Aid to Philippines
I’m sure that most Israelis commiserate deeply with
the people of the Philippines at this time of their sorrow and helplessness
(“‘Massive destruction’ as super typhoon kills at least 1,200 in Philippines,”
November 10). The question is, what can we do to help the families of people who
contribute so selflessly and with such little publicity to the quality of life
of Israel’s senior citizens and handicapped? As Jews, it seems to me that we
should leap to offer help and aid as we have done so often in the past to other
countries ravaged by storms and earthquakes. So far I have not heard our
president or prime minister publicly call for aid and assistance, or even for
condolence visits to the Philippines embassy in Tel Aviv.
There should be
urgent motions by MKs of all parties to set up aid funds. The GA convention
meeting in Jerusalem could set an example of Jewish charity by appealing to its
member communities to help out. It would not be out of place for our chief
rabbis to exhort Jewish communities here and abroad to open their hearts and
pockets in the name of humanity and legendary Jewish charity.
even suggest that The Jerusalem Post take the lead in the media by establishing
its own Philippine Aid Fund.
The people of the Philippines, through their
goodwill ambassadors in Israel, the Filipino caregivers, give so much to our
country that the least we can do is respond positively in their time of trial
and tribulation and to show them that they are not alone.
DAVID HERMANJerusalem Recent addition?
Sir, – Regarding “Evidence insufficient to prove
Arafat was poisoned, says Russian report” (November 10), the half-life of
polonium 210 is so short (138 days) that after very few years there would not be
enough remaining to detect. If there is still Polonium 210 in the exhumed items,
it must be being “fed” by its long-lived precursors, bismuth 210 from lead
It would be a good idea to tell those involved in the search to
check the exhumed items for lead 210. If lead 210 is not present, then it is
clear that the polonium was a recent addition to the items.
SCHROEDER Jerusalem The writer has a PhD from MIT in physics and the earth
sciences Look to the Lord
Sir, – With regard to “Pollard’s fate” (Editorial,
November 10), I have wondered through the years what I personally could do to
help get Jonathan Pollard released.
We, the Jewish people, have learned
patience through the years, but this has been proven only with much fortitude,
that when the Good Lord is really ready, things do get straightened out in a
May Pollard’s day of release be announced
NAOMI STAIMAN Jerusalem US Jewry’s fate
Sir, – In “A GA
challenge: Can we make American Jewish life more affordable and soulful?”
(Center Field, November 10), Gil Troy is on point regarding issues needing
rectification if American Jewry is to have a prayer.
Troy is spot on that
the high cost of being Jewish forces the Orthodox especially to eschew career
choices that are not purely greed driven. The collateral damage is a sterile
society lacking in creativity, scholarship and science – not to mention quality
teachers and rabbis. The rabbinate becomes the default ground for mediocrities
who can’t cut it in the world of hedge funds and rapacious corporate
However, he misses the crux of why American Jewry is
American Jewish leadership is pretty much defined by one thing –
personal wealth. How people live their lives, whether or not they are
endogamous, how closely they flirt with criminal activity is irrelevant. Money
is king. By making gelt the sole criteria for Jewish leadership, young people
come to realize there are no red lines. Anything goes so long as you can write a
J.J. GROSS Jerusalem
Sir, – Let’s see if I got this right
regarding “With more US dualfaith families ‘doing both,’ outreach groups
reconsider approach” (Jewish World, November 8).
The non-Jewish daughter
of a non-Jew (who learned to make matza balls) taught her own children about
both Christianity and Judaism. And if these non-Jewish children choose to
practice Judaism, they “feel deeply connected to Judaism,” which is a good thing
for the Jewish community.
Am I missing something here?
Haifa Problematic references
Sir, – Two op-eds appeared side by side in your
November 8 issue.
Though very different, both referred to Judea and
Samaria in a problematic manner.
In Warren Goldstein’s otherwise
excellent and lucid discussion of the relationship between South Africa and
Israel (“Ministers of international polarization,” Sinai Today), he states that
“before they were under Israel’s jurisdiction, the West Bank and Gaza were
Jordanian and Egyptian territory respectively.”
Rabbi Goldstein surely
knows that Judea and Samaria were never Jordanian. In fact, Jordan illegally
annexed the area in 1950, but its control was never acknowledged internationally
except by Great Britain and Pakistan. Jordan’s annexation was regarded as
illegal and void even by the Arab League.
I hope that as a rabbi who
appears frequently and prominently in the international media, he will present
this critical historical fact correctly in the future.
troubling, though, is the approach of Daniel Statman (“Ethics and the essence of
Judaism,” iEngage) and the relationship between Israeli and American Jews, in
which he states: “The settlement project, with all of its manifestations for the
Palestinian population, is difficult to reconcile with a serious concern for
I won’t even try to locate Statman’s definition of “ethical
ideals” or the basis for his assertion that such ideals are outside traditional
observant Judaism. He has simply conflated his political agenda with ethics and
justice, and concludes that anyone, particularly an Israeli, who disagrees with
his politics is unethical and indifferent to the pursuit of justice.
Statman, this is true simply because several hundred secular American Jews so
responded in a survey.
JAN SOKOLOVSKY Jerusalem Wish carefully
With regard to “An American Spring” (Savir’s Corner, November 8), it looks like
Uri Savir has been asleep these past five years. The only thing that US
President Barack Obama got right was in fooling the American voters into
Due to his failed domestic and foreign policies, Obama’s
supporters and allies have lost confidence in his dismal performance and failed,
failed agendas. Peace through diplomacy is a worthy cause, but the current US
administration is too involved with ideology to make much progress and balanced
Mr. Savir, I am so happy that you are concerned with the
well-being of the people of Syria, Iran and the so called
How about a good word for Israelis and our concerns and
survival? As for the “American Spring,” I hope it turns out better than the Arab
Spring, which so far has spawned more and more violent Islamic fundamentalism
Be careful what you wish for.
Kiryat Tivon Another statistic
Sir, – With regard to “Relations between Israel
and UK tarnished by Mandate period” (November 5), my parents made aliya in the
1930s. I was born during the British Mandate, in 1936, in Tel Aviv and the
district of Jaffa.
I was in Palestine for only one year. My father told
me that he took me out for a walk in my pram on Rothschild Boulevard and came
home horrified after seeing five Jews shot dead by British soldiers in the
That was enough for him.
Immediately, all the family
returned to London.
Just another statistic about the
MICHAEL PLASKOW Netanya