Sir, – Both Quartet envoy Tony Blair (“Blair working with PM on
economic steps to enable continuation of low-level talks with PLO,” February 3)
and UN Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon (“Ban calls on Israel to ‘empower’
Palestinians who want peace,” February 3) tell us to provide confidence-
building gestures to the Palestinians.
Perhaps I have missed your reports
that list and detail the confidence-building measures the Palestinians have
offered us. Do you think you could reprint them?
Jerusalem Waste of
Sir, – It seems such a shame that two outstanding people like MKs Zehava
Gal-On and Ilan Gilon have to face each other in a runoff for a Knesset seat
(“Meretz aims to revolutionize electronic voting,” February 3).
really a shame that they feel they must stay with the almost defunct Meretz
party. Both would have been much better off had they left and joined Labor,
where their views and activities could have brought them, very possibly, a place
in the party leadership, where they could do so much good for
Maybe next time.LEONARD ZURAKOV
Sorry state of
Sir, – What an amazing confluence of events.
On Shabbat morning,
before leaving for services, I read “The shofar blowers” (Editorial, February
3), which discussed how Israeli police and the court system had worked in tandem
to ban women’s prayer groups at the Kotel. Less than two hours later, I was
listening to the Torah reading, which described Miriam (Moses and Aaron’s
sister) forming a women’s group to perform their own “Shir Hayam” (Song of the
I thought to myself how fortunate it was that Miriam did not live
in modern Israel – she might have found herself in jail! What a truly sorry
state of affairs.MICHAEL D. HIRSCH
Sir, – I write in praise
of your February 3 editorial and in puzzlement over what has happened in this
I once saw a film that showed how the British arrested Jews for
blowing the shofar at the Kotel (Western Wall). Have we become British? Their
tactics did not stop our fathers and grandfathers.
Arrests by a Jewish
government should not stop us now.
I grew up in America, where a
tradition of nonviolent disobedience to unjust laws is strong.
in Israel, where there is no democratic way of overturning unjust rulings via
the ballot box, peaceful civil disobedience is the only way to fight for
I urge everyone to blow the shofar at the Kotel Hakatan (a
section of the wall near the Kotel) as a sign of our freedom. Surely the police
have more important things to do than arrest shofar blowers.DAVID WILLIG
Safed The writer is a rabbi A Canadian forest
Sir , – Letter writer James Adler
and I have been ill-served by the Post’s zeal to preserve forests, thereby
having him answer (“Explaining itself,” February 2) a truncated version of my
letter (“‘Hasbara,’ and how!,” January 30).
I originally listed some of
the major molders of public opinion in Canada, not “just one
And I did not “dig” these things up. I lived them to the extent
that the perception of a time when I might find myself conflicted by the
policies of my native land and the survival of the land of my forefathers became
one of the forces motivating the moving of my family to Israel.
were early harbingers of a shift in the “liberal” perception as to who was the
underdog here, long before the project of populating Samaria, Judea and the
empty sands of the Gaza Strip.
Ironically, it is with pride that I see
Canada today, alone among the Western democracies, refusing to be swept up by
the momentum of the rest in their urging Israel to undertake suicidal
actions.SYDNEY L. KASTEN
Sir, – “You have no better friend in
the world than Canada,” Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird recently told your
president, Shimon Peres (“Delegitimization of Israel is the new anti-Semitism,”
But most Canadians believe Baird’s pro-Israel rhetoric is
Baird sidestepped any direct condemnation of Israel’s
continued practice of building settlements in Palestinian territories, but the
majority of Canadians feel their government is biased too much toward Israel. In
fact, our government’s strong support of the Jewish state may have resulted in
the historic loss of a temporary seat on the UN Security Council in 2010. We do
not take that lightly.
We care about Israel, but we also care about the
They need their own state. Obviously, it would not be a
strong state or a threat to Israel. Please, Israel – show Canadians and the
world that you are strong enough and have enough heart to make that
Sherwood Park, Canada Trusting Gantz
Sir, – It was
both heartbreaking and uplifting to read “Signs of the times” (Security and
Defense, 0February 3) – heartbreaking to be defensive because we are hated by so
many in the world only because we are Jews, yet uplifting to have a strong,
young, honest chief of staff of whom we can be proud.
From the day I saw
Benny Gantz stride to the platform with such assurance to accept command of our
IDF, I felt my confidence rise. His “surprise drills” and establishment of the
“Depth Corps, a new unit that will oversee operations deep in enemy territory,”
confirm my continuing trust in these escalating times of
Netanya No enthusiasm
Sir, – In his column
“Tunisia as a model” (Savir’s Corner, February 3), Uri Savir initially astounds
us by relating that he carried condolences from Israel’s leaders to
arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat in 1994! Was that in response to the many
expressions of condolence that Israel had received from Arafat after PLO terror
attacks? Then Savir notes “an affinity between modern Tunisia’s and Palestine’s
[sic] way of life and aspirations,” and in the next sentence describes Tunisia
as a moderate country. Does Savir really think the Palestinians are moderate,
which means they observe reasonable limits? I wish I shared the huge enthusiasm
of Savir and his mentor, Shimon Peres, for the “new” Middle East. Unfortunately,
reality leads me to believe that there will be no “important academic,
professional and touristic links” between young Tunisians, Palestinians and
Israelis until the Arab masses cease being brainwashed from birth against Jews
Please spare us the weekly nonsense from Savir.STEVE
Alfei Menashe Broken bridge
Sir, – I was saddened to read
“National-religious community gets new kashrut authority” (February 2).
understand (but do not condone) why the ultra-Orthodox community requires a
multitude of kashrut authorities purporting to provide for the varying levels of
stringency. Each community has always considered itself exclusive.
national-religious community used to pride itself on its inclusive character. It
was always the bridge between communities and as such never divided itself by
levels of observance.
Now, at the misguided initiative of Rabbi Shmuel
Eliyahu, it will lose yet another of its attributes.
As the saying goes,
these rabbis would do us all a service if they worried as much about what comes
out of their mouths as what goes in.ALAN (SHLOMO) KOOR