July 26: Political enslavement
Any politician worth his salt knows he must put together a platform that will attract the maximum numbers of voters.
Sir, – MK Moshe Gafni, in “Haredi politicians, draft
reform campaigners reject Ya’alon proposal” (July 24), is quoted as saying:
“Those who study Torah are the guardians of the Jewish people....”
would like to amend that statement: Those who practice Torah by serving in the
army and working are the guardians of the Jewish people.
worth his salt knows he must put together a platform that will attract the
maximum numbers of voters. It is not surprising that haredi politicians run on a
platform that includes exemptions from military service, exemptions from joining
the workforce, and maximum social benefits. Once this chain is broken and
haredim go to work and are inducted into the army they won’t need haredi
politicians any more.
Let’s help free the haredim from their enslavement
to haredi politicians.
Sir, – Marc Zell
(“Making Ariel University a reality,” Comment & Features, July 24) tells an
amazing story in which I had the privilege of participating.
I came to
Israel from the United States 12 years ago to teach at the College of Judea and
Samaria. To see it grow during that time from a small college to a university
with 13,000 students is a powerful demonstration of the Zionist miracle of our
As a former professor at Columbia University and research
fellow at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, I can attest to the excellence
of Ariel University’s educational and research programs. I proudly identified my
affiliation with Ariel in papers published in international peer-review journals
and in books.
It was my great honor to have taught at Ariel University
until I retired as its first professor emeritus.
MENAHEM (MEL) ALEXENBERG
It takes a village
Sir, – I was pleased to read “Bill on nutritious
food in schools passes first reading” (July 23).
The idea of changing the
Bamba generation’s eating habits by attempting to upgrade the quality of school
meals sounds like a simple and admirable step.
Unfortunately, the United
States has learned from decades of evaluating diverse programs aimed at
improving nutrition among school children that changes like the one proposed in
this bill rarely accomplish very much.
Only when programs have involved
the participation of food services, teacher-directed classroom activities and
direct parental commitment has measurable improvement been demonstrated. Making
it stick in the long term requires charismatic and dedicated
As a professional nutrition educator I sadly doubt the plan
to upgrade and publicize the food composition of school service meals can by
itself succeed in bettering our children’s eating habits.
Sir, – It’s poetic justice that as a
direct result of its seemingly implacable enmity against the Jewish state, Iran
is suffering from a desperate shortage of chicken soup (“Soaring price of
chickens puts ordinary Iranians in hot soup,” Business & Finance, July
Who knows? Perhaps our shared appreciation for this dish can herald
a truly new Middle East. Maybe one day, Iranian tankers will deliver fuel at
Israeli ports and return home filled with chicken soup.
As peace plans
go, I’ve heard far worse than “chicken soup for oil.”
Davis and Leibler
Sir, – The continued animus between British Jewish
leader Mick L. Davis and Post columnist Isi Leibler (“Scandal or not,” Letters,
July 23) made me consider who is a Zionist.
The definition I have always
accepted is that Zionism is a form of nationalism of Jews and Jewish culture
that supports a Jewish nation-state in territory defined as the Land of
The recent Levy Report confirms that this land includes all of
Judea and Samaria. Thus, any person who advocates BDS against Jewish settlements
in these areas forfeits the right to be considered a Zionist, and any
organization employing such a person similarly forfeits such
There are, of course, some true Zionists who believe that some of
these areas should be granted to the Palestinians to form their own state in
order to avoid losing a Jewish majority in Israel.
MONTY M. ZION
Sir, – Isi Leibler (“New scandal impacts on Anglo-Jewry,” Candidly Speaking,
July 19) claims to “hold no personal animus” against United Jewish Israel Appeal
head Mick Davis. Yet he goes on to mention Davis 12 times in an opinion piece
that purports to be about Joe Millis’s opinions on Israel (mentioned only five
times by comparison).
Millis does not act as spokesperson for UJIA.
Anyone who has an understanding of the practices of UK Jewish charities would
know that above Millis sits a team of executive professionals that include a
director of communications, a CEO and a chairman, and that behind that team sits
a remarkable communications lay-committee made up of industry-best professionals
in marketing and communications, many of whom also sit as trustees on the UJIA
As a former marketing manager at UJIA it is important to note that
like Millis, I never met Davis before or during my tenure.
Also, I never
wrote or released any public statement about UJIA without at least half a dozen
or more people reviewing it and approving it.
To call Millis’s
appointment a “scandal” is simply ludicrous and uninformed, and shows the author
of the piece to indeed hold some kind of personal animus against
There is no one person in our UK Jewish community more dedicated
and supportive of the State of Israel than Mick Davis.
He is entitled to
express his opinions about Israel, even when critical of its behavior. For
Leibler to criticize him for doing so after writing such an appalling opinion
piece is quite simply hypocritical.
Sir, – Irwin Cotler’s “Combating Iran’s cycle of denial, deception and
delay” (Observations, July 20) was comprehensive and informative, but not
Success in depriving Iran of its nuclear option
by diplomacy or sanctions seems increasingly unlikely. Even if successful,
attacking its nuclear installations, an enterprise fraught with difficulties and
expensive in resources and possibly lives, cannot promise more than a temporary
American policy should learn from the late, unlamented Saddam
Hussein. After 12 years of inconclusive warfare with Iran he unleashed a number
of Russian rockets on Tehran. Iran’s rulers understood that the war was no
longer for soldiers at the front or children in the minefields, but in the
streets and their own palaces.
The war ended forthwith.
a threat to destroy a small area of Iran from the sea unless Tehran undertakes
total compliance and allows full inspections would be eminently persuasive. Such
action would involve minimal risk to life and undue expense of resources. Of
course, it would need to be preceded by intensive warnings.
unsuccessful, the follow-up would be a similar attack on the gorgeous Iranian
capital. Carrying out this threat would surely bring immediate
Iran’s facility with missiles increases constantly so that
any external interference should be sooner – much sooner – rather than later.
Meanwhile, we hope that our own defenses will be equal to any Iranian