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July, 22, 2019: Ship of fools
By LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
07/21/2019
Readers of the Jerulaem Post have their say.
Ship of fools

Regarding “UK: Iran ship seizure a ‘hostile act’ (July 21), the UK Government has just shown the world the consequences of its ignoring the clear threat from Iran to seize one or more UK vessels in retaliation for the arrest of the Iranian vessel in Gibraltar.
Is the UK government’s example any way for a serious Western alliance to deal with the nuclear threat from Iran and its explicit threats on many occasions over the years to wipe Israel off the map.
 
As the UK government has clearly shown itself incapable of protecting even UK’s own interests, is it surprising that it and its EU partners are clinging to the JCPOA, so cavalier with regard to the very clear threat to everybody in the West of a nuclear Iran?
It is all very well for them to denigrate US President Donald Trump-s “America First” policy, but they are incapable of even living up to a “UK First” policy and hardly in a position to lecture any Israel government about the threat from the Iranian regime. 

PETER SIMPSON
Jerusalem 
Askin’ Baskin
 
Regarding “Do the preposterous!” (July 18). Gershon Baskin’s claim to [being] “tired of playing games and worrying about ‘national honor’” seems somewhat artificial, given his decades-long presentation of our enemies’ claim to our 4,000-year ancestral homeland despite the existence of the many large Arab states with vast empty areas from where they originate, which certainly could make use of their many talents to improve the lives of all the inhabitants thereof. 
 
Even if Baskin prefers to ignore all Torah, historical texts, facts on the ground and multi-language references to the enlightened civilization Jews created here, why would he deny that Jordan is now de facto Palestine? 
 
It is getting more difficult to regard Baskin as an honest broker with every new column he writes. 
 
ESTER ZEITLIN
Jerusalem
 
What is preposterous is Baskin’s assertion that “Palestinian leaders really are interested in the welfare of their people.” If that were true, their corrupt leaders-for-life would not have massive illegal private bank accounts, funnel untold hundreds of millions of dollars of unaccountable aid into the production of terror tunnels and missiles, walk away from every offer for a peaceful resolution, educate, incite and reward their people to violence, make outrageous claims, rewrite history, refuse to compromise, etc. 
We, too, dream of peace, but we are not fools.
 
HOWARD DORFMAN
Hadera
 
Racing to call people racist
 
Regarding “Racism can never be tolerated. Period.” (July 17), in describing his firm’s Christmas party that he helped organize back in Chicago in 1963, Sherwin Pomerantz, unlike the four members of the Democratic “squad” who constantly denigrate the US and are prone to make numerous antisemitic comments, no doubt did not cast any aspersions about America or Christianity at that festive event. 
 
Therefore although Trump’s recent “go back” remarks are indelicate and inaccurate, they are voiced by a President who has lost patience with those that call border guards “Nazis;” detention centers “concentration camps;” Israel an “apartheid” state and criticize other aspects of American life purely for political gain .
 
Yes, he should have responded more diplomatically, however, the unacceptable racist comment aimed at Pomerantz at that party cannot be compared because it is unlikely that he made derogatory remarks to provoke it.

STEPHEN VISHNICK 
Tel Aviv
 
I always assumed that racism referred to a racial group, such as blacks and Caucasians. So US President Donald Trump’s singling out four congresswomen of different races should not be considered racism. Nor did he mention race. The four congresswoman were accused by him of not loving America. You can agree or disagree with him on that. Their behavior and remarks question their patriotism and suggests they are antisemitic. Typical of many blacks and Muslims, they are quick to accuse anyone challenging their views of being bias or racists.
 
If you search the Internet and look for the antisemitic and anti-American remarks of these four, you will have a hard time finding them. Instead, the Internet will flood you with articles accusing Trump of being a racist because he scolded these woman. Some of their remarks and positions include:
 
• Israel has hypnotized the world.
 
• Representatives support Israel because they are bought.
 
• Jewish legislators have dual loyalty.
 
• They are pro BDS and don’t want Israel to get US weapons.
 
I find these things far worse than telling them to go back to the countries they came from, as deplorable as that remark is. But to see Pomerantz accuse Trump of racism? He just echoes the anti-Trump media. 
 
PHLIP BRIEFF
Jerusalem
 
In response to Sherwin Pomerantz’s question, “Can anyone read [President Trump?s full statement to Representative Omar & ilk] and not classify it as racist?” I reply, “Yes, I don’t classify it as racist.”
 
Women “of color” are not exempt from being criticized just because they aren’t “white.” All four of the “squad” make racist, antisemitic remarks and deserve censure.
 
STEVE KRAMER
Kfar Sava
 
However well-intentioned he may be, President Donald Trump’s confrontational “style” isn’t working (his attempts to solve world crises, race relations, lower taxes, fix health care, the Middle East, etc.). Mr. President, like the classic pop tune goes, “It ain’t what you do, it’s the way that you do it.”
 
HERB STARK
Mooresville, NC

IfNotNow aggressive tactics

Regarding “IfNotNow activists ambush Democratic candidates in New Hampshire” (July 16), this organization that refuses to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist at all is asking young people to accost candidates and ask some variant of, “Will you push Israel to end the occupation?” 
 
So far, Pete Butiggieg, Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden have been targeted and they publicly condemned the “occupation.” 
Pro-Israel groups should follow the same strategy of Ifnotnow and also force presidential candidates to take positions by asking questions such as: 
 
 1. Do you support the ethnic cleansing of hundreds of thousands Jews from their homes in Judea and Samaria (even though 20% of the Israeli population is Arab and Arabs can live anywhere in Israel)? 
 
 2. After final status negotiations, do you believe Jerusalem’s Western Wall should be under Israeli sovereignty (as Bill Clinton stated in his Parameters for Peace) or Palestinian sovereignty (as Barack Obama wished)? 
 
 3. If Israel withdraws from Judea and Samaria how would Israel protect itself from Hamas missile attacks (considering Hamas leadership has repeatedly stated they will attack Israel from the West Bank as they do from Gaza if given a chance)? 
 
Questions like these should be asked to presidential candidates by pro-Israel groups to counter Ifnotnow. 

EZEQUIEL DOINY
Maryland
 
Ilhan Omar’s agenda

Regarding “Omar introduces pro-BDS resolution, announces trip to Israel” (July 18), she says she will be traveling to Israel and the Palestinian territories in a few weeks “so I’ll learn more.”
 
She is not coming to learn more or look for the truth, nor for justice for Israel: she is coming only to collect propaganda against Israel to give foundation whatsoever prejudicial enmity against Israel and to her support for the PA and Hamas. The outcome of that can be only negative for Israel. I recommend not granting her a Visa.

THOMAS BLOKLAND, PH.D. 
Naarden, Netherlands
 
No one is surprised that US Representative Ilhan Omar, whose obsession with demonizing Israel seems almost all-consuming, is organizing her first and only international “mission” to come here. Why is she not interested in visiting any of the other 200 or so other countries around the world – almost all of which are much larger than our narrow sliver of land, and many of which have civil and human rights issues far more serious than any she will find and highlight here?
 
No, she is compelled to laser in on the one and only Jewish country – tiny though it is – in the world; the only true democracy in the Middle East. Might she have something other than (and antithetical to) “human rights” on her mind?
 
Meanwhile, oddly, nary a word from her of concern for her homeland of Somalia as it reels from a recent wave attacks by Islamist extremists.
 
ED BLACK
Haifa
 
Regarding “Attacks on Democrats will be costly to Israel,”(July 16), it is below the dignity of Yaakov Katz to regurgitate Democrat talking points, calling US President Trump xenophobic without any actual proof or personal knowledge to back up that very toxically charged claim. 
 
The label “xenophobe” is a useful character assassination to smear someone with a differing opinion, but when a president tries to protect his country from mass illegal immigration by those who refuse to wait their turn and do it legally, that does not make one a xenophobe, and telling malcontented congresswomen they can leave the country, which they incessantly and bitterly reject as having any redeemable qualities, is also not xenophobic. Rather, it is suggesting that they just may find happiness and contentment in another part of the globe which is more consistent with their worldview of a worthy and good country is. 
 
I think we should worry less about the impact Trump’s comments will have on Israel and spend more time appreciating the fact that finally we have the full backing of an American president who has followed through on his promises to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
 
COOKIE SCHWAEBER-ISSAN
Bat Yam
 
Regarding “Do Omar’s boycotts compare to the BDS movement?” (July 19) Jewish Democrats must be cringing. Their party and congressional leader have shown remarkable tolerance for racism within their ranks.
 
Now, Ilhan Omar has introduced a resolution to boycott Israel, co-sponsored by six Democrats, including Rashida Tlaib.
Omar and Tlaib, the first Moslem women in Congress, care nothing for human rights. Their standards are dictated by the Moslem Brotherhood, whose myriad tentacles include CAIR, the Moslem Students Associations and Hamas.
 
These so-called progressives are anti-American, anti-white and antisemitic. Unfortunately, they have far too many useful idiots supporting them.
 
LEN BENNETT
Ottawa
 
There are few things more untrue and misleading than Omar’s claim that BDS exists to defend “civil and human rights,” yet many people seem seduced by her mesmerizing Siren voice. To paraphrase a tweet of hers, “Ilhan Omar has hypnotized the world; may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of her and her ilk.”
 
JACK REDNICK
Las Vegas
 
Regarding “Don’t bar Omar” (July 21), you leave out many important places to which Omar should be taken, such as Hadassah Hospital Medical Center in Jerusalem, to witness the “apartheid” interaction of Arab Muslims and Christians and Israeli Jewish medical staff and patients as well as employees of private companies there, such as its stores, kiosks and restaurants.

AVRAHAM FRIEDMAN
Ganei Modi’in
 
Congresswoman Omar’s introduction of a pro-BDS resolution more than proves that “actions speak louder than words.” President Trump’s recent attack on her and her ilk may have been problematic in style, but certainly not in substance, which was right on target, since delegitimizing Israel at every opportunity seems to be her primary goal in Congress. 
 
Then there is her outright hypocrisy, since anyone defending Israel, especially Jews, is considered dual loyalty, but when she defends the Palestinians, she calls it defending lofty goals of democracy, American taxpayers and fighting the “occupation.” What, if anything, has she been doing for her own electoral constituency, who I would assume elected her first and foremost to take care of their local and domestic concerns? 
 
GERSHON HARRIS
Hatzor Haglilit
 
Palestinian happiness

Regarding “The Palestinians, happiness and the ‘occupation’ (July 18), Hillel Frisch analyses the rankings of “happiness” of various countries in the world carried out by a Columbia University think-tank and two Canadian policy institutes. Hillel is puzzled by the high rankings of “happiness” in the Palestinian territories, who, one would imagine be very “unhappy” due to their “occupied/discriminated” status. 
 
Frisch misses a crucial psychological angle: the Palestinians are “happy” because they are at the center of the world’s attention – the UN, the European Union, Iran, the Arab league and many others. Without the so-called “occupation,” they would be just another backwater, failed state. Nobody would pay any attention to them, except perhaps to pity them. 
 
The Palestinians will stay happy as long as they can claim they are under the heavy brunt of the Jewish “occupation.” They know this and enjoy their status. God forbid the “occupation” should ever disappear – then what?
 
YIGAL HOROWITZ
Beersheba
 
Fast day unmentioned

I was very upset to find no mention at all about the 17 Tammuz fast or the Three Weeks anywhere in today’s (July 21) paper. At least the history of the period could have been related! The paper is called The Jerusalem Post, so the story of Jerusalem should be covered – and not just as an archaeological find.
 
BATYA BERLINGER 
Jerusalem
 
Regarding “Natalie Portman uses Anne Frank to slam US policy” (July 19), in a massive display of historical ignorance, Natalie Portman compares the Holocaust to America’s southern border, where foreigners are unfortunately temporarily overwhelming America’s ability to vet them in an organized manner.
 
Portman implies that America’s treatment of these foreigners is similar to what Nazis did in the Holocaust. Let us recall:
• The “medical experiments” of Dr. Joseph Mengele
 
• Jews being thrown naked into vats of ice so that the time it took for them to freeze to death could be measured
• Jewish partisans hung by their testicles until their bodies were torn apart
 
• Over a million Jewish children starved and cast into gas chambers to be suffocated by poison
 
These are just a few of the Holocaust elements that come to mind. When you mention the Holocaust, you get it all! Ms. Portman, there is nothing like this happening now on America’s southern border. 

RICHARD SHERMAN
Margate, Florida

Angry with Netanyahu

In answer to the letters criticizing Jeff Barak (Post letters, July 17)
 
The Left has never forgiven Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for dismantling the socialist state. This changed Israel from being a third world basket case living off handouts from abroad into a state whose economy, compared to its size, stands in the front row with the best. 
 
Perhaps he could have been forgiven for that, but in doing so, he abolished the privileges of the privileged classes. What’s the pleasure in driving around in a car belonging to the Histadrut or the government, when the roads are filled with the cars of every Tom, Dick and Harry who has the money to buy a car?
 
What’s the point of taking a trip abroad when the planes are packed with the common herd, who actually paid for their tickets and think it’s their right to rub shoulders with their betters?
 
I’d also be angry with Netanyahu if I were one of them.
 
DAVID STEINHART
Petah Tikvah
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