Better bike is due
With regard to “Policemen who took Palestinian child’s bike to be disciplined” (August 16), they should be made to buy her a new – and better – bicycle, and deliver it to her personally, with an apology.
Instilling fear in children is something bullies do.
ELAINE GOLDSTEIN Tzipori Ghattas in Montreal
Shame on The Jerusalem Post for publishing “MK Ghattas calls to boycott Israel at anti-Semitic parley” (August 15) as its lead story for the day.
It is bad enough that Basel Ghattas is a member of Knesset.
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We already have so many enemies in the world today who try to boycott Israel – all your article does is give publicity to Ghattas and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
JENNY SHAY Jerusalem
MK Basel Ghattas calls to boycott Israeli goods, but he should remember that he, too, is “Israeli goods.” Has he forgotten that he is an Arab MK and has more rights than the people in any Arab country, never mind more rights than the blacks in South Africa had under apartheid? Ghattas never mentions the treatment of Palestinians in Syria and Lebanon for fear of his life.
ISSY HASS Ra’anana
Joint List lawmaker Basel Ghattas made his remarks in Montreal at the World Social Forum, which your article describes as “meant to be a far-left alternative to the annual World Economic Forum in Davos.”
First, as a Canadian who made aliya more than 40 years ago, I am truly ashamed that the city, provincial and federal governments there could not cancel a conference dealing with BDS and anti-Semitic, anti-Israel propaganda.
Second, Ghattas is completely wrong to call Israel an apartheid country. Israeli Arabs have all the rights of Israeli Jews. He, an Arab, is an MK. Also, I just finished cancer treatment at Rambam Medical Center in Haifa and was treated by Arab doctors.
I saw Arabs doing all kinds of jobs there, and spoke with many Arab patients. So apartheid does not exist in Israel.
Third, our government needs to have backbone and make the same law that exists in Canada’s House of Commons so that Ghattas and the other two Joint List MKs from Balad can be ejected, without receiving any government pension or any other perks that a Knesset member receives when he or she leaves.
MURRAY JOSEPH Kiryat MotzkinRIP, Kenny
With regard to “Kenny Baker, ‘Star Wars’ actor behind R2-D2, dies at 81” (Arts & Entertainment, August 15), I followed Baker’s rise to stardom for many years with great pleasure, and was saddened to hear of his death. I knew this charming man many years ago when I was running the office of the then-famous Ritz Ballroom in Manchester, England, during the middle and late 1950s.
Upon arriving for work, everyone had to sign a book that was on a counter in my office. When the door opened and no one was there, I got used to the fact that it was Kenny signing in. He was so small that, beyond the counter, he was invisible.
He worked in the circus and in the pantomimes as the cat in Puss in Boots. To help out his finances, he worked before and after the pantomime season in the foyer of the Ritz with the doormen. They wore evening dress, and he wore a perfectly fitted tuxedo and bow tie.
We enjoyed our office chats, and this culminated in an invitation from him to go out for lunch – a shock to me, to say the least. But out to lunch we walked, out of the Ritz doors onto New Oxford Street, with every head turning to gape. He was used to this, but my heart was pounding.
Suffice it to say, he had booked a table in a very nice restaurant – I had told him to ask for vegetarian for me – where he obviously was known, and we sat for two hours just talking. (I asked him nothing about his childhood, of course.) He made an interesting remark I have never forgotten – the more successful and more attractive the men and women he knew, the nicer they were to him. They almost made him forget he was a dwarf.
I was thrilled to read of his success in Star Wars and thought of writing him a letter, but could not really see the point. I just had a nice feeling that after all his efforts and trials, he had made it – this tiniest of men, with such a sweet face and a heart of gold.
Rest in peace, Kenny.
LINDA HIRSCH NetanyaUltimate dispute
Your August 12 editorial “Observing Tisha Be’av” predictably drew criticism from several religiously observant readers (“Tisha Be-av editorial,” Letters August 15).
All could agree that the vibrant population and religious life in Jerusalem today in no way resemble the pictures of the abandoned, disgraced Jerusalem depicted in Lamentations.
Their points of contention lie in each one’s vision for the ultimate Jerusalem.
The religious Jew dreams of a day when God’s presence is felt, not only through miraculous military victories, which have already been achieved, but through a palpable and undeniable presence that finally brings our enemies to stop their denial of our rights and their lethal aggression, and inspires a global, God-centered devotion by Jews and non-Jews alike.
The ultimate dispute between the secular and religious perspectives is in the desire for a Third Temple. The secular Jew views the very concept of a temple as a medieval throwback, an embarrassment, completely unwelcome in the modern era. I’d wager to guess that this thinking is the reason that our government allows Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount to be treated abhorrently while Muslim worshipers practice their faith unimpeded.
Each day that the Third Temple remains unbuilt, our sins of baseless hatred for fellow Jews render us guilty of its previous destruction, so our yearning for its reconstruction is a form of penance and contrition that cannot be eliminated.
In Jewish thought, there are opinions (notably those of the Rambam) that animal sacrifice was necessary once, but due to the moral development of mankind, is no longer appropriate and shall not be returned, being replaced by prayer. Whether or not the practices of the Temple are modernized, the concept of a temple – which is accompanied by the unity of the Jewish people as well as the intimate relationship between God and the Jewish people – is essential to Jewish thought. Thus, until it is rebuilt, fasting on Tisha Be’av is both appropriate and necessary.
SHARON LINDENBAUM RehovotDevilish style
“With regard to “Few show up for Israeli launch of Trump campaign” (August 16), if anyone believes this presidential condidate, then you deserve what you get.
I’m not too keen on Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, but she far and away makes more sense than Republican candidate Donald Trump, the man without a plan (other than the wall, which, I predict, will never be built).
We need a president who will talk straight to voters and unite us, not a loudmouth, braggadocious, divisive, trigger-happy TV celebrity who, I fear, will run this great nation into the ground should he win.
Hillary’s no angel, but Donald Trump’s campaign style is nothing short of devilish.
HERB STARK Mooresville, North Carolina
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