Out Of The Mailbag – To YW Editor (Open Letter to the American Broadcasting System / ABC News)


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

yw logo.jpgSirs:

On Thursday, January 10, 2008, your 6:00 am radio news broadcast carried a report by a female Mideast correspondent which described President Bush’s visit to Israel and his drive from Jerusalem to the Arab town of Ramallah.  I, hereby, quote a passage from memory.

“President Bush’s helicopter was grounded because of fog so he and his motorcade got a first-hand look at those frustrating checkpoints.” [emphasis mine]

What your correspondent described as “frustrating checkpoints” were set up by Israel to respond the ever-present threat posed by Arab suicide/homicide bombers.  The Israelis did not implement this defensive tactic during the first 50 years of their state because the Arabs were not training their children and teenagers to murder Jews in suicide bombing attacks then.  The checkpoints have been successful in achieving their expressed purpose because they have nearly eliminated the Arab suicide bombings.

I was intrigued, however, by your correspondent’s choice of the word “frustrating” to describe the checkpoints.   The word suggests that your correspondent has a greater concern for the frustration of the Arabs inconvenienced and delayed by the checkpoints than for Jewish Israelis who often were inconvenienced and delayed.  Their commute was disrupted by the death and destruction caused by the children of the same Arabs who are inconvenienced at the checkpoints today.  Inconvenienced Arabs leave the checkpoints “checked,” alive and delayed.  Inconvenienced Israeli Jews leave bombing incidents shaken, probably maimed for life (if they are fortunate), and often dripping from a body bag.  Your correspondent showed a greater interest in the inconvenience caused by security than the inconvenience of caused by death.

Further, perhaps your correspondent has a greater concern with racial profiling than with murder.  It is true that the soldiers at the checkpoints scrutinize Arabs more carefully than they scrutinize Israeli Jews.  Such blatant racial profiling explains why the checkpoint system is so effective.  You see, Israeli Jews do not murder other Israeli Jews with bus bombs filled with screws, nails and ball bearings.  Anyone is entitled to believe that racial profiling is a greater evil than the mass murder of civilians.  However, the Arab leadership does not merely plan and execute missions resulting in the mass murder of civilians, they utilize racial profiling too.  Experience shows they only use the quick and efficient methodology of suicide bombing against the Jewish population.  They do not terrorize the Christian, Muslim, and Druse communities with this technique.  I believe that racial profiling with attendant inspections is a lesser evil than racial profiling with attendant mass murder.

Everyone knows that hand-washing in restaurants is frustrating to bacteria.  The soaping process makes the hands slippery and then the bacteria are washed down the drain.  This is very frustrating to bacteria whose life-purpose is to make ill and kill.  However, what is frustrating to bacteria, is life-saving for restaurant patrons.

Surely, if bacteria did not exist, hand-washing would not be necessary.  Similarly, when Arab suicide bombing did not exist, Israel’s checkpoints were not necessary.

Your correspondent missed the point.  The checkpoints are designed to be “frustrating.”  They are designed to frustrate the Arab parents who train their children to murder and to frustrate their children who attempt to perpetrate the murders.

Dr. Bert Miller,

Baltimore MD

p.s.   The ancient Greeks used to say, “Boys throws stones in jest, but kittens die in earnest.”  With the checkpoints, Arabs are being inconvenienced, but no Jews are being murdered.  Had your reporter lived 65 years ago in Europe, might she have complained that the trains to Auschwitz created delays for Christians at railroad crossings?  After all, Jews were dying and non-Jews were being inconvenienced.


  1. YOU OVERLOOK THE REAL POINT- the whole statement is false. ‘Bush got a look at the checkpoints’ what do you think, his limo was stopped??? There were no checkpoints at all in sight. Stam shekarim!

  2. wow! couldn’t have said it better myself! but unfortunately this is not the first and it wont be the last time that the news bears signs of anti-semitism.R”L.

  3. Take it easy! maybe she meant it’s frustrating for Israeli’s to have to have these checkpoints because of the crazy arabs and now the President has a first hand look at how Israel has to live!

  4. Quite odd that the reporter says that Bush could experience first hand the frustration at the checkpoints. Actually while in Ramallah, the president was asked to address the subject of frustrating checkpoints.
    He said “I just came with forty-five cars, and we had no trouble at all!”

  5. Thank you Dr. Miller for taking the trouble and time to express our “frustration” with the “frustrated terrorists” and the biased reporters who share their mantra.

    I live near the Jerusalem city morgue, and after a certain terrorist attack, was unfortunately exposed to the body bags you write about in your letter, as they were being brought to the morgue. This is not a scene that I will quickly forget during my lifetime.

    Though thank G-d we personally may have been spared the actual attacks, our children all know someone whose family unfortunately was not spared these horrors, be it a friend, classmate, or neighbor. This is not like the warm and pleasant childhood memories which I carry with me from growing up in the USA. Should my children also not share the same privilege of growing up in a safe and nurturing environment? Must they be exposed to the threats and realities of terror at a tender age?

    We again extend our kudos to Dr. Miller for being a voice for all those Israelis who did not make it to their intended destinations, and ended up instead, in the cemetery. Perhaps your message will help make it possible for us still alive to continue to reach our desired destinations.

    Thank you!

    Israeli Reader

  6. well said! However,might the reporter have meant just what she said- the checkpoints are frustrating? True, they are necessary and do more good than harm (obviously) but they still are frustrating (esp for the arabs that arent nec. terrorists)…She was not suggesting or even insinuating that they should be taken down….I don’t think “frustrating” is such a strong word that such a response is needed.

  7. was this letter sent to ABC or just to the readers of yeshiva world? Because everyone here knows that already.Its preaching to the choir. By the way there was a very similar article on CNN.

  8. Actually, the suicide bombers also terrorize Christian communities. If one’s goal is to make a prudential political statement, this should not be omitted.

  9. I hear what your saying. BUT, I dont think when she said it she meant any harm. She was merely describing for the listeners/viewers the situation that President Bush was going through. His helicopter was grounded (big inconvenience) son now (to him) he has to go through the annoying checkpoints. If he was making a trip to the checkpoints she would have explained how they have saved lives, but she was describing it as just another hurdle Mr. Bush had to pass because he couldn’t go by helicopter.

    While the article sounds good, how many times have we complained about the lines in the airports (where the make my 75 year old grandfather take off his bealt….)We all know that it is for our benefit and we prob. wouldnt want it any other way because that would compromise our safety but still… as a frequent flier sometimes they do get a bit annoying (and I’m sure some Israelis feel the same way abouth the checkpoints)

  10. The solution ABC, maybe Bush and for sure Olmert – is the best way to do away with the checkpoints is to give away Yerusholayim to the Arabs, which would effectively take away the need for checkpoints.

  11. Dr Miller, you deserve a yasher koach for your incisive letter. The media somehow is not getting the message that suicide bombers are not “militants” but “murderers” of innocent men, women and children. And also, is there a country in the entire world that would “tolerate” daily rocket fire intended to kill, maim and otherwise instill terror to a civilian population?
    The irony of it all is that the nations of the world (i.e., US, EU) still talk of the panacea of a two-state system. Is that with or without daily rocket attacks, suicide bombings, teaching their young to murder Jews, denying the right of Jews to live in Eretz Yisroel, etc etc?

  12. Dear Yavnerd:
    Yes, I am sure she meant no harm. But the issue is how the media frames the issues and, hence, how the public perceives them. Her words may be construed as referring to either the frustration of the President or the Israelis, but not by your average viewer. In the war for the hearts and minds of the American people, this innocent sounding focus on supposed Palestiniam suffering is more dangerous than something overt and intentional.

  13. Don’t we all curse out security wherever we go? We wait online for an hour by airport security while they make us take off our shoes, and “randomly” screen people. You could pull your hair out while you wait for the person in front of you to take out his laptop, dig around in his pocket for his loose change, for the mother to pull out the baby bottles and medication for the children to prove that it’s really authentic….Passport control is another crazily annoying situation – however, as much as we hate it, these people and their precautions are what save our lives. They are just doing their job to protect us. Thank you to the National Guard, and thank you to the police men and women who guard our nation, states,cities and towns.

  14. what about all those checkpoints all over Yerushalyim protectinmg Pres Bush?

    dont get me wrong, i support the pres (generally), and support his security, but this is just an example.

    by the way, the helicopter was not grounded because of fog (other than the fog in the abc reporter’s head), but because of threat of missiles from our good friend – abbas’s people!

  15. I don’t think the intent from ABC was to be anti Israel. ABC has been known for years in New York and elsewhere to be very good with the jews. Any major news story would be broadcasted is a well and respected manner, any racial crimes againt jews were also said in a pro jew way. So i don’t really think that this “frustration” is on account of ANTI ISRAEL. Put being jet-lagged, in a 3rd world country, on a short tour, driving around with extra security in consideration. NOT the fact that they maybe did it to get “them jews” in “them country!!!”

  16. #6, the point of our kind doctor was very well put.”The word suggests that your correspondent has a greater concern for the frustration of the Arabs inconvenienced and delayed by the checkpoints than for Jewish Israelis who often were inconvenienced and delayed. Their commute was disrupted by the death and destruction caused by the children of the same Arabs who are inconvenienced at the checkpoints today.”
    my yeshivish hocker, if you disagree please tell us how YOU understood the reporter.

  17. Dear Dr. Miller:
    I was very sorry to read the fact that you were troubled by a recent ABC News story. I hope you didn’t let this get you overly distressed or worn out. Many Dr’s say (and you are one so you probably know) that we shouldn’t let current events take over our minds and psyche. This could lead CH”VS to depression. I would say to slowly let the whole story kind of just fade from your mind. With Hashem’s help, by Biyur Chametz, this whole episode will be but a distant nightmere.
    Good luck Doc!

  18. being that i live over the GREEN LINE” i have to deal with the checkpoints every day. i wish i would suffer as bush did at those checkpoints. i have a feeling they didn’t hold him for long.

  19. She has a point the inconvenience of these checkpoints is reality, the reason behind them is bec you have a bunch of Arab murderess that can’t be trusted as far as you can spit on them inconveniences the whole country .

  20. #28 Gishmak in Lakewood,Just let it fade away??!! This a very serious situation that the great doctor has brought to the publics attention and action must be taken. Please Doctor don’t give up in fighting for us and let Biur Chometz get in the way as long as noone throws in plastic…

  21. I would like to take issue with the very offensive remark you make at the end of your dissertation. Your parable of washing and bacteria compared to the need for the checkpoints against Islamic terrorists implies that Arabs are like bacteria. I find this very offensive and will not stand by silently and tolerate this blatant maligning of bacteria. I demand an apology on behalf of bacteria. Arabs cannot be compared to bacteria, being that there are also good bacteria such as those from which penicillin is made.