Lying statistics



Sir,



– With regard to “Employment Service freezes implementation of welfare-to-work plan” (January 16), the first step the government needs to take is to establish the true number of unemployed who are desperately seeking work. The figure 250,000 is miles below the true figure.

The Employment Service should set up a website and invite all those seeking work to register; I guarantee it will crash on the first day.

We must accept that tens of thousands of unemployed have given up sending CVs or even applying to the Employment Service after years of endeavor.

But have no fear: The government will not dare reveal to the public the true situation. It would lose the next election.

It is no secret that the unemployment rate published each month does not represent the real numbers. Let each citizen do his own survey and he will discover that numerous well qualified people have been unemployed for many months.

Statistics lie. They are meaningless unless they are accompanied by the way they are calculated.

DAVID GOSHEN



Kiryat Ono



The visa game



Sir, – Your news story “Ministry touts rise in rates of conversion to Judaism” (January 15) states that recent Bnei Menashe immigrants from India “received immigration visas to Israel under the right of return.”

Unfortunately, this is inaccurate.

As chairman of Shavei Israel, which is responsible for all aspects of the Bnei Menashe aliya, I have been involved in assisting the community for more than 17 years. After the government headed by Ehud Olmert froze the community’s aliya in 2007, I spent five years lobbying, cajoling and nudging members of Knesset and cabinet ministers until, finally, in October 2012, the government made a unanimous decision to restart the immigration.

The Bnei Menashe come to Israel with a tourist visa in hand and receive an A5 visa upon arrival, in accordance with the government decision. Only once they complete their formal conversion to Judaism do they receive Israeli citizenship and new immigrant status. Hence, they do not enter Israel under the Law of Return.

There are now more than 2,000 already here in the Jewish state. There are an additional 7,000 in India awaiting permission to make aliya. I will continue to do everything in my power to help this Lost Tribe of Israel fulfill its dream and finally return to our people and our land.

MICHAEL FREUND



Jerusalem



Lend loss



Sir, – Judy Montagu’s excellent “‘Will you lend me...?” (In My Own Write, January 15) brought to mind a saying taught to me by Malka Raymist, whom Jerusalem Post readers might remember: If you want to lose a book, lend it to a friend; if you want to lose a friend, lend him money.

PHILIP MARCUS



Jerusalem



Fear in legacy Sir, – Dan Diker (“Sharon’s legacy of defensible borders,” The World from Here, January 15) extols Ariel Sharon’s wisdom in obtaining – before he withdrew unilaterally from the Gaza Strip – an American commitment from then-US president George W. Bush to support Israeli control of the Jordan Valley and the major settlement blocs there. Diker appears to be saying, seemingly with a straight face, that this commitment ensured Israel’s defensible borders.

True, Sharon had an exchange of letters with Bush saying exactly this, and it was overwhelmingly approved by both houses of Congress. That solemn commitment, however, lasted only while Bush was president. His successor, Barack Obama, discarded it like coffee grounds. For that, Sharon gave up control of the Gaza Strip permanently.

Have the mainstream media noted the meaning of the Iron Dome battery that was brought in for Sharon’s funeral? That fear is absolutely part of his legacy.

J.P. GOLBERT



Efrat



Hey, Joe Sir, – Why would US Vice President Joseph Biden, a top American politician, want to make himself sound foolish (“Biden: Two-state solution only chance for Mideast stability,” January 14)? What with Egypt in political turmoil, with Syria in an endless civil war, Jordan a boiling cauldron and uprisings all over the Arab world, a solution to the Palestinian problem will do nothing to stop Middle East convulsions.

Hey, Joe, listen to what Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is saying: no recognition of a Jewish state, no Jews in Palestine, the division of Jerusalem (the heart of the Jewish nation), the return of millions of so-called Arab refugees to the Jewish state and no shifting from the 1967 armistice lines.

Why is the world deaf to the aims of our Arab neighbors, who want us thrown out of our country? All of it, including the West Bank, Golan Heights and Gaza Strip, is legally ours according to the League of Nations and UN Charter.

I beg our leaders: Please, do not let the Joe Bidens of the world delude you into a false feeling of safety and press you to sign away our security needs.

EDMUND JONAH



Rishon Lezion



Wrong choir



Sir, – While I love to read how Shmuley Boteach feels so strongly about Judea and Samaria (“Bar mitzva in Judea and Samaria,” No Holds Barred, January 14), I find it sadly disappointing that he writes about his strong love for the Land of Israel from his home in Englewood, New Jersey.

Rabbi Boteach, don’t just talk the talk – if you’re really serious about the Land of Israel, then walk the walk and make aliya.

Bringing your kids here for a week just doesn’t cut it. If you’re truly “the most famous rabbi in America,” I’m sure you could convince your many followers to join you here as well.

Once you live here I’d be happy to hear what you have to say about our country. Til then, Jerusalem Post readers are not the choir you need to be preaching to.

SUSAN KATZ



Efrat



Endangered species



Sir, – Kudos to MK Yariv Levin for his overdue effort to recognize and embrace Christian Arabs (“Levin pushes separate minority identity for Christians,” January 10).

Christians are truly an endangered species in the Middle East, and Israel has become a beacon of hope and support for them, just as it has been for the Jewish People. The great, quiet tectonic shift taking place here is part of the promise of Zionism. It is when we as Jews can project our own sovereignty that we can best fulfill the Torah mandate to respect the strangers among us.

Levin’s efforts should be wholeheartedly supported.

DOUGLAS ALTABEF



Rosh Pina



Fine tributes



Sir, – I was very moved by the tributes paid to the memory of former Jerusalem Post editor-inchief N. David Gross in the Observations section of your January 10 issue by Judy Siegel-Itzkovich (“N. David Gross: An appreciation”) and David Brinn (“Getting the story right”).

Although I never met him, I was freelancing for the Post for a number of years before he became editor-in-chief, and after the huge upheaval at the paper at that time I was sure I would never again have the opportunity.

But I did, and I was always grateful.

The combined appreciation of their former boss was heart-warming. By sharing their memories of him, Siegel-Itzkovich and Brinn paid tribute to a wise, competent and very human man and let us share their sadness at his passing.

DVORA WAYSMAN



Jerusalem



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