Yishai and the kids
Sir, – I hope I am not the only reader who was offended and revolted by Eli Yishai’s remarks (“Yishai: The field trip is over for foreign workers’ kids,” August 10).
The despicable words coming from the mouth of the Rishon Lezion’s political henchman is exactly as MK Ilan Gilon described them: racist and primitive.
The kids in question will grow up to contribute much more to the State of Israel than all the haredi “bench kvetchers” Yishai tries to accommodate by bypassing the Tal Law, etc.
BRUCE BAICHMAN Jerusalem
Sir, – British politician Enoch Powell’s 1968 speech warning of the dangers of unchecked immigration went unheeded, with the results being seen today across the whole of the United Kingdom.
Interior Minister Eli Yishai’s decision to expel those children of foreign workers not eligible to remain here must therefore be supported.
Calling him racist and primitive, as did one MK, is totally without substance. Yishai is simply carrying out government policy.
DAVID S. ADDLEMAN Mevaseret Zion
Sir, – For the first time in my life I feel hurt by a measure taken by the State of Israel.
As a Jew, I cannot understand why people who were born in Israel are being deported. By way of cynical example, it comes to my mind that this is a golden opportunity for countries like Venezuela or Iran; they would be pleased to warmly receive the children expelled by Israel.
Regrettably, this situation, as per its discriminatory nature, reminds me of the tragic events that took place in Europe during the 1940s – people persecuted and abandoned to their fate just because of their nationality or religion.
BARUCH TENEMBAUM Buenos Aires Halacha goes to war
Sir, – Regarding “Leading rabbis ignore police summons over controversial book” (August 10), there are some whose intuition – indeed Halachic intuition – tells them that the rules of war, especially concerning non-Jews, as Halachically stated and argued in the book Torat Hamelech, are not Halachically correct.
A halachist who feels that way is obligated to all Jews to review the Halachic argumentation in the book and show its inadequacies.
In the eyes of those who feel that what Halacha says about war – and perhaps about all things – is irrelevant to contemporary politics, is there no need for a scholarly comparison between Halacha and secular Israeli law on war? The educated public may be surprised to see that there are more important samenesses than differences!
PROF. JOSEPH DAVID Jerusalem Let’s calm down
Sir, – Congrats on your August 10 editorial “A path back to Judaism.”
This question of “who is a Jew” is controversial, with many twists and turns, and so many interpretations.
It simply cannot be answered with a yes or a no.
Even the rabbis do not agree. As the writer pointed out so carefully, every “expert” has a different line to pursue and a different way of going about it.
Let’s not be in a hurry. This is a matter that has been discussed and argued for centuries – let’s give it a little more time, with a lot more “experts” giving their opinions. Even then, there may be no one answer.
In the meantime, let’s all take a breath and calm down.
LEONARD ZURAKOV Netanya Gunness and Gaza
Sir, – Regarding Chris Gunness and “Let Gaza’s kids be kids” (August 8), who’s not letting them be kids? Could it be their own leaders, who were busy sending thousands of Kassam rockets against Israel’s children? Might Gunness be able to tell me something about the kind of education Gaza’s children are getting? Do they learn about the atrocities of their suicide bombers? Are they exposed to the inhuman brutality of their terrorists? By the way, there is one child in Gaza, a child of this entire people. His name is Gilad Schalit.
Does Gunness think that UNRWA, which “is assisting hundreds of thousands of children,” could look in on him? Is he taking part in recreational and cultural activities? Is he being wellcared for? Does Gunness think the world community could send him home to his parents, his people and his native land? Maybe then “exports will be allowed out of Gaza.”
SHOLOM GOLD Har Nof More on ‘Tolerance’
Sir, – “New York City votes for tolerance” (Metro views, August 8) ignores a truth about freedom of religion in the United States.
Christian Scientists have not been allowed to keep medical treatment away from their children. Cults have not been permitted to use snakes in their rituals. Mormons have not been permitted practice polygamy.
Democracy does not mean equal status for religion and government. But to think they are separate and different authorities altogether is a fallacy. Either religion dominates government or government sets limits on religion.
To grant rights to Muslims to block traffic because mosques are overflowing; to allow imams to blame the US for 9/11, as has the imam for the proposed mosque near Ground Zero; to assume that Islam is a religion because it calls itself one when it serves its purpose; and to allow it to violate dress codes by masking the face completely and thus preventing identification in law and order proceedings – all of this threatens to undermine American values and culture, just as European values and culture have been disturbed by Muslim immigrants.
Would a religion that demands total nudity be tolerated in the name of freedom of religion? Will the circumcision of female babies be permitted in the name of freedom of religion?
JACOB CHINITZ Jerusalem Shame on Barak
Sir, – With well-armed enemies at our borders, daily infiltration attempts and anti-Israel declarations world-wide, we might expect that this would be a perfect time to support our IDF chief of General Staff, who has done a fine job and has the confidence of our armed forces and the Israeli public. But not only has Defense Minister Ehud Barak refused to extend his term, he has tried to undermine Gabi Ashkenazi’s authority in every possible way (“Barak hails ‘terrific’ Ashkenazi... and meets his would-be successors,” August 6).
Barak is putting his own pride and ambition before the safety and will of his people. Shame!
DR. R. EHRLICH Jerusalem Love from trash
Sir, – I suspect that singles conferences organized by a marketer of conversation-starting decks of cards, dating coaches who help people “clarify where they are in their relationships,” and a professional matchmaker with 160 paid-up clients who claims just one success over the past year are not going to play the most pivotal role in the future of the Jewish people (“A match made on Earth,” August 1).
On the other hand, couples have met in the most unlikely places: A
friend of mine met her husband-to-be while they were throwing their
garbage into a bin on the street. So I suppose the assortment of dating
coaches, professional ice-breakers, dating meditation experts, etc.,
that has sprung up of late is probably harmless – as long as one doesn’t
take them too seriously or rely solely on them.
As for the bin that helped my friend meet her husband, I would not be
surprised to learn that, based on its extraordinary success, it’s now
billing itself a dating expert and is currently on tour to promote its