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May 6: Blame what’s-her-name
By JERUSALEM POST READERS
05/05/2012
It’s fitting that the rubes in the Knesset decided to go to new elections a day after former opposition leader Tzipi Livni announced her resignation.
 
Blame what’s-her-name
Sir, – It’s fitting that the rubes in the Knesset decided to go to new elections a day after former opposition leader Tzipi Livni announced her resignation (“Coalition submits bill to dissolve Knesset, with eye to September 4 elections,” May 3).

Had Livni even a modicum of vision, she would have seized the opportunity to band together with the Likud and one other non-haredi party to institute both electoral reform and some type of mandatory national service. Instead, she kept Kadima on the sidelines and the Likud joined with Shas and UTJ.

Now – surprise! – we’re about to have yet another tax-payer-funded election in which we’ll get to vote for parties that won’t represent us, and the number of people avoiding the draft or national service will continue rise. Quickly forgotten will be... what’s her name? You know, the one with no accomplishments of note in her political career.

DANIEL FEIGELSON
Rehovot

Sir, – Elections are in the offing and the law regarding exemptions from national service for yeshiva students will be a major issue.

Tied up with this debate is the concept that yeshiva students have “Torah as their profession.”

The Shulhan Aruch (code of Jewish law) is the authoritative source for Jewish law. It can be found in the study hall of every yeshiva. In it we find the following: “After one leaves the synagogue [in the morning] he should go to the study hall and set a fixed time to learn [Torah].

It is best if he first eats breakfast.

Then he should go to his work, for all Torah that is not accompanied by work will eventually fail and lead to sinfulness.”

This is the Torah’s law, which supersedes any Knesset law.

AVIGDOR BONCHEK
Jerusalem

More than a definition
Sir, – In his edifying article “Who is ‘haredi’” (Comment & Features, May 3), Haim Amsalem identifies himself as haredi but wants the term to be inclusive of all who “tremble” to fulfill God’s word. This, according to Ansalem, can encompass Zionists, people who work, those who “receive a well rounded education” and those who wear a “knitted kippa and colored shirts!” While I wholeheartedly subscribe to his message, I would like to emphasize several additional factors that are worthy of consideration.

Torah learning must be an important element in the description, as well as military or national service. I would recommend that haredi yeshivot initiate a hesder program that mixes service with study where one can serve both God and country.

Of course, if one adopts the above programs while accepting Ansalem’s inclusive parameters, we end up with a very worthy description of the national-religious ideology with a well established hesder program that permits us to hold our heads up with pride.

ZEV CHAMUDOT
Petah Tikva

Not his to give
Sir, – Susan Hattis Rolef (“The outpost and the rule of law,” Comment & Features, May 2) correctly acknowledges that Jordan’s 1948-1967 annexation of Judea and Samaria was not recognized by the world powers of the time. In fact, only two states (not four, as she maintains) recognized the annexation: Great Britain and Pakistan.

The Hashemite Kingdom’s 19-year control was clearly illegal under international law. The San Remo resolution of 1920 and the 1922 Mandate for Palestine explicitly earmarked these and other parts of Palestine to be the national home for the Jewish People. Arabs were given no sovereign rights to this land. It must follow then that King Hussein had no legal right whatsoever to grant any part of this land to his subjects. It wasn’t his to give.

The recipients of any such land grants had no rights to them. How, then, could the heir of any land grantee from that period legally claim such land today? “Private Palestinian land” claims need to be carefully checked and verified before being accepted as fact.

MICHAEL GOTTLIEB
Ginot Shomron

Phantom fear
Sir, – As a Canadian Jew, I was outraged to read the ridiculous piece by B’nai Brith Canada’s Ruth Klein that Canada today is plagued by rampant anti-Semitism (“The hate beneath the surface,” Comment & Features, May 2). In fact, Canada is the best country in the Diaspora for Jews, even better than the violent US, where lunatics regularly go on shooting rampages.

Klein highlights the far-Left and far-Right, which, unlike in Britain, are negligible. If anti- Zionism is the engine for anti-Semitism today, then Britain, not Canada, is where Jews should live in fear.

The most pro-Israel political leader is Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada. The leader of the main opposition party, Thomas Mulcair, whose wife is Jewish, is sympathetic to Israel.

Unlike in Britain, where many politicians, including the Jew Gerald Kaufman, take pride in being anti-Zionists, there are few of that ilk here.

Of course, Jews have to watch their backs here, primarily because of the huge Muslim influx of the past several decades, but B’nai Brith, in order to attract members, exploits a phantom fear.

JACOB MENDLOVIC
Toronto

Deal with migrants
Sir, – Referring to “Volatile migration” (Editorial, April 30), do not blame the residents of south Tel Aviv for taking the law into their own hands and throwing firebombs into the homes of African migrants.

Blame the government for its complete failure in dealing with the situation and inability to assess the dangers.

The fence we are building on the Sinai border, due to be completed in 2013, is an old story and has been going on for years.

How about forming an army unit to patrol the border with special detection equipment. It could take the infiltrators to a detention facility where the genuine refugees could be sorted out and the rest deported.

Israel is in a critical situation.

The longer the government turns a blind eye the worse it will become and we will all suffer.

YVONNE NARUNSKY
Kfar Shmaryahu

Satisfied customer
Sir, – I would not have missed the recent The Jerusalem Post Conference for all the halvah in New York.

I arrived early and got a seat in the front row. On my left sat a firebrand of a woman from a synagogue in New York. On my right sat a righteous Christian from a church near Nashville, Tennessee. There were over 1,000 people in attendance.

Considering the responses from the crowd and the comments from my two companions, I can safely say that there is no way to put enough lipstick on the pit bull. The goal of the enemies of Israel is nothing less than its destruction and the death to every last Jew. They have failed to achieve their goals militarily, they have failed economically, and they have failed diplomatically. We must not remain so comfortable that we fail to take this threat seriously, and Israel must continue to be strong.

I admit that I have a selfish motive. I want my wife and family to live. In order for my family to continue living, the rest of the Jews and the State of Israel need to live. I have no illusions.

I truly do believe that this time around, if Israel and the Jews go up in flames, the entire world goes up in flames.

Prof. Alan Dershowitz expressed it best when he said, “I may offer my opinions to the Israelis and I may not agree with their decisions. However, these are their decisions and theirs alone to make. Regardless of their decisions, I will forever support and defend Israel.”

As an American citizen and as a human being, the same goes for me.

RICHARD HACKER
Mukwonago, Wisconsin
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