Letters to the editor: September 26, 2018

Russia denounces Israel
Regarding “Israel provided false info regarding downing of IL-20, says Kremlin” (September 25), after all the evidence the Israeli Air Force delegation presented to the Russians, they are still accusing Israel. Is this surprising? Hardly. A leopard never changes its spots.
Whom are we to believe? The mentality that produced the reaction to the Kronstadt rebellion, the collectivization, the Ukrainian famine, the Kirov murder, the great purge of the 1930s, the show trials, the gulags, the Katyn massacre, the Doctors’ Plot or just recently the bizarre RT Skripal poisoning suspects’ interview?
Or should we believe Israel? For those who know history the answer is obvious.
MLADEN ANDRIJASEVIC
Beersheba

The accusations against Israel by Russia on the accidental downing of a Russian aircraft by Syrian fire highlight the perils inherent in the Syrian civil war.
It was inevitable that such accidents would happen, since Syria is so crowded with outside forces that it resembles the stateroom in Night at the Opera, and the situation will only get worse as long as Russia exploits the chaos there in order to gain influence on behalf of its puppet, Syrian President Bashar Assad. What makes things even worse is that Iran, an ally of Russia and Assad, will continue to expand its influence, further fueling tensions with Israel and the Sunni states. There is a real danger of a much wider conflict.
The best way to neutralize the situation is for the US to read the riot act to Russian President Vladimir Putin. He should not be allowed to re-establish the Russian empire in the Middle East, especially since he is effectively enabling Iranian expansion. If NATO fails to contain Russia in Syria, as it failed to contain Russia in Ukraine, then NATO is utterly worthless.
This is a chance for Trump to show that he’s serious about defense, despite his past reluctance to criticize Putin.
DAVID KATCOFF
Charleston, South Carolina

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Not recommended
The questionable manner in which University of Michigan professor John Cheney-Lippold reneged on his agreement to write a recommendation letter for a student because (and only because) the student sought to study at a university in Israel (“University of Michigan and BDS of Israel,” September 23) is a development that I have been following with much glacial interest.
I have seen many Arab students on the Tel Aviv University campus on each of my several visits during the past few months (and also was enrolled in some summer courses there in the early 1970’s during my undergraduate years).
The University of Michigan’s catchment area includes a significant Arab-American population, including many who have family connections in Israel.
If, perchance, an Arab-American student having family in Jaffa were to take an interest in summer courses at Tel Aviv University, would Prof. Cheney-Lippold then decline to write a recommendation letter for that student based upon the fact that TAU is an Israeli institution and therefore subject to Cheney-Lippold’s department’s alleged academic boycott?
KALMAN H. RYESKY
Petah Tikva

Reflections on Ari Fuld
Regarding “In everyone’s circle” (September 21), I am not ashamed or too proud to say I cried reading this article concerning the treacherous murder of Ari Fuld.
My reaction was similar, no doubt, to the reactions of others in first hearing the news of his death – however, my tears quickly turned to anger and frustration.
This death of this brave husband, father, son, brother and magnanimous friend only tragically highlights the twisted message being relayed by our enemies and, sadly, does nothing to foster any sought of peace or understanding – in fact quite the opposite.
As long as the Palestinians continue along this path, their future is bleak and ours will and must always remain hopeful and promising, especially strengthened by the memory of the likes of Fuld, a true Israeli hero.
STEPHEN VISHNICK
Tel Aviv

Regarding “Palestinian groups applaud attack” (September 17), The Jerusalem Post gave front-page coverage to Islamic Jihad’s description of Ari Fuld’s murder as “a natural response to crimes” of Zionists against “Palestinian land.”
How clever of the Islamic terrorist organizations, because many people agree if, for example, an intruder broke into your home and the homeowner shot him fatally, that the “violence” is just and right, the intruder committed a crime, hence provoked his own death. This sentiment has been harnessed by Islamic terrorists for years. To cite just a few examples of many:
• In 2005, a suicide bombing in Netanya killed five. Hamas: “A natural response to crimes by the occupation.”
• In 2014, four worshipers were slaughtered in a Har Nof synagogue. Islamic Jihad: “A natural response to crimes of the occupation.”
• In 2017, aired Hamas’s justification of slaying two Israeli Druze: “A natural response to Zionist ongoing crimes.”
• In May of this year, a projectile was shot into an Israeli kindergarten an hour before it opened. Hamas: “A natural response to Israeli crimes.”
• And in July, an Iranian news website said killing a father of two in “the Adam settlement” was “a natural response to the crimes of the occupation.”
Americans and Israelis urge Trump Administration lawyers to officially terminate all US government references to settlements being “illegal.” The idea is to check the implied respectability that “justifications” of horrible terrorist crimes have enjoyed in the West.
For example, a confused vice president of Students for Justice in Palestine at CUNY announced in 2015 that “violence against illegal settlers” (sic) is not terrorism.
Obama Administration lawyers could have officially clarified at that time that settlements, however controversial, are legal not “crimes” – as a giant step toward making terrorism (even against Jews) intellectually unacceptable.
They did the opposite.
SUSIE DYM
Rehovot

The legacies of Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres and Oslo are based on falsehoods, unrealistic dreams and wishful thinking.
The legacy of Ari Fuld is based on truth and facts.
AVRAHAM FRIEDMAN
Ganei Modiin

I am appalled but not surprised at the article “PA to pay family of Fuld’s murder NIS 1,400 a month for 3 years,” (September 18). 
PA President Mahmoud Abbas, whom some call a “man of peace” (is there another Abbas?), with whom we are so anxious to negotiate, has a terrorist reward budget for 2017-2018 of NIS 1.2 billion – to which the Israeli people contribute, while we have people living below the poverty line. Netanyahu has constantly refused to allow a law to be enacted that would stop those payments for the incredible reason that it could cause the PA to collapse. Therefore one can only assume he supports terrorism in that he won’t destroy Hamas nor do anything significant to stop Abbas.
Itamar Marcus of Palestinian Media Watch states, “Every month that the Israeli government violates the new law, the PA has 100,000,000 shekels supplied by Israel from which it can reward terror.” While the country is mourning the death of this very special man, Ari Fuld, we should not forget all those that came before and will come after because a country that does not scream out for justice and the removal of its enemies from its midst by whatever means necessary cannot survive in the long run.
My condolences to the Fuld family and I pray that in the coming year we will cease to passively accept terrorism as though there is no alternative.
EDITH OGNALL
Netanya

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Along with many thousands of Israelis, I am broken-hearted at the news of Ari Fuld’s murder. I was a regular babysitter for Ari and his brothers and my whole family along with the Hillcrest community adored his parents Yonah and Mary for their humility, authenticity, sincerity and overall kindness. From testimonies I’ve heard about Ari from the multitude of his friends and admirers, it is clear that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
Despite my sorrow, I was dismayed to read that the IDF plans to destroy the house of the terrorist. The practice of destroying terrorists’ homes is justified when it serves as a deterrent to terrorism. In many cases, the terrorist grows up in a home that fosters the terrorist’s demonic worldview that calls for and even celebrates harming innocent civilians. In that light, having a home destroyed is fitting.
However, according to reports verified by the IDF, the mother of this terrorist tried to warn both the PA and the IDF about their son’s intentions. Assuming that this was not a ploy, if the parents did nothing to encourage terrorism – and especially if they opposed it – then destroying their home becomes arbitrary instead of serving justice. Worse still, it diminishes the chances that other Palestinian parents who are not happy with their child’s choice for violence, will make attempts to stop them.
I’m guessing that Ari’s family will not derive much gratification from the destruction of the terrorists’ home under these circumstances; neither will it bring them any comfort.
On the other hand, Ari pursued his attacker to prevent others from being attacked, possibly diminishing his own chances for survival in that effort. The justice system must guarantee that his murderer never be freed.
SHARON LINDENBAUM
Rehovot

Unlike the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), Arab Palestinians have a version with a different purpose – the Arab Assassins Retirement Plan.
Under this plan, if you murder a Jew – any Jew – and are killed in the process, your family is compensated with tens of thousands of dollars for having done the world the favor of giving birth to a child who rid the planet of an undesirable person.
If the murderer doesn’t get killed but is merely imprisoned for life, then a lifetime pension of thousands of dollars a month is paid. The killer’s family gets the money, because it can’t be spent in jail. The latest beneficiary of this ghoulish system will be the killer of Hero of Zion Ari Fuld.
Thanks to the generosity of taxpayers of many governments, including the US, this blood money costs the Arab Palestinians nothing because it is donated by others.
The educational system that feeds hate to Arab Palestinian youth, and of course parental support, gives wings to this horror. Thanks to the gullibility of millions and an unhealthy dose of antisemitic sentiment around the world, the funding of the Palestinian AARP seems destined to continue, unless Donald Trump stays in the White House.
DESMOND TUCK
San Mateo, CA

Lobbing softball questions to UNRWA
Your interview with UNRWA director general Pierre Krähenbühl (“UNRWA HEAD tells ‘Post’: You can’t just wish away a people and then hope the problem goes away” (September 12), was flawed by questions that the interviewer neglected to ask.
Why did a Jerusalem Post interviewer fail to use the opportunity to ask fundamental questions in her interview? Examples:
1. When Krähenbühl speaks proudly of the 526,000 pupils educated in the organization’s schools, why did the interviewer not ask about the UNRWA curriculum, which is dedicated to the “right of return by force of arms”?
2. Why did the interviewer not ask why UNRWA textbooks delete maps of Israel, a member in good standing of the UN?
3. Why did the interviewer not ask about UNRWA schoolbook maps that erase names of Israeli cities and substitute names of Arab villages?
4. Why did the interviewer not ask about the Hamas takeover of the UNRWA workers union and UNRWA teachers union, a fact of life since 1999?
5. Why did the interviewer not ask about the “Al Kutla” Hamas terrorist youth clubs that UNRWA lets operate in their schools?
6. Regarding of UNRWA books that “deal with human rights,” why did the interviewer not ask about the fact that not one the UNRWA human rights school books, which we have examined, do not mention a single word about human rights for anyone except for the residents of the UNRWA refugee camps?
7. Why did the interviewer not ask why Dalal al-Mughrabi – killed in a 1978 terrorist attack where she murdered 38 civilians, including 13 children – is glorified in four UNRWA schoolbooks, as a “heroine and martyr of Palestine”?
When only “softball” questions are asked in an interview, the value of that interview is greatly diminished.
DAVID BEDEIN
Director, Israel Resource News Agency

Sleeping with the Bible
Regarding “What one thing is missing from Israel’s hotels?” (September 25), while I appreciate Rabbi Tuly Weisz’s exhortation to the Israeli hotel operators to place copies of the Bible in every hotel room, he should first find a suitable benefactor to fund this initiative.
Hoteliers are faced with significant operating costs beyond those of their worldwide counterparts, such as for security and kashrut, so it is unreasonable to expect them to bear the burden of this, too. Maybe there is a modern-day Gideon waiting in the wings, but I suspect they may have other charitable endeavors to which they attach greater priority.
RUSSELL KETT
Netanya

Tuly Weisz commends Marriot on their decision to place hundreds of thousands of bibles in hotel rooms in the USA and suggests that the same decision be taken considering Israel’s hotels. This will slow the shift away from Judeo-Christian values and diminish suicides.
I have two problems with these recommendations.
1. Weisz is the editor of the newly released The Israel Bible published by Koren Jerusalem’s Menorah books and clearly may have a commercial interest in his opinion – a classic conflict of interest. If he wants to promote Menorah’s bible, he should disclaim any possibility that he is salaried by Menorah.
2. Although Israel is the “nation state’ of the Jewish people, there are a couple of million Muslims living here and using the hotels. What about a Koran in the hotel rooms as well? Otherwise we will have a commotion, with our Arab MKs crying “rampant racism.”
3. What about the hotel rooms in east Jerusalem and elsewhere? Bible or Koran?
YIGAL HOROWITZ
Beersheba

Still advocating peace
The front-page article “Olmert’s meeting with Abbas evokes outrage,” (September 23), dredged up, to our sorrow, two reviled charlatans. These two untrustworthy villains have been responsible for casualties among many of our citizens, yet they both, deceitfully, are still advocating peace.
Former prime minister Ehud Olmert, a convicted felon acting as a pseudo leader, destroyed the faith and confidence of his people. He should not be given a media platform to further influence our political system. His past efforts for peace with terrorists were unceremoniously rejected.
The other contemptible character, PA President Mahmoud Abbas, has delivered to his people not prosperity but misery, while enriching himself and pursuing his own self-serving ulterior goals. His purpose in life was to kill Jews and eliminate the Jewish state and he incentivizes terrorists to do so by paying generous stipends to them and their families.
This meeting is a sham as these individuals strut the world stage.
JACK DAVIS
Jerusalem

Silencing the Right
Arik Segal (“Are Social Media Biased?” September 20) asks why conservatives are complaining about the biased social media and challenges the accuracy of US President Donald Trump’s tweet last month that social media “are closing down the opinions of many people on the RIGHT.”
But it is not just “bots and fake accounts” that have been removed; there are real people whose voices are silenced because of their political leanings by online social forum giants. One important example for Israelis is the YouTube restriction on videos from Prager University, which aims to spread conservative ideas in five-minute videos. The YouTube restriction, meant to filter out “inappropriate” content, restricts 80 of these videos, such as one that argues that morality depends on God, one that defends police against charges of racism and even one that defends Israel’s right to exist – which, unfortunately, is becoming a less acceptable position as one moves Left.
You can see this yourself at home. Search on YouTube for Prager U.’s video “Israel’s Legal Founding” and watch Alan Dershowitz defend Israel’s origins. Then go to your YouTube account settings, scroll to the bottom, turn on “Restricted Mode” and then search for the video again. It’s gone! Google (which owns YouTube) apparently doesn’t want youngsters to be exposed to the non-leftist/Prager viewpoint on Israel and on more than 70 other topics.
Significantly, in the lawsuit that Prager U. lost to Google, as reported by Reuters, the judge’s decision does not refute the accusation that Google censors conservatives, but instead argues that Google is a private forum and has the right to deny free speech to whomever they want.
Israel is not getting its fair share of free speech on the world stage that Google claims to be.
MARK SMILOWITZ
Beit Shemesh

Let my people come
Israel is becoming a cruel nation. In 2015, an agreement was made to bring to Israel all 8,200 Falash Mura, yet only 1,300 were brought. Now we will accept only 1,000 more. Some of these people have been waiting over 20 years to reunite with family members.
Yes, years ago they converted to Christianity – under duress, like the Anusim. Yet they have been living as Jews for years in the camps in Ethiopia and those who have come to Israel have immediately converted.
How is it that we can find millions of shekels for the Eurovision in Israel in 2019, or to send aid to countries that suffer natural disasters, or waste money on railroads that take years and years to finish and go way over budget (and undoubtedly into someone’s pockets), yet we can’t find it in our hearts and our budgets to bring our Jewish brethren to Israel where they long to be?
I think this is a perfect time of year to ask forgiveness to our cruelty to (and perhaps discrimination against) to the Falash Mura.
BARBARA S. CASDEN
Ma ale Adumim

Rescinding the PLO pass
In “Trump ends the Palestinian exception” (September 14), Caroline Glick summarizes the issue as “…giving the Palestinians… a pass for actions that would otherwise be illegal, simply because they are Palestinians.”
There are countless examples of this phenomenon in many spheres of Western society, and she details some of these. An important question rarely addressed in this connection is… why? Why do Western leaders by and large give the Palestinians a pass?
To answer this question, we need to ask ourselves whether, if the Palestinians were in violent conflict with anyone else, such as the Egyptians or Christian society or Turkey or any other group, and were using the same tactics as those used against Israel – such as gross lies in world forums and in the media aimed at delegitimizing their opponent, as well as indiscriminate missile attacks against civilian centers, terrorist attacks against citizens, not to mention the shocking phenomenon of UNRWA basically stealing billions of dollars from the world community and teaching generations of Palestinians to hate and kill Israelis, etc. – would the world give all that a pass?
 The answer is an obvious and categorical “no.”
The conclusion is just as obvious. The world doesn’t mind that much if the object of these actions is the one and only Jewish State. Of course nobody can admit that, since it makes them accomplices.
CHARLES SMITH
Moshav Shoresh

Unexpected hyphenated Jews
Regarding “Jewish communities in unexpected forms,” (September 17), how does one answer this ridiculous article by the “director for the Israel Center for Jewish-Christian Relations?”
I will start at the end of her article.
“And so – perhaps strangely – it was there in an overly air conditioned room in Dallas in August, surrounded by practicing Christians, people who used big Christian words like “transubstantiation” and “supersessionism” that this Orthodox Jew understood as never before that truly and mysteriously, Am Yisrael chai – the people of Israel live.”
The reporter is writing of a conference of Jews “absolutely committed to their Jewishness and to Jewish survival in their own corner of the Jewish people and gathered to talk of Jewish issues,” to which she was invited as an outside observer. In this upside down world they inhabit, they are Messianic Jews, Anglican Jews, Catholic Jews, Presbyterian Jews, Eastern Orthodox Jews – but apparently all somehow Jews. She tells us how they even celebrate a Catholic mass in Hebrew each morning and a Messianic Jewish mincha-maariv prayer in the early evening and that at a time when the mainstream Jewish community finds it so challenging to get Jews to live active and committed Jewish lives, this gathering was an unexpected inspiration.
Reality check: they are not living active committed Jewish lives. Hard as it may be for the writer to accept, one cannot be in any of the above-mentioned religions and still be a member of Am Yisrael. It is sad that she finds this outlandish group of people an inspiration. It is instead a recipe for the end of Judaism and should be stopped in its tracks, certainly in Israel, the land of the Jewish People.
PHYLLIS STERN
Netanya

Relatively mild racism
In the Yom Kippur Magazine issue (September 19), Rabbi Dov Lipman discusses instances of racism in Israel and the need to correct these and repent. Instead of discussing real possible issues of racism, he presents three anecdotes from the life of a 33 year old Ethiopian woman who made aliyah at the age of three. Instead of pointing out her own successes (medic in the IDF, law degree, sports star – obviously a highly successful woman) as an example of the “unracist” nature of Israeli society, we are presented with three anecdotes from her life supposedly proving that racism exists and must be eradicated:
1) A woman referred to her as a black woman
2) An interviewer was surprised that she spoke Hebrew so well (being black)
3) Two policemen approached her and brother and asked for identification.
Not bad for 30 years. I lived for about 30 years in the USA and Canada and also experienced racism. For example:
1) My brother and I were called kikes by some young hoodlums
2) I was busy trying on shirts in a Miami clothing store; when the seller realized that I was Jewish, he exclaimed, “Wow, I’m surprised – you look like a good guy.
3) My brother and I were accused of killing Christ.
Vulgar, insensitive, ignorant or stupid comments should not be instantly referred to as racist. Doing so distorts and trivializes the real issues. Israel may be one of the least racist countries in the world – kol hakavod to us.
Yigal Horowitz
Beersheba

No steady keel
Regarding “Should Jews owe gratitude to Trump?” (September 18), America’s rabbi, as Shmuley Boteach describes himself, is full of praise for a president held in disdain by most of America’s Jews. His article is about Trump’s so-called support for Israel.
Any competent historian knows that history is always evolving and what Boteach considers Trump’s pro-Israel sentiments today can change dramatically tomorrow. There is no steady keel at the Trump White House and no sense of real presidential leadership.
As America’s rabbi, it would behoove Boteach to focus on American Jewry, where he would find little to praise in Trump as a leader, a mensch or a person deserving of respect and admiration. Au contraire. Since Boteach is American – not Israeli – his comments about Jewish support need to be USA-based. Is Trump support prevailing in Jewish America?
Rabbi Boteach, that should be your question.
ROSANNE SKOPP
Herzliya

Another important Jew
Shame on the Jerusalem Post for not including in its The 50 Most Important Jews supplement one of the most important Jews of the past 40 years on this list. In fact, Dennis Prager is probably one of the five most important Jews of the last five years in terms of his most recent work and impact on behalf of the Jewish community and Israel.
IRWIN GRAULICH
New York

Fund controversial artists
Regarding “Kahlon backs new Regev loyalty bill,” (September 21), if the Jew always stands at the forefront for freedom, wouldn’t Miri Regev’s “Loyalty Bill,” which would curtail artists’ freedom in regard to funding projects that she deems unworthy, be contrary to what we stand for??
CAROL MANHEIM
Tel Aviv

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