Don’t deserve it
With regard to “European Parliament backs labeling settlement products” (September 11), I – and probably many other Israelis – am sick and tired of the EU countries’ continual Israel-bashing on so many issues, but especially on the labeling of “settlement products.”
We should remember how cruelly European nations persecuted their Jewish inhabitants over the past thousand years, killing millions on the way, including the six million just 70 years ago.
For the life of me, I cannot understand why we continue to tremble and prostrate ourselves before Europe, and why we waste our precious water and good fertile earth to grow wonderful food products to sell to those who continue to prove they are still our enemies and might well bring about another Holocaust upon European Jewry.
Let us grow food for ourselves, or at least for those friendly countries that have never harmed us and might even have protected and saved our people (e.g., Bulgaria during World War II).
Perhaps the time has come for us to start hoarding our surplus food (a la Joseph in ancient Egypt) so that in any future famine (which, as per warnings in the Bible, is scheduled to burst out all over the world during the End of Days), we can at least feed ourselves and, if there are any leftovers, supply our friends, as well.
Kiryat Ono Uncalled for
Regarding “Soccer and Shabbat” (Editorial, September 11), it was totally uncalled for to have President Reuven Rivlin to interfere with the latest controversy regarding soccer and Shabbat.
As head of the State of Israel – the Jewish State of Israel – President Rivlin has no right to impose the way he chooses to sanctify Shabbat on the rest of us, many who don’t necessarily agree. In saying “On Shabbat morning you go to the synagogue and then you head for the soccer field,” he was not speaking for me or millions of other Jews who choose to honor and sanctify the Shabbat with their families, communities and friends in quiet relaxation, retrospection and a day off – which doesn’t include soccer games.
When God gave us the Shabbat, He didn’t mean to violate its sanctity by having us go to soccer games. It’s supposed to be a much more meaningful day, one that has held the Jews together and apart from others for thousands of years.
This is a stain on the Jewishness of the state, and on Rivlin, for making a comment that does not reflect the will of millions of Jews.
Ra’anana Delightful news
In “Nitzan seeks harsher penalties for rock-throwers” (September 10), we are told that “State Attorney Shai Nitzan...
ordered all prosecutors to seek stiffer penalties for rock throwing, even by minors.”
I was delighted to see this. I suggest we enforce this order by making parents responsible for the behavior of their young children (boys to the age of 13, and girls to the age of 12), as mandated by Jewish law.
Jerusalem No influence there
How welcome it is to see Ukrainian Ambassador Hennadii Nadolenko’s repudiation of Yossi Beilin’s second attempt to sell his “two states for two peoples” solution to every conflict (“Three mistakes about Ukraine,” Comment & Features, September 10).
Just as his Oslo Accords rewarded the Fatah terrorists by giving them equal status and equal rights with their victims, Beilin now advocates on behalf of the Russian aggressors and their local henchman in Ukraine. Fortunately for the latter, his influence in that country is restricted to marginal, discredited hangers-on from the former regime.
How much better off we in Israel would have been had Beilin not been able to make Shimon Peres talk his talk and Yitzhak Rabin walk his walk.
As his perverse ideas have no chance of being adopted in Ukraine, Ambassador Nadolenko can afford to mildly dismiss them as “nonsense.” Here in Israel, though, we are still living with the consequences of the crime Beilin instigated against two peoples.
MAX BLACKSTON Jerusalem Read and weep
I read Lahav Harkov’s “By the Temple Mount, we sat and wept” (Reporter’s Notebook, September 9) with great interest, for on that same hot day, I took 40 Christian tourists up to the Temple Mount.
I know the rules. I know about keeping the shoulders and knees covered. No Bibles, no crosses, no Stars of David, nothing in the backpack that would be “offensive” to the Arabs.
So this lovely, modest group stands on line with me at 7:30 a.m. We are the second group to be admitted. They behave well, very modestly, and smile and say thank you as they are frisked through security.
Once we get up on the mount through the Mugrabi Gate, we are approached by two rather stern and angry Arab men who tell me and the group: “This is a holy site.”
With that, they take seven of the women out of the group and insist they buy scarves to cover their elbows. One was the pastor’s wife.
There is no arguing with them. We have just entered and don’t want to start a riot. Israel Police and Border Guard personnel stand nearby, oblivious to our problem.
So the seven ladies go off.
One has to borrow $7 from another. We wait. They return, wearing sheets that look like they are from an infant’s crib, torn in two, several of them dirty. I try to ease the tension.
I tell them they will have something to remember – their persecution on the Temple Mount. We laugh and take pictures.
But it is not funny! Farther along, after I have taken them on the tour, two Arab men in long robes approach the group and ask if they speak English. They want to sell them Korans. At this point, I tell the men in Arabic to get lost. When they persist, I shout that if they don’t leave us alone, I will scream and call for the police. They leave. I really would have screamed.
So much for our authority on the Temple Mount. I believe we should not be afraid to take action against such terrible abuse.
The writer is a licensed tour guide.Front-page material
I would like to pay tribute to Rabbi Shmuley Boteach for his factual, revealing and illuminating No Holds Barred columns.
His latest (“Europe’s Iranian ‘gold rush,’” September 8) is a masterpiece of investigative reporting. He describes the activities of European governments seeking to benefit from the largesse being presented to Iran, owing to the lifting of sanctions and subsequent trade rewards.
This illustrious column should have appeared on the front page of your paper.
Someone is paying It costs hundred, even thousands, of dollars to pay a smuggler to get you into Europe, according to reports.
The occasional Syrian refugee may grab the family jewels, but most are lucky to get out with their lives and the clothes on their backs. Yet, suddenly, hundreds of thousands of them have money to pay smugglers, and all at once.
Clearly, someone must be supplying the money. Where is it coming from? Erdogan? Saudi Arabia? Russia? I have seen no coverage of this issue in your paper or anywhere else. What has happened to the generation of reporters trained to “follow the money”?