Sir, – I disagree with Yair Lapid’s sour views regarding the
new coalition government (“PM orders new law to draft yeshiva students and
Arabs,” May 11).
I think there is a fair chance that the Tal Law will be
replaced with one which will be more equitable and that some improvement will be
made to our absurd electoral system.
Great expectations have been raised
in regard to both of these matters.
Netanyahu and Mofaz may support each
other with all the enthusiasm of a couple of drunken sailors, but they have
nailed their colors to the mast.
If they disappoint the Israeli public,
come the next election, they will be severely punished.
Sir, – We’re told that the prime minister has ordered a new law to
draft yeshiva students.
There are a number of inconsistencies that need
to be addressed.
To our rabbinic leaders: We’re told that full-time Torah
study is essential for the defense of the country. If so, please tell us which
fraction of our young men should study and which should actually bear arms? To
our Likud and Kadima leaders: If our yeshiva (and Arab) citizens are to be
offered the opportunity to serve in the army or do national service, then
shouldn’t every young man (or woman) be given the same opportunity? Lastly, to
the Finance Ministry: Who will pay the salaries and administrative costs of a
truly equitable and fair program?
Marriage for all
Sir, – If
two men or two women want to be united for life, this should not constitute a
problem (“Meretz MK resubmits marriage equality bill,” May 11).
go to a lawyer and draw up a contract similar to a marriage contract. The law
needs to be changed so that they can register with the authorities as a couple,
with the same rights and duties as a normal married couple.
united couple can throw a wedding-like party if they wish, with white dresses or
tuxedos, a multi-tiered cake, etc.
But as Judaism is opposed to
homosexuality, a religious wedding ceremony is an absurdity which no clergyman
(or woman) should perform.
Sir, – “Clap hands” for Martin Sherman (“Brandishing bulldozers: The
Beinart-Gordis debate,” Into the Fray, May 11)! I’ve always said that we should
not refer to Yehuda and Shomron (Judea and Samaria) as the “West
Historically, for thousands of years, anything west of the Jordan
River is Israel! Who is this professed professor of political science who lives
in the United States and appears to lack knowledge of the land of Israel, as
well as the state and the benefits under which all citizens live? Let him attack
not the legal settlers, but people who fail to recognize the State of
Sir, – I read Sarah
Honig’s article and I do not agree with Zeev Degani’s views on the army
(“Dishonest and disgusting,” Another Tack, May 11).
My daughter is a
student at Gymnasia Herzliya and my other children both went to Ironi Daled and,
as soldiers in special combat units, were invited to talk to students who were
starting to think about their army career.
My son was disgusted to hear
Degani talking about not letting soldiers into Gymnasia.
But my daughter
will not be affected by the politics of the school because my children received
their education at home from a family where, as olim in the 1970s, the three
boys all went into combat units.
Most of my sons’ friends from Tel Aviv
in 2007 didn’t go into the army at all, but it didn’t affect either of my two
children, since, at the end of the day, it is what is taught at home that
Sir, – In his attempt to prove
that Norway is not anti-Israel and anti-Semitic, Norwegian Ambassador to Israel
Svein Sevje, comes across as an unconvincing bureaucrat (“What ‘Post’ readers of
conscience need to know about Norway,” Comment & Features, May
Mr. Sevje cites the ruling of the International Court of Justice
which found Israel’s security barrier to be “illegal.” Given that no Israeli
judge may serve as a permanent member of the court, while representatives of
Israel’s sworn enemies, themselves egregious violators of human rights, are
allowed to do so, is in itself a blatant act of bigotry and prejudges the
outcome of any decision regarding Israel. This renders the International Court
of Justice a laughable kangaroo court, a mockery of the justice it claims to
Mr. Sevje and the government of Norway would do better to
recognize that as inconvenient as the security barrier may be, it has saved
countless lives by denying terrorists access to Israel and the inevitable
The government of Norway and indeed, Mr. Sevje,
would do well to to emulate the courage and moral clarity of Canadian Prime
Minister Stephen Harper in his outspoken support of Israel.
Sir, – There is one word missing in
“Who is responsible for youth violence?” (Comment & Features, May 10), and
that is “respect.”
Our society has developed in such a way that the level
of respect has almost become nonexistent between each other. Parents,
grandparents and teachers being called by their first names can hardly command
Those who indulge in antisocial behavior and conduct loud
personal discussions on cellphones in public areas show a total lack of respect
for the people around them. At meetings held in the workplace or discussions on
TV, in local councils or the Knesset, most of the time we see participants in
“broadcasting mode” rather than “listening mode,” hardly creating an atmosphere
for constructive debate.
Lack of mutual respect for authority often
results in violence. Children are always looking for direction and have
to learn the difference between right and wrong. A lack of boundaries and
limitations in today’s world has created this lack of respect.
Sir, – Rivka Lazovsky makes the case that blaming youth who
act violently is taking the easy way out, and that somehow we have to make
changes in society in order to stop these things. She further concludes that
“When deviations occur – we have to point the finger of blame at
As principal of an Israeli school, I cannot entirely agree
with Ms. Lazovsky. The children who recently committed violent crimes
were old enough to know right from wrong – even if they were the victims of less
than perfect parenting. To take away their responsibility and somehow attempt to
blame these acts on a flawed society actually contradicts her argument that
“Thousands of youth in Israel are doing beautiful things, every day, usually as
volunteers who want to contribute to society, without wanting recognition or
Those “thousands of youth,” live in exactly the same society as
the ones committing murder.
There comes a time when, despite whatever
environment they’ve grown up in, children must be responsible for the actions
which they have willfully chosen – for good or for bad.
Making it a habit
to hold children responsible is the best way to educate them. Anything less
sends the message that they are merely “victims” who are deprived or
misunderstood and that their acts are direct results of the inadequacies of
Bringing to justice those whose violent acts of murder have now
orphaned children who are truly victims is the best lesson.