Letters to the editor: October 8, 2018

Readers of The Jerusalem Post have their say.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Is the One-China principle working?
Regarding “China, The UN and the One-China principle” (October 2), one might say, “If you cannot convince people, confuse them.”
The Republic of China (now in Taiwan), was founded in 1912. It moved to Taiwan in 1949 when Communist China took control in mainland China. There are still two separate political entities today.
Last year, nearly three million Chinese tourists traveled to Taiwan, holding travel documents (similar to visas) when they entered Taiwan airport. They wouldn’t need such documents if there really was “One China.”
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s previous post was the minister of Taiwan Affairs office, a cabinet ministry under the state council responsible for contact with Taiwan. This ministry would not be necessary if there were One China.
The situation between the PRC and ROC is similar to that between South Korea and North Korea. Nevertheless, whereas North and South Korea both have seats in the United Nations, ROC Taiwan does not, due to PRC’s One-China principle. Taiwan passport holders and journalists have no access to UN premises. It is unfair that Taiwan – the world’s 23rd largest economy with 23 million people – has no voice in UN.
Taiwan has long been excluded from the international society, yet it strives to be a beacon of freedom, democracy and human rights with outstanding achievements in economics and technology. With the world facing difficult challenges such as climate change, poverty, etc., Taiwan has much to offer.
Instead of wasting time quarreling over political issues, we focus on meaningful participation in UNFCCC and WHO. The UN Charter upholds the principle of fairness and justice, stating that the well-being of all humankind should be pursued without discrimination. No one should be left behind.
It’s time to solve the long-pending issue of the exclusion of Taiwan’s 23 million people from the UN system.
Spokesperson, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office
Another aspect of Aznavour
I am saddened by the passing of Charles Aznavour ("French crooner Charles Aznavour dies at 94," October 2), undoubtedly one of the greatest performers of the past 50 years.
As founder of the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, I had the privilege of getting to know a poorly documented facet of his life.
Back in the dark days of WWII, a young Aznavour, together with his sister Aida and his parents Knar and Mischa, had close links with the Manouchian resistance group. Risking their own lives, the Aznavours sheltered in their own little Paris flat several Jews, Armenians and others who all were persecuted by the Nazi occupiers.
On October, 2017, on behalf of the IRWF, I bestowed the Raoul Wallenberg Medal to Charles Aznavour. His sister, Aida, could not attend and her medal was received by her nephew, Nicolas. President Reuven Rivlin graciously hosted the ceremony at his official residence.
Aznavour struck me as an intelligent and humble human being. His commitment to humanitarian causes was something he learned from early age.
He will always be a source of inspiration to our foundation.
May his memory be for a blessing.
The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation
Enormous loss
There were inaccuracies and omissions in "Spanish journalist in custody for deadly hit-and-run" (September 26). The victim was not, as reported, an "American tourist." He was a lifelong Israeli who was struck down while walking home from a close friend's house after enjoying dinner on the first night of Sukkot.
It is important for the public to realize the enormity of our loss due to the criminal negligence of a drunk driver who killed a man and then fled the scene, racing through the quiet holiday evening streets of Jerusalem. The victim was a well-known and much-loved 30-year-old musician, very involved in the city's music and theater scene, who had among many other accomplishments served as the music director of many English-language theater productions over the past 10 years. His extraordinary talent as well as his friendship touched many hundreds of Jerusalemites and others.
He was certainly not an unknown, unrecognizable "American tourist." He was an exceptional musician and human being with his whole future still in front of him who had his life snuffed out by a mindless act of vehicular manslaughter.
Beit Shemesh
Abdullah’s unadulterated hypocrisy
Contrary to King Abdullah’s implications (“We’ll protect Jerusalem’s Muslim and Christian character, says Abdullah,” September 26), Christians and Muslims in Jerusalem have freedom of worship. Their holy sites are not in any danger and Israel is not attempting to thrust them from their legal homes.
Would that the opposite had not be the case for Jews during 19 years of Jordan’s illegal occupation of the Old City of Jerusalem.
If King Abdullah truly seeks the peace of Jerusalem, he should be acknowledging Israel’s graciousness in allowing the Waqf to administer the mosques on the Temple Mount and calling on the Waqf to prevent the desecration of the mosques that occurs when they are used as places to store weapons with which worshipers at the Western Wall and Israeli police officers have been attacked.
Atlanta, GA
There have never been any attempts to interfere with Jerusalem’s Muslim and Christian heritage, so there is nothing for King Abdullah II to “thwart.” Only under Israeli governance has there been religious freedom for all in Jerusalem.
After its capture by Jordan’s Arab Legion, the Jewish Quarter of the Old City was destroyed and its residents expelled. Jews were denied access to the Western Wall. Jordan systematically destroyed 58 Jerusalem synagogues and desecrated the ancient Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives, removing tombstones and using them to pave Jordanian military latrines.
There were limits on the numbers of Christian pilgrims permitted into the Old City and Bethlehem during Christmas and Easter. Christian charities and religious institutions were prohibited from buying real estate in Jerusalem or owning property near holy sites. Christian schools were subject to strict controls. They were required to teach in Arabic, close on Friday, the Muslim holy day, and to teach all students the Koran.
Perhaps King Abdullah has a short memory or assumes his readers are ignorant of recent history. Unlike Jordan, Israel has an impeccable record of respecting all of Jerusalem’s places of worship, and has protected churches and mosques alike.
Davis, CA
The speech this week at the United Nations by Jordanian King Abdullah in which he said, “We need to safeguard the heritage and peace of Jerusalem” is unadulterated hypocrisy. The historic record is clear that the desecration and destruction of Jewish holy places is part of Jordanian DNA.
From 1948 to 1967, Jordan illegally occupied east Jerusalem and the West Bank; Jordan ethnically cleansed these lands to make them, in Nazi terminology, ”Judenrein.”
Further, Jordan, with its Palestinian allies, desecrated and destroyed dozens of historic synagogues, destroyed hundreds of ancient Jewish cemetery headstones and more.
This is Jordan’s record when it comes to safeguarding Jerusalem’s heritage. It is identical to how the Nazis “safeguarded” the heritage of Lidice.
Margate, Florida
Irrational Irish diplomacy
I read in today’s Jerusalem Post (September 25) that Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney states that his government intends to recognize an independent Palestinian state if peace talks with Israel continue to stagnate.
In other words, instead of penalizing the Palestinians for their continued refusal to meet Israel at the negotiating table, they are to be awarded the prize of state recognition!
A renowned psychologist, referring to the Irish, once said “This is one race of people for whom psychoanalysis is of no use whatsoever!”
Mevaseret Zion
Two-wheeled electric danger
The proposed decisions by the Transport Ministry regarding e-bikes (“Ministries play e-bike blame game,” October 3), while welcome, are too little and late.
The proposed legislation does not include provision for permanent confiscation of these bikes if they are ridden on the sidewalk/pavement in cities or at night without operating front and rear lights. The legislation also needs to incorporate e-scooters and scooter boards, which are equally dangerous. Owners and riders of such e- bikes should have insurance covering injury and death to pedestrians; insurance would also ensure the bikes are registered.
Apparently, e-bike riders prefer not to use the road because it is dangerous for them, but they don’t recognize how dangerous they are to pedestrians!
Incidentally, it is also illegal for pedal bikes to be ridden on the sidewalk/pavement and also at night without front and rear lights, yet there is no enforcement of this law, nor do cyclists obey laws with respect to one way streets.
In this madhouse, it is the walking citizen who respects the law who is liable to be injured and not compensated. It is time that pedestrian rights are respected and not trampled upon.
The price of hasty halachic change
Yaakov Katz wants to be a one-man Sanhedrin (“Defining a nation,” October 5) and change halacha regarding the Diaspora’s two-day holidays. He may not be aware that the Reform Movement discarded them over 100 years ago. They also dumped all fast days, not to mention any obligation to observe Jewish Law.
Fortunately, this gave us an opportunity to observe the consequences over time: a 72% intermarriage rate, a far below two-child per mother fertility rate and an evaporative Jewish education limited to prep for a 13th birthday bash ceremony.
In effect, no more than two generations were left. We need only look at these results to decide if that is what Katz has in mind for the balance of American Jewry.
Driving Jews into the sea
Regarding “Pressure mounts on Tehran regime” (October 7), Iran has an ancient cultural heritage and produces bright, hardworking people. Contrast this with the recent quote of Iranian Brig.-Gen. Hossain Salami in which he said publicly that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should “practice swimming in the Mediterranean” because he would be forced to abandon his country.
Salami is the deputy commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, a governmental terrorist group. Only a frightened man would utter such hyperbole about another country, especially one whose operatives recently stole and drove a ton and a half of nuclear program records out of Tehran in a truck under the noses of the IRGC.
Israel’s forces have been blowing Iranian weaponry in Syria to smithereens, making a mockery of advanced air defenses and skillfully avoiding the sophisticated Russian armed presence in that country. But Salami’s branding of Netanyahu as a “child killer” is perhaps the most egregious of his outbursts.
This man’s military machine forced almost a million of his country’s own teenagers across minefields to their deaths during the Iran-Iraq war to create safe passage for its soldiers hiding in trenches behind them. Such bestiality guarantees that when Iranians finally throw off the yoke of Islamic extremism, Salami will hang from one of the cranes currently used to publicly execute gays in Iran.
It couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.
San Mateo, CA
Questioning COGAT
Thank you for publishing Dr. Moshe Dann’s important article (“Israel’s COGAT problem,” October 3) about the theft of Jewish lands by Arabs, which is being approved of by the corrupt, left-wing COGAT dictatorship that is running Judea and Samaria. Now we understand why so many Jewish homes are being destroyed, while Arabs build wherever they want, almost without restriction.