No shouting

Sir, – The article “Diaspora Jews stand with Women of the Wall” (October 23) quotes a police spokesman saying that Lesley Sachs and Rachel Cohen Yeshurun were “shouting and screaming and wearing tallitot.”

The only thing correct in this statement is that the women were wearing tallitot. The rest is a lie.

Neither Sachs nor Cohen Yeshurun or indeed any of the women at the Kotel on Rosh Hodesh Heshvan (Wednesday, October 17) were shouting or screaming.

Similarly, the statement by national police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld that Anat Hoffman was “shouting and causing a public disturbance, as well as wearing a male-style tallit” is completely false.

In this case, Rosenfeld is referring to the events which occurred on Tuesday evening October 16. Again there was no shouting from Anat Hoffman or anyone else in the women’s section of the Kotel plaza. Hoffman was wearing a “Women of the Wall” tallit. This tallit has been defined by the police as not a “male-style tallit.”

This fact can be confirmed by all of the photographs taken as Hoffman was escorted away from the Kotel by the police officers.

CHERYL BIRKNER MACK
Jerusalem

Call for reform

Sir, – All sorts of different people are announcing that they are joining this or that political party with a view to being our representatives in The Knesset and thus ruling over us (“Enfranchising the electorate: Challenging the politicians to provide clear ideas and evidence,” Comment and Features, October 23).

So far, I personally do not know who to vote for because I do not know what each of these parties stand for and what their policy would be on the important points that are crucial for the future of Israel and its citizens.

What are the various parties attitude to Judea and Samaria, to Iran, to the peace process, to the price of cottage cheese? And what about education and the place of Zionism in it? So far we do not know the platforms of Kadima, Likud, Labor, Meretz or Lapid’s new party. People are announcing that they are joining or standing for different parties without knowing anything about their policies.

Shall we vote for Mofaz or Netanyahu or Lapid or Shelly or Livni or Tibi? We do not know.

However the most important problem we face in Israel is what to do with a party which says and promises one thing and proceeds to do the exact opposite when it wins the election. It is easy to say “vote them out at the next election,” but in the ensuing period they can do untold damage.

CYRIL ATKINS
Beit Shemesh

Sir, – The old way of handling the elections certainly will not do this year. Israel is so beset with problems and the need for articulation as to how each party can deal with them is more necessary than ever.

It is important to know the differences between Labor, Yair Lapid`s new party, Kadima, etc. It is not only the domestic agenda that is important this year, but it is very necessary to know the plans each party has for defense, like how important the southern front will be in their agenda.

How do they understand defense for our northern borders Haifa, Safed, the Krayot and Nahariya? How do they plan to build up the economy? Every candidate in the primaries of each party should distinguish his platform so that people who have registered in the party will not blindly follow their likeable candidates alone. Give the people knowledge to hopefully choose wisely and perhaps we will emerge in the 65th year of Israel’s nationhood better than ever with wise leadership and a very hopeful future.

TOBY WILLIG
Jerusalem

Self respect


Sir, – Once again, President Shimon Peres has found a way to humiliate the people of Israel (“Veteran statesmen meet with Peres to discuss ‘imperiled’ two-state solution,” October 22).

And once again, Jimmy Carter, one of the principals of the self-appointed and self-important committee calling itself “The Elders” has been received at the highest level of government here.

These “Elders” – featuring Carter, Mary Robinson, Brian Patton – and led by notorious Israel critic Desmond Tutu, seem to have organized themselves principally to attack and slander Israel. Zionism means more than a return to the country and establishing and developing national life. It means living with self respect and not bowing in submissiveness to the leaders of other nations – something which Peres has managed to accomplish all on his own in our name.

PAUL RABOFF

Jerusalem

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