Letters to the Editor: Start with academics

Surely, it must be possible to tell those whose salaries are funded by the state that they should either curb their anti-Israel activities or cease to have their sinecures funded at public expense.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Start with academics
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan has formed a legal team regarding BDS organizations, including those encouraged or promoted by Israelis (“Gov’t would like to punish Israeli BDS activists,” August 9).
Minister Erdan need look no farther than activists employed in academia by Israeli universities, in particular their social science departments. Some organize or participate in public BDS protests outside Israel, bringing their academic institutions into disrepute and, no doubt in many cases, prejudicing the availability of private scientific research funding for others in their institutions.
Surely, it must be possible to tell those whose salaries are funded by the state that they should either curb their anti-Israel activities or cease to have their sinecures funded at public expense.
Look at World Vision
With regard to your August 5 front-page piece “Shin Bet: Hamas infiltrated international Gaza aid group,” about World Vision diverting tens of millions of dollars to Hamas, Israeli officials played it down, suggesting that the Evangelical Christian charity was duped. Really? Tens of millions of dollars disappear and nobody notices? World Vision has gone to the ramparts and is running a full-frontal defense, demanding a “fair and legal process.” Denials of wrongdoing have been swift, as expected from a multi-billion-dollar organization with access to the best lawyers, accountants and PR flaks money can buy.
The charity has a dubious record regarding Israel. Its website lists dozens of countries, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, where child sponsorships are available ($39 a month and up); Israel is not listed. No needy kids here, right? Instead, there is a listing for “Jerusalem/West Bank/ Gaza.” That’s no country, but it is certainly a political statement.
In its brochure “Advocating for a Just Peace in the Holy Land,” World Vision lists among its local partners ultra-Left groups like B’tselem and Breaking the Silence, and declares: “WV is committed to supporting initiatives, whether exclusively Palestinian, Israeli or joint, operating from a framework of ‘co-resistance.’ We welcome Israeli actions that resist the occupation and work towards restoring rights for Palestinians living in Israel and the o[ccupied] P[alestinian] t[erritories].”
In its description of its mission for IRS Form 990, Schedule O, it states: “Motivated by our faith in Jesus Christ, we serve alongside the poor and oppressed as a demonstration of God’s unconditional love for all people. World Vision serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender.”
There are many Christian believers who adhere to such principles and sacrifice greatly for others with their time and resources. But “Christian” organizations that “lose” money that ends up buying weapons, tunnels built with child labor and otherwise sponsoring terrorism and war are motivated by something other than Jesus Christ.
Ours don’t matter
I was struck by the utter inconsistency in the arguments of the “Black Lives Matter” group in its foray into Israeli-Palestinian politics (“Making Palestinians ‘matter,’” Frontlines, August 5).
It is described as a “female-led social justice movement aimed at putting an end to police brutality and enforcing protection for the LGBT community.”
Do its members not realize that women and LGBT people have full human rights in Israel, while they have no human rights throughout the Arab and Muslim world, including so-called Palestine? Do they not realize that Palestinian homosexuals escape to Israel to save their lives? And what about the treatment of women? Do they not realize that women in Palestinian society and throughout the Muslim Middle East, where Shari’a law is often practiced, are considered chattel? In Saudi Arabia, women are not allowed to drive and cannot go out without a male relative; wives can be divorced on a whim, and they have no legal protection. Also, female genital mutilation is endemic in some Muslim societies.
They claim to be for human rights, but fail to see that there are none in the Palestinian areas where both Hamas (in Gaza) and Fatah (in the West Bank) murder each other’s adherents without due process and without mercy. This is real “police brutality.” By comparison, Israel is a haven of human rights and independent courts.
Their views are so far from reality that they are blinded by their politically correct bias, which apparently concludes that Israeli lives don’t matter.
Neither fair nor just
Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon proposes a new tax for owners of three or more homes and claims this is both fair and just (“Summary of budget proposals for 2017-2018,” Your Taxes, Business & Finance, August 5).
Under Kahlon’s proposal, the tycoon in his NIS 30 million home will pay zero extra tax, and a family living in a NIS 2 million apartment and owning, for their retirement or for housing other family members, two similar apartments will pay an extra NIS 18,000 per year. That is clearly neither fair nor just, and a citizen treated unjustly by his government will react accordingly.
It seems that although Kahlon took a management studies program at Harvard, he never had time to read Henry Thoreau. For example: “But it is the fault of the government itself that the remedy is worse than the evil.” The finance minister is trying to prove the truth of the old warning: There is no situation that is so bad that if the government gets involved, it becomes far, far worse.
Wrong description
In referring to the Duma arson attack last year that claimed the lives of three members of the Dawabsha family, Yaakov Katz, in “Jeffrey Goldberg, meet ‘The Jerusalem Post’” (August 3), wrongly describes the crime as a “Jewish terrorist attack.”
Evidence is mounting that the crime was carried out by Arabs.
The fact that other homes of the Dawabsha clan have been torched without any hint of involvement by Jewish extremists points to the likelihood that the arson attack a year ago, for which Jews were blamed, was also committed by villagers. It seems that the scrawling of Hebrew graffiti on the walls of the burned-out house was the only indication of Jewish guilt, and this certainly could have been the work of Arabs to mislead police.
In my view, the authorities were over-hasty in declaring the guilt of Jews for the crime, and the media was quick to follow suit, even coming out with comparisons between Israelis and Islamic State. Even today, when it is far from certain that the crime was committed by Jews, hardly any media outlet is prepared to speak up for the so-called Jewish extremists.
Higher office for Nir
With regard to “If Mayor Barkat forgets thee, O Jerusalem” (Snap Judgment, July 29), the city of Jerusalem was stained by its predecessors with a sad and sordid past of greed, graft and corruption. In contrast, the dedicated incumbent mayor of six years has shown an inspiring track record of character, perseverance and performance against the odds.
Nir Barkat is, in my opinion, an administrator displaying diplomacy in particular, where 40 percent of the city’s residents live in self-imposed poverty with negligible productivity. What individual has the ability, energy and guts to satisfy the demands of a disparate and expanding populace in a volatile city? I believe Barkat has passed his leadership apprenticeship to further his outstanding career for high office.