Unraveling or not
Sir, – In light of the recent behavior of certain elements in
the lunatic fringe among the ultra-Orthodox, Caroline B. Glick’s positive
assessment of Israeli society (“Is Israeli society unraveling?,” Our World,
January 3) was a soothing balm over a very painful boil. Nevertheless, the
infection is still festering and is causing considerable concern.
attitude that views Israeli officials as Nazi oppressors must never be condoned.
Misinformation and disinformation largely contributes to the ills of our
To this end, serious consideration must be given to internal
hasbara to set the record straight.
We dare not overlook this issue! HAIM
Sir, – Please provide evidence about the direct
involvement of the New Israel Fund in the rally Caroline B. Glick refers to.
Also, please provide evidence that the NIF raised 200,000 NIS for buses for the
This has been the very best of communally fought campaigns, with
local people, local resources and local money. It is true that other groups from
the outside have joined, but only months after the trouble started.
is no reason for us to feel ashamed about their presence.
We did not look
for this fight, nor do we form any part of Glick’s alleged conspiracy to show up
the Right or the haredi population. Does everything have to be seen through her
own very specific view of the world? DANIEL GOLDMAN
Sir, – Caroline
B. Glick is on dangerous ground – intellectually – when she presents as fact the
statement that “women make up the senior leadership echelons in both business
True, we have a woman as president of the Supreme
Court and as leader of the opposition, and at the helm of Strauss, but that is a
far cry indeed from her statement.
Also, the reference to “ultra-
Orthodox misogynists” appears as a convenient – but incorrect – summary of an
enormously complex issue with many subtleties.
Perhaps Glick should
concentrate on issues where she has more expertise.JAC FRIEDGUT
Sir, – Caroline B. Glick asserts that “In 2010, 50 percent of
ultra-Orthodox male high school graduates were conscripted [by the IDF],” and
that according to the army, the rate will rise to 65% by 2015.
percentage of ultra-Orthodox males who graduate from a high school of any kind
is appallingly low, certainly in the single digits.
Hence, 50% of 5% or
less is hardly an indicator of real change.J.J. GROSS
Sir, – Ben Hartman’s article (“Activists: Men, you sit in the back!,”
January 2) really shows the futility of attempts by antisegregation activists to
enforce mixed seating on Egged buses.
As he wrote, once they got off,
“the newly vacant seats of the 402 were quickly filled. Within moments, the
passengers separated themselves absolutely along gender lines, and the bus
continued on its way to Jerusalem.”
It would be better if the activists
took the advice of the Orthodox gentleman who was quoted as saying, “I want to
be able to sit next to my wife, but we need to respect everyone’s
Sir, – Kol hakavod to Melanie Lidman for
her article exposing the way secularist bully boys (and girls) have been
terrorizing innocent haredim (“Haredi women resent intrusion into their sphere,”
January 2). Lidman points out that even those who are not passionate about the
idea of separated buses resent the violent intrusion of secular activists into
If people want to have separate seating for men and
women, why should these do-gooders interfere? At one time, there were women-only
carriages on British trains and nobody objected. Next thing these busy-bodies
will insist on is unisex public toilets.
I think the teenage school girl
said it all by declaring, “Why do you care? You never go on these buses. Just go
back to your homes.”JACKIE ABRAHAMS
East Barnet, UK
Sir, – Over 30 years
ago, when traveling from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv, an obviously secular woman
boarded a bus and, without thinking, sat in the empty seat next to an obviously
Softly, the man averted his eyes and spent the duration of
the trip observing the beauty of the countryside.
I learned a lot from
him that day. It is sad that his is not the lesson we have taught our
children.MOSHE R. MANHEIM
Atlanta, Georgia Incitement in kind
Sir, – As
a national-religious woman who has two nieces studying at the Orot girls school
in Beit Shemesh, I am very concerned about the harassment they have been
subjected to since the start of the school year. However, Greer Fay Cashman’s
solution (“Women of valor know how to retaliate,” Comment & Features,
January 2) promotes violence and hatred, and has no place in a major
Recommending that the blackclad bullies be “beaten to within
an inch of their lives” sounds awfully like incitement to me and will only
further inflame the situation.SUSAN KLEID
Sir, – I had no trouble finding multiple stories, as well as a front
page picture, regarding the haredim spitting on a youngster in Beit Shemesh.
Disgusting, repugnant, and any other such descriptions apply.
searched in vain for anything about calls for “death to haredim” found in
graffiti on Ashdod walls. And far more frustrating, I found nothing regarding a
Channel 10 interview quoting a raging madman as saying he would get an automatic
weapon and mow down haredim.
There was no condemnation of such madness.
Am I missing something here? MARCHAL KAPLAN
Jerusalem Chapter and verse
Among the many insulting, ridiculous postures and comments made by haredim
during their recent protest rally in Jerusalem, the most ridiculous by far was
“Zionists are not Jews.”
I would like to point out to these hysterical
misogynists that not only are Zionists the most perfect kind of Jews, whether
religious or secular, but that the God these haredim purport to worship is also
a Zionist. Indeed, He is the original and everlasting Zionist.
to verify this statement, let them open their bibles and see how many times Zion
is mentioned and how many times God Himself declares that not only will He
return the Jews to Zion, but He will fight for Zion/Israel against all who come
against it. For a start, I recommend they go to Zecharia 1:12- 17, 2:6-12,
8:2-8, 9:7-17; Lamentations 1:17; and Isaiah 34:1-8.TRUDY GEFEN
Ono Small minority
Sir, – While some of your readership may now have a negative
impression about the ultra-Orthodox, I am writing to set the record straight for
anyone who really wants to know the truth rather than be prejudiced without
knowing the facts.
Much of the ultra-Orthodox community has not only not
been in agreement with the small faction that thinks throwing stones and
spitting on Jewish children is justified because “I am holier than thou,” but
has condemned such vile behavior.
As the Bible notes in Proverbs, a
composition of King Solomon (who is called the “wisest of all mankind”): “Its
ways [referring to the Torah] are the ways of pleasantness, and all its pathways
are peace.”SHIMON BOYER
The writer is a rabbi