Strike in kind
Sir, – I am disgusted by the latest cynical “hunger strike” by
criminals in Israeli jails (“Prisoners show solidarity with hunger strikers,”
Why not respond with a hunger strike by their victims? I am
certain that thousands of supporters would be proud to join in this
Ramat Gan Purim’s message
Sir, – Regarding
“Unmasking the Purim story” by Shimshon Hakohen Nadel (Comment & Features,
February 25), the message of Purim is explicit.
Megilat Esther (Book of
Esther) says matanot l’evyonim (9:22). Alkabetz, author of Lecha Dodi,
translates evyonim as “rejected.”
The secret weapon of the Jewish people
is unity, with differences of opinion. “Give gifts to the rejected!” The very
next phrase says vekibel (singular) hayehudim (plural) (9:23). Grammatically, it
should say vekiblu (plural), but ideationally, unity among Jews is the explicit
message of Megilat Esther.JOSEPH DAVID LEVINSON
Jerusalem The writer is
a retired professor of philosophy and author of The Hidden Face of Purim
Sir, – Susan Hattis Rolef’s “Addressing the issue of ageism”
(Think About It, February 25) struck a resonant chord with me, a 74-year-old
with her brain still functioning normally.
It especially annoys me when I
am addressed as doda (auntie) or motek (sweetie). I realize the speaker means no
harm, but I find it demeaning and disrespectful.
Judaism teaches us to
respect our elders, even to rise when someone over the age of 70 enters the
room. I don’t expect people to rise for me, just to show a little courtesy when
they address me.ANNICE GRINBERG
Rehovot Chapter and verse
Sir, – For
years I have read the term “occupation” associated with “international law,”
without the citation of any competent source to support the claim. I feel that
our enemies learned the lesson from the Nazi Joseph Goebbels, of hated memory,
that repetition, not truth, is what prevails.
Finally, on February 25 The
published two letters under the heading, “Making the case,” by
readers Michael Tal and Howard Grief, respectively, who cited the legal basis
for the Israeli presence on land captured in 1967. They mentioned the Levy
Report and various international conventions of the 20th Century that deny the
contention of our enemies.
I suggest that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
order every embassy and consulate to assign one staff member whose
responsibility it will be to reply in print, on the air or on the Internet to
every use of the generalized phrase, providing citations from the legal sources.
Let us, with happy irony, use the lesson from Goebbels to imprint on the minds
of the multitudes the rectitude and legal standing of our case.DAN VOGEL
Jerusalem Back to the bar
Sir, – Shalom Hammer tries to educate us on Rabbi
Chaim Soloveitchik’s interpretation of the obligations of a community (“Rabbis
or bartenders – synagogues or pubs?” Comment & Features, February 24). But
he would be well served to remember that to bring judgement on a fellow Jew
requires more than a few quotes from The Wall Street Journal.
As a proud
member of “The Shul” in Bal Habour, Florida, we are very lucky to have a
promoter of yiddishkeit and outreach like Rabbi Sholom Lipskar. His works can be
accomplished only through the charitable contributions the institution receives
from its members. Just to list these works without elaborating on them would
take a full page of this publication.
To isolate a lavish Kiddush, which
actually provides a Shabbat meal to many who do not have the means to have one
on their own, and drinking lechaim in celebration of Shabbat, does poor service
to his tireless work of bringing Jewish values to as many people as
Miami/Tel Aviv Hardly pleasing
Sir, – Reports that
Yesh Atid may become the Knesset’s biggest party if new elections are called
(“Poll: Yesh Atid would crush Likud Beytenu in new election,” February 22) seem
to indicate that Israeli voters are either mad – or mad.
They might be
mad, as in insane, by rewarding Yesh Atid for no concrete reason. The party is
completely composed of unproven newcomers who have accomplished absolutely
nothing politically. Indeed, the reason it has so many seats to begin with is
largely due to last-minute, impulsive voting, not any true affinity for the
party’s political message.
Or, the voters might be mad, as in angry, and
seeking to punish Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for his bumbling, fumbling
attempts at coalition-building and for other political missteps by driving him
from power – a goal easiest achieved by making Yesh Atid, currently the
secondbiggest party, larger than Likud- Beytenu.
Bottom line: The
prospect of Yair Lapid becoming our next prime minister thanks to pure populism,
petty vengeance or a combination thereof hardly pleases.MENACHEM G.
Beit Shemesh Ayalon naive
Sir, – In a lengthy interview, former deputy
foreign minister Danny Ayalon (“Ayalon to ‘Post’: Liberman-led diplomacy played
to the stereotype that Israel is the belligerent side,” February 22) discussed
his controversial demotion in Yisrael Beytenu and his conflict with its leader,
At the very end he states that recognition right now of
a Palestinian state would “change their own perceptions and make them feel
masters of their own destiny,” as well as “change the atmosphere and the
dynamics of the conflict.”
One can only shudder at the naivety of such a
statement. In fact, it insults the intelligence of most Israelis. To the
contrary, recognizing a Palestinian state would be an additional step in a long
list of tactical and appeasing errors to the ultimate disaster of Israel’s
demise as a Jewish state.
From Oslo to Gush Katif, from acquiescence to
American pressure on settlement freezes to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s
capitulation to a two-state policy, Israel has probed and given. What it has
received is far from any change in atmosphere or the dynamics of the
Being politically correct during these dangerous times only
whets the appetites of those who wish to destroy us. Shame on Danny
Modi’in Prisoner X
Sir, – As a born and bred
Australian I convey my grief and anguish to the family on the death of Ben
Zygier in such tragic circumstances (“The Prisoner X factor,” My Word, February
It is obvious that being a dual citizen using the everimportant
Australian passport, he was also the victim of brainwashing that was bungled,
whether it was manipulated for security or other reasons.
heartbreaking loss, particularly for the upstanding parents who encouraged and
educated their son with a thorough Jewish background, fervent Zionist ideology
and academic qualifications.
As a parent I would be demanding straight
answers instead of the usual run-around Israeli blame game that I have seen
repeated here many times.
Sir, – What possessed Or
Heller (“Negligence and tragedy,” Analysis, February 15) to include “may his
memory be for a blessing” in the closing sentence of his piece on Ben Zygier?
Zygier’s memory is in no way a blessing.JUDITH NUSBAUM