July 3: Spiritual impact

Do they not realize that enabling aliya is itself a form of saving lives, and that preventing them from moving will potentially cause horrific anguish!?

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Spiritual impact
Sir, – I find it outrageous that the Foreign Ministry strike will potentially affect the aliya plans of hundreds of individuals this summer (“Aliya of ‘hundreds of immigrants’ on hold as Foreign Ministry strike expands,” June 28).
In their own words, the strike will not affect “anything to do with saving lives.” Do they not realize that enabling aliya is itself a form of saving lives, and that preventing them from moving will potentially cause horrific anguish!? Those who have sold their homes may find themselves homeless if they can not move into the home awaiting them here. Those who have jobs waiting for them upon their arrival may lose that job and experience untold anguish if and when they do arrive, and have to start their job search from scratch.
And what of the emotional turmoil? What of the spiritual impact? Years of dreams of moving to Israel about to come to fruition only to be dashed by people sitting in an office with secure jobs and homes.
Israel’s No. 1 asset is its people! We, as a nation, must do all that is necessary to encourage and facilitate more of our brethren to move to Israel. A move like this, I fear, will only cause alienation of our fellow Jews and make them think twice about aliya.
Ma’aleh Adumim

Loquacious labels
Sir, – If Israel is required to label products produced in settlements, it could use the opportunity to provide additional information (“European Union ambassador defends labeling of settlement products,” June 28).
For example, the text “Produced in a settlement in the West Bank” could continue with “...aka Judea and Samaria, the heart of the historical home of the Jewish people.”

Rabbis and politics
Sir, – Rabbi Shlomo Goren’s 1972 candidacy for chief rabbi enjoyed enthusiastic support from the youth faction of the National- Religious Party, the forebearer of MK Naftali Bennett’s Bayit Yehudi.
Amotz Asa-El (“A rabbinate begging redemption,” Middle Israel, Frontlines, June 28) maintains that Goren’s ruling, stripping mamzer status off of two siblings, sparked a decade of destructive rivalry with Sephardi Chief Rabbi Ovadia Yosef. But there are significant facts Asa-El failed to relate: The brother-sister case was a major issue at the time for prime minister Golda Meir’s coalition with the NRP. It was well known that Goren had promised Golda he’d do the job, thus both winning her support and ensuring a rough ride with his future cohort.
Goren’s ruling was enabled by retroactive invalidation of a convert’s conversion process, a tactic roundly denounced by presentday supporters of Rabbi David Stav’s candidacy. Plus, odds are that Stav’s cohort will be a Yosef.
It’s well known what is said of those that do the same thing over and over again and expect different results.
Unlimited supply
Sir, – I want to thank Liat Collins for mentioning that the discovery of the natural gas fields, Tamar and Leviathan, is a gift (“Tapping into gas,” My Word, Observations, June 28). A gift that we don’t realize is a vast, almost unlimited supply that will be available for the next decades. To limit the export is really foolishness, as money flowing in from exports to Russia, Jordan, China and other countries will enable lower taxes for all Israeli citizens.
Far Rockaway, New York
Only response
Sir, – Martin Sherman’s faith in our chances of unraveling the demographic Gordian knot represented by 1.5 million or 2.4 million Palestinian Arabs (depending on whose population figures you favor) domiciled in Judea and Samaria by “inducing economic incentivized emigration” is only marginally less fallacious than the notion, lately propounded by some on the Right, of ingesting this hostile mass into Israel’s body politic (“Brain dead on the Right?” Into the Fray, Observations, June 28).
Even if “buying them out” in any significant number were possible, Israel doesn’t have that kind of money, certainly not the kind that would prevail in a bidding war against an Arab world determined to keep them where they are. There is no painless solution to the geopolitical dilemma we are up against, but continuing to cling to a status quo that PA President Mahmoud Abbas and his associates are altering to our growing disadvantage is no answer either.
Israel’s only response to their unrelenting, UN-abetted assault on its sovereignty lies in implementing the findings of the Netanyahu-commissioned “Levy Report” on our legal rights to the development and settlement of Judea and Samaria, ultimately including, if strategically imperative, the extension of Israeli law to “Area C” and its 350,000 Jewish and 60,000 Arab residents. Unless we’re prepared to envision survival on a retreat to the indefensible cease-fire lines of pre-June 1967, this may be the only way to go.
Sir, – It is disturbing that the Post continues to accept as a columnist Martin Sherman, an extremist and advocate of ethnic cleansing. Once again, he calls for “a reduction of Arab presence west of the Jordan.” Extremists have free speech. What is appalling is that the Post allows one to use this paper as his mouthpiece.
The Right says the Arab world is moribund, authoritarian, and in so much chaos it makes peace out of the question. Sherman says his “reduction of Arab presence” should be done “in a noncoercive manner... by inducing economically incentivized emigration,” just as on December 21 he called for “helping individual Arab Palestinians currently residing there prosper elsewhere.” If the Arab world is what the Right says – and it is certainly partially correct – then how could Palestinians “prosper” elsewhere in the Arab world? Sherman admits he has argued for incentivized emigration “in numerous columns.” So the Post has not been caught off guard, but has had much time to remove him, as it certainly and quickly did to Larry Derfner on the Left, but has failed to do so here.
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Aircraft identification
Sir, – In regard to “Are lessons really learned” by Reuven Ben- Shalom (“Observations, June 28) – apparently not, at least when it comes to aircraft identification! The caption refers to the picture in the article as an IAF F-16, when the pictured aircraft is in fact an F-15.
Mortal struggle
Sir, – Irwin Cotler is obviously erudite, experienced, and compassionate (“Syria and the Responsibility to Protect,” Observations, June 28). But there is no way that the carnage in Syria can be ended by an outside force.
What country would be willing to send its soldiers into a battle between citizens of a country engaged in a mortal struggle among themselves, even though they are overwhelmingly of the same religion? As for the high-sounding “Responsibility to Protect,” it’s just another meaningless United Nations cliche. Nations are loathe to interfere in other country’s problems, especially when there are major powers allied with the opposing sides.
The lessons of the Holocaust notwithstanding, nations must depend on themselves for their own protection and succor.
Especially in those nations that are broken by internal strife, help must start at home.
As an Israeli citizen, I hope our leaders are focused on protecting our interests and not those of our mortal enemies. Even Cotler would admit that there is no country worrying about Israel’s existence in the face of constant calls from Iran for our destruction.
Realistically, Cotler’s 14 initiatives are pie in the sky.
Alfei Menashe