November 18, 2019: Growing anti-Israel bias in the US

Readers of the Jerusalem Post have their say.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
Letters
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Growing anti-Israel bias in the US

Regarding “Is continued military aid to Israel in jeopardy?” (November 14), even Douglas Bloomfield defines J Street as “the leftist pro-peace lobby,” as opposed to “pro-Israel.” Perhaps even he finally realizes that there is virtually nothing pro-Israel to J Street, despite the latter’s adamant insistence to the contrary.
This is clearly illustrated by the issue of possible cutbacks in military aid to Israel, which was apparently the central theme of J Street’s recent national meeting. The anti-Israel rhetoric espoused by most speakers would never be tolerated by any organization truly supportive of Israel, Right or Left.
Furthermore, anti-Israel attitudes are now mutating into potential official government policies, with more moderate Democratic Party leaders like Joe Biden rapidly losing ground to Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and others of the hard Left. Sanders’s desire to redirect some of Israel’s military aid to humanitarian assistance in the Hamas-run enclave of Gaza is motivated by nothing more than anti-Israel bias, since he totally ignores the fact that the billions of dollars in humanitarian aid that continue to flow to Hamas from countless governments, are almost entirely redirected to funding terrorism at the expense of Gaza’s residents.
As for Elizabeth Warren, her desire to “block” the use of US funding for “expansion, annexation of the West Bank, and the policy goals of PM Benjamin Netanyahu and most of his right-wing parties,” shows her true colors as being anti-Israel at the core, because her ultimate goal is to depose Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israel’s “right-wing” policies, which simply do not dovetail with her radical leftist worldview.

GERSHON HARRIS
Hatzor Haglilit


Khamenei propaganda

Regarding “Khamanei: Iran isn’t calling for disappearance of Jewish people, just Israel” (November 17) the so-called “supreme leader” of Iran fatuously claims that he has nothing against the Jewish people, only against the Zionist regime, which must and soon will disappear.
He claims that 20,000+ Jews live safely in Iran without mentioning that nearly a quarter million Iranian Jews fled/emigrated to Israel, and as many as 80,000 to the USA following the Muslim revolution. A 2016 census revealed only 9,826 Jews, mostly elderly, still living in Iran.
Education of Jewish children has become difficult. The government reportedly allows Hebrew instruction, recognizing that it is necessary for Jewish religious practice, but it strongly discourages the distribution of Hebrew texts, making it difficult to teach the language. Moreover, the government requires the few remaining Jewish schools to remain open on Saturdays, the Jewish Sabbath. Since certain kinds of work (such as writing or using electrical appliances) on the Sabbath violates Jewish law, this requirement to operate the schools has made it difficult for observant Jews to attend school and adhere to a fundamental tenet of their religion.
So much for freedom of religion in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
YIGAL HOROWITZ
Beersheba
Black Belt bunkum

Regarding “Assessing Operation Black Belt” (November 15), both sides claiming they have accomplished their goals is just Israel’s perpetuating insanity and still expecting different results.
What is Israel’s goal? Simply to stop rockets until the next time while leaving most of the South exposed to rocket fire at any moment? To perform a targeted killing here and there to appease much of a worthless world community and the UN in thinking that our enemies might change their “genocidal wish” toward Israel? To show that Israel seeks to be “humane and gentle” while the South suffers?
To many, myself included, that is weak, cowardly and inexcusable. Shame on our leadership such as it is (or isn’t). Until there is action equaling at the very least a “Dichter doctrine,” expect more of the same while Israel’s enemies buy time and strengthen.
Score: PIJ 1, Israel 0 – again.
I. KEMP
Nahariya
According to the defense establishment, “the killing of al-Ata was an important move, but it is not believed to be a game changer when it comes to the threat that Gaza continues to pose to the State of Israel. His removal was important since he was an obstacle to efforts to reach a long-term ceasefire between Israel and Hamas” (“Bennett starts new role in trial by fire,” November 15).
While it is always good to be rid of a terrorist, we are agreeing to a ceasefire with yet another terrorist organization because Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is afraid of the consequences from the world were he to act like a leader, putting our people and our country first and totally destroying our enemies, wherever they might be and without fear of collateral damage. This is not how wars are won and definitely not how his ‘hero’ Winston Churchill defeated Germany – but more like Neville Chamberlain with his appeasement of Hitler.
At least the British people woke up to what was happening, whereas our people adamantly refuse to arise from their stupor. This madness has been going on year after year and all the while our enemies grow stronger and unafraid because there is nothing for them to be afraid of. Even as the ceasefire was broken by PIJ, the IDF was determined to keep it on their side.
Our enemies see us for losers, afraid to take the action that would shut them down for good.

EDITH OGNALL
Netanya
Regarding “Israel’s maximum restraint and a ‘clean way’” (November 14), Seth J. Frantzman’s analysis of the current “war” is excellent and informative. However, his comparison to the military strategy of the United States ignores the fact that Israel is under existential attack to all its citizens and the entire homeland. The United States is under no such threat.
In addition, Frantzman ignores the underlying causes of our situation: are the failed messianic leftist policies of the Oslo Accords and the so-called Disengagement – a misnomer if there ever was one.
The residents of Judea and Samaria and the expelled residents of Gush Katif are and were the first lines of Israel’s defense for those citizens now under attack by rockets all over Israel.

AVRAHAM FRIEDMAN
Ganei Modi’in
Regarding “A personal note during the rockets” (November 14), I would like to know whether in all these years that Gershon Baskin has been here since his first trip to Israel with Young Judea, he has ever attended a demonstration against Arab terrorists
Has he ever protested against the war crimes committed almost daily by Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip or Hezbollah in Lebanon? Did he protest the murder of Yaakov Litman and his son in front of the rest of their family on their way to a Shabbat Chatan four years ago this month? Did he demonstrate after a Red Crescent ambulance drove by without stopping to help the mortally wounded Litman and his son?
Throughout our history, Jews have been plagued by what are called self-hating Jews. I guess there are also self-hating Israelis.

NORMAN L. DEROVAN
Ma’aleh Adumim
Islamic Jihad in Palestine’s name reveals its ideological basis and its unabashed murderous intent. Its by-laws bear this out: “The peaceful solution based on recognizing the right of Jews in Palestine or in part of it is a solution that contradicts the logic of the Koran… the struggle will continue...”
A specific goal of the movement includes (but is not limited to) “the creation of a psychological barrier between the Jews and the Muslim Palestinian people and the creation of a conviction that the coexistence is impossible, and resisting the heralds of the idea of Arab-Israeli coexistence.”
These folks and their supporters – including some already in Congress and others poised to run for election – have Jews (and others) in their crosshairs.

DESMOND TUCK
San Mateo, CA


Polish paradox

Several years ago, when I visited Krakow on the March of the Living, I noticed that large grandstands and TV screens being set up in the main street for the annual Jewish Festival. There would be Jewish music and food and Polish people from all over would attend. I thought it odd at the time since few of the most of the almost 3.5 million Jews in Poland had been murdered in the Holocaust, and there were very few Jews left in Poland. It reminded me of Hitler’s accumulation of Jewish religious artifacts in Prague with the goal to set up a museum after the war of the “extinct Jewish race.”
I therefore read with interest the two articles in the November 17 edition about the Polish Jewish Festival and the Polish complaint about a Netflix documentary showing the death camps in Poland.
It is a mixed bag. On one hand, there is indeed a long Jewish history in Poland, as displayed by the Warsaw Museum, and in many cases a close relationship between Poles and Jews as evidenced by the fact that the majority of the “Righteous Among the Nations” honored at Yad Vashem are from Poland. On the other hand is the fact that in 1946, the year after the war, over 1,000 Jews who tried to return to Poland were killed by Polish people who did not want them back.

MARION REISS
Beit Shemesh


Blinkered Balkan

In “Europe’s fatigue and old Balkan disputes” (November 12), the writer claims, “Brexit will go down in history as the example of dangerous lies hiding beneath messianic promises of populism.”
The British people, and I am one of them, voted to get back a country that could once again govern itself, escape from the Franco-Germanic dominated Europe with its almost spiritual fervor bent on creating the promised paradise.
The writer shows all the blinkered condescension of someone who is unable to understand how a proud people could want to regain their independence – and this is a professor who, one assumes, lectures the future leaders of his country on political philosophy!

BOB KNIGHT
Modi’in
Constituency-based Knesset
“Points to pursue – now” (November 14) pushes the idea of a separately elected prime minister as a means of avoiding the kind of stalemate we now have.
The writer is obviously unaware that America has a separately elected president, but he nevertheless has great difficulty getting anything done without a majority in both chambers. So even if Benjamin Netanyahu had been elected prime minister, he would have been powerless without a majority in the Knesset – which he does not have.
Although becoming UK’s prime minister usually depends on having a majority in Parliament, the recent chaos there shows what happens when he loses his majority. So even the far better UK system of all MPs being elected by constituencies, which has for most of the past 120 years delivered stable government, has also failed a few times when coalitions were required, in particular the last parliament.
A 100% constituency-based Knesset with or without a separately elected prime minister, would have the tremendous advantage of making MKs dependent on, and having to answer to, their electorate, instead of being chosen by a small clique of party members who are not responsible to anyone. Although it would improve the chances of stable government, that still depends on the vagaries of the electorate.

ALAN HALIBARD
Beit Shemesh


Climate conundrum

“Venice’s historic Jewish ghetto floods as new tides rise,” November 17 is the latest wake-up call to the reality that the world is rapidly approaching a climate catastrophe.
You have recently had articles about the severe wildfires in the Amazon, California and now Australia. The world continues to warm up — last June was the hottest June and last July was the single hottest month ever since temperature records have been kept.
Seas are rising, glaciers and polar ice caps are melting, coral reefs are shrinking, deserts are expanding, and droughts, floods and other climate events are becoming more frequent and severe. Many climate experts are warning that unprecedented changes must soon occur if we are to have a chance to avert a climate catastrophe.
Your reporting helps increase awareness that reducing greenhouse gas emissions is a major societal imperative.
RICHARD H. SCHWARTZ, PH.D
Professor Emeritus, College of Staten Island
The world is getting hotter and drier. Every decade since the 1970s has been warmer than the previous decade, and worldwide temperature records were successively broken in 2014, 2015 and 2016. This year is projected to be possibly the warmest year on record.
“A boiling forecast: Israel faces alarming news about extreme heat due to climate change,” (July 7) indicated that Israel is in for far hotter weather, as “Israel’s current climate trajectory is a two to three degree Celsius rise by 2050.” This, according to the article, would result in heat stress; sometimes extreme heat stress, for much of the year,
“Study: Earth warmed faster in the last few decades than the previous 1,900 years,” (August 4) warns that the world is rapidly heading toward a climate catastrophe.
On a constructive note, let’s think of things we can do to ameliorate the situation: plant a tree or even put a flowerpot on your balcony! Plants are natural air purifiers and we need as many of them as possible! Grow your own vegetables or tea leaves, avoid plastic disposable bottles and all other polluting wrappers, be careful with our use of energy and water. God helps those who help themselves!

BATZION SHLOMI
Afula