Lapid in the ring
Sir, – Just what we need – another political party to split
the vote further (“Yair Lapid quits journalism, takes plunge into politics,”
Everyone who wants to start a party should be able to, but
the ridiculously low threshold needed to get into the Knesset should be
increased to at least 10 percent, if not more. This would reduce the number of
parties to three or four. While there would still be disagreements, the numbers
would be easier to work with.
Unless the electoral system is changed, the
Israeli government will never be able to function normally.HARVEY
Sir, – So Yair Lapid wants to give up journalism and enter
politics. Fine! But why does he not join one of the existing parties whose views
coincide with his own rather than creating yet another small and completely
unnecessary party? JACKIE ALTMAN
Sir, – I find it quite difficult to
understand all the hullabaloo over Yair Lapid. He has yet to show he has a real
following despite predictions that he could win as many as 15 seats in the
If he manages to put together a slate and win 15 or more seats,
that will be the time to talk. Until then, it sounds to me as though this were
the second coming of Christ.
Netanya Puah and exclusion
Sir, – How ludicrous not to include female physicians, especially those
specializing in obstetrics and gynecology, at a conference organized around
issues of fertility but designed especially for ultra-Orthodox couples
(“‘Exclusion of women’ makes waves for conference,” January 9).
women, not simply ultra-Orthodox women, feel more comfortable discussing issues
of a sexual and intimate nature with female medical personnel.
suits the needs of ultra-Orthodox male participants to be addressed only by
males, what of the needs of the women? Since at Puah conferences there is a
physical barrier in any case, why not have men and women in separate rooms
benefitting from talks via video conferencing? While it is perfectly acceptable
for male practitioners to address women, men who refuse to be addressed by
female practitioners could then opt to avoid the lecture by walking out of the
room, with no offense to the speaker.SARAH PEARL
Sir, – Puah,
an otherwise impressive organization that helps religious couples with fertility
problems, is excluding female gynecologists from addressing a conference on
gynecology and Halacha so as to accommodate some ultra-religious male members of
Actually, it could be worse. The people who believe it’s
wrong for a man to hear a woman speak about gynecology don’t seem to have yet
realized what male gynecologists do for a living, and could have demanded that
they be excluded as well.YONATAN SILVER
Jerusalem A choice of scenarios
Sir, – The very title of Susan Hattis Rolef’s op-ed piece (“How will it all
end?,” Comment & Features, January 9) is audacious enough. To then present
four unpalatable scenarios, one of which “we shall have to choose,” is brazenly
Comparing Israel’s situation with France’s Algerian
quagmire has been done – and has been refuted – before. Algeria was never a
threat to the French homeland, whereas the irredentist Palestinian leadership
has never surrendered its zero-sum ambitions to have an Arab state enveloping
our Jewish state.
Besides, when will we finally cease and desist from the
abhorrent notion of removing Jewish settlers from parts of our homeland? Judea
and Samaria were never under Arab sovereignty.
Why do we persist in
collaborating with the canard that we are “occupying” someone else’s sovereign
territory? It’s time to admit to a fifth scenario in which, as Martin Sherman
argues (“To be or not to be – that is the question,” Into the Fray, January 6),
the notion of a two-state solution is firmly laid to rest. Sherman’s
humanitarian paradigm is naive.
Nevertheless, the virtue of the scenario
is that it rests candidly on the authentic Zionist scenario in which Israel
maintains, without apologies, its own longterm Zionist agenda of settling and
securing the Land of Yisrael.AVRAHAM FEDER
Sir, – The Messiah
must surely be on the way, as I find myself in agreement with Susan Hattis Rolef
– although not quite in the way she would expect it.
two-state solution is the only real panacea, and she lists several variations,
ending with the “abhorrent” transfer of all Jews out of the “Palestinian” state.
Then she goes on to mention that “such solutions, traumatic as they may be, can
resolve impossible situations,” using Algeria as an example.
agree more! Let’s transfer the Arabs to any of the 21 Muslim countries, and even
pay them to leave, a la Martin Sherman’s plan! YISRAEL GUTTMAN
Hats off to Martin Sherman, a phenomenal writer and analyst. He so clearly
states that the Israel-Egypt peace treaty has been defective and dysfunctional
from the beginning.
We are bearing the pains of his prediction these
days. At present he claims that Israel must practice demilitarization until it
is time to practice remilitarization.
I value his insight.MARILYN
Jerusalem Fact and fiction
Sir, – In David Brinn’s article about actress
and singer Jane Birkin (“A ’60s love child grows up,” Arts & Entertainment,
January 9), Birkin says scheduling shows for separate audiences will be
difficult as “we have to separate the two dates and go back to Palestine a month
Birkin is entitled to her opinion but not to her facts. There is
no Palestine and hasn’t been since she was two years old.
fact from fiction.ELAN ADLER
Ma’aleh Adumim Only Beit Shemesh!
While I of course believe that the criminals who spit at little children on
their way to school should be stopped, am I the only one who feels the issue has
been blown out of proportion compared to the many more-serious issues our
country is facing? Hundreds of thousands of Israelis and major media outlets
across the world have united behind the children of Beit Shemesh. Thousands have
come out to protest, and every other editorial for weeks has been about this
matter. Why is there no similar outcry about the missiles that are still being
launched at Israeli towns around Gaza? Where are the front-page headlines,
editorials calling for the government to finally take decisive action, or
thousands of people in the streets showing support for the 250,000 Israelis who
are terrorized almost daily by rockets aimed at their homes and schools? When a
haredi man calls a female soldier a bad name it makes headlines for days, but
most Israeli media outlets do not even mention it when missiles hit southern
Are we really more outraged by a few dozen haredi criminals
who spit and yell bad words than we are at Hamas projectiles launched to kill as
many Israeli children as possible? While the police must act in Beit Shemesh, I
think Israelis and the Israeli media have their priorities mixed