MARTIN D. STERN Salford, UK Some ‘favor’
The Supreme Court decision reported in “Chief rabbi, UTJ livid over court ruling on non-Orthodox use of mikvaot” (February 14) no doubt includes Jews for Jesus and other messianic Hebrew groups.
Perhaps the court would do better by not interfering in religious matters, which are obviously beyond the justices’ comprehension and competence.
With regard to “UK Envoy: Our ties are stronger than ever” (February 12), Ambassador to Israel David Quarrey, while trying to discount the imposed “voluntary” labeling that is tantamount to a boycott – despite his denial – almost says that labeling has done Israel a favor. He says imports to the UK from Israel have almost doubled in 16 years.
It is, of course, more than likely that imports from Israel would have increased even more without the boycott. (I deliberately name the action a boycott because nearly 2 million Muslims and an unknown number of Methodists and leftists consider it as such.) We know that British Prime Minister David Cameron repeatedly says he is against any kind of boycott.
But he also says that Islam is a religion of peace.IVOR LEWIS Netanya
Sanders and us
Regarding “Sanders and Judaism” (Editorial, February 12), there has been a great deal of coverage in your newspaper regarding US Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders. But nowhere has the most important issue to an Israeli or Israel supporter been mentioned.
Regarding the 2014 Gaza war, when we were protecting ourselves from daily bombing barrages, Bernie Sanders says (this is a quote from his website) that “...
Israeli attacks that killed hundreds of innocent people – including many women and children – in bombings of civilian neighborhoods and UN controlled schools, hospitals, and refugee camps were disproportionate, and the widespread killing of civilians is completely unacceptable.”
Sanders uses the language of our worst detractors who distort the truth in order to demonize Israel.
He never mentions that fewer Israelis are killed because Israel goes to great lengths to protect its people, while Hamas uses them as human shields. In addition, he was one of only 21 senators who refused to sign a Congressional resolution in support of Israel during the 2014 war with Gaza.
In all the excitement over Sanders being a Jew, one should be aware that he is the kind of Jew who turns his back on his own people while they are being bombed.RANDI MELLMAN OZE Jerusalem
Learn from Canadians
In “It doesn’t have to be us against them” (Observations, February 12), Lior Akerman writes that 85 percent of Israeli Arabs do not support terrorism against Israel. He minimizes the fact that 15% do, which is a shocking figure.
In Canada, the aboriginal people have been brutalized for centuries – prominent Canadians have called it cultural genocide – causing far higher rates of imprisonment and suicides. Yet not one has perpetrated a terrorism act.
As for Jews, even when anti-Semitism was rampant, they understood they had a moral and social obligation to our country, and more than 500 Canadian Jewish soldiers were killed in the two world wars (a high price for Jews in that period, when they numbered only a tenth of what Israel’s Arab population is today).
Israeli Arabs must learn from Canadians that there is a social bond to a country that nurtures you.
JACOB MENDLOVIC Toronto None here
There are few things I find sadder and more shallow than North American Jews advertising their moral superiority in Israeli newspaper pieces (“Small flowers,” Comment & Features, February 10). Canada is not Israel. The reality is beyond comparison.
It’s lovely to become enamored with interfaith groups of moderate Palestinians and right-thinking Jews in Montreal. So much more comforting than continuing to watch the brutal reality on the news from Israel.
Perhaps Oren Weizman might make another trip to Israel. He would have a hard time meeting the moderate Palestinians North Americans love to write about.
And small wonder – if they indeed exist, Palestinians in Gaza, Judea and Samaria who would publicly express a desire for peaceful coexistence would likely put their and their families’ lives in danger.
North American Jews and Palestinians can afford to wallow in their feel-good coexistence get-togethers without undue concern. As a Jerusalem Jew, I try to stay focused and watchful in order to avoid, God forbid, being stabbed by a knife-wielding, hate-driven teenager.
No small flowers here, Mr.
Weizman.VICTORIA L. DAUBERT Jerusalem What Ban said
Thank you for publishing Abe Silberstein’s defense of the UN secretary-general (“Ban Ki-moon did not justify terrorism,” Comment & Features, February 11).
Silberstein’s piece was a direct response to the ferocity of your editorial “Justifying terrorism” (January 31) and other attacks on him that appeared in your pages.
What Mr. Ban said was that violence is often the result of domination and despairing frustration.
Menachem Begin wrote the same about himself in his Irgun manifesto The Revolt.
Surely, The Jerusalem Post will let itself be held accountable for its editorial stance and for fierce attacks on Mr. Ban in its pages that only help sustain hate and perpetuate the horrible conflict and violence.JAMES ADLER Cambridge, Massachusetts
Regarding “Back to the Wall: More readers weigh in” (Letters, February 11), the Jewish people have only few places left that are holy and sanctified. The most important is the retaining wall structure from the Second Temple, destroyed some 2,000 years ago. It is known as the Western Wall.
Since the liberation of Jerusalem in 1967, this place has become a spiritual magnet for Jews who visit the site day and night. Last year, the continuous stream of visitors reached over 8 million.
They were from all streams of Judaism, as well as gentiles from all over the world.
Every Jewish visitor finds his corner at the Kotel to express his prayers to the Almighty from this most sanctified site. Even gentiles who visit do so with an expression of gratitude and honor.
The behavior of the fine ladies of the Women of the Wall is in stark contradiction to the age-old practices and prayer traditions at the site. When they visit a church, I’m sure they behave according to the accepted code of behavior and dress. Only at the most holy place of Judaism do they think they can behave as they want.
I believe that after the press coverage fades, so will the phenomenon of women praying at the Kotel in prayer shawls and tefillin.
Jews will continue to visit in increasing numbers and behave and pray there as all generations have practiced. This will continue until the Temple is rebuilt.SHLOMO FELDMANN Givatayim Big-truth movement
What a great hasbara (public diplomacy) idea reader Avigdor Bonchek has (“Please explain,” Letters, February 9)! Why didn’t anyone think of it before? Just as the “big lie” has so successfully been propagated by our enemies, we must counter it with what Mr.
Bonchek calls the “big truth.”
Whose land is this? Which side has rejected compromise proposals to end the wars? Who employs violence and incitement to implement political causes? Be it through diplomatic channels, government spokesmen, international symposia or just personal statements, let’s repeat and repeat again and again the true story in this conflicted region.
Let’s start a movement to advance the big truth.EVA KATZ Jerusalem