November 10: Mad as a hatter

Dr. Sherman has reminded us that statements and predictions relevant then are as relevant now, and perhaps even more so in light of the conflagration that we are witnessing in all the Middle East.

November 9, 2014 20:28

Letters. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Mad as a hatter

Sir, – Thank you, Martin Sherman, for once again wrestling with the “sacred cows” of the Israeli establishment’s left-wing political elites (“Surrealism in the square,” Into the Fray, November 7). This thankless task is a tangible service to those of us who have been indoctrinated by the misrepresented and distorted narratives of the canonized Rabin and Peres.

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Dr. Sherman has reminded us that statements and predictions relevant then are as relevant now, and perhaps even more so in light of the conflagration that we are witnessing in all the Middle East.

Another appropriate quote from Alice in Wonderland, this time by the Mad Hatter: “There is a place. Like no place on Earth.

A land full of wonder, mystery, and danger! Some say to survive it: You need to be as mad as a hatter.”

Zichron Ya’acov

Says who?

Sir, – After reading “Abbas is busted as a ‘partner’” (Know Comment, November 7), I feel it would be great if writer David M. Weinberg could provide us with the sources for all the quoted words and sentences said to have come from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, especially those referring to the letter of support he sent to Hejazi family.

As a foreign journalist working in the region, I try to be as precise as possible. It’s always good to have a solid backing when quotations are used, but the problem here is that Abbas said all those things in Arabic and they were translated by someone else. Who was that and who first came up with the information? I think it would be of added value if reporters and opinion writers provided readers with this bit of information. It would be especially useful to journalists, too; if I were to quote this article I could be discredited just by the simple question: Says who?


The writer is a freelance reporter for Slovak News

TA3 Custom, not law

Sir, – In “Missing ministers” (Grapevine, November 7) there is a paragraph that discusses a Jewish dress code. Sandwiched in between authentic Biblical edicts about men not wearing women’s clothing and vice versa, and the prohibition of weaving flax and wool together, is a statement that “women are instructed to wear sleeves that reach below the elbow....”

I challenge anyone to point out where in the Torah the latter is mentioned. It is a custom of haredi and some modern Orthodox Jews, but it certainly is not a violation of Torah law.


Cowardly MKs

Sir, – Meretz MK Issawi Frej is 100 percent right when he says: “Supervision of toilet paper... will not bring the cost of living down.... [T]he Finance Ministry needs to fight against the monopolies and concentration of the Israeli economy....”

(“Lapid requests price supervision for Milkys,” November 6.) That monopolies and unbridled unions force prices higher is well known, but successive governments refuse to use the law to destroy the monopolies or legislate new laws to curb the unions. It is no secret why: Too many MKs would not risk their seats by alienating campaign donors and voting blocs.

Their claim to represent the poor and the middle class is all too often more fiction than fact.


Death over sin

Sir, – In “State-aided UK Jewish schools face ‘unacceptable’ new curriculum” (November 6), reporter Jerry Lewis writes that UK Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has ruled that faith schools be “penalized for not sufficiently celebrating festivals of other faiths, not teaching sex education or tolerance of homosexuality” as part of her program to “actively promote fundamental British values.”

May I suggest that Orthodox Jewish schools tell the honorable lady that they would rather close down than follow her directions.

From a Jewish perspective, it would be a case of yehareg velo ya’avor (be killed but do not sin) since there is no way any Orthodox Jew can accept that children be taught that homosexual unions are an “acceptable alternative lifestyle.” In so doing they would be following the “fundamental British value” of refusing to bow to state authority when it goes against their religious conscience.

They might care to quote to her such British examples as Sir Thomas More, who was beheaded for not recognizing Henry VIII’s divorce, and Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, who was burned at the stake rather than accepting Mary Tudor’s reimposition of Roman Catholicism.


Salford, UK

Plugging away

Sir, – Gershon Baskin (“Jerusalem of peace, Jerusalem of war,” Encountering Peace, November 6) keeps plugging away at his “peace mongering.”

Gershon is an ideologist, and ideologists are rarely swayed by facts. He wants a divided Jerusalem with no physical barrier.

Why would anyone in his right (or Left) mind entertain such a thought? Even assuming that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has no terrorists in his camp (only dead ones he praises), what do we do when Hamas takes over, as in Gaza? (A most likely eventuality.) Baskin writes: “There is not one country in the world that recognized Israel’s sovereignty over all of Jerusalem.” He forgets to add that neither is there a country in the world that recognizes Israel’s sovereignty over west Jerusalem, or that not one country was willing to give Jews refuge during the Holocaust.

The world’s actions are rarely moral or right.

If Baskin would encourage his Palestinian friends to stop their obsessive incitement, we might have a chance in the future for peace.



Sir, – It is time to make Israel safe. It is time to realize that tourists will not come unless the country is safe. We cannot continue this absolute idiocy of every few weeks having a new war. It is time for us to stop worrying what one country or another thinks, because it won’t matter.

All of Israel must unite and demand from its leadership safety. If we must do away with certain democratic procedures, so be it. We who love Israel are determined to have it survive.


Shock treatment?

Sir, – With regard to “Ministers cite ‘deep disease’ in Israeli society following Tel Aviv soccer riot” (November 5), every Israeli mother presiding at the circumcision of her son or his bar mitzva has her joy tarnished by the knowledge that one day he will be drafted into an army that faces dreadful violence and has to respond with similar brutality, which he will be forced to execute. It is therefore unsurprising that when this war machine is letting off steam in a soccer stadium, its coiled up potential for violence is triggered in a most unsportsmanlike fashion.

What are we creating in our beloved sons and daughters? Do we realize that our nurturing efforts for the first 18 years of their lives will be totally undermined by their army training? Will we continue to allow self-seeking, petty politicians fail in the establishment of peace in this region? We are the people! We are the voters! When are we going to start reforming our own attitudes toward the peace process and try to stimulate our politicians to act like statesmen? Something is rotten in the State of Israel and we need to clear up the rot. This own goal showed us up to ourselves in a most shocking manner. Maybe this is the shock treatment we need! Here’s hoping.


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