Dastardly duo

Sir, – Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s contempt for Yair Lapid and Naftali Bennett for “not reaching solutions on key issues” (“Netanyahu to Likud: Lapid, Bennett putting themselves before good of country,” February 18) is actually directed toward over a quarter of the country’s voters.

I regret to say that his contempt leads to mine – against him – and I didn’t even vote for Lapid or Bennett.

ZVI TEFF
Carmiel

Sir, – Prime Minister Netanyahu should stop trying to break the cooperation between Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid. It is none of his business.

If he trusted Avigdor Liberman he can certainly trust Lapid.

Bibi actually lost the election.

His gamble in uniting with Yisrael Beytenu did not pay off, and the number of Likud MKs is just a bit more than the number of Yesh Atid MKs. Had the voters wished to maintain the previous coalition, the results would have been different.

I say to Netanyahu: Don’t concern yourself with the next election. Concern yourself with today.

HENRY WEIL
Jerusalem

Free scoops...

Sir, – In “Business soars at J’lem gelateria Metudela following ‘Glidagate’ scandal” (February 18), Serena Kanfi is quoted as saying that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is “also a human being” in that he likes ice cream so much.

I have no idea what that has to do with him and his whole family eating ice cream at the public’s expense.

MARY SHERMAN
Tel Aviv

Sir, – So, the Netanyahus like pistachio and French vanilla ice cream. That is fine. What isn’t fine is that the prime minister asked for a budget of NIS 10,000 to buy it.

His ice cream money should come out of his own pocket, not ours.

HANNAH SONDHELM
Jerusalem

...and nice salaries

Sir, – When prices are going up by the day and more people are finding it difficult to make ends meet, members of Knesset, whose salaries are more than four times that of the average income earner, should prove their genuine concern.

They should start by passing legislation that sets their own salaries at no more than two or three times the national average.

Since MKs also enjoy perks that add up to many thousands of shekels a year, these, too, should be trimmed.

JOSHUA J. ADLER
Jerusalem

Haredim and the draft

Sir, – I would like to add some “realistic” points to your editorial “A realistic haredi draft” (February 18).

Whenever there are differences of opinion, but also an interest in finding a solution that is viable and realistic, it is obvious that both sides must meet and thrash out their differences. This is the accepted process for national and international differences.

It is strange that Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid is not willing to be present with haredi leaders in a joint picture at the presidential residence, and surely not negotiate with them face-to-face. Imagine if such were said about an Arab politician.

The basic question is whether the modern State of Israel is willing and ready to absorb thousands of haredim into the army.

Such absorption would require serious changes in the religious atmosphere and standards of the IDF, something the general public has not shown a willingness to accept.

My solution is to allow anyone who wants to learn Torah to do so, and to create a mechanism to allows an equal number of nonyeshiva students to continue their studies, following the same rules and conditions as yeshiva students.

The issue of haredi employment should be dealt with separately from the army question.

YITZCHOK ELEFANT
Dimona
The writer is chief rabbi of Dimona.

Sir, – There have been very few times in the history of modern Israel when a chronic problem could be totally eliminated.

We now have the opportunity to end the situation whereby the haredi population uses political means to dodge the draft.

There can be only one law for the entire country, with no exceptions.

Period. Any kind of compromise that would allow a citizen to be exempt from the draft should be done only after his or her case is reviewed by the IDF.

In your editorial you seek a compromise in the law itself.

This is a mistaken approach.

There must be one law for everyone. Only after a person has been processed by the army through a physical exam and psychological testing should any compromise be considered. You now have a cadre of haredi veterans of the IDF who would be able to help make the transition into the army easier for others.

There is no question in my mind that haredi scholars should not have to serve, and that the implementation of the new law be spread over many years simply because the IDF is not yet prepared to handle such a large group of recruits with special needs.

I implore our rookie MKs to stand fast, even if this results in new elections. The people want one law for all Israel’s citizens.

P. YONAH
Shoham

Dedicated teacher

Sir, – After reading the article by Gilad Sharon on Dr. Yizhak Aviv (“History lesson: He learned nothing and he forgot nothing,” Comment & Features, February 18), I must add a few words of my own because Prof. Aviv was a legend in our family, and rightly so.

I can say without hesitation that Aviv was the most dedicated and devoted teacher my sons had during their years at the Gymnasia Herzliya, which was where, I believe, he finished his teaching career.

He was our eldest son’s teacher and instilled in him a love for history, which I have no doubt will remain a lifelong passion.

Our middle son, unfortunately, only had him for a term or two, but in that period his marks in history went up by about 25 percent. However, what we most remember and bless him for is what he did for our youngest son.

Toward the end of tenth grade it was discovered that our youngest son had a malignant growth on his knee. He underwent a serious operation to remove the affected bone and replace it with a prosthesis. In addition, he received debilitating chemotherapy.

Aviv was the only one of our son’s teachers not to give up on our boy’s academic expectations, and because Aviv showed that he cared so much, our son made the effort to drag himself on crutches to school whenever he had a lesson with him.

Aviv gave of his time freely with all students, often providing them with an extra two or three hours of tutoring. But he also gave our son private lessons in his home in order to make sure he would get a good grade in his history matriculation exam.

Our son did, too – passing with a grade in the high 80s.

With his qualifications, Aviv could have taught history at the university level, but he chose to devote his life to teaching high school history, and this family will never cease to be grateful for that.

GEORGINA YACOBI
Tel Aviv

Compelling read

Sir, – I was very disappointed not to find columns by Stewart Weiss in recent issues of The Jerusalem Post Magazine, so I was gratified to find him tucked away in the February 15 Observations section (“Models and modesty”).

As usual, his article was excellent and made for compelling reading. Weiss emphasized how important it was to express moral opinions, and not just listen quietly and passively. As he wrote, “When we fall for everything, we stand for nothing, and when anything goes, little remains.”

Weiss’s contributions – wherever they are in the Post – are always of a high standard and sometimes brilliant.

SHIMSHON BITNUN
Bar Yochai

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