September 3: There on page 1

Your editorial “NAM summit turnaround” (August 31) really needs a rethink. It hasn’t backfired at all. Go and read Herb Keinon’s analysis on Page 1 in the same issue, “NAM’s chilling message.”

letters 150 (photo credit: Courtesy)
letters 150
(photo credit: Courtesy)
There on Page 1
Sir, – Your editorial “NAM summit turnaround” (August 31) really needs a rethink. You are too optimistic. You end with, “Thankfully, Tehran’s attempt to exploit the summit to advance its interests has backfired.”
It hasn’t backfired at all. Go and read Herb Keinon’s analysis on Page 1 in the same issue, “NAM’s chilling message.”
Lack of criticism...
Sir, – Having seen the basketball game between Israel and Montenegro, I was disappointed by the lack of criticism in Allon Sinai’s “Blue-and-white can’t close out Montenegro” (Sports, August 31), which should have been directed at Israeli coach Arik Shivek, whose team was completely out-coached by Luka Pavicevic.
Montenegro repeatedly used the pick-and-roll, which the Israeli team seemed completely incapable of handling. Despite having quality players, not using a competent switching team defense repeatedly led to many unchallenged and easy baskets for Montenegro.
That could only implicate the coaching staff for failing to prepare the team for Montenegro’s well-oiled offense.
...but not bias
Sir, – A few weeks ago, Channel One gave us fantastic coverage of the London Olympic Games. Now the Paralympics have started and what do we get? A slap in the face for these fantastic people who have to overcome not only physical and mental disabilities but also the stupid bias of those in charge of Israel Television.
Think of it – a whole 45 minutes of a sporting event that brings Israel better results than the Olympic Games, as well as soccer and basketball games.
The prejudice of those who decide what we see must come to an end at Israel Radio and Television, for which we all pay a heavy licensing fee.
Lying statistics
Sir, – Our unemployment statistics (“Unemployment rate plummets,” Business & Finance, August 31) recognize only those who are unemployed and receive unemployment benefits.
The minute one ceases to receive these benefits he is immediately removed from the statistics, even if still unemployed.
No wonder our unemployment statistics look deceivingly better than OECD and other Western countries. No wonder the oft-used expression, “statistics lie.”
The public should demand realistic statistics in these hard economic times. We are being provided with statistics that have lulled the finance minister and the public into believing that the labor market is functioning well.
The bit about God
Sir, – The August 31 Post was replete with messages about Israel’s political ineptness, but no statement was more descriptive than Hirsh Goodman’s (“A state of temporary affairs,” PostScript, August 31): “For [Israel] to be a Jewish state, it must accept pluralism, and God must be removed from government no matter what the rabbis say.”
It is the absence of Torah teachings in this God-given Jewish state that is the problem. The corruption, the dominance of self-interest, the lack of willingness to define the state as Jewish are the problems.
What could possibly be Jewish that is not inherently God? And, yes, equating rabbis intrinsically with God, that is a problem as well.
Sir, – Hirsh Goodman seems to have worked himself into a migraine over the “outlaws” of Migron who are constantly spitting at the rest of us. Worse still, he sees the country falling apart at the seams and declares his vision that Israel, if it’s to be seen as a Jewish state, “must accept Jewish pluralism, and God must be removed from government.”
There are those who look at a glass of water and see it as half-full.
There are those who see it as half-empty. Goodman doesn’t see the glass at all – unless it’s his glass.
Keep channel going
Sir, – It would be a great loss if Channel 10 closed (“Channel 10 closure would endanger democracy, Rivlin warns, calling for gov’t to spread out debt payment,” August 30).
Though some of its programs are quite below average and certainly should be cut, the channel’s evening news, as well as its political, economics and Arab-affairs analysts, are outstanding.
It would be a real loss for the quality and balance of reporting on television.
Because they’re settlers
Sir, – The press has been replete with shrill reportage and condemnation of the boys who allegedly threw the firebomb that hit an Arab taxi (“Court orders teenage suspects in firebombing held for 5 more days,” August 28). Contrary to the traditions of intellectual honesty and the principle of innocent until proven guilty that is common to most Western democracies, the community of Bat Ayin and these three boys have already been tried and convicted as terrorists.
Op-eds and letters to the editor, including those published in The Jerusalem Post (“The Bat Ayin boys,” Letters, August 29), indicate that many have already concluded that the detainees and, indeed, the entire population of Bat Ayin are guilty of heinous charges – that have not even been filed! Innocent until proven guilty apparently has had its day. The new nostrum is innocent until merely suspected, especially if you’re a settler.
A Chilean reply
Sir, – Following statements made by the president of the Jewish community in Chile, Shai Agosin, to The Jerusalem Post about a supposed deterioration of ties among the 18,000 Jews living in Chile and the approximately 400,000 Chileans of Palestinian origin (“In Chile, Jewish community faces new dangers and old fears,” August 24), the Palestine Federation of Chile responds as follows: 1. Both communities have always lived in harmony despite the conflict in the Middle East.
Among individual members there have always been relationships, especially in business, but this does not mean that they ever expanded to bonds of friendship or closeness between the communities themselves. Something that has never existed can hardly deteriorate.
2. Legitimate political criticism of a country, in this case Israel, cannot be equated with discrimination or disqualification on grounds of race or religion, which we have never done. Our criticism is not directed against Jews but against the State of Israel for its ongoing policy of usurpation, humiliation, expulsion and aggression against the Palestinian people, and the constant violation of their political and human rights. That policy is a direct result of the Zionist ideology that denies the existence of the Palestinian people.
3. To imply, as does Agosin, that our anti-Zionist position equals anti-Semitism ignores the fact that those of Arab origin are also Semites; therefore, we can hardly be anti-Semitic.
4. Agosin’s assertion about remaining even-handed in viewing the conflict is not consistent at all with his comments concerning Palestinian community leaders. Lately, in social networks in Chile, he has been issuing uncouth disqualifications referring to these leaders, including that they are “necktie terrorists.”
In light of such “arguments” of Zionism, it is not surprising that relations are not what Agosin would like them to be.
MAURICIO ABU-GHOSHSantiagoThe writer is president of the Chilean Palestine Federation.