Letters to the Editor: On boycotts...

British doctors should be careful what they wish for.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
On boycotts...
A boycott of the Israel Medical Association (“British doctors seek to expel Israel from int’l body,” January 21) would be to the world’s peril, since Jewish doctors and medical researchers have been responsible for discovering most of the modern-day cures and treatments for so many deadly diseases.
British doctors should be careful what they wish for.
You mention the claim by 71 British doctors that Israeli doctors carry out “medical torture” on Palestinian patients. This is the way today’s anti-Semitism works.
You should be more assertive, like publishing the names and photos of the British doctors.
Publish their curriculum vitae; they will not like it. And report them to the police for making anti-Semitic remarks.
J. SMINK Groningen, Netherlands
...and labeling
Our embassies in EU countries should appeal to the local Jewish communities and organizations to buy our labeled products, and thereby show the world that there is a special demand for exactly this merchandise. This could possibly transform the evil intentions of EU policymakers into a commercial success story for Israel.
Maybe Israel should add an extra label stating: This product gives many Palestinians a decent job.
BRENT RICHHEIMER Jerusalem/Amsterdam
No justice for Raoul
With reference to “Justice for Raoul Wallenberg” (Comment & Features, January 18), we can learn from this man’s humanitarian actions. Unfortunately, the Swedish police see things differently.
Interpol has a “yellow notice” system. This mechanism helps locate missing persons. After asking the Swedish police to issue an Interpol yellow notice for Wallenberg, we received the following response: “The National Police Board has... no intention to use Interpol’s international notification system concerning Raoul Wallenberg.”
How sad there is no justice for Wallenberg in his home country.
We are currently looking for law students or lawyers who are interested in volunteering to help appeal this decision.
The writer is a member of the local Raoul Wallenberg Honorary Citizen Committee.
Prime Minister Shaked
Thank you for the clarification about transparency’s consequences by Jan Sokolovsky and Ariela Cotler (“Who’s undermining democracy? The pot, the kettle and transparency,” Comment & Features, January 17). It is an admirable example of clear explanation rather than the more prevalent practice of pontification.
It’s all very well to illustrate how Israel is within legal bounds in insisting on transparency for foreign sources of financial funding of NGOs. But what about follow up? What about forming a vociferous group supporting, rather than knocking, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, who is behind the current legislative effort? Shaked has the courage of a great leader. Mark my words, she has the makings of a future prime minister!
Backward moves
The effect of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s many years of policies and speeches has certainly created big moves in Israeli foreign affairs. Unfortunately, all of the moves have been backwards.
Netanyahu has managed to alienate one country after another to the extent where we have virtually no support. His latest “successes” are no ambassador in Brazil, angry disagreements with Sweden, arguments with the US ambassador, advances in the anti-Israel boycott movement, and the EU’s recommendation on labeling products made in the West Bank.
It is hard to imagine where we go from here, but no doubt, Mr.
Netanyahu has more surprises up his sleeve to make our foreign relations even worse.
Too bad!
So the US ambassador to Israel states that we have different laws for Jews and Arabs in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem. This is direct interference in the running of a sovereign entity. What chutzpah! I could well imagine the reaction from the US administration if the Israeli ambassador were to state that there was one law for whites and another for blacks in the US, because many blacks are shot by police, and very few whites. There would be howls of indignation.
It is about time that foreign governments stopped involving themselves in how Israel operates. The people of Israel voted in their government.
If the other nations do not like it, too bad!
Facing down terror
While the current wave of knife attacks has slowed, there seems to be no end in sight. Some of the government’s response has helped, but these steps are not enough.
Some people say these are “lone wolf” attacks and therefore impossible to prevent. This theory is not valid because we have seen that destroying the house of a terrorist does provide some deterrence. Furthermore, these attacks do not happen in a vacuum – the Palestinian Authority encourages them through incitement in the media, schools, mosques and social networks.
It encourages them by paying the families of terrorists and honoring the terrorists as heroes.
It is time to take more drastic steps.
In the past, we have tried financial sanctions where we withheld monthly tax reimbursements. This was effective in the short term, but pressure from the international community made it difficult to sustain because of concerns that the PA would collapse. Eventually, we wound up giving the PA the entire sums.
But there should be a direct cost for attacks on Jews. Withholding NIS 25,000 a month from the PA for each Jew killed by terrorist attacks – and never turning over this money – would give it plenty of incentive to stop the incitement.
The money could be given instead to the families of the victims of terror attacks.
Maybe if the PA suffers from painful – and irreversible – financial consequences as a result of its incitement, it will come to the conclusion that terrorism and incitement don’t pay.
GIL TEITELBAUM Jerusalem That there have been insufficient measures taken against the terrorists is evident. There has been no let up, and it appears that the government is perplexed on how to deal with the phenomenon. Businesses are suffering, restaurants are closing, people are staying home.
The reward to the perpetrators follows rapidly, with their glorification, their families financially rewarded, and schools and plazas named after them.
The death or imprisonment of terrorists is insufficient. Additional measures must be implemented now. They might include the immediate destruction of the home of anyone who aids and abets the terrorist, and that person’s deportation to Syria or Lebanon.
These and other measures might give second thoughts to those who attack innocent mothers in their homes, and people in their places of worship.
In identifying the use of social media to encourage the current barbaric violence, effective measures must be taken to ensure restricted access. In Asia and eastern Europe, governments enforce bans on Internet service providers and network operators. Similar actions have been taken with TV stations.
Why has this not been done here? Is the government more concerned about the opinions of the international community and profits of Israeli and Palestinian Internet service providers than the lives of Israeli citizens? We should tell the world that the current situation will no longer be permitted to prevail. Has it been forgotten that the road to hell is paved with good intentions?
COLIN L. LECI Jerusalem