July 4: Founding Ethics
We only have his word that he came as an asylum-seeker and not as a migrant.
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.
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.
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.
– 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
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
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
Nor does the Supreme Court demand that the rights of
Jewish citizens be upheld.
Jewish or not
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.
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
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
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
Criticism of the Israeli settlement policy is certainly not
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.
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
Pyka questioned the fact that the German NGO funding
for the kindergarten was not properly registered in Germany.
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
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.
also stated that one should have the ability to support a wife before he
Perhaps haredi rabbis and their students should devote some time
to studying the Rambam.
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.
did not end the Jewish struggle for liberation – less than two years later the
State of Israel was declared.
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
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
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.