All together now
Sir, – Yair Lapid’s “olive branch” to the prime minister
(“Lapid sends olive branch to Netanyahu,” February 19) is reminiscent of his
victory celebration and Lapid’s rendition of the Beatles song “With a Little
Help from My Friends.”
With apologies to Lennon and McCartney, I just
hope he did not take a ticket to ride on a magical mystery tour of coalition
talks. All the negotiators need to do is put in a hard day’s night of work; look
here, there and everywhere for solutions; persuade the haredim that you can’t
buy me love and they will have to get used to saying “you never give me your
money”; accept the fact that it is a long and winding road to success but that
eventually we can work it out.
With some help, all will surely come
Sir, – Yair Lapid and Naftali Bennett are
both showing the immaturity of political ingenues in their all-or-nothing
approach to negotiating with Likud Beytenu.
If they don’t modify this
they will prevent the formation of a new government. In the worst case they will
bring us to new elections. They are bound to lose half their Knesset seats if it
comes to that.
Sir, – In discussing the possibility
of Labor joining a Likud-led coalition in place of Yesh Atid and Bayit Yehudi,
Labor leader Shelly Yacimovich proclaimed that joining the government was not an
option because of the wide gap between her views and those of Prime Minister
But then Yacimovich is quoted as saying: “People say
we have to join the government to prevent it from being [so bad].
are we, contraceptives?” That’s an odd metaphor. To many, conceiving and giving
birth is not an event to be avoided at all costs. Yacimovich, the mother of two
children, might have found a more appropriate adjective to convey her negative
feelings about future political maneuverings.
Sir, – Shas co-leader Eli Yishai said in the Knesset: “Torah study is
what has protected the Jewish world...” (“Bennett visits haredi yeshivot,”
February 19). Really? If that is the case then apparently there were not many
religious Jews learning in Europe during World War II since there was very
little protection for the Jews.
I am modern Orthodox and have nothing
against the haredim, but that excuse is just a way for students to avoid their
duty while remaining willing to take considerable amounts of money from the
If they don’t want to participate, they should not get any
Sir, – President Barack
Obama, when he comes to Israel, is to receive the Presidential Medal of
Distinction (“Giving and getting,” February 19). He can place it next to another
undeserved award, his Nobel Peace Prize.
Sir, – As a daily subscriber to your paper I read almost everyday about
President Obama’s upcoming visit to Israel.
I would like to suggest that
the date of the visit be changed, and that Obama will come on Purim.
day seems most appropriate, as the whole visit will make a terrific
Lost in translation
Sir, – Shmulik
Kraus will be dead for a long time, so The Jerusalem Post could have afforded to
take another day and find correct translations for the titles of his songs
(“Shmulik Kraus: A genius,” February 19).
Kraus wrote a tune called
“Zehava the Doll,” which might possibly be referred to in English as “Goldie the
Doll,” but certainly not “The Golden Doll,” as stated in the article. And he
wrote a tune called “Zemer Nugeh,” meaning “Sad Song” or “Melancholy Song.” It
was not “Zamar Noga, and, contrary to your article, means nothing like “Venus
MARK L. LEVINSON
Sir, – In response
to “Organs and statistics” (Comment & Features, February 19) by Robby
Berman, I wonder why there was no mention of the many lives saved through
altruistic kidney donations. I don’t have access to up-to-date statistics but I
am well aware of the dramatic increase of live donors who have donated or are
going through the testing process involving transplant surgery in Israeli
Having found a wonderful, caring lifesaver for a close family
member – both of them residents of this city – through our local English
speakers on-line list, I have learned that Beit Shemesh has many such people who
came forward and literally gave a new life to someone barely surviving with
dialysis due to renal failure.
As a result, donors, recipients and their
family members have become volunteer kidney matchmakers and, with use of the
Internet, are producing altruistic donors for hundreds of those in
The writer is a volunteer for the organ
donation groups Adi and Matnat Chaim
No martyrs, these
Sir, – Adam Lankford’s
insistence that what drives Islamic “martyrs” are suicide and suicidal
tendencies, and not sacrifice (“Exposing false ‘martyrs’ as suicidal,” Comment
& Features, February 18), virtually ignores the fact that ultimately, such
suicide attackers are little more than cowardly and cold-blooded
They are the exact opposite of any kind of “martyr,” which is
defined by Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary as “a person who voluntarily
suffers death as the penalty of witnessing to and refusing to renounce a
religion” or “a person who sacrifices something of great value and especially
life itself for the sake of principle.” Neither definition even hints at the
possibility of murdering others being part of martyrdom.
In Judaism, one
is obligated to sacrifice his or her own life rather than murder another
individual, as opposed to the twisted Islamic version, which measures the
greatness of one’s “martyrdom” by how many other human lives are taken along
with the perpetrator’s! Perhaps most telling is the fact that Hamas co-founder
Mahmoud al-Zahar is quoted as saying that “suicide is forbidden in Islam,” as
opposed to murder, which he doesn’t mention at all.
Sir, – The fact that suicide bombers are associated with martyrdom is
disturbing, not only because, as Adam Lankford points out, many of its
perpetrators suffer from depression and are looking for an easy way out, but
because their main purpose is the killing of innocent civilians.
should be referred to as homicide bombers because their incidental death is not
the intention of their deed. And I’d argue that once they turn into murderers,
their lives are devalued so that we needn’t focus on their personal
It is the ultimate moral perversion to compare a suicide bomber
to a soldier who throws himself onto an explosive device to absorb the impact
with his own body in order to save comrades.
The former, motivated by
hate, strives to kill, while the latter, motivated by love, aims to save
While soldiers of a defensive army like the IDF are sometimes
forced to kill, those killings are not the ultimate purpose, but rather a
necessary evil to prevent a more devastating evil. In contrast, the homicide
bomber seeks out death as the ultimate goal.