April 23: Aliya by example

To expect Diaspora rabbis to move the masses to make aliya from their pulpits is nothing more than a dream.

April 23, 2010 03:59
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Aliya by example

Sir, – To expect Diaspora rabbis to move the masses to make aliya from their pulpits, through special programs and similar activities, is nothing more than a dream (“The Zionist elephant in the room,” April 22). I have heard numerous sermons from rabbis who have reputations for their ardent Zionist philosophy, and one question always haunted me as I listened to them speak: What are you still doing in the Diaspora?

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It would be far better if these rabbis led by example, packed their bags, called Nefesh B’Nefesh and celebrated next Yom Ha’atzma’ut – hopefully with their congregations – as a citizen and full-time resident of Israel.

    Beit Shemesh

The Indyk award

Sir, – I would like to nominate Martin Indyk as the current winner of the “Richard Goldstone Wannabe Award” (“Former US envoy Indyk warns of a ‘serious crisis’ in US-Israel relations,” April 22).

This award is given to any prominent Jew who can unfairly bash and criticize Israel without being subject to an anti-Semitism or anti-Israel charge. His efforts to tie the decision on building in Jerusalem to the Iranian nuclear problem received more attention than they deserved. The idea that Iran will give up its nuclear ambitions because Israel will halt building in Jerusalem is absurd.

Besides being Jewish, another prerequisite for this award is to largely downplay or ignore the Palestinian responsibility in resolving the conflict. Indyk is in full compliance in this regard as well.


Sir, – Perhaps Mr. Indyk (originally from Australia) hasn’t noticed that 91 percent of Israelis do not consider US President Barack Obama a friend of Israel. Maybe he also has not yet digested the fact that Obama isn’t Israel’s prime minister and that Binyamin Netanyahu is (no doubt much to his and Obama’s indignation).

Indyk is obviously unaware that his condescending, bullying attitude toward Israel is most unwelcome and, indeed, highly insulting, and just causes the hackles of 91% of Israelis to rise.

I wonder what fellow Australians’ reactions would be if he returned there as Obama’s envoy and started throwing his weight around on how Australians deal with problems that do not suit America’s viewpoint, as he’s been doing in Israel since the Oslo calamity.

    Kiryat Ono

No ‘dull affairs’

Sir, – As one of those involved in arranging programs for the Israel branch of the Jewish Historical Society of England, I was delighted to read Greer Fay Cashman’s piece on the recent lecture by Elkan Levy (“Preserving the memories,” April 14).

To the best of my knowledge, there is no parallel society catering to English-speakers in Israel, so I feel bound to point out that our meetings are by no means “poorly attended dull affairs.” Nor are they – and those attending them – exclusively British.

Within the past few months, for example, we have had Prof. Gideon Shimoni (Hebrew University) lecturing on “South African Jewry before and after Apartheid” and Prof. Jonathan Sarna (Brandeis University) telling us about “Leonard Bernstein and the Boston Jewish Community of his Youth.” This Monday, Prof. Gil Troy (McGill University) will discuss “The 1975 ‘Zionism is Racism’ Resolution: American Anger and British Appeasement.”


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