With regard to the caption of the photo accompanying “Two Arab girls knife Ramle security guard” (February 5), it is a misnomer to call these 13-year-old-girls “would be terrorists.” One who wants to kill Jews is a terrorist. One who fails at this mission is a would-be killer.
As one who grew up in New York City, I remember that every school day of my life, we stood with our hand over our heart and pledged allegiance to the United States of America and sang the “Star Spangled Banner.”
Those were beautiful days, and this was a beautiful way to start a school day.
According to the Oxford Dictionary, the word “allegiance” means loyalty to a group or cause.
Every Knesset member, when sworn in, also pledges allegiance: “I pledge myself to bear allegiance to the State of Israel and faithfully to discharge my mandate in the Knesset.” Therefore, it is obvious that Arab Knesset members from the Balad faction of the Joint List have disavowed their loyalty to the State of Israel (“Balad MKs meet with families of slain terrorists,” February 5).
I suspect that impeachment proceedings will begin immediately.
Neve Ilan Those ‘crybullies’
With regard to “Israel’s crybullies” (Into the Fray, February 5), Im Tirtzu’s campaign was perhaps shrill, inelegant and unsophisticated, but the cultural icons it criticized deserved to be disgraced for many of their past and present activities.
The Left delegitimizes all critical investigation of its activities and shuts down free speech in the name of protecting it. It avoids the intellectual challenge of debating conflicting views. In suspending himself from the organization, Matan Peleg succumbed to left-wing media and social forces; those pressures effectively compelled him to exercise self-censorship.
The world is changing, and the Left’s belief system is being challenged as never before. It is being confronted with the reality that human nature hasn’t conformed to its ideas for advancing a politically correct, utopian society.
In “Where’s the political wisdom?” (Observations, February 5), MK Nachman Shai advocates negotiations with the Palestinian Authority when it’s a foregone conclusion that the Palestinians will receive a prize for not negotiating.
What, exactly, is the point of participating in such a Gallic farce? Israel must press its case even when the West is so scared by the jihadists that it leaves reason behind. Israel can’t afford to do likewise.
Alfei Menashe 38 to 1
Prof. Gerald Steinberg of NGO Monitor recently wrote on the “Tower” website: “Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are very big business in Israel.... They receive hundreds of millions of shekels from large foundations and foreign governments – primarily European. While the activities of these NGOs are criticized by the Israeli Right, much of the mainstream Israeli media supports them.”
The lone representative of the Israeli Right seems to be Im Tirzu.
In “The Left strikes back” (Grapevine, February 5), Greer Fay Cashman provides us with a comprehensive list of the left-wing NGOs united against Im Tirzu, and the proposed legislation to regulate and make public the donors to these organizations.
How many readers are familiar with all 38 of the NGOs under the wings of the New Israel Fund? How many readers feel that 38 against one is somewhat disproportionate? According to the website “+972,” over a thousand people “joined dozens of human rights organizations in Tel Aviv’s port” on a recent Friday afternoon “in order to send a message that silencing, shaming and blacklisting Israelis who oppose – and speak out against – the occupation of the Palestinian territories will not work.”
Thirty eight NGOs united against the “occupation” mobilized perhaps a thousand participants to be entertained by Israeli celebrities.
That’s an average of less than 30 supporters per NGO. Clearly, despite the generous foreign donations received by these groups, their support among Israelis is insignificant.
An unbiased, impartial, objective and unprejudiced media would reflect this. Ours doesn’t.
Netanya Positive news
I was so encouraged to read about the presidential honor given to Dr. Yitzhak Kadman for his tireless dedication to the welfare of Israel’s children (“Rivlin honors National Council for the Child head,” January 29). It is fitting that the first award of its kind went to Dr. Kadman, as this is a true reflection of the commitment by the president and his wife, Nechama, to the issue of child welfare.
I have been familiar with Dr.
Kadman’s incredible work for a long time through our foundation’s investment in the Haruv Institute, Succat Shalom, National Council for the Child and others.
Thanks to the efforts of these organizations, we are making strides in helping to ensure that every child has access to a safe and secure upbringing.
As President Rivlin remarked, children are our future, but they are also our present. That is why I believe that we must dedicate more time and attention to pursuing the critical work of child advocacy.
We must root out neglect, stop abuse in its tracks and ensure that systems are in place to protect the most vulnerable among us.
Above all, we must make this a communal effort. We must all play our part.
In these challenging times, we have become accustomed to bleak and worrisome headlines. Thank you for shining a spotlight on this critical issue and for the inspiring news. I hope you will continue to report on the heroes who work day in and day out to create positive change in our complex world.
The writer is co-chair of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation.Kotel controversy
The Talmud refers to certain times, such as non-ritual occasions, that inside the Temple, men and women were together, i.e., not in their separate areas. Today, the ultra-Orthodox have extended this “holiness” to outside the confines of the Temple, i.e., the public area on the other side of the Kotel, or Western Wall.
Before they extend it even further – for example, to the Central Bus Station – let them recite with their usual fervor the words of Isaiah (56:7): “For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.”
Those whose prayers still echo the pain of centuries in wishing to return to the rebuilt inside of the Kotel (may we soon witnesses this event) should refrain from their often uncontrollable emotional outbursts. Reason dictates that no Israelite has a monopoly on any part of His house, be it inside or along the man-made extension on the outside.
The writer is a rabbi.
Much has been written lately about the various sections at the Kotel, but no amount of criticism can change the extent of the loss of feelings as exist now.
My first visit there was in September 1967, as a tourist just after the Six Day War. It was exactly as Israeli paratroops had freed it. The atmosphere was unbelievable – I have no words to describe the special feelings we all had standing there on the unattended forecourt.
Over the course of later visits, I slowly lost those feelings. Now, with the partitions, the plaza and chairs so near the Wall itself, it is difficult to approach. I’m sorry to say that “improvements” have lessened what was once a special – and holy – atmosphere.