December 30: Matter of haredim

Over and over again the margin of victory in the Beit Shemesh election is referred to as “razor-thin.”

By JERUSALEM POST READERS
December 29, 2013 21:58
Letters

Letters 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )

Matter of haredim

Sir, – With regard to “Court orders new election in Beit Shemesh” (December 27) and other articles on the subject, I wish to point out one egregious term that is often applied to the 972-vote margin in the original election.

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Over and over again the margin of victory is referred to as “razor-thin.” However, in terms of the total votes cast, this margin constitutes almost a full five percentage points in the vote between the two mayoral contenders.

Can that honestly be called razor-thin? There has never been any election here where even a margin as low as two percent led to claims of fraud and deception at the ballot box.

Universally, in most elections a 2% margin would constitute a decisive victory.

The margin in Beit Shemesh was overwhelming. Or is it that when it comes to haredim, nothing can be convincing enough for a court to rule in their favor?

MARCHAL KAPLAN
Jerusalem

Sir, – In “Court decision over election in Beit Shemesh sparks contention among lawmakers” (December 27), United Torah Judaism MK Yisrael Eichler is reported as calling Israel a “legal dictatorship” similar to the one in Egypt. He says: “The day will come when the secular regime will place the haredim outside of the law, as was done in Egypt, all in the name of democracy.”

On the same date we read “Hassidic leadership preparing for ‘historic’ journey to US to protest haredi draft.” The action of going outside the Jewish community and to non-Jewish areas to protest an internal Jewish matter was once unheard of, especially in the haredi world. Going to a foreign country, even if supposedly only to Jewish communities, means giving aid and support to anti-Israel/Jewish forces.

These same haredim are always complaining about a lack of money to feed their families and sustain their institutions.

Apparently, though, they are able to muster the reported millions needed in the campaign to fight a draft law.

We now see to what extent some people will go to further their self-interests at the expense of national interests.

BARRY RYDER
Hatzor Haglilit

Paper nationalism

Sir, – With regard to “Police tighten security measures in West Bank amid increased terror activity” (December 27), when will The Jerusalem Post learn that the land Israel recaptured during the Six Day War is called Judea and Samaria, and not the West Bank? The Arabs and the rest of the uninformed world call it the West Bank.

In the article, the police spokesman used the correct term when he was quoted as saying that officers had “stepped up patrols in Palestinian areas in Judea and Samaria.” Why is the Post less nationalistic than the police?

URI HIRSCH
Netanya

Just say no

Sir, – “Security concerns” (Editorial, December 27) focuses on the linkage between borders and security. I would suggest that the larger issue is whether the Palestinians want peace with a Jewish state, whatever its borders. I see no evidence for it.

There is an even larger question.

Ronald Reagan won a landslide victory in the US on the strength of a simple question: Are you better off now than you were four years ago? It has been more than four years since Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s speech at Bar-Ilan University. I would suggest that Israel’s international standing has gone steadily downhill since then. There have been no concessions from the Palestinians, Europe has turned against us, Iran is that much closer to getting the bomb, and the United States, far from having our back, is threatening us in many ways.

When US Secretary of State John Kerry next comes calling, I hope Netanyahu will remember a saying that Reagan’s wife, Nancy, made famous: Just say no.

DAVID WILLIG
Safed

Sir, – Peace is a paradox. It’s sought and taught but can’t be wrought or bought. Why is this? Perhaps it’s because we reflexively polarize, politicize, militarize, weaponize and rationalize, but don’t pensively realize that peace is mutual humility and reception, not cruel, silly deception.

Peace is a retreat from conceit and deceit.

HUGH MANN
Eagle Rock, Missouri

Hope you’re right

Sir, – In the last paragraph of “Boosting family ties” (Editor’s Notes, December 27), Steve Linde conscientiously prays for Jonathan Pollard’s release.

As we know, Pollard’s release is in the hands of US President Barack Obama. The year 2013 has been politically disastrous for Obama. He has faced opposition with Obamacare, the Iran deal and the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

He has also been disregarding the pleas of thousands, including President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Is this the only way this cruel, egotistical, selfish, lame-duck president can show he is in control? Steve, I sincerely hope that you are right and I am wrong, and that “the Pollards will be our special guests at the third Jerusalem Post Annual Conference in April.”

LEONARD KAHN
Zichron Ya’acov

Sir, – We now know, courtesy of Edward Snowden, the former contractor for the US National Security Agency, that the Obama administration has been doing to Israel precisely the same as we did to the United States. For this, Jonathan Pollard has been rotting in an American jail for very many years.

Perhaps sending home US Secretary of State John Kerry immediately upon arriving for his next visit will be the only way to secure Pollard’s release.

PETER SCHWEITZER
Tel Aviv

Sir, – The record of accomplishments of US President Barack Obama and his administration can be summed up in one word: obamanable.

HERB STARK
Mooresville, North Carolina

Editors, where are you?


Sir, – Martin Sherman’s “Leibler on settlements: Right diagnosis, wrong prescription” (Into the Fray, December 26) is unacceptable.

Sherman says: “The overriding objective... must be to delegitimize the Palestinian narrative and expose it as the bogus historical fabrication it is. It must discredit any notion of land-for-peace and Palestinian statehood. It must drive home that between the river and the sea there can only – and eventually will – prevail either total Jewish sovereignty or total Muslim sovereignty.”

I usually reject the following analogy in all forms, but the above passage could have come from that Austrian fellow’s inciting and inflammatory speeches from Munich or Berlin.

He would just say “Muslim” rather than “Jewish.”

This impression is confirmed by Sherman’s prefatory citation in the previous week’s column (“Infuriating, insidious, immoral,” December 20) of the state Penal Code as an apparent warning for anyone who might dare to disagree with him: “A person who, with intent that any area be removed from the sovereignty of the state or placed under the sovereignty of a foreign state, commits an act calculated to bring this about, is liable to life imprisonment or the death penalty. – Section 97(b) of the current Penal Code in Israel – under ‘Treason.’” Where are The Jerusalem Post’s editors? Is the word “fascism” out of bounds here? Is there no limit to the degree of rightist, ultra-extremism that will be allowed from this columnist? Is there no limit on incivility? Again, where are the editors?

JAMES ADLER
Cambridge, Massachusetts


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