April 18: Smelling like a rose

Everyone owes gratitude to government for handling of our enemies’ attempt to disrupt Ben-Gurion Airport.

Smelling like a rose
Sir, – Everyone owes a debt of gratitude to the government for its superb handling of our enemies’ nefarious attempt to disrupt the goings-on at Ben-Gurion Airport (“Israeli authorities pleased that ‘flytilla’ participants fail to disrupt airport routine,” April 16).
The hostile international media were deprived of the possibility of a violent flow of blood, which was the goal of the numerous pathological troublemakers.
Let us unite in thanking those whose difficult task it is to ensure public order. The Jerusalem Post deserves credit, too, for its restrained coverage.
It is nice for once to smell like a rose.
Sir, – The recent attempted flyin is just another mark of evil regimes of the Middle East that have kept their people in virtual bondage for many years. It is Israel that is holding out a beacon of light as to how a country in the year 2012 can function democratically.
There is no other nation in the Middle East and in most of the Western world that has Israel’s democracy.
It is this thought that so disturbs these propagandists, who want to bring about our country’s annihilation. They dare not allow a model of democracy to continue to exist to show the poor Arab people that Israel is a land of hope and that Arab nations are countries of despair.
The Western participants of the “flytilla” know that their own countries have failed them as well.
Sir, – Rather then using the occasion for public relations in our favor, we over-reacted. We should have let the activists come, greet them, and let them visit Bethlehem and other places as long as they behaved within the law.
We should have let them see our hospitals, with a large percentage of Palestinian patients.
Instead, we mobilized an exaggerated amount of forces.
The activists achieved their goal without even flying when they demonstrated at various airports abroad. Had they come, less attention would have been paid to them. It was a populist decision, like many, such as that declaring Günter Grass persona non grata, which made more noise then his abject poem.
Both of these events should have been used and exploited in a more professional manner.
Maybe there are just too many unqualified cabinet ministers
HENRY WEIL Jerusalem
Sir, – MK Haneen Zoabi (“Left-wing parties call on authorities to let ‘flytilla’ activists into country,” April 16) declares that our reaction to the fly-in proves that Israel violates the human rights of citizens around the world.
Zoabi has become an expert at distorting any and every action taken by Israel to continue to handle its crises in reasonable ways. “Preventing [activists] from entering the country,” she is quoted as saying, “will not stop them from continuing to fight for the Palestinians’ freedom.”
True enough, but let them continue this senseless, hate-filled battle in their own countries.
Would Zoabi or Meretz leader Zehava Gal-on allow people known to despise their family into their homes? Israel did what was lawfully possible and practical, and achieved its goal without violence or upheaval. On the other hand, the provocateurs achieved success by getting their pictures in the paper and having their cause publicized.
A win-win situation, I believe.
Street loos for all?
Sir, – It was encouraging to read about the new pay toilets (“Boutique pay toilet chain ‘2theloo’ debuts new Mideast ‘relief’ program in Tel Aviv,” April 16).
They include a stall for changing diapers. Is one of the stalls wheelchair-accessible?
More than ‘mufleta’
Sir, – Regarding “Happy Mimouna!” (April 15), my family likes to enjoy the Passover holiday in Israel. However, in recent years we have stopped participating in the Mimouna, which has become the holiday of the mufleta, or, as you describe it, “a North African Jewish pancake.”
We asked over a dozen people who were celebrating at different locations about the source and meaning of the holiday, and believe it or not almost all spoke enthusiastically only about the mufletot and the other holiday foods (although some went further and noted the belly dancers that have become such an integral part of the day).
In only one newspaper did I find a reference to the source for the holiday and mention of the Rambam’s father. How sad and painful that in Israel, of all places, the holiday has been so diluted and voided of its essence.
I’m not at all sure that the Rambam would have placed an emphasis on the mufletot or invited belly dancers.
No need for club
Sir, – “I’m not a Jew – just Jewish” was no more than a throwaway crack by Jonathan Miller in the revue “Beyond the Fringe,” which ran with great success in London and then on Broadway during the early 1960s (“Even our own,” Letters, April 15).
The show featured four young graduates from Oxford and Cambridge, the others being Peter Cook, Dudley Moore and playwright and author Alan Bennett.
It was revolutionary in its day and considered the inspiration for the subsequent wave of British satire, especially Monty Python and “Private Eye.” The revue took swipes at everything previously thought sacrosanct, such as the monarchy, the Church, the law, the government and, of course, the self-satisfied pomposity of the British in general.
I saw the show in London and, like everybody, was delighted by so many balloons being pricked so refreshingly. Alan Bennett's "fireside vicar” monologue, for example, was a classic dig at the fatuousness of the Church.
Now one of the world’s most respected theatrical directors, particularly of opera, Miller has publicly said that while never denying his Jewishness, he chooses not to practice its religion or identify with the community or Zionism. He is, however, vehemently Jewish when confronted with anti-Semitism and has never said anything that could be construed as making him a “self-hating Jew” – just one who has chosen not to be a “member of the club.”
If it had not been for Miller and his colleagues, “Life of Brian” would never have been made.
It’s unconstitutional
Sir, – You published an excellent editorial on April 12 (“Let Pollard go!”). It gives all the right reasons, from the immorality of the situation and the fact that all other spies of that era have long since been freed, to the fact that there is a lot more support now for Jonathan Pollard’s release.
But there is one fact that everyone seems to be forgetting. As groups of rowdy American seventh-graders have learned for years in civics class, the Constitution of the United States expressly forbids cruel and unusual punishment – which is what Pollard has been suffering for years. In other words, his plight is unconstitutional.
Enough, already.
Petah Tikva
Role model
Sir, – I was dismayed when leafing through the January edition of Blush (a Jerusalem Post supplement) to see the photo of a model casually smoking a cigarette.
Even if this is not actually illegal (and I suspect it is), surely as a society aren’t we beyond holding this sort of thing up as a role model to ourselves and our children?