Sir, – Regarding “Tens of thousands of asylum-seekers demand
rights during TA march” (January 6) and “Italian navy rescues 233 migrants”
(News in Brief, January 3), it took watching 5,000 asylum seekers pass me by on
Carlebach Street in Tel Aviv and seeing another 10,000 walking down both sides
of Ibn Gvirol Street, with 15-20 thousand more standing in Rabin Square chanting
“We don’t want to be in jail” and “We want asylum” for me to begin wondering how
we could both help migrants or asylum seekers live with self-respect and benefit
from their presence at the same time.
Israel could pass a law allowing
companies to establish factories in industrial zones while providing room and
board to their African employees plus a small monthly cash allowance. The
government would give tax breaks to the employers and assistance in building the
factories, as well as living facilities and dining facilities.
would be to deliver products to stores at close to the cost of similar items
produced and shipped from developing countries. Employee representatives would
be consulted throughout the development of the program.
consecutive years working under these conditions, a migrant or asylum seeker
would be guaranteed a job with remuneration that is equivalent to the Israeli
Tell them no
Sir, – In “McCain meets
with Peres in Jerusalem, ‘guardedly optimistic’ about peace talks” (January 5),
you quote President Shimon Peres as saying he was convinced that, deep down,
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas wants peace although “he’s not a free
agent.” In that case, what is the point of negotiating with him? Peres lives in
a time warp where he is unable or unwilling to accept the terrible tragedies he
brought through his persistence in backing terrorists and his obsession of
giving up our land. As Mordechai Kedar points out in the same issue (“Sisi: 1,
Obama: 0,” Comment & Features), it is possible to say no and actually defy
US President Barack Obama without the sky falling in. The events in Egypt prove
that Obama and his aides are helpless against the determination of the people in
Middle Eastern countries.
That’s how it is with Iran, Iraq and Syria, and
so it should be with Israel, for which it is a matter of life and death. We can
then stand with our heads held high.
Israel can and must say to Obama and
Sir, – I was taken aback – I almost
didn’t know whether to laugh or cry – by the headline “Chief Rabbinate says
Orthodox rabbis abroad are appointed ‘without criteria’” (January 5).
do not know of any rabbi of an Orthodox synagogue who was hired without having
received a proper smicha (ordination) from a respected Orthodox yeshiva and is
not known to be living a proper Orthodox Jewish lifestyle.
every rabbi I know is a member of a respected Orthodox rabbinical organization
such as the Rabbinical Council of America. These organizations can easily be
consulted about certification.
Orthodox rabbis may well disagree among
themselves, but delegitimization – especially by a rabbinic organization in a
different country – is not a seemly course to take, in my opinion.
much more relevant note; Rabbi Avraham Weiss is one of the most accomplished and
impacting Orthodox rabbis worldwide. His smicha is from Rabbi Joseph B.
Soloveitchik from Yeshiva University, and he has brought hundreds, if not
thousands, of non-Orthodox Jews into Orthodoxy. He has been a vocal fighter for
the Jewish people wherever their rights as Jews have been threatened, and he has
educated a whole generation of Jewish leaders today, both men and
I know Rabbi Weiss personally as a Jew who is zealous in his
performance of every mitzva and whose love of every Jew knows no bounds. I
believe it a disgrace that his Orthodox credentials have been
By the way, who has checked the criteria of a recent chief
rabbi here in Israel?
The writer is chief rabbi of Efrat,
head of Ohr Torah Institutions and a Jerusalem Post Magazine columnist
Sir, – The predictions of David M. Weinberg (“A crystal ball on 2014,”
Observations, January 3) could be more accurate or less so, but how can his
crystal ball function when fed outdated data? The author describes the
Palestinian Authority as continuing to “huff and puff and blow evil smoke at
Israel while raking in...
dollars, euros, kronen, yens, francs and
deutschmarks.” Fine, except that the two latter currencies (assuming the francs
being referred to are French) happen to be obsolete already for 14
Vote ’em out
Sir, – Was the placement
of the following three stories on Page 3 of your December 30 issue – “List of
Palestinian terrorists set to be freed by Israel,” “Hadash posts video calling
to kidnap Israeli soldiers” and “Ministers reject bill banning convicted
criminals from the Knesset” – intentional or just serendipitous? Most Israelis
are absolutely horrified by the release of bloodthirsty terrorists who snuffed
out the lives of men, women and children. We justifiably question the morality
of our top elected officials who made such deals knowing that releasing child
killers won’t advance peace. The terrorists went home to heroes’ welcomes and
are being paid stipends and having streets and squares named after
As for the second headline, are we shocked that an Israeli
political party would post a video on its Facebook page that calls for
kidnapping Israeli soldiers? Was it ostensibly a news item or a call for the
next Gilad Schalit deal? Finally, while our elected leaders are busy
distributing “get out of jail free” cards to the vilest criminals, they are
handing even themselves a couple. Are we surprised that they reject criminality
as an impediment to a political career? I wonder how many should already be
Today, we even have a religious party led by an
We shake our heads with disgust.
We have no leaders. It’s
time for an Israeli Spring. Next round, vote the whole lot out.
Truth in labeling
Sir, – I read the clarification in your
January 5 issue in which you disassociated yourself from the excellent
Sovereignty insert of January 3.
Your readers are entitled to know the
reasons behind this announcement. Who is pressuring the editorial board of the
paper, or was it an innocent mistake? I, a reader of the paper, would really
like to know.
Sir, – While I was
surprised to receive the Sovereignty supplement, I agree with all of the
articles in it that I have read so far. So, rather than agreeing with your
apology for its inclusion, I applaud your courage in distributing
Many thanks for allowing an alternative voice to be heard.
Sir, – Shame on you! Since when does one apologize for presenting
a different opinion? To whom are you apologizing?
editor responds: Irrespective of its content, Sovereignty was a paid supplement
and should have been clearly labeled as such.