Letters to the Editor September 28, 2021: When it reins, it pours

Readers of The Jerusalem Post have their say.

Letters (photo credit: PIXABAY)
(photo credit: PIXABAY)

“US special envoy resigns over Haiti expulsions from Texas camp” (September 24) parallels the Biden administration’s use of misleading information to further its political agenda. 

The article describes “profound instability” in Haiti as justification for the migrants’ arrival in the US. But many, perhaps most, of the migrants came from South American countries where they had already been granted asylum. The camp in Del Rio, Texas suddenly burgeoned from approximately 1,000 to nearly 15,000 migrants when the Biden administration announced that Haitians would no longer be deported. 

The article says that the camp “has been reduced to less than half by expulsion flights and detentions.” While some illegal immigrants were in fact expelled, over 12,000 were released into the US with a simple request that they appear at an immigration office in the future – a request with which few will comply.

The article cites “images of US border guards on horseback using long reins to whip at black migrants.” Border officials are trained to twirl reins to control their horses and prevent migrants from grabbing them, which would endanger both the officials and the migrants. The photographer who took the photos has said that the photos have been misconstrued and that no migrants were whipped.

We are told, “Pregnant women and parents with children have been released.” In truth, anyone who is accompanied by a child, whether or not they are probably related, and any women who simply claim to be pregnant get free passes into the country. 

It is reasonable to suggest that Biden’s real agenda is to open the border to any and all people wishing to enter the country thereby subverting immigration laws passed by Congress. Nearly two million illegal immigrants are expected to take advantage of this policy supporting illegality by the end of the year. This obvious attempt to change the country’s demographics is meant to add future Democratic voters while providing a steady stream of low-wage workers. 

Note the shocking lack of concern for public health during the ongoing pandemic. While Biden argues vociferously for a COVID vaccine mandate for US citizens, there is no government-supported COVID testing or vaccine mandate for those crossing the border illegally. Testing by NGOs shows a COVID infection rate of 18% to 20% for migrants who are allowed to enter and then travel freely throughout the country. Biden either does not care about the nation’s health or does not believe his own claims that vaccines are essential. 


Zichron Yaakov 

What’s odd about the Squad

Perhaps it is time to change the language we use to refer to the “Squad.” 

Rather than referring to them as “progressives,” it is time to “reclaim our vocabulary” and call them regressives.


Sha’arei Tikva

In “The first 100 days were quiet,” editor-in-chief Yaakov Katz, commenting on the “Squad,” suggests that the “progessive” vanguard wants “an Israel that is weak and cannot protect itself.”

Considering the cogency and clarity of the rest of the article, one wonders why Katz does not simply write that the regressive – rather than progressive wing of the party – or rather the antisemites within, want to encourage Israel’s enemies to destroy it by weakening it both economically and militarily.

Why beat around the bush when our survival is at stake?



In response to your thoughtful, well-balanced editorial, “Democratic problem” (September 26) and the several recent articles critical of the US Democratic Party and the Squad for removing the granting of $1 billion for the Iron Dome in a stopgap spending bill aimed at averting a government shutdown at the end of the month: bottom line, the vast majority of Democrats, including all the leaders and committee heads, strongly support Israel and funding for the Iron Dome. Some 96% of Democrats, including 90% of the Democratic Progressive Caucus, voted for the funding in the stand-alone legislation.

Not one Republican was willing to cross over and support Tuesday’s Continuing Resolution, so Democrats were forced to remove it because a handful of Democrats would have joined the Republicans in opposing it, and the resolution had to pass to keep the government open.

Under the Democratic Obama administration, the US agreed to provide Israel with $38 billion over 10 years. The $1 billion for the Iron Dome is in addition to that.


Professor Emeritus, College of Staten Island

Regarding “Democratic problem” (September 26), the Democratic Party in the US has undergone and is undergoing an upheaval having nothing to do with what Israel “does.” A core of “progressives” (including the Squad) have latched onto the anti-Israel and antisemitic sentiments that now permeate a vocal part of the American electorate. One need only to look at our “allies” in the EU to see where the US is heading.

The only ally Israel can count on is the ally that has something to gain from – hopefully if we can effect some unity – is Israel itself. 

Regarding “Bereaved mothers from Arab sector protest outside Bar Lev’s house” (September 26), it is a horrible and unnatural loss to bury a child or indeed anyone who dies at the hand of another.

However, these “bereaved mothers” are protesting in front of the wrong door. An educational system as well as a society that espouses violence as the answer to disputes is where the protest belongs.

Israel is in a lose/lose situation: enforce laws and we are cruel anti-Arab facists, maintain the status quo enabling Arab-against-Arab violence, and Israel is a government that is uncaring regarding its Arab population.



Verbal hijacking hijinks

In “A very different table” (September 23) Gershon Baskin is in the process of trying to create a new national identity – the “Palestinian Israeli.” 

I will not comment on the context of his prior articles where he attempts to either get the US to assume the role of the Israeli Knesset, or where he continues his job search within fanciful organizations he wants created. Rather I wish to point out the danger his words pose by developing the idea of the Palestinian Israeli. There are Arab Israelis; there are no Palestinian Israelis. But conflating the idea of the Palestinian Israeli allows Baskin to continue with his narrative of his regional solution. Baskin’s ideas are stale, failed and can never be implemented. Since Oslo he has yet to hitch his wagon to an idea that might warrant any attention.

But let’s return to his flavor- of-the-month phrase, Palestinian Israeli. Words and definitions matter; we have allowed, as has South Africa, the Palestinians to co-opt the word “apartheid.” Even Gideon Levy, as reported by Baskin, is now condemning Israel for being an “apartheid state.” With all due respect to Levy and the millions who like to label Israel in such a way, they wouldn’t know a real apartheid regime if it stared them in the face. As an African born in South Africa in the early 1950s, I can attest to that fact. The fact that South Africa has allowed this continual hijacking by the Palestinians of such a defining word astounds me. It only serves to diminish the true horror of the apartheid regime that existed until 1994. 

We have allowed the Palestinians to label us “Nazis” and worse – and be sure they will claim ownership of the word “Holocaust” in the near future.

Words matter, and the fabricated entity Baskin has labeled “Palestinian Israelis” can only serve to hurt the Jewish people. 



You rightly celebrate a rare Israeli diplomatic UN victory (“A diplomatic win for Israel that cannot be wasted,” September 23). Some 37 countries, from Albania to Uruguay, boycotted this latest enactment of one of the UN’s most shameful moments. 

While the 2001 Durban Declaration and Program of Action were reaffirmed, as Lahav Harkov noted, “few speakers mentioned Israel.” Focus more properly concerned racism “directed at people of African descent.” The PA foreign minister’s attempt to “compare the Palestinians’ situation to that of black South Africans” apparently received the attention it deserved.

The shameful “apartheid state” slur serves as the central contention of current anti-Israel agitation, particularly on college campuses. If this welcome win could be successfully translated into a major campaign against that fraudulent allegation, that would produce, not only another win, but a tremendous triumph.


Syracuse, NY

Messy messianism

That a well-respected, trendy Tel Aviv coffee bar should be a hangout for adherents of “Messianic Judaism” does not faze me in the least. I’ve never found the movement – even when it was called “Jews for Jesus” – in any way threatening or foreboding. They engage in activities that, for the most part, rely on glitzy marketing slogans and context-less references to Tanach, and prey on the weak and insecure. Nothing that could be even remotely referred to as earth-shaking.

The shop, by the way, is no darkly guarded secret. That it is closely associated with the Christian outreach program Dugit is well documented, and I doubt it would take very long for a customer to figure out that the bar has an agenda other than good coffee. So, if the shop’s barista or staff initiate a casual discussion on spiritual matters over a macchiato or decaf latte, no big deal, really. Those living or working on or around Frishman Street are unlikely to have the vulnerable profile Dugit latches on to, and as long as children and impressionable teens are kept away, Café HaOgen is doing no harm. Besides, why needlessly cause any ill feeling with the Christian Evangelists, who have proven to be both friends and benefactors to our country. I’m sure they appreciate that Israel provides some slack as far as spreading the “good word” goes. By now they also know that the Torah and Jewish culture provides ample protection against glib tongued proselytes.

It stands to reason, though, that other such cells may be spread throughout the country, and while it’s unlikely that conspiracies to hijack the Jewish soul are being plotted in back rooms and basements, their presence in more residential, middle-class locations might be problematic. Or would it? Perhaps The Jerusalem Post would be interested in conducting and reporting on what could be an intriguing social experiment:

Go to a predominantly secular neighborhood and discretely spread a rumor that a Beit Chabad will soon be opening in a nearby shopping plaza. Five minutes will not go by, I bet, before shrieks of horror that the neighborhood is being infested with religious fanatics and dire warnings will be transmitted through WhatsApp and what not that the Rebbe’s disciples are coming to brainwash their children.

Now, once the uproar dies down, spread a second rumor that a center for Messianic Judaism will shortly be operating out of a local community center. My guess is that this time the response will be one of delight and pride that their neighborhood is ready to embrace multicultural perspectives and that their children will learn the importance of pluralism.

This mixed-up way of thinking is the weakness that organizations like Dugit look for. And undoubtedly the reason why they believe that it’s only a matter of time before the rest of us see the light.


Ginot Shomron

After 2,000 years of oppressing and slaughtering countless Jews through Crusades, Inquisitions, pogroms, a Holocaust, ghettos and much more, Christians finally understood that Jews had neither need nor interest in abandoning Judaism and adopting its offshoot, Christianity. 

Now missionaries have developed Plan B: market Christianity as Judaism. This is more palatable to the ears and souls of the remnant of Jews who managed to survive Christian persecution. It is not a surprise that in this generation of weakened Jewish identity and knowledge, intermarriage, etc., this missionary approach is having some success. 

Hopefully many of the Jews who come to Judaism in this back-door manner will ultimately use it as a portal and continue to become aware, observant genuine Jews.


Bnei Brak

Travel plot on Shabbat

Regarding “Naftali Bennett blasted for flying on holiday for US Jews” (September 22), I assume that I was not the only citizen pleased to know that my prime minister was responsible for attending to national security when he traveled on Shabbat to police headquarters to oversee efforts to find the six terrorists who had escaped from prison. 

Being that the premier is shomer Shabbat, I have full confidence that he operated according to Torah law in this situation (especially with such wonderful poskim as Rabbi Stewart Weiss and others) and on isru-chag when he is obligated to travel home.

In fact the PM was made a kiddush Hashem back in August as the press reported “Bennett’s team sets up shul at DC hotel amid unexpected Shabbat stay.” He definitely walked on Shabbat as Ben Gurion had done many years before, but our Bennett had Shabbat services and ate kosher, which Shas MK Moshe Abutbul failed to comment on.

Is it possible that Abutbul does not know about the halacha of pikuah nefesh?

Additionally, I was more surprised to see that Abutbul considers himself as one who has a direct link to God, as he commented that our PM must change his itinerary or face the wrath of God. If in fact he does have that direct connection, then it behooves Abutbul to certainly advise his constituents similarly when they ignore the rules regarding pikuach nefesh – specifically, COVID practices, army service and taxes just to name a few, as this would fall under Dina Damlakhuta Dina (a principle in Jewish religious law that the civil law of the country is binding upon the Jewish inhabitants of that country, and, in certain cases, is to be preferred to Jewish law). One who fails to uphold that obligation should be concerned that he might face the wrath of God.



Hi-brass impasse

The Arab–Israeli conflict has occupied a disproportionate place in world affairs for some 70 years. Many countries, from small states to world leaders, have wasted large quantities of manpower, time and financial resources on the subject.

Eric Mandel’s “Is the Palestinian Authority secular or Islamist?” (September 23) presents at last a breath of fresh air, different from the infinite flow of tired suggestions offered in the media to solve the problem, since he analyses the one and only factor – a deep-rooted religious belief - that has totally blocked any real progress all these years, and which will continue indefinitely to do so until it is dealt with and removed.

As I commented in your April 25, 2019 edition, this critical issue is the fanatic belief of the Palestinian leadership that they have a religious duty to prevent the establishment of an autonomous non-Muslim entity in the Middle East, and that Israel is to be destroyed and the Jews killed. Once this single factor is overcome, it will be possible to negotiate and solve all other causes of conflict between the parties.

 Unbelievably, this aspect of the impasse, the only matter preventing its solution, has been swept under the carpet and ignored by the wise commentators for generations.



Nice turn of phrase

There is a great sentence in “MKs panned for ignoring virus laws” (26 September) paper. I don’t know if it just came out that way, or was deliberately done, but it is smile-worthy:

“MKs have immunity, so they cannot be asked if they have been vaccinated.”