(photo credit: Courtesy)
Simply an outrage
Sir, - "Ethiopian victim of rabbi's road rage has conversion revoked" (July 7) was so hard to believe, I kept looking for what I was missing.
The yeshiva student/rabbi aspiring to become a rabbinical judge 1. tried to leave a parking lot without paying; 2. drove deliberately into the victim, N.; and 3. denied his vicious crime until he was confronted with the video documenting it.
Why would such a criminal be considered for any post where his judgment would affect another person?
If, sometime in the future, N. is found to have hidden damage due to trauma, NIS 10,000 will not take her very far. The fact that she accepted the perpetrator's apology - after he drove into her, lifted her onto the hood of his car and carried her 15 meters before she was thrown to the ground - may possibly solve her immediate problem (I wonder if she was pressured into this acceptance and already regrets it); but what about this "judge's" future clients? Who can expect justice from a law-breaker, a thief and a liar?
Most infuriating is that in a move to further discredit the victim - with 321 pages whitewashing the criminal rabbi's sin by arguing for the importance of implementing Halacha in the civil court system - the State Conversion Authority has revoked her conversion.
This offender deserved more punishment than a fine and 150 hours of public service. Ordinary citizens, those without letters of recommendation from Rabbis Shlomo Amar and Ovadia Yosef, go to jail.
If N. was married to a non-Jew at the time of her conversion, the rules say the conversion should be revoked. If not, the conversion authority needs to justify this revocation and prove it was not taken to punish N., nor to intimidate her.
Sir, - I am really getting tired of your identifying wrongdoers as "haredi." It's happened twice this week, the last time on July 6, when in "Fake rabbi persuaded teen to have sex" you managed to apply that adjective to the individual under discussion.
A thorough and constant search of the Post never reveals similar appellations such as "secular," "religious Muslim" or "black" applied to some miscreant.
Why needlessly inflame the already existing antagonism between religious and non-religious in this country?
Sticks and stones may break my bones...
Sir, - Congressman Robert Wexler is reported as arguing that Israel should agree to a freeze on Jewish construction in Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem because it would call the Palestinians' "bluff" ("Israel will say 'yes' to settlement freeze," Wexler tells 'Post,'" July 2).
The Palestinians' "bluff" has been called repeatedly; they have been tested repeatedly for nearly 16 years, and failed the test every time.
Israel's first concession was "Gaza and Jericho First" (1993) to see if Yasser Arafat and Fatah would live up to their commitments. They didn't, yet Israel kept conceding.
With each new agreement, Israel gave away more territory, made more "goodwill gestures" such as freeing terrorists and handed over money, assets and even arms to the Palestinian Authority, only to get more terrorism and incitement to hatred and murder in return.
Israel even unilaterally withdrew from Gaza in 2005, uprooting thousands of Jews from their homes - only to get increased rocket fire and more terror attacks.
MORTON A. KLEIN
Zionist Organization of America
...but words will never hurt me?
Sir, - Re "'Legal war' against Israel has defense establishment scrambling" (July 3): One of the reasons given by those who urge Israel to be magnanimous and "take a chance for peace" is that Israel is the most powerful state in the Middle East, with the most powerful army. And that if a peace agreement with the PLO goes sour, it can defend itself.
However, the ongoing attack against Israel by so many so-called peace-loving and humanitarian NGOs; the contrived anti-Israel demonstrations across the world; the boycott demands during and after the Second Lebanon War and Operation Cast Lead - when Israel did defend itself against outrageous attacks by terrorist organizations - all make nonsense of that argument.
Israel is under attack not only by terrorists using guns, but by terrorists using the courts - both of law and of public opinion. In other words, Israel can "take a chance for peace" only if it is willing to defend itself with both hands tied behind its back.
When Britain's Prince Harry, a British army officer, returned from service in Afghanistan, he said, succinctly and quite properly: "Your first job is to save your own guys. If you've got to drop the bomb, you drop the bomb."
Before the 'occupation'
Sir, - Thank you for running Tilman Tarach's "Why a two-state solution?" (July 7). Effectively highlighting the widespread misconceptions about the Palestinians' claims to a state, it should be printed in every major newspaper worldwide.
Why didn't anyone complain about any "occupation" between 1948 and 1967, when Jordan and Egypt controlled the West Bank and Gaza, respectively? Because the claim to statehood was, and still is a farce hiding the real truth - that the Palestinians (and, seemingly, all our Arab neighbors) do not want a Jewish country, or evena Jewish nation to exist.
Seeing is believing?
Sir, - Re "Rabbi competes on Turkish reality show with other clerics to convert atheists" (July 6): What a great idea!
I disagree with the comments by several types of religious authorities that this is making light of an important and deep issue: faith. Finding the right marriage partner is also crucial, and yet in many countries it is done via TV-contest format.
The lightness of this format is its greatest strength. What a great opportunity for these philosophies of life to explain their substance in a pleasant and easy form.
No bin? Take it home
Sir, - I made aliya from Australia almost 12 months ago. I love this country with a passion which is indescribable. As a member of the Shoah second generation, I have an unshaken belief that Israel must and will survive.
Moving to this small land was not without its difficulties, such as the language, cultural differences and aggressive nature of life here. But these I can take in my stride.
What I find intolerable is the way some citizens treat their surroundings as a personal dumping ground. Our beaches and parks after Shabbat look more like a council waste depot than the beautiful areas they were before the day of rest.
I cannot comprehend this wanton desecration of our beautiful country. People, if you can't find a bin in close proximity, take your garbage home with you. It's really not that difficult ("Environment Ministry offers funds to local authorities for recycling factories," June 29).
Sir, - Your headline screamed: "Netanyahu bows to pressure, cancels tax on produce" (July 7). Couldn't it have been "Netanyahu reverses course, says no new taxes on produce"?
Things are difficult enough. How about a positive slant to brighten our day?