Sir, – I am both amused and amazed by the partiality and
insularity of the Arab specialists in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in
Whitehall who advise Prime Minister David Cameron (“In Ankara, Cameron slams
Israel for flotilla raid, conditions in Gaza,” July 28).
Turkey, Cameron referred to Gaza as a “prison camp.” Had he been better
informed, he would have been shown photographs of the large new shopping mall in
Gaza City boasting all the luxury goods available in the UK.
to be seen whether this will endear him to other Middle Eastern states and
assist with Turkey’s entry into the EU.STANLEY COHEN
Sir, – Naftali Wagschal flippantly equates Anat Hoffman’s dancing
with the Torah with donning tefillin on Shabbat (“Kotel and frivolity,”
July 28). This is an outrageous denial of thousands of years of
and sacrifices by Jewish women. It makes a mockery of the oft-repeated
that the role of women in Judaism, though different, is every bit as
as that of men.
We should celebrate the fact that women such as Hoffman
wish to express their dedication to the Torah openly and joyfully at
The Torah is not the domain solely of men, with access by
women prohibited. (Indeed, the same should be said about male domination
Kotel itself.) Jewish women are not slaves who serve at the sufferance
Sadly, Wagschal demonstrates the type of thinking that
forces women to the back of the bus and to the other side of the street
“superior” men may function more “freely.” Rather than protecting the
represents nothing more than the deep-seated insecurities of Wagschal
These views, not Hoffman’s, should be shunned as antithetical
to true Torah values.EFRAIM A. COHEN
Zichron Ya’akov Who’s obsolete?
Sir, – One wonders what leads Judah Anschauer to term the Orthodox an
clique of Medieval pietists” (”Ben-Gurion was wrong,” Letters, July
Their numbers are certainly not dwindling, and it is with their
piety that they have ensured the continued existence of the Jewish
ancient through modern times.
The very fact that Anschauer “threatens” us
with the fact that most Diaspora Jews would “abandon Judaism and Israel”
than make aliya puts the lie to any claim such Jews have on being
They are, in fact, assimilated practitioners of a culture- only version
religion, having removed all ideology from the equation.
now?MENACHEM G. JERENBERG
Ramat Beit Shemesh Right, and wrong
Sir, – Many will
sympathize with Shmuley Boteach’s gut instinct in deriding the Time
article on one-child families (“The bizarre assault on large families,”
barred, July 27). There is something truly nauseating about the
decadence this trend exemplifies, not to mention its demographic
Boteach is only too aware that large parts of
fashionable Western salon society, in which one-child families are
long since lost all connection with such out-of-style notions as
values, responsibility to a nation and loyalty to others. This
reflected in myriad ways by the hypocrisy and slavish commitment to
“correctness” so frequently expressed in Western media.
goes too far when he ignores the equally irresponsible culture of
families (like his own), which poses an intolerable ecological threat
many cases fostering a “welfare mentality.” The solution is, as in most
moderation. Families of two to four children combine the love and
intimacy of a
warm and bustling home while being able to sustain themselves
without causing disastrous population growth.ANTHONY AND JUDITH LUDER
Rosh Pina Punish the leakers
Sir, – Those responsible for posting the sensitive
military reports concerning the war in Afghanistan should be arrested
for aiding and abetting al-Qaeda and the Taliban (“Leaked Afghan war
scratch the surface,’” July 27) They say they’re doing the world a favor
posting this classified information when indeed they mean favoring our
Those responsible are nothing more than enemy combatants, plain
I’m for freedom of speech and the press, but I draw the line
when it puts our brave men and women directly in the line of fire.
down WikiLeaks ASAP! HERB STARK
Massapequa, New York As for the
Sir, – In the wake of the leak of hundreds of top-secret
intelligence documents in the US and their subsequent appearance on the
Internet, I am awaiting calls from the United Nations for full
inquiries. These inquiries should delve into the documentation of
innocent civilian deaths in Afghanistan, and NATO’s bombing of civilian
where insurgents were hiding out.
But being a realist, and knowing that
Israel wasn’t involved, I won’t hold my breath.CLIVE LEVY
Good luck, Natan
Sir, – Kol Hakavod to Natan Sharansky for writing “The
conversion stalemate may be a gift” (July 26).
He is the ideal person to
head a special committee to look into the whole question of conversions
Israel, and I wish him success in trying to bring the parties together
to arrive at a mutually acceptable solution.
The basic problem, however,
is that talking to the haredim is little different from talking to
Hamas, as all
religious fundamentalists see only their own point of view and are
unwilling/unable to come to any compromise.
If the matter is not resolved
through this special committee – in which the haredim are presently
participate – there can only be one solution, and that is to finally
religion from politics and allow each form of Judaism to operate
in Israel, as they do in other countries.
We dare not alienate Diaspora
Jewry, and only in this manner can we, once and for all, preserve the
all Jews, of all denominations, for our common good and for the good of
Ashkelon Which side is it?
Sir, – The paramount danger
of failed negotiations and a one-state solution makes Isi Leibler’s
attacks on J Street incomprehensible (“J Street disingenuous,” Letters,
“J Street’s outrageous new initiative,” Opinion, July 19).
J Street is a
stalwart opponent of the one-state solution, which would cause Israel to
disappear, and a staunch supporter of a Jewish, democratic Israel. It
side of “those who argue that the one-state solution spells death by
for the democratic Jewish state.” That is why it calls for strict
American law to stop further entanglement of Israeli and Palestinian
on the West Bank that would seal Israel’s “death by
Leibler’s column and letter doubtless cause J Street members
to wonder which side – one state or two – he’s on.JAMES ADLER
Massachusetts Not just smart bombs
Sir, – Technology finds stolen
GPS – even on your mobile phone – can locate them and thus the
individuals in possession of them.
I can’t understand how in 2010
soldiers can go missing. It’s certainly time for us to catch up to