Haredim and Iran
Sir, – It would be an understatement to say that I was shocked
to read “Halevy to ride out storm after saying haredim more of a threat than
Iran” (November 7).
And this coming from someone who claims to have grown
up in the Bnei Akiva movement! As one who wears a crocheted kippa and identifies
with the religious Zionist movement, I am waiting to see if religious Zionist
leaders condemn Ephraim Halevy’s outrageous statement. I certainly hope so. If
they don’t, they will show their utter bankruptcy and no doubt cause a large
part of their followers to abandon ship.IRA L. JACOBSON
– As the grandfather of one of the girls at the Beit Shemesh school that has
been the subject of disgraceful and disgusting behavior and attacks by some
haredim, would MK Moshe Gafni, who has asked the attorney-general to investigate
Ephraim Halevy for his statements, inform us whether he condemns or condones
this behavior? Halevy spoke the truth, however painful it might be for the
haredim to hear.HERZL HAMBURGER
Netanya Won’t go back
Sir, – I would
like to comment on your November 7 articles “Zoabi to Cape Town tribunal: Israel
a racist state” and “In South Africa’s Jewish community, apartheid-era divisions
When I look back on my own life, having grown up under the
apartheid regime in Cape Town, I have come to realize that what really matters
in not what MK Haneen Zoabi has to say about Israel. Of course Israel is not a
racist state. But South Africa was, and the South African Jewish Board of
Deputies turned a blind eye whenever any of members of the community became
involved in antiapartheid affairs.
I remember well how my own brother,
Zolly Singer, was arrested at 5:30 a.m. by the security police one spring day in
Although my father turned to the Board of Deputies for help, it did
not want to know from us, so he had to use his connections with the Afrikaaner
leadership to buy Zolly an exit visa.
My brother never went back – and
neither will I, for though I still see myself as a Cape Town gal, those dark
days when the Jewish community abandoned its own as it hid behind the apartheid
laws will always remain fresh in my mind.LILY SINGER POLLIACK
Don’t come back
Sir, – Good for MK Otniel Schneller, who called for Haneen
Zoabi’s citizenship to be revoked.
I will never understand how Zoabi has
been able to remain in the Knesset. She constantly speaks out against Israel,
considers Israel an apartheid state, spoke against the Cast Lead offensive and
was aboard the Mavi Marmara.
She constantly disconnects herself from
Israel and its government.
She also goes on trips abroad without
requesting permission, as required by the Knesset.
I agree with MK
Anastasia Michaeli that Zoabi should go to the Gazan parliament. That’s really
where she belongs.HANNAH SONDHELM
Jerusalem What do we think?
Michael Ordman (“There’s good news,” Letters, November 7) believes that
promoting “all the great things our country is achieving to make the world a
better place will make people say wow!” Ordman does an admirable job in getting
across to the people all our wonderful achievements.
However, it does not
address the underlying problem, which is the hatred felt for the Jewish people
and, in particular, for Israel.
First and foremost we must be strong,
have faith in the justness of our cause and let the world see that we are here
to stay and will never again put our trust and security in the hands of
How we think of ourselves is far more important than how the
world chooses to think.YENTEL JACOBS Netanya Hearing voices
Finally, a column by Jeff Barak that I can agree with (“Taking back the
billboards,” Reality Check, November 7)! The ultra-Orthodox should educate young
men in their yeshivot to see women as people rather than as sex objects. If
hearing a woman sing causes impure thoughts, then something is wrong with the
listener and the way he was brought up.
Perhaps all this enforced
separation of sexes from childhood onward is partly to blame.ANNICE
Sir, – While I agree with Jeff Barak’s assessment that there
are limits to what our army can permit religious soldiers to do, I am disturbed
by his glib assessment of Halacha’s prohibition on men hearing a woman sing as
The fact that women receive their pension at the age of 62
and men at 67 is antithetical to the idea of gender equality, and the reasoning
for it is difficult to understand. Nevertheless, it is the law of the land, just
as the prohibition for men to hear a woman sing is the halachic law for those
who believe in it.
This lack of sensitivity for the feelings of others is
exactly why there is such animosity among Jews.YAACOV PETERSEIL
Jerusalem Money as leverage
Sir, – Regarding “US official: Cutting Palestinian
funding could lead to radicalization” (November 6), the Palestinians have money
to fund all the terrorist murderers released by Israel in exchange for Gilad
Schalit. Each one is going to be given $5,000 as a reward for murdering innocent
people in cold blood.
Is this what the United States funds when it gives
so much money to the Palestinians? TOBY WILLIG
Sir, – US Assistant
Secretary of State Andrew Shapiro’s concern regarding “who will fill the void”
if the US is no longer a “partner” in funding the PA and Lebanese government is
There is no dearth of Arab and Muslim dictators and
terrorist regimes always ready and willing to wean both entities from the
Even more important, the Palestinians have proved time and again the
exact opposite of what Shapiro says. The more financial, moral and political
help the Palestinians receive from the US and Europe, the more radical they
This is clearly illustrated by your article “PA to sue Israel for
‘destroying’ Arab and Muslim antiquities” on the same page.
using its new-found legitimacy as a member of UNESCO to try and help its own
people, the PA’s first priority is to further attack, delegitimize, and defame
Hatzor Haglilit Rawabi reality
Sir, – Concerning
“Build it and they will come” (West Bank, November 4) about the new Palestinian
city of Rawabi, there is a fly in the ointment.
Three UNRWA refugee camp
facilities are located within a few kilometers of Rawabi. The spokesman for the
Rawabi project indicated to our agency that there would be no attempt to absorb
Is the PA’s vision of a “nation in the making” reserved
only for urban dwellers, while relegating the descendants of Arab refugees to
the perpetual indignity of yet another generation of camp life? Donor nations to
Rawabi and UNRWA should pay attention.DAVID BEDEIN
is director of the Israel Resource News Agency Warranted mention
Sir, – How can
it be that you made no mention of Balfour Day, the anniversary of the Balfour
Declaration of November 2, 1917? Without a doubt, it is one of the most
significant milestones in the history of our return to the Land of Israel since
Cyrus in the 6th century BCE.MICHAEL BEN-ELIEZER