September 11 2019: Superb defense

Readers of the Jerusalem Post have their say.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Superb defense
Thank you for publishing the excellent opinion piece by Aaron Braunstein, retired US Foreign Service officer (“President Trump and American aliyah,” September 8).
I recommend all to read it and circulate it on the Internet.
What struck me particularly about the article was how the use of one word, “loyalty”, with regard to Jews, however positively intended, can take on a life of its own in warped antisemitic minds.
The article lays out a superb defense of positive “dual loyalty” as a new paradigm for the 21st Century – as natural as two parents nurturing a child.
It then goes on to forthrightly advocate aliyah in keeping with this paradigm. One might even hazard to draw the conclusion that, in geopolitical terms, an American Jew in Israel is at least as much of an asset for America as one in the States.
This article should definitely be in the “handbook” of every organization promoting aliyah.
Hot air
The September 6 report “Bitan vows law to solve Church land” failed to mention that on February 27, 2018, some 19 months ago, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appointed Minister Tzachi Hanegbi to examine the issue of Jerusalem land sales by the Greek Orthodox Church.
Bitan’s promises are no more than hollow Likud electioneering. The issue of legislation on the issue was brought several times prior to the last election by MK Rachel Azaria to the Knesset committee that decides which bills go through to the plenum, and she secured cross-party support, including the backing of the prime minister, who at the last minute pulled the rug from under it.
It appears Bitan takes us for suckers – words are cheap and it is a shame he only came to say his piece and left and did not hear the discussions that ensued for two hours!
Delicious story
Wow! What a great and encouraging story: “Israeli firm turns to yeast to revolutionize the fake meat market,” (September 9). NextFirm is to be congratulated for this venture.
I do concede that “yeast” may not sound exactly appetizing, but there is even a hipster vocabulary for nutritional yeast, a healthful ingredient in so many vegan foods. If you are in the know, you are eating “Nooch” (Google definition: short for nutritional yeast). It’s what the cool kids say.
Nutritional yeast is deactivated yeast and can be bought in the form of powder or flakes. It is very popular especially among vegans and health-conscious people because of the cheesy flavor.
So I am absolutely sure that the talent at NextFirm will come up with something catchy for their new product as well. Though I must say that – gosh – even the unsexy term “yeast” is surely more appetizing than eating livers, brains, kidneys, feet, tushies and all the yucky cruelty inherent in the meat industries.
Israel has been leading the world in compassion and creativity in veganism... makes me most proud.
Cincinnati, Ohio
Give it a rest
Why do we deserve an editorial of gloom and despair, which claims that Israelis suffer from a general malaise, “Israel’s malaise,” September 10.
Everything is going down, down, down.
On the other hand, Israelis were 13th in the world on the happiness scale published by the World Happiness Report as recently as March 2019 and 89% of Israelis report that they are happy.
If anything , it’s not Netanyahu and the other politicians who are driving the “happiness” down, its the news media, which chooses to continuously adopt a negative “the sky is falling mindset,” from climate change catastrophes, to everybody is corrupt, to US Jews are detaching themselves from Israel and Judaism, to the prime minister is destroying Israel’s democracy and legal system.
Give it a rest. Report on the positive aspects of living in Israel.
On my return from a trip abroad this week, I was inundated with articles about the apathy accompanying the upcoming election, including the editorial “Israel’s malaise” and Gidon Ben-Zvi’s “The curious case of the invisible election.”
I was reminded of an old American political adage: “Abstention is also a vote, and it always is a no.”
In Israel, as in America, it is vital to the democratic process, for each individual to assess where best to place her/his “yes,” for failing to do so is surely placing a vote nonetheless and affecting the outcome, not by choice but by default.
Beit Shemesh
Explain this
After reading Dov Lipman’s article “The misleading (and backfiring) campaign against haredim,” September 6, I am hurt and insulted.
This is a fantastic example of “A red herring.”
I will except the facts and figures in this red herring article as correct . It’s not about the money.
I consider myself a secular Israeli, who served in the IDF as did my son, both daughters and my grandchildren.
I can force myself to swallow and reconcile to the economic burden placed on the state by the demands of the ultra-Orthodox community and also our screwed-up election by political parties pandering to the haredim so as to form a coalition government.
What really pains and aches is – I repeat not the money – but the fact that the haredim have the right to choose whether they serve in the IDF, do national service or do neither.
That is discrimination against the rest of the Jewish population, a definite type of apartheid.
Our young boys give a minimum of three years , our young girls give a minimum of two years of their lives to our country before they can plan their adult life. After that there is reserve duty. So in fact their adult lives start from when they are 21 and older.
Then, when required, they fight to defend the state, absorb casualties and sometimes pay the ultimate price.
The haredi boys and girls can continue their safe adult life at the age of 18 and without having to do reserve duty.
Please, Dov Lipman, explain this discrimination so that we secular Israeli “mugs” can except and understand this one-sided
discrimination .
Ganei Tikva
Walled in
In her letter “Ugly, militaristic bent” (September, 9) writer Judy Bamberger of O’Connor, Australia, attempts to shame America and indeed all Americans.
The reason for her ire? The height of the wall around the new US Embassy in Jerusalem. Somehow she manages to conflate this to [US President Donald] “Trump’s penchant for building walls.”
I for one would prefer to leave the question of wall heights at the named US embassies (Canberra, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem) to the specialists tasked with security, rather than to measuring-stick wielding letter-writer. Unfortunately we know only too well what can happen to innocent embassy workers when attacked by neighboring murderous hordes.
As far as Trump and walls are concerned, the wall on America’s southern border is being built, to my knowledge, in an attempt to staunch the mass illegal influx of bad actors bringing crime, disruption and a huge demand for economic support.
The writer elects, for reasons unknown, to ignore the fact that the wall and its justification were started in an earlier administration. By comparison, Australia long since disposed of most of its indigenous peoples. Australia, separated from the rest of the world by thousands of kilometers of ocean, has no need for walls. Indeed immigration policies for most of its existence limited immigration to white Europeans only – selfishly, mostly those who would only bring social benefit to the country. No huddled masses there.
I lived and worked in Tel Aviv through the Second Intifada and witnessed the terrible onslaught of those who wished to drive us into the sea, and then the relief that the separation fence brought.
Let the letter-writer work toward peace with Australia’s few remaining aborigines, and the limited number of troublemakers who in recent years brought strife to Australia’s society.
Cameras everywhere
Regarding cameras in polling stations, Netanyahu says he is worried about democracy and fair voting in the elections and insists we need cameras in the polling booths.
However, only in the Arab sector. If he wants fair elections, then it is necessary and important step for democracy, that cameras be placed in both the Arab sector and the haredi sector.
In fact, if he insists on cameras for a fair election, I suggest he place them in all stations.
To do otherwise, smells of pure racism – nothing to do with democracy or clean elections.
K. Bialik
Gazing into a mirror
Regarding “On the 80th Anniversary of the outbreak of World War II,” August 30, Russian Ambassador Anatoly Viktorov writes: “On September 17, 1939, the Red Army entered Polish territory and was instructed not to use weapons against the Polish Army until any military actions took place.”
Translated, this means that on September 17, 1939, following the secret protocols of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, the USSR invaded Poland from the east.
While it is true that the West procrastinated and ultimately bungled its response to Litvinov’s April 17,1939 triple alliance proposal, Soviet ambassador to Germany Merekalov had initiated the contact with Ribbentrop’s under secretary Waizsacker the very next day, so Stalin had been duplicitous from the start.
What the Russians are trying to whitewash is the nature of the agreement between the two totalitarian regimes, in grabbing territories by joint aggression, explained in the joint declaration by Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania:
“August 23 will mark 80 years since the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany that sparked World War II and doomed half of Europe to decades of misery.
“The Pact contained the secret protocol which effectively carved up Eastern Europe into spheres of influence …we remember all those whose deaths and broken lives were a consequence of the crimes perpetrated under the ideology of Nazism and Stalinism. “
The similarity in the ideologies of Stalinism and Nazism is best depicted in Vasily Grossman’s masterpiece Life and Fate in the conversation between Obersturmbannfuhrer Liss and Mostovskoy: “When we look one another in the face, we’re neither of us just looking at a face we hate – no, we’re gazing into a mirror…. ‘The German Communists we’ve sent to camps are the same ones you sent to camps in 1937. Yezhov imprisoned them: Reichsfuhrer Himmler imprisoned them…”