December 1: Report the half-full cup

Why is “A fourth of Israelis say FSU immigrants have hurt society” (November 30) the headline, instead of the subhead, “45% say they made things better”?

Breaking news (photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
Breaking news
(photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
Report the half-full cup
Sir, – Why is “A fourth of Israelis say FSU immigrants have hurt society” (November 30) the headline, instead of the subhead, “45% say they made things better”? Let’s have some good news for a change and report the half-full cup. What country other than Israel has absorbed so many immigrants in such a short time with as much success? Our media should express pride in this achievement and encourage immigrants to be proud of making aliya and contributing to the state.
Givat Shmuel
Vintage Zionist vineyards
Sir, – It is always a pleasure to read the columns of David Geffen.
The recent one on Abba Hillel Silver (“The American Herzl?,” November 30) was no exception.
Limited space did not allow mention of Dr. Emanuel Neumann, who worked many years as a partner with Rabbi Silver in their efforts to promote Zionism in America.
It was my privilege to attend the mass rallies in New York which were addressed by Silver and Neumann. They left an indelible impression on thousands of American Jews.
Unfortunately there are other names who toiled in the American Zionist vineyards and have not received proper recognition.
For more background, I would suggest reading Prof. Lawrence Davidson’s article, “Truman the politician and the establishment of Israel” in the summer 2010 issue of the Journal of Palestine Studies.
Vintage Keinon
Sir, – Congratulations to Herb Keinon for his analysis, “WikiLeaks: Burying the linkage between the peace process and Iran” (November 30). This was simply one of the best analyses on the Middle East I’ve ever read.
A columnist responds
Sir, – I would not challenge Ze’ev Bielski’s paeans of praise for the contributions to Israel made over the years by Mick Davis (“Wrong About Davis,” Letters, November 30). But to my surprise, Bielski simply ignores the grounds for my criticism of Davis.
As a former head of the Jewish Agency, Bielski of all people is surely aware that it is unconscionable for the head of a Diaspora Jewish community to indulge in unbridled criticism of Israel. This applies especially in a country like the United Kingdom where demonization and delegitimization of Israel – not to mention anti-Semitism – have reached unprecedented levels.
The London Jewish Chronicle prefaced its report on the criticisms of Israel made by Davis by stating, “One of British Jewry’s most senior leaders this week shattered a long-standing taboo by publicly criticizing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the peace process, voicing moral reservations about some of Israel’s policies, and calling for criticism of Israel to be voiced freely throughout the community.”
This created a major communal upheaval and some Jewish leaders protested.
I would challenge Bielski to point to even one other example of a reputable Diaspora Jewish leader making such statements and retaining his position.
Even in the US, with American Jews inclined to be far more liberal than their British counterparts, it would be inconceivable to visualize leaders of the ADL or the American Jewish Committee or other organizations making such statements.
Freedom of expression is not at issue. If Davis felt a passionate need to express his criticisms of Israel, he should have resigned his leadership positions at the UIJA and JLC and could then have expressed whatever views he wished. And I doubt whether anyone would have noticed.
Peace, not revolutions
Sir, – Barry Rubin’s “Revolution, not terrorism, is the main threat” (The region, November 29) makes a point that has concerned me for years – that Israel’s neighbors will “go Islamist” and then want nuclear weapons.
It is just incomprehensible that Israel has not tried to negotiate on the basis of the Arab League peace plan. It does not call for the right of return, but for “negotiations” about the refugees. Borders based on 1967 but with equivalent land swaps could possibly work.
There would be no disadvantage.
But Israel never tries. This is also what the world sees – no trying, just settlement expansion.
Regional frustration could help foment the revolutions about which Rubin worries, while an agreement would not only bring peace and security with the Arabs, but isolate Iran.
I hope we realize that, whatever their faults, Mahmoud Abbas, Hosni Mubarak and Jordan’s King Abdullah represent the greatest hope for true peace and security that Israel will ever have.
The time to try for a peace deal – and not necessarily succeed, but just try – is now, before it is too late.
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Kind of silly, no?
Sir, – In your November 29 editorial (“Fair press for peace”), you point out that Fatah has recently honored terrorist murderers and continues to insist that Israel is not the “Jewish state.” If that is the case, why does The Jerusalem Post time and again call for progress toward a two-state solution? While you should be commended for being a lone voice in reporting Fatah’s intransigence, why not put two and two together and admit that creating another Arab state alongside Israel will not result in peace.
Sir, – The Fatah Revolutionary Council has rejected any changes to the 1948 armistice lines, including land swaps designed to place Arab homes in Palestine and the Jews’ in Israel.
Such swaps avoid creating more refugees by preventing the expulsion of Jews living in Judea and Samaria from their homes, while providing Arabs self-determination in the proposed Palestine.
Land swaps can also give Palestinians more territory than they might otherwise have under an agreement that leaves as many people as possible, Arabs and Jews, in place.
Fatah has also declared that Israel cannot remain a Jewish state, although none have suggested Israelis may determine the political or ethnic future of Palestine.
Israelis have learned that just because they have won multiple wars after being threatened and attacked by their neighbors, winning has not allowed them to dictate peace terms. Apparently, Fatah still reserves that right for itself.
Philadelphia, PA
Free of charge
Sir, – Thank you for making the first installment of the three million pages of leaked documents accessible, showing the most relevant and commenting for clarity and relevance (“WikiLeaks reveals Saudi Arabia exhorted US to attack Iran and ‘cut off the head of the snake,’” November 29). It’s great day for democracy, free press and parliamentary scrutiny the world over, and a thunderous defeat for global manipulations, lying and patronizing, whether in the name of democratic or totalitarian regimes.
Things will never be the same again. From now on we may say that the public’s security and empowerment are strengthened by three things: a free press, free elections and free leaks.