Letters to the Editor: October 7, 2020: Long live Ariel, Israel

The readers of The Jerusalem Post have their say.

Letters (photo credit: PIXABAY)
(photo credit: PIXABAY)
Long live Ariel, Israel
Regarding “Ariel U. study rejected for ‘written in Israel” (October 6), the chemists who complained to the science journal Molecules can protest and bleat as much as they like, but “The Department of Chemical Sciences, Ariel University Ramat HaGolan 65, Ariel” is in Israel.
A group of eminent scientists demanded that the journal reject for publication a study by Dr. Mindy Levine unless she was willing to agree to state that Ariel University is based in an “illegal settlement” in “Occupied Palestinian Territory.”
Standing by the rightful truth, Levine refused to capitulate to these discriminatory tactics, which of course meant not getting her valued work published.
To me this appears to be nothing less than a BDS-type initiative and much praise must go to Levine for standing by the principle that her work was produced in Israel and must be designated as such.
Tel Aviv
The chemists who sought to impose their anti-Israel political bias on a scientific journal may know something about chemistry, but clearly don’t know much about international law.
Numerous prominent international legal scholars whose fact-based arguments have been frequently presented in international fora and media, including The Jerusalem Post, are far more authoritative on this matter than the merry band of biased chemists.
Last year the United States reiterated that “after carefully studying all sides of the legal debate, this administration agrees with President Reagan. The establishment of Israeli civilian settlements in the West Bank is not per se inconsistent with international law.”
The fact that a group of Arabs who have relatively recently taken to calling themselves “Palestinian” now claim to be the owners of Ariel does not make it theirs. It seems too obvious to even state, but legal scholars should not try to force their scientific opinions on chemists, and chemists should not try to impose their anti-Israel prejudices on international legal scholars – or on scientific journals.
Ariel is situated in Israel’s ancient historical heartland – long may it flourish.
Ft. Lauderdale
The decision by the science journal Molecules to withdraw Dr. Mindy Levine’s study is reminiscent of Galileo. Then it was the Church. Today it is other scientists who cannot countenance a different opinion, whatever it is.
One can be a scientist of renown, a Nobel Prize winner no less, and still have erroneous preconceived ideas about non-scientific matters. In Prof. George Smith’s view, “Ariel is a Jewish settlement in Occupied Palestinian Territories.” Many jurists have questioned this “international law” statement, so it is best to leave this to the jurists for the time being. At least say (and this is quite rational) that these territories are “disputed.” They could just as well be illegally occupied by the Palestinians. Ariel, after a future negotiation, could well be, and most probably will be, attached to Israel.
However, let us leave these semantics aside. The substance is that because of a non-scientific difference of opinion concerning Ariel, a scientific publication has canceled the publication of a study already accepted, meaning that the science was valid in the eyes of Molecules.
Scientists are not free from scientific prejudice, viz. Linus Pauling calling Dan Shechtman a “quasi-scientist.” This can happen.
In this case, isn’t it bigotry?
Doing Biden’s bidding
It is good to know that Susan Hattis Rolef deems the American president not to be an evil person, deserving of divine retribution of infection by COVID. (“Some thoughts on Trump’s personal battle,” October 5)
She then goes on to accuse Donald Trump of slighting Joe Biden in the recent debate, but fails to mention Biden’s slights – such as “clown,” ‘fool” and “racist” – against his opponent. She claims that Trump refused to condemn white supremacists; he did condemn then. In response to Trump’s mention of Hunter Biden’s taking of millions of dollars from the mayor of Moscow and from the Chinese government, Biden claimed that these have been “discredited.” They have not – they have been proven. Biden also refused to answer the moderator’s questions, such as on whether he would support the push of the extremists in the Democratic Party on loading up the Supreme Court.
Shouldn’t Rolef give a more balanced picture in the aim of true reporting?
As a long-time reader of The Jerusalem Post, I see absolutely zero reason for it to have printed the opinion piece from Laura Harris in last Friday’s “Observations.” It was a completely out-of-control rant against US President Donald Trump claiming, with zero evidence, that he is a sociopathic racist. She added less than zero to my understanding of Trump and such drivel has no place in a reputable newspaper.
I also have less than zero interest in what some hyper-liberal, out of control, Trump hater living in New Mexico has to say about how Israel and we Israelis should feel about a president who has been arguably the staunchest supporter of Israel and Israel’s security in history. In the future can the Post please stick to opinion pieces that add intelligent insight rather than incite discord and perpetuate unsubstantiated lies?
Flash in the pan(demic)
Recent articles and photos in the Post subject us to the unruly behavior of some (albeit a minority) of the haredim in our midst. They yell obscenities at our police, demonstrating a lack of caring and concern for others, teaching their children how not to behave as a human and as a Jew.
The police are out there every day and night trying to control the protesters who gather all over the country. These men and women of the law are putting their own lives and those of their families at great risk.
Why is the government shouldering all the blame for this? Their only guilt is not being completely transparent and enforcing with strength the regulations put forth.
Completely lock down the offending communities and let them do as they please; the only way in or out should be an emergency. Why should the rest of the country have to pay for their lack of caring or obeying laws?
As for the protesters, open a stadium and let them protest, also as they please. Limit the capacity to whatever the law is.
Eventually, all these people will realize, with or without getting sick, that the ones who follow the rules will stop this pandemic among us. No one caused Covid-19, but we as a law-abiding nation can certainly stop it.
Regarding “Anti-Netanyahu protesters attacked as rallies break out nationwide” (October 4), as a Blue and White supporter who agrees that we need a serious change of government, I feel that the present demonstrations and protesters are going into anarchy.
No one denies their right to demonstrate, however in the current pandemic they are acting irresponsibly and in total disregard for other people’s health and safety, never mind their own. They are losing their common sense, democracy notwithstanding.
Australia imposed a total ban on protests and demonstrations during the severe rise there in COVID numbers. Everyone obeyed and no one can call Australia anti-democratic.
I have a suggestion for the protesters who are arrested for disturbing the peace or breaking the rules. They should be given a sentence of working in the hospitals or corona hotels to help alleviate some of the menial tasks of the medical staff. Maybe then they will get a sense of the enormity of the numbers we are seeing and realize that the spread of this virus is not a joke.
Have pity on the poor hospital staff who are having to cope with this pandemic, without respite. They should be supported and praised with responsible behavior by the country’s citizens.
Kiryat Bialik
This lockdown is a very trying time for everyone and people who need to take public transport are really adversely affected and probably have higher stress levels than most. The powers that be, in their wisdom decided that by reducing the number of buses would be helpful in containing the Corona virus. However people still have to get to work, and by having fewer buses more people are boarding them, consequently defeating the object of social distancing! Also the infrequency of the buses adds to the stress and waiting sometimes for over an hour and a half is very frustrating and a total waste of time.
Hopefully when the Government reviews the situation they will take into consideration the plight of us weary commuters.
Kfar Saba
Nuclear core debate
In “Putting science back into the nuclear debate” (October 4), Prof. Gerry Thomas presents a well-balanced and erudite presentation of using science-based facts in general and the effect of low level radiation in particular. This is commensurate with her academic position as well her research activities.
Unfortunately, this is mostly irrelevant with regard to nuclear-powered energy plants. The core debate regarding nuclear power does not involve low-level radiation but rather the safe disposal of the nuclear waste generated in the process and until such a method is found the debate will rage on.
The odd Squad
Regarding “Zionist activists ‘troubled’ by Ocasio-Cortez withdrawal from Rabin event” (September 28), those progressive Jews that are bothered by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s withdrawal from the event honoring the legacy of former Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin are demonstrating their political naivete.
Ocasio-Cortez is a card-carrying member of the “Squad,” a Democratic Party group that endorses every antisemitic word Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar have ever uttered. The Squad opposes the wisdom of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as cited by the late congressman John Lewis, who recalled Dr. King’s words spoken at Harvard a few weeks before his death: “When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You’re talking antisemitism.”
If progressive Jews want to understand why Ocasio-Cortez withdrew from an event honoring an Israeli Jew, they should realize the Squad’s view of Israel and the Jewish people is nothing more than their parroting every ahistorical and antisemitic piece of drivel ever spoken or written by Mahmoud Abbas. Of course Abbas is an obsequious sycophant of Nazi war criminal and Palestinian Arab leader the Grand Mufti Amin al-Husseini. So at the end of the day one can draw a direct line from the antisemitism of “The Squad” to the antisemitism of the Grand Mufti.
Margate, Florida
Concern about China
I was very concerned when I read a while ago about plans for China (or a Chinese company) to build and administer the new Haifa port. The United States also expressed concern about this.
As per your article “Iran, Saudi Arabia become China’s launchpads in the Mideast” (September 29), China intends to develop weapons and cyberwarfare capability with Iran and plans to partner with Saudi Arabia in the nuclear area.
These developments should raise red flags for Israel security.
It is not surprising, but quite alarming that China is trying to replace the United States as the world’s super power.  
Calculated violence
While I certainly agree with Yaakov Katz that violence against women in the Arab-Israeli community is a serious matter that needs to be addressed (”Pitiful politics of the pandemic,” October 2), I find that he uses a curious mathematical calculation to make his case. “So far in 2020,” he notes, “63 Arab-Israelis have been murdered, 12 of them women.” Assuming a roughly 50/50 split between men and women, this means that female Arab-Israelis are murder victims far less often than their male counterparts.
Naturally, murder is merely but one part of the scope of violence these women suffer, but this kind of bad math does a disservice to a topic of this gravity.
Ramat Beit Shemesh
Day in and day out
Your article on “Birkat Kohanim at the Western Wall in the shadow of coronavirus” (October 5) states that this happens twice a year. This is incorrect! Birkat Kohanim is said every day at the Kotel. It is only the mass gathering of Kohanim to perform this blessing that occurs twice a year: once on Chol Hamoed Passover and again on Chol Hamoed Sukkot.
Take a letter
Upon examining the letters from readers in the daily paper and Magazine over the last week, I note that nearly all of them are sensible and patriotic to our country – countering a tendency toward negativity that seems to have crept into the Post!
I look forward to seeing more of this trend!
Tel Aviv
In his October 5 letter to the editor about Greer Faye Cashman’s article (“Democratic rights at odds”), David Gleicher mentions four qualifications of a potential president. His second item, “political experience without any taint of corruption,” is a sad commentary on our times. Regrettably, such a politician has become an endangered species. There don’t seem to be many of them around anymore.