Sir, – The whole country breathed a sigh of relief when police
finally caught the motorist wanted for killing three women and then leaving the
scene (“Police nab fugitive in deadly Netanya hit-and-run,” August
Our thinly-stretched police force took three days to find this man –
presumably because it also had to arrest women at the Kotel for the heinous
crime of wearing a tallit (“Four women detained for wearing ‘male-style’ prayer
shawls at Western Wall,” August 20).
One wonders who is responsible for
deciding on the priorities for our hard-working police. Could it be the very
same powers who found time to legislate against women in prayer shawls but could
not find time to legislate a replacement for the Tal Law?
Sir, – I am so glad to know that our police force is free to make sure that
women do not commit dangerous crimes at the Kotel.
Arabs and Jews brawl?
Arson attacks all over the area? There are priorities, people!
Two things overlooked
Sir, – “Tolerance at the Kotel” (Editorial,
August 21) criticizes the Israeli secular High Court of Justice for banning
women from wearing a man’s tallit at the Western Wall plaza. But it makes two
First, it ignores Deuteronomy 22.5, which states: “A woman
shall not wear what pertains to a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s
garment, for whosoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord your
God.” Cross-dressing at the Kotel is offensive not only to haredim, it is
offensive to anyone who has read the Torah.
Second, the Western Wall
includes Robinson’s Arch, an area set aside for non-Orthodox services. Members
of Women of the Wall are very well aware of this but prefer to
CORRECTION It was the High Court of Justice,
and not as stated in “Four women detained for wearing ‘male-style’ prayer shawls
at Western Wall” (August 20), which ruled that the 1981 amendment to the 1967
Law for the Protection of the Holy Places means women may not conduct religious
ceremonies usually performed by men in Orthodox Jewish practice at the Western
Credit where due
Sir, – It was not the Bank of Israel that won
first prize at the International Vicenza Numismatica competition in Italy
(“Israel gets gold for Olympic coin,” August 21). It was the design of David
Harel, and he deserves to be mentioned.
MURRAY S. GREENFIELD
Lowdown on Assange
Sir, – David Newman (“Security versus freedom of the press,”
Borderline Views, August 21) is less than forthcoming in discussing Wikileaks
founder Julian Assange’s battle to avoid extradition from Britain.
begins by noting only allegations of “sexual misdemeanors in Sweden.” Actually,
Assange is wanted on a European arrest warrant for rape and sexual
Newman mentions “hundreds of [secret] documents” published by
Wikileaks and criticizes the ease with which documents are classified. In fact,
Wikileaks released tens of thousands of documents. Assange admittedly failed to
review them individually to determine whether there was a legitimate reason for
their classification, thereby cavalierly endangering the lives of military and
security personnel as well as ordinary citizens.
Newman renews the
argument that journalists may violate duly enacted laws in the name of the
public’s right to know. But the potential for abuse is frightening. May a
journalist avoid paying income taxes because he is writing a story about the tax
structure? How about participating in a conspiracy to commit murder while
writing about organized crime? There is great irony in Assange’s seeking asylum
at the London embassy of Ecuador.
That country’s government is suspected
of being responsible for over 100 cases of assault and threats against
journalists who had the temerity to criticize its leaders.
adopted to protect society as a whole. All members of society – including
journalists – are subject to the same obligations.
EFRAIM A. COHEN
The writer is a former US diplomat and currently is a senior
fellow at Bar-Ilan’s Center for International Communication
Sir, – Gershon Baskin (“Obama, don’t let us do it!,” Encountering Peace, August
21) explains why Israel should not attack Iran before receiving assurances from
President Obama that a nuclear Iran is unacceptable. He is much more troubled by
the fallout of an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities than he is by the
danger of an Iran that possesses a nuclear device that can destroy
Recent articles in The Jerusalem Post have correctly pointed out
how most American presidents (as opposed to Congress) have failed the State of
Israel in its hour of need. It was our “friend” Ronald Reagan who punished us
with an embargo of planes after the destruction of the Iraqi nuclear plant in
June 1981, and it was Lyndon Johnson who reneged on his promise to open the
Straits of Tiran in 1967.
One has to question why Baskin believes that
Obama would help Israel in its hour of need.
Sir, – Every point Gershon Baskin labors to make is easily
I am certainly not glib about the loss of any Jewish, indeed,
any human, lives, but apparently Baskin would prefer that we live under nuclear
blackmail or die in far greater numbers than act in our own
Baskin also seems to suggest that only until he gets proof –
satisfactory to his own view – can we conclude that Iran really wishes to
destroy us. This, from someone who no matter what their offenses and no matter
what they say, still feels the Palestinians want to make peace.
As to the
unintended consequences of such a strike, Baskin seems to have no worry
whatsoever as to the consequences of failing to act. Is this not exactly what
Britain’s Chamberlain did prior to World War II? Finally, as indicated by the
title, can the writer realistically suggest that we rely on Obama? Since Baskin
might be the only person on earth more dovish than Obama regarding Israel, his
willingness to rely on the US president is, perhaps, understandable. For those
of us, especially Prime Minister Netanyahu, who are concerned with the survival
of Israel, a dose of reality is essential.
CHAIM A. ABRAMOWITZ
Sir, – In light of “US government sues Florida over ending kosher
meals in prison” (August 20) and “Sex offender sues prison for kosher food”
(News in Brief, August 20), I would like to voice my disappointment with the
Men’s National Basketball Youth Team for not making significant efforts to
provide kosher meals for two players during the European championship games this
We are a small country that must accentuate any and all national
symbolic virtues – not respecting Jewish athletes and their religious beliefs is
just plain embarrassing.
If the US government can sue Florida over ending
kosher meals in prison, if a sex offender can sue a prison for non-provision of
kosher food, and if Shimon Peres can decline to attend the opening ceremonies of
the Olympics because they took place on a Friday night, then surely the Ministry
of Sports can provide or demand kosher meals for Israeli athletes competing
JAIME REICH AMIRAM