and where he will grow up.

The choice was not an easy one, even if one accepts that the paramount principle has to be the welfare of the child. Clearly the question of the legality or otherwise of his secret removal from Italy by the grandfather, has no relevance to the issue.

But the choice was not just between two loving (though separated) grandparents and an aunt and uncle of similar ages to his parents. It was between a Jewish Israeli child growing up in Italy or in Israel, and this brings us to the real fundamental decision: What should the Court address – the immediate guardianship of the child Eitan or the long-term development of Eitan as a young man?

The court decision is destined to determine whether Eitan will be a Jewish Italian living in the Diaspora (with all the associated dangers of assimilation, antisemitism, etc), or a Jewish Israeli living in Israel. It is this choice which befell the unprepared judge to decide and I, for one, certainly do not envy him.


Let the Taiwanese choose

In his op-ed “Taiwan is an Inalienable Part of China’s Territory” (October 19), Dai Yuming claims China’s sovereignty over an island totally detached (90 miles away) from China inhabited by 24 million people who do not want to be dominated by a repressive, totalitarian regime. They are currently living in freedom and the Chinese government has no legal or moral right to take that away from them. 

As written in the US Declaration of Independence, and equally applicable to all the citizens of Taiwan, they “are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” These rights, endowed by God, trump all claims made by Yuming.

The people of Taiwan are not objects that should be allowed to be seized against their will by the Chinese government. Each individual is a human being with the inalienable right to choose his government. It is incumbent upon all countries of the Free World to support the citizens of Taiwan in every way possible.


The rate and fate of hate

It’s that time of the year again. The Durban Hate conference has met and adopted a resolution calling Israel a racist apartheid state (“Durban: A perpetuation of hate,” October 26). Although 38 countries have now boycotted Durban, it is by far not enough. 

Should we be proud or ashamed of the Jewish resistance to Durban The Jewish way is always to fight back diplomatically, by words not by the sword. Maybe it is time for a change. 

Why aren’t there thousands of Jews out there in Durban, flying in from all over the world, demonstrating, blocking the streets with our bodies? We have the money. If we have demonstrated in the past on issues like the price of cottage cheese and Netanyahu’s relationship with the press, why aren’t we out there screaming our hearts out, beating drums and blaring through loudspeakers against the demonization of Israel? 

Bnai Brith International should be out there organizing demonstrations, even not- so-peaceful ones, instead of writing letters and appearing on JBS TV.

I personally am ashamed, not proud


Sex and global warming

In view of the increasingly dire warnings of climate scientists and the many wake-up calls we have been receiving from recent severe climate events, it was very distressing that “World struggles as greenhouse gas levels hit record” and “‘COP 26 [the climate change conference scheduled to start on October 31 in Glasgow] success not certain’” (both October 26).

The major problem is the failure to recognize “the cow in the room” - that there is no chance to avert a climate catastrophe without a societal shift away from animal-based diets , the major cause of climate change. Such a shift would not only significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, with less cows and other farmed animals emitting methane, a gas much more potent than CO2 in warming the atmosphere. It would also enable reforesting much of the over a third of the world’s ice-free land mass that is currently used for grazing and raising feed crops for animals. The added trees would absorb much of the atmospheric CO2, resulting in much safer levels.

Yes, such a change would be very difficult to obtain, but it is essential to efforts to leave a decent, habitable world for future generations. There will be a major effort at COP 26 to get this message onto the conference agenda.

RICHARD H. SCHWARTZ, PH.D.Professor Emeritus, College of Staten Island

Shmuley Boteach is worried about our sex lives (“Has Netflix killed our sex lives?” October 26). People are having less sex, checking their smart phones during sex, opting out of sex for Netflicks, scared sexless and devoid of erotica by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

But Boteach is missing the larger picture. Less sex means fewer babies. Fewer babies means less over-population, pollution, consumerism, etc. – all developments necessary to combat climate change before it is too late if it is not already too late (“World struggles as greenhouse gas levels hit record,” October 26). Where the climate conferences and the bombastic governmental decrees fail, Netflix, the smartphone and the bedroom TV may come to our rescue and save the world from boiling and then freezing...