Sir, – Your January 28 editorial (“Fighting anti-Semitism”)
failed to mention the hopelessness of the fight when cartoons such as that of
Gerald Scarfe in The Sunday Times can be published in a respectable newspaper
without any self-reproach by the editorial staff (“Cementing peace?,” January
A clear incitement to anti- Semitism and a step on the road to the
next Holocaust, The Sunday Times should be ashamed and disgusted with itself for
being so biased. I can only feel helplessness and frustration at the unfairness
of the attacks against us. How they expect that breeding more hatred will lead
to peace is beyond me.
Seeing that whatever we do, good or bad, will
elicit the same negative images, we should make ourselves as strong as possible
before the next war. Instead of just talking about E1, we should start
Sir, – It is absolutely shocking that
a British newspaper such as The Sunday Times would stoop to such raw, unabated
anti-Semitism and publish such a disgusting cartoon! Our Arab enemies apparently
do a very good job convincing people of their point of view, even though their
propaganda is very far from the legitimate truth. One would think that the
otherwise liberal, fair-minded British public would see through this kind of
bigotry and reject it.
HAIM M. LERNER
Sir, – The countless
words, analyses, and opinions that constituted the sound and fury of the party
campaigns in Israel’s recent elections have yet to reveal their ultimate worth
In the world at large there is a clear and ominous rise
of hatred and hostility toward our beleaguered state. It found its most recent
expression in the obscene anti-Semitic cartoon posted by The Sunday Times of
On Holocaust Remembrance Day, it chose to depict a big-nosed Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu building and cementing a wall with the blood and
limbs of Palestinians.
And Yet! We are able to respond and show the world
what we truly are and how we differ by virtue of two recent, magnificent
achievements of which we can be justly proud.
The first is the most
beautiful and meaningful way that we and Jewish National Fund-Keren Kayemeth
LeIsrael commemorate the Tu Bishvat holiday. We did so by having hundreds of
thousands of participants plant one million saplings all over
Surely there can be no more positive and elegant way for a nation
to express its wholesome respect and love for the genuine values to which they
Second is the almost unbelievable technology developed by Dr.
Shai Meretzki and his Bonus BioGroup, where they have demonstrated the ability
to grow healthy bone and cartilage, and literally create spare parts for people
who suffer from the loss or deterioration of limbs.What a marvelous contribution
to all of mankind and a most fitting response to our detractors.
Sir, – There is certainly no antidote to people of the
caliber of Gerald Scarfe, whose scurrilous and odious cartoon was published
recently in The Sunday Times.
There will always be those anti- Semites
whose feverish minds are constantly at work, waiting for an opportunity such as
our elections to vomit out their special brand of filth.
sympathizing with our British Jewish brothers who can only remain helpless in
the face of this gargantuan insult, it is at such times that we must all realize
once again how wonderful it is, and how blessed we are, to have our own country
and be the masters of our own destiny.
DAVID S. ADDLEMAN
Sir, – I guess it’s easier to produce a cartoon depicting Prime Minister
Binyamin Netanyahu as being bloodthirsty and risk receiving a few indignant
letters, than to criticize the lunatics the security barrier is designed to keep
out – who would happily slit the throat of anyone depicting Muhammad even in a
Not just in Ireland
Sir, – I was very
happy to read again my favorite column, Another Tack, by Sarah Honig after her
return from abroad.
“That unwitting indecency” (January 25) was for me
just another confirmation of opinions of a number of “good” Christian believers
about Jews throughout the centuries.
The Irish teenagers are not alone in
the Christian world in believing that “Palestine” should be freed from the
Jewish “villains” who “crucified [their] Lord” without knowing exactly the
history and what is going on now in Israel and the Middle East.
opinion it is not “Palestine” they care much about.
Rather, it is the
fact that Jews survived along with their religion, having today even their own
As for Jesus, ask any believer in any parish throughout
the Western world – especially in the eastern Europe, including Russia – who
crucified Jesus. I guarantee that 90 percent would answer by saying the Jews,
not the Romans. This has been, I believe, the main source of hatred against Jews
for two millennia.
Unfortunately, it continues to dominate the minds and
hearts of some segments in the Christian world.
The State of Israel and
its rabbinate, together with rabbis and Jewish communities all over the world,
should constantly fight with efficient hasbara against such erroneous and
Head in the sand
The article “Deri on Lapid’s plan for haredi enlistment: ‘It will not happen’”
(January 25) brings into focus the head-in-the-sand mindset of Shas.
mode of thinking will have inevitable consequences for Israel if it is allowed
to continue to influence the Israeli economy. It is also contrary to rabbinic
traditions and biblical teachings.
The highest percentage of Israelis
living below the poverty line are ultra-Orthodox Jews.
Those not taught
the core curriculum are ill-suited to earning a living.
biggest haredi school networks, those of Agudat Yisrael and Shas, receive the
same funding as state schools.
The state is thus fully supporting
educational frameworks that train their pupils in a way that bars them from
joining the work force and encourages them to avoid enlisting in the IDF or
performing national service. Taxpayers’ money spent on haredi education thus
While one hears of increased IDF service by the
ultra-Orthodox, the avoidance of military service through the framework of
Torato Omunato (Torah is his trade) far outstrips this. The demographic increase
in the haredi population is growing much faster than its enlistment
Those advocating Torato Omunato choose to ignore those teachings of
the Torah that do not fit their politics. In Numbers 32:6 we read: “Shall your
brethren go to war, and shall ye sit here?” They also ignore the example of
rabbinic sages who worked and were thus part of the general community: Akiva was
a shepherd, Hillel was a woodcutter, Shammai the Elder was a builder, Yochanan
Ben- Zakkai was a businessman, and Abba Shaul was a grave digger, to mention
just a few.
Two statistics make it obligatory to spread the burden of
national service if Israel, surrounded by hostile countries, is to survive: 1.
Male non-employment rates (as distinct from unemployment rates) among
working-age ultra- Orthodox have tripled over the past 30 years.
trends of the past decade continue, in another 30 years 78% of Israel’s primary
school students will be haredi or Arab, and only 14% will be in the nonreligious
state school system.