November 24: Lost self-respect

Since when did The Jerusalem Post become a mouthpiece for Arab propaganda?

letters good 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
letters good 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Lost self-respect Sir, - I was upset to see that even The Jerusalem Post lapsed into doublespeak in its editorial statement's misleading title, "Yes to 'salam'" (November 21). While most of the description of the "peace" advertisement is accurate, all the interpretations and assumptions made in the reader's name are upside-down. There is nothing "unprecedented" about this "offer" - all the public Arab "peace" overtures speak about is Israel giving up as the condition for Arab countries to make peace. Nobody is "tantalized" by yet another such "offer." The fact that the advertisement of this outdated Saudi declaration was purchased by the Palestinian Authority, when the Saudi monarchy cannot stand the "Palestinian" Arabs, should remind us that it is not even an offer from a source with any authority to make good on it, even if someone wanted to. President Peres may be a knight now, but the emperor has no clothes. TOM HARRIS Jerusalem Sir, - Since when did The Jerusalem Post become a mouthpiece for Arab propaganda? I was shocked to open Friday's paper and find a full page advertisement for the Arab Peace Initiative, a plan that demands everything from Israel in exchange for "full diplomatic and normal relations" with Arab nations (November 22). The "peace" initiative says nothing about concessions made on the Palestinian or Arab side. The initiative is essentially blackmail, where the Arabs give up nothing and gain everything. I hope the PLO and Arab backers of the plan paid the Post a good sum of money for the ad. What's next? Arab ads backing candidates for Israeli Prime Minister? KATE HALLGREN Jerusalem Sir, - There's no need to ask whether the Israeli newspapers who have agreed to publish Abbas's appeal to the Israeli public insisted on equal coverage for Israel's case in Arab newspapers ("Abbas reaches out to Israeli public," November 20). One of the things we have lost over the years is our self-respect. MEIR ABELSON Beit Shemesh Appreciation abroad Sir, - President Shimon Peres addressed an audience of 1,000 at Oxford university, and despite the hecklers received a standing ovation ("Peres: Land for peace, not land for rocket fire," November 20 and "Peres dedicates honorary knighthood to State of Israel," November 21). For many years he was viewed in Israel as a "loser" although this was never the case abroad. What a delight to see Israel with a dignified eloquent president being warmly received around the world. It's a pity it took so long for his qualities to be appreciated. JEFFREY MARLOWE Leeds, UK Worth nothing Sir, - The only time our present leaders "keep their promises" is when it comes to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's "goodwill gestures" to Mahmoud Abbas, which generally means increasing the number of terrorists who will strike and kill or hurt more Israelis in the future ("Olmert pledges to free 250 Palestinian prisoners," November 18). The excuse always is that these prisoners sign a document that says they "will not return to terrorist activities." But their signatures aren't worth the paper they're written on as there is strong statistical evidence that the majority return to terrorist activities. It is just like the cease-fire signed with Hamas, which they break with impunity, and all our leaders do is "cry wolf." How often can you do that and still think that Hamas believes you? MENACHEM DAYAG Tel Aviv Toward a Jewish minority Sir, - In regards to the letter by Helen Anisfeld ("Dressed up politics," Letters, November 23) stating that "There is no reason whatsoever… why there should not be a Jewish minority in a putative Palestinian state," she is suggesting a possible solution, as it is becoming ever more apparent that the West Bank settlements represent a major obstacle to any peace deal. Our government might propose a clause in the present Arab Peace Initiative to the effect that some Jewish West Bank towns, such as Ariel, will be allowed to remain under Palestinian sovereignty in the future Palestinian state. This could be considered a parallel arrangement to the Arab towns in Israel. The settlers could receive the option of becoming law-abiding Palestinian citizens with all the customary civil rights, including representation in the Palestinian parliament. Alternatively, they might also be allowed to retain their Israeli citizenship, with voting rights. Those of the settlers who would be disinclined to accept Palestinian sovereignty, would of course be welcome to return home. The option of remaining, would however, remove any unpleasant sting of deportation or expulsion. ZEEV RAPHAEL Haifa Final word Sir, - It was with some dismay that I saw your reporting of inaccurate comments by KKL-JNF World Chairman, Effi Senzler, in the Post regarding the legal dispute between KKL and JNF UK ("JNF in US, Israel end feud with agreement," November 17). Although you and your readers are aware that there was originally a legal dispute between KKL and JNF UK, the board of JNF UK decided earlier this year that for Zionist reasons it was appropriate for KKL to retain ownership of he JNF/KKL trademarks. That was one of the reasons why the court case in London was adjourned to allow the parties to negotiate a settlement of the dispute. It is therefore important that your readers should learn that a settlement agreement between the two organizations was actually signed by both parties in Jerusalem last week. It is untrue that, to quote your article, "the agreement has yet to be finalized." SAMUEL HAYEK Chairman, JNF UK London For health's sake Sir, - If it is the government's decision to ease the licensing of immigrant doctors and nurses, the immediate effect will be to undermine the quality of our medicine with deleterious effects on the health of our citizens ("Gov't to ease licensing process for immigrant doctors, nurses," November 12). Instead we have to attract local, quality individuals to the medical profession. For this to materialize the working conditions of underpaid and grossly overworked doctors and nurses has to undergo drastic reforms. Entrance qualifications to our prestigious medical schools should be eased thus allowing more students to be accepted. The proposal to have more lenient requirements only for medical students who want to serve in the army is ludicrous. Make the profession more remunerative and more accessible to future Israeli students without lowering the standards. The present pressurized work conditions and engrossed with the computer make it impossible to listen, take a proper case history, examine, prescribe and communicate adequately with patients. The case load of attending up to 30 patients per session can only cause mis-diagnosis and error. A recent article stated that 60 percent of serious diagnostic errors can occur at the first consultation due to this enormous pressure - a most frightening observation. We must elevate the Israeli medical profession to the esteem it enjoys throughout the Western world and so prevent our terrible brain drain. URI MILUNSKY AND H. HERZBERGER Netanya The Right way Sir, - The conclusion of the editorial "Barkat's Agenda," (November 14) includes the cute but patently false observation that "there's no right-wing or left-wing... way of picking up the garbage." Let me explain that yes in fact there is. The left-wing way to pick up garbage is to have city employees do it with city and Histadrut work rules and standards, wages, hours and non-flexibility. It involves snarling traffic during rush hour, strikes and considerations of worker seniority. The managers are concerned with their own career paths and not upsetting anyone in power. The right-wing way to pick up garbage is to have a proper bidding process among private contractors with hours and standards defined by the needs of the residents and with contractual provisions ensuring that the job gets done regularly and unobtrusively. The managers are concerned about fulfilling their contracts in order to remain qualified for the next bid. The Post should encourage the new mayor to choose the correct path. ISRAEL PIKHOLZ Jerusalem