November 4: God and the weather
It is today distinctly politically incorrect to attribute natural disasters to the Creator. Thus, Hurricane Sandy evoked no public calls for mercy, no prayers for people to be saved, nor for its path to be diverted.
Letters Photo: REUTERS/Handout
God and the weather
Sir, – With regard to “Devastated US Northeast crawls back
after Sandy” (November 1), it is today distinctly politically incorrect to
attribute natural disasters to the Creator. Thus, Hurricane Sandy evoked no
public calls for mercy, no prayers for people to be saved, nor for its path to
How different the mindset of even non-Jews once was can be
seen in the Storm Proclamation of England’s Queen Anne after the great tempest
that hit the British Isles on November 26, 1703: “Whereas it hath pleased
Almighty God to afflict our kingdom by terrible Storms of Wind... many
ships were sunk... great numbers have perished... houses and buildings
demolished... corn and hay scattered abroad... very great damage and
impoverishment... it loudly calls for the deepest and most solemn
humiliation.... We humbly acknowledge it to be a token of Divine
displeasure.... Through God’s infinite mercy we were not wholly
destroyed.... We have resolved and do hereby command that a General Public Fast
This public fast was observed throughout England the
following January 19.
More than 300 years later, people have again been
taught a great respect for the forces of nature, but not for the Creator of
those forces. God was not mentioned once in the media. “Ruah sa’ara oseh d’varo
– The storm wind does His bidding” (Tehillim 148).
Sir, – Although it was somewhat hidden at the bottom of
Page 1 of your November 1 issue, I could not believe I was seeing yet another
headline like “Will Kahlon boost Center-Left bloc?” You have been running this
ridiculous non-story for almost two weeks. Those who are involved must be taking
medications that have delusional or hallucinatory side-effects.
demise of Maariv and the imminent demise of Haaretz, is it necessary to run
sensational headlines and stories to boost circulation? Get real! Or am I being
Sir, – Having read
“Slogans and substance” by Jonathan Rosen (Inside Out, November 1), I couldn’t
agree more with the statement: “To some degree, all candidates resort to catchy
slogans and carefully crafted sound bites as an effective means of conveying
positive messages about themselves and, alternately, denigrating their
Somehow, though, I fail to understand Rosen’s praise for Yair
Lapid. I very well remember reading an editorial in The Jerusalem Post earlier
this year on revelations that the television celebrity and political aspirant
was accepted to a PhD program at Bar-Ilan University without ever having
attained so much as a bachelor’s degree (“Doctor who?,” February 2). Why in the
world was this major incident hushed up? How can we have faith in these
hypocrites to craft the future of our great nation?
Sir, – Yair Lapid’s dramatic and extremely important declaration
(“Lapid: We won’t sit in a government that won’t return to negotiating peace
with the Palestinians,” October 31) is a most welcome introduction announcement
to the platform of his Yesh Atid party.
It is about time that Israel’s
citizenry heard a crystal clear and bold statement about principles from those
who seek their votes.
I, however, believe such statements must be
Thus, I was most pleased to learn that Yesh Atid
won’t sit with the Palestinian Authority government of President Mahmoud Abbas
until its gives up its consistent and adamant refusal to return to the peace
table without demanding suicidal concessions from Israel.
I do strongly
believe that all parties that make up the political spectrum of Israel, Right or
Left, Ashkenazi or Sephardi, religious or secular, follow the example set
unintentionally by Lapid and present a totally unified position to the
Go yet greener
Sir, – With regard to
“Israel celebrates a decade of recycling” (November 1), yes, we have a country
that recycles, but are only plastic bottles able to be recycled? This is what
the article implies without actually stating it.
Many people also put
plastic packaging materials into the recycling bins. What happens to it? Is it
also recycled? Does it invalidate the bottles it’s mixed with? Many of us would
be more ardent recyclers if you provided definitive lists of exactly what can
and cannot be placed in these recycling bins. Please give us the opportunity to
help reduce landfill.
Sir, – It would be
interesting for the public to know what is being done with the millions of
shekels in unclaimed NIS 0.30 deposits that are not refunded to the public due
to a complete lack of infrastructure for glass bottles and aluminum
The deposit has long become part of the cost of the
Is this slush fund being used to cover recycling costs?
Sir, – Sometimes, help comes from an unexpected
source, even a visiting diplomat. How courageous and perceptive of Latvian
Foreign Minister Edgar Rinkevics to confirm that the settlement issue is
“complex” and “very difficult for people who are not really experts in the
region” to understand, and that to understand it one must take into account “the
absolutely complex situation, historically, politically and
(“Latvian FM to ‘Post’: EU should avoid being perceived as
lecturing Israel on settlements,” October 31).
This is precisely the
conclusion of the Levy Report on the Status of Building in Judea and Samaria,
which Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu commissioned but has not yet adopted:
“Our basic conclusion is that from the point of view of international law, the
classical laws of ‘occupation’ as set out in the relevant international
conventions cannot be considered applicable to the unique and sui generis
historical and legal circumstances of Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria
spanning over decades.”
Let us hope that our prime minister will take
courage from Rinkevics’s statements, that he will not fear the response of the
international community to the Levy Report and will urge the government to adopt
it before the elections, particularly in view of the merger of the Likud with
Yisrael Beytenu, which favors adopting the report in full.
Sir, – Two items in the October 31 issue of The
Jerusalem Post struck me for their anti-Semitic nature.
One was “Former
British diplomat claims proportionality in warfare is ‘not Jewish.’” The idea of
proportionality in warfare is absurd. No country could ever win a war with that
premise. We should ask Peter Jenkins to comment about proportionality in past
wars in which Jews were not involved.
The second was “European NGOs
recommend banning West Bank settlement products.” Their view is that Israel is
in violation of the Geneva Convention by occupying a land belonging to a
sovereign state that was gained by war, and then sending its citizens to settle
there. Can they say which state the territories belong to? There is not one peep
from any of these smug, self-righteous people about the illegal occupation of
northern Cyprus or Tibet, or about the settling of Russian citizens in
Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia by the Soviets.
It is only against Israel
that these preposterous claims are made, and if that is not anti- Semitism, I do
not know what is.