February 3: No more Mr. Nice

The recent spate of anti-Semitic manifestations was predictable, and Israel shares the blame for it.

letters 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
letters 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
No more Mr. Nice Sir, - The recent spate of anti-Semitic manifestations seems to have shocked us all ("Jews in Cyprus witness spike in anti-Semitic acts," February 2). It shouldn't have; it was predictable, and Israel shares the blame for it. Why? We acted outside the expected parameters. The world had come to expect Jews to be "reasonable," to keep a low profile when provoked, or respond minimally. It became used to hearing Ehud Barak threaten a "major retaliation" for missile attacks, then do nothing. After eight years of our southern cities being bombarded, the worm turned. How dare Israel suddenly change established patterns with Operation Cast Lead? Far from returning to appeasement mode, we must show we mean business and maintain deterrence by responding forcefully and, yes, "disproportionately" to every terrorist attack. The message will soon hit home, in Gaza and internationally: Israel hits back. Hard. Mr Nice has gone. JOE FRANKL Savyon People who live in glass houses... Sir, - How weak the conscience of the international community is when it comes to "violations" by anyone other than Israel. For the record: In 1915 the Turks carried out one of the most barbaric acts of genocide ever on the Armenians during which they massacred more than 60,0000 civilians. They also deported a population of some 1.5 million to Syria and Mesopotamia. (Encyclopedia Britannica) More recently they bombed Kurdish civilians repeatedly, the reason being that this people wants independence from Turkey. Up until this day they have not withdrawn from part of Cyprus, which they invaded and subsequently "annexed" in their dispute with Greece. Are we to be taught lessons by such people? ("'Turkey can't broker peace talks with Erdogan as PM,'" February 1) E. MUNK Jerusalem ...shouldn't throw stones Sir, - I accuse the Turkish PM of hypocrisy. We Jews, who suffered a genocide of our own during WWII, have restrained ourselves in relation to the genocide carried out by the Turks against the Armenians during WWI because we were persuaded that it was politic not to affront our Turkish ally. However, following "Erdogan storms off stage after bitter spat with Peres at Davos" (January 30), where he accused our president as a symbol of Israel of "killing people" and added that "it is very wrong and it's not humanitarian," let us compare the numbers: In the Gaza war, some 1,300 people were killed, of whom around 1,000 have been documented by Israel as Hamas terrorists. Consequently, the number of civilians killed was only about 300. While this is tragic, it is about time Turkey owned up to the systematic murder of more than a million Armenian civilians, including women and children. The reason was clearly to remove the Armenians from their land within the Turkish Empire. Turkey has never admitted this atrocious crime, never paid reparations to its Armenian citizens, and has not returned the stolen land. JACK COHEN Netanya Sir - It is rather unfortunate that Shimon Peres did not present Prime Minister Erdogan, prior to the Davos World Economic Forum, with a copy of the Farewell Israel DVD. The Jerusalem Post is to be commended for providing this DVD free with its weekend edition. It is undoubtedly one of the best presentations available making the case for Israel based on factual history, and should be distributed worldwide. There is a definite need for a wake-up call relative to the growing establishment of militant Islam in most Western nations. The world failed to respond to the early signs of the Nazi regime; shame on us if we do not heed the words Never Again. ALEX ROSE Ashkelon The editor notes: The DVD insert was paid-for advertising, and not a Jerusalem Post editorial product. Election forecast Sir, - Re "Election candidates agree only on the need to stop Iran from going nuclear" (February 1): Congratulations to The Jerusalem Post and the other sponsors of the pre-election panel held at Jerusalem's Great Synagogue. There was so much hot air inside it met the cold air outside and resulted in rain - which the country certainly needs more than any promises made that evening. M. SCHAEFFER Jerusalem Forum for the unfair? Sir, - In "Winners and losers in Gaza: A Palestinian perspective" (February 2) Palestinian intellectual Daoud Kuttab calls Israelis "war criminals fighting a one-sided war" without once referring to Hamas for its crimes against humanity on its own people. As a long-time subscriber to the Post, I am bothered by your giving a forum to the twisted rhetoric and propaganda of a questionable journalist who seems to believe that Al Jazeera International is a fair and balanced network and that the IDF is a group of "chickens." Why not balance the scales by allowing someone from Kach to pen an article on their views? DAVID SAFIER Jerusalem Silent service Sir, - Joseph David's acceptance of the lack of God-talk at our official public functions ("We don't mention God," Letters, February 1) reminded me of the talmudic plea my father would cite in response to my frequent teenage expressions of doubts about God's existence: "Would that they (Israel) forsook Me, but kept my mitzvot." After all, in the megilla that we shall be reading next month on Purim, God is not mentioned except for the oblique reference that relief and deliverance will be forthcoming from "another place." ARYEH NEWMAN Jerusalem Cream of chicken Sir, - Osem's chicken soups have been discovered to have milk products in them, and Osem decides to recall them due to possible allergies? ("Osem recalls soup products over milk-powder concerns," February 2.) What about kosher concerns? Osem has kashrut certification, and it is appalling to think of what this means for the millions of kosher-keeping citizens, like myself, here and abroad. C. PINTO Ra'anana Good witch Sir, - Your correspondent should chill out a bit over having seen Margaret Hamilton (the Wicked Witch of the West) in a coffee commercial ("Witch's power," Letters, February 2). The late actress was in fact a truly good soul who for years was a popular guest at schools and on TV talk shows until her death in 1985. Except for her infamous role in The Wizard of Oz, she always played kindhearted characters. She took the witch's part to be in on a great motion picture. I must admit that the movie scared me out of my wits when I first saw it - I was eight - and over the years I have come to feel it is too frightening for children younger than 10. On the other hand, I think we as adults should be less agitated by movie characters and more by the truly evil real people out there, and maybe boycott their brand of coffee. In any case, too much caffeine isn't good for you. TREVOR DAVIS Asseret