January 28: Situation in Egypt

The Muslim Brotherhood’s bad traits, and in particular its anti-Jewish and anti-Israel inclinations, have a long track record.

Situation in Egypt
Sir, – Nothing can better highlight the absurdity of US President Barack Obama’s policy toward the emerging government of Egypt than the front page of the January 26 Jerusalem Post.
In a sub-headline to your lead story, “Egyptians mass in Tahrir Square to mark revolution’s anniversary,” we read: “Obama plans to accelerate pace of American aid to new government.”
You then refer us to “Muslim Brotherhood repeats: No talks with Israel,” a related article on an inside page.
It appears that Obama’s plans are not at all contingent on what emerges from the very murky waters of Egypt’s attempts to define its post-revolutionary political direction. We are told by the Muslim Brotherhood spokesman that dialogue with Israel is “not up for discussion.”
It is quite likely that anti-America and anti-West orientations are not far behind.
Sir, – The Muslim Brotherhood’s bad traits, and in particular its anti-Jewish and anti-Israel inclinations, have a long track record. Its entry into the Egyptian parliament now cannot bode well.
German scholar Matthias Kuntzel writes in his book Jihad and Jew Hatred: “From its founding in 1928 the Society of Muslim Brothers has been the driving force in the dramatic shift between a neutral or even pro- Jewish attitude in the Arab world to a rabidly anti-Zionist and anti- Jewish one. For today’s global Islamist movement the Muslim Brothers are what the Bolsheviks were for the Communist movement of the 1920s – the ideological reference point and organizational core which decisively inspired all the subsequent tendencies and continues so to this day.”
‘+972’ hits back
Sir, – Your piece “NGO Monitor slams German think tank for funding ‘+972’ blog” (January 26) reported an attack by NGO Monitor against the Heinrich Boll foundation for giving a grant last year to the online “+972 Magazine.”
Launched in August 2010, “+972” is an independent online news and commentary site operated by some 17 Israeli and Palestinian bloggers and editors.
Its writers do not hide their commitment to human rights and opposition to Israel’s occupation, but the group represents a range of backgrounds and political opinions often at odds with one another.
As part of its ongoing effort to delegitimize critical voices, limit public discourse and promote a narrow and nationalistic political agenda, NGO Monitor has accused the site of “demonizing Israel.”
Dissenting views should be debated, not silenced. The Jerusalem Post would do better service to its readers by not serving the anti-democratic agenda of organizations like NGO monitor.
NOAM SHEIZAF Tel Aviv The writer is editor-in-chief of “+972”

Look into this
Sir, – The excellent article by Tovah Lazaroff and Gil Hoffman on Migron (“Right-wing activists and politicians battle over Migron,” January 26) reports how Israel’s judicial system is manipulated by Peace Now and other NGOs, with the collusion of the state and the High Court.
Supporters of Migron charge that “Peace Now petitioned the High Court of Justice against Migron instead of appealing to a Magistrate’s Court because it lacked proof that the Palestinians owned the land. By turning to the High Court of Justice… Peace Now skirted the normal judicial process.”
If this is true it deserves to be fully investigated by the State Comptroller and the Knesset.
MOSHE DANN Jerusalem
Side by side
Sir, – What a refreshing change from the norm (“Men and women pray together for first time in Knesset,” January 26).
And about time, too! The fact that the idea of men and women praying together seems so strange to so many people is itself strange. There should be more of this sort of behavior in our land.
Kol hakavod to the men and women of the Masorti Movement who made this action possible.
More than fine
Sir, – With reference to your correspondent’s letter headed “One-eyed bandits” (January 25), I personally see nothing wrong in using speed cameras to deter speeding drivers, whether drunk, drugged or just plain reckless.
What is required in addition to a fine is a driving ban on these people for a period of time that is linked to the seriousness of their offense.
Defending the Voice Sir, – Is there no one among your readership to finally speak in defense of Israel Radio’s classical music programming? I find most of its offerings varied, interesting and illuminating.
One of the important functions of classical music radio is to educate listeners about what has been and is being written – even the “scratchings,” with which one reader apparently dismissed most 20th Century classical music. If I have a sudden craving for a Chopin nocturne (is this now the standard for classical music excellence?) while the station disdainfully dares to program Pulitzer-prize-winning Elliott Carter’s serial compositions, I can play a disc.
The public airwaves should offer a spectrum of music, just as talk stations offer a spectrum of political opinion. Music is for the mind no less than for the heart.
One does not open the latter by closing the former.
Sir, – In addition to welcoming Neville Teller to Israel after his aliya (“Switched off,” Letters, January 25), I would point out to him that the formula for Classic FM in the UK is 24 minutes of 4- minute snippets of music every hour, accompanied by 36 minutes of advertisements and the inane prattle of presenters who inform us, while mispronouncing names of composers and artists of whom they had never previously heard, that “this is my favorite piece of music” – like we wanted to know! The choices played are garnered from recent recordings of the record companies that sponsor the station – so we are likely to hear Vivaldi’s Four Seasons at least 10 times a week. Fine for those who, growing up on popular music, never thought they had the patience or stamina to listen to “classical music.” It is certainly not for serious lovers of fine music who would like to hear the whole of Tchaikovsky’s 5th Symphony, for instance , and not a slice of the “dramatic theme” from the first movement.
In all probability there is a market for this in Israel, too, but The Voice of Music certainly ain’t it.
Sir, – As a former professional classical singer I would like to disagree most strongly with the recent letters attacking The Voice of Music radio channel.
I have listened to similar stations in many capitals of the world and in particular in London, and I have no doubt that our station is second to none. Listeners have their own preferences (I, myself, would prefer less jazz), but one cannot please everybody. Some composers who are now part of the canon were vilified at the beginning of their careers.
Anybody who does not wish to expand his musical horizons and is satisfied with Eine Kleine Nacht Musiek is welcome to go to the mall and travel up and down in the elevators.
LOUIS GARB Jerusalem