May 27, 2015: Insufficient emphasis

Readers respond to the latest 'Jerusalem Post' articles.

Envelope (photo credit: ING IMAGE/ASAP)
(photo credit: ING IMAGE/ASAP)
Insufficient emphasis
When I was on the staff of a college daily many years ago, one of the first lessons taught was that a reporter needs to qualify any statement when the facts cannot be clearly established.
In the depressing “Ministry official kills himself after accusation of racism” (May 25), we read about the complaint of mistreatment by a black woman, as recounted in a Facebook post.
The part about her encounter with the official ends with: “The woman ended up waiting another two hours for assistance.”
I believe this statement should have said that this was her “claim” or “assertion” in order for your staff to merit the “responsible journalism” award.
The Editor responds: There is merit to the reader’s claim of insufficient emphasis on the fact that the charges leveled against the late Ariel Ronis were merely allegations that should not necessarily be accepted as fact.
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Joining the mob
Alan Dershowitz is well known and admired for his fearless advocacy and support for the State of Israel. However, I feel his “US president is neither anti-Israel nor anti-Jewish” (Analysis, May 25) falls way short of his usual incisive summations. Dershowitz was wise to concentrate on President Barack Obama’s domestic policy; he is, after all, an American citizen. Any foray into Obama’s foreign policy, however, would have revealed one disaster after another, in Egypt, Iraq and Syria, to name just three countries.
What’s more, the president’s barely veiled threat to withhold from Israel a US veto in the UN Security Council has not been a gesture of comfort. Yet by stating unequivocally that he supports Obama’s view on Israeli settlement activity, Dershowitz is being unhelpful, at best.
It was a sad day when the term “occupation” became part of the Israeli vernacular; previously, Judea and Samaria had been designated “disputed territories,” for it is well known that the land in question was stolen by the Jordanians in 1948 and recovered by Israel in 1967.
But truth loses its meaning when faced with overwhelming pressure from multiple Arab countries, militant Islam and many others who value trade and oil supplies above truth and integrity. So-called friends such as Britain and France have joined the mob. No need for Alan Dershowitz to do the same.
Morgenthau’s view...
The near-universal shibboleth of a “two-state solution” calls to mind a series of visits to various members of the US Congress, from both parties, in which I accompanied Prof. Hans J. Morgenthau shortly before his death in 1980.
Morgenthau, author of Politics among Nations, was arguably the world’s greatest expert on international relations. The message to his congressional hosts was pithy but trenchant: A Palestinian state would be inherently irredentist. His meaning was clear and simple.
The Arab world has always coveted all of “Palestine,” including Israel, and sees a Palestinian state as the wedge in its “recovery.” (Those who think the peace treaty with Egypt changed everything need only consider Cairo’s recent attempt to pass a nuclear non-proliferation resolution aimed at eviscerating Israel.) A putative Palestinian state, with backing from the Arab world as well as Iran, would eventually be leveraged into a vehicle to effect the annihilation of the Jewish state.
Is this what the western world really wants?
...and that of France
By stating it will endorse a Palestinian state if a peace agreement with Israel is not reached in 18 months, France has only emboldened the Palestinians not to seek an agreement unless it’s entirely on their terms.
Why don’t moderate nations and those friendly to Israel pressure the Palestinians to recognize it as a Jewish state? Then, maybe some progress could be made on a peaceful solution.
Good news, indeed
With regard to “Sweden’s Mans Zelmerlow wins 2015 Eurovision Song Contest” (May 25), perhaps Israel’s standing on the continent isn’t as gloomy as we might have thought. For 16-year-old Nadav Geudj to have garnered enough popular support for ninth place out of 40 is very good news. Perhaps diehard Eurovision fans know something about Israel that other Europeans refuse to acknowledge.
Baleful response
Ruthie Blum, in “Herzog hits a new low” (Right from Wrong, May 25), does not tolerate any criticism of the right-wing government and its agenda. The criticism leveled by Zionist Union and opposition leader Isaac Herzog is political banter equating the prime minister’s firing of the Communications Ministry director- general with an attack on the media.
There is an opposition in Israel whose job is to create debate and shine a light on the wrong-headed actions of the people in power. Blum takes the sledgehammer approach, suggesting that criticism is treasonous and charging Herzog with “actively abetting Israel’s worst enemies in their efforts to defame and delegitimize the Jewish state....”
You can’t have much of debate about policy if that’s her baleful response, even on non-security matters.
Beit Shemesh/Chicago
Better future
With regard to “Gaza in dire state; youth unemployment at 60%” (May 22), our neighbors to the south should stop once and for all the firing of rockets into Israel and the building of tunnels across our border. Perhaps then, Gaza could experience a better future.
Tel Aviv
Horrible headline
I heartily object to the headline “The bimbo or the basher?” in a Sarah Honig column about Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Another Tack, May 22). The online Oxford Dictionary defines bimbo as “an attractive but unintelligent or frivolous young woman.” And that’s the mildest definition on the Internet. Several others connote a woman who is pretty but empty- headed and possibly loose sexually.
Shaked is very pretty. But she is not a bimbo, and it is cruel and irresponsible to use this term to describe her. I don’t support her politics, but I do support the right of all human beings to respect and dignity.
Tel Aviv
Sarah Honig responds: “Bimbo” was not my choice to characterize Ayelet Shaked. “Basher” wasn’t my choice other. This is how former Shinui minister Yosef Paritzky and current Meretz MK Michal Rozin, respectively, characterized her. My column’s thrust was to expose these characterizations as misrepresentations. The headline referred to both. Of course, the definition of “bimbo” isn’t flattering, but Paritzky wasn’t out to flatter. The blame resides with him.
Right on target
I am a PWS (person who stutters), and therefore was glad you published “Treating the tongue-tied” (Health & Science, May 10).
Both the population of Israel and the worldwide Jewish community are affected by stuttering in the same proportion as any other country or group: One percent of adults and 4% of children stutter. The article was right on target by saying that stuttering can be successfully treated through speech therapy.
I would like to recommend to Post readers some of the resources available on the website of the non-profit Stuttering Foundation ( There is a plethora of information on finding a qualified speech therapist, as well as streaming videos and downloadable books.
The Stuttering Foundation offers global outreach to over 135 nations, mainly those in the underdeveloped world.
Springfield, Massachusetts
CORRECTION: The photo accompanying “Knesset votes on budget deadline extension” (May 26) was taken during a meeting of the Knesset Interim Committee, and not as stated.