August 4: Come on, now

I am amazed at the ignorance of Nissim Ze'ev, an MK in our enlightened parliament.

By
August 3, 2009 21:51
letters March 2008

letters good 88. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Come on, now Sir, - I am amazed at the ignorance of Nissim Ze'ev, an MK in our enlightened parliament ("Haredi news media lament blaming of community in wake of TA attack," August 3). Put the gay community into rehab, indeed! I suppose there are no gays in the haredi community, just as they do not exist in Iran! JUDY GOLDIN Kiryat Ono Solidarity, UK Sir, - The members of the 100+ strong Gay Jews In London Facebook group organized a rally on August 2 to show solidarity with their gay brothers and sisters in Israel and mourn the two innocent gay Jewish people killed in Tel Aviv the day before - Nir Katz, 26, and Liz Trubeshi, 17. The rally was held in Soho Square, London, and was attended by more than 50 people. The group said prayers and were addressed by Rabbi Hillel Althias Robles. BEN KAYE London Not true Sir, - In "Haredi home truths" (Letters, August 2), Mattias Rotenberg wrote: "Nowhere in the world does a haredi yeshiva show respect for the [host] country by the simple act of flying a flag." It should be pointed out that such an accusation is simply not true; the prominent Ponovezh Yeshiva in Bnei Brak flies the Israeli flag every year on Yom Ha'atzma'ut. The yeshiva's founder, the Ponevzher Rav, Rabbi Yosef Shlomo Kahaneman, instituted this act as a symbol of gratitude to the country for hosting his yeshiva. R.C. KLEIN Jerusalem This is amazing Sir, - Your editorial "When righteous stumble" (July 20) pointed out that it's obvious that haredi violators comprise only a minuscule number. I don't think that is so evident for most people. It's the nature of prejudice that a whole group gets blamed for the alleged flaws of a few. So it was excellent that you mentioned this numerical aspect. Maybe one could add that rather than it being amazing that a few in Orthodox garb can be charged with criminal activity, it's astonishing that a tradition rooted in law without any tangible enforcement has been followed, often scrupulously and lovingly, by the vast majority for dozens of centuries. M.M. VAN ZUIDEN Jerusalem It's part of the truth Sir, - Human rights groups protesting the need for disclosure of their funding are making absolutely sure that the public thinks they have something to hide ("Rights groups accuses gov't of intimidation and stifling free speech," August 3). Human rights groups advocate verifying the truth; and which countries are funding their various activities and which multi-millionaires are contributing to their causes is very much part of truth. It is interesting that human rights groups feel intimidated by disclosure - which in itself is not something to be afraid of unless they feel they have done something they don't want the public to know about. Just for the record, how many human rights groups are stationed here in Israel and how many exist in other Middle East countries? Does the counterpart to Peace Now exist anywhere else? The public would welcome disclosure of this kind. TOBY WILLIG Jerusalem Sir, - One wonders how Spain would react if Israel was to fund the Basques in their fight for freedom, recognition and a country of their own next door to Spain! MARY SHERMAN Tel Aviv We define what we are Sir, - Israel is the only country in the region with the same name, language and religion it had more than 2,500 years ago. Our land ownership (tabu) is written in the 3,500-old Bible. As such, we are not in need of anyone's recognition of "Israel as a Jewish country" - certainly not from the Palestinian kleptocracy whose leader's Ph.D. was on Holocaust denial, nor the backward autocrats in Riyadh and Damascus. To ask for such recognition reeks of a galut mentality. As a self-respecting country, we define who and what we are ("Depressing signs from Riyadh, Ramallah and Damascus," August 2). ALFRED INSELBERG Ra'anana Bothersome headline Sir, - Maureen Dowd's article about religious hypocrites in the Republican Party may or may not be fair to the GOP (July 26). For all I know, the Democratic Party also has its share of humbugs and there's little to choose between C Street and J-Street. What really bothered me was the headline "Pharisees on the Potomac." Nowhere in the article does that misused term "Pharisee" occur, leading one to suspect that it was attached by some ignorant sub-editor. Jews of every religious outlook, from radical Reform to ultra-haredi, are spiritual descendants of those much-maligned Perushim - but for whom the civilized world would have no Bible, no schools or hospitals, no weekly day of rest, no intellectual life, and no churches (or synagogues) today. That such a headline appeared in The New York Times is bad enough; that it was reproduced in The Jerusalem Post is even more disturbing. GABRIEL A. SIVAN Jerusalem El Al: Don't ignore us 'up North' Sir, - Re "El Al introduces cheap flights" (August 2): I am one of those using a low-cost airline to travel return from Tel Aviv to Manchester. I use this airline because El Al doesn't offer me, and thousands of other British northerners, a direct flight between these cities. I, and I'm sure many others, would gladly use El Al if it would give us back the service we enjoyed nine years ago. There is no comparison between the so called "low-budget" flights and El Al's excellent flight service. And after all the "extras" such as the online booking fee, the meal, the baggage payment, extra leg-room if needed and a pre-booked seat are added, it doesn't really work out low-budget at all. If El Al would only take heed of the pleas of thousands of us for a direct service to Manchester again! It's not always cost but for convenience that we use other airlines. Maybe El Al should think again about ignoring us "up North." LINDA SILVERSTONE Herzliya Pituah 'Louis the Scooterer' 1935-2009 Sir, - I am lost for words. I can't believe I'm writing about the late Lou Scop - "Louis the Scooterer" - who passed away on July 26 and was buried in Netanya. Though I didn't know Lou that well, I had met him last year, on Israel's 60th anniversary, while I was here on a motorcycle tour. I stayed in touch with him and enjoyed reading about his adventures as he "scooted" throughout Israel. A highlight was having coffee with him and hearing his stories at his favourite spot on the Netanya beach, where he seemed at his most relaxed. In Lou, I found an adventurous, humorous, good-hearted and good-natured human being who truly enjoyed people; a kindred spirit in his love of motorcycles and the excitement of the journey. He was curious by nature and able to find the good in all. And he really loved his newly adopted home, Israel. Lou was a source of inspiration to me. May his memory be blessed. ELI FREEDMAN Tel Aviv Editor's note: Louis Scop was a contributor to the Post's Letters column.


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