Letters to the Editor, October 5, 2020: Zero in on a hero

Readers of The Jerusalem Post have their say.

Letters (photo credit: PIXABAY)
(photo credit: PIXABAY)
Zero in on a hero
Greer Fay Cashman listed several contenders for the Israeli presidency (“Democratic rights at odds,” September 30). The presidency here has evolved over the years. It used to be a reward for veteran politicians and obscure scientists. Today President Reuven Rivlin is more than just the head of state; he is also Israel’s representative to the international community in general and world Jewry in particular.
Therefore, a president should have the following qualifications: 1) a personal history that all Israelis can be proud of; 2) political experience without any taint of corruption; 3) the ability to connect with all sectors of our country; 4) experience enabling him to connect with world Jewry; and 5) the personal ability to represent Israel to the world in general.
One person who does not appear on Cashman’s list fits all these qualifications: Natan Sharansky. His history as a Prisoner of Zion is inspiring. For nine years, in different governments, he has served as an MK and minister. He has dealt with all aspects of world Jewry as chairman of the Jewish Agency. He has met with American presidents, who have viewed him as a hero in the fight against Communist oppression. And his ability to speak flawless Russian and English is another plus.
It is doubtful that Sharansky would be elected by the Knesset. The next president will be a product of horse-trading and political maneuvering. That’s too bad, since the perfect candidate is in plain sight.
Make it count on the Temple Mount
In a spirit of reconciliation following the example of the UAE, which is building an Abraham Center with a mosque, synagogue and church, I suggest that Israel should now agree to build a synagogue and a church adjacent to the mosque of the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount (Haram al-Sharif) in Jerusalem. There is certainly enough space there to accommodate such a development.
Following their conquest of Jerusalem, the Romans destroyed the Jewish Temple. Later it was replaced by a Byzantine (Greek Orthodox) church. This was destroyed by the Muslims after they captured Jerusalem. In doing so Christianity and Islam sought to replace Judaism and each other. Such acts should not reflect the true purpose of religion, which is not to conquer or replace, but to reconcile and in the modern world to respect and accept. This should be a project of the highest order, with a global architectural competition to find the most appropriate form for this trilateral sacred area acceptable to Jews, Christians and Muslims. Such a project would forever remove the sense of hostility, competition and exclusiveness that is now associated with this most significant site.
To support this project, all nations of the world should be invited to contribute toward the planning, development and construction of this Abraham Center, where each of the three monotheistic religions derived from the teachings of Abraham can pray independently, but in a spirit of inter-faith harmony.
Jump on Trump
Laura Harris’s purpose in “American Jews should reject Faustian bargains” is to set up a false choice: should American Jews choose Donald Trump because of his tangible support for Israel or reject him because he is a “racist,” “amoral,” etc. Therefore, as Faust did, we Jews will be selling our collective soul to the devil.
The only truth to be found in her article is that it is fantasy like the story of Faust. Harris’s rant about Trump’s racism, amorality and his responsibility for everything bad lacks credibility. No facts or evidence are cited. It’s an emotional outpouring of hate, as is the case with most progressive (liberal) commentators. Harris complained that he did not condemn the “Proud Boys” adequately enough, although he clearly said they should stand down and she ignores the innumerable times he has condemned white supremacists and recommended criminalizing the KKK.
Trump’s administration has provided for the lowest unemployment rate and the greatest increase in wealth for people of color. Contrast this to Joseph Biden’s 47 years of lackluster performance. If Harris is really concerned about racism in the candidates she merely has to google “Joe Biden, racist comments and actions.” The long list spanning the 1970s to today makes a mockery of Harris’ lauding of Biden as “a human being... with a track record of compassion, thoughtfulness and values despite his shortcomings.”
Harris speaks about morality. As an American Jew who proudly lives in Israel as an Israeli citizen, I find it immoral for those progressives who live in their cozy, secure homes in America to be telling American Jews in Israel what is moral, particularly based on opinions and false facts.
Col. (Ret) US Army, Jerusalem
Enough already! It’s a waste of time and effort to try to convince any American whose mind is made up either in favor of Trump or Biden how they should vote.
But there have been more than enough of the lies and falsehoods. For example, look at the actual videos to know the truth (which has been more than sufficiently stated but to no avail) about US President Donald Trump’s statements at Charlottesville (the words “good people on both sides” clearly referred to the two sides of the debate about destroying statues and canceling historical facts, not to white supremacists vs. decent people.
And his answer to Chris Wallace’s manipulative “gotcha” question at the debate, whether he would denounce white supremacists, was clearly, “Sure, I’m willing to do that,” and twice more, “Sure.” But for some reason, those who want to attack him ignore those answers. The question was in fact completely superfluous as Trump has repeatedly denounced white supremacists and their beliefs and acts, but his detractors simply don’t listen to what doesn’t fit their narrative.
I’m sick of reading pieces by people – such as Douglas Bloomfield and Laura Harris – who continue to spread these and so many other outright falsehoods.
Spare us all your moralizing about what “good Jews” should do with their US vote. Vote for Trump despite his obvious character flaws. Or vote for Biden despite his obvious cognitive decline and the people who will really be running the country while using him as their cover prop. But at least base your comments, if you must share them, on true statements.
Tzur Hadassah
Laura Harris’s confused and vitriolic attack upon US President Donald Trump totally neglects the realities of American politics.
The Democratic Party has moved far to the left and some of the prominent elements within the party that will pressure and influence a Democratic president include the notorious antisemitic and anti-Israel so-called “squad” in the Congress. Further, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer has gone on record stating that he would not be averse to packing the Supreme Court, eliminating the filibuster rules of the Senate and applying statehood to Puerto Rico and Washington DC. These actions would change the United States as we know it and the last one, in particular, would reduce the influence of the Jewish vote.
Commentators on American politics should learn to differentiate Trump’s policies from his personality.
In “Are the Proud Boys antisemitic?” (October 1), Ben Sales quotes the ADL, accusing Gavin McInnes of being an antisemite because he once made a YouTube video entitled, “10 Things I Hate About the Jews.”
That video was a parody. Still up is another YouTube clip he made called, “10 Things I Love About the Jews.”
I have personally known McInnes for years. He is a friend to the Jews, to Israel, to America and to all that is righteous. He is owed an apology.
The lame blame game
I had stopped reading regularly Ehud Olmert’s weekly contributions to which you have been allotting at least half a page for months. I never understood why it was so important to publish on a regular basis, the venom of a convicted prime minister aimed mainly at his rival and members of his family.
This week’s contribution (“Lockdown shmockdown,” (October 2) is as poisonous as previous weeks. The conclusion however, goes beyond the bounds of democracy, free speech and opinion. Olmert’s closing words were: “They won’t stop until we get rid of Netanyahu. Then we will be able to get rid of the coronavirus, too.”
This egregious statement is similar to the rumors that Jews were responsible of spreading the plague in the Middle Ages. Why does The Jerusalem Post continue to give voice to these ridiculous rants?
It makes me so angry to hear those who are blaming the government for our corona crisis. Why can’t we take responsibility for ourselves as a mature nation? It’s a sign of the times to put the blame on the “other.” People are breaking the rules and then expecting the government to pick up the pieces.
I made aliyah from Sydney, Australia where the government was not interventionist and the people followed the health rules, demonstrations and rallies were banned, and synagogues strictly followed the guidelines. There have been zero new cases in five days.
Let’s reward those who stick to the rules by acknowledging them and announcing COVID-free areas. I would also insist on those who wish to attend rallies of any kind that they sign paperwork to state that they will cover their own medical expenses over the next six months.
Former prime minister Ehud Olmert has turned abject negativity into an art form.
At a time when each of us must take responsibility for our actions in defeating this pandemic, Olmert contends that COVID-19 will be eliminated only when our current premier is no longer on the scene.
Careless talk can cost lives.
Tel Aviv
Driving whilst under the influence of alcohol is considered a crime, and is punishable as such. You may not intend to kill someone, but you may do exactly that.
I cannot understand why breaking quarantine regulations after you have been confirmed as a COVID-19 carrier is not considered a similar type of crime. You may not intend to kill someone – but you may end up doing exactly that.
Wrath and math
Many people seem to think that 10,000 or so devoted demonstrators should be sufficient to bring down a duly elected government, as in the current Bibi-led current state of affairs. Some also think that it is a democratic expression of the people, vox populi, the voice of the people and must be heeded (“Deity and the demonstrators,” October 2).
However, there is a question. How many demonstrators, no matter how persistent, no matter how loud, are required to bring down a government – specifically, in our case, bring about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s resignation? Many political scientists with historical perspective indicate that when the number of the demonstrators reaches 3.5 % of the population, it is time for the government to secede peacefully before it is too late.
Israel’s current population is about 9,000,000, so 3.5% of that figure is 315,000! Let’s be generous and reduce that to 200,000. That number expresses when it begins to be the “voice of the people.” The demonstrators have to aim for this number if they really want to wield influence.
Sign on the line
In “Avichai Mandelblit draws red line for when Netanyahu would need to step down” (October 1), Mandelblit threatens our PM and demands that he sign a document that he will not interfere in the appointments of new senior government officials, especially the new police chief and the new state prosecutor (replacing Shay Nizan), because the PM might have vested interest in such appointments.
Really? What about asking Mandelblit to sign such legal binding document?
We are all aware, that Mandelblit has a key goal on his mind: he and his legal team of the prosecution have to persuade the Court to condemn the premier on all three charges that he submitted to the Court. Since this is Mandelblit’s major mission as AG, how does he dare to be involved in the appointments of these sensitive senior government officials?
Mandelblit’s vested interest is to appoint such officials who view the indictment charges against the PM as he does and will support all of his efforts to lead the Court to oust the PM from office. If Mandelblit fails in his mission, his career is ruined forever.
Exactly for this reason of open conflict of interest, it is Mandelblit who must be forced to sign such a binding undertaking to not be involved in the appointments of these new legal and police officers to sensitive positions. If he refuses to sign, the PM has to act exactly what Mandelblit would: ask the High Court to force Mandelblit to sign – or Mandelblit should leave his office, which probably would be the best solution, in order to allow the PM and government to function properly.
No use crying...
Why is there a shortage of milk in Israel at the moment? The refrigerated shelves at my local supermarket are bare. Have the cows gone on strike? Don’t we have enough ‘bad moos’ to contend with at the moment without having this inflicted on us as well?
5G concerns
Regarding “5G network officially launches across Israel” (September 29), it is very nice that we will have expanded capabilities.
However, did Communications Minister Yoaz Hendel have the safety of the 5G checked to see what the effects are on humans? If so, I would like to know the results and if not, please have them safety checked.