October 23: Readers react to recent ‘Jerusalem Post’ editorials

With regard to “Let Zoabi talk” (Editorial, October 21), it is abundantly clear that MK Haneen Zoabi intends to continue and expand her venomous rantings.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Sir, –
With regard to “Let Zoabi talk” (Editorial, October 21), it is abundantly clear that MK Haneen Zoabi intends to continue and expand her venomous rantings.
But why do you provide her with a platform by publicizing her malicious slander? After all, that’s what she wants.
She wants publicity, to please her jihadist constituents for favor and funding. Most importantly, she immensely enjoys irritating and infuriating us. She has learned that this works; it enhances her smirk.
So why give her the opportunity? Sycophants hate being ignored. Let her rant and rant alone! Meanwhile, let’s work quietly on legal means to cut off her salary, expel her from the Knesset and put her in jail for treason, where she belongs.
Sir, – Freedom of speech is important when it is directed at you and me. But can an Israeli teacher repeat the words of MK Haneen Zoabi and her Balad colleagues to young children in his class? Zoabi is a model to many Arab youth. Many look up to her. They absorb words at face value, and that is what motivates them later in life, especially as teens.
ISAAC OFEK Tel Aviv Sir, – It was shocking to read “Let Zoabi talk.”
Have you forgotten that she swore as an MK to “fulfill her position out of loyalty to the basic values of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic State”? Have you forgotten Article 7A of the Basic Law that forbids candidates for Knesset from rejecting Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, inciting to violence or supporting an enemy state or terrorist organization in violence against the State of Israel? Freedom of speech has its limitations, as was so well explained in a 1919 US Supreme Court decision by then-chief justice Oliver Wendell Holmes who said that “the most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man falsely shouting fire in a theater and causing a panic.”
MK Haneen Zoabi has violently misused her freedom of speech “even if,” as you say, “she fails to appreciate the gift of living in a democracy.” Her anti-Israel position is loud and clear and needs no further elaboration to make her point.
No, we cannot allow our enemies to consistently use their freedom of speech, as guaranteed by our democratic country, to undermine our values and freedom.
Will freedom of speech allow this letter to be printed?
YAAKOV ZEV Jerusalem
Sir, – With regard to “Kerry’s comments” (Editorial, October 20), many would argue that making a fraudulent and deceptive linkage between the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the barbaric bloodletting going on in the Mideast is the direct result of a failed US foreign policy, which at every step of the way during the Obama administration has provided a tailwind to Islamic extremists.
This holds true from the power vacuum the US left in Iraq to its support of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and from its reluctance to label the attacks at Benghazi and Fort Hood radical Islamic terror to its impotence to stop the rampant killings in Syria and Iraq.
There is not one liberal, democratic country in the Mideast outside the State of Israel. So when Secretary of State John Kerry says “there wasn’t a leader I met with in the region,” he’s referring to oppressive regimes that also practice hostile, anti-Israel diplomacy.
Accepting their words at face value about Israel and the Mideast turmoil demonstrates not just an utter lack of critical thinking, but a lack of moral clarity.
Sir, – John Kerry’s motives in this instance (and there have been others) are transparent: to create an atmosphere of pressure and prejudice around Israel preceding any renewal of negotiations with the Palestinian Authority.
His “observations” border on threats.
How could he possibly cite the statements of Arab leaders as objective reality? He is either naive or calculating – most likely the latter. Don’t tell me he has no experience with a culture notoriously steeped in fantasy to the degree that it crosses the border into deceit.
How can you be so lenient when Kerry himself has become an obvious purveyor of this deceit? PAUL RABOFF Jerusalem Sir, – I read and reread John Kerry’s speech. It amounted to what my mother, of sainted memory, would have called “mixing beblach [beans] with borscht.”
Young Arabs are indeed angry.
They live in societies that deny them freedom, inherent democratic rights and a decent education.
They offer limited job opportunities, if any. These same young Arabs look across the border at Israel. They see an open, free, flourishing society offering sophisticated levels of higher education and lucrative job opportunities, especially in science and hi-tech.
The absence of peace between Israel and Palestine has nothing to do with this disparity and everything to do with failed leadership in Arab countries. Young Arabs are turning to ISIS out of desperation and hopelessness. To finger Israel as the cause of the failure of the Arab spring and the ensuing Arab winter is to shamelessly fall back on the all-time scapegoat: the Jews and the Jewish State.
Sir, – It would be extremely naive for Israelis to believe that “humiliation, denial and absence of dignity” of Palestinian Arabs was a material cause of the recruitment of terrorists to Islamic State, as leaders of Israel’s implacable and intransigent Middle Eastern enemies have suggested.
So why did John Kerry think it necessary to make those ideas public, as if they had originated from an unbiased and credible source? Muslims – Sunnis, Shi’ites, Wahhabis, Salafists and jihadists – are angry with each other. That, at least, is obvious. Undoubtedly, ISIS has coalesced around the opportunity created by the Syrian civil war to create a medieval caliphate. But anyone who has read the charters of both the PLO and Hamas cannot doubt that Palestinian Arabs, with the exception of the majority of Israel’s Arab citizens, have been brought up by their leaders on a diet of hate of Israelis.
Surely, only the complete abrogation of the Palestinian aims referred to in their charters should be a prerequisite for any future peace process. In the meantime, there is little room for compromise.
CLARIFICATION In response to “A story of betrayal: How the US first agreed and then refused to help locate a missing IDF soldier” (Observations, October 17) by Steven Emerson, a US official issued the following statement: “The account of events as reported in The Jerusalem Post are incorrect and misleading. Unfortunately, this story only contributes to the public’s misunderstanding about the extent of efforts that both the US and Israeli governments undertook in the search for Cpl. [Oron] Shaul.
There was significant cooperation between the USG and the GOI in developing information in support of the search for Cpl. Shaul.
The FBI did immediately pass useful intelligence information to Israeli authorities related to Cpl.
Shaul’s social media account, which answered the initial Israeli request. The FBI further undertook other investigative efforts pursuant to legal authority as a result of follow-on Israeli requests in an attempt to assist our allies in the search for their missing soldier.
US and Israeli law enforcement and intelligence organizations enjoy a robust and continuing exchange of information and intelligence on any number of items of mutual interest on a daily basis. To characterize this instance as anything other than responsive and collaborative is simply misinformed.”