August 17: Two-way street

One would have thought that MK Haneen Zoabi, as an elected legislator, would know a citizen has obligations as well as rights.

By JERUSALEM POST READERS
August 17, 2010 03:10
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letters 88 NICE. (photo credit: )

Two-way street

Sir, – Regarding “Zoabi slams Weinstein for allegedly looking into rescinding her citizenship” (August 16), one would have thought that MK Haneen Zoabi, as an elected legislator, would know a citizen has obligations as well as rights.

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A citizen can demand that the state protect him at home and abroad while he is acting legally.

In exchange, he has duties of loyalty to the state. A citizen, particularly in wartime, may not under pain of punishment ally him- or herself with enemies of the state or give aid and comfort to them.

As Israel is still in a state of war with certain countries, as well as with Gaza, every Israeli, particularly those who are elected to govern, have a duty of loyalty that overrides any other consideration.

CYRIL ATKINS
Beit Shemesh

Views on mosque

Sir, – In “Sacrilege at Ground Zero” (August 16), Charles Krauthammer makes a strong case against building the mosque near the site of the destroyed Twin Towers. The truth is that although the terrorist attack occurred in New York, it was directed against all of America. I feel that in the final analysis, the people of the US should decide if the mosque should be built.

During the month of November there will be mid-term elections for Congress. This is the perfect opportunity to put the question to all the American people in a fair and democratic manner.

PAUL BERMAN
Shoham

Sir, – Must a mosque be built near Ground Zero? Freedom of religion, you say? Where there is a clear and present danger, the security of society takes precedence.

To shout “fire” if there is none is unacceptable. But recently, there was a fire that left thousands of Americans dead, injured or grieving. Should a potential arsenal be erected “next door” to the memorial of a nation’s loved ones?

SIMCHA FRIEDMAN
Betar Illit

Sir, – I am a Jewish American who feels that the current uproar over the building of the mosque could be a precursor to anti-Semitism in my country.

I firmly believe that the mosque should be built. This belief rests upon my knowledge of the building blocks of anti-Semitism, which I see daily in the form of anti-Muslim and anti-mosque e-mails circulated within my family, as well as in the viewpoint of the ADL and other organizations.

Needless to say, I think their way of seeing this issue is not only short-sighted, but damaging to Jewish safety.

I have family in Israel and I love Israel. However, I fear that the sanctioned bigotry of the politics of fear within my community and within the US regarding this mosque might one day rear its ugly head in the form of something we Jews are all too familiar with.

HAROLD AARON GOODMAN
Los Angeles

Of vital importance

Sir, – I enjoyed reading Shalom Helman’s excellent opinion piece “Reclaiming Israel’s narrative of freedom” (August 15). However, I would go much further in focusing everything from Israel’s point of view.

Helman says that the attention Israel receives in the world is out of all proportion to its size or importance. Size yes, importance no! We are vitally important to the whole world. Our position at a geographical crossroads has been clear throughout history, while the “negative tide of public opinion” is temporarily enabling so many of the Arab nations to mask their own instabilities.

This cannot continue indefinitely and I am sure Israel will retain its importance and regain its respect among the Western, freedom-loving nations, even if currently those relations are somewhat strained.

SIDNEY HASS
Jerusalem

Facts ignored

Sir, – Paul Gross (“Indefensible borders,” August 15) ignores salient facts in arguing that it is not okay “to control a territory in which Jews have full democratic rights and Arabs do not, just because Judaism says so.”

Some of those facts:

• The Jewish claim to all of the land from the river to the sea has a solid foundation in international law, dating at least from the Mandate for Palestine and never superseded.

• There is no evidence that Palestinian Arabs truly want this state, no matter what their public proclamations. They could have had it several times over. Arafat walked away from Barak’s offer, Abbas rejected what Olmert proposed.

• The PA has never prepared its people for peace, and instead promotes veneration of jihad and praises “martyrs” who embrace terrorism.

Granting Palestinian Arabs a state would be a potentially self-destructive act for Israel: Fatah’s charter still calls for Israel’s eradication.

The PLO endorses a “strategy of stages,” which means weakening Israel via negotiations with the ultimate goal of destruction. Hamas is waiting in the wings to take over a state, should it be formed, and PA forces are not up to the task of preventing this.

ARLENE KUSHNER
Jerusalem

A job for Goldstone

Sir, – After reading “Photos of bodies torn pieces ‘show Turkey used chem. weapons on Kurds’” (August 13), I presume that our friend and impartial investigator Judge Richard Goldstone is to be appointed by the United Nations and dispatched with all haste to head an impartial fact finding team.

BARBARA PFEFFER
Rehovot

Migrant problems

Sir, – How many more times are we to be subjected to the rantings of Minister of Internal Affairs Eli Yishai? His attitude toward foreign workers who he says have deliberately broken laws in order to stay here with their children is a disgrace (“Yishai: The field trip is over for foreign workers’ kids,” August 10).

He is the one giving the permits to unscrupulous “dealers in human life,” also known as manpower companies. Does he know what he is talking about when he says foreign workers come here and earn “enormous amounts of money?” Does he know how much they owe the manpower companies both here and in their countries of origin before they even send a penny home? The issue of kicking children out of the country of their birth is a fig leaf for a much bigger issue. It is time to investigate the dark side of the import of foreign workers.

ZELDA HARRIS
Tel Aviv

Sir, – Migration is currently a ubiquitous and knotty problem in the Western world. It is extremely irresponsible to encourage the growth of that problem here. Interior Minister Eli Yishai is taking a tough, realistic and ethical position.

MIRIAM L. GAVARIN
Jerusalem

Not for young eyes

Sir, – Despite being far beyond my childhood years, I still enjoy watching an excellent youth series like Degrassi High, currently broadcast daily on Channel 1 to the delight of Israeli “youngsters” like myself. The series is finely acted and produced with true-life situations.

However, at times these situations may have a deleterious effect on our young people. I was horrified to witness in last week’s episode two homosexual students kissing each other with passionate energy, and then two lesbian students kissing each other with the same energy and delight. To discuss such issues is one thing, but to show such graphic scenes to an adolescent and supposedly innocent young Jewish Israeli audience, to my mind, smacks of a dangerous lack of judgment on the part of those responsible for youth programming.

Israeli youth have enough troubles of their own without being given graphic instruction in forbidden arts at such an early and impressionable age. Channel 1 needs to be reprimanded for failing to properly vet its youth programming.

DAVID HERMAN
Jerusalem


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