Welcome,  Duterte

Regarding “Duterte arrives, though not all are thrilled he’s here” (September 3), I am outraged at the ignorance and paternalism of closet liberals who denounce the visit of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. How many of these “humanists” have been to the Philippines or looked into its culture and history? Have they spoken to Filipinos about Duterte? Have they spoken to a single Filipino even once in their lives?

If this is really a reaction to governmental killings and antisemitic comments, how can these same people celebrate state visits by King Hussein, Yasser Arafat, Abu Mazen and others?

STEVE BERGER
Ramat Gan


Survival of the fittest

Seth Frantzman really blew my head in his article “Netanyahu is tragically right – the world fails to protect the weak” (September 3). I hadn’t heard that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had said that the weak crumble while the strong survive and I had myself thought that he is one of the greatest world leaders. But he was certainly correct and I admire Seth’s realization and article.

Certainly neither Netanyahu nor US President Donald Trump are the most moral of individuals, but they are incredibly correct in reading the current situation in the world today. I must add that Mike Evans article on the same date (“Donald Trump – holy ground”) made this even clearer when saying that wars “are fueled and fed” by the media.

BARBARA SHAMIR
Jerusalem

Lana Del Ray’s lame excuse

“Meteor madness” (September 4), notes Lana Del Ray’s lame excuse that she had “to cancel a scheduled performance in Israel because she wasn’t able to arrange a last-minute sister performance in ‘Palestine.’”

When is the world going to understand? This includes Del Rey. Muslims do not like any kind of Western music and do not attend. If she had set up a concert for them, it would have ended up as a total loss of time and money! Why push the envelope? Get an education – something unfortunately also lacking in a lot of both Israelis and Muslims.

S. GELGOR
Tel Aviv


No apologies necessary

Regarding recent articles about the left-wing organization gatecrashing a Birthright trip in Israel, discourse and political debate are not the goals of those who seek to undermine – hijack – Birthright trips. There are many opportunities for IfNotNow to speak freely without interfering with Birthright participants and what may be their only opportunity to experience firsthand the miracle that is Israel, a tiny beacon of decency surrounded by genocidal mania.

Claims should be dismissed outright that a tour guide must have “bias as a former IDF soldier.” No IDF soldier needs to apologize for keeping Israel safe and no soldier’s perspective should be undercut by accusations that it reflects prejudice! There is no sane choice other than effective defense when those around you threaten you with destruction.

JULIA LUTCH
Davis, CA


Refugee pawns

Regarding “Israel welcomes US decision to cease UNRWA funding” (September 2), can anyone explain why Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and other Arab states did not absorb their refugees as did Israel and Europe and the United States?

Why is the Palestinian situation so unique? They speak the same language and have the same religion and customs, yet they have been discriminated by those same Arab countries, who are still using them as pawns for the destruction of the state of Israel.

Here is the crux of the matter. Why are the rich Arab states not giving them aid and absorbing them and giving them citizenship?

This is what the Europeans should be asking themselves, instead of abusing Trump who at the end of the day is finally calling out this miscarriage of justice for other refugees who do not have permanent refugee status.

I feel really sorry for the “Palestinian” Arabs who have been made to suffer while their leaders carry on siphoning off aid instead of improving their lot.

Why wasn’t there a nascent Palestinian state on the West Bank and/or Gaza before 1967 when the territory was in Arab hands?

FREYA BINENFELD
Petah Tikva


In her op-ed “Trump, UNRWA and Israeli interests” (September 3), Susan Hattis Rolef concludes that the resettlement of five million Palestinian refugees is our problem. She fails to mention the complete indifference that the Arab Muslim world, including Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, has shown for its own brethren in Syria.

For all intents and purposes, the Yarmouk Palestinian community in Syria with its 200,000 residents no longer exists and no one has uttered a word. That being the case, why should the Arab Muslim world behave differently with the current refugee population in Gaza and the West Bank?

By stopping its support for UNRWA, the United States has shed light on a festering problem that the Arab world doesn’t really want resolved.

Kudos to the Trump administration for finally calling attention to this growing scandal. If Germany and the EU wish to foot the bill, let them. This stopped being our problem long ago.

MATTIAS ROTENBERG
Petah Tikva


McCain and Trump

In articles such as “McCain, Trump and the crisis of patriotism” (August 31), The Jerusalem Post and some of its readers have been quick to point out the contrast between US Senator John McCain and the US President Donald Trump, regarding the difference in their military service.

While I personally admire McCain’s service and bravery and his long support of Israel, I appreciate even more President Trump’s move of the US Embassy, his defunding of the Palestinians, his rehabilitation of the US economy, his reduction of unemployment (especially black unemployment) his approach to and actions in the UN, his revamping of US foreign policy worldwide, etc.

And, just to remind his detractors, former presidents Clinton and Obama both avoided military service as well.

CHAIM ABRAMOWITZ
Jerusalem


Bagrut to a lesser degree

Regarding “Farewell bagrut system?” (September 4), the writer predicts the demise of the current bagrut system for evaluation of “ability.” More emphasis will be placed on creativity, learning independently, thinking critically and adapting to changing circumstances. The academic degree will become less and less important.

My problem is with the question of how one can measure “creativity” or any of the other attributes in an interview. Probably what will happen is that the field will be mainly taken over by standardized psychological tests, already a current phenomenon but, in my opinion, of no greater value that the “Bagrut,” possibly less.

It is interesting that the article signs off by noting that the writer “holds a doctorate” instead of simply stating that he is a creative thinker with high leadership qualities.

YIGAL HOROWITZ
Beersheva


Giant disadvantage

Concerning David’s ability to kill the giant Goliath (“Enemies of Israel pay the price,” August 31), doctors have sought to discover from the verses of Scripture a medical picture affecting Goliath. Being exceptionally tall, Goliath may have suffered from a disease called acromegaly, a syndrome caused by a benign tumor of the pituitary gland. When that gland produces an excess of growth hormone, the result is gigantism.

That gland is critically located at a part of the base of the brain where half of the nerve fibers coming from the retina cross to the opposite side and half go to the same side. Pressure from the tumor affects specifically those retinal nerve fibers that do not cross, producing a temporal visual defect – that is, loss of side vision. This might have enabled David to approach Goliath from the side undetected, positioning him to hurl the stone to his head and kill him.

FRED GOTTLIEB, M.D.
Retired ophthalmologist
Jerusalem


Haifa too

While we are given almost daily reports of the municipal election battles in Jerusalem, I would like to remind Jerusalem Post editors that there are other cities in Israel where election results are also of great significance to the welfare of its citizens.

Haifa is, believe it or not, the third largest city in Israel and has very serious environmental problems in addition to neglect of culture and tourism. There are several candidates standing for election in October and it would be useful for readers to learn something about their ambitions and intentions to improve the life of Haifa’s citizens.

Perhaps you could send an experienced journalist, who is an expert in local government to report on the issues and the race?

WENDY BLUMFIELD
Haifa


Fighting lies with truth

Hats off to Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid (“Yair Lapid to Lana Del Rey: You have been lied to,” September 4) for writing a public letter to the singer who capitulated and canceled her appearance in Israel following intense BDS pressure.

There is no shortage of people (unfortunately, some of them are Jews) who seek to harm Israel and blacken our image. I have seen some of the messages that BDS activists send to naive artists, and they can sound very persuasive – by demonizing Israel through distortions, exaggerations and failing to provide balance and context. Lapid provides a good role model for us to be more proactive and a good example of text to use.

More of us should write to beleaguered artists interested in coming to Israel to inject some honesty and fairness into the messaging that they receive.

HERSHEL BROWN
Kiryat Gat