Claims of putrefaction
Israel has, unfortunately, been inundated with exposure to corrupt and disgraceful conduct that has managed to invade some of our most basic institutions of government and national leadership.
Almost no area of broad public interest has remained free of the taint of shameful misconduct.
Opprobrious misbehavior has infested the judiciary, political leadership, police, rabbis and all the parameters that are vital for the maintenance of an enlightened society.
Yet, when I read the blaring headline “Claims Conference fraud likely ‘much higher’ than $57m.” (July 8), I felt shock, disgust and betrayal far beyond what I experienced until now.
The Conference of Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, representing the world’s largest Holocaust reparations organization, has violated its sacred mandate owing to the fact that insiders have been able to siphon off tens of millions meant for survivors.
While I personally feel incompetent to judge in the dispute between longtime leader Rabbi Julius Berman and ombudsman Shmuel Hollander, I am convinced that putrefaction has succeeded in penetrating this critical organization.
For the sake of needy survivors, I suggest that a fresh slate of officers be chosen that would be capable of declaiming: “Our hands have not shed this blood!”
ZEV CHAMUDOT, Petah Tikva Who is not a Jew
With regard to “Shas religious services minister: I cannot say that Reform Jews are Jews” (July 8), Religious Services Minister David Azoulay’s comment was not only inflammatory, divisive and elitist, it was dead wrong! I challenge Azoulay to cite one recognized halachic authority of the 19th or 20th centuries, or of any century, for that matter, who echoes his sentiments. He won’t be able to because his comment was not in keeping with Torah values and halacha.
Let’s not be bamboozled: We are not discussing halachic questions such as whether a particular individual can be called up to the Torah for an aliya or included in a minyan.
Why are the contemporary gedolim and yeshiva heads so silent? Why didn’t we hear an outpouring of disdain and disavowal of these perverse views? Why haven’t we heard from the two chief rabbis? And why haven’t we heard a voice of opposition from the “man of all the people,” Shas leader Arye Deri? Might we conclude that their silence is tantamount to their tacit support? If this is the real voice of those mentioned above, I would have to conclude that Shas’s leaders and a whole bunch of other folks are not Jewish! NORMAN M. MESKIN Jerusalem I commend Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for rejecting Religious Services Minister David Azoulay’s comments as “hurtful.”
I would remind the minister that Jewishness lies not in how it is practiced, but with the birth mother. If a child is born to a woman who is Jewish, he or she is in fact a Jew.
It is up to these Jews to decide how their Jewishness is manifested later in life. Azoulay’s judgment matters not at all.
ALIZA WEINBERG, Rehovot
Regarding “As another deadline arrives, no deal yet on Iran nukes” (July 7), the interminable, multiple-deadline P5+1-Iran talks are best described by the following anecdote.
A customer was bargaining with a horse trader for the purchase of a horse. A bystander who was watching approached the buyer and whispered in his ear: “You had better be careful not to pay too much for this horse. I noticed that he limps.”
The buyer replied: “I also noticed that he limps, but I also noticed that he has a nail in his hoof. After I buy him, I will remove the nail and he will be good as new.”
Upon hearing this, the observer went to the seller and whispered: “You are selling this horse cheaply because you think that he limps, but he actually has a nail in his hoof that can be removed after the sale.” The seller replied: “You are wrong.
The horse actually limps, but I stuck the nail in his hoof in order to fool the buyer into thinking that he limps because of the nail. When he takes out the nail, the horse will still limp.
I am getting rid of a lame horse.”
Astonished, the observer returned to the buyer and informed him of this news.
Unperturbed, the buyer said: “It really doesn’t matter since I am paying for the horse with counterfeit money.”
Unfortunately, US Secretary of State John Kerry and his associates are purchasing a lame horse in exchange for real currency that includes the security of Israel.
JAY SHAPIRO, Jerusalem
Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid seems to be running out of strategies in his criticism of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (“Lapid: Prime minister should quit if P5+1 signs bad nuke deal with Tehran,” July 7).
Lapid has a short memory.
Does he not remember Netanyahu’s visit to the US to address Congress on the dangers of the deal? And this, in spite of earning the wrath of President Barack Obama and his administration.
Our prime minister has done his utmost to convince Secretary of State John Kerry and his associates that any agreement with Iran would be a bad agreement.
What more does Lapid expect the prime minister to do? It would be a lot more helpful if Lapid ceased his criticism and supported Netanyahu.
ISSY RIEBACK, Kfar Yona
Yair Lapid is certainly not the one to tell Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to resign if the Iran deal goes through as is. He should be first among those saying that Netanyahu is the only world leader who has spoken out against the deal.
Netanyahu is the Winston Churchill of our time. He has remained steadfast in his desire to keep the world afloat. Lapid is focused on himself and on social needs. Those needs might be very important, but the need to have a world is even more important.
Isn’t it time that members of the opposition state publicly, for the record, that they are Israelis, proud of fighting to maintain a decent civilization? For the sake of our children and their children, let the Yair Lapids of the opposition recognize that even if our prime minister is no saint, he has been outspoken always for the sake of Israel and the world.
THELMA SUSSWEIN, Jerusalem
The “blame Bibi for everything” frenzy, to which many Jerusalem Post reporters lend a willing pen, has reached new heights. Yair Lapid’s demand would laughable if it weren’t so ludicrous and indicative of the extent to which this frenzy has overtaken even basic common sense.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu controls the world’s six leading countries? Really? Lapid’s demand smacks of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and other anti-Semitic, anti-Israel conspiracy theories. He has unwittingly (I hope) provided ammunition for those espousing this ever-spreading concept.
BERYL RATZER, NetanyaArson equals terror
In the past several years, there have been numerous forest fires set by Palestinians in the Jerusalem area. In “Second suspected arson shuts down J’lem railway station” (July 6), you note that a police spokesman said there was “evidence leading to a nearby Palestinian village.”
In a tinder-dry country such as Israel, and near population centers, these cases of arson are no less than attempted murder or terror. Classify them as such and mete out the harshest punishment to the arsonists, whether teenagers or adults.
JACOB MENDLOVIC, Toronto