Letters to the Editor: October 4, 2015

This en passant swipe at Culture Minister Miri Regev is out of place and uncalled for. It is gutter journalism.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
‘En passant’
In his analysis “Increased Russian military role in Syria has implications for both Israel and West” (October 1), Yossi Melman refers to an “axiom attributed to Russian playwright Anton Chekhov – the same one whose work Minister of Culture Miri Regev proudly declared she has never read.”
This en passant swipe at Culture Minister Miri Regev is out of place and uncalled for. It is gutter journalism.
For openers, it is abundantly clear that Mr. Melman himself has never read the play, as he can neither cite its name nor state with certainty that the quote is from Chekhov. For another, it is not common for anyone to “read” plays. If, indeed, the play in question has a name and it was performed in Israel and Ms. Regev pointedly avoided seeing it, there might be room for discussion, although not in this article.
Mr. Melman would do a lot better by keeping personal peeves out of his hardly stellar geopolitical analyses. Culture is not his beat.
Hebrew saying
I am bemused (and not quite amused) by Gershon Baskin’s latest flight into unreality (“A new intifada?” Encountering Peace, October 1) and his “plea” for Jewish/Israeli understanding on the matter of the Temple Mount. I am bemused by his adopting the discredited haredi screed, viz, that we, the Jews who have returned to our land, must passively await the coming of Jewish messiah to exercise what Mr. Baskin himself admits is our right to pray at the only true holy site that exists for Jews.
Echoing the words of the devout defenders of those who cite the Gemara’s purported divine admonition to the Jewish people not to challenge the sovereignty over the Temple Mount (K’tubot 110b, gloss.), the writer cloaks himself in the false piety of the deniers of the historic and miraculous return of Jews to Zion. He then goes on to show how we in Israel must coddle the dysfunctional PLO entity, so that its subjects and followers not “lapse” into violence.
As we say in Hebrew: Dai (Enough), Mr. Baskin. Dai!
Petah Tikva
A very good thing
I take issue with the comment made by Tovah Lazaroff in “Is too little attention better than too much?” (Background, September 30), that “the only thing worse than too much attention is no attention at all.”
If US President Barack Obama’s failure to relate to the Israeli-Palestinian issue while addressing the UN General Assembly means that he is intending, during the remainder of his tenure, to focus less on Israel’s situation and more on other problems facing the world, such as the atrocities by ISIS and the Muslim refugees streaming into Europe, this will be a good thing for Israel.
How could it be otherwise, when “neglect” could mean a lessening of pressure on our country to make yet more one-sided, suicidal concessions to the Palestinians?
Judgment’s lessons
In “The lesson of judgment at Nuremberg” (Comment & Features, September 27), retired US federal judge Bruce J. Einhorn maintains that the trial of Reichsmarschall Herman Goering, Deputy Fuhrer Rudolf Hess, Gen. Alfred Jodl et al was a watershed in advancing international accountability. He cites three counts – crimes of aggression, war crimes and crimes against humanity – and informs readers that the LA Theatre Works is to present Judgment at Nuremberg as its season opener.
Hopefully, there is still time left to correct the script.
The British prosecution played a considerable part in drafting the indictment, with its four counts. (The British were specifically concerned with Count 2: Crimes against peace.) Colditz escapee Airey Neave, who later went on to become a member of parliament (he was assassinated in 1979 by Irish republicans), was server of the indictments at Nuremberg. He produced a “Table of the 4 Counts, Verdicts & Sentences” issued against each of the 22 Germans who were prosecuted in 1945- 1946.
Nazi ideologue Alfred Rosenberg was indicted and found guilty on all four counts and sentenced to hang. Likewise for Goering, Jodl and Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop.
Hess, ex-vice chancellor Franz von Papen and ex-Reichsbank president Hjalmar Schact were indicted solely on the first two counts – conspiracy to commit war crimes and crimes against peace. The court acquitted the latter two, but convicted Hess, sentencing him to life imprisonment in Spandau.
Had Hess been indicted according to the three counts presented to readers by Einhorn, it is doubtful that Hess would have languished in prison for the rest of his 94 years.
To the International Criminal Court: Take note!
We go along with it
On the intermediate days of the Succot holiday, we like to visit our children and friends in Judea and Samaria. On the way there are many red signs. These signs say: “This road leads to Palestinian villages. Entrance for Israeli citizens is dangerous.”
What does this say to the Palestinian people – that whoever passes through their towns can be murdered? What does this say about our supposed peace partner’s vision for a future with us? What does this say about the morality of the world – that agreeing to these signs legitimizes the murder of Jews? On the roads we are allowed to drive on, we drive in trepidation that a 10-year-old child can throw a lethal rock at us, or that any passing car might have someone inside who opens fire, shooting at us to kill. What does it say about us that we agree to this? On our way, we also pass many houses being built – big, beautiful villas, as far as the eye can see. Alas, it is all Palestinian building, much of it funded by the European Union, and some by the US. The Palestinians live without fences, walk on the roads freely and without fear, and drive into our towns and villages for work, recreation and health services, knowing that we will not murder them.
This situation is unconscionable, and we are to blame for going along with it.
The BDS Challenge
The Foreign Ministry, which should be looking after Israeli interests and hasbara (public diplomacy) worldwide, has once again failed to respond and issue a challenge to leaders of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement regarding SodaStream. Together with SodaStream, which closed its factory in Mishor Adumim following pressure, the ministry should have placed an advertisement in leading western newspapers that went something like this: “A challenge to the leaders of BDS “For years, you have claimed that you are not anti-Semitic or against Israel, and that your only concern is the welfare of the Palestinians. We now give you a chance to prove this. You claim a ‘moral victory’ in having forced SodaStream to relocate to pre-1967 Israel.
Attached herewith is a list of Palestinians who are now unemployed because of your ‘success.’ “We expect you to prove your concern for these poor Palestinians by contacting them and providing them with a monthly stipend equivalent at least to the wages they earned with SodaStream. Failure to do so within a month will be reported to the world, showing your true face and hatred.”
It is not too late for the Foreign Ministry to either ensure that these Palestinians receive monthly compensation, or show the true face of BDS!
Tel Aviv