Letters to the Editor, September 9, 2020: Lame blame game

The readers of The Jerusalem Post have their say.

Letters (photo credit: PIXABAY)
Letters
(photo credit: PIXABAY)
Lame blame game
Regarding “From first-wave success to second-wave chaos: It’s on Netanyahu” (Sept 8), enough of the blame game! It’s not the fault of the government. It’s not the fault of the outstanding Prof. Ronni Gamzu. It’s our fault – the fault of the people of Israel, who selfishly and blatantly spread this affliction by refusing to wear masks and follow distancing guidelines.
“No one is going to dictate to us! No one is going to make us wear masks and keep away from others if we don’t want to. We’ll do what’s important to us, and have massive demonstrations, crowded prayer groups and large parties to celebrate joyous events. If there’s any fallout, it’s clearly the fault of the government and the coronavirus commissioner. Failure can only help to bring down him and the prime minister anyway.”
Are we kidding ourselves? Do we really think those of us who aren’t symptomatic can’t spread this horrible disease? Or that we’re young enough to be immune? Someone daring to say something like “Are you trying to kill me?” is looked at as if he is from outer space, especially by teenagers and children on their way home from school without masks. Only occasionally will someone pull up a mask from under the chin. There is no apparent feeling of shame at being so self-centered.
Picture after picture appears in the paper with only a few people wearing masks correctly, and not only at demonstrations but also at government meetings. If they don’t have to wear masks and keep the required distance, why should we? The idea of Yaakov Katz to show the faces and information about the dead should immediately be implemented, along with a description of the COVID-19 complications that cause even people with “mild” cases (not requiring ventilation) to suffer for weeks if not months after recovery with fever, muscle aches, cough, lack of energy and despair. What will it take to wake us up?
The government doesn’t have a plan? Ridiculous! The plan was for us to wear masks properly, maintain distancing, wash hands regularly, and stay home as much as possible. But we know better than the government or the coronavirus commissioner. No one, but no one will dictate to us.
Enough of this madness!
RIVKA ZAHAVY
Jerusalem

It is virus madness. People are ignoring restrictions – but it cannot be our prime minister’s fault. People are seen walking closely together, some wearing masks at half-mast, some not at all; protests, etc.
Then I read that 6,000 pilgrims may be allowed to go to Uman? Are we asking for trouble? Even if they test negative before the event, this does not ensure they will all be negative on their return.
I used to be proud of becoming an Israeli, but am witnessing such selfish and arrogant behavior that I am disgusted and ashamed. Ashamed of the people who consider only themselves. Are they so unaware of the danger they are causing to those of us valiantly trying to safeguard our health and the health of others? I think they don’t care, and it’s very easy to just blame the government.
Those of us in high-risk groups are being subjected to possible danger by members of the community blatantly ignoring the rules. Just read the statistics, I implore everybody!
JOY COLLINS
Protea Village, Tel Mond

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has lost it. His appeasement of the haredim at the expense of the health of the citizens of Israel is a disgrace and is unacceptable. He should have put his foot down and declared that the health of Israeli citizens takes precedence over dangerous and illogical demands of the ultra-religious, or else he will have inexorably pushed this country into a split between the ultra-religious and the secular.
All of Netanyahu’s achievements through the years – his warnings of the continuing existential Iranian nuclear threat, his standing up to the absurd US president Barack Obama policies in support of the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran Deal, his freeing of the Israeli economy and his contribution to the prestige of Israel around the world and new ties with UAE – all will be forgotten, since we will remember that he has failed in protecting our lives during the pandemic.
MLADEN ANDRIJASEVIC
Beersheba

The saying goes: If the Arabs leave Israel to its own devices, we will destroy ourselves from within. This has proven to be very true – as this current pandemic shows us.
When we have a common enemy fighting against us, we close ranks, pull together and help each other, as it should be. However, when the enemy is unseen but just as deadly, every individual pulls in different directions.
Instead of taking the lead and showing the way through, the prime minister is so busy with his political future that he is allowing the haredi rabbis to make their own strident and unlawful demands and is permitting travel to Uman.
Israel has lost its moral code and sense of decency and democracy. During the first wave of the pandemic there was a real want and need to help each other, and it was good to see. Now, six months on, we are almost in a civil war, pitted against each other, each side with its own vested interests.
God help us all. Normalization with countries we were never at war with is not the alternative solution. Peace begins at home.

I SIVAN
Kiryat Bialik

Facing the facts
I agree with “It’s time we see the faces of the dead” (September 7). I often read of the statistics of those who have passed away and think they are someone’s fathers, mothers, grandparents – all dearly beloved and passing away too soon!
I am fortunate to live in a retirement home where we are looked after, cherished and guarded. We have been tested several times for COVID-19. All residents and staff have tested negative every time.
But because I am in the vulnerable segment of the population, I cannot hug my children and grandchildren and am confined to our retirement home, except when I apply for a “passport” to go to a doctor or maybe a family occasion with many restrictions.
Last week we went out one evening with our children for the first time for many months. We chose a place where we could sit outside and asked for a table away from others and were promised the tables were spread apart. However, on arrival we were told to sit at a table in the middle of everyone. The tables were in their regular places with no social distancing and we were shocked. We felt we needed to go back to our secluded living to avoid being exposed to the uncaring attitude of the general public.
Why is there such utter disregard for the needs of the older population? Don’t all those who work at or run restaurants have parents or grandparents? Aren’t we important, too? Are those who pass away too early “just old people?”
It reminds me of the phrase, “Don’t discard me in my old age.”  The elderly deserve to be revered and respected. After all, we all hope to grow old one day!

NAOMI SIDELSKY
Nofei Yerushalayim, Jerusalem

Yaakov Katz makes a good point: we need to humanize the victims of COVID-19. But why stop there? Give us the ages of the people who have died, where they lived, details of underlying medical conditions, male or female, ethnicity and so on. This is a devastatingly serious crisis, but what about the other medical “pandemics?” How many have died from pneumonia, heart and lung diseases, cancer and car accidents? Let’s see their names and faces.
Things need to be put into perspective. If the people dying from coronavirus are all elderly and/or with severe underlying medical issues, then everyone who does not fall into those categories would totally ignore all directives for controlling the virus. You might get sick but you won’t die. So where are the statistics?
M. LEVENTHAL
Toronto/Jerusalem

EU: Evil Union?
Regarding “EU warns Serbia, Kosovo on J’lem embassies” (September 8), in an immediate reaction to announcements by Serbia and Kosovo of their intention to open embassies in Jerusalem, an EU spokesman has warned Serbia and Kosovo, that “any steps that could call into question the EU’s common position on Jerusalem are a matter of serious concern and regret.”
Last week, Iranian wrestling champion Navid Kfkari was sentenced to death by Iran’s Supreme Court for taking part in a demonstration against the country’s worsening economic situation. No comment from the EU.

NAOMI SANDLER
Jerusalem

Friends don’t let friends fund hatred
Regarding “The United Arab Emirates cannot have it both ways” (September 8), kol hakavod to David Bedein for once again highlighting the hypocrisy exhibited by our Arab “friends” in the Middle East. If Israel is expecting a real, full-throated peace with the UAE, Israel must insist the UAE stop its sponsorship of the anti-Israel and Jew-hating education that permeates the UNRWA curriculum and encourage its allies to do the same.
Outspoken public rhetoric and protestations of friendship and cooperation must be accompanied by corresponding actions. Israel has too long ignored these “peripheral” violations that fly in the face of sincere, peaceful rapprochement.

ALLAN KANDEL
Los Angeles

I am in favor of the UAE deal, but only with the provision that we our set some conditions of our own, just like UAE did. For example:
1) The UAE must stop giving $51 million a year per annum with no strings attached to finance UNWRA war education.
2) The UAE must support our enforcing Area C restrictions to prevent the daily Arab and EU land confiscation and construction meant to undercut Israeli sovereignty as enshrined in the Oslo Accords.

EVE GERBER
Jerusalem

A just cause – or just a fraud?
Regarding “The Left’s ‘moral’ crusade against Israel and Zionism” (September 6), sometimes a cause is just and sometimes it’s a fraud. The ‘Palestinian’ cause is the latter.
There is no “historic Palestine.” There was never a “Palestine” prior to the British Mandate for Palestine, established by the League of Nations, in 1922, as a homeland for Jews. Only Jews were referred to, and they called themselves Palestinians. The Arabs identified as being from where their families originated.
Zionist migration began in earnest in the 1880s. In the 1920s and 30s, Britain restricted Jewish immigration, while the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin Al Husseini, Hitler’s ally, encouraged Arabs to move in. Arabs also came for the employment the Jews created. By 1948, half the Mandate’s Arabs were newcomers. (Within a few years, half the Israelis were Jewish refugees from Arab Lands.)
Under international law, the Mandate was to be the Jewish homeland. However, the UN voted (recommended) to partition it into Jewish and Arab areas. The Jews accepted the recommendation and declared the State of Israel. The Arabs, including the Arab League, rejected it and started a war to “push the Jews into the sea.”
Egypt occupied Gaza. Jordan occupied the (newly named) West Bank. All Jews were ethnically cleansed from these areas. Some Arabs fled and became refugees. Those who remained became Israeli citizens, and are fully represented in all aspects of Israeli life.
In 1964, The KGB created the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Its leader, Yasser Arafat, an Egyptian, called himself a Palestinian, becoming the first Arab to do so. The PLO was not meant to create a new state. Egypt and Jordan could have done that. The goal of the PLO was to drive out all “infidels.”
Only after the 1967 and 1973 wars, when the Arabs admitted they had no military option, did they turn to “diplomacy” – with terrorism – to advance their goals.

LEN BENNETT, AUTHOR OF ‘UNFINISHED WORK’
Ottawa

What’s fair is fair
Regarding “Saudi King tells Trump he is eager for fair solution to Palestinian issue,” I couldn’t agree with the monarch more. The catch is the definition of the word “fair.”
• A fair solution is the Trump peace plan (Peace to Prosperity: A Vision to Improve the Lives of the Palestinian and Israeli People), which balances the claims and needs of both sides and establishes a just, durable and prosperous peace that requires no expulsion of residents.
• An unfair solution is the “Arab Peace Initiative,” which requires complete Israeli capitulation to Arab maximalist demands, no matter how historically unbased and morally unjust they are; withdrawal to arbitrary and indefensible ceasefire lines from 1949 (more than 70 years ago); and the uprooting of hundreds of thousands of residents from the homes and communities where they have lived for generations. In return, Israel will get intangible promises that can be easily broken at a later date.
I ask the Saudi ruler (and others in this kind of “peace” camp), if you were an Israeli, what would you choose?
ARLINE BROWN
Ft. Lauderdale