March 16: J'accuse

I accuse all the women who went to Kiryat Malachi for not standing up for the most abused woman in that hall - Gila Katsav.

letters 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
letters 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
J'accuse Sir, - I accuse myself for not getting out of my chair in Jerusalem and running to Kiryat Malachi to give Gila Katsav a hug. J'accuse the talking heads on TV and radio for not mentioning her suffering. J'accuse all the women who went to Kiryat Malachi for not standing up for the most abused woman in that hall - Gila Katsav. J'accuse the "insulted" titans of the press for not looping their arms through Gila's and helping her leave that room where the fire and brimstone rained over her, running dry rivulets, burning her tearless eyes ("Katsav's 2-hour rant yields no bombshell," March 13). Last and most importantly: J'accuse this travesty of sound and light for taking even an infinitesimal amount of time and energy away from helping Gilad Schalit come home. JUDITH GUEDALIA Jerusalem That nagging urge to murder again Sir, - In "Time to pay Hamas's price" (March 12) Larry Derfner asserted: "We have nothing more to lose." Yet "Half the cabinet ready for Gilad deal" (March 13) noted that "According to Almagor [Terror Victims Association] 180 Israelis have been killed by terrorists released in past prisoner exchanges." More Israelis will almost certainly be murdered by some of the 1,450 terrorists Hamas wants released in exchange for Gilad Schalit. Is this "nothing more to lose"? Like every Jewish Israeli, I want Gilad back with his family; and if I was in their position I would be doing exactly the same as they are doing. However, our government has an overriding duty to look after all Israelis. In my opinion, the price being asked is too high. I am not against the release of so-called security prisoners to get Gilad back, but they must not include those serving life-terms for murdering our citizens. And that includes Marwan Barghouti. DANNY LEVITT Netanya Out of touch Sir, - "Should expats vote?" asked your March 15 editorial, and presented a few reservations. But one problem it left unmentioned arises from the dynamic nature of Israeli politics. A person who left the country a couple of years ago can find that the ballots now represent parties with new names; and even the old names may not stand for exactly what they used to politically. How is a citizen off in Kansas City supposed to know the policy differences between Habayit Hayehudi and the National Union - from watching CNN? Not only is it more difficult overseas to form an intelligent and sensitive opinion about the issues, it is also more difficult to turn that opinion into an intelligent vote. MARK L. LEVINSON Herzliya Ignoring the earthquake Sir, - Re "Berlin conference didn't lump Islamophobia with anti-Semitism" (Right of Reply, Yehuda Bauer, March 5): I am very grateful that Elie Wiesel took a position in The Jerusalem Post on the dispute about the Berlin Center for Anti-Semitism Research. He spoke carefully, in the conditional: "If indeed the Berlin Center downplays the Iranian anti-Semitic threat, it surely is deplorable." The Berlin Center is an important public institution with an international reputation. It should, especially in Germany, be addressing Iran's anti-Semitic threat energetically, so that politicians and industry understand why the increase in German exports to Iran in 2008 is inexcusable. In this area, the center has failed. To date, it has not published a single public statement on Iran's anti-Semitic threat. Whenever its director, Prof. Wolfgang Benz, distances himself from Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, he does so in general terms that do not address his anti-Semitism. To this day, the Iranian threat has not appeared in the center's numerous projects and classes. The terms "Ahmadinejad," "Hizbullah" and "Hamas" are not mentioned on the center's home page - as if their policies had nothing to do with the educational work of a "Center for Anti-Semitism Research." This is comparable to a group of earthquake researchers purposely ignoring an impending earthquake. Does the center intend to change any of this? The answer that Prof. Benz gave to this question when I asked him on December 8, 2008 was not very encouraging: He saw no need for justification nor change. MATTHIAS KUENTZEL Hamburg The writer is author of 'Jihad and Jew-Hatred: Islamism, Nazism and the roots of 9/11' (also published in Hebrew last year by Koren) and on the board of directors of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East. Unhelpfully shrill Sir, - Rabbi Abraham Cooper and Dr. Harold Brackman may be correct and insightful in their analysis of Sweden's attitude toward Jews and Israel ("Sweden's anti-Israel apartheid policy is about more than sport," March 9), but neither the shrill tone of their article nor their interpretation of the circumstances surrounding the recent Davis Cup tennis match between the Israeli and Swedish teams helps their argument. The match, after all, was not cancelled (as it happened, the Israeli team won); and by banning fans, the Malmö City Council punished the Swedish sportsmen no less than it did the Israelis. Calling the public safety rationale "nonsense" hardly makes sense - ironically, the writers themselves unintentionally offered proof for why the reasoning was sound: "The few dozen who attacked the police vans for the benefit of media coverage would have tossed the same projectiles had the stadium been packed with tennis fans." Had these projectiles hit (our) players on the pitch, the consequences would have been disconcerting at best, traumatic or even tragic at worst. EMANUEL KRASOVSKY Tel Aviv Sir, - I have little doubt that the anti-Israel fanatics would have been able to subject our sportsmen to great risk of significant physical harm - and the hurling of projectiles would have forced the abandonment of the match. The actions of the Malmö authorities allowed our players to achieve a great and meritorious victory, and we should be thankful for this, whatever the underlying sentiments. MONTY M. ZION Tel Mond Swedish support Sir, - I'm a 53-year-old chef in the south of Sweden and I support you all the way in the war against Hamas. The problem as I see it is that only a fraction of the Swedish population knows the history of Israel, which to the best of my knowledge started around 1896 or something when Jewish organizations started to buy land. If people here in Sweden, and perhaps in all of Europe, learned a little bit of the history creating the State of Israel, maybe they would think twice times before they support terrorists. LARS NILSSON Baystad, Sweden Sir, - I'm ashamed of the way you and your tennis players have been unjustly treated here in Sweden. I believe and hope that the majority of the Swedish population agree with me. BO-INGE SVENSSON Uppsala Fly and bye Sir, - As a retired nurse, no longer a taxpayer, my sympathies go to the country's workers, whose hard-earned money is being used to help finance multi-millionaire Rafi Eitan's eight-day "business" trip to London ("Costly farewell trip for outgoing minister," March 10). I'm glad I'm not contributing to this outrage. CLAIRE BEN-ALEXANDER Kiryat Bialik