Enough to go around
Sir, – Regarding “London’s burning – who’s to blame?” (UK
Unrest, August 12), the answer is just about everyone.
The list is
There has been a breakdown of the family, social order and
responsibility. UK governments hand out taxpayers’ money to one-parent families
in which the off-spring don’t know their father (or, all too often, the mother).
It is the perfect breeding ground for more of the same.
As for the
country’s so-called Christian leadership, there isn’t any. There is no God
anymore, no morality and no absolutes.
Teachers are dismissed for giving
as much as a tap on an unruly pupil when they try to do what parents fail to
Academics and experts continue to say we must work with criminal
youth and understand them better. Substitute “pander to” for “work with.” This
has been done for decades, and a purer definition of insanity you will not
The judiciary works through the night issuing sentences that do not
fit the crime, which will only add to the problem. UK prisons have revolving
doors, and for those who may have to stay a fraction longer, substitute “holiday
camps” for “prisons.”
The judiciary must not treat the victim as if he’s
The public complains about the police response. Police
numbers have nothing to do with it.
It is called police
It is absurd that the police have to get government approval
for more stringent measures, such as water canon and plastic bullets. Their
hands are tied by political correctness, as well as by governmental weakness,
ineptitude and bureaucracy.
UK governments over the years have talked the
talk on crime, but never walked the walk.
Then there is the British
public itself. It should not hesitate to take to the streets by the millions and
demand that the government enact immediately all it has bragged it would do over
the years but has never done.I. KEMP
Sir, – One thing
conspicuously absent from Andrew M. Rosemarine’s list of potential factors to
blame for the riots and looting in the UK is that no one seems to be blaming
Israel or Zionism, a rather fresh departure from the recent upheaval in so much
of the Arab world.
So while I agree wholeheartedly with his analysis and
anger at this “post-Darwinian secular society,” in today’s world, where
Israel-bashing and -blaming have become so common for almost every world malady,
perhaps the blatant exception in this case indicates there is still hope for the
UK! GERSHON HARRIS
Sir, – I would like to draw a connection
between the riots in London and the current protests in our own country. Though
the overlapping is purely coincidental, Israel can learn much about the
potential consequences of heeding demands for a welfare state.
analysts name welfare dependence in England as one (if not the main) cause for
the riots, as the mentality of entitlement spurred many rioters to believe they
had the freedom to commit their crimes. Heeding our own protesters’ demands for
a welfare state could very well breed a similar mentality of
selfentitlement.ORI POMSON Jerusalem Finance and famine
Sir, – Regarding
“French banks at center of new funding crunch” (Business & Finance, August
12), no matter what their political or economic gripe, why couldn’t the French
farmers, instead of destroying crates of Spanish fruit, have shipped it to the
starving people in Africa we read about daily? URI HIRSCH
In a heartbeat
Sir, – Israel wants the US to release Jonathan Pollard yet refuses to do
anything that might help US interests in the Middle East – namely freezing
So here is an idea: The US will release Pollard,
and in return Israel will permanently freeze all settlement construction in the
West Bank and east Jerusalem.
That’s a win for America, Israel and the
I’d support that in a heartbeat.
Will Prime Minister
Netanyahu and his cabinet? JOSH TREVERS
New York Problems at home
Sir, – While I
agree that all the points Steve Linde mentions in “The time has come...”
(Editor’s Notes, August 12) need to be addressed, I thought that Tisha Be’av
also teaches us to reflect upon the way we treat each other as Jews.
the headline I thought he would address the issues that we in Israel have to
correct, and not just make demands on other nations. Shouldn’t we discuss the
differences between the streams of Judaism and figure out how to accept the
differences? On the eve of Tisha Be’av, I joined a few hundred men and women to
listen to the Book of Eicha on the promenade overlooking the Old City of
Jerusalem. It was moving and beautiful to see men, with and without kippot, plus
women, in pants or headscarves, sitting together and listening to both men and
women chanting the lamentations. Had we sat together at our country’s most
sacred treasure, the Western Wall, we would have been insulted, beaten or
Isn’t the hatred between our own people what led to the
destruction of the Temples? Next time, perhaps Linde should list the issues we
need to resolve among ourselves. They are numerous and difficult to solve if we
can’t even listen to one another.MARLA HABER GOLDSTEIN
Sir, – Regarding “Why civil marriage is good for the Jews” (Comment
& Features, August 11), I am not at all certain that civil marriage or any
one particular formula will provide the remedy to the many serious and often
painful problems that cause so much stress and conflict in our pluralistic
What is certain however, is the absolute need for the religious
establishment to display empathy for agunot (women whose husbands refuse to
grant them a get, or halachic divorce) and fervently work on finding fair and
proper solutions. This requires rabbinic leaders who, while they are completely
anchored in halacha, have both the courage and compassion to seek the boldest of
Some suggestions: 1. Pre-nuptial agreements that would
clearly spell out the penalties for refusing to grant a get 2. Strict and
immediate enforcement 3. Ostracism by religious society of those who refuse to
grant a get 4. Annulment of marriage in extreme cases.
It is worth noting
that the Talmud relates the practice in the times of David whereby soldiers
going off to war would provide bills of divorcement to their wives to prevent
them from becoming agunot if the men fell in battle, in which case the divorce
would be validated retroactively.ZEV CHAMUDOT
Petah Tikva More
Sir, – Some letter writers (“Living blueprint, August 12) who took
Barry Shaw to task for his own letter (“Empty can be good,” August 11) seem to
be wishing for the government to be over-intrusive when it comes to home
My hometown is Margate, New Jersey, a seaside community where
more than half the residences are owned by second home owners, who pay the
majority of the taxes despite using relatively few services. The year-round
residents don’t object.
Should our government forbid people from owning
more than one residence? Besides, isn’t Israel supposed to be a safe haven for
Jews around the world who might one day need a refuge from anti-Semitism? STEVE
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