July 4: Founding Ethics

By JERUSALEM POST READERS
July 3, 2012 23:12

We only have his word that he came as an asylum-seeker and not as a migrant.




Founding ethics

Sir, – Nowhere does Kidane Isaac (“End the negotiations on expelling Eritrean asylum-seekers!,” Comment & Features, July 2) say a word about knowing of or appreciating the founding ethics of Israel as the national home of the Jewish people.

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These ethics have no relevance to his coming here or to his being here today. We only have his word that he came as an asylum-seeker and not as a migrant.

I am left wondering whether Isaac’s current political activities in Israel will not lead him to join those who are plotting and planning a future where we no longer live in a Jewish democratic state. At such a moment, whose side would he be on? Would he vote in favor of a Jewish state that gave him refuge, or turn his back on us? My impression from this article is that he has no concern about what drives Israel today or what type of future we want.

BARRY SHAW
Netanya

Sir, – Kidane Isaac writes a beautiful but very flawed article.

The vast majority of the migrants are illegals and are here doing nothing but causing ethnic problems, especially in south Tel Aviv and Eilat.

Sudan and Egypt should also adhere to the UNHCR’s guidelines but as they are hostile or semi-hostile to Israel, instead of turning these migrants back or detaining them they look the other way and dump these problem in our lap.

MURRAY JOSEPH
Kiryat Motzkin

Public order

Sir, – The clarification in the Letters column of July 2, that the right to freedom of worship on the Temple Mount must be upheld although police may prevent non-Muslim prayer in the interest of public order, is of special interest.

The Ulpana eviction of Jews so as to uphold the law was of great concern to the police since the evacuees were Jews, whom the police can handle.

But as soon as the Arabs threaten to protest any loss of their de facto control over the Temple Mount the police back down in the interest of “public order.”

Nor does the Supreme Court demand that the rights of Jewish citizens be upheld.

SIMCHA RUDMAN
Jerusalem

Jewish or not

Sir, – In “German activist admits she invented IDF and family Holocaust history to bash Israel” by Benjamin Weinthal (July 1), your reporter, who mentioned me more than once, didn’t consider the information I sent him.

Irena Wachendorff supports the Jewish-Arab kindergarten Ein Bustan. There was a campaign on Facebook that lasted for months in which Jennifer Pyka was heavily involved, with the underlying accusation that the foundation co-founded by Wachendorff to support Ein Bustan was illegal and that funds were misappropriated and embezzled.

Against these allegations, which seemed to me unsubstantiated, I came to Wachendorff’s defense because I think a Jewish- Arab kindergarten is good for Israel.

The accusations have collapsed in the meantime, like a house of cards. I haven’t seen a word of apology or regret from Pyka or the other parties involved in the campaign over the damage caused to Wachendorff’s reputation. Therefore, I remain more than skeptical about the accusations Pyka now raises against Wachendorff and see no reason why I should say anything in public about whether someone is a Jew or not.

Pyka wants to attribute statements of third parties on my Facebook wall to me. This is inadmissible. I have pointed out the rules of Facebook and I’m doing it repeatedly on my wall.

I am a member of the German- Israeli Parliamentary Friendship Group and a member of the German-Israeli Society (DIG). In 1980 I co-founded the partnership between the city of Munster and Rishon Lezion. On a recent visit to Israel as chairman of the Bundestag’s Committee on Foreign Affairs, I agreed with my counterparts on the parallel Knesset committee to maintain regular strategic cooperation between the committees, which until now existed only with France and Poland. I mention this to illustrate how important to me good German- Israeli relations are.

If you look on Google you will probably find plenty of definitions of anti-Semitism. I wouldn’t attempt to add another one.

Criticism of the Israeli settlement policy is certainly not anti-Semitic.

Otherwise you would have to accuse the federal chancellor as well as the American president of anti-Semitism. So many Israelis criticize this policy, too.

RUPRECHT POLENZ
Berlin

The writer is a member of the Bundestag and a senior member of the Christian Democratic Union led by Chancellor Angela Merkel

Benjamin Weinthal responds
: According to Jennifer Pyka, Ruprecht Polenz is attempting to sidetrack the discussion about his support for Irena Wachendorff.

Pyka questioned the fact that the German NGO funding for the kindergarten was not properly registered in Germany.

After she questioned Wachendorff, discussion about the kindergarten was deleted from the Facebook page. Journalists frequently question the nature of German NGO funds for the Middle East because Hamas and Hezbollah have used social service groups to fund terror.

Paying their dues

Sir, – With regard to “The other Tal Law committee” (Politics, June 29), Shas and United Torah Judaism refuse to accept financial penalties for those who stay in yeshivot rather than enlist in the army or do national service. Someone must remind their rabbis that Moses did not tell the tribes of Reuven and Gad, and half the tribe of Menashe, that they should learn in a kollel in order to gain the financial benefits they wanted. He told them in no uncertain terms that they should march at the front of the army of Israel.

Maimonides, known as the Rambam, managed to carry on a busy medical practice in addition to being the leading halachic sage of his time. He argued strenuously against anyone accepting money for Torah learning.

He also stated that one should have the ability to support a wife before he marries.

Perhaps haredi rabbis and their students should devote some time to studying the Rambam.

DAVID WILLIG
Safed

Black Saturday

Sir, – June 29 marked the 66th anniversary of “Black Saturday,” when the British rounded up 4,000 Jewish leaders of pre-state Israel in 1946. These leaders included members of the Hagana, employees of the Jewish Agency and kibbutz members.

This did not end the Jewish struggle for liberation – less than two years later the State of Israel was declared.

REUVEN SOLOMON
New York

CORRECTION

On June 20 The Jerusalem Post ran an article headlined “Litzman calls out unnamed hospitals for alleged ‘black market’ use of MRIs” that contained several significant errors and which unfairly painted the Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer in a negative light.

In point of fact, a Post investigation has clarified that the center is not operating any “unlicensed MRI machines.” Its five MRIs are fully licensed for clinical (4) and research (1) use by the Health Ministry.

Additionally, Sheba director Prof. Zeev Rotstein does not moonlight at unauthorized additional jobs. The latest State Comptroller’s report affirms that Rotstein’s additional medical positions (including teaching positions at Tel Aviv and Bar-Ilan universities) are duly reported to ministry officials, authorized by both the ministry and the Civil Service Commissioner, and fall within civil service regulations.

The Jerusalem Post regrets these errors.

CLARIFICATION

The article “Pipe blast in South leaves one dead, nine injured” (July 3) incorrectly described the contents of the pipe. The pipe was carrying hydrochloric acid.

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