Mladenov gets it wrong

Regarding “Palestinian killed in clashed with settlers, IDF after hiker stabbed” (January 27), after the massive Arab riot on Saturday January 26, special coordinator for the Middle East peace process Nickolay Mladenov tweeted, “Israel must put an end to settler violence & bring those responsible to justice.”

The Jerusalem Post reporter’s response should have been, “What ‘settler violence?’ 150 Arabs rioted, resulting in the death of one rioter. That is the news story – not one of an ‘altercation.’” DAVID BEDEIN
Director, Israel Resource News Agency

Brazil and Israel get it right

While the Irish are busy deciding which parts of the land of Israel they feel Jews can and can’t live in, Israel is busy helping to rescue some 300 people who are feared dead following the collapse of a dam in Brazil (“Israel to send aid to Brazil after dam collapse,” January 27). Instead of attacking Israel on false pretenses, perhaps Ireland should consider supporting Israel, as Brazil does, or emulating Israel for the good it does around the world.

LOUISE GOLDBERG
Boston, Mass.

When Irish eyes aren’t smiling

Regarding “Israel to Ireland: W. Bank goods boycott will seriously harm ties” (January 27), the recent decision to boycott goods from Judea and Samaria reflects blatant cynicism and hypocrisy on the part of Irish politicians.

Every Sunday, these same people solemnly bow down to a “West Bank settler Jew.” Jesus never met a Palestinian and never heard a single word of Arabic. Jews are the indigenous “Irishmen” (blacks, aborigines, American Indians) of the Mideast. We were here first and are the majority in out own land. There was already a Jewish country named Israel 1,500 years before the first Moslem was even born, and before Christianity first arrived to Ireland.  Like the Irish, we battled against English occupation. If the Irish are truly keen to organize boycotts, I suggest that they ban the sale of goods by Anglican settlers in Belfast, on the occupied West Bank of the Irish Sea.

STEVE BERGER
Ramat Gan

In 1933, Hitler was elected chancellor of Germany, but had to modify the Constitution to obtain dictatorial power. For this, he needed the support of two thirds of the Reichstag representatives, which he could not have obtained without the support of the Zentrum political party, which was controlled by the Catholics.

As the spiritual leader of Catholics worldwide, the Pope had influence over German Catholics and he could have asked them not to support Hitler’s reform of the constitution. Lacking the support of the Zentrum Party dominated by Catholics, Hitler would not have been able to modify the constitution and obtain dictatorial power and the Holocaust could have been avoided.

Dozens of Catholic priests joined the Nazi Party. After the war, the Vatican helped SS officers escape, providing them false documents and an escape route through the Vatican’s “ratline.”

Just as the Vatican could have used its influence in Germany in 1933, it could have used its influence in Ireland (where 87% of the population is Catholic) to prevent the antisemitic BDS vote.

As the Foreign Ministry said, “This is a clear expression of obsessive discrimination that should be rejected with disgust.”

EZEQUIEL DOINY
New Jersey

Litzman’s smokescreen

Regarding “Litzman’s diagnosis for an ailing country” (January 25), this detailed analysis of Deputy Minister of Health Ya’acov Litzman’s approach to his responsibilities omits two areas in which his ministry has been seriously derelict in protecting the nation’s health.

1) His unwillingness, at the behest of the tobacco industry, to support an aggressive no smoking campaign that accords with European standards.

2) Under apparent pressure from manufacturers, his reluctance to impose strict content labeling on food products.

Surely Litzman’s responsibility for the health of Israel’s population takes precedence over the economic concerns of the food and tobacco industries?

RAYMOND CANNON
Netanya

The interview with Deputy Health Minister Ya’acov Litzman was excellent and very informative – until, in my opinion, the last paragraph.

The interview clearly showed how broad minded Litzman is. However, the writers’ description of his being “unbowed and obdurate in his opposition to real change” hints at their Leftist liberal leanings.

Litzman is uncompromising on his principles as an Orthodox Jew. There are many Israelis who are Orthodox, who follow Halacha but are not “haredi,” a term with which I was not familiar before my aliyah from New York over 38 years ago. Yet we believe in the religious principles expressed by Litzman.

It is the uncompromising Left that remains unbowed and obdurate in not understanding that there are those who will never bend to their demands for change to their way of thinking.

AVRAHAM FRIEDMAN
Ganei Modi’in

Dishonest discussion about poverty

Atara Solow raises the issue of poverty in Israel (“Why the issue of poverty must be front and center in this election campaign,” January 24) with a plea to position this issue as central to the current election campaign.

As usual, Israel is compared unfavorably to the OECD as possessing the highest rate of poverty and the highest levels of inequality. Solow calls for Israelis to demand that our prospective elected officials deal with these issues.

There is something blatantly disingenuous about the repeated calls to eradicate poverty in Israel without mentioning some of the special factors that lead to the seemingly large impoverished parts of our society. The first is the extraordinarily large families among a significant fraction of the orthodox – many of whom decide on a life of poverty and 14 hours a day Torah study. The second is the large Bedouin population – again, with large families and sometimes second wives whose lifestyle and culture are not adequately assessed in poverty statistics.

All this aside from large immigrant populations and defense requirements that are not matched anywhere in the world. Do OECD countries face similar extraordinary conditions? Is it fair or honest to compare Israel to OECD countries ? Perhaps instead of bemoaning our failed society, Solow should publish an honest discussion of the underlying reasons and suggest some solutions to these problems.

YIGAL HOROWITZ
Beersheba

I’m sure that the Migdal Ohr organization that Atara Solow heads is a worthy one, but I take issue with the label “impoverished” for families in which a father or mother who could bring in income chooses not to work.

I doubt that these families, Jewish or Arab, consider themselves “impoverished.” Instead, they make a lifestyle choice. Therefore, they should not be counted as living under the poverty line.

STEVE KRAMER
Kfar Sava

Hamas gets away with murder

Regarding “Security cabinet OKs transfer of $15m to Gaza” (January 24), paying a blackmailer never stops, and in the case of the terrorists in Gaza they will continue every Friday to attack the border trying to destroy the security fence, kill our soldiers and infiltrate border settlements. This also goes for swapping terrorists for our soldiers dead or alive. I grew up (retired combat soldier) believing no soldier should be left behind.

There a saying, “If you are going to shoot – shoot, don’t talk.” For me, this refers to previous comments made by our military and government NOT to allow the Palestinian demonstrators (terrorists) to get within 500 meters of the border.

I get feeling that the retired IDF ombudsman Yitzhak Brick might be right, especially when it comes to high-ranking officers in the IDF land forces not being ready. Our army has fought three mini-wars in Gaza over the past 10 years and will continue the mini wars whenever Hamas and the other terrorist organizations feel fit to commence believing they will win. They will not win, but we will again pay a heavy price ending up with the same results as before.

Or we can end it once and for all, with the civilian reconstruction to be done only by either Arab countries or the EU.

A true general picks the time and place to engage the enemy. When it comes to terrorists, the time is every day and the place is Gaza – not Israel.

MURRAY JOSEPH
Kiryat Motzkin

The tit-for-tat that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu adheres to is sheer insanity (“PM stalls Qatar payments to Gaza following violence,” January 23). Hamas is sworn to destroy us and makes no secret of this, but Netanyahu refuses to destroy it, even as the attacks and murders of Israelis continue.

Hamas, well aware of Netanyahu’s dread of being prime minister of the whole of the State of Israel, knows it is onto a winner and only has to tone down the violence – not even stop it – for a short period to justify Netanyahu allowing the money (which Hamas has now rejected) through. This is his “retaliatory” position against everything Hamas does.

Only in Israel does an enemy virtually get handed a get-out-of-jail free card.

When I read the article “Kushner to push peace plan before heat of 2020 race” on the same page, I know to expect more trouble, because Netanyahu wants to please US President Donald Trump and has also stood by his Bar Ilan speech where he legitimized Arab claims to Jewish Land.

With his continued support of terrorist-in-a-suit PA leader Mahmoud Abbas, whose mentor was arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat, another enemy survives to bring terrorism to our land.

EDITH OGNALL
Netanya

If proof were needed that Hamas’s hatred of us is far greater than their consideration for the welfare of their people, I would offer their decision to refuse funds (“Hamas rejects grant from Qatar, vows to continue border riots,” (January 25).

In light of this, the government should consider refusing to facilitate any future fund transfers until their violent border demonstrations cease.

It’s well past the time that the Palestinian people recognize that their leaders are promoting a false narrative – and one that certainly has very little concern for their true needs.

On an unrelated topic, I object to public demonstrations outside the private homes of government ministers, even if one of them is possibly in line for an indictment.

The key word is “private.” I would suggest, by all means, to hold these gatherings at the relevant work offices of other designated spots, but to do so at their homes not only disrupts their civil rights but those of their families and neighbors. Moreover, it places an additional strain on the relevant police and security forces.

STEPHEN VISHNICK
Tel Aviv

Let’s invite Courtney Hadwin

Might I suggest that at the forthcoming Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv the organizers consider extending an invitation to 14-year-old Courtney Hadwin from England, the sensation of the recent America’s Got Talent contest.

Hadwin is a singing phenomenon and is all over the YouTube, but here in Israel, few in the entertainment business seem even remotely aware of her existence.

I urge them to watch this shy young girl who performs like no one else in our generation. If she comes as a Eurovision guest, it will be a really big feather in Israel’s cultural hat and she will undoubtedly inspire a whole new generation of Israeli music lovers of all ages.

DAVID HERMAN
Jerusalem

Spouse freedom

Regarding “Tzohar election initiative calls on politicians to honor their rivals” (January 20), This is an excellent initiative to encourage our politicians to engage in content driven public debate rather than mudslinging.

But I wonder, does this mean that the wives of candidates are now released to pursue their own interests? Should Mrs. Lapid or Mrs. Gantz or any other spouse wish to volunteer with human rights organizations whose focus is an end to the Occupation, could they do so without personal repercussions or damage to their partner’s political aspirations?

AVIVA HAY
Even Yehuda

Vienna literati

Regarding “An intimate evening with Schubert (January 23), reporter Sarah Hershenso writes, “Although penniless and without acumen for getting his larger works performed during his lifetime, Schubert was a respected member of the Vienna literati, musicians, artists, and poets, such as Schiller, Goethe and Heine, whose words he had the permission to use to form the text of his ‘art songs.’”

While Schubert may indeed have set to music the poems of Schiller, Goethe and Heine, these literary geniuses did not reside in Vienna. They all lived in various German and not Austrian cities, with Schiller and Goethe primarily associated with Weimar, and Heine, spending the last 25 years of his life as an expatriate in Paris.

DAVID WILK
Ma’aleh Adumim

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