Herod great or not?

Sir, – When I read in “Fence along Egyptian border has achieved its aims, says PM” (January 3) that, according to Binyamin Netanyahu, “[t]here has not been an engineering feat in Israel this large since Herod,” it made my heart jump! Not because of the fence (I wish it would not be necessary), but the term Herod.

It referred to our old history.

That’s the language we should use more often. It is our ancient land. We should emphasize names, real places, the Jewish importance of them – and repeatedly, while others propagate their falsehoods.

We should also use the terms Judea and Samaria, not West Bank or occupied or disputed territories.

Neither should our references ape a fake division like “east Jerusalem,” but only recognize and refer to our 3,000-year-old capital Jerusalem.

I would suggest we drop all artificial political correctness and stay right – because we are right! All this much more so when our opponents even question the ancient existence of our Holy Temple.

HILLEL GOLDBERG
Jerusalem


Sir, – The prime minister’s comparison of an engineering project to a period of history that displayed Roman cruelty and terrorism only furthers the idea that the wrong things have been adapted from the past.

Is this the general association that exists for the present? Is this masochistic approach an encouraging one or is it a result of a lack of emotional connection with all the history of the children of Israel? True, much attention is paid to the Shoah, with much emotion and regret for the sacrifices made. Yet the Roman era was also one of death and destruction.

Does the leadership glorify the Herodian period with this purely purposeless comparison? How is this reflected in our educational system, values system and lack of ideals?

ALLEN L. MANDEL
Jerusalem


Voting Likud Beytenu

Sir, – I just read Gil Hoffman’s “Likud to warn voters: We could lose election” (January 3).

I have been a Likud member since making aliya over 43 years ago. This time around I am not sure for whom to cast my vote.

As a Likud member I in no way have an affinity with the left-wing parties. I want to make sure that my vote reflects my position.

Strategist Arthur Finkelstein advises the heads of the Likud Beytenu campaign to stop attacking Bayit Yehudi head Naftali Bennett and instead reveal extremist and chauvinist statements made by candidates on his list. This will not deter most of those who are choosing not to vote for the Likud.

Wake up and smell the coffee.

It’s time for a positive campaign only. Knocking an opponent to whom many are now pledging their votes will have a negative effect. This seems to be borne out by the current polls.

If we vote for Likud Beytenu we want to be sure that after the election it will bear in mind its constituency’s point of view. Let it heed its own warning that voting for a satellite party on the Right could result in the Center-Left forming the next government.

Give us assurances that our vote for Netanyahu will not be in vain.

MARSHA WACHSMAN
Jerusalem


Sir, – I would like to respond to Jonathan Rosen’s “Why vote for Likud Beytenu?” (Inside Out, January 3).

Among the plethora of political parties, Likud-Israel Beytenu is the only one with a proven record and the know-how required to successfully run a government.

Prime Minister Netanyahu would never win a popularity contest. He doesn’t have a pretty face like Yair Lapid or the media connections of Lapid and Shelly Yacimovich. He doesn’t play musical chairs like Tzipi Livni and Amir Peretz. He does not subscribe to the Meretz vision of a return to the pre-1967 borders.

And it might be blasphemous, but he does not share President Shimon Peres’s regard for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

According to a recent press report, independent international studies on national economies, education, social issues, health and well-being rank Israel higher than most of its neighbors, both near and far. Although the current government cannot claim credit for all the advances, neither can it be blamed for all the shortcomings.

Rosen declares that the lack of a better candidate is not a good enough reason to vote for a Netanyahu-led ticket. I disagree.

Netanyahu talks the talk – eloquent in English as well as in Hebrew – and walks the walk of an experienced head of government.

He is also a pragmatist, and although it may not be my way or Rosen’s way, he is the only candidate in the political spectrum capable of keeping our national ship afloat.

LINDA WOLFF
Sha’arei Tikva


Road kill

Sir, – With regard to “Speed kills” (Editorial, January 3), the government needs to add more officers enforcing driving safety laws. It needs to take a stand against unsafe driving – speeding, aggressive lane switching, running red lights. The list goes on and on.

It needs to invest more in speed cameras. If drivers knew that their aggressive behavior was likely to lead to a ticket, they would be more cautious.

SHIRA MOSS
Jerusalem


Sir, – It is no secret that Israelis are infamous for their bad driving habits. Weaving in and out of traffic, driving with gay abandon, racing up to the car in front and performing dangerous maneuvers are routine procedure on our roads, ending many times in a violent impact or, put even simpler, a crash.

It definitely isn’t an “accident,” which is defined in my dictionary as “an unforeseen or unexpected event.” Allow me therefore to suggest that the use of this misnomer be forthwith terminated and another, more accurate, word – collision – be substituted.

DAVID S. ADDLEMAN
Mevaseret Zion


Modest dress

Sir, – There’s so much more to modesty than any technical guideline can cover, and I am split over the article “National-religious moderates criticize rabbi’s principles on women’s modesty” (January 2).

Rabbi Shlomo Aviner does have a point; it just might not have been dealt with properly.

Limiting what women can wear to such a small choice of clothing is not realistic or fair. We all need room for self-expression. Granted, very provocative clothing should be avoided at all costs for the sake of humanity. On the other hand, women could be dressed according to technical halachic guidelines but not have a clue about what modesty really means.

In my belief, it is definitely more important to focus on how one behaves or speaks around others than to just administer dress codes. Women also have to feel beautiful. I don’t think God would be satisfied with a nation of women sulking in all-black attire.

Modesty is a highly sensitive topic and requires a great deal of love and guidance in teaching others what is appropriate. It’s demeaning to measure people’s greatness by how modestly they dress.

ORLEY TAL
Jerusalem


Deliberate snub?

Sir, – Having attended a very lively and noisy election forum under your newspaper’s auspices (“Multiple viewpoints,” January 2), I must voice my great disappointment that there was no representative of either Labor or Meretz, although I understand that both parties were invited to participate.

Surely there are capable English speakers among the ranks of their respective leadership teams.

Many of the people present would have appreciated hearing their views on the matters discussed.

It would be interesting to know if this was a deliberate snub, having written off the Anglo vote?

ALAN GOLD
Netanya

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