May 12: Raising eyebrows

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Raising eyebrows
While I can live with most of what MK Ayman Odeh said (“Odeh: Netanyahu’s extreme right-wing coalition is a danger to Israeli Arabs,” May 10), one quote should raise eyebrows and be cited as grounds for possible treason. In the second paragraph, the head of the Knesset’s Joint List faction is quoted as saying: “If dialogue with the government doesn’t succeed, then the Joint List will endeavor to join the global struggle [against Israel].”
Criticizing the emerging government is okay, as that’s a feature of the opposition’s role.
However, stating publicly that he and others will fight against Israel is definitely crossing a line.
Odeh swore to uphold the country’s laws and serve it to the best of his ability. This is how he does it? An appeal to the attorney-general would probably do no good. Look what happened with Odeh’s fellow Joint List MK Haneen Zoabi, who was allowed to run for Knesset even though she actually did join the enemy during the Mavi Marmara flotilla.
She also disrespected Arab policemen.
These two people are the best counter-arguments to charges of “Israeli apartheid” that there can be!
Get over it
Chutzpah strikes again! As you report in “Yesh Atid vs. Litzman” (News in Brief, May 7), Yesh Atid and former health minister MK Yael German have the audacity to petition the courts against the appointment of United Torah Judaism MK Ya’acov Litzman as deputy health minister. This, from a person who barred the fluoridation of drinking water in the face of massive medical and scientific evidence to the contrary.
Litzman served earlier as a deputy health minister and was highly regarded as a very effective public servant.
Ms. German, you’re out (to the plaudits of the Israeli public), so get over it and stop trying to interfere with the conduct of good government.
Inconvenient facts
Regarding your May 7 editorial “Anti-Semitism in Argentina,” of course there’s anti-Semitism in Argentina, and has been at least since the Simon Radowitzky case in 1909. But you skip over a lot of inconvenient facts in trying to tar the Argentine government with the brush of anti-Semitism over the Alberto Nisman case.
These facts include: • The repeated rejection of Nisman’s brief by several judges, at least one of whom is Jewish, on the ground that he simply had no substantive case. (The insinuation that the last prosecutor to handle the brief might have been bribed or blackmailed to drop it is not only unjustified by any evidence of any kind, but constitutes rumor-mongering that should be beneath The Jerusalem Post.) • The investigator directing the inquiry into Nisman’s death, Viviana Fein, is Jewish. The periodical Pagina/12, which published the denunciation of the AMIA leadership, is so heavily staffed by Jews that real anti-Semites derisively refer to it as the “Jew paper.” Are all these Jews, including Foreign Minister Hector Timerman, anti-Semites? An American idiom of Civil War vintage, to “wave the bloody shirt,” is to exploit knee-jerk reactions to an emotionally charged allusion. That’s what this editorial does – to the Post’s discredit.
Davis, California
The writer is a biologist who has conducted research in Argentina for the past 37 years.
Editorial Page Editor Mati Wagner responds: The letter writer repeats several times that because this judge or that journalist is Jewish, he or she cannot possibly spout anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. Yet some of the worst anti-Semitic accusations have been made by members of the tribe. In the modern era, this has been true at least since Karl Marx’s essay On the Jewish Question, and continues today on Philip Weiss’s Mondoweiss blog.
I never said the Nisman case, the AMIA case or cases unrelated to Jews – such as the 2012 Once Train Crash – have gone unsolved because of anti-Semitism.
I said President Christina de Fernandez Kirchner and members of her government are trying to distract attention from their failures (corruption?) using anti-Semitic conspiracy theories as a smoke screen.
Are American Jews who made their money charging “usurious” interest rates really manipulating powerful American politicians to interfere in internal Argentinean politics? Is the organized Argentinean Jewish community really working surreptitiously for international Jewish banking interests or for the Mossad? Perhaps the letter writer thinks so. It sounds like anti-Semitism to me.
Aliya? Yes, indeed! I wish to thank David Margolese for “Why you should move to Israel” (Comment & Features, May 7). He reminded me of all the emotions and self-doubts I went through 33 years ago this July.
My husband shared none of these qualms. For him, once his dormant Zionism had been awakened after a 10-day trip to Israel, there were no questions. I, on the other hand, reacted just like Mr. Margolese, with my list of pros and cons being totally lopsided.
How would I cope without the support system I had grown up with? Who would I be when the name of my family, school or address would be of no consequence to anyone I met? What would be the long-term effects of bringing up my children without their grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins all around them? Would leaving leafy, green Cheshire, England, for a parched, barren landscape affect me and depress me? I even wondered if I would ever hear birds again! We also came at a “bad” time, in the summer of 1982, in the middle of the first Lebanon war.
We sat in our Hebrew classes and heard what was going on and the number of fatalities, but nothing really got through to us because no name or place was familiar.
Thirty-three years, three paratroopers, one Golanchik and 11 grandchildren later, we unquestionably made the right decision.
The homesick tears I shed at first were just for me. Now I cry for others because I belong to a world that is not centered only around myself. We belong to a people and a land, and we are unabashedly proud of all our achievements, even with all their faults.
Aliya? Yeah!
Ma’aleh Adumim
Chinese distraction
With regard to “Beijing: Manila violating sea code” (May 6), the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs believes that China should not distract the region and the international community from the core issue in the disputes in the South China Sea, which is China’s illegal and invalid “nine-dash line” claim. Its massive reclamation activities in the sea are intended to advance this claim.
These activities are plainly intended to change the character, status and maritime entitlements of the features; prejudice the arbitration; and undermine the work of the Arbitral Tribunal constituted under UNCLOS to hear and objectively decide the case filed by the Philippines.
They also threaten freedom of navigation, cause irreparable damage to the marine environment and infringe on the rights of other states.
China should adhere to Paragraph 5 of the 2002 ASEAN-China Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), which states that all parties should exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities that would complicate and escalate disputes and affect peace and stability.
Tel Aviv
The writer is ambassador to Israel of the Republic of the Philippines