Sir, – Oded Revivi, the mayor of Efrat, is to be congratulated for his intelligent and logical article “What’s wrong with the Jewish nation state law?” (Comment and Features, December 2). In this article he presents the process of his careful and extensive study of the proposed law and his conclusions as to its merits.
To quote Mayor Revivi: “The proposed legislation states that the Jewish character of the State of Israel and the democratic nature of the state will be considered equally, with the individual rights of all citizens being strictly upheld.”
He concludes that he “couldn’t find a single proper explanation of what the supposedly ruinous consequences of this bill will actually be (or) what principles of Israeli law or the Declaration of Independence it would violate.”
These clearly expressed and substantiated thoughts in favor of the proposed legislation deserve to be read and reread, understood and supported.
Sir, – I am writing in regards to The Jerusalem Post headline “Cabinet approves new policy limiting detention of migrants,” (December 1). We are, as we are constantly telling ourselves and any one else who will listen, the people of the book. We have a set of precepts to live by. One would think those precepts would be reflected in the legislation.
Time after time I hear the injunction to “deal kindly with the stranger, for you too were strangers in a strange land.” And how do we deal with the strangers, the infiltrators? We exile them to a useless life in the desert.
Please do not think I advocate an open door policy. I know very well that if we were to open the gates, despite our reputation as racists, half the population of northeast Africa would come here looking for work.
But the government seem to have effectively closed the borders. The problem is with those already here.
Surely we could do better.
These infiltrators are a very small number, less than 1% of the population.
“Be kind to the stranger.”
Give them residence and work permits and let them settle down and work.
Mark of shame
Sir, – In his ultimately fruitless appeal for a continuation of the present coalition, MK Rabbi Dov Lipman ticks off the salient achievments of the present ruling government (“Will Netanyahu undo the progress we have made?” Comment and Features, December 1). Every point is listed as beneficial and progressive.
In a somewhat cavalier manner, Lipman informs us that due to a budget deficit of NIS 40 billion, “we made difficult cuts to child benefits.”
This means that an additional thousands of children will go to bed each night suffering hunger pangs.
A week earlier, The Jerusalem Post informed us that child poverty in Israel in 2013 was the fourth highest in the West following Spain, Latvia and Greece (“Knesset marks day by talking poverty,” November 20). Lipman’s self serving “achievements” are truly a mark of shame reminiscent of ancient biblical Sodom.
Sir, – I was horrified to read the letter to the editor “Forest for the trees,” (November 30) describing the reactions of bereaved families from the Har Nof massacre as “bizarre.” How can anyone find fault in people that have had their family members brutally murdered?! I call Rabbi Twersky’s widow a brave woman. She’s not calling for revenge or feeling sorry for herself, she’s calling for unity! The fact that she’s just concentrating on her small circle is not “bizarre.” As the saying goes: “family first.”
Sir, – I am writing in response to JJ Gross, who writes that the haredi world is “mired in picayune sectarian nonsense” which requires a microscope to parse. I agree that there are unfortunately many problems of hatred, loathing and disdain among Jews of all stripes, as well as among non-Jews. This letter, calling haredi reasoning “bizarre” and “nonsense,” is a prime example of this disdain. We all have a lot to work on.
There is a saying: “take care of the pence, and the pounds will take care of themselves.” We have to start with small steps, even microscopic ones. If a pharmacist errs by one milligram in dosing a medication, it could be fatal. In the same vein, there is a thought attributed to many Jewish luminaries: When I was young, I thought I could change the world. As I grew older, I thought I could change my country, then my city, then my family. At last, I realized I would have to start by changing myself.
How can we work on loving everyone if we cannot even get along with those who are closest to us in their world outlook? When the microscopic differences are resolved and brothers can live together in harmony, they can start to improve their relationships with those a bit further away. I think Mrs. Twersky knows this and is starting at the right place. I invite the letter writer to join in this endeavor.
Sir, – The Jordanian king raised the issue of Jerusalem and briefed Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on his country’s efforts to “defend” the holy sites there and counter Israeli acts of “targeting” al-Aksa Mosque “Jordan warns Israel about Temple Mount,” December 2).
I would now ask Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who traveled to Jordan to reassure Abdullah that the status quo would remain, if he feels any humiliation for either himself or his country by humbling himself so much before our enemies.
It is insanity for a country to surrender its holiest sites to an enemy even while that enemy continually accuses you of crimes that they themselves committed while it was under their control. When one’s enemy sees weakness and desperation, the violence is bound to increase as well as the demands for more concessions. We have not only lost control over the Temple Mount and other sites but across the entire land where we are attacked and murdered and still condemned by our so-called friends in the so-called civilized western world.
Whoever controls the Temple Mount controls the land.
Sir, – The crude racist and mendacious outbursts in the Jordanian parliament and press should promote three responses. Firstly The Jerusalem Post should request its honored columnist Prince Hassan give his reaction and explain how these phenomena help the understanding and mutual respect.
Secondly, Israel should call in the Jordanian ambassador for explanations and we should recall ours for “consultations.”
Thirdly, a campaign of condemnation should be instituted in the US Congress and anywhere else that seems possible.
Sir, – What is the purpose of the Grapevine column by Greer Fay Cashman anyway? Is it a gossip column in the old tradition, designed to inform us of the activities of the movers and shakers, their parties and accomplishments, and so make us lesser mortals feel jealous and/or inadequate? Or is it a platform for Ms. Cashman to consistently bash the Right and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu while touting the moral acts of the enlightened, righteous Left? Her continuous insertion of shots against the Right and outright endorsement of the Left do not belong in a gossip column devoted to fawning over the rich and powerful or the lauding of worthy accomplishments. It must be nice to have a regular column ostensibly not political where one can slip in political comments without fear or notice from the editor.
What’s next? Obituaries with a political slant?