December 8: A hesder talk is in order

December 8 A hesder tal

December 7, 2009 22:42

A hesder talk is in order Sir, - I would like to suggest a way to settle the dispute between the hesder yeshivas and the army now that the latter has openly taken a stand to close the Har Bracha Yeshiva ("Hesder officials vow to fight IDF attempt to cut ties with Har Bracha Yeshiva," December 7). 1. There must be a meeting between all the heads of the hesder yeshivas and very strict boundaries should be set concerning the conduct of the yeshiva heads and their relationship with the army. 2. Rabbi David Stav, who is the spokesman for the hesder yeshivas and is also the rabbi of Shoham, should then be given the job of negotiating with the army and finding a solution that is suitable for both sides. 3. An apology is due the army from hesder for overstepping its bounds. All of this internal bickering is reducing Israel's ability to stand up to our real enemies in a meaningful way. P. YONAH Shoham Bad for everyone Sir, - It seems to me that not only are the builders and those requesting construction losing money ("Elkin: Moratorium could cost half a billion shekels," December 7), but the Arab workers are losing their jobs. So who is benefitting from this building freeze? NITA WEISZ Jerusalem A moot ideological debate Sir, - Why does the Mayor of Beitar Illit think it makes any difference that his town is "not an ideological settlement," whatever that means ("Beitar mayor to US gov't: Leave us out of building freeze," December 7)? It is a Jewish town, and that is all that matters to the Arab world. Rather than dividing himself from other Jews in settlements, he should stick firm with all Jews in resisting a building freeze. PETER SIMPSON Jerusalem Another Sharon? Sir, - So what happens if the Palestinians don't come to the table? Does the freeze still carry on regardless? If so, is Prime Minister Netanyahu trying to outdo Ariel Sharon, who has the dubious distinction of turning brother against brother ("Security forces clash with settlers in Kedumim," December 7)? HARRY FRIEDGUT Netanya A little (political) protest Sir, - Even though I have lived in Israel for almost 30 years, I am still at a loss to understand Israelis and Israeli politicians reach their conclusions. For example, Likud member Yitzhak Klein advises us settlers to quietly accept the dictat of the government to "freeze" our building activities and instead invest our efforts in some sort of political activity to, I assume, take control of the Likud and force a reversal of its present building policy ("A little (political) common sense," December 7). This, he assures us, will blunt the Obama administration's appetite for further Israeli concessions. Why this would occur remains a mystery to me and many others. The protests taking place have two goals: One is to reverse this financially ruinous and diplomatically counterproductive building freeze; the other, less obvious but perhaps of greater significance, is to impress upon the Israeli public and the Obama administration the deep, lasting, and sacred attachment of the Jewish people to all the Land of Israel and let them know that we will even fight our own government tooth and nail to keep that land. For far too long now, successive Israeli governments have treated the disputed territories of Judea and Samaria (and, on occasion, parts of Jerusalem) with an indifference bordering on outright contempt. This attitude of contempt has too often extended even to the Jewish Israeli residents here - not only in the case of the present building freeze, but also in cases of our economic and security needs being routinely ignored and our legal rights violated. More importantly, these governments have created the impression that these lands are nothing more than bargaining chips, to be gotten rid of whenever the need arises, thus encouraging our Palestinian negotiating partners to make the most extreme and radical demands. Our protests and demonstrations against the building freeze will hopefully press the present Likud-led Israeli government to make it clear to the Obama administration just how difficult, painful and electorally dangerous this building freeze is to the entire Israeli nation, the Jewish People and the Netanyahu government. In doing so, it might be possible to demand something concrete and practical from the Obama government in return for this huge Israeli sacrifice - perhaps the release of Jonathan Pollard. KENNETH BESIG Kiryat Arba Buycott Barkan! Sir - Jacob Kanter's article ("Despite leaving W. Bank, Barkan remains on Gush Shalom boycott list," December 4) is very disheartening. That Jews should mimic the organizations in England and Canada, and the full spectrum of Arab countries that boycott goods produced by Jews, is shocking. To give fodder to the anti-Semites of the world is unconscionable. For my part, while I may not agree with everything being done in this country, I plan to "buycott" all those companies listed on the Gush Shalom list. I am in the process of forming a Jerusalem branch of Buycott Israel, whose primary goal is to make people aware that Jewish livelihood is at stake here and that Jewish goods produced anywhere must not be held captive by the political leanings of any group or organization. Jews, more than anyone else, know what happens once you let political organizations or countries force Jewish businesses to close. YAACOV PETERSEIL Jerusalem Not all mothers teach Sir, - Mr. Goldberg's letter ("Teachings of the mothers?," Letters, December 7) refers to teachers who have given birth. Surely the majority of new mothers are not teachers? Why should the majority be punished by the minority? JUDY GOLDIN Kiryat Ono A much-appreciated appearance Sir, - Many thanks for publishing the article by Moshe Feiglin ("IDF insubordination can save Israel," December 1). For the non-Hebrew speaker, if an item or personality does not appear in The Jerusalem Post, it or he does not exist. You did that slice of the Israeli public a huge service by publishing the article. Looking forward to reading others. RUBY RAY KARZEN Jerusalem Animal behavior Sir, - In the article by Judy Siegel-Itzkovitch about animal behavior in Israel ("Ant, rodent behavior differs by country," December 6), she mentions that the ant lion is "a kind of large ant." An ant lion is in fact the larva of the lace wing fly (genus Mermeleo), and it remains hidden from sight at the bottom of little conical pits in the sand. It constructs these as a trap, as when an unsuspecting insect ventures by it sends up showers of sand that causes the creature to fall in. The ant lion then grabs it and pulls it under the sand and consumes it. The article was very fascinating and convinces me that all Israeli creatures are a special breed! SARA SHAW Kfar Saba Correction HonestReporting has been a wholly independent organization since 2002; it is not a project run by Aish Hatorah, as was reported in Monday's Jerusalem Post article "Aish Hatorah dedicates $20 million building near Kotel." In addition, the name of the founder and principal of National Capital is Louis Mayberg, not Louis Mayer.

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