Not much change
Sir, – It is abundantly clear that the so-called moderate
Palestinian Authority is not a reformed PLO (“Abbas to build houses for
prisoners released in Schalit deal,” November 6).
The entire Oslo process
was based on the assumption that the terrorist PLO, which was exactly like
Hamas, is now reformed and willing to live in peace with Israel. But after all
these years and the repeated praise and hero worship of those who shoot at
children, blow up crowded restaurants and beat to death reservist soldiers; the
uncompromising demand for millions of Arabs to be allowed into what is left of
Israel after a PLO state comes into being; the racist statement that no Jews
will be allowed in a Palestinian state – and now the plan to build homes for
terrorists – clearly show the PLO never changed.
Instead much of the West
condemn Israel for having the audacity to build homes for Jews within existing
Jewish neighborhoods.BEN KLEIN
New York Ideal opportunity
Sir, – It
seems the Palestinian Authority will once again shoot itself in the foot (“PA to
sue Israel for ‘destroying’ Arab and Muslim antiquities,” November
The destruction caused by the PA, culminating in an unlicensed mosque
at Solomon’s Stables on the Temple Mount, as well as the desecration of Rachel’s
Tomb, Joseph’s Tomb and the Cave of the Patriarchs, not to mention the
demolishing of various ancient synagogues in Gaza and Jericho, would be an ideal
opportunity for us to expose their evil mendacity forcefully and
GISH TRUMAN ROBBINS
Pardesiya Earlier editions
Sir, – In
“Pashkevilim offer glimpse into haredi struggle shielding community from
modernity” (November 6), your reporter states that the first printing press was
brought to Israel in 1841.
This is inaccurate. The first printing press
was brought here in the 1600s, to Safed.AHARON I. GOLDBERG
Columnist’s bona fides
Sir, – Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman is
from a Soviet-occupied land where the Russian language and far worse were
brutally forced on the natives. But Douglas Bloomfield, in “Needed: A real
foreign minister” (Washington Watch, November 3), derides our valued Eastern
Bloomfield’s own forebears, I’m sure, didn’t reach
the New World on the Mayflower. We subscribers deserve to know which bona fides,
if any, underpin his nervy, distant talk.ESTER ZEITLIN
Op-ed Editor responds: Douglas Bloomfield is a syndicated columnist, Washington
lobbyist and consultant. He writes regularly for Anglo-Jewish newspapers and is
the former legislative director of AIPAC and Washington representative of the
World Jewish Congress.Unjustified critique
Sir, – Ury Eppstein didn’t
like the last concert of the Jerusalem Baroque Orchestra (“Classical Review,
November 3). Not least of his reasons was our presumed deviance from Bach
performance practice – a serious accusation for a period-instruments orchestra
whose very essence is the historically informed performance of baroque music!
Eppstein claims that Bach “deserves credit for being aware of the difference
between a full chorus and six soloists.” However, according to many recent
studies, such as Andrew Parrott’s definitive “The Essential Bach Choir,” our use
of soloists as choir is fully compatible with Bach’s own
Another claim by Eppstein: “In Suite No. 3... tempi were much
faster than elegant courtly dances would suggest....” Suggest by whom? Many
17th- and 18th-century sources, including the major authority J. J. Quantz, show
that courtly dances (certainly those included in Bach’s third suite) were mostly
quite brisk. As it happens, our tempi were rather on the slow side of the
Accusing performers of not adhering to contemporary
performance practices without checking first what they might actually have been
is not acceptable.
The writer is music director of
the Jerusalem Baroque Orchestra Aliya from Ethiopia
Sir, – Ruth Eglash’s fine
article (“Central funder of Ethiopian aliya angry as last wave delayed to 2015,”
November 2) discusses the decision to cut the current monthly immigration rate
of 200 – already inadequate – to the disgraceful rate of 110.
Yechiel Eckstein appropriately asks where the right to cut the rate comes from.
The socalled right materialized out of thin air as a result of the unauthorized
acts of government bureaucrats who were less-than thrilled with Ethiopian
Under the government decision calling for a November 2014 end date
for this aliya, an interministerial committee under then-Finance Ministry
director-general Haim Shani was established. The committee was authorized to
issue recommendations about cutting the rate of aliya – but only after
consulting with the Jewish Agency and determining that a vital reason existed.
Neither condition was met. The Jewish Agency was never consulted despite
repeated requests that it be be allowed to participate in
The primary reason given for cutting the aliya rate (a
shortage of beds in absorption centers) cuts against written assurances by the
Jewish Agency that in 2012 it will be capable of bringing olim at the rate of
200 per month, thus maintaining the original 2014 completion date. Even if there
is a shortage of beds, it could easily be remedied by reopening two of four
recently closed absorption centers in Lod and Tiberias.
interministerial committee, without further government approval, implemented
Shani’s unfounded recommendations. His letter of explanation did not even
indicate if the committee actually voted on the reduction.
asks a fine question: Who has the right to delay the aliya of 5,000 Jews holding
visas issued by the Interior Ministry and living under appalling conditions?
There is no such right. It is simply another example of lawless acts by faceless
and heartless bureaucrats who think all Jews should share the same skin
Lawrence, New York
The writer is a former president of
the North American Conference on Ethiopian Jewry (NACOEJ) About-turn
Greer Fay Cashman’s Grapevine column is always interesting.
On November 2
(“The US envoy and the B’nai B’rith awards), she reported about the full house
at Jerusalem’s Beit Avichai, where the B’nai B’rith World Center Awards for
Excellence in Israel- Diaspora Reportage were bestowed on Bambi Sheleg, Meni
Elias and Noah Klieger, whom I congratulate.
When B’nai B’rith started
the project, I hoped and assumed that Israel-Diaspora reporting would work both
ways. We in Israel need badly to receive upto- date reporting about the state of
At the recent President’s Conference held in Jerusalem, we
were challenged by Jewish leaders from abroad regarding our knowledge of what
goes on in their communities. Is there, they asked, a children’s book in Hebrew
about American Jewish children? I have to admit that Diaspora Jewry is not on
the agenda of the Israeli media, school curriculum or public debate (the Post
being a welcome exception).
I submit that if we do not face this issue,
we will not be one people.
I respectfully suggest to my friends among the
B’nai B’rith leadership to award next year’s prize for reporting in the
“opposite direction.” A good feature about the new Jewish communities in Germany
– practically unknown in Israel – would be a good start.
The writer is a retired diplomat