October 10: The Jewish lens

“The ‘Jewish’ side of Steve Jobs” was a sad example of Jewish ethnocentrism.

The Jewish lens
Sir, – I was puzzled to compare the front pages of Friday’s Jerusalem Post and Haaretz.
In Haaretz the main headline was “The man who changed our lives,” referring to Apple’s late creative visionary, while the Post wrote only at the bottom of the page about “The ‘Jewish’ side of Steve Jobs” (October 7).
I’m afraid this is a sad example of Jewish ethnocentrism.
Nobel pride
Sir, – Congratulations Israel and Prof. Daniel Shechtman (“Technion’s Shechtman becomes nation’s 10th Nobel laureate,” October 6).
There are many of us in Sweden who are very proud and honored by the Swedish Nobel Prize in Chemistry given to Prof. Shechtman.
Despite all the security problems, terror and hostile neighbors in Israel, Prof. Shechtman has contributed to the well being of all mankind.
Welcome to Stockholm to receive the Prize.
Stockholm, Sweden
Done mollifying Abbas
Sir, – I read in your newspaper how the US and European Union condemn Israel every time it dares build homes for Jews in Jerusalem (“Europeans asking Netanyahu for another settlement freeze,” October 6).
On the other hand, they believe Muslims should be allowed to build homes all over the Holy Land.
These democracies do not believe in equal rights for Jews in their own ancient historic capital.
But the Palestinian demand for a right of return for millions of Palestinians into the pre- 1967 borders of Israel, beside a state in the post-1967 lines, is so clearly indicative of the Palestinians not having a true desire for peace but rather the old PLO plan of destroying Israel in phases. Especially as this refers to land that the Palestinians left over 60 years ago, and labels the children and grandchildren of those who left as refugees.
Why don’t the US and EU equally, or at all for that matter, say any Palestinian refugees would need to go to a Palestinian state, not Israel?
New York, New York
Sir, – The European Union is again asking Israel to stop building in order to mollify Abbas. I have an even better idea.
The first freeze suffocated Israeli families and led to zero results. How about demanding that Jewish women beyond the Green Line freeze getting pregnant, or having babies, for at least nine months? Settlers in outposts... 18 months.
That should definitely satisfy US President Barack Obama and the European Union.
Worth the price
Sir, – Like many Israelis, I am frustrated with the high cost of living and difficulty of getting around, but I must respectfully disagree with your call for lower gasoline prices (“The price of gas,” Editorial, October 6).
The gasoline we buy not only fuels our enemies, but pollutes our air and allows landscapes to be consumed by highways and parking lots. As high as the price of gas is, it is a small price to pay to protect our beautiful land.
I would thus suggest redirecting our efforts toward demanding better alternatives to the car, making our cities more compact and lowering the cost of the more basic necessities in life.
Ma’aleh Adumim
Fact check
Sir, – A newspaper’s credibility is based on its accurate reporting of facts. A cursory reading of the October 5 edition revealed two bloopers.
Oren Kessler and Yaakov Katz (“US defense chief urges Egypt to free American-Israeli ‘spy’”) referred to Gary Ackerman as a Senator. Mr. Ackerman is, of course, a member of the House of Representatives, not of the Senate.
Then, Mairav Zonszein, (“Israel is a pawn in American electoral politics,” Comment & Features) cites an article in the New York Times Magazine calling Obama “The First Jewish President.”
Interesting, except this article did not appear in the New York Times, it appeared in New York Magazine, a completely different kettle of fish.
Ray’s revisionism
Sir, – Yalla peace? I don't think so. Ray Hanania’s revisionist history knows no bounds (“The difference between Arafat’s pride, Abbas’ humiliation,” October 5).
Arafat was such a searcher for peace? What about the 3 no’s of Khartoum: No negotiations, no reconciliation, no recognition.
Then, after his duplicity at Oslo, and then after Barak offered him what he wanted, what did he do – instigated the second intifada, which killed over 1,000 Israelis and made life much worse for his people.
And is Abbas a searcher for peace? At the UN, he did not mention the Jewish people once in his speech, as if we have never had any connection to the land of Israel.
Yes, Ray, such pride in Arafat and Abbas is so altruistic.
Sir, – Hurray, finally a Ray Hanania piece that I am glad to see! Hanania always hides behind the “even-handed” approach to mask his support for a Palestinian state, that would continue to try to destroy us.
But here he unwittingly, I assume, proclaims his pride in recalling that murderer Arafat play out his revolting theatrics at the UN in 1974.
And, he claims that Israel has never been willing to offer the Palestinians significant tracts of land for a state of their own – a bald-faced lie.
In case you missed it, Ray, we have been offering the Palestinians land since the San Remo Conference in 1920. And, with each offer we have gotten back war, terrorism, hatred, etc.
That is why Netanyahu has it so right: Recognize us a Jewish state, and then we’ll negotiate!
Anchorage, Alaska
Sir, – In expressing his admiration for Yasser Arafat, Ray Hanania ignores the reality of the man and turns history on its head.
He describes Arafat’s 1974 appearance before the UN as a “noble declaration” by a man “willing to compromise.”
But Arafat was the first leader in history to appear before the UN while wearing a holster.
His entire speech reaffirmed the Palestinian rejection of Israel, and condemned Zionism as “an ideology that is imperialist, colonialist, racist; it is profoundly reactionary and discriminatory.”
In this context, he issued a clear threat if the world did not accept his vision of an undivided Palestine: “Today I have come bearing an olive branch and a freedom fighter’s gun. Do not let the olive branch fall from my hand.”
Only in paragraph 75 did Arafat offer a single concession, saying that those Jews already present would be allowed to live in the new Palestine. Interestingly, the PA has since retracted this offer.
“Yalla Peace” indeed!
Zichron Ya’acov
Sir, – I really do not recall that the Jews blew up buses or restaurants when Arafat was busy with his olive branch in the UN. I do recall my friends being blown to bits in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
How dare Ray Hanania say that Israel never responded properly to Arafat. We let him back into Ramallah from Tunisia and got blown to bits for that.
I remember a time when we used to visit Kalkilya and Nablus and even Jericho, to visit and to shop. This all stopped after the so-called peace process when intifada one and two got into full swing.
The Six Day War was thrust upon us. We never wanted it but, so sorry, we won. By the way wasn't the West Bank really Jordan? Why didn't King Hussein give Arafat a state way back in 1948. It’s amazing how Hanania rewrites history to suit himself.
Petah Tikva