Sir, – Like so many other leftwingers, David Newman (“US civil
rights and the Jewish community,” Borderline Views, August 27) attempts to
compare the situation of the Palestinians with that of the African-American
community in the US in the 1960s. But the two cannot be
African-American history is well-known, beginning with
thousands of people being forcefully uprooted from their country and brought, in
chains, across the ocean to become slaves to white Europeans living in a new
land. Only after the Civil War was slavery abolished, and then 100 years later
official discrimination as well.
Throughout, as far as I know, the
African-Americans did not seek to secede from the United States to form their
Nor, for that matter, did they claim that the country in
which they were living was actually theirs and that all white Americans would
have to leave when an African-American state was achieved.
whether African- Americans, in their segregated schools in the deep south, were
indoctrinating their children to hate all non-blacks. Were they negating the
European history of the United States and replacing it with African history,
complete with new maps? Although there were violent factions, such as those led
by the likes of Malcolm X, I don’t recall reading about suicide bombers and
drive-by shootings against whites.
How can Newman honestly compare the
two? Their histories, current situations and intentions are not even remotely
Arabs in Israel are professionals, members of Knesset and have
full civil rights.
Newman and all other peace activists should get their
heads out of the clouds before it’s too late for all of us living
Disaster and disgrace
Sir, – I am outraged by
the proposal of Cabinet Secretary Avichai Mandelblit and Bayit Yehudi head
Naftali Bennett (“Plans for egalitarian section for Kotel likely to leave Women
of the Wall unhappy,” August 26).
Their plan is a disaster and a disgrace
as it ignores the April ruling of Jerusalem District Court Judge Moshe Sobel,
who said the Women of the Wall (WoW) have the right to pray at the Western Wall
according to their custom.
I wish I could have been in the Western Wall
Plaza on Sunday, August 24, joining the WoW sitin protesting the idea that the
group’s prayer services should be removed from the women’s section of the
traditional Western Wall and exiled to a separate place.
As we know from
the 1954 United States Supreme Court ruling Brown v. Board of Education,
separate is not equal. The government has obviously capitulated to haredi
demands and their control of the Western Wall. This taints Israel as a country
that upholds democratic values.
As long as the government continues to
designate the Western Wall Foundation, composed strictly of ultra-Orthodox men,
to remain in control of the Western Wall’s rules and regulations, the rest of
world Jewry, and specifically women, do not have representation. WoW, as well as
the Reform, Conservative and modern Orthodox streams of Judaism, should have the
right to equal representation on this council and equal rights for praying at
If the government feels that the new proposal offers equality
to WoW, I suggest that the ultra- Orthodox be relegated to the area being
designated for the members of WoW.ANITA RUBIN
New York Iranian test
– With regard to Aaron Magid’s “Why inaction is the best response on Syria”
(Comment & Features, August 26), the Spanish Civil War was more than a civil
war. It was a testing ground for World War II, and Hitler was greatly encouraged
by the lack of world reaction.
Does anyone think that what is happening
in Syria is just a civil war and not a test by Iran to see how the world will
react to something bigger? JOEL BLOCK Haifa Spoiling a column Sir, – As a
secular Jew I found myself in total agreement with Jeff Barak in his comments on
the full observance in Israel of the traditional Yom Kippur (“Tennis observes
Yom Kippur,” Reality Check, August 26.) But on reaching the last paragraph I
found a clear reference to his known dislike of our prime
Barak’s logic reflects his attitude but defies objective
Thus, he should remember that Binyamin Netanyahu’s insistence
that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas accept Israel as the Jewish
state is not to provide us with a piece of paper to make us more
The insistence would allow us to abide by our decision to prevent
the return of so-called Palestinian refugees to Israel, with the clear
acceptance of the rest of the world.
It is a pity that Barak could not
avoid spoiling an otherwise excellent column by introducing his political
hatred.MONTY M. ZION
A vote for Hillary
Sir, – As one who
marched with Martin Luther King Jr. some 50 years ago, I feel thrilled to read
that MLK’s grandson seems to have taken up the baton of leadership and is ready
to carry on (“50 years later, marchers in US urge fulfillment of MLK’s dream,”
One might say that a good part of King’s dream has been
fulfilled with the election (twice!) of a black man as president. I would like
to believe that this is a sign that perhaps the US is also ready for a woman
We shall soon see whether a former first lady can win the
presidency on her own. I firmly believe that Hillary Clinton is qualified. Now
we’ll see whether American voters believe this, too.
certainly get my vote if she decides to run.
Sir, – When I looked at the September supplement Home and
Garden I was extremely disappointed.
With one exception (Ruth Beloff),
all the contributions were about or by the advertisers. There was nothing
whatsoever about a garden or gardening.
I know the main purpose of these
supplements is to advertise products or services. But once upon a time, not too
long ago, they also featured informative and enjoyable features.
Sir, – The idea of a wine buying guide
(Weekend, August 22) is very good, especially just before the holidays. However,
your resident expert, Adam Montefiore, seems to get carried away trying to show
off his knowledge and love of wines.
Montefiore is very quick to belittle
the connection of Judaism and wine, and is quick to shoot off his mouth when he
mentions Israeli wineries.
“Most of these will be kosher and not open on
Shabbat, festivals and memorial days,” he writes about the wineries. He then
rattles off this list of holidays without thinking. Memorial days, such as the
days to remember our fallen heroes, are national holidays and have no connection
to kashrut. Most places of business are closed.
The writer’s put-down of
supermarkets is also distasteful when he writes: “Most supermarkets will sell
kosher wines only.” There is nothing inferior in selling kosher wines, quite a
few of which have won international awards in blind-tasting
Montefiore also tells us that the “better red wines should
be lying horizontally to preserve quality.” This is misleading. The reason for
laying down the bottles is to keep the cork moist so it will not deteriorate and
fall into the wine.
Some of the suggestions mentioned in the guide,
however, such as how to choose an appropriate wine to accompany a meal or
course, are helpful.