Letters to the Editor: September 14, 2014

Readers respond to The Jerusalem Post's latest articles.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Reputation at stake
Sir, – I take the liberty to react resolutely to your recent article concerning the Czech archeological mission working in Egypt, and specifically my person (“Israeli spies alter past to show Jews built pyramids,” September 11). The article is from beginning to end full of lies and assumptions that are totally false. It discredits the name and reputation of the mission, as well as my reputation.
The Czech Institute of Egyptology has been working in Egypt since the 1960s. It has won an international scientific reputation and is held in high esteem by our Egyptian colleagues and the country’s Ministry for Antiquities, which coordinates and approves all our activities in the field.
The article also seriously harms the reputation of many who have dedicated their life to archeology and the restoration of monuments that belong to Egypt and represent an outstanding contribution to mankind’s heritage.
The writer is director of the Czech Institute of Egyptology of Charles University, and director of the Czech mission in Abusir The editor responds: The Post was citing an Egyptian report that included allegations about Israel and Czech archeologists that were clearly wild and nonsensical. We are sure our readership read them for what they are.
Response in kind
Sir, – In “Facing realities in the wake of Operation Protective Edge” (Candidly Speaking, September 10), Isi Leibler states that US President Barack Obama “led the distorted charge that Israel acted disproportionately” during the Gaza fighting.
Would Obama and others find it more proportionate if Israel instead had fired more than 3,500 missiles randomly into the populated areas of Gaza and built concrete-lined tunnels under the Gaza Strip, with suicidal motorcyclists on the ready to kidnap and kill Palestinian citizens? Maybe in the future Israel should respond in kind!
New Milford, Pennsylvania
Wolf’s ‘embrace’
Sir, – I would like to express my disgust at your publication’s cheap attempt to smear Naomi Wolf’s motivation for her very honest
reporting of events during the recent invasion of Gaza (“Naomi Wolf’s embrace of Hamas spells the fall of a feminist icon,” No Holds Barred, September 9).
At no time has she ever upheld support for any organization using terrorism against another. She has made clear that she abhors violence from any side and has criticized Hamas for any injuries or deaths it has inflicted on Israeli civilians, as well as condemning the atrocities committed by Israel.
Any Jewish person who has the courage to publicly criticize Israel is automatically labeled an anti-Semite, a self-hating Jew or a terrorist-lover. Most people can now see the superficiality and desperateness of these generalized insults.
Sir, – I agree with Shmuley Boteach’s column about Naomi Wolf.
Every statement by the IDF was immediately viewed by her as false until proven true, while every statement issued by Hamas was accepted at face value. Calling the operation in Gaza a “genocide,” which Naomi was doing on a daily basis, cheapens the word beyond recognition.
She has lost all intellectual credibility.
San Francisco
Hamas’s tactics
Sir, – The tactic being adopted by Israel’s enemies is a slow, incremental war of attrition.
In each Gaza and Lebanese conflict, these enemies seek new tactical achievements, such as launching missiles deep into Israeli territory and “bringing the war to Israel” through tunnel attacks and limited ground incursions, turning on its head Israel’s long-standing military ethos of taking the battle to the enemy.
The best analogy is the small boxer fighting a much bigger and taller opponent – the only way he can win is to get in close to neutralize the larger boxer’s advantage of reach. Fighting from a distance, the smaller boxer is doomed. Getting in close, he has the advantage.
During Operation Protective Edge, Hamas tried desperately to trigger a third intifada and to stoke Arab-Israeli anger. It did not succeed, but the strategy is clear and eventually will succeed unless Israel does something concrete to resolve the Palestinian issue and address the increasing dissatisfaction and rage within the Arab-Israeli community.
Tel Aviv
Sir, – In all the articles, letters, op-eds and everything else I have read about Operation Protective Edge, nobody has mentioned the obvious about the death of so many Arabs: If only Hamas had opened the tunnels, the citizens of Gaza could have taken shelter during Israeli attacks and there would have been fewer deaths.
The fact that this did not happen should be proof to the world that Hamas truly wanted a large bodycount of its civilians and to have pictures showing death and destruction brought by Israel. Had it opened the tunnels, there would have been no horrendous pictures and it would not have had the “victory” it wanted.
Northbrook, Illinois
An education
Sir, – While Palestinian boys throw stones, firecrackers, etc. with increasing frequency, Palestinian girls are more interested in a good education. This is one of the few places in the Middle East where they are able to receive one.
There are problems with out-ofwork, under-educated boys everywhere in Europe, except in Germany, where there are vocational schools and apprenticeship arrangements sponsored by industry, as well as good jobs awaiting the students. I propose that there be vocational schools in Palestinian cities.
There should be a real campus, a running track, a basketball hall, a swimming pool and green grass, the curriculum including core subjects plus technical skills in such fields as computers, car maintenance, carpentry, metal work, electrical work, art, music – wherever there is sufficient demand.
Start with the mayors of Nazareth (there’s already hi-tech there), Jerusalem, Ramallah, the Triangle, etc.
This will reduce the work of police and riot-control officers. It is not ideological; it is purely pragmatic.
Pertinent indeed
Sir, – During one of his frequent visits to Israel, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee expressed support for a plan drawn up recently by the Israeli government (“Huckabee organizes ‘Stand with Israel’ rally planned for Washington, DC, next month,” September 8). The plan envisages the building of a fifth Jewish city in Judea and Samaria, which will be accomplished by the reclassification of approximately 400 hectares of vacant land in the heart of Israel.
The current vicious scourge of anti-Semitism is increasing worldwide at an enormous rate and undoubtedly is certain to result in massive immigration to Israel in the not-too-distant future. Thus, we will desperately need this valuable portion of land.
In this context I was quite amazed to read the following pertinent extracts from the recent Haftorah Ki Tetze Isaiah: “Broaden the place of your tent and stretch out the curtains of your dwellings.
Spare not. Lengthen thy cords, strengthen thy pegs. For southward and northward you shall spread out mightily. Thy offspring shall possess the nations and make the desolate cities to be inhabited.
Fear not, for thou shall not be ashamed. Do not feel humiliated.”
Pertinent indeed!
They’re communities
Sir, – While driving recently I saw two traffic signs saying “To Gush Etzion settlements.”
When the Pilgrims left England landed at Plymouth Rock, they established a settlement. This truly was a settlement, because the Pilgrims were foreigners occupying Native American territory, while Gush Etzion consists of Israeli communities established by Israelis in their own native land.
Israel fails at hasbara (public diplomacy). Start to fix this by calling the towns of Gush Etzion what they really are: communities!
Efrat/Lenox, Massachusetts