January 10: Harsh reality

When the media recognize the women as victims, and the rapists as perpetrators, the harsh reality of the crime will be understood and the behavior might change.

Harsh reality
Sir, – When will each of the women Moshe Katsav raped be referred to as the “victim” and not just the “complainant” (“The presidential precedent,” Legal Affairs, January 7)? When the media recognize these and other women as victims, and the rapists as perpetrators, the harsh reality of the crime will be understood and the behavior might change. Each of these women is somebody’s daughter.
Spread the word
Sir, – Thank you so much for your fascinating article about MK Haim Amsalem (“Rabbi. MK. Heretic?,” Editor’s Notes, January 7). As a resident of London, I knew nothing about this man or the position he has adopted on so many pertinent matters affecting Jewry. He should be widely publicized across the Jewish world.
For the record
Sir, – Caroline Glick writes in “Agents of influence” (Column One, January 7) in reference to the death of Jawaher Abu Rahma from Bil’in, that her cousin and neighbor Ilham “told Britain’s Independent that the deceased was at home when the riot took place.” This is simply untrue, as even the most cursory reading of my story on January 3 would have clarified.
The report quoted Ilham as saying that during the demonstration she saw her cousin standing on a wall across the street from the house where Ilham was, and looking down toward a confrontation between local youths and troops – at a time when she, Ilham, was sufficiently troubled by both tear gas and “skunk” in the immediate area to go inside and shut the windows of the house.
I went on to quote Ilham as saying that her cousin collapsed in the street.
Glick’s interpretation of the events in Bil’in on December 31 is a matter for her, but she is factually wrong to claim that it is supported by the eye-witness account in the Independent’s report.
DONALD MACINTYRE Jerusalem The writer is Jerusalem bureau chief for the Independent
McCarthyism is here
Sir, – Regarding “Left-wing NGOs infuriated by Knesset decision to probe funding from foreign sources” (January 6), as a young boy growing up in the US, I watched the McCarthy hearings on television. Those days and hearings made an impression on me that I will never forget. It was clear to all of us that it was a witch hunt comparable to the Salem witch trials of the 17th century.
Just a few years after McCarthy, I found myself involved with those who had the courage to criticize their own society. Civil disobedience was considered a virtue. Marching the streets of Selma with Martin Luther King and tens of thousands of blacks and whites, participating in demonstrations in Washington against the Vietnam War, and even being jailed for such was nothing less than an honor.
I now live in Israel. Over my 40 years in the country I have voted center, center-left, left and center-right. I have been proud to join organizations that demand the highest standards reflected in the Jewish and Western traditions. For me, self-criticism is a Jewish value, and Israel as the Jewish state must be subject to self-criticism.
But today I find myself thrown back into the world of Salem, with a committee of “Un-Israeli Activities” about to be established by no less destructive a force. Before it is too late, we must call off this witch trial, this inquisition, this McCarthyism, this KGB spy trial, and prevent it at all costs. We must call it what it is: an attempt by a paranoid and hysterical political movement and its supporters in our government to gain the votes and support of anti-democratic forces in Israeli society that wish to return us to tragedies that history has ruled unacceptable.
We must stand together as a nation, Right, Left and Center, to demand that this agenda be prevented. I call on my fellow Israelis to prevent this source of evil from destroying all that we stand for.
Sir, – To be just and equitable, the proposed Knesset committee should investigate the finances of right-wing as well as left-wing NGOs. It should investigate Elad, for example, which finances archaeological excavations in the City of David, has built a big City of David visitor center to promote its version of history, and has been working for years to buy Arab property and Judaize Silwan – yet refuses to reveal its financial backers.
A high court petition has been submitted by citizens demanding that the group reveal its backers.
RUTH RIGBI Jerusalem
Failing schools
Sir, – I refer to the January 6 article (“Facebook allegedly at center of teen suicide and rape”) in which you report the suicide of a Jerusalem-area teen as the result of nasty comments on Facebook.
You failed to report all the facts. The truth is that this boy was being tormented brutally at school by his classmates. This behavior was known to his teachers, principal and guidance counselor, who stood idly by and let it happen.
Where are the rules, guidelines and respect our educators are supposed to be passing on to the younger generation? If our educators keep failing, what can we expect in the coming years?
JOYCE KAHN Petah Tikva
Take note, Bibi
Sir, – I was most favorably impressed with Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s in-depth analysis of the Turkish-Israel impasse, its history and its ramifications (“We will not be Turkey’s punching bag,” January 6).
I would like to see Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu display a similar leadership role and likewise articulate support for his nation’s right to maintain its territory free of violence, to maintain safe and secure borders, and to build on any part of its territory conquered in defensive wars. I would like to hear him speak truth to power, and to refuse to negotiate on any permanent status goals with any nation that refuses to recognize the State of Israel as a home for the Jewish people. I would like to see him take a stand on the duplicitous policy of the Palestinian Authority in glorifying terrorists by naming streets and edifices for them, and by educating their youngsters in schools and via the media to hate Israel and its people.
I would like to see our prime minister maintain a firm stance that reflects his position as a proud leader of the nation of Israel. When he does that, he will be respected among his own people and among the nations of the world.
Made her day
Sir, – Thanks, Jerusalem Post – your January 6 issue helped me prove a point!
I told hubby that I would only read positive items in the paper. He said I wouldn’t find any. But I did. One was about ZAKA (“Zaka establishes ATV unit to fight fires in the North”). The other was about Quinoa (“Quinoa’s popularity boon to Bolivia,” Business & Finance).
I’m going to cook some Quinoa now, while feeling secure that future fires won’t involve needless loss of life.
Zionists, not ghosts
Sir, – You have reported several times that the mayor of Jerusalem and officials elsewhere have been accusing so-called “foreign owners” of apartments and houses of creating “ghost cities.”
The owners of these homes are Jews, our brethren, who might have bought vacation homes in Florida or the Cote d’Azure. They chose Israel. In the past we would have called them “Zionists.”
The Israeli real estate companies that offered them these dwellings did the right thing. They helped create links between families in the Diaspora and Israel.
Tel Aviv
The photograph used in Barry Davis’s January 4, page 24 article “Riffing at windmills” of Ido Bukelman was taken by Guy Eisner.