Look to Lincoln
Sir, – With regard to “Tensions simmer ahead of Netanyahu-
Bennett meeting” (February 8), I wish to say to our prime minister: Bibi, your
non-handshake with Naftali Bennett on the first day of the new Knesset has been
well documented. Shame on you. It’s not your hand anyone cares to
By coincidence, your hand is the hand of the leader of the State
of Israel. My leader. If you are incapable of putting personal issues aside (or
worse, your wife’s), go home. A leader is meant to lead by example.
and all our elected officials are our representatives.
Now your job is to
work together for the betterment of our country. There’s no room for personal
slights when the Jewish people depend on you.
A little advice that I
share with my own kids: Read some books about Abraham Lincoln if you don’t have
time see the movie.
Part of his greatness was in his ability to be
magnanimous. Ever wonder why he is considered one of the greatest leaders of all
No to racism
Sir, – With regard to “Bright Tag
Coalition to protest against rise in racist incidents at Betar Jerusalem games”
(February 8), we the undersigned, a group of former members of South Africa
Betar living in Israel: 1. Decry the racist attitudes of some of the supporters
of the Jerusalem Betar football club.
2. Are extremely unhappy about such
wholly unacceptable behavior being linked to the name Betar, and the damage
caused to the philosophy and teachings of Ze’ev Jabotinsky.
all actions by the authorities to prevent racism wherever present.
Sir, – I focus on the parents who taught these
perpetrators or did not stop them when they espoused racist hatred. Could elders
have forced their progeny to act differently or even halt the hatred consuming
their offspring? I think they could.
Then, I am one who believes that
there are members of Knesset, too, who have spoken with tongues of scorn about
these Muslim soccer recruits. I watched the faces of the haters at the fence and
wondered where were the MKs, the members of the government, to put a halt to
this ridiculous behavior.
A sad day for Betar.
Sir, – In your article “UN severs ties with
controversial official” (February 8) by Stewart Stogel, some incorrect
statements were made that require correction.
Khulood Badawi was not “de
facto” fired. It is also incorrect that the United Nations’s Office for the
Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) “opted not to renew her
Badawi chose to leave on her own accord upon expiration of her
The writer is spokesperson for OCHA
Sir, – David Weinberg (“The solution to the haredi draft problem,”
Observations, February 8) seems to think that all yeshiva men do during their
time off is vacation and travel.
Let me enlighten him.
these men get time “off?” At holiday time! From Yom Kippur on they are busy with
Succot, buying lulavim and etrogim, taking care of the kids so wives can have a
break, helping with household matters, and getting some learning in as
During the month of Nissan they are helping get the house ready for
Pessah. And during Av, for three weeks, they help maintain their wives’
Most of those I know do not go on fancy-filled trips. Many
volunteer with special-needs children or work as camp counselors.
service too, isn’t it? Besides, what army would and could train them enough in
three weeks for them to truly be efficient? By the time they are fit for duty it
would be time to go back to the yeshiva! BATYA BERLINGER Jerusalem Sir, – A
better solution to the draft problem that would meet all the criteria set out by
David Weinberg would be to institute a volunteer army, in which volunteers are
paid a high salary to induce the required number of persons to join, and not
force anyone who does not wish to join.
I am sure the IDF has already
looked at this possibility. It should be asked to make its report
Sir, – Bravo to J. J. Gross for his
views on haredim and the burden of military and national service (“Sharing the
burden, a fresh perspective,” Comment & Opinion, February 7). It seems to me
he is right on the money!
Sir, – The article by J.J. Gross
was excellent. He presents a reasonable way to face haredi freeloading and the
resulting poverty problem.
Spewers of hate
The examples of extreme hatred and anti-Semitism directed toward Sarah Honig and
Israel (“That unwitting indecency revisited,” Another Tack, February 8) for
reporting on the anti-Israel school event in an Irish town needs to be read by
Jews the world over.
The people who wrote about her are irrationally
vicious. It is scary that this is Ireland and not Iran.
Sir, – There are uneducated and stupid people everywhere in the
world. These spewers of hate that Sarah Honig quotes so liberally in her column
are ignorant and have no idea what they are talking about.
never heard the things that some Betar Jerusalem fans shout about Muslims at
soccer games? It’s the same thing.
I believe that filling up her column
with so many hateful talkbacks only makes Israelis who have never visited the
Emerald Isle think that every Irishman is the same. It only makes for more
intolerance and hate.
Sir, – I would like to
point out that there is undoubtedly Jewish blood among the Irish
After the expulsions from Spain and Portugal, many Sephardi Jews
and so-called secret Jews dispersed to other countries, including
Some pretended to be Huguenots or remained secret Jews. Our
executive director found graves in a Huguenot cemetery in southwest Ireland that
bore unmistakably Sephardic names.
It is evident that these Jews or their
offspring intermarried with the locals. They might be some of the so-called
black Irish who had dark skin and hair.
We are having a mini-symposium on
“Sephardic Jews of Ireland” in the near future. Anyone who knows about the
subject or wishes to contribute should contact us.
writer is affiliated with the International Institute for the Study of Secret
Jews (Anusim) at Netanya Academic College (www.netanya.ac.il/englishsite)