Where is the center?
Sir, – The headline notwithstanding, Edward Beck’s
justifiably concerned piece is really about the survival of the Jewish People
more than the State or People of Israel (“Empowering centrists to ensure
Israel’s survival,” Comment and Features, June 13).
He laments that the
Center cannot hold, but never really identifies what the center consists
Defining the center is tricky.
Is it the midpoint between
polar opposites, or is it an effort to find a consensus around which the great
majority can agree with and rally around? The first option is a non-starter and
only calls to mind another classic Jewish axiom – that each Jew believes all
others to be either fanatics or apikorsim (heretics), with only himself
occupying the golden middle.
The reality is that the Jews of America and
the Jews of Israel are facing very different issues.
spectrum, and the center thereof, is rather removed from the other.
does one expect a centrist consensus from the US, where an increasing percentage
of the community is not halachically Jewish, to be applicable to a Jewish People
in Israel that demographically and culturally is becoming increasingly
religious? I am all in favor of reminding ourselves what the consensual
principles of Judaism and Jewishness are. But I fear such an exercise will be
viewed as loaded and biased, as it will inevitability not fit within the
self-conception of a great many Jews as to what the golden mean – the center –
should look like.DOUGLAS ALTABEF
Rosh Pina A non-entity
Sir, – Michael
Freud pointed out that the economic boycott of Israel and its citizens who live
in Judea and Samaria has reached – of all nations – Germany (“Shame on Germany
for boycotting Jews,” Fundamentally Freund, Comment and Features, June
What a disgrace! The European Union’s mad rush into labeling and
therefore being able to boycott products made in Judea and Samaria has reached a
point of madness. I firmly believe that it reflects hatred of Israel, total
partiality and a desire to preclude any real negotiations with any chance of
Why doesn’t Europe demand a boycott of products made in Gaza?
Gaza is a source of hostility, not only to Israel, but to the Palestinian
Authority as well.
Gaza is guilty of killing so many people by
incessantly shooting rockets onto Israel.
This business of boycott has
even made the absurdity of Britain’s semi-fascist trade unions apparent to the
The GMB trade union of Britain has recently come out with the
statement that anyone visiting Israel under the auspices of a strong pro-Israel
organization is to be threatened by expulsion from the union (“British trade
union to ban trips to Jewish state arranged by pro-Israel organization,” June
The European Union is fast on its way to becoming a non-entity
because of its amorality.ANNE WILLIG
Safed Council clarification
In Yoel Lerner’s appreciation of Howard Grief, who died a fortnight ago, and
with whom I worked in 1990-91, he writes that the “gradual detachment by Great
Britain of Eastern Palestine (Trans-Jordan) from the Jewish National Home”
followed the “awarding of a Mandate for Palestine by the council of the newly
formed League of Nations in July of 1922” – as what could be understood as the
proper chronological order (“Remembering Howard Grief,” Comment and Features,
That requires clarification.
Between the April 1920 Sam
Remo Conference and the July 1922 mandate confirmation in Geneva, Winston
Churchill, then colonial secretary, convened the Cairo Conference in March 1921.
For all intents and purposes that was when the removal of Trans-Jordan, the
territory of the historical Jewish homeland, was adopted as government
Later that month, in Jerusalem, Churchill conferred with Abdullah
to confirm the new arrangement.
In his diary entry for June 21, 1921,
Col. Richard Meinertzhagen records that the Colonial Office and Palestine
Administration “have now declared that the articles of the mandate relating to
the Jewish national home are not applicable to Trans-Jordan and that the
severance...is in accordance with the terms of the MacMahon
The revised draft of the Mandate, presented by Britain in August
1921, was the first public indication that Trans-Jordan was to be separated from
the territory of the Jewish national home.YISRAEL MEDAD
Sir, – Edward Snowden’s lame explanation as to why he leaked
classified information to our enemies is a simple “Snow Job” (“Former CIA worker
Snowden revealed spy programs ‘to inform public,’” June 10).
should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Whether he gets jail time
or the death sentence for leaking sensitive, classified secrets depends on how
well our military laws are put forth in prosecuting Snowden and others willing
to sell this great nation down the river for their twisted
Some think Snowden is a hero. Heroes don’t compromise US
I agree with Rep. Peter King, former chairman of the House
Homeland Security Committee.
Snowden has done significant damage and harm
to the security and safety of America.HERB STARK
Carolina Manhole manpower
Sir, – Last Sunday morning, on my way to work, I
accidentally dropped my new smartphone into a sewer near Mount Scopus in
While I had little hope of retrieving the phone, I called the
city services hotline and reported the loss, asking if there is any possibility
for city workers to open the manhole and find the phone.
To my utter
surprise, 10 minutes later, I received a call back, instructing me to return to
the site and that city workers would meet me there within 30 minutes.
to my even greater surprise, less than 30 minutes later, two workers from Gihon
met me at the sewer; opened the manhole, reached in and returned the smartphone.
The entire exercise took less than one hour.
I do not know of any city in
the Western world that would have provided such a service, both efficiently and
even with a smile. Only in Israel! SHIMON ARBEL Jerusalem Cruise control Sir, –
Juan de la Roca’s article “Cruising the Aegean” in The Jerusalem Post’s June
2013 Tourism magazine contained many inaccuracies.
It is not true that
“Mano is the only one that offers a cruise that embarks from and returns to
I am considering one of the MSC cruises that embarks from Haifa,
but I have not yet booked it because of the tiring vetting process faced by
cruise passengers embarking on cruises from Haifa.
The security measures
enforced by the Israel Port Authority have passengers waiting in line for more
than an hour – often outdoors, in searing heat – to have bags scrutinized, which
is then following by standing in line for another hour for passport control and,
then, stading in line again to board the vessel and, once again, to receive
At my advanced age, I have found that flying to vacation
destinations is easier than cruising.JUDITH RACHMANI