Druckman and Elon
Sir, – With regard to “Bayit Yehudi cannot remain silent over
Rabbi Druckman” (Candidly Speaking, January 2), I identify with Isi Leibler’s
sense of betrayal by Rabbi Chaim Druckman, a person we have admired these many
There is a black hole in our religious world when leaders like
Rabbi Mordechai Alon and former chief rabbi Yona Metzger, among others,
blatantly affirm their innocence and communicate disdain for the Torah’s moral
code by never expressing contrition.
I am wounded and hurt that religious
Jews can do evil without any guilt, remorse or awareness of having violated
basic Torah laws.
Each week the media report that another religious Jew
is a sex predator or a recalcitrant husband refusing to give his wife a get
(religious divorce), and the fact that such people receive support and even
refuge from fellow religious Jews. I wish to thank Mr. Leibler for speaking
Otherwise, anyone contemplating becoming religious or converting to
Judaism would hastily distance himself or herself from Judaism.
Druckman needs to repent and realize that his approval of Mordechai Alon is
horrific and shameful. All who were his students and disciples are
The writer is a rabbi
Sir, – Isi
Leibler points his finger at Bayit Yehudi chairman Naftali Bennett for not
taking a more aggressive stand against Rabbi Chaim Druckman and Rabbi Mordechai
Elon. I would like to point a finger at the court system, which is the real
villain in this very sad case.
Once Rabbi Elon was found guilty of sexual
misconduct, he should have been forced to undergo treatment at his own expense
by a court-appointed psychiatrist.
During that period he would be banned
from any contact with students, and at the end the court would evaluate the
results and then determine whether or not he should be allowed to teach young
boys. Any individual interfering with the court’s decision in any way would be
subject to criminal charges.
Alas, the actual punishment does not fit the
crime. Justice was not at all served.
Dangerous and crazy
Sir, – Our government committed one of the most dangerous and crazy acts in
Israel’s history by releasing vicious, hate-filled murderers from prison to
further the so-called peace process. Huge celebrations were held and they were
welcomed as heroes by the leader of the Palestinian Authority with kisses, candy
and, of course, US aid money (“Abbas: No peace unless all prisoners are
released,” January 1).
Filled with Jew-hatred and groomed by Yasser
Arafat, Abbas has never had any intention of making peace with Israel. Apart
from our prime minister blasting him for the reception (“Netanyahu: Peace will
come only when settlement interests are ensured,” January 1), nothing has been
achieved – and a further release is due in the near future.
fiasco! US Secretary of State John Kerry undoubtedly has instructions from his
boss, President Barack Obama, to further tighten the screws on Israel. The only
solution is for the Israeli public to strengthen the government by standing up
and proclaiming for all to hear – especially the US – “No more giving in!”
Unless we are tough and resolute now, the future is grim indeed.
Sir, – Greer Fay Cashman is amazing. Her January
1 Grapevine (“The height of indignity”) is a superb example of her talent. A
whole page full of interesting news and comment.
I don’t know how she
does it, but long may she continue. Thank you, Greer!
Not the Serbs
Sir, – Your news story “Simon Wiesenthal Center to launch
lastditch effort to capture Nazis in Serbia” (December 30) fails to mention that
Serbian Jewry was murdered during the Holocaust by the Croatian Ustashe, a
fascist movement that was allied with Hitler and aided the Axis powers in their
occupation of Yugoslavia.
This omission is significant because it leaves
the reader with the false impression that Serbs were behind the slaughter of the
country’s Jews. It was in fact the Croatian Ustashe, headed by Ante Pavelic,
that masterminded and carried out the genocide.
Pavelic, who was chosen
by Hitler, vowed to cleanse the country of Serbs and Jews. He passed
anti-Semitic racial laws, ordered the torching of Serb towns and churches, and
forced 200,000 Serbs to convert to Catholicism.
The Ustashe also operated
the death camp of Jasenovac, known as “the Auschwitz of the Balkans,” and was
responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Serbs and tens of
thousands of Jews.
Serbs and Jews died together at the hands of Croatian
fascists during the dark period of World War II. This shared horror, forged in
blood, is what underlines the close relations that exist nowadays between Serbs
Sir, – According to
Daniel Steiman (“The settlements are illegal under international law,” Comment
& Features, December 30), since the inhabitants of the West Bank in 1967
were protected by the 4th Geneva Convention, this makes it occupied
I do not share his conclusion, especially when considering
what he also wrote: “[T]he primary focus of that convention is to protect the
human rights of civilians who find themselves under occupation, not... the legal
titles of sovereigns,” It is true that West Bank inhabitants who are not Israeli
citizens are protected by the convention (and no Israeli government has ever
denied it), but that does not transform the area (including non-settled zones)
into an occupied territory.
Section 3 of th e Geneva Convention (which
includes Article 49, forbidding population transfers) applies to occupied
territories, but no exact definition is given to this term in the convention
except for Article 2: “The Convention shall also apply to all cases of partial
or total occupation of the territory of a High Contracting
Before the Israeli victory in 1967, the West Bank was not a
territory of a high contracting party since the Jordanian occupation was
considered illegal. Therefore, one cannot derive from anything in Article 49
that the settlements are illegal.
Furthermore, the stipulations of the
San Remo Treaty regarding Jewish settlements in Palestine have never be revoked,
making the illegality argument even more irrelevant. This being said, I am not
dealing here with the question of the opportuneness of establishing the
Sir, – Daniel Steiman’s analysis
suffers from a critical and grievous flaw: He fails to distinguish between
information and misinformation, education and mis-education, facts and
fabrication. He uses words such as “occupiers” and “occupation,” but doesn’t
explain who the occupiers are and whose land is being occupied.
past 4,000 years, the Jewish people have lived in their God-given homeland. It
has been their native homeland, and no other people can substantiate such a
While it is true that many conquerors occupied the Land of Israel
and called it various names, including Palestine, these occupations did not
negate the fact that the Jews were its original legitimate claimants and
inhabitants, and that they never abandoned their claims despite their many
expulsions. In 1948 they reestablished their homeland, and in 1967, as the
result of a defensive war, they reclaimed and resettled those parts of the land
from which they had illegally been expelled. Therefore, Jewish settlements are a
Mr. Steiman, one need not have an MA from Georgetown
University’s Department of Government in order to distinguish between such facts
It is elementary, my dear friend.