March 18: Unhealthy sign

Sad that the conclusion of each round of voting for pope was indicated by pollution. They could have chosen the ringing of church bells.

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Lies and fabrications
Sir, – “Obama estimates Iran is a ‘year or so’ away from nuclear bomb if it decides to develop one” (March 15) quotes the US president as saying with regard to Jonathan Pollard that he will “make sure that he [Pollard] – like every other American who has been sentenced – is accorded the same kinds of review and same examination of the equities that any other individual would be provided.”
Obama added that his first obligation was to uphold the laws of the United States and see to it that they are “applied consistently. ...I have to make sure that every individual is treated fairly and equally.”
Regarding Pollard this, too, is a glaring falsehood.
How can it be that Barack Obama makes public statements that are blatant fabrications and no one is screaming liar? BELLE RUBIN Jerusalem Figure in morals Sir, – Pinchas Landau’s percipient analysis (“The African enigma,” Global Agenda, Business & Finance, March 15) explains why a continent endowed with great natural and human resources does not look set to step out of the Dark Ages.
The continent’s material advance has repeatedly been blocked by moral recession.
Surely, this failure is emblematic of a global failure to advance. Thus, Landau need not stop at Africa.
Week after week his column eloquently outlines the dynamics of global economic stagnation.
He might add moral terms to his economic analyses. The moral failure that dogs Africa dogs the developed world and impedes its resolution of even the most basic economic problems.
The figures for physical, sexual or emotional violence in Africa in both the domestic and wider civil arena are not that far in advance of comparable violence in the developed world. In the eastern cape region, 27 percent of men admit to being rapists. The developed world, of course, does not reach such figures.
However, when also examined within sub-populations rather than in terms of national risk rates, pockets of sexual violence can be just as readily identified.
The fall of Dominique Strauss- Kahn, for example, was surely representative of comparable regressive processes in the system that gave him nurturing and support. The same applies to Oscar Pistorius. His fall in South Africa is emblematic of a fictional divide between the developed and non-developed world. Both are equally bemired in at best a moral vacuum, and at worst a moral waste bin.
Views of peace
Sir, – The Observations section of the March 15 Jerusalem Post was full of articles about the “two-state solution”: French Ambassador Christophe Bigot’s “In pursuit of peace: The view from Paris” (in favor), columnist Sarah Honig’s “Out of the box, Obama” (against) and Im Tirtzu founder Ronen Shoval’s “A real solution to the conflict” saying it has all been an irrelevant shibboleth.
With all due respect, the ones who really got it right were the Greeks with their wooden horse subterfuge, which enabled them to sack Troy.
Even the most fervent Zionists (or Jews) should not wish the Arab “Palestinians” harm. However, we would ignore their real role at our peril. That hapless populace is not truly viewed today by the Islamic world as a “nation-in-waiting,” but as its potential Trojan horse to serve as the narrow entering wedge for nothing less than the elimination of the “cancerous” Zionist entity in its midst.
Sir, – French Ambassador Christophe Bigot is wrong when he says the solution for peace is known and that only the details remain to worked out. Ronen Shoval has it right.
A Palestinian state, regardless of borders, won’t bring peace.
The actions of European countries indicate that their goal is not peace but a Palestinian state with the borders they decide are appropriate.
These countries do not wish to address the huge problem of Islamic fundamentalism and the terror it produces (at least with regard to Israel and the Palestinians).
Thus, their advice and socalled work for peace lead exactly in the opposite direction.
Treating a symptom and not a disease often makes the disease worse.
Sir, – I suggest that The Jerusalem Post run a contest and offer a prize to the first reporter who can name one action (not a statement or an agreement, which is never kept) that the Palestinians have done to give Israel confidence that they want to live in peace. Until that happens we should grant absolutely no more concessions or so-called confidence-building measures.
It is now time for the Palestinians to come forward with confidence- building measures, and this should emphatically be relayed to US President Barack Obama. If he comes up with such an action, maybe the Post will give him the prize.
Ariel left out
Sir, – I protest the decision by the White House to exclude those studying at Ariel University from attending the upcoming speech by US President Barack Obama to Israeli university students (“Ariel students protest their exclusion from Obama speech,” March 14).
Ariel University’s doors are open to Jews and Arabs. Its teachers do not incite or propagate disinformation or misinformation.
From everything I have heard they are committed to all the norms of truth and open inquiry in their classrooms. (I would like to believe these norms are adhered to in other universities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.) Whatever term one uses to describe the land on which Ariel University sits (West Bank, disputed territories, Judea and Samaria, occupied Palestinian territories, Palestinian Authority, Palestine), the ban excludes individuals on the basis of who they are, not what they do – a recognized violation of human rights and an early warning of possibly worse to come.
Excluding Ariel University’s students is a dangerous first step down the slippery slope of endorsing a Palestinian state that will be judenrein. If the White House does not revoke this ban, it will be signaling to Israelis and Palestinians that it is a complicit enabler to a judenrein state, thereby kindling suspicions as to the seriousness of the administration’s commitment to an agreement in keeping with core principles of respect, live-and-let-live and tolerance for all.
In fact, were I a Palestinian hoping for a full Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank, I would be organizing petitions to revoke this wrong-minded, witless ban given the unsettling message it telegraphs to all.
President Obama, revoke the disgraceful and ethically flawed decision to ban students from Ariel University from participating in the meeting you will be holding with Israel’s university students.
The writer is a professor at the Hebrew University-Hadassah School of Public Heath and Community Medicine
Unhealthy sign
Sir, – With regard to “Argentina’s Bergoglio elected as Pope Francis I,” March 14), I thought it was sad that the conclusion of each round of voting for a pope was indicated by pollution: black smoke or white smoke. They could have chosen the ringing of church bells.
Hopefully, this pope will choose a healthier path.
CORRECTION The photo appearing in “Israeli lawyer goes after Abbas, Hamas at ICC” (March 15) was of attorney Mordechai Tzivin, and not as stated.