A site for cheats

Sir, – The article “Extramarital affairs website launches in Israel” (May 23) appeared under “News.” It seemed to be more a free advertisement for a service that can be harmful to individuals, couples, families, children and society.

Presented were justifications to lie, betray and take the chance of breaking a spouse’s heart, trust, self-esteem, marriage and family.

Missing were balanced reporting, warnings and expert opinions. I can assure your readers that there is another side to the story.

Noel Biderman states that “cohabitation kills attraction.” I say if this is so, promote making love with one’s spouse, with mutual love, respect, awareness, joy and excitement. This builds attraction.

When couples suffer from a lack of sexual intimacy and excitement due to psychological, emotional, hormonal or other causes, the healthy productive response is not to run away and have an emotional fling or use sex as a drug, but rather to fix the problem via effective professional help.

Regarding the statement “none of us are engineered for monogamy,” an important part of life is developing good character (honesty and loyalty), which goes beyond primal instinct.

SIMCHA EDWARD SHELDON

Hashmonaim The writer is a licensed clinical psychologist and hypnotherapist, licensed marriage and family therapist, and sex therapist Sir, – Instead of putting his energies into ways that lead to “divesting” in marriage, why won’t Noel Biderman encourage couples to “reinvest?” According to research by international relationship experts Howard Markman and Scott Stanley in 12 Hours to a Great Marriage, the hallmarks of a great marriage are: 1. Couples share friendship and love in many ways 2. Couples treat each other with kindness and respect 3. Both partners pull their weight 4. Couples are committed to staying together even when it is no bed of roses.

Encouraging acts of infidelity through “discreet websites” contradicts every one of these principles! If Biderman is right and the only way to “save a marriage” is to have an affair, we are truly experiencing a societal breakdown. If we truly want to follow international trends, let us bring marriage education resources to Israel instead of apps for marriage destruction.

SUSAN BARTH Beit Shemesh

The writer is founder of B’Yachad B’Osher, a nonprofit established to bring marriage education to Israel

Sir, – You report that the government of Singapore banned the AshleyMadison website for extramarital affairs. In the meantime, its Jewish CEO has brought his business efforts here to Israel and has been welcomed with open arms and over 100,000 sign-ups.

Is there some reason we accept this type of Sodom and Gomorrah behavior while we continue to wonder about our moral standing in the world?

YECHIEL AARON Hashmonaim

Sir, – Sensational, sickening, sordid.

Noel Biderman is promoting affairs as mainstream. What is next in his plans? Bestiality brothels, which are flourishing in Germany? Absolutely disgusting.

SUSAN TARAGIN Jerusalem

Papal timing

Sir, – In his piece on Pope Francis (“A rare pope indeed,” Comment & Features, May 22), Ken Spiro writes: “In 1965, the first bold move came at the end of Pope Paul VI’s tenure and brought about the greatest shift in the Church’s attitude toward Judaism in 2000 years.”

Since Paul VI died in 1978, obviously this bold move did not occur at the end of his tenure.

The author must be referring to the changes introduced as a result of the Second Vatican Council, which was convened by Paul’s predecessor, John XXIII, in 1962, and concluded by Paul in 1965.

DAVID WILK Ma’aleh Adumim

Just like that

Sir, – With regard to “US Fed nominee Fischer clears procedural hurdle in US Senate” (Business & Finance, May 22), am I the only one to see something wrong? One of the three most important individuals in the Israeli economy (along with the prime minister and the finance minister) finishes his term in Israel and almost immediately becomes a candidate for the US central bank’s second- highest position. No waiting, no cooling-off period, no criticism by anyone in the government or media. Just like that.

There are obviously three things wrong – conflict of interest, conflict of interest and conflict of interest! Stanley Fischer, who only a few short months ago was privy to the most sensitive information on the Israeli economy, is now taking his paycheck from the US government. Can we imagine the US administration and media remaining silent if the same thing happened in the opposite direction? Shades of Jonathan Pollard! Of course, Mr. Fischer is only walking in the footsteps of the highly respected Galia Maor, who, soon after leaving her position in the Bank of Israel (including as supervisor of banks) became CEO of one of the very banks she was supposed to regulate. During Fischer’s term she was initially offered one of the most outrageous termination benefit packages in the history of Israel.

I think he should have enough self-respect and respect for the government and Israeli public not to seek – and if offered, turn down – any position in the US government for the rest of his working life.

ZEV KAPTOWSKY Mevaseret Zion

Old, dear friend

Sir, – Saying goodbye to JEST, an old, dear friend, is a bitter experience (“The curtain comes down on JEST,” Arts & Entertainment, May 22). That’s what it feels like.

Meeting Leah and Larry Stoller, and the wonderful feelings and enjoyment the theater experience offers, cushioned the cultural shock upon our aliya in 1985. No matter which gem of a production was being offered, JEST was always welcoming to the English speaker. It was so important to new olim, being one of the very few places where feeling comfortable was a given.

The words “thank you” are inadequate for the many years of enjoyment the Stollers have given the Jerusalem community. Is the prize of Yakir Yerushalayim in their future? I hope so. This devoted couple deserves it.

RUBY RAY KARZEN Jerusalem Truth

in labeling

Sir, – Mislabeling is not a wise investment. It usually backfires, particularly when it relates to humans.

The photo of Abu Ghosh that accompanies “Neglecting Israel’s Arab community” (Comment & Features, May 21) said it all. Inaccurately.

Why don’t we give Israel’s various communities the same respect for identity that we expect for our own? Instead, we lump them together indiscriminately – and often derogatorily – as “Arabs.”

The four Abu Ghosh clans all trace themselves back to a 1512 move from Kazakhstan. They were neither Arabs nor Muslims, but converted to Islam later for sheer survival. A youngster from Israel-loyal Abu Ghosh recently asked me: Do I describe myself in English as “Arab” or “Arabic?” I asked her why she would identify herself as something she was not.

“Well,” she replied, “that’s what the Israeli Jews have labeled us for so long that we call ourselves Arabs now.”

Israeli Jews have been labeled lots of things, but still....

HANNAH EVEN-ZAHAV Abu Ghosh

CLARIFICATION

Sir, – In my op-ed “Rulers of law – Israel’s other legal system” (Comment & Features, May 22), readers should note the following 1. In Paragraph 5, Ahaz Ben-Ari is legal advisor to the Ministry of Defense.

2. Paragraph 10 should read: “In 2010, according to internal (secret) COGAT documents, the CA [Civil Administration] retroactively legalized 1,611 Arab Palestinian structures that did not have permits.”

The mistakes are entirely my own.

MOSHE DANN Jerusalem

Please LIKE our Facebook page - it makes us stronger