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
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.
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.
More than a
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.
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
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.
Not his to
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
Israel is in a critical situation.
The longer the
government turns a blind eye the worse it will become and we will all
Sir, – I would
not have missed the recent The Jerusalem Post Conference for all the halvah in
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
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.
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.