With regard to “Antidraft protest” (March 21), I was making good time on Route 1 to Jerusalem that day when out of the blue, traffic came to a complete standstill for some time, and was then diverted. The cause? Thankfully, not one of the all-too-frequent accidents, but a demonstration by yeshiva students who had blocked the road.
It is beyond my comprehension why so-called yeshiva heads incite their students to take such action when they should be encouraging them to spend their time studying Torah or, failing that, doing something useful, like helping their ever-younger wives at home.
The cost to the economy of this and the simultaneous demonstrations must have been enormous, not to mention a waste of police time.
While a call for the government to cut funding to the yeshivot in question would no doubt give rise to yet another blackmailing “coalition ‘crisis,” I see no reason why the Knesset cannot enact the imposition of compensatory penalties on these yeshivot, or on the heads of these yeshivot, which just might deter such actions in the future.
There must be some way to stem this mishugas. If it were left to me, I would use water cannon with dye.
JerusalemUH vs. MDA
Regarding “Knesset forces first responders’ dispute into arbitration” (March 21) by Judy Siegel, as a simple citizen, I’d like to ask why Magen David Adom charges payment for its services when United Hatzalah does not.
MDA receives money from good people around the world, but also from public funding.
UH works only with donations.
Maybe the problem is about money and not services? I welcome voluntary service in my country and ask the managers of the both bodies to focus on bringing good service to the people.MARIO SOIFER
OfakimJudy Siegel responds: MDA receives money from the health funds and hospitals for services rendered, and is also required by law to charge for its services. UH is voluntary and decided not to charge anything for its services.
Regarding “Israeli delegation in Washington for settlement talks” (March 20), when discussing the status of Judea and Samaria, our delegation should remind US President Donald Trump of the illegal freeze of his immigration orders by the liberal US judiciary. It should then compare his legal rights as president with ours in regard to our absolute legal sovereignty over these areas, having captured them in a defensive war against Jordan in 1967.
Incidentally, the indigenous Arabs had no legal standing in those territories at the time.DAVID M. FEIGENBAUM
NetanyaPlease – some respect
With regard to “Vetting candidates for youth missions abroad” (Think About It, March 20), one of Susan Hattis Rolef’s problems is that she doesn’t read columnist Michael Freund.
Recently, Mr. Freund remarked quite correctly that Jews should never refer to the Torah as the “Old Testament.”
That name is a Christian distortion created to express Christians’ rejection of the Torah and project the falsehood that they have taken our place.
Well, to their great dismay, we’re still around, thank God.
Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers) states that “one sin brings in its wake another.”
Ms. Rolef’s second transgression flows directly and inexorably from the first – the absolutely false assertion that our rights to the Land of Israel come from “a series of international declarations such as the Balfour Declaration and the UN partition plan.”
Rubbish! She so conveniently forgets that the “diplomacy of Zionist leaders in the pre-state era” was born from our biblical history from the time of Abraham, and from God’s promise to him (not “alleged”), as recorded in the Torah written by God Himself, and not “by anonymous writers....”
It is incredible that Ms. Rolef puts more stock in the Balfour Declaration, which the British discarded utterly, betraying the Jewish people at the most critical point in its history following more than 3,000 years of uninterrupted Jewish settlement on the land and the prophecies of Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel. I suggest that she write this way about the Koran and then watch all hell break loose! Ms. Rolef should have a little respect for the large number of Jews here who believe with perfect faith in the divinity, eternity and sanctity of the Five Books of Moses.SHOLOM GOLD
The writer is a rabbi.His own voice
I am of the opinion that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is against freedom of the press and a free and open electronic media (“PM threatens to dissolve gov’t if IBC not stopped,” March 19). He is afraid of what will be said and what people are thinking, as he hears only his own voice and not ours.
RehovotUS military strength
As a US Navy veteran and a strong supporter of America’s military, I commend President Donald Trump for initiating a program to rebuild our armed forces with a defense budget increase of $54 billion. However, the increase should be decreased by $1.3 billion, with that sum earmarked for the Coast Guard within the Department of Homeland Security so as not to cut that budget by $1.3b.
Our military has dramatically shrunk and been neglected in recent times. Although we have increased the capabilities of our military through technological advances, we have downsized our forces and have not adequately replaced worn-out equipment.
Due to the cuts imposed by the 2014 sequestration act, Army manpower has significantly decreased from a high of 570,000 soldiers after 9/11; it is heading down to 450,000. The Marines are going from 184,000 to 175,000, and the National Guard and reserves will lose tens of thousands. The Air Force will have 700 fewer aircraft, and the Navy remains at 286 ships.
The Navy has 11 carrier battle groups, but at any one time, a number are not available due to overhaul and maintenance, port rest or transit. It should have 12 carrier battle groups to fulfill America’s global missions in a dangerous world.
Potential adversaries of the US continue to build up their own military forces. Iran has a large army and continues with its missile development program.
North Korea continues to test long-range missiles and develop nuclear armaments.
The two most significant potential adversaries of the US are China and Russia. China has a huge army, is adding to its air force and is building up its navy, including aircraft carriers and submarines. It lays claim to the South China Sea and has established island bases in the region, which our navy will have to contest. Russia is rebuilding its navy and maintains a large army and air force. It also continues to threaten Europe.
Trump should continue to rebuild our armed forces so we can meet the military challenges in the world, preserve our national security and keep the peace. (He should also stop his unpresidential tweets and concentrate on the important matters that impact our national security and economy.)DONALD MOSKOWITZ
Londonderry, New Hampshire