May 21: Flipping the bird

As a former Mancunian, I would strongly urge the mayor and corporation of that great city to award Claire an emblematic bird of her very own – the cuckoo.

Flipping the bird
Sir, – Linda Claire, chairwoman of Manchester’s Palestine Solidarity Campaign, is upset that Israel’s national bird, the hoopoe, was featured in a newspaper’s quiz (“Anti-Israel activists slam UK daily for referring to Israel’s national bird,” May 18).
As a former Mancunian, I would strongly urge the mayor and corporation of that great city to award Claire an emblematic bird of her very own – the cuckoo.
Send them home
Sir, – At the risk of sounding callous and hard-hearted, I must say I believe all illegal African migrants (“The challenge of treating illegal African migrants,” Comment & Features, May 18) must be sent home. The phrase from Exodus “Do not oppress the stranger among us” is not a concept intended to force us to allow every illegal person who makes his way through our porous borders to remain here.
Most of these people are not refugees whose lives would be in danger if they were to be sent back. They come here to better their lives economically.
There are millions of such impoverished people. Does that mean we must accept all who make their way here? They are a burden on us financially and physically. It would be cheaper to send them home than to keep them here, where the cost for their medical care alone is more than the cost of a flight home.
Our government must not be afraid to act for the good of the country. It’s time it showed some backbone and acted to have these people removed.
FRANCES DASH Zichron Ya’acov
A line overstepped
Sir, – As a regular and devout reader of Sarah Honig’s weekly column Another Tack, I’ve always admired her “calling a spade a spade” approach. However, her Three Stooges column (“Every man for himself,” May 18) overstepped the line.
Criticize by all means, but within the framework of civility and good taste.
Kindness to animals Sir, – Legislation that would permit surprise inspections and the seizure of abused animals is a welcome step forward (“Knesset passes first reading of bill to strengthen fight against animal cruelty,” May 17).
Trained, certified inspectors from approved animal organizations should be allowed to seize abused animals. They are readily available and care more about animals than do the police. In addition, witnesses of animal abuse call them first.
Facilities in Jaffa selling horses for hauling carts and other purposes are in dire need of inspection.
As long as such atrocious conditions are allowed to exist, the ugly phenomenon of horses hauling heavy loads through city streets will persist.
The prevalence of abuse and absence of land and facilities to meet the needs of horses clearly demonstrate that the Agriculture Ministry’s plan to welcome the horse racing industry would only result in more abused, abandoned horses and the inability to pay for their care when they are no longer fast enough to win races.
Alexandria, Virginia The writer is a board member of the Israeli animal rights group Hakol Chai
Sir, – We certainly agree with the fight against animal cruelty, but as parents of a dairy farmer in the Jezreel Valley we were surprised to see the picture that illustrated your article.
These were not “tightly penned cows in a field,” as you stated, but rather newborn calves getting individual and caring attention. It is unfortunate that The Jerusalem Post didn’t use a more appropriate photo.
Misplaced protest
Sir, – Regarding “‘Nakba Day’ leaves soldier, 3 border policemen, 270 Palestinians wounded” (May 16), the United Nations partitioned Palestine into a Jewish state and Palestinian state. It is not our fault that the Palestinians turned the offer down.
There were those who fled and became refugees and those who stayed and today are Israeli citizens living well in Israel. The fact that the Arab countries have allowed the refugees to languish for 64 years is a crime. One day’s oil money would have sufficed to resettle them.
Thousands of Jewish refugees were left in displaced-person camps after WWII and were immediately helped by Jewish organizations to resettle and be absorbed elsewhere. Here is a thought for the Jewish students who commemorated Nakba Day with their Palestinian counterparts: Some may have had relatives who would have been grateful for the existence of a Jewish state to which they could have fled before WWII instead of being taken away to be murdered.
I am sympathetic toward the Palestinian Arabs because they have always been the pawns of powerful Arab countries. They should stop blaming Israel and call on their Arab brothers for help.
Egypt and peace
Sir, – Ray Hanania (“Egyptian democracy will undermine ‘peace’ with Israel,” Yalla Peace, May 16) states that the peace agreement with Israel did not have the backing of the Egyptian people.
There is no empirical way to prove or disprove his statement.
We went to Egypt as tourists in an Israeli group and were received very warmly – which again does not prove anything.
An equally valid hypothesis is that the Egyptian people at the time were happy to be relieved of the burden of Palestine and the loss of lives and treasure.
However, the gradual rise over 30 years in the strength of Muslim groups has led to the radicalization of the younger generation and a rise in hatred of Israel and Jews. Mubarak attempted to limit and contain this threat, but it burst loose upon his demise.
Sir, – Ray Hanania predicts that the “undemocratic” peace agreement signed with Egypt may be abrogated because “the Egyptian people never had a voice” in its adoption. He says the treaty never led to the regional peace that Sadat promised his people.
In order to achieve peace with its neighbor, Israel had no choice but to deal with that country’s leadership. The suggestion that a treaty entered into by a government the world recognized as Egypt’s legal representative will no longer be honored proves the wisdom of Israel’s caution regarding treaties with other Arab countries.
Pacts with Syria, Saudi Arabia and many other countries would be signed by Arab leaders who do not necessarily speak for their people.
Hanania recommends that Israel “genuinely embrace” peace with the Palestinians.
With whom should Israel reach an accord? The PA’s leaders are very possibly corrupt. They arrest journalists who criticize them, and may well be discarded at the next election. Gaza is ruled by a despotic terrorist organization that murders its citizens.
With Egypt as a precedent, Israel could end up compromising its own security in exchange for a paper that becomes meaningless if and when the Palestinian people are allowed to express themselves freely.
The reason for the treaty’s likely demise is not the continuing Israeli-Palestinian dispute. The fault lies with Egyptian (and other Arab) leaders who have inundated their people with anti-Semitic and anti-Israel materials for over three decades – convincing them that Israel remains their enemy. That is a major reason Sadat’s promised regional peace has not been realized.
One final point: If Egypt decides to scrap the treaty, shouldn’t the Sinai revert to Israeli control since it was a critical element of that “undemocratic” and therefore unenforceable agreement?
EFRAIM A. COHEN Zichron Ya’acov