Distracting the reader’s attention

In response to “Gasbags” ‏(Nehemia Shtrasler, June 4‏)

“In order to supply enough gas for domestic needs for 25 years, the Leviathan field has to be developed. Tamar alone doesn’t have enough. To develop Leviathan, it’s necessary to invest $3.5 billion in a deep-sea pumping station and a pipeline to carry the gas to northern Israel. But nobody will invest a huge sum like this in Leviathan if the gas can only be used for domestic needs; domestic sales simply won’t cover the expense. In other words, it’s essential to export if we want to have enough gas for our own needs, too.”

It is difficult to fault the above clear, logical explanation, so why all the stuff about “deep hatred and desire for vengeance”? Is it really true, as the writer states, that “the hatred is stronger than any logical argument. The demonstrators are against any successful individual”?

This is certainly not the first time Shtrasler has used such strong language in criticizing people whose opinions differ from his own. I am all for outspoken argument, but Shtrasler’s extreme language only serves to distract the reader’s attention from the point he is endeavoring to make. So senior a journalist ought to know how to conduct a civilized debate.

Daniel Gavron
Motza Ilit

Typical callous view on Arabs

In response to “How Israel talks about its ‘Bedouin problem’” ‏(Amon Be’eri-Sulitzeanu, June 4‏)

The writer claims the police gave disservice to the mother of two murdered girls in the Negev because she was an “abused Bedouin mother.” In fact Abir Dandis, the mother, was not a Negev Bedouin, she was a Palestinian non-Bedouin from Azariya, near Jerusalem. That Mr. Sulitzeanu attempts to change her identity to fit his neatly crafted narrative illustrates a similar discrimination as employed by the police at Arad. According to Haaretz’s own reporting, the police did not respond to her complaints because she was a Palestinian from the West Bank and they told her, “You’re a Palestinian, go to the Coordination Office.” Be’eri-Sulitzeanu’s inattention to this detail reveals the typical callous view in Israel on the left and right about Arabs, whose identity is changed at the whim of the author to fit a narrative, without bothering to respect the individual’s identity. Abir Dandis is a human being, a Palestinian one at that, not an “abused Bedouin mother.”

Seth J. Frantzman
Post-doctoral researcher
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem