(photo credit: REUTERS)
Waste of space
With regard to “PM’s appearance before Congress draws haredi protest outside consulate” (March 4), is it really possible that you devoted a third of a page – on Page 2, no less – to the rantings of members of Natorei Karta, a minuscule group of ultra-extremists who have absolutely no significant effect one way or another on life here in Israel? I am sorry to say that I more than suspect that focusing such an inordinate and disproportionate amount of attention on this ragtag band of hotheads is just one more attempt to draw a negative focus to the haredi community in general.
These people, in their closed in ghettos, represent genuine haredi Jews no more than the gangsters of Netanya, the mobsters running the ports or any other small, tight band of extremists represent the good, hard-working, secular Israeli.
How could you possibly devote so much priceless newsprint to this useless bunch of non-entities when there are so many more important issues to take up, like recycled bottles and pistachio ice cream?
Jerusalem Thanks, Shmuley
With regard to “Jews must fight genocide, whatever the consequences” (No Holds Barred, March 3), I congratulate Rabbi Shmuley Boteach for his carefully documented ad on US National Security Adviser Susan Rice and the politicization of genocide.
Genocide, indeed all evil, results from human choice and bystander indifference. In the case of Rwanda, the roles of Rice, Madelyn Albright, Kofi Annan and Bill Clinton were case studies in shameful bystanderism.
In Rwanda, Hutu perpetrators mobilized followers with a steady diet of toxic hate, using the language of dehumanization of the victims- to-be. In Iran, Khamenei’s regime is using demonization to this day.
Dehumanization, demonization and hate language are recognized warning signs of genocide. Even if the Iranian centrifuges stop spinning for 10 years, the incitement will continue. Iranian five-year-olds will be 15 years old, with minds hard-wired by the motifs of hate. The nukes and missiles will be the hardware, the incitement the software.
Failure of the proposed P5+1 agreement to require action against Iran’s incitement is an inexcusable exercise in recklessness. As Susan Rice well knows, this is the lesson of Rwanda.
ELIHU D. RICHTER
The writer is director of the Jerusalem Center for Genocide Prevention.
I applaud Rabbi Shmuley Boteach. In fact, I would like to stand up and cheer Rabbi Boteach for his ad in an American newspaper.
Six million Jews, including 1,500,000 children, died in the Holocaust. If only there had been men like Rabbi Boteach taking out such ads in the free world, public opinion might have swayed governments to act differently.
Imagine 1,500,000 Jewish children being allowed to grow up to adulthood, marrying and producing their own families, generation after generation. Our population could have been doubled, trebled even.
One good man speaking the truth can save a whole world from destruction.
Netanya Housing solution
When Israel was much poorer and assimilating hundreds of thousands of immigrants, many of them desperately poor, it built tens of thousands of apartments and gave them to these people. Now that we are a wealthier country, it is time to build thousands of low-cost and rental apartments so that young couples, seniors, immigrants and the disabled can have decent places to live.
There should be a combination of low down payments and low-interest mortgages guaranteed with government assistance and insurance companies, and long-term rentals with sliding-scale rents based on family income, as well as an option to buy.
The housing problem can be fixed. We did it before, with a lot less money and a lot more poverty.