Sir, – While it is indeed true that much of what passes for haredi
life and death goes under-reported in the mainstream media, Yisrael Medad and
Eli Pollak are being unbalanced in their criticism (“Cultural autism,” Media
Comment, March 29).
The haredi world boasts a robust media of its own, in
which one finds zero coverage of what goes on outside its four cubits except as
to cast aspersions and vilify non-haredim.
Any attempt by an outsider to
submit a letter to the editor, let alone a guest column, that does not conform
to the haredi party line is rejected outright.
Mainstream media, among
them The Jerusalem Post
, provide ample opportunities for haredi columnists and
flacks to appear on their pages. I would suggest that Medad and Pollak try
publishing such a column in the haredi media. Its very appearance would not
merely be news, it would make history.J.J. GROSS
Sir, – The
secular media is accused of covering Amy Winehouse’s death extensively and
ignoring that of haredi leader Rabbi Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg.
extensively did the haredi media report on the death of Amy Winehouse? YONATAN
Jerusalem Waiting for freedom
Sir, – I suppose the fact that Fatah leader
Marwan Barghouti can give interviews and write letters while serving multiple
life sentences, as well as feel quite free to call for an intifada against
Israel, does not strike our prime minister as slightly ludicrous (“Barghouti
calls for new intifada, severing ties with Israel,” March 28).
I do have
to agree with Barghouti on one point, though – that we should certainly be
severing ties with the terrorist Mahmoud Abbas, and the sooner the
In this crazy upside-down land called Israel, good is called bad
and bad is celebrated. Terrorists are treated with kid gloves while Jews are
thrown out of their homes in the name of political correctness and Netanyahu
continues to work against legislation to legalize Jewish homes.
meantime, the IDF is starting to train for the next expulsion of Jews from Judea
and Samaria in Area C, which is controlled by Israel and contains all the Jewish
communities in the region, and this may encourage the Palestinian Authority to
become the de facto authority in areas where Jews live although only 4 percent
of Palestinian Arabs live in Area C.
Can anyone see the logic in such an
act, most especially while we are surrounded on all sides by enemies with
rockets and missiles aimed at all parts of our land? It has been said that the
emphasis on IDF training for the Gush Katif expulsion was widely blamed for the
military’s lack of preparedness in the Second Lebanon War. The inmates in the
asylum obviously have been and still are in charge. Perhaps this Pessah will
bring us freedom – freedom from the strangulation of political correctness that
is slowly destroying us.EDITH OGNALL
Netanya New evidence
Sir, – Ehud
Olmert’s remarks on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at the J
Street convention (“Ehud Olmert maintains Abbas is ‘partner for peace,’” March
28) can only be for one purpose: to allow him to plead insanity at his many
criminal trials.JOAKIM ISAACS
Jerusalem Yalla boycott
Sir, – Ray
Hanania’s protestations notwithstanding in “The Peter (Beinart) principle”
(Yalla Peace, March 28), his avowed aim to boycott products originating in Judea
and Samaria is counterproductive to the cause of the peace we all
His argument is flawed by more than one oversight, intentional or
otherwise, although his track record on factual accuracy leaves a lot to be
Suffice it to say that Israel learned the hard way the
consequences of yielding territory in the ephemeral hope for peace.
two short weeks ago over one million Israeli citizens were terrorized by the
rocket onslaught launched from what had been the settlements of Gush Katif,
whose inhabitants’ homes and lives were ruined by ceding territory for so-called
peace. Abandoning the Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria would expose the
majority of Israel’s citizenry to the inherent danger of transforming those
locations into a vast launching pad whose targets will be homes, industry,
infrastructure and, not least of all, Ben-Gurion Airport.
stamp of approval is hardly the shelter from which Hanania should attempt his
boycott. The Jewish people have had more than their share of Beinarts and J
Streets, but owing to a healthy survival gene we have overcome them
When necessary to secure our existence, we have added military
prowess to our moral principles, a lesson the world has taught us time and time
We will continue to do very well without Hanania’s preaching about
compassion and concern for civil rights.
And by the way, I would like
Hanania to publish a list of those products he intends to boycott so I and many
others can make a concerted effort to purchase these goods and compensate for
any shortfall.JOEL KUTNER
Sir, – The climax of Ray Hanania’s
column is what he calls “the solid moral principle that peace, not military
superiority, is the true safeguard of both Israel and the Jewish
If Hanania is preaching that by embracing weakness Israel would
achieve peace, then shame on him. If he is right that by abandoning the
settlements Israel would give up its military superiority, then hurray for the
settlements.MARK L. LEVINSON
Sir, – It is worth stating that
many of the Israeli towns in the “West-Bank” and Jerusalem were built after the
Arab countries rejected any possible peace agreement with
Moreover, it is worth stating that the Palestinians themselves
have rejected and continue to reject any possible peace agreement, and even
talks with the Israelis.
However, true compassion is not, as Ray Hanania
suggests “dismantling” the “settlements” and throwing 750,000 people from their
Rather, true compassion and compromise mean accepting the present
situation and working to reach an agreement that minimizes the disruption to
peoples’ lives, whether they’re Israeli Jews, Palestinians or even Israeli Arabs
(who don’t want to be tossed over the border in any of the proposed land
Efrat More on Toynbee
Sir, – Permit me to enlarge on
reader Mordecai Chertoff’s letter (“It was Toynbee,” March 25).
in the Journal of Contemporary History, I was privileged to cross words with
Arnold Toynbee on the McMahon- Hussein correspondence when I demolished his
misconception that Palestine was a “twice-promised land.” In my subsequent book
I showed that initially Toynbee had been a convinced Zionist, both ideologically
and politically. What made him change his mind later is a mystery.
letter he wrote to a friend, however, one might deduce that it had been the
creation of Palestinian refugees that caused his dramatic volteface.
former Zionist he felt guilty for the Palestinians’ misfortune.
argue with Toynbee’s logic, but misconceptions were characteristic of his way of
The writer is professor emeritus of
history at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.