October 2, 2019: Third Time’s a Charm?

Readers of the Jerusalem Post have their say.

Letters (photo credit: PIXABAY)
(photo credit: PIXABAY)
Third Time’s a Charm?
According to “A Sweet New Election Year (September 27), there is a specter of another election.
Can we please... elect... not to have another election.
While we all hope that there will not be a third round of elections, it does appear to be a definite possibility. I would like to suggest that if it does occur that only those parties that made it into the Knesset be eligible to run.
In fact, that should be the rule with any second round that may occur.
When will our politicians set aside their overinflated egos and start to consider the welfare of the country and the Jewish people? Time, and time again, they demonstrate their total disregard for Israel and are only concerned in putting themselves into the “chair” and getting glued into it.
Order of the day: join together, set aside the differences, and start doing your jobs.
The interesting thing is that we have really good and capable people in this country. They just don’t want to get into that snake pit called the Israeli government.
Kfar Aviv
Us and Them
Several articles this past week regarding antisemitism in the US, including Herb Keinon’s reference to the Israeli vs. US Jewish communities, brought to mind an experience I had on a recent visit to my daughter in a New Jersey suburb, which defined for me the basic differences between the Jewish experience in Israel and the US.
 My daughter lives on a mixed street of Jews and non-Jews, with both ends open to the main road on which stand two different synagogues, making it a natural walkway for families with children on Shabbat.
On this particular Shabbat, my daughter and I set out walking to the synagogue when a non-Jewish neighbor ran out of her house and stopped us. Excitedly, she began to talk of a funeral that she had to attend that very morning. Since neither I nor my daughter knew the person involved, I was wondering about the urgency of her coming out to tell us, when something she said made it very clear.
“There will be many people attending,” she explained, “and they will all be walking right here on this street to get to the church; so we also will be walking, just like you all do every week.”
This was all said with good will, but it brought home to me the fact that Jews in America are very much the “other,” and activities that may seem natural in Israel are sources of scrutiny by neighbors elsewhere. It is not necessarily a bad thing, and even may be seen as an opportunity for cultural exchange, but it is the foundation of a difference in outlook and experience of Jews in Israel and in America.
Beit Shemesh
From the Dead Sea to Mars
In “Will Dead Sea explorations uncover evidence of life on Mars?” (September 27), Bedein and Spector, members of the Dead Sea revival project, raise the question of whether Dead Sea explorations will uncover evidence of life on Mars. The hypothesis is that 3.5 billion years ago, Mars was covered in water and when the water receded, it became salt-laden and may have supported salt-tolerant organisms similar to the Dead Sea ecosystem.
I’ve seen some stretches in “science” when the practitioners (in this case “astrobiologists”) attempt to justify their activities, but this breaks all previous records and must be taken not with a grain of salt but with a mountain of salt – all the salt in the salt-laden waters of Mars, 3.5 billion years ago, are not enough.
Preston Tasoff claims that the Dead Sea is an ideal place because it has been largely untouched by human activity that could contaminate samples. Tasoff ignores Lot’s wife and her transformation into a pillar of salt in the story Sodom and Gemorrah. It is more likely that we will discover DNA from Lot’s wife than any existence of a connection with Martian sea-salt life 3.5 billion years ago.
Professor Emeritus of Radiation Physics
Obama’s bias
The headline, “Obama was most pro-Palestinian and pro-Arab US president ever, Cameron says” (September 25) should surprise no one. The grandfather of ex-president, Barack Hussein Obama II was a Kenyan, Hussein Onyango Obama. He converted from his tribal religion to Catholicism, and then to Islam.
With a middle name, Hussein, and a Muslim grandfather, it would be delusional to expect Obama when president to act like a Yiddisher Papa!
Beit Zayit
“Obama was most pro-Palestinian and pro-Arab US president ever, Cameron says,” deserves a response, because it overlooks many positive things Obama did for Israel:
• Israeli strategic experts agreed that strategic cooperation between the US and Israel had never been better.
• During the Obama administration, the US supplied funding for the “Iron Dome” missile defense system that has saved many Israeli lives.
• Except for its final abstention, aiming to keep prospects for peace alive, the Obama administration consistently backed Israel at the UN and helped prevent a declaration of a Palestinian state by the UN, an effort that led Prime Minister Netanyahu to declare that Obama deserved a “badge of honor.”
• Obama supported Israel with regard to the Gaza flotilla events and the Goldstone report that was critical of Israel’s actions in the 2009 Gaza war.
• In response to a frantic, middle-of-the night call from Netanyahu, Obama’s actions saved six Israelis who were trapped in the Israeli embassy in Cairo. Afterward, Netanyahu stated that Israel owes Obama, “a special measure of gratitude.”
• In his talk to the US Congress in March 2015, Netanyahu praised Obama warmly, indicating that Obama had done many additional things for Israel that only he and a few others know about.
Professor Emeritus, College of Staten Island
After years of being vilified by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, it is about time we Israelis stop buying Turkish products and flying Turkish-affiliated airlines like Turkish Air and Pegasus.
For years we have been told that it is just Erdogan, not the Turkish people who dislike us.
We have continued as if it is  business as usual and continue to  buy Turkish consumer goods sold to us by companies like Rami Levy (which produces a lot of its private-label foods there), and air travel that includes up to as many as 10 flights a day to Istanbul and other Turkish gateways.
El Al stopped flying years ago to Turkey due to the Turkish government’s decision to not allow armed Israeli security to man Israeli flights. Despite that, Israel allows unlimited flights a day, giving Turkey the monopoly on those flights.
If the Turkish people really do like us and do like to do business with us (and profit from us), we need them to finally pressure their leadership into toning down the incendiary hateful rhetoric that President Erdogan uses against us, including what he recently did at the United Nations (“PM slams Erdogan for comparing Gaza to Shoa” (September 25). Otherwise we should seriously contemplate boycotting Turkish consumer goods and airlines.
Ma’aleh Adumim
Justin case
Am I alone in thinking that the brouhaha over Justin Trudeau’s fancy dress costume from decades ago has been overblown (Terra Incognita, Seth Frantzman)? Surely fancy dress is designed to be a witty or comic imitation of, or perhaps flattering, someone or thing that you are not. Why is a black face then racist? Does dressing like a fairy mean you hate and despise fairies? Does a superman costume indicate loathing of superheroes? I just don’t get this latest ridiculous hysteria generated by the hypersensitive PC brigade. I am not a great fan of Trudeau, but this kind of knee-jerk social witch hunt makes a mockery of the real fight against racial hatred.
Rosh Pina
RSA punches above its weight
Regarding Gil Troy’s article, “Kanga Jews” (September 18) and the letter by Jack Davis (September 23), please do not forget that a substantial number of Australian Jews emanate from South Africa!
The Jews of South Africa punch much harder than any other country! As an example, “Machal.” The Jewish population in the USA was over five million, the maximum in RSA was 125,000! Yet the USA contributed just over 1,000, which included some Christians, to the cause, whereas RSA’s contribution was over 800!
South African Jewry was at the forefront of the resurgence of Israel, from Beitar, Shomer Hatzair, Habonim, Abba Eban, Kibbutzim Tzora, Yisrael, the first solar heater from Timorim {Miromit} & others!
More recently, Telfed & ESRA volunteers, a lot of South Africans do sterling work in a host of fields! Friday’s Jerusalem Post Magazine has Les Saidel, an ex-South African master baker, writing about teaching baking – and we all know how good and varied our bakeries are!
Too little account is taken of the mostly Lithuanian South Africans in respect of the support given by such a small community!
Tel Aviv
Holding bodies hostage
In “Grapevine” (September 27), we learn that both the Ukraine and Lithuania refuse to release and transfer (for financial money-making reasons) to Israel the remains of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov and the Gaon of Vilna.
The remains of prominent Jews are being held hostage for financial reasons.
Ukrainians committed the most outrageous atrocities in Babi Yar. The Lithuanians were a close match. These countries wanted the Jews either dead or out of their countries. Now they are making money by capitalizing on the remains of prominent jews. Characterizing this as outrageous is an understatement.
It is my understanding that the current president and prime minister of the Ukraine are both Jewish. Is this the right time to mount pressure on Ukraine to release and transfer to Israel the remains of Rabbi Nachman?
I am a traditional Jew living in Los Angeles, not connected in any manner to the followers of Rabbi Nachman or the Gaon of Vilna, but I am the son of Holocaust survivors. With respect to this matter, the article has shocked me.
Los Angeles,CA