April 4: It’s about time

For those who insist that the clock change occur before Yom Kippur in order to “shorten” the fast, may I suggest they set their watches and clocks back just before Yom Kippur and then reset them following the fast.

By JERUSALEM POST READERS
April 4, 2011 00:00
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It’s about time

Sir, – Now that we have switched to Daylight Saving Time (“Did you remember...,” April 1), the perennial argument about when the clocks will be turned back again is being waged. Unquestionably, the most logical and convenient time would be the end of October, which would keep Israel in sync with Europe and the US.

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For those who insist that the clock change occur before Yom Kippur in order to “shorten” the fast, may I suggest they set their watches and clocks back just before Yom Kippur and then reset them following the fast.

This will allow those who wish to finish the fast an hour earlier to do so without forcing the rest of us to lose precious daylight.

KENNY FISHER
Jerusalem

Fallacious statement

Sir, – Regarding the interview with MK Faina Kirschenbaum of Israel Beiteinu (“Lieberman’s organizer,” Knesset, April 1), Kirschenbaum claims that Ir Amim would “go into the schools and explain to students that the IDF isn’t moral, that they don’t have to enlist and there is a way to lower draft profiles.”



This fallacious statement exemplifies just how dangerous the anti-democratic witch-hunt being waged against civil society in Israel has become.

Ir Amim is an Israeli NGO that focuses on Jerusalem within the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict out of a commitment to Israel’s political interests in the city. The organization does not operate in schools and has never called on students to refuse military service.

It is difficult to determine which of the following possibilities is more devastating: that an MK familiar with Ir Amim’s work intentionally chooses to deceive the public, or that the MK slanders Ir Amim out of total ignorance of its work for dubious political capital. Either way, the effort to delegitimize organizations that hold a different worldview than MK Kirschenbaum’s is disconcerting and demonstrates her lack of understanding of the important role that civil society plays in a democratic country.

ORLY NOY
Jerusalem
The writer is spokesperson for Ir Amim

Uplifting, wonderful

Sir, – Your April 1 Observations section was a pleasant surprise.

It was great that Caroline B. Glick reported the good news about American Jews continuing to be supportive of Israel (“American Jewry’s fight,” Column One). But even greater was the news in David Horovitz’s column (“They tried to kill us, we won, now we’re changing the world,” Editor’s Notes) that Saul Singer recently co-authored Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle.

Singer answers the question of how our tiny country, with so few natural resources and having to struggle to survive physically, has managed to outstrip every other nation in terms of hi-tech innovation.

The book has been translated into numerous languages and is taking over the business literature world by storm.

All in all it was very uplifting and wonderful to read these articles.

THELMA BLUMBERG ABRAMOWITZ
Jerusalem

Loyalty and service

Sir, – Ironically, I sat down to read “Not on the fence” (Comment & Features, March 31) after coming home from a special study day at the Northern Region headquarters of the Population Registry for people (like me) who run local registry bureaus in the Upper Galilee/Golan.

More than half the participants, as well as the officials and clerks running the day’s activities, were Druse and other Arab Israelis from both the Golan and the Galilee, all veteran employees in high supervisory positions.

Their loyalty to the State of Israel is not only strong and admirable, I dare say that they could teach more than a few Jewish Israelis about true Zionism and the privilege of living in this country, obviously in very direct contrast to those “loyal” Syrian citizens in Majdal Shams and the other villages mentioned.

Unfortunately, while the facts in the article are all too true, one might get the impression that these anti-Israel residents represent the majority, which is certainly not the case. While Druse, Beduin and many other Israeli Arabs and Circassians serve in the various security and police forces, it is also important to note how many work in senior civil service and key government positions, including security frameworks and the entire network of special emergency services in times of war or natural disasters.

I have worked with many of these wonderful people for years, and they certainly outnumber their brethren in Majdal Shams and elsewhere.

GERSHON HARRIS
Hatzor Haglilit

Perfidious?

Not Sir, – I agree with Isi Leibler (“Perfidious Albion and Israel,” Candidly Speaking, March 31) regarding the “The Promise,” which was truly appalling, and he is, so far as I am aware, correct in his criticism of the London School of Economics. I will not comment on the British judiciary, as I used to sit part-time as a circuit judge and without all the facts it would be wrong of me to pass an opinion.

But Leibler is blind to the other side of the coin. I am known in England, particularly with my name, to be Jewish. And yet I was in my time appointed mayor of the town where we live when in the UK, and leader of the Merseyside County Council.

At the same time I was a member of the Board of Deputies of British Jews. I was honored by the Queen. I do not mention these as a matter of self-aggrandizement but to demonstrate that the Jewish community is not only not “essentially besieged,” but has, fortunately, continued to enjoy the freedom of religion that has applied since the Jews returned to England in 1656. I am no exception.

There is always an element of anti-Semitism everywhere, even in Israel. But overall, Albion is not only not perfidious, it is more tolerant than most countries in the world. I was very fortunate to have been born there as the son Eastern European immigrants. Otherwise, my fate would have been appalling.

NEVILLE C. GOLDREIN , CBE
Jerusalem

Read the book

Sir, – Amos Oz sent Marwan Barghouti only a book – defending Israel. What impedes Seth J. Frantzman (“Marwan Barghouti, Amos Oz, Haim Oron and a tale of darkness,” Terra Incognita, March 30) from acknowledging Oz’s good intentions? He demeans that book, which the Post’s own reviewer termed a “lavish, intricate, panoramic...epic story of” Israel.

Frantzman scorns a comparison of Barghouti to Nelson Mandela without showing why it isn’t appropriate. Likewise, Britain’s work with Gerry Adams let Northern Ireland heal. Reintegrating Eastern Europe’s communists let it heal.

An interview with Oz sums up his peacemaking: “A wellknown Israeli Arab told me that reading my book was the first time he understood why Jews came to this country. I immediately wanted to have it translated into Arabic.”

Like South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Oz builds bridges for a future in which neither side’s doctors must treat victims, or peoples mourn their loved ones.

JAMES ADLER
Cambridge, Massachusetts

Show those warrants

Sir, – Civilians are killed by NATO bombs in Libya! Where are the British arrest warrants for Cameron, Obama and Sarkozy? Where are the UN condemnations? Israel should demand an international and independent investigation – and no excuses, such as they were “hiding” military installations in civilian housing.

Oh... I forgot. Americans and Europeans can kill civilians with impunity during war, but Jews defending themselves must be perfect, absolutely perfect.

Tell us, how was this bombing an act of self-defense? What a bunch of hypocrites.

ANDERSON HARKOV
Modi’in

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