Role models

Sir, – I have a growing concern for the youth of our beloved country. Who will serve as appropriate role models of leadership for them in the years to come? While the role-modeling of parents, teachers and family friends impacts significantly on the formation of ethical and moral values in a child’s developmental years, the examples set by those who make the news each day – government and political leaders, actors and athletes, to name but a few – become much more important when teens tend to connect more strongly with their peers’ values than with those of their family or community.

I hope that in Reuven Rivlin, Israel will find itself with a leader who can both restore our confidence in the office of the president and provide a sterling example of honesty, dignity and ethical behavior. Such a leader will also assure Israel’s continued role as a light unto the nations.

RONALD WACHTEL
Jerusalem

The writer is founding director of Kav L’Noar, a Jerusalem-based non-profit helping at-risk teens face the challenges of adolescence

Ben-Eliezer probe


Sir, – In relation to the problems facing MK Binyamin Ben-Eliezer (“Ben-Eliezer drops out of presidential race after police probe,” June 8), I have yet to see a media report in which the obvious question is asked, let alone answered: How can a conscientious member of the once-socialist Labor Party buy, let alone inhabit, a multi-million- shekel penthouse in Tel Aviv? Yet another reason for David Ben-Gurion to turn in his grave.

LESLIE PORTNOY

Netanya

Sir, – I am no fan of Binyamin Ben-Eliezer and wouldn’t vote for a Labor candidate under any circumstances.

Nevertheless, I am outraged by the utter hypocrisy of the Post’s adamant insistence on his withdrawing from the presidential race “even if he is vindicated to the last trifling detail” (“Fuad’s choice,” Editorial, June 9).

For years, convicted criminal Ehud Olmert was under much more than a cloud. He was indicted and being prosecuted for myriad major crimes against the land and people of Israel. And yet *The Jerusalem Post* continued to lionize, fete and feature him at every opportunity. Your readers were disgusted at the idea of someone who so reeked of corruption being accorded the bully pulpit at *Post*-sponsored shindigs in New York.

How dare you demand of Fuad, who may indeed be innocent, that which you flagrantly flouted in the case of the convict Olmert? Shame on you! J.J. GROSS Jerusalem Vatican prayers Sir, – Although it disappointed those who deny the chosen people’s rights to the Holy Land, Pope Francis’s pause from politics demonstrated his spiritual wisdom and devotion to peace on Earth.

The Holy See didn’t declare recognition of a Palestinian state and didn’t denounce the “occupation,” as some expected it to do. Neither did President Shimon Peres congratulate the Palestinians on forming a unity government, because, as he rightly noted, there can’t be in the same country those who support terror and those who are against it.

We thank our Christian brothers and supporters who help disrupt our enemies’ infamous plans. Blessed be the Lord, who cancels out our haters’ evil intensions.

PETER ROTBERG
Ramle

Sir, – I have read recent articles in your newspaper on the pope and the Vatican. You are much too lenient and optimistic.

My Italian friends, who have a first-hand connection to the Vatican’s lingua franca, disagree totally with the window dressing in the international media, mainly in English. In the Italian press, nothing has changed. It is the same pattern as Yasser Arafat, who would say one thing in English and another thing entirely in Arabic.

Learn Italian.

A. FUCHS
Givat Shmuel

Sir, – President Shimon Peres is to be commended for seeking spirituality in his quest for peace.

Hence, his trip to Rome to join Pope Francis and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in prayer.

Missing throughout the narrative, however, is the fact that Peres lives in the Holy Land and in the holy city of Jerusalem, but apparently does not come to regular prayer services in any of the many synagogues available.

There are even daily prayer services in the synagogue located on the premises of the President’s Residence, but several of the regular attendees attest that he has never attended.

May one conclude that his spiritual journey to Rome was simply grandstanding? BENJAMIN LERNER Jerusalem Come to its senses Sir, – With regard to “Cabinet okays bill curbing presidential powers to free terrorists” (June 9), our government has finally come to its senses.

I have written and talked to people starting from the first release of terrorists, back at least 30 years. It should not be done, as once you start giving in to the blackmail of terrorists it will never end.

Look at the uproar in the US over one soldier for five Taliban terrorists. What would have happened if President Barack Obama agreed to what our governments have done in the past – 1,000 for one? No soldier is to be left behind on the battlefield, but every military or Mossad effort must be made to bring them home. Personally, I would make it retroactive in regard and also apply it to Jewish murders who have been given life sentences.

Now we will see if our Knesset votes the same way as the cabinet.

MURRAY JOSEPH
Kiryat Motzkin

Beyond reach

Sir, – I agree with Jeff Barak (“Livni should resign,” Reality Check, June 9) when he writes, “What Israel needs is a new leader….”

But that in itself does not enhance the possibility of a peace deal with the Palestinians, for it seems that the concessions they expect Israel to make are beyond the reach of any Jewish leadership.

This idea can be tested by asking our Palestinian peace partners the question posed by the late poet Yehuda Amichai: When you see a kite flying over the Temple Mount, at the end of that kite is the hand of a child – Jewish or Arab? In other words, will the special arrangement concerning the administration of the Holy Basin also allow Jewish children to fly their kites there? A special arrangement concerning free Jewish access to the Western Wall was written into the Israel-Jordan armistice agreement at the end of the War of Independence in 1949, but it was never implemented. Hence, where is the guarantee that it would be implemented now, especially with Hamas involved?

LILY POLLIACK
Jerusalem

Three comments

Sir, – Three comments on recent developments: When Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu says that the deadly attack at the Jewish Museum in Brussels was a result of incitement, one should believe him.

Netanyahu is an expert on incitement that leads to murder.

It’s wonderful that Maccabi Tel Aviv won the Euroleague championship.

That will make it all the more painful for Israelis when, in the not too distant future, Israel is banned from international sports competition, as South Africa was.

The Israeli government could realize a savings in its land and buildings budget if it moved the courts and prison to the Knesset.

It could have the trials and incarcerations of Knesset members all in one place. Then, when their prison terms are up, the convicted criminals can return to the Knesset.

LESLIE ABRAMS
Tel Aviv

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