Sir, – A few years ago the Swedish paper Aftonbladet reported
that Israeli soldiers traded in the body organs harvested from killed
Palestinian terrorists (“Israel’s envoy to Stockholm asked to clarify report
about Sweden on Iran,” October 16). When Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt was
asked to officially condone the unproven article, he stated that Sweden is a
democracy and the government doesn’t intervene in the free press.
Mr. Bildt, Israel is no less democratic than Sweden and therefore Haaretz can
print whatever they like and likewise the Israeli government cannot interfere in
the free press.
Sir, – Sweden has a lot of chutzpa
in that it silently accepts Ericsson’s business dealings with Iran.
Swedes spoke about the harm that the sanctions cause the Iranian people, but at
the very least Sweden wouldn’t say something to Ericsson about its sale of cell
phones and equipment to the Iranian regime. Ericsson causes great harm to the
Iranian people by its sale of cellphones and equipment to the regime as now it
can locate and track opposition activists.
Israelis should boycott all
Ericsson products.KEN KALCHEIM
No special treatment Sir, – I was
surprised to read that Moshe Katsav’s wife is requesting a pardon for her
husband (“Katsav’s wife submits request to Peres for husband’s pardon,” October
As Katsav has never expressed remorse for his various convictions of
rape, sexual harassment and other sexual offenses, I’m amazed that his wife is
willing to forgive him so readily.
I realize that Katsav is the first
president to be sentenced to prison, but he should be treated as any other
citizen and not be given special treatment. I hope that Peres will reject the
request so that Katsav can finish off his seven-year sentence.
Jerusalem Being grateful
Sir, – Making aliya is sometimes materially
difficult, but is more than compensated by idealism and sense of higher purpose
– sadly lacking in Carmel Tanaka’s op-ed (“We are no ‘frierim,’ either,” Comment
and Features, October 16).
Frustrations are normal, but attitude is most
of the problem. Stop complaining and start doing better.
gifts and get in touch with Nefesh B’Nefesh – the professionals who can help
Sir, – There’s the old adage, you can be part of
the problem or part of the solution.
My advice to Carmel Tanaka is that
instead of “debating whether to live the rest of her existence in a relatively
stress-free environment in Canada as opposed to enduring stress-filled
frustration here in Israel,” she should become part of the solution to fix the
types of problems or scams she writes about so that other new immigrants won’t
have to deal with them in the future.
Why should we leave our homeland
just because things don’t work perfectly? COOKIE SCHWAEBER-ISSAN
Sir, – The Tel Aviv Family Court ruling on Franz Kafka’s collection
of works is of historical proportions (“TA Court: Kafka’s works must be given to
National Library, 90 years after his death,” October 15). As a result of the
court’s decision, the public will be allowed to access this cultural treasure, a
fact which cannot be downplayed.
Having said so, one should not forget
the real hero of this saga, Max Brod, who literally acted as a savior, ignoring
Kafka’s unequivocal instructions to set his work ablaze.
Faced with the
dilemma of fulfilling his friend’s wishes, or bequeathing to the world one of
the most precious literary treasuries known by mankind, Brod opted for the
The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation is committed to
preserve and divulge the legacies of the saviors, such as Raoul Wallenberg and
his likes. As far as we are concerned, saviors are not only those who rescued
human lives, but also those, like Max Brod, who rescued cultural
To be sure, saving lives cannot be equated to saving a cultural
Brod did not face the same perils as those who during the Shoah
risked their lives to save others, but nonetheless the transcendence of his
decision was far-reaching for generations to come.
Can one imagine what
would the world look like without Kafka’s legacy? We cannot. That’s why we have
an infinite debt of gratitude to Max Brod.BARUCH TENEMBAUM
The writer is
the founder of The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation Applying labels
Sir, – It is indeed difficult to clearly define and distinguish the terms
“Jewish identity” or “Jewish culture,” but the apparent “fuzziness” does not
make the distinction meaningless (“Educating the troops,” Editorial, October
The difficulty seems to be partly due to the nature of the concepts
themselves and partly to the fact that there is often no effort to make the
distinction and it is generally disregarded or avoided when there is a need to
try to develop an understanding of the nature of “Jewishness.”
makes no such effort. I can’t recall ever reading in the Post some
effort to differentiate between “Judaic,” a term often used to distinguish the
religious aspect, from the term “Jewish,” which is often used to convey a
broader, cultural characteristic involving “self-identity.” Given that there is
no general agreement about their use and certainly no clearly available
scientific distinction does not mean that the distinction could not be useful or
Herzliya Double standard
Sir, – Jeff
Barak’s idea of a “just settlement” involving total withdrawal from territories
captured in the Six Day War conveniently ignores the historical context of the
Zionist enterprise which, briefly, was to return to the ancestral homeland
occupied for centuries by the Muslim conquest and rejoin the skeleton Jewish
presence which had managed to survive the expulsions, persecution and forced
conversion that that occupation involved (“Getting back to the negotiating
table,” Reality Check, October 15).
The crowning glory of this Muslim
conquest was the total destruction of the “Zionist entity” in the wake of its
declaration of independence.
It is worthy of comment that is only in the
case of the Jewish victors who succeeded in defeating enemies bent on their
destruction that the demand is made for the aggressors to be given back their
ill-gotten gains. No such understanding was shown for the millions of East
Germans who had lived in Slavic lands colonized by them a thousand years
earlier. Even the millions made refugees today through no fault of their own are
resettled elsewhere as a matter of course.
Why are the Arabs of Palestine
and descendants in perpetuity to be accorded this special treatment especially,
if the statements of their leaders to their own people are to be believed, that
they still aspire to destroy the Jewish state.
Perhaps Barak has a “just”
Jerusalem Time for change
Sir, – In her article “New
elections – and what then?” Susan Hattis Rolef presents a frontal attack on the
current government and the probable future Likud-led coalition.
About It, Comment and Features, October 15). I would like to carry some of her
criticism one step further.
Firstly, the economic policies of Netanyahu
have been so irresponsible of late that we are on the verge of becoming another
Greece. Second, he talks about our security but will not deal with the issue of
the haredim and their induction into the army. And third, he disregarded the
advice of his own military advisers and had most of the country convinced that
Israel should attack Iran alone. It was only the determined effort of the Obama
administration not to be dragged into a new war now and to give sanctions a
chance that saved us from a national disaster.
At this time I see the
current prime minister as a disaster on wheels and I can not wait for the new
elections so that I can express my dissatisfaction.PAUL BERMAN