October 10: Our MIAs
Before even contemplating the return of Palestinian prisoners, we should demand at the very least information leading to the return of our POWs.
Letters Photo: REUTERS
Sir, – How is it that in an article about Palestinian prisoners
(“Israel ‘blackmailing’ PA on issue of prisoners, says Abbas,” October 7) there
is no mention of Israeli MIAs?
Before any return or even contemplation of return
of Palestinian prisoners, we should demand at the very least, if not the actual
return, then at least information leading to the return of our POWs: Zecharia
Baumel, Zvi Feldman and Yehuda Katz, all missing since 1982; Ron Arad, captured
in 1986; Guy Hever, missing since 1997; and Majdy Halabi, missing since 2005. It
seems they have been forgotten by both the government and the press, as there is
hardly any mention of them in articles, op-ed pieces or editorials.
time to change that is now, and The Jerusalem Post should lead by
Sir, – Regular
readers of The Jerusalem Post who depend on it for Major League Baseball news
were probably shocked to see the Washington Nationals listed as playing in the
National League divisional series (“2012 MLB playoffs at a glance,” Sports,
Your sports writers, in their obsession with teams in the New
York and Los Angeles areas, as well as the Red Sox and Braves, almost totally
ignored the Cinderella Nationals, who ended the season with the best won-loss
record and arguably the best pitcher. I hope they pay appropriate attention
during the playoffs.
On Simhat Torah
Sir, – I
enjoyed David Newman’s “Childhood memories of Simhat Torah in North London”
(Simhat Torah supplement, October 7).
In the 1960s, when Newman was a
youth, I was already in the British rabbinate at two “cathedral” synagogues –
first at Bayswater, then Hampstead.
Simhat Torah was so stately the
critics used to say that if you entered a cathedral synagogue that evening you
wondered who had died, or at least you suspected that they had mixed up Simhat
Torah and Tisha Be’Av.
I remember the disapproving frowns in Hampstead
when I rather tentatively introduced dancing with the Torah scrolls.
member, whose grandfather had been the synagogue’s shamash, or sexton, actually
marched up to the bima and announced: “My grandfather would turn in his grave!”
and stormed out.
The writer is emeritus rabbi of
the Great Synagogue in Sydney, Australia
Sir, – It would be one thing if you had
compared a number of competing politicians who have or had well-known fathers,
like MK Arye Eldad (National Union), son of Prof. Yisrael Eldad, in an election
magazine. But you give Yesh Atid party founder Yair Lapid unfair and
disproportionate publicity in “Not his father’s keeper” in your Simhat Torah
What does Lapid have to do with Simhat Torah? I prefer
keeping religion out of political parties. You should have kept politics out of
your Jewish holiday magazine.
With so much talk of upcoming elections in Israel, where a few dozen party lists
vie for my vote (“Netanyahu has decided on February election – associates,”
October 5), the electors are really given little choice.
No matter who
one votes for, when the matter of forming a coalition comes up the “rejects,”
those who got marginal votes, become ministers and get to control the
Now I ask you: Is that democratic? There is a solution. The
two parties that garner the most votes should have a run-off election within two
weeks of the initial election. In this way, the electorate will have a say in
who runs the nation, and not some pisher who was originally
Sir, – Caroline Glick
(“The Left’s only enemy,” Column One, October 5) asserts that left-wing
politicians, activists and much of the media in Israel are less concerned about
Israel’s well-being and security than they are about suppressing and defeating
their political opponents on the Right. She points out this same cynical
left-wing attitude in American politics.
Actually, it’s an attitude that
prevails in political activity everywhere, with people on the Right harboring
similar cynical attitudes in scrimmaging with their opponents on the
Essentially, we are dealing with disingenuousness. And while under
normal circumstances I believe that most people will seldom tell an outright lie
whenever a political issue is raised (unless they feel it might be expedient),
even people who are normally decent, honest, level-headed and intelligent can
have their ability to think objectively and comprehensively noticeably
Right-wing, left-wing, liberal, conservative, centrist – it
doesn’t matter. Bring up any issue with a political bearing, and intellectual
integrity, truthfulness and rational thinking are often seriously
Israel can no longer afford to conduct its political affairs
in this manner. Failure to address all issues as honestly and objectively as
possible can only lead to catastrophic results.
The public should demand
a much higher level of truthfulness from its leaders, politicians and members of
the media, regardless of their political loyalties. At the same time, we all
need to work on our integrity at a personal level. It’s actually a matter of
Labeling in S. Africa
The views expressed by MP Kenneth Meshoe in “S.
African MP touts ‘great
victory’ in blocking W. Bank product labeling” (October 3) do not reflect the
position of the South African parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Trade and
Industry. No legislation was submitted for the committee’s
General Notice 379 of 2012, published on May 10, reflected
Minister of Trade and Industry R. Davies’s intention to issue a notice in terms
of Section 26 of the Consumer Protection Act (Act No. 68 of 2008) to require
traders in South Africa not to incorrectly label products that originate from
the occupied Palestinian territory as products of Israel. On September 21 the
committee heard evidence from various stakeholders on the matter. It did not
adopt a formal position but reiterated that in terms of existing legislation it
is important that the origin of products coming into South Africa be correctly
The committee also encouraged further consultation between the
Department of Trade and Industry and stakeholders.
In addition, it
requested that stakeholders submit further comments for consideration by the
department once the notice in terms of Section 26 of the Consumer Protection Act
(Act No, 68 of 2008) is published. The public would then have 30 days to make
input on the matter for consideration.
writer is a member of the South African parliament and chairperson of its
Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry
Sir, – Sweden has
excellent relations with both Israelis and Palestinians.
That’s why I
suggest that it convene a peace conference in Stockholm for parties in the
region, as well as the US, Russia, the EU, China and the UN.
Even a small
country like Sweden can make difference for the Middle East.
Do not let
time pass and open up the agenda to extremists on both sides. “Camp Stockholm”
will convene until the parties come up with a just peace formula.