May 4: Ethiopian protests

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Ethiopian protests
With regard to “Ethiopian anti-racism protest in Jerusalem turns violent” (May 1), alongside the beautiful Israel that sends search and rescue teams and a hospital to Nepal, saves Syrian child casualties, helps and protects perfect strangers on its streets and shops in Sderot under fire, there is an ugly, xenophobic undercurrent that has abused non-European immigrants, their color and culture since Mandate days.
Some of the comments made in the heat of the last election show that there are still those who cannot accept them as equals. When this prejudice rests with those we invest with the right to use force to protect the general good, it is particularly offensive.
Such behavior should be easily identifiable and subject to correction.
The police force is a hierarchical organization, and the inspector-general can crack down on racist behavior among officers, as he is doing with regard to sexual abuse in the ranks.
But don’t kid yourself! Focusing on the police and outlawing their abusive behavior is not a cure, and could actually provide the rest of us with a comfortable fig leaf. For a cure, we need to look to our true commitment to the in-gathering of the exiles, our segregated neighborhoods, our schools, our work environments and our informal social ties. Most of all, we need to look deep into our own hearts.
Petah Tikva
It is absolutely true that absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Hence, the unprovoked attack on an Ethiopian soldier earlier in the week by two policemen in Holon.
One gets used to these events in the United States. But in Israel? What’s next?
Acted wisely
In “South African ties”(Editorial, May 1), you claim that Israel erred in denying a South African cabinet minister permission to enter Israel or areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority. You state that by so doing, the minister, Blade Nzimande, received far more publicity than he would have if he had been allowed in, and that Israel’s actions gave the impression of being spiteful or petty.
Your reading of the situation is poor, because any black South African who openly accuses Israel of practicing a worse type of apartheid than pre-democracy South Africa is guilty of blatantly lying, and not just expressing a politically biased opinion. Imagine the lies Nzimande would have preached had he been allowed to meet with Palestinian leaders in their own domain – while being subjected to all the falsehoods they frequently mention.
The world media would have been filled with articles decrying Israel. Thus, without doubt, the Israeli authorities acted wisely.
Tel Mond
Direct correlation
Melanie Phillips (“Britain’s nightmare post-election scenario,” As I See It, May 1) is right to point out the direct correlation between the UK Foreign Office’s policy toward Israel (based on the false claim that settlements are “illegal,” something even the Obama administration has never claimed) and the anti-Jewish atmosphere now prevalent in the UK.
Prime Minister David Cameron may well be a decent enough guy, as Phillips states, but surely one should be able to expect that the prime minister has sufficient influence in his cabinet to prevail over the false claims of “illegality,” and will not repeat them in the Tory manifesto for this week’s election.
Unfortunately, the nightmare scenario Phillips posits is already a pre-election reality, as neither party that will produce the next prime minister has a record that shows it is a genuine friend of Israel.
What puzzles me far more, however, is why it is left to the US Congress to seek to exert influence over the UK Foreign Office/ Conservative Party and the rest of the EU governments by conditioning any trade deal with the US on the elimination of the discriminatory trade practices against Israeli commerce.
Selective success
I read Martin Sherman’s “Parading past predictions” (Into the Fray, May 1) with great interest.
I admire his writing. But I note that the only predictions he parades are those in which he was proved correct, or nearly so. It would be equally interesting to scan a list of his predictions that were proved incorrect – or better still, a catalogue of the wider political implications of the various proposals he ignores.
Or is he never wrong?
Beit Shemesh
Funding sources
The article “Nakba-themed film festival sparks controversy at TAU” (April 30) discusses the activities of Zochrot, a radical, anti-Zionist Israeli NGO.
The extensive funding Zochrot receives from foreign governments is an essential dimension in this story. According to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits, Zochrot received NIS 853,863 from foreign government entities in 2014; NIS 827,111 in 2013, and NIS 1,211,691 in 2012. Over 90 percent of this money is channeled through European church groups (which are themselves primarily funded by governments) under the heading of “humanitarian aid.”
These enablers include Broederlijk Delen (Belgium), the Rosa Luxemberg Foundation (Germany), Finn Church Aid (Finland), Christian Aid (UK), Trocaire (Ireland), ICCO (Netherlands), Misereor (Germany), HEKS (Switzerland), the Mennonite Central Committee and the American Friends Service Committee (US). Their funding enables Zochrot’s promotion of a “one-state” formula and a “de-Zionized Palestine.”
Furthermore, as detailed research by NGO Monitor demonstrates, most of these groups promote BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) against Israel.
The writer is president of NGO Monitor.
Never so moved
The speech given at Bergen- Belsen by Ronald S. Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress (“Remembering Bergen- Belsen,” Comment & Features, April 29) is a powerful and historical presentation. I was never so moved.
Kfar Yona
Serious responsibility I read your editorial “Surrogacy challenge” (April 28). It seems you are committing a very serious crime against Jewish (Torah) law.
You argue that gay relationships be made legal. This goes directly against the Torah, which considers gay relationships a very serious crime. What is your message? Ignore the Torah? God forbid! Maybe this is what you personally believe. I, myself, was not very religious for the first 18 years of my life. But now I realize that I was very wrong.
We believe that the Torah is from Hashem (God), that Hashem is infinite and so is the Torah. We cannot understand everything Hashem does or understand all of His Torah. Our intellect is small.
The Torah forbids us to waste our seed. A man can use his seed to give life to a new baby. If instead he has gay relationships, his seed goes to waste. He is killing children that could have been born.
Please take into account that your beliefs could be mistaken.
Keep them to yourself. Many people read your newspaper. If anyone decides to ignore the Torah because of what you write, you will be held responsible.
Kfar Chabad
CORRECTION Former US president Jimmy Carter won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 for his “decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development,” and not in 1979 for his role in Israeli-Egyptian peace talks, as was erroneously stated in “Carter slams PM, praises Abbas” (May 3). Furthermore, the prize recognizing those talks was awarded in 1978 and was bestowed jointly upon Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian president Anwar Sadat.