Not in our hands
Sir, – MK Danny Danon was 100 percent right when he spoke of
the discrimination against Jews wearing kippot going up to the Temple Mount
(“Danon visits Temple Mount,” July 21). I was there the day before Tisha Be’av
and our group of 12 had to wait for over an hour to go up. We had to hand over
our ID cards and sit there till police felt there were not too many Jews on the
Mount. At the same time, hundreds of tourists were going through the checkpoint
without even having to stop.
Once up on the Mount, we were accompanied by
an Israeli policeman and a member of the Wakf to make sure we didn’t do anything
that resembled praying. If this is not discrimination, then nothing
It is a disgrace and an embarrassment that we are subjected to this
harassment. What happened to the words of Motta Gur when he recaptured the Old
City in 1967 – “Har Habayit b'yadenu” (the Temple Mount is in our hands)?
Apparently, it isn’t.BILL WEBER
Sir, – Danny Danon’s dramatic
call for “complete religious freedom” on the Temple Mount, and his statement
that “Jews wearing kippot – religious Jews – who wish to go up to the Temple
Mount can only do so in groups of 10 or 15 people at a time....” makes it sound
as if virtually the entire Jewish world is just waiting to go there.
fact is – and no matter how politically “incorrect” or disappointing it might be
– the majority of rabbinical authorities still tend to hold by the age-old
prohibition on entering any area of the Temple Mount because of issues of
spiritual purity and discrepancies in pinpointing the exact location of the Holy
of Holies, where only the High Priest could enter on Yom Kippur.
certainly true that many highly respected and knowledgeable rabbinic leaders,
led first and foremost by the late chief rabbi Shlomo Goren, have ruled that a
Jew may enter and stand in specific areas there (and I certainly respect those
who follow their rulings). Yet most Jews who choose not to enter the area do so
not because they are intimidated by the Wakf or motivated by any fear or feeling
of not enjoying religious freedom. Rather, as with most other truly religious
issues, they are following rabbinical directives and nothing more.
may be doing a lot for demonstrating Israel’s political sovereignty over the
Temple Mount, but this has nothing to do with “religious
Hatzor Haglilit Stunning is the key
Regarding “Police stunned after Supreme Court doubles cop’s prison sentence”
(July 22), this very sad and regrettable incident could have been totally
avoided if Shahar Mizrachi had been provided with the weapon that would have
enabled him to temporarily incapacitate a very dangerous suspect without
endangering anyone’s life.
All police officers engaging in dangerous work
should be armed with stun guns, which at close range enable an officer to make a
decision without fear for his life or that of the suspect, or fear of ruining
his career. Also, there are numerous other devices that would be of assistance
in bringing a violent suspect under control.
There is really no debate
that stun guns are desperately needed by the police to cope with our
ever-growing violent society. The only stumbling block will no doubt be the
Treasury, as stun guns, while very effective, are not cheap.DAVID GOSHEN
Sir,– I wonder why the public is aghast at the verdict handed down in
the appeal by Shahar Mizrachi? According to the scale of justice in this
country, it is exactly as it should have been. Had the miscreant not been an
Arab criminal but a Jewish settler, Mizrachi would have been commended for his
excellent response to a dangerous situation! MICHAEL S. BLOCH
Kochav Yair Put
down that axe
Sir, – I want to express my appreciation for the column by Judy
Montagu (“Foodless in Zion,” My word, July 21). As always, she put her finger on
important and significant facts that are embedded deep in our society.
would benefit all of us to ponder her words on the subject of sinat hinam
(baseless hatred). This is such a simple concept to grasp, and all of us do –
except when it comes to our own particular axe that we are busy
Sir, – “Foodless in Zion” is the
most literary, thoughtful, valid and compact summary of proper ideas and
feelings that I have read in a long time.
My own belief is that the
hatred of the Second Temple period was not sinat hinam. It was ideological, and
ideological hatred lasts and lasts. The difference between the Pharisees,
Sadducees, Essenes and other factions of the time were not arbitrary. They were
based on and rationalized by deeply held theological and social views not easily
I have another caveat on this issue. I claim that even if the
Jews of the time were united fiercely, the Romans would have hated and attacked
Our enemies, ancient and modern, do not persecute us because of our
On the contrary, according to the so-called Protocols
of the Elders of Zion and other manifestos purporting our aim to control the
world, they hate us because they see us as being united in this
Jewish unity was of no interest to the Nazis in the face of their
racial hatred although, of course, they did turn Jew against Jew in the process
of extermination.JACOB CHINITZ
Sir, – Judy Montagu writes
about the rifts in our society that may be preventing the Temple from being
However, the word “God” does not seem to be mentioned even once
in her otherwise fine essay.
In Jewish tradition, the Third (and final)
Temple (of light?) is to descend from heaven. The temporal-political problem of
having to remove the current mosques on the Temple Mount would be
Also, Rabbi Abraham Isaac Hacohen Kook, the great former chief
rabbi here, held that animal sacrifices would not be performed in the third and
May the Temple be rebuilt or appear in our
Jerusalem Why that emphasis?
Sir, – So Tel Aviv is
reaching out to the international gay and lesbian communities (“TA’s ‘Gay Vibe’
touted to help set tourism records,” July 21).
It’s a shame the city
can’t think of more worthwhile attributes to advertise in its tourism campaign,
for example, the cultural life and beautiful beaches. Does Israel have to be
known and advertised for its gay and lesbian life? When Tel Aviv advertises in
foreign cities, it reflects on Israel as a nation. It’s amazing that our Tourism
Ministry and El Al support this campaign. Is that what our holy country is
coming to – a place for gays and lesbians? HANNAH SONDHELM
Sir, – Regarding the article on comments by outgoing Ambassador to the UN
Gabriella Shalev (“Shalev: Israel is world’s most isolated country,” July 21),
if we have the brains of a ‘startup nation,’ there is no excuse that we cannot
win the PR war.
Because the media are so influential, we have to master
This is not like the time Ben-Gurion said he didn’t care what
anybody else thought or said.
Wake up, government, and do something
quickly! The people of Israel deserve the respect and acknowledgement of the