September 2 2019: Incorrect and objectional

Readers of the Jerusalem Post have their say.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Incorrect and objectional

Regarding the article titled “Indian-occupied Kashmir: A new American dilemma,” August 25, it is surprising that a newspaper of repute has given space to such an article, which is full of factual inaccuracies and misleading claims.
For one, UNSCR 47 (1948) predates Jammu & Kashmir’s (J&K) accession to India and operationalization of Article 370 (1950), so the question of its removal “upending long agreed-upon UN resolutions” does not arise.
Secondly, use of the phrase “Modi’s occupation” is not only incorrect but also objectional. Even the title is inaccurate as the entire J&K has been an integral part of India since 1949 and the Shimla Agreement (1972) and Lahore Declaration (1999) provide for resolution of all issues between India and Pakistan bilaterally.
Of course, the assertion that the Pakistani army is battling terrorism is laughable, since Pakistan continues to harbor UN-sanctioned terrorists and terror organizations.
It may be noted that Article 370 of the Indian Constitution was a temporary provision to allow for the gradual integration of J&K with the rest of the country. It was being used by certain vested interests to foster separatism and cross-border terrorism.
Its abrogation, and the accompanying administrative re-organization, is purely an internal matter, carried out under the framework of the Indian Constitution. It has no external ramifications as it does not involve any change to external boundaries. Motivated attempts to convey otherwise need to be firmly rejected.

The writer is a counselor at the Embassy of India to Israel.
This column goes against Israeli and international law and blatantly sides with Pakistan!
It’s all of ours
Regarding “Brazilian states ask for military help as Amazon fires rage,” August 25, in regards to the mass-burning of the Amazonian rain forest, which produces 20% of Earth’s oxygen, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro tells the rest of the rightfully concerned world, “You have to understand that the Amazon is Brazil’s, not yours.”
Earth’s ecosystems honor no national boundary. If only it were so, that the damage to the natural environment by morally and ethically corrupt governments and corporate puppetmasters was somehow poetically miraculously confined strictly to the owners’ territory.
“Mind your own business,” asserted the Brazilian president, in what may be memorialized throughout the ages, if our species survives our own perverse collective nature.
To quote Jacob Marley’s ghost in rebutting Ebenezer Scrooge’s cold-cash-hearted mentality, “Business? Mankind was my business! Their common welfare was my business!”
White Rock, British Columbia

I’m surprised that there were no replies to Jonathan Harounoff’s article on August 25, “Teaching Israel-Palestine at Columbia.”
Knowing that Columbia University’s reputation is quite publicly pro-Palestine I was quite astonished that no one wrote a reaction to his most interesting article. My own son wrote specifically against his beliefs for the Hebrew University Sociology Department knowing that he would not pass if he wrote a very pro-Israel paper.
Also seeing that Prof. Ari Goldman was also a religion reporter for The New York Times also lights up a red light in my brain. Can this really be true?
If so maybe there can possibly be peace in the Middle East. I certainly hope so.

Modernized version
Ms Geraldine Themal (Letters, “The other Torah,” August 26,) writes that the Torah says, “Don’t burn down fruit trees.”
I do not belong to the far Right. The Bible that I have in my house is the Hebrew translation of the Torah that was given in English to King James in 1611. This version says (Deuteronomy 20 19-20), “Thou shalt not cut them down” (fruit trees) The Hebrew translation says, “lo taschit eitzah”

It would appear that “the rest of us” have a modernized edition of the Bible.

Petah Tikva
Not democratic

As a recent immigrant from countries that have strong, long-established democratic traditions, it troubles me that here in Israel we have this very peculiar situation where some political parties and movements can petition the Supreme Court to have opponents disqualified from running, such as in the case of Otzma Yehudit’s Baruch Marzel and Bentzi Gopstein, “Marzel Gopstein disqualified,” August 26.
Some of these groups ironically give themselves names incorporating the term “democratic” reminding us of those police states who also fraudulently included in their titles the term “democratic.”
Nothing could be further from the truth. Being truly democratic means that you accept the will of the people, whether you like their vote or not. You let the people decide. Certainly not a small group of self-appointed judges.
I am aghast at the arrogance of those judges who did not refuse this task, but took it upon themselves to decide that they – not a few million citizens – can judge what and whom is racist.
I realize that this may have been one of the disastrous legacies of the Barak Supreme-Court regime, and we have to hope that Ayelet Shaked or whomever becomes the permanent justice minister in the next government, will remove this profoundly anti-democratic process.
That one of the lead petitioners was the vehemently anti-religious “Reform Movement,” and among its targets were fiercely nationalist religious Jews, certainly does nothing to encourage support for their wishes for a more “pluralistic” Israel.

The answer to the question in the August 27 editorial “Rockets and drones”: “Does restraint show moral strength or does it undermine Israel by ruining deterrence?” is yes!
To my Western mind, it’s yes to part one of the question: to Hamas, Hezbollah, etc; it’s yes to part two. Showing restraint helps a little with Israel’s unwinnable media war with the West, it may also gain a slightly more favorable obituary if Israel doesn’t remember that it’s not just daily provocations that are deterred by assertive actions, but also war.


Not attuned

It was both surprising and deeply disappointing to read the Jerusalem Post editorial, “Coalition Integration” August 25. In presenting a summary of Ayman Odeh’s conditions for joining a ruling coalition, the editorial writer has no critical comments about “A renewal of peace talks with the Palestinian Authority” and “the annulment of the controversial Nation-State Law, which downgraded the status of Arabic in Israel.”
What’s the problem? Had the conditions been “renewal of peace talks with the Palestinian Authority without any pre-conditions by either side” and “amendment of the Nation-State Law” it would have been totally different.
First, Israel has frequently offered to renew peace talks without pre-conditions, but the PA insists that talks be based on the 1949 armistice lines.
Calling for Israel to commit to renew negotiations under these circumstances is to require a major upfront concession by Israel without getting anything in return. Sorry, that’s not acceptable.
Second, the editorial quotes that part of Israel’s Declaration of Independence that includes “it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants...” However, the editorial curiously does not quote the Declaration’s central ideas: “The Land of Israel was the birthplace of the Jewish people. Here their spiritual, religious and political identity was shaped.”
The declaration then refers to “the right of the Jewish people to national rebirth in its own country. This right was recognized in the Balfour Declaration of the 2nd November, 1917, and re-affirmed in the Mandate of the League of Nations which, in particular, gave international sanction to the historic connection between the Jewish people and Eretz-Israel...”
The core of the Nation-State Law is about this right, and it should not be annulled. Many of those opposed to the version passed by the Knesset would have favored a version that quoted the declaration.
Yes, perhaps the law should be amended. But that is not what Odeh called for.
I would have expected the editorial to be more attuned to the serious implications of the words used.
Cut them off

In the August 27 edition there was an article that Israel will reduce the amount of fuel provided for Gaza’s electric grid, “IDF retaliates for Gaza rockets bu reducing diesel fuel for electricity.” Why are we supplying this fuel at all?
Israel no longer has a presence in Gaza, ergo we should not be responsible for any of their needs.
We pulled out; they had the opportunity to establish an independent state and do as Israel had done in 1948:  take its “citizens” out of transit camps and build homes, build hospitals to serve their population, build a viable electric grid and – as Israel did prior to the development of its gas fields, purchase fuel from the Egyptians.  Heavens knows they had enough money for this – the world was pouring funds into the enclave.
If instead of using the billions in aid for positive development they chose to build tunnels and rockets, well, that’s their poor choice.
I, for one, am not willing to provide them with electricity to build tunnels to attack my country!
Petah Tikva

Poor Lebanon

Regarding “What really happened in Beirut?” August 28, poor Lebanon, occupied by Iran and controlled by its proxy, Hezbollah.
Hezbollah, the largest non-state army in the world, is recognized by most Western nations as a terrorist organization. In violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which ended the 2006 skirmish, Hezbollah operates throughout the country, right up to and under the Israeli border.
Its tunnels are a war crime. The estimated 40,000 to 150,000 missiles it points at Israel are in violation of international law. The hundreds of dual-purpose houses it has built along the Israeli border are also war crimes.
And, yet, the Lebanese government is forced to cry that Israel has declared war on it, when, in effect, Israel is trying to defend Lebanon’s sovereignty.
Lebanon has no power to repel the Iran/Hezbollah threat, but Israel does. Israel will not allow Iran’s flunkies to attack it from Syria, Iraq, Gaza or Lebanon.
Israel will foil Iran’s genocidal and hegemonic ambitions. The Lebanese people should be grateful.
Fictional eschatology

Regarding Donald Bloomfield’s Washington Watch column on August 29, “Donald melech Yisrael,” the eschatology Bloomfield ascribes to Christian Zionists is fiction.
According to certain interpretations of the Book of Revelation, Christians “disappear” in the rapture. Moreover, as has been publicly reported on numerous occasions, Christian Zionism is based on the promises of Genesis not the prophecies of Revelation.
Second, when the new US Embassy opened, the only speaker at that ceremony connected to CUFI was our founder and Chairman Pastor John Hagee. He is a non-denominational Christian pastor, not a “Messianic Jews-for-Jesus rabbi.”
The writer is the CUFI senior director for policy and communications.


In the aforementioned Washington Watch column, Dr. Robert Jeffress, a Southern Baptist pastor who is not affiliated with CUFI, gave the invocation at the opening of the US Embassy, and not as stated.
The Post regrets the error.