Lorde? Let it pass
I feel a bit foolish writing about a pop singer of whom I know almost nothing and about whom I care even less. I had never heard of her until reports of her planned performance here, which now has been canceled following threats by the BDS herd. But you have chosen to elevate her stance to placing “herself in the same camp with totalitarian regimes like North Korea, Yemen and Syria” (“Lorde and the BDS bullies,” Editorial, December 26).
Come off it. This is an untenable stretch of our incredulity. First of all, it is doubtful that those barbaric regimes know any more about her than I did a week ago. She undoubtedly knew, and knows, no more about the situation here than most of the world’s inhabitants. She probably was told that, since she was going to tour Europe, she might as well make some more money by stopping off here for an extra concert on the way. Now she has caved in to extortion threats. She is no more in the pro-Palestinian Arab camp than she is in the anti-Israel camp; she is in neither. She perhaps needs a lesson on the inadvisability of yielding to extortion threats, of any kind. But that’s it.
You say that Lorde is supposed to play music. That is what she does and all she wants to do. She is making no statement by canceling here other than she is afraid to do anything that might hurt her career.
Let it pass.MERVYN DOOBOV
Jerusalem Our ‘morality’ shows weakness
An unbelievable video has been going viral, in which a Palestinian teenager in the village of Nabi Salih and her friends pushed, slapped and kicked the body and face of two Israeli soldiers, both of whom failed to respond and stood and took the attacks (“A slap across Israel’s face,” Observations, December 22). As I watched the video, I was angry at the soldiers for degrading the Israeli army by allowing themselves to be attacked by teenage girls and then backing away. (They obeyed orders received from the higher-ups in the IDF.)
The heroine of the attack is Ahed Tamimi, who is 16 years old. This girl has been slapping and hitting soldiers since she was a small child, as her blond girls gave her an innocent look. Her parents were the educators and the ones taking the pictures, as were Israel-hating photographers. The purpose was for the soldiers to hit the girls, and that would be shown to the world, and the attack on the soldiers cut from the film. “Poor children get abused by Israeli soldiers.”
Is it moral for a soldier to degrade himself and country, so the world will love Israel? Did we not learn throughout the years that we are hated? Did we not see how most of the countries went crazy when US President Donald Trump said “Israel’s capital is Jerusalem”? Our “morality” shows weakness and not only embarrasses soldiers but takes the will to fight out of them; they are degraded.
Want to be loved? Show strength, show pride. The world will scream and continue to hate us. So what? They love us when we have an Auschwitz and pity us. I don’t want their pity or their love. I want a strong and proud IDF to be feared, as we were in 1967. Let us bring back those days and change the orders for our soldiers.
World opinion will always be unfavorable toward Israel and the Jews. It’s pure antisemitism – no more, no less. As this is a fact, the IDF should act in the best interests of Israel and not be swayed by the effects of how the camera portrays events.
Commendable as was the restraint of the soldiers provoked by Ahed Tamimi, it gives the wrong message. I’m sure there isn’t a country in the world which would allow such provocation to go unpunished.
The message to the Palestinians should be: If you provoke or abuse our soldiers, you and your family will be arrested. They should be aware Israel is not a soft touch and doesn’t care about how it’s viewed.
My message to the IDF is: Get tough, arrest at the slightest provocation. Perhaps they will think twice before uploading videos to You- Tube, as they can be used as irrefutable evidence to convict them in court.JAMES ESPIR
Herzliya Pituah Top-down, irrelevant complaints
In regard to the comments on the supposed divide between Diaspora and Israeli Jews (“A common memory and a common destiny,” “It’s time to show a little fairness,” Observations, December 22), I propose that the issue is more top-down than bottom-up.
As a former American who belonged to both Conservative and Reform synagogues, I see in the complaints of the American non-Orthodox hierarchy little relevance for members of their congregations. A visitor to the Kotel on an ordinary day will not see overflowing visitors to the (two) existing areas for egalitarian worship. So why kvetch so vehemently? Nor are stringent Israeli laws about citizenship, marriage and divorce pertinent to 99% of Diaspora Jews.
As a Masorti synagogue attendee for 26 years, I agree with Dvir Kahana that Diaspora Jewish “opinion leaders” should focus on unity, not contention.
Could it be that the Diaspora leaders have personal axes to grind? STEVE KRAMER
Alfei Menashe Dress codes respected
Self-described “female Reform Jew who might be scantily dressed” Judy Bamberger needlessly asks whether a Haredi civil servant will provide her with necessary airport services (“Worries about discrimination,” Letters, December 21). Never in 50 years here have I witnessed such a refusal by anyone anywhere in our country, where the various dress codes of at least 100 countries are seen across the land.
If Bamberger wants to double-dare or test us, she is urged to do so now as our guest! It is holiday winter weather here, so she might tuck a sweater into her bag just in case.ESTER ZEITLIN
Who wrote ‘Hava Nagila’?
In a recent column the text of the song “Hava Nagila” is attributed to Avraham Z. Idelsohn (“Down memory lane with Allenby,” My Word, December 15). From 1946-1951, I attended Herzliah Hebrew High School and Herzliah Teachers College in New York. Our music teacher was Moshe Nathanson. We knew that he had written the words to “Hava Nagila” and that the melody was a folk tune. Many years later a biography of Nathanson was published which told how he had been a young student of Idelsohn’s in Palestine and that the class had been given the task of writing lyrics to a melody. His [Nathanson’s] lyrics were the ones that became popular.IDA SELAVAN SCHWARCZ
Ganei Omer Olé Guatemala!
Regarding the news that Guatemala is the first country, after the US, to announce its decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem (“More nations expected to relocate their embassies,” December 26) – Guatemazel tov!
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