Twist and turn
Sir, – I’m writing in regard to the article “Hatnua MK Stern
drafts bill for burial of gentile soldiers alongside Jewish counterparts” (July
These young men died defending our country. It is outrageous to
“demote” them and bury them away from their comrades. There are so many ways
that our rabbis twist and turn the law in order to make it suit this century –
when they want to, for instance, “Shabbat elevators,” or allowing Jewish waiters
to work on Shabbat in hotels and Jewish doormen to work on Shabbat.
the same inventiveness and flexibility, surely they can honor the heart and the
courage of a non-Jew who gave his life for Israel by not separating him at his
final resting place from his Jewish comrades in arms. These are not visitors to
the country who happen to have passed on while they lived here – these men died
for us Israelis, and should be accorded every honor.MARCELLA WACHTEL
In good faith
Sir, – Jeff Barak writes in his column that US Secretary
of State John Kerry’s chance of success depends on Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu negotiating in good faith (“Can Netanyahu break old habits?” Reality
Check, Comment and Features, July 1).
Does this mean that he has to
accept all the preconditions that PA President Mahmoud Abbas wants in order to
sit down and talk? Why isn’t sitting down with each other without any
preconditions not considered good faith? I have yet to see Barak ever write a
column showing Netanyahu or his family in good light. it seems he has never done
anything right in Barak’s eyes.
Sir, – I take the
serious opposite view to Jeff Barak, when, at the end of his article, he writes
“the question is whether Netanyahu is brave enough to follow in Sharon’s
Sharon’s unilateral withdraw from Gaza, by destroying the
Jewish settlements and expelling the settlers – which he did to take off the
heat from his legal problems and not ideology, led to Hamas sending thousands of
rockets into Israel. Barak telling Netanyahu to follow in Sharon’s footsteps
implies we will now have Hamas taking over Judea and Samaria, and who knows how
many rockets will be thrown at Israel.
Is this what Barak wants? MURRAY
Sir, – Jeff Barak asks “what are Kerry’s chance for
success?” and then answers his rhetorical question by wondering if Netanyahu
will change and commit to negotiating in good faith; implying that in the past
he negotiated in bad faith.
He makes no mention of the fact that Abbas
has refused to negotiate at all. No mention of preposterous demands by Abbas for
preconditions that in effect would preempt the negotiations
Barak hints that Netanyahu might well decide to abandon the
position his party stands for, abandon the party platform that the Israeli
people elected him to follow, all the while implying that this would be a good
thing to do.
We the Israeli electorate are dismayed by the way our
elected politicians have betrayed their promises in the past and committed
themselves to policies which were not only contrary to the desires of the
people, but proved to be disastrous. The Oslo Accords cost thousands of lives
and decimated our international standing.
The capitulation in Lebanon
brought Hezbollah to power on our northern border, and the catastrophic
abandonment of Gaza brought Hamas to our southern border. These moves were all
done against the will of the people, and were the direct opposite of the
policies that our leaders campaigned on and were elected to perform.
would favor a law mandating that any change in sovereignty, either an increase
or decrease, would be subject to a referendum.
Only thus can we be
assured that our rights will be protected. We certainly cannot trust our
Ma’aleh Adumim Dental dialogue
Sir, – I read
with interest The Jerusalem Post’s editorial “Yael German’s crusade” (June
I agree with her policies regarding organ donations, but it was the
comments on dentistry that interested me most. It is definitely a mistake to
cancel fluoridation requirements. There is a crisis going on in Israeli
dentistry right now, because of former deputy health minister Ya’acov Litzman’s
policies. Dentists working in the public sector make ridiculously low salaries
and the Health Ministry’s policies are causing many private dentists to close up
shop. I believe the policies of the Health Ministry regarding dentistry are
scandalous and I criticize German, who has been in office for 100 days now, for
not realizing this and for not taking action.
So far, she has rejected
numerous requests from dentists to engage in a dialogue over policy.
dentist who has been very active in advocating for dialogue between the
community of dental practitioners and the Health Ministry, I can say I have been
very disappointed with German’s response so far.DAN CHEIFETZ
Sir, – Your editorial on attitudes on organ transplants is
Your attitude and positive approach reminds me of
governments labeled as extreme Left and extreme Right. In both cases, leaders
feel they knew better than the individual what was good for him/her and the
In endorsing automatic acceptance of organ transplants, The
Jerusalem Post is stating that the individual is subordinate to the group.
Individual citizens will not go to government offices to state they do not want
their body organs used on others, because then others will accuse them of being
selfish and ornery and public pressure will try to force acceptance of the
“public good.” It will indicate that a person’s body is not his/her own and can
lead to abuses. This is what dictatorial regimes of the Left and Right
Is this what the Post and health minister advocate? Doctors/surgeons
may be less likely to try save a life if that individual’s organs can do more
good in another’s body. People’s lives may judged by the quality of their organs
rather than by their being human.
The whole idea smacks of colonial
superiority of the native population.A. I. GOLDBERG
Hatzor Haglilit Fitting tribute
Sir, – Thank you for the excellent and comprehensive article on
Theodor Herzl’s 109th yahrzeit by David Geffen (“Herzl’s ties to the red, white
and blue,” Comment and Features, June 30).
It fittingly includes the
vital role played by my late brother-in-law, US Army Chaplain Oscar M. Lifshutz,
in implementing the transfer in 1949 of Herzl’s remains from Vienna to the State
of Israel that Herzl had envisioned.
It is only right to mention that
Lifshutz was himself an ardent Zionist, and his final resting place upon his
leaving this world on November 11, 1990, is on Har Hamenuchot in Jerusalem. I am
often called upon to accompany visiting family members and friends who wish to
pay tribute to Chaplain (Lt.-Col.) Osher Michel Lifshutz z”l.SHOSHANA
Jerusalem Reach overseas
Sir, – The Israeli Chief Rabbinate is in
an unholy mess (“A rabbinate begging redemption,” Middle Israel, Frontlines,
In 1952, David Ben-Gurion offered the presidency of the State
of Israel to Albert Einstein, the most illustrious Jew of his time, who was
living in the US. He declined.
Today, as many Orthodox rabbis are mired
in scandal – financial, sexual and plagiaristic – Israel should also search
outside of the country for a chief rabbi who will bring credit to the Jewish
French Chief Rabbi Gilles Bernheim was forced to quit, Israeli
Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger is under investigation, and extremist haredi rabbis are
turning off so many Jews in Israel from Judaism. UK Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks,
retiring from his position, is a brilliant and inspiring Modern Orthodox leader.
Appoint him as the next Ashkenazi chief rabbi of Israel.JACOB MENDLOVIC