Sir, – I was sorry to read that thousands of haredim protested on
Thursday evening against being drafted into the army (“8 cops hurt in mass
haredi protest in J’lem against draft,” May 17).
I wonder if they read
last week’s parsha – Bamidbar – carefully, in which one month after the erection
of the Tabernacle, Moses was commanded to muster all the men of military age,
those 20 years of age and upwards.
If Moses was commanded by God to do
this, how can they protest against the draft in Israel? Don’t they realize that
without our wonderful IDF soldiers, they wouldn’t be able to study in their
yeshivot. Who would protect our country from all the surrounding countries that
want to push Israel “off the face of the earth?” They can serve in our army for
three years, and then continue to learn in their yeshiva for the rest of their
lives, if that’s what they want to do. But they should serve their time in the
army, if for nothing else, to protect our country so that everyone who wants to
study in their yeshivot can continue to study.HANNAH SONDHELM
Sir, – In most countries, citizenship, with all its privileges and obligations,
comes with birth. However, for hundreds of years Jews were a special category,
not considered to be citizens no matter how many generations were born in the
There is a principle in Jewish Law that while we can give
someone benefits without their consent, we cannot penalize them without their
With that principal in mind, I believe I have the answer to the
haredi rioters. Much like an adopted child who was converted by its parents has
a right, before his or her bar or bat mitzva to opt out of Judaism, so the
haredim, at age 18, should have the right to opt out of Israeli
The haredi who opts out will be exempt from the draft.
However, as a non-citizen he will not be eligible to receive any government
benefits. The educational institutions that cater to these non-citizens will not
I think this is a fair solution, as no one can choose only
the benefits, without assuming the obligations.DAVID WILLIG
Has The Jerusalem Post
joined other media in haredi bashing? Could you not have
found a more neutral headline for the article about the haredi demonstration
against the draft? Why not “30,000 haredim protest against draft”? The Eda
Haredit, which organized the protest, may be ultraconservative but it is not
Sir, – The Jerusalem Post’s
on the haredi protesters is a disgrace. The thin blue line which is all that
stands between the law abiding public and chaos, is deserving of proper title.
Police officers or policemen, no less. “Cops” are better suited to the pages of
a Hank Jansen novel, not your newspaper.
And while we are on the subject
of proper title, the young of human beings are” babies or children,” not as you
are fond of using, “kids.” Which are the young of goats and similar
Sde Nitzan Equal justice
Sir, – The Jerusalem
reported that Justice Minister Tzipi Livni proposes implementing
legislation equating “price tag” attacks to racism (“Cabinet may consider
defining ‘price tag’ incidents as terror,” May 17). “Price tag” attacks are
allegedly conducted by Jews in retaliation to Arab terrorism and overbearing
governmental action against Jews in Judea and Samaria.
There are several
problems associated with Livni’s approach.
Apparently, this proposed
legislation would be directed against Jews who allegedly performed these acts,
which is discriminatory.
Moreover, if the legislative language is not
clear, it could be deemed vague and indefinite rendering the legislation as not
However, what is most troublesome is that Livni
apparently does not equate Arab terrorism – including rock throwing, whose
objective is to wound, maim and kill Jews – with racism. As such, she would be
strengthening the perception that there is a lack of an impartial administration
of justice in Israel, particularly when it relates to the Attorney-General’s
Office. The basis of a democratic constitutional government is the impartial
administration of justice, which does not seem to be the modus operandi of
This is regrettable.IRVING GENDELMAN
Jerusalem, IsraelStanding for truth
Sir, – In your May 16 editorial (“Irish ire,”), you briefly
discuss the Jewish connection to Palestine, but you fail to mention a most
important fact: Judea and Samaria are Israel’s according to international law.
So declared the League of Nations, and the UN Charter maintains the League
Post editorials, where appropriate, should repeat Israel’s
legal claim. In this way, we can defeat Israel’s BDS [boycott, divestment and
sanctions] enemies and the fiction that Judea and Samaria are “occupied
Those who stand for truth need to arm
themselves by reading the League mandate for Palestine.BERNARD SMITH
Jerusalem Converts and courts
Sir, – I was not at all surprised to read
“Conversions of non-Jewish Israelis declining, Knesset committee is told” by
Jeremy Sharon (May 14), given the intolerance with which the haredi-dominated
Rabbinate relates to potential converts to Judaism.
While I am not
enamored of the Israel Democracy Institute, when its Prof. Yedidya Stern was
quoted in the article saying “a small group is dictating conversion policy” –
the professor was spot on.
Many decent and committed potential converts
are abused, embarrassed, or treated in the most insulting way by the Rabbinic
Courts and this is reflected in the decline noted in this headline.
too many potential converts cease their efforts to complete the conversion
Prof. Stern’s suggestion that the Knesset formulate a new and
independent conversion system is the only solution to this problem.
understand the importance of establishing a Jew’s bona fides given the
popularity of Israel as an immigration point these days, but the Rabbinic Courts
have proven they are unable to deal decently with potential
This power will have to be taken from them and given to more
responsible authorities.KENNETH BESIG
Semantics of peace
Sir, – Isi Leibler (“Déjà vu: ‘Peace in Our Time,’” Candidly Speaking, Comment
and Features, May 14) has exposed the painful truth.
When we talk of a
“peace process” we are in essence talking about “negotiations.” When we talk
about “negotiations” we are in essence talking about “compromise,” whereby each
side to a conflict gives up something to the other, where everybody gets
something but nobody gets everything (which would be “capitulation”).
the 20 years since the Oslo Accords, I am not aware of a single compromise made
by the Palestinians in their unabated, immutable drive to destroy the Jewish
state and the Jewish people by any means possible. Thus there is no peace
partner on the opposite side of the table nor has there ever been, and the
obvious truth is that there is no peace process nor has there ever been
Due to a technical error, the
answer to the puzzles in Friday’s Magazine were incorrect. The correct puzzles
and answers appeared in Sunday’s Puzzle Post on Page 20. We apologize for the
In “Celebrating complexity: In tribute to Rabbi Aharon
Lichtenstein” (May 12, Page 21), an error was introduced into the original
article, which stated correctly that Lichtenstein moved to Israel from America
more than 40 years ago.
We apologize for the mistake.