May 14, 2018: Not Your Toy

Not your ‘Toy’

Netta Barzilai’s Eurovision win is not only good for her, it is good and important for Israel, world peace and humanity as well.
The fact that the present young generation, living in a wide diversity of many countries, ethnic origins, religious beliefs and traditions voted for a song that represents values of respect, understanding, tolerance and appreciation of differences provides hopefulness for our future in Israel and in the world.

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The song’s lyrics, “I’m not your toy,” teaches us to not use others as objects, sexual or otherwise, and to appreciate beauty and goodness even when it is expressed differently. The fact that so many thousands of young people saw beyond politics, hatred and prejudice is a breath of fresh air and a hopeful prediction of our future.

May we merit to have our act together (politically, socially, etc.) so that next year when Eurovision is in Jerusalem, the world will see Israel as a place and people that we and all the world can be proud of.

DR. SIMCHA SHELDON
Clinical Psychologist
Hashmonaim

Jettisoning the JCPOA

In “The final word on Iran” (May 11), Yaakov Katz writes that the opponents of the JCPOA “can speak for hours about the problems of the deal, but they offer no alternative. When asked whether they prefer that Israel attack Iran, they say of course not.”

Yet some opponents of the JCPOA, such as national security adviser John Bolton, have been advocating that Israel attack the Iranian nuclear facilities. Others, like Matthew Kroenig, a professor of government and foreign service at Georgetown, think the US should do it. In his 2014 book A Time to Attack: The Looming Iranian Nuclear Threat, he says, “As Iran’s nuclear capabilities grow over time, it is even possible that nuclear war with Iran could threaten the very existence of the United States.”

MLADEN ANDRIJASEVIC
Beersheba

Vivian Bercovici’s article (The vanity and art of the deal, May 11) perfectly captured US president Barack Obama’s desperation to make a deal – any deal – with Iran. CNN’s Christiane Amanpour (raised in Iran) has always portrayed Israel negatively.

Each of Ms Bercovici’s words and her use of the English language are gems and remind me of Sarah Hoenig’s Jerusalem Post reporting.

Thank you for an excellent article.

BERT SIROTE
Ra’anana

Moral relativity

Shmuley Boteach contends that US president Barack Obama was a “moral man with an amoral foreign policy” (“American shame and the Iran nuclear deal,” May 8).

I beg to differ. Obama’s conduct in so many areas displayed a lack of morality that was not confined to his foreign policy.

Obama promised not to add a dime to the deficit with Obamacare at the very time that The Washington Post was reporting that it would add $340 billion to the deficit. He falsely claimed that, under his health care reforms, those who liked their existing health insurance plan could keep it. He used the IRS and other agencies of government to unduly investigate and hinder conservative and pro-Israel tax-exempt groups. He illegally made recess appointments when Congress was not in session, as subsequently ruled by the Supreme Court. He illegally accepted campaign contributions from foreign citizens.

How can Boteach possibly claim that Obama was a moral man?

MORTON A. KLEIN
National President
Zionist Organization of America

The Override Clause

Reading the full-page Israel Democracy Institute ad (May 11), one wonders how unelected judges can ever be more representative of the people than elected Knesset members. Is it that the word “democracy” has a different meaning in Hebrew from what it means in ancient Greek and modern English?

The ad’s authors should not have indulged in spin, seeking to equate the judges on the US Supreme Court whose appointment involves scrutiny/vote by the US Senate to judges of the Israeli Supreme Court, whose appointment does not involve any scrutiny/vote by the Knesset.

As a retired UK solicitor, I have always considered the biggest mistake of judges to be judicial activism for the very simple reason that it is bound to involve politics. A judge’s political opinion is no better and no worse than my own. The difference is that I would not want to impose my own political opinion in the guise of the law and pretend that it is being democratic.

PETER SIMPSON
Jerusalem

Concessions to enemies

Why do we spend so much money, probably billions of shekels, in inventing new measures to counter Hamas (“IDF uses drones to down Gazan fire kites” and “IAF destroys Hamas tunnel close to Erez,” May 13)?

Our enemies (we still refer to them as “Palestinians,” which of course do not exist) are allowed to have their “March of Return” and other symbols of their intent to take over our land. We are attacked with grenades, pipe/fire bombs, stones – and the latest, flaming kites – that cause fires and billions of shekels worth of damage.

The IDF is constantly finding new tunnels opened by Hamas; how many have not been found that could bring the terrorists into our homes? And now we are preparing for “Nakba Day.”

If we continue with this tit-for-tat, we are doomed to fail. Why should we live under the constant threat of attacks and wars that we never actually win while terrorists only grow stronger?

Isn’t the sensible answer to destroy Hamas and retake Gaza? The experiment of surrendering Jewish land to our enemies does not and cannot work; no one has the right to surrender our historic land.

Where would the world have been had Britain and America made concessions to their enemies instead of totally destroying them?

EDITH OGNALL
Netanya

Idle talk hurts

“Shelters open in Jerusalem but no fear of war yet” (May 11) was not only a waste of space (who needs to read that nothing happened today?) but actually damaging. Irresponsible and melodramatic headlines like these associate Jerusalem with war in the eyes and minds of the casual reader, especially foreign readers.  I, like many others, am striving to bring to Israel and Jerusalem academic and business conferences, for which Jerusalem provides a superb setting and excellent hosting solution.
These events are hugely important for the economic health of Jerusalem and its image abroad.

Thoughtless, useless articles like these stab our efforts in the back and do great harm to Israel for no reason. Please stop.

PROFESSOR ANTHONY LUDER
Head Department of Pediatrics
Ziv Medical Center, Safed

Smoking mad

I am utterly appalled and disgusted to see the enormous cigarette ad in The Jerusalem Post on Friday, May 11. (I would feel the same with any size ad, but this just stood out). Regardless of the difficulties facing print journalism, running ads of this nature crosses a red line. Big time.

Wishing everyone good health!

NACHAMA KANNER
Rehovot

Purim shpiel 2018
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Regarding Amotz Asa-El’s excellent article “Was Karl Marx a Jew?” (May 11), some additional information may be of interest.
Marx’s On the Jewish Question was written in 1843 when he was 25 years old. The Communist Manifesto was written five years later. Both works were written when he was still immature. The first work is simply a repetition of tropes with which he was bombarded that he tried to rationalize from an intellectual base of ignorance. The Manifesto reflects the youthful enthusiasm of a philosopher who has not yet developed a mature system of thought.

Das Kapital, his major work, was begun 1848 and still incomplete at his death in 1883. Marx read Darwin’s On the Origin of Species (1859) and was “gobsmacked.” He understood the importance of the concept of evolution to biology and to the study of society. Where Marx went wrong was that he believed evolution was deterministic. Perhaps if he had lived longer he would have learned that it is a random phenomenon. This might have led Marx to provide a better model for how society evolves.

ALBERT JACOB
Beersheba.

In the modern era it has been a common practice for Jews who chose to walk away from God, the Torah and mitzvot but who were not quite ready to quit the Jewish people altogether, simply to redefine Judaism. God? Torah? Outdated notions. What Judaism really is, they would say, is social justice. That is a Judaism they can live with without embarrassment before their enlightened friends.

Amos Asa-el’s essay on Kar Marx describes how this baptized son of an apostate Jew, a notorious antisemite who had only scorn for Jews and Judaism, demanded (his version) of social justice. Asa-el then ends his essay with what he no doubt thought was a great literary flourish: If Marx the social justice warrior was not a Jew, who is?

It’s hard to think of a more ridiculous conclusion.

The answer to that question is as simple as it is obvious: Who is a Jew?

A Jew who is a Jew is.

YERUCHAM REICH
Jerusalem