Yishai as accomplice

Sir, – Interior Minister Eli Yishai wants to deport Sudanese migrants to an enemy state (“Yishai: North Sudanese staying here illegally must leave by October 15 or be jailed,” October 30) even though Israel is a signatory to the UN Refugee Convention, which makes this illegal.

If Yishai deports refugees from Darfur and they are murdered, their deaths will be on his head.

As far as I’m concerned he will be an accomplice to murder after the fact.

KEN KALCHEIM
Dimona

Honor but suspect

Sir, – Shelley Neese (“What motivates Christian Zionists?,” Comment & Features, August 30) makes a compelling and sincere argument in explaining why some Christians are professing a love for Israel and the Jewish people. However, as a son of the Jewish people, whose history of murderous persecution at the hands of Christians goes back thousands of years, I find it incredulous that I’m expected to embrace these pronouncements of mere decades! Let these well-meaning Christian Zionists continue to spread their gospel among fellow Christians for the next several hundred years; then perhaps a Jewish skeptic like me might take notice. In the meantime I follow the dictum of “honor him but suspect him.”

HAIM M. LERNER
Ganei Tikva

Rachel Corrie

Sir, – The death of Rachel Corrie, who came from her own country to Israel to protest the actions of the IDF, was a tragedy not just for her family but for all of us (“High court rules against family of Rachel Corrie,” August 29).

It is a sad thing that a person so young should lose her life because of her foolish actions.

We all would like to push the replay button and change the outcome.

The Corrie family wants someone here to say they are sorry.

We are all sorry. But Rachel had no right to step in front of a bulldozer with the confidence that her very presence would stop it. She had no idea of the visibility from the driver’s seat.

Surely she saw herself as a heroine in a war situation, and that is heartbreaking.

The fact that she had no authorization to be there to carry out her protest was not an issue for her. She couldn’t understand, in her enthusiasm to defy the IDF, that one of the reasons she was not supposed to be there was that it would endanger her life. She chose to ignore caution and gamble on what she thought she could not lose.

MARCELLA WACHTEL
Jerusalem

Sir, – Rachel Corrie is still gathering headlines. In my opinion anyone who plays chicken with a huge, unwieldy army bulldozer, with very limited visibility, has a death wish and is looking for martyrdom.

I would have more sympathy and respect for Corrie and her fellow activists from the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) had they been more altruistic and not chosen sides. Why did they not alternate between Gaza and bus stops in Jerusalem, where they could have tried to prevent suicide bombers from boarding buses and killing Jews?

I. SRUL ZUNDER
Ramat Hasharon

Sir, – The Jerusalem Post’s approval of the judge’s finding that blamed Rachel Corrie for her own death (“The Corrie verdict,” Editorial, August 29) reflects a disappointing inability or unwillingness to appreciate the importance and impressiveness of non-violent civil disobedience, which Corrie was practicing.

It is the same tactic that was used by the passengers on the Exodus in 1947 and by the followers of Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.

We need to show some respect for people with whom we disagree.

Corrie was neither naive, irresponsible nor foolish. She put her life on the line for her beliefs to try and stop home demolitions.

Agree or not, she deserves the respect of judges and commentators for her sincerity and courage.

EDWARD GOLDSTEIN
Newton, Massachusetts

Sir, – If Rachel Corrie’s parents have to bring a case against someone in their daughter's death, they should bring it against the ISM. That organization placed their daughter in harm’s way. Of course, they won’t do this as it is not politically correct.

The Corries raised and encouraged a daughter who behaved foolishly. Perhaps suing Caterpillar and the State of Israel is a sop to their conscience.

ROSALIE BROSILOW
Rehovot

Sir, – Rachel Corrie was unintentionally killed while in a militarized zone during a time of conflict. Her death was due to her own recklessness and irresponsibility. Let us not forget that she was an active member of the International Solidarity Movement, an organization that, in the month following her death, facilitated the entry into Israel of two British-born individuals who then perpetrated the terrorist bombing at Mike’s Place in Tel Aviv, killing three people and injuring more than 50.

Let us also remember the following Israeli Rachels:

• Rachel Levy (17, blown up in a grocery store)

• Rachel Levi (19, shot while waiting for a bus)

• Rachel Gavish (killed with her husband, son and father while at home celebrating a Passover meal)

• Rachel Charhi (blown up while sitting in a Tel Aviv cafe, leaving three young children)

• Rachel Shabo (murdered with her three sons, ages 5, 13 and 16, while at home)

• Rachel Ben Abu (16, blown up outside the entrance of a Netanya shopping mall)

• Rachel Kol (killed with her husband in a Palestinian terrorist attack)

• Rachel Thaler (16, died of her wounds after a Palestinian bomber exploded in a shopping mall’s food court, killing 3 and wounding 30).

May their memories be for a blessing.

DANIEL B. MYERS
Essex, UK

Why can’t rabbis?


Sir, – Generally, I agree with and admire Gil Troy’s columns, but this time (“‘Rabbis for Obama’ blur church and state unreasonably,” Center Field, August 29) I cannot.

If everyone else can endorse a candidate, why should rabbis be an exception? Or is it that Troy, for some reason, doesn’t like Obama and is taking this way of showing it? I certainly hope that is not the case.

If everyone else can take a stand on a political matter, so can rabbis!

LEONARD ZURAKOV
Netanya

Rock that aliya


Sir, – I agree with Josh Hasten’s argument regarding the fact that many American Jewish communities attempt to provide a link between the Diaspora and Israel, but without encouraging aliya (“‘Cleveland Rocks,’ but Israel is home,” View from the Hills, August 29). However, in the case of Cleveland I must respectfully disagree.

I am a former Clevelander and my children spent their formative years growing up there (1991-2003). The religious Zionist schools and synagogues in our community, as well as Camp Stone, the Cleveland-based and Pennsylvania-located summer camp, not only provided that link, but actively encouraged aliya.

My children’s school proudly “lost” a number of families every year to aliya. Each year, the school’s Israeli Independence Day celebrations included not only the usual activities, but also a ceremony in which each family making aliya that year would be given the honor of lighting torches, and for many of those years there were more families than available torches.

The number of families, as well as young singles, moving to Israel from Cleveland is very high, possibly the highest in the US relative to the city’s Jewish population. If you attend any IDF induction ceremony and ask all the Clevelanders to identify themselves, don’t be surprised to see a bunch of hands raised. That’s why Cleveland rocks!

DAVID JACOBS
Efrat

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