Waste of time
Sir, – Israel is a masochistic country (“Israel eyes seat on
Security Council,” October 6).
It has in the past realized that it cannot
apply as a country from Asia because, obviously, all the Muslim countries will
veto its application. It now has applied through Europe and will again be
subject to rejection. Why it continues to play the game according to the rules
set by enemies is unfathomable.
The United Nations has from the beginning
of Israel’s existence made it almost impossible for the Jewish state to play any
meaningful role. Israel has no influence on the thinking and actions of the UN
as a whole. Its influence is limited, and one doesn’t have to listen to the
constant barrage of hatred.
Let Israel rethink its priorities and have
influence in the countries that appreciate its strength and strategic position
in the Middle East.TOBY WILLIG
Sir, – I attended
the same J Street national conference as Aaron Magid (“Feeling uncomfortable at
J Street?” Comment & Features, October 6) and heard the same speeches and
reactions from the 2,800 attendees. But it was as if I was at a different
Magid says there was hardly any reflection on
Israel’s security concerns at the conference. However, J Street director Jeremy
Ben-Ami spoke twice and emphasized J Street's concerns about Israel’s security,
saying it would be enhanced only through a twostate solution to the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Not only did he express these concerns to loud
applause, but so did Israeli chief negotiator and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni,
MK Tzachi Hanegbi, opposition leader Shelly Yacimovich, five other MKs, US Vice
President Joe Biden, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, US negotiator Martin
Indyk and others.
That he didn’t pick this up at all makes me wonder
about the motivations that led him to write his op-ed.
Though Magid may
not feel at home at J Street, it is nevertheless home to 180,000 Americans who
want peace and security for both Israel and the Palestinian people.
attracting more and more people as a natural “home” because pro-peace Israel
supporters reflect the opinion of a majority of Israelis and Palestinians who
support a two-state solution.JOHN L. ROSOVE
Los Angeles The writer
co-chairs the J Street Rabbinic Cabinet and is senior rabbi at Temple Israel of
Sir, – Aaron Magid supports Israel but is opposed to settlement
building and the “Israeli occupation,” but feels that J Street seems unbalanced
in its support of the Palestinians versus lack of same for Israel.
Torah has much to teach about all facets of life, especially interpersonal
relationships. There is a God of Mercy and a God of Justice. There are occasions
for us to emulate each of these traits.
Parents know that there is a time
to be sympathetic with their children and times to be strict. We need a fair
balance of both. Organizations like J Street lack this balance, which is what
Magid finds so discomfiting and should consider seriously.
The other step
is for him to come to Israel to see and feel in person what it means to live
here, to walk a mile in our moccasins.
The reality of life here is
completely different from what he believes it to be, and is something that must
be experienced to be understood.
One cannot live half a world away and
expect to make an informed judgment.
I wish Magid well and hope he
follows up on his gut feeling. In my opinion, he’s on the right
Jerusalem Drop the psychometric
Sir, – With regard
to “Teachers protest Piron’s intention to cut down matriculation exams” (October
4), instead of cutting out matriculation exams, which would basically allow
students to not bother studying any subject not on the list and cause further
unemployment for teachers, Education Minister Shai Piron should do away with the
As everyone knows, the psychometric exam in Israel
costs a fortune, which soldiers and national service kids pay out of the grant
they get for studies. Those who pay a higher price for a better or longer course
will get into a better course of university study. The exam proves nothing
except that those willing to spend the time and money will do
Many kids waste yet another year post-army or -national service
studying for the exam or taking it countless times to raise their grade. A
person wanting to study social work has to achieve almost the same grade as a
person wanting to study medicine. As one art student asked, why should she have
to study logistics or math if history, medical or computer science students
don’t have to study art history? The psychometric exam proves nothing other than
learning how to answer questions as quickly as possible.
medical students, physiotherapists and many others to other countries that take
them in with open arms. There they don’t need a psychometric exam to get in. And
after studying abroad for many years, many stay there. It has created a terrible
brain drain, and today there are reports of insufficient people these specialist
It’s time to abolish the psychometric exam.REEVA HELMAN
Petah Tikva Don’t celebrate
Sir, – It’s pleasing to learn that those guilty of
gross cruelty to calves, sheep and cattle have been indicted (“Beit She’an
slaughterhouse workers indicted for animal cruelty” October 2).
is no cause for celebration.
All slaughterhouses are brutal, nightmarish
places and every animal that passes through them dies in terror and agony. Only
when the last slaughterhouse closes down can we truly afford to celebrate, for
only then will the cruelty end.JENNY MOXHAM
Monbulk, Australia Budapest
Sir, – Last week The Jerusalem Post published a write-up about our
finance minister’s speech at the conference “Jewish Life and Anti-Semitism in
Contemporary Europe,” which was held at the Hungarian Parliament in Budapest
(“Yair Lapid tells Hungarian Parliament: We must battle anti-Semitism every hour
of the day,” October 2).
It is very important that the public be informed
about this conference, which was attended by very distinguished persons and
supported by the Hungarian government. The high-level of the participants shows
the importance of fighting anti-Semitism and racism. It is a good example for
I also attended and spoke about my experiences as a
Hungarian child in the Holocaust. The public appreciated my words about the dark
days in 1944.
Jerusalem The writer is honorary consul-general
Sir, – My wife and I have been Israeli citizens for
some years. We still enjoy The Jerusalem Post as an English-language
The problem is, it has become an American-language
There is a substantial difference.
Whilst (while) most
Americans can understand English, not all English people can understand
American, and with this in mind I would appreciate it if the Post reverted to
its old style of standard English.
Examples can be taken from any
edition, but October 4 is as good an example as any. The leader (editorial) is
headlined “Party pooper.” I have no idea what that means. The first paragraph
ends with the phrase “What a downer.” Farther down, a paragraph starts with the
words, “In this telling....” I presume this means “in this context.”
not say so? What I am asking is that the Post should have in mind its English-
speaking readers, too, and give them news in a form which (that) is readily
understood by both them and their American cousins.NEVILLE C. GOLDREIN