Unorthodox funds

Sir, – Without debating the merits of the issue (“In ‘historic’ decision, state agrees to pay wages of non-Orthodox rabbis,” May 30), I cannot help but note the triumphant response of Anat Hoffman, executive director of the Israeli Reform movement’s legal arm: “Israel is too important to be left to Israelis.”

This is a telling and typical response of the leftist elite. Imagine someone inviting interference in the internal affairs of the United States by stating “America is too important to be left to Americans.”

ZEEV GOLIN
Rehovot

Sir, – Anat Hoffman described the Diaspora as “the engine making this happen.”

I don’t understand how she can think that we Israelis have to rely on Diaspora Jewry to make our decisions. Let the Diaspora take care of its own communities and let the people of Israel and its courts decide what’s best for us.

I think we’re old enough to make our own decisions.

HANNAH SONDHELM
Jerusalem

Sir, – I consider myself an Orthodox Jewess but I resent the fact that MK Moshe Gafni calls Reform and Conservative Jews “clowns, for whom Judaism is a laughingstock” (“Harsh words exchanged over state recognition of non-Orthodox rabbis,” May 31).

Gafni apparently has never attended the yeshiva at the Conservative synagogue on Jerusalem’s Agron Street. Orthodox teachers there teach Gemara, Jewish history and philosophy. They also have the “ODED” program, where Jewish values and Torah are taught.

True, non-Orthodox streams may not insist on all Jewish rituals, but they teach Jewish values as far as man’s behavior toward his fellow man.

Ridicule never negates an idea. By calling these Jews clowns does not take away their legitimacy.

JENNY WEIL
Jerusalem

Just ignore them

Sir, – The usual suspects rush to Bassem Tamimi’s defense (“Court sentences Palestinian activist Tamimi to 13 months time served,” May 30).

Amnesty International and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton are never heard from when it comes to abuse of Muslim women by their menfolk, about the persecution driving Christians (including the Copts, the original Egyptians) out of Muslim countries, about Sudanese genocidal activities, and so on.

The day I hear these distorters of the truth demand rights for the many Jewish refugees driven out of the Arab countries, where they had lived since long before the birth of Mohammed, I will listen to what they have to say about current affairs. Until then, we in Israel should ignore them.

LESLIE PORTNOY
Netanya

Why apologize?


Sir, – Regarding your May 30 editorial “Turkish ties,” Alon Ben Meir, from his lofty academic unreality, has suggested – in the Turkish press, no less – that Israel apologize for the Mavi Marmara incident, which was a deliberate Turkish provocation.

Perhaps when Ankara apologizes for the genocide of its Armenians we might consider some form of regret for the loss of life caused by the acts of “freedom-loving” anti- Semites. Any apology would be used as a stick to beat us with.

CYRIL ATKINS
Beit Shemesh

Amharic translation

Sir, – I was very happy and pleasantly surprised to read of a new translation of the Chumash (“Ethiopian chief rabbi welcomes first translation of Torah into Amharic,” May 23).

It cannot have been an easy decision for Koren Publishers to embark on such a venture, so it is all the more laudable that it went ahead.

DAVID S. ADDLEMAN
Mevaseret Zion

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