Eyes wide shut
Sir, – I agree with Tal Harris (“Make a choice: Settlements or
democracy,” Comment & Features, June 14) on one point – that there is a
profound cognitive dissonance at work here. But it’s not among those of us who
love the entire Land of Israel. Rather, it’s among people like Harris who cannot
admit to the realities hitting us all in the face.
Perhaps he has been
unable to swallow the reality of the Palestinians’ plan to control our entire
country, and not just the “West Bank.” You don't have to search very far to find
irrefutable evidence that Judea and Samaria are only the first step toward
destroying all of the Jewish state. There simply is no possibility that the
two-state solution would lead to peace with our Arab neighbors.
evidence is crystal clear about what happens when we give land to the
Gaza’s militant Hamas government and the thousands of
rockets thrown on our civilian population are not exactly hidden pieces of
information. And the “rule of law” canard simply doesn’t hold water any longer,
with illegal Arab and Beduin settlements dotting the entire landscape with nary
a whimper from the authorities, and certainly no legal action taken against
You have to have your eyes open to see the obvious.
Letters about letters
Sir, – Letter writer Jock
L. Falkson’s excerpts from Leviticus and Deuteronomy (“Please explain,”
June 14) are highly selective and inappropriate in the present
The great numbers of African intruders can hardly be equated
with the “stranger” referred to in his quotations. If the present influx is left
unchecked and most of the newcomers not sent home, they could become a threat to
the very existence of Israel as a Jewish country.
If international law is
invoked, raisons d’etat trump such law. It would be well to remember Abba Eban’s
saying that “national suicide is not an international obligation.”
Sir, – Reader Yonatan Silverman (“Hill of beans,” Letters, June
13) maintains that Israel should ignore non-government attempts to boycott the
Jewish state. He cites the expression “silence is golden” and explains that it’s
“worth its weight in psychological gold. It denotes self-confidence and
I prefer the Talmudic expression “Silence implies
In the West, people elect governments, and if we remain
silent no one will speak up for us when unopposed boycotts based on unrefuted
libels become policy.
Sir, – So reader Edith
Ognall would have preferred the possibility of civil war in order for the
Altalena, against the national view, to be able bring in its small quantity of
arms (“Another Ben-Gurion,” Letters, June 13).
The tragedy of those who
died is doubled by the fact that they were Zionists eager to help Israel in its
battle for independence. But, quite simply, you can’t have two prime
Moreover, it is foolish to call Prime Minister Netanyahu a
dictator. He is no more that than any other prime minister in any democratic
Put simply, someone has to lead. If you don’t like him, vote him
out next time.
Conflicts of interest
Sir, – Referring
to Religious Affairs Minister Ya’acov Margi’s far-fetched accusations (“Margi
accuses High Court justices of conflict of interest in non-Orthodox rabbis
case,” June 12), he conveniently forgets that the most blatant conflict of
interest lies with him. Perhaps he should recuse himself and be replaced by a
Muslim or Christian who might be more open-minded and less prejudiced? As it is
said, there are none so blind as those who don’t want to see.
It is more
than high time that our leaders woke up and took steps to separate religion from
politics and allow people to live and let live.
I think the general public, including religious Knesset members, does not know
the inherent dangers of non- Orthodox rabbis.
I recently had a case where
the beit din (religious court) ruled the groom not Jewish. I was willing to send
the couple to a different framework to recheck the situation. This was refused,
and a non-Orthodox rabbi married them.
This is not a case where one could
claim that there was a non-Orthodox conversion – there was no conversion at
This was simply intermarriage.
I would like to know what the
red lines are for non- Orthodox rabbis, if there are any.
The writer is chief rabbi of Dimona
Back to Wagner
Sir, – Susan
Hattis Rolef’s “Who’s afraid of Richard Wagner” (Comment & Features, June
11) was filled with interesting facts about Wagner’s music. However, all the
talk about his anti-Semitism, the admiration for his fine music and his many
Jewish fans is besides the point.
Wagner’s music became a symbol of
Nazism and all its horrors. Therefore, just as the swastika and the fascist
salute are symbols of that movement and publicly outlawed or frowned upon in
many countries, so should Wagner’s music continue to be in Israel and at Jewish
Sir, – A good friend passed away
last year in London.
Charles Spencer was born to a cultured Viennese
Jewish family in 1925. In 1938 he arrived in London with his sister, a
At 18 he was drafted into the army and he was
wounded on Omaha Beach during the DDay landings.
The end of the war saw
him in Alexandria, Egypt, as commandant of a prison camp for German officers,
since he was fluent in German, French and English, albeit with an unmistakable
Viennese accent. All day long he played Mozart’s music on the public address
system until a delegation of senior German officers begged that he vary the
“Why do you play Mozart all day long, Herr Spencer?" they
“It’s the antidote to Wagner,” was his reply.
Give us a break
Sir, – I heartily agree with Jeff Barak (“A diamond
jubilee for Israel?,” Reality Check, June 4) in that our country needs a few
days of public holidays every year when we can all be relieved of our workday
obligations and celebrate together.
Most olim will tell you that for
years after their aliya, one of the things they most missed about life in the
Diaspora was Sundays off. But it occurred to me that, at least as much, I miss
the public holidays and, even more, the three-day weekends that often go with
It just so happens the there is a Jewish semi-holiday at the
beginning of each Hebrew month (except for Rosh Hashana) called Rosh Hodesh,
which would be ideal for the purpose. Rosh Hodesh has a very real Jewish
significance, thereby having meaning for the entire Jewish population. It has no
special rituals and requires only that prayer services be extended by a mere 20
In the current Hebrew year, seven days of Rosh Hodesh fall on a
Thursday, Friday or Sunday, enabling us to celebrate seven long weekends
together with few religious obligations, yet with a Jewish
It would provide an opportunity for all Israelis to have
the good time together that Barak aspires to.