Sir, – With the increase cost of bread, and now the planned
increase of the cost of eggs, milk and chickens, the government has again shown
that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has no feelings for the lower middle
class and lower economic population of Israel (“Egg, milk and chicken prices
expected to rise,” August 16).
Currently we have 120 MKs on a three-month
paid vacation, millions of shekels being laid out for the Knesset building’s
renovations, and expensive cars given to overpaid cabinet members.
those cabinet members, 18 are not even needed except as Netanyahu’s bribes to
other parties in order to have them in the coalition.
We in the lower
middle class are having problems existing communistically. The future
destruction of the Israeli population is in the hands of our political leaders,
not only in the hands of Iran.
Sir, – After reading Judy Montagu’s column, “Neighbors” (In My Own Write,
Comment and Features, August 15) and the letter, “Seat Sexism,” (August 15) in
The Jerusalem Post, I was reminded of the prediction made by former UK chief
Rabbi Emmanuel Jacobowitz, in his article, “Rabbis and Deans,” that appeared in
the Summer 1966 issue of Tradition.
In that article, he described a sad
but growing trend in every day Jewish life where the role of the synagogue rabbi
was being undermined by the growing power of the roshei yeshivot, heads of the
The synagogue rabbi had always been the spiritual leader of his
community and understood their needs and was often called to resolve their
personal problems. He also referred to a rosh yeshiva for more complicated
problems and passed the answer to his laymen in a humane and understanding
manner. Roshei yeshiva, especially the most recent major poskim – arbiters of
Halacha – are surrounded and insulated by their followers allowing them little
exposure to the ordinary people who work and struggle for a living.
this is the sad situation today where every aspect of daily life becomes more
and more constricted. Unfortunately, there are too few rabbis who refuse to be
intimidated and have the courage to stand up and oppose this dangerous
Power corrupts, as we find in the stranglehold that the haredim
have over most of religious life, such as marriage registration offices, burial
societies, kashrut services and many others, all dependent on government
These services should be run by Zionistic rabbis who represent
the more wholesome aspect of Jewish life in Israel today.
Sir, – Isi Leibler accurately describes the impending
vacuum in professional Jewish leadership, especially in the United States
(“Billionaires and the looming Jewish leadership crisis,” Candidly Speaking,
Comment and Features, August 16).
However, he does not dig down to the
root of the problem – namely that the exclusive criteria for lay Jewish
leadership has long been the size of one’s bank account with no regard to actual
merit, praxis or other Jewish bona fides.
Now the chickens have come home
to roost. Younger American Jews are either totally cynical about so-called
“Jewish leaders,” or have simply followed in such leaders’ footsteps – marrying
out, indifferent to what they perceive as parochial priorities, and preferring a
bigger ballpark in which to play.
Under such circumstances, why would
anyone with real talent and neshama aspire to professional leadership of
essentially moribund organizations? Why would a committed, caring professional
Jew agree to be a flunky for people whose lifestyles and progeny make a mockery
of everything Jewish that truly matters?
On the home front
Sir, – Avi Dichter was and is a political opportunist in sheep’s clothing
(“Dichter holds deciding vote on Iran strike,” August 15).
Twice he ran
for the leadership of Kadima and twice he failed.
He wanted Kadima to
join Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s government, and then he opposed
Kadima’s resignation from the coalition. The present government isn’t a
Likud-led government, but rather a General Staff Reconnaissance Unit (sayeret
Sir, – The photograph and caption
accompanying the article about Avi Dichter’s appointment as home front defense
minister showed Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin receiving Dichter’s resignation
from the Knesset at a gas station on the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway.
neither of these esteemed and politically experienced gentlemen realize how
inappropriate it was for such a resignation to be submitted at a gas station?
The fact that they also posed for a photograph to record this for posterity is
Can we now look forward to Dichter rendering his deciding
vote on a possible Iran strike at my local humous bar? Can we trust people who
don't make good decisions in small matters to make good decisions in large ones?
I truly wonder.
Back to the future
Sir, – It is
always good to see an analysis by former Israel ambassador Zvi Mazel on page one
(“Morsy’s velvet revolution,” August 14). He discusses Egyptian President
Mohamed Morsy’s “coup” in extra-constitutionally forcing the retirement of the
country’s top military leaders.
As one who served for many years in
Egypt, I feel that the world has been witnessing a religio- fascist state is in
the making since the Muslim Brotherhood first came to power. How should we know?
The Brotherhood is fanatically anti-Semitic, no excuses
And Egypt’s eight million Christian Copts will be the first, but
only the first, to pay the price.
But, some will say, “Isn’t the
Brotherhood cracking down on extremist Islamic terrorist groups in Sinai?” While
historical analogies are not always useful, one begs to be made in this case. In
1934, the Fuhrer had the SS purge the SA brown-shirts, in order, in part, to win
greater support from the German army and to consolidate Nazi power.
points not only to the efficiency of Morsy’s move but also to its speed. Of
course, Morsy is now showing support for the Egyptian military through its
operation in Sinai. Nevertheless, he also knows that US President Barack Obama
might not be reelected in November.
The Egyptian president probably has
no intention of withdrawing Egypt’s excess military presence in Sinai after the
current operation there is successful.
Morsy may thus feel that as long
as Obama is in power he can count on the US to warn Israel not to slap Morsy
down when Egypt refuses to re-comply with the Camp David stipulations on force
levels in the Sinai.
We are now back to the future, dateline August to
The writer is a retired US
Foreign Service officer
History and heritage
Sir, – We have been blessed to live
in an era of Jewish sovereignty in a free and independent State of
Yet, if we continue to allow our youth to ignore our history and
heritage, we will be buried by our enemies (“Burying our own history and
heritage,” Comment and Features, August 14)! We must, therefore, take immediate
steps to re-evaluate our educational processes to ensure that this does not
This is an issue of outright survival.