Bearing the burden
With regard to “Rivlin: They tried to wipe us out, but we survived” (April 22), our president is an admirable man, but in his address to the nation for Remembrance Day, in a laudable effort to encourage unity, he indulged in some wishful thinking when he said that sacrifices in defense of the state had been made equally by all sectors.
I cannot accept that those who stubbornly refuse to fulfill their duty of national service should be included in that judgment.
Although I am aware that some haredim have suffered in Israel’s wars and from terrorist attacks, it did not happen as a result of community-wide national service.
When speaking of the defense burden, I refuse to have my children and grandchildren mentioned in the same breath with these and other draft dodgers.R. PORATH
On Remembrance Day morning, I was attending an important staff meeting with over 40 colleagues (half of them national- religious, the other half haredi) at the Chiba Community Mental Health Clinic. The clinic is part of the Ma’yenei Hayeshua Medical Center in Bnei Brak, which is under haredi auspices.
Many of us were debating what to do when the siren went off.
Dr. Moshe Rothschild, a haredi physician and founding president of the hospital, was speaking when the siren sounded. He asked everybody to stand to honor the soldiers who had died protecting our country, and proceeded to read aloud a chapter from Psalms. This made a great impression on all those present.SEYMOUR HOFFMAN
The writer is supervising psychologist at the Chiba Community Mental Health Clinic.
“Sad and mad on Remembrance Day” (Comment & Features, April 21) by Susie Weiss – which bore the touching photo of Ari, her fallen, but not vanquished, son – reminded me, as Dylan Thomas put it, that “death shall have no dominion.”
I fully identify with Weiss’s vehement support of the policy to call on Jews everywhere to come to the homeland, as well as with her lucid survey (the word “contempt” comes to mind) of those who condemn us, such as the UN Security Council. The pride she shows in the strengths for which we are jealously maligned is matched only by her proud stance that, despite our nation’s short-comings, we have the stamina and valiant young people to fearlessly defend our beloved Land of Israel.
I vote that she be made an ambassador and travel to Jewish communities worldwide with her message. I wish her and her husband continued strength in the knowledge that Ari was an inspiration, and that his all-tooshort life was not in vain.
The writer is a psychotherapist.They’re obsessed
Ban Ki-moon, secretary-general of the United Nations, once again takes Israel to task for the lack of a peace agreement with the Palestinians (“Ban: Israel must take steps for peace, freeze settlement activity,” April 22).
The Europeans, among others, are obsessed (and obsession is really the only word for it) when it comes to Israel and the Palestinians.
Do they realize that what they are proposing is another failed state in the Middle East? The Arabs of the Palestinian Authority are living peaceful lives while all around, hundreds if not thousands of their co-religionists are killed every day.
Suicide bombings are endemic all over the Middle East, as are attacks on civilians and soldiers.
Atrocities, including publicly filmed beheadings, are being carried out in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen and Egypt, yet the countries of the EU, instead of dealing with their own problems, are obsessed with imposing a phony peace agreement.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas would welcome this. It would enable him and his henchman to pocket millions in aid. Anyone who questions that should ask where Yasser Arafat’s widow, Suha, obtained her own millions.CYRIL ATKINS
Worried by overflights
It is gratifying to know that the head of the Home Front Command monitors civilian flights (“Home Front Command has new approach to dealing with mass rocket strikes,” April 22).
Unknown to the public is the fact that we permit Arab civilian aircraft to overfly the country, including the airlines of countries with which we have no diplomatic relations and which vote against us at the UN and in international forums.
Using commonly available web software, some of these aircraft can be monitored at all altitudes, including down to 600 meters, in the latter case obviously using spy technology.
It is high time this practice ceased.
COLIN L. LECI
Jerusalem Torah giant
The Jerusalem Post is to be congratulated for its editorial tribute to the achievements of the late Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein (“Lichtenstein’s legacy,” April 22). It went way beyond the ordinary and obligatory obituaries published upon the passing of a prominent individual.
Rabbi Lichtenstein was a Torah giant, a thinker and a teacher who influenced thousands of students who are active in all walks of life in Israel and the Diaspora. He was certainly worthy of everything written about him, and even more.
Rabbi Lichtenstein was a living link between our authentic tradition and our continuing loyalty to the values that have kept our nation alive.
The Post showed that it is more than a newspaper. It is an authentic voice of renewed Jewish sovereignty.RIVKA ROSENBERG
Jerusalem Setting things straight
Regarding “Independence Day: We have reason to rejoice” (Candidly Speaking, April 22), I think it’s about time to set the record straight: Nowhere in Israelite sources (Torah, Talmud, Halacha) are the children of Israel considered a religion. The Israelites are a nation, a people living according to the Torah, its constitution, given at Mount Sinai.
There are many who deny this truth. A religion can be denied and cast aside, but a citizen follows a people’s constitution. Can one be a Reform citizen, a Conservative citizen, an Orthodox citizen? There is a need for someone to help demonstrate the importance of Torah as a symbol of Israelite citizenship even today, in modern, “progressive” times.ALLEN MANDEL
Jerusalem Tell them, not us
In “The Israel apartheid lie” (No Holds Barred, April 21), Rabbi Shmuley Boteach makes some excellent points. He seems to be preaching, though, to those who know it is a lie. He should aim for international audiences, where it is believed to be truth.
When I attended a conference in Australia last summer, I met several people who, upon discovering that I came from Israel, proceeded to treat me to a rant on how horrible we are. “The Palestinians can’t vote, they can’t get medical care, they are discriminated against.”
I fielded these comments with the assertion that all Israeli citizens have the right to vote, that medical care is available to all, and that those Arabs who live across the Green Line and are not citizens are often treated in Israeli hospitals.
One woman in particular was so struck by my answers that she commented, “Oh, I didn’t know that!” I hope I changed her mind, or at least opened it to a better understanding of what is really going on here.
We need to do more to show that the assumptions of our being an apartheid state are untrue, because Israel is losing the propaganda war.ELAINE GOLDSTEIN
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