March 20, 2017: Different percentile

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked’s recommendation regarding Ehud Olmert (“Shaked asks Rivlin to consider commuting Olmert’s sentence,” March 17) is misguided.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Different percentile
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked’s recommendation regarding Ehud Olmert (“Shaked asks Rivlin to consider commuting Olmert’s sentence,” March 17) is misguided.
You report that the basis for her recommendation is “the former prime minister’s unique contributions to the state’s national security....” In modern Hebrew, this would be termed teruma.
I believe that Olmert should be judged in biblical terms, where teruma was assessed at an average level of 2%. That’s because he managed to line his pockets with ma’aser (tithing), a level of 10%.
Too much Left
I usually agree with The Jerusalem Post editorials. But regarding “Public broadcasting imperative” (March 17), I agree with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who you say “seems to believe that the media have enormous power to influence public opinion.”
Netanyahu claims that “when you turn on Chanel 2 – Left, and when you turn on Chanel 3 – Left interviewing Left.” He forgot to mention all the leftists in your paper, such as columnists Douglas Bloomfield Jeff Barak, Gershon Baskin, Susan Hattis Rolef and others. I think it is imperative that you limit leftist influences.
We have enough enemies all over the world. We don’t have to feature our leftists. Netanyahu is right: “This government has had many successes, but there is one place where you will not hear about them – the media.” That’s sad.
Confused indeed
Melanie Phillips’s “How the monstering of Donald Trump has confused the Jews” (As I See It, March 17) is highly informative, but at the same time very questionable.
Phillips reviews two main issues: the conservatives’ dilemma in digesting the global revolution now taking place, especially wi th regard to Jewish concerns, and the US president’s dangerous character, lack of truthfulness and general instability. She concludes, though, by writing that he’s a “true ally of the Jewish people.”
While I respect Phillips’s consistent championing of Israel and Jewish values, on this issue she is totally wrong.
Concerning Judeo-Christian values, we have countless evidence that such arguments have been used as cover for despotism, tyranny and the suppression of freedoms throughout history. Jews are endangered not by the Left, but by the so-called alt-right. Islamofascism indeed must be fought, but not replaced with western fascism.
As for Trump’s volatile and unhinged personality, neither Israel nor organized Jewry can depend on this deranged narcissist. The US system of separation of powers is the only bulwark against the cult of personality now taking place.
No, Ms. Phillips, Jews do see this. And that is why they are very confused.
Melanie Phillips states that US President Donald Trump “appears emotional, self-absorbed and impulsive. He shoots his mouth off over something he’s seen or heard on TV or talk radio which as often as not turns out to be false. All this is alarming and indefensible.” Yet she concludes by writing: “Donald Trump, despite his manifold flaws, is a true ally of the Jewish people.”
Ms. Phillips is the one who is confused. Trump is not an ally of the Jewish people, regardless of an intersection of agendas. In the larger picture, it simply cannot not turn out well to be aligned with such a man.
As the world learns what New Yorkers have long known, it is at his very essence that Trump is monstrously noxious, and it would serve the Jewish people well – Israelis in particular – to keep their distance.
New York
The real Rajoub
Yaakov Katz’s neutral-at-best portrayal of Palestinian Authority official Jibril Rajoub (“Departing peace?” Editor’s Notes, March 17) misleads readers, however unintentionally, concerning this notorious anti-Israel inciter.
While Katz does mention Rajoub’s background as a convicted terrorist and cites his inflammatory terming of the settlement communities a “malignant cancer,” I wonder at the overall impression we are left with that he might turn out, after all, to be a well meaning peace partner in the post-Abbas era.
Katz says that “Rajoub is worth listening to” as the possible next PA president, and I agree. So in that spirit, I offer a sampling of virulent Rajoubisms from among the scores in my Palestinian Media Watch-enriched database to inject a bit more reality into the discussion:
• “I swear that if we had a nuke, we’d have used it [against Israel] this very morning” (Al Mayadeen, April 30, 2013).
• “Israel understands only the language of kidnapping” (Wattan News Agency, June 19, 2014, just after the abduction and murder of Israeli teens Naftali Fraenkel, Gil-Ad Shaer and Eyal Yifrah).
• “[Terror attacks are] acts of bravery, I am proud of them” (PATV, October 17, 2015).
• “[Terrorist murderers are] heroes and a crown on the head of every Palestinian” (PATV, January 2, 2016).
Before Rajoub is mistaken for yet another so-called Fatah moderate – an appearance he looks to be cultivating even as he repeatedly characterizes normalization with “Nazi” Israel as “treason” and a “crime against humanity,” perhaps we’d be better off heeding the exhortation of Caroline B. Glick, whose column on the same page is headlined “Know thine enemy.”
The writer is director of the Israel office of the Zionist Organization of America.
Who is this Jibril Rajoub that his picture deserves to appear on the front page of your March 16 issue? This is a real disgrace for The Jerusalem Post.
Clearly biased
In response to “An end to the grievance-based approach” (Comment & Features, March 14), four little words: The Good Friday Agreement.
A negotiated settlement that was agreed to in 1998 brought to an end 30 years of sectarian conflict in Ireland and England. Note that England did not negotiate with terrorists.
There are other examples for success or failure for the two approaches (negotiation vs. war in the specific case where one of the actors is a terrorist organization). The point is that A.J. Caschetta doesn’t even attempt to produce an honest evaluation of the two approaches. In that regard, the piece is clearly biased.
Needs more work
The Jerusalem Post
has been full of items applauding Mobileye as a technological innovation, and rightly so. However, I have grave doubts that the writers have actually driven a car with Mobileye installed, because while it is a great innovation, it’s not perfect.
As someone who just bought a new car with Mobileye, I find it quite distracting and tend to turn it off before driving (for safety reasons – it doesn’t accept commands when someone is driving). Yes, the speed, lane deviation and inter-vehicle distance warning modes help make sure you pay attention to your driving, however the alarm mode that warns you are going to crash into an oncoming or stationary vehicle is dangerous.
When driving along Jerusalem’s Ben Zvi Boulevard, the road does a left-right joggle. Driving in Israeli traffic is quite exhilarating without the sudden distraction of the alarm warning you are about to crash into parked cars. On winding roads, I prefer to pay attention to my driving without intermittent warnings of impending doom.
So while Mobileye is a great idea, it needs more development before being implemented in autonomous vehicles that will perform emergency stops every time they drive down Ben Zvi Boulevard.