Letters to the Editor: Israel, Get Vaccines to Palestinians

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A paramedic with Israel's Magen David Adom medical services prepares to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to a Palestinian woman at Qalandiyah checkpoint, this week.Credit: AHMAD GHARABLI / AFP
Letters to the Editor

Kahanism and U.S. Jews, then and now

In response to “No more excuses, please” (Opinion, Eric H. Yoffie, Wednesday).

Rabbi Eric Yoffie avoids a key historical difference between the condemnation Rabbi Meir Kahane received from many Jewish quarters in America and the condemnation Itamar Ben-Gvir has not received. Kahane lived and was assassinated by Muslims prior to the second intifada. Having over a thousand Jews blown up at Passover seders, discos, pizza parlors, on buses, in department stores and restaurants and many thousands more maimed for life opened the eyes of many Jews in America to what manner of evil Israelis have to deal with on a daily basis. “A new Shoah” as described by author Giulio Meotti. Rabbi Yoffie may live in the quiet security of Westfield, New Jersey but many Jews in America, because of the second intifada, realize Israelis do not.

How the JNF's Blue Box settled beyond the Green Line - LISTEN

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Richard Sherman

Margate, Florida

Israel, get vaccines to Palestinians

No one is protected against the coronavirus unless everyone is protected, is the mantra repeated by WHO. It’s true everywhere in the world but particularly in Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, where Israelis and Palestinians are living next to each other.

But the Israeli government doesn’t get it and is delaying decisions on approving transfers of vaccines from abroad to the territories, and has until now donated only a small number of the millions of vaccine doses it has ordered for its own population.

The government claims it has no legal responsibility to provide vaccines to the territories. Most legal experts, however, disagree and would counter that international humanitarian law obliges Israel to care for the health of the inhabitants in the territories, most of which is under effective Israel control, in this unprecedented pandemic.

More importantly, by showing such an unwillingness to support the Palestinian Authority during the health emergency, Israel is acting against its own best interests and is wasting an opportunity to build confidence for reconciliation in the future. In fact, Israel is doing harm both to itself and its immediate neighbors.

It was appalling to read Knesset member Zvi Hauser, chair of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, arguing against the transfer of vaccines to Gaza. He doubted that the vaccines would be given to those who need it the most. After deserting Kahol Lavan after the previous elections, he has lost all moral credibility.

Mose Apelblat

Tel Aviv

SNL’s Michael Che meant what he said

In response to “No, ‘Saturday Night Live’ Isn’t Inciting the Mass Murder of Jews” (Joshua Shanes, Haaretz.com).

No, I don’t believe that Michael Che’s nasty comment about Israel only vaccinating Jews was intended to incite mass murder, as Haaretz’ headline of Feb. 23 claims. However, author Joshua Shanes is 100% wrong when he asserts that “Che did not mean that Israel is literally only vaccinating Jews.”

Che did mean that literally, perhaps from his or his gag writers’ lack of knowledge, but he definitely did mean it. But Prof. Shanes, like too many Haaretz columnists, isn’t really interested in that. He’s only interested in inveighing against Israel’s treatment of Palestinians in the West Bank, which has no connection whatever to Mr. Che’s remark.

Can’t Haaretz do a little selective cutting out of people who only want a soapbox for their favorite gripe?

Joel Ackerman

Jerusalem

Antisemitism, obviously

By now it should be obvious that the Biden administration and its ultra-leftist cohorts care little for Israel and the Jewish people.

Why else would they be working so hard and quickly to improve relations with Iran? Why push to reinstate the Obama agreement with that volatile leadership regarding money and nuclear arms unless we are no longer supporting Israel and the Jewish people?

Perhaps the hatred for former President Donald Trump and everything he stands for, including support for Israel, is what drives the irrational anti-Jewish fervor among the U.S. liberal leadership. In any case it appears that Obama 3.0 is here to stay.

Yet conservatives hope to change the direction by focusing on the mid-term 2022 elections, hoping to add to their numbers in the Senate and House.

Peter Stern

Driftwood, Texas

Disqualify all who incite racism!

Otzma Yehudit has the audacity to request the disqualification of a candidate they believe “incites racism”? According to a Feburary 8 Haaretz article, Itamar Ben-Gvir, leader of Otzma Yehudit “has called for the expulsion of ‘disloyal’ Arab citizens; defends Jews who commit violent hate crimes against Arabs; leads a far-right, anti-assimilation organization that actively – and sometimes violently – opposes interreligious dating and intermarriage; and has been indicted numerous times for various forms of incitement.” Isn’t that “inciting racism”?

The Otzma Yehudit platform prescribes a “transfer of the enemy” and “redeeming the land from our enemies.” How is that not “inciting racism”?

Haaretz, February 17: “By law, the [Central Elections Committee] is authorized to disqualify candidates who incite to racism ...” Our Talmud advises, “Do not ascribe to your fellow your own blemish.” Otzma Yehudit would be wise to remain silent, lest they become next to judged as inciting racism ... and disqualified!

Judy Bamberger

O’Connor ACT, Australia

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