June 19: More moderation

Left MKs should know that Hassan Rohani may be considered a moderate by them, the wishful democracies, but the true leader is Khamenei.

June 18, 2013 23:14

Letters 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )


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More moderation

Sir, – In regard to the June 17 article “PM ignoring improvement with Rohani, say Left MKs”– all these Left MKs should know that Hassan Rohani may be considered a moderate by them and the wishful democracies of Europe and North America, but the true leader – or should I say the puppeteer of Iran – is Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Khamenei has pulled off a very beautiful political coup by having Rohani elected, and now he can go forward at an even faster pace in producing the atomic bomb, while the Western democracies fawn over and talk with Rohani for months to come.

Kiryat Motzkin

Sir, – The Jerusalem Post headline on June 16: “Moderate Hassan Rohani wins Iranian election in landslide,” suggests that the Iranian people favor a “moderate candidate.”

That may be, but the fact that the Iranian supreme leader selected the six candidates with one, the “moderate” winning by a landslide, strongly suggests that this was quite predictable and nicely planned by the supreme leader – who, presumably, would like the world to appreciate what a “moderate” country Iran is.


Anachronistic army

Sir, – The article in The Jerusalem Post entitled “Ministers approve bill giving veterans preferred treatment,” (June 17) once again reminds us of the benefits of a professional volunteer army.

Those who oppose providing benefits for army service claim it discriminates against those who don’t serve. But the very notion of army service is a discriminatory burden, and jerry-rigging the system to provide some benefits here and some affirmative action there only makes it worse.

An all-volunteer army will free up Israeli society to be the hi-tech “wunderkind” and world model that it can be; keeping legions of young men conscripted is an anachronism.


Depth of knowledge

Sir, – The opinion piece by Johanna Arbib-Perugia, chairwoman of the board of worldwide Keren Hayesod, raises some important questions, but her key answer is not developed sufficiently (“Jewish leadership needs a dose of positivity,” Comment and Features, June 17).

When the late Rabbi Herbert Friedman completed his extraordinary work with UJA (now JFNA), he turned to the noted philanthropist, Leslie Wexner and asked for assistance. Friedman wanted to create a significant program of studies for future Jewish leaders.

This is how Wexner Heritage was born.

Young leaders have vied in Jewish communities in USA and Canada to enter the program. Why? You have to commit for two years, which involves extensive readings in the classics of Jewish history and Jewish thought. The readings are made more vibrant via lectures in the community, to Heritage participants alone, by some of the finest minds in Jewish studies today. The initial graduates of the program have risen to major leadership posts.

When Arbib-Perugia refers to Jewish education for leaders, she does not seem to be referring to the intensity of a Wexner Heritage curriculum. The programs she mentions can inspire but cannot provide the depth of Jewish knowledge which Jewish leaders require today.


Banal statement

Sir, – I hope The New York Times is not paying for Thomas Friedman’s trip to Egypt, because if they are, they’ve been gypped (“Egypt’s perilous drift,” Comment and Features, June 17)! The central theme of his article was a sentence that describes his take on Egypt’s Arab Spring: “It is now clear that what happened two years ago was more musical chairs than revolution.”

Only Friedman could make this banal statement sound like a revelation.

Where has he been? Most of the six million Jews living in Israel could have told him that two years ago! It’s like coming to the conclusion that terrorists in most parts of the world are Muslim.



Sir, – While it is certainly nice for a company to have a public perception of looking out for the wellness of the world, not its bottom line, it would be naive to believe it true (“This company would be happy to have fewer customers,” Health, June 16). Novo Nordisk certainly couldn’t adopt a public platform pushing a diet that encourages diabetes, but if the rate of diabetes jumps, so do the number of people who need the company’s insulin, and, therefore, so does its profits. No more diabetes, no more Novo Nordisk. I can’t imagine its ultimate goal is self-destruction.


Dangerous dialogue

Sir, – I wonder whether Moses would be a suitable candidate for chief rabbi according to Rabbi Shalom Hammer (“A chief rabbi for (all) the people,” Comment and Features, June 13).

After all, Moses didn’t dialogue with those who rebelled against him, against God, and against the Torah. Hammer, on the other hand, proposes that the next chief rabbi should dialogue with representatives of the Conservative and Reform movements.

What would Hammer have the chief rabbi dialogue about and compromise? Regarding his criticism of the rabbinic leaders of the religious- Zionist movement for promoting “Eretz Yisrael Hashlema” instead of “Am Yisrael Hashalem” – the Conservative and Reform movements – with whom Hammer wishes to dialogue – have presided over a 50% intermarriage rate of their memberships in America, resulting not only in the disunity of the Jewish nation, but ultimately leading to its disappearance.

The religious-Zionist movement in general, and the hesder movement in particular, have demonstrated to secular Jews their leadership in the military, in political life, and in society. They are the wave of the future for Zionism in Israel.

Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Hacohen Kook and his son, Rabbi Tzvi Yehudah Kook, recognized the value and importance of every single Jew, but never recognized or dialogued with the Conservative or Reform movements.


Waiting for aliya

Sir, – I read with interest your interview with Immigrant Absorption Minister Sofa Landver, but I was disappointed by her attitude towards the Ethiopian aliya (“Landver say she wants ‘all Jews here,’” June 10).

There are 5,000 Falash Mura, or Zera Israel as they call themselves, who were previously registered for aliya by the Jewish Agency, but have now been told they are ineligible.

The reason they have been given is that their Jewish descent is patrilineal. However, this is in contradiction to the earlier agreement whereby they were registered for family reunification under the Law of Entry.

All those registered have first- or second-degree relatives in Israel.

Once in Israel, they undergo a year of study and a conversion ceremony.

The issue of halachic Jewish identity is not relevant here (even under the law of return one does not need to be halachically Jewish).

The Zera Israel moved to Gondar in order to make aliya, and even if the Jewish Agency leaves they will still remain in Gondar, in the hopes of one day reaching Israel.

The writer is a representative of Meketa, a nonprofit which seeks to aid Ethiopian Jews who are still in Gondar

A great draw Sir, – One of cartooning’s vital longtime goals has been to illustrate harsh, stark reality at a single informative glance. This aim has been highly successful in the Post‘s offerings. Whether or not the artists who create these outstanding gems are identified, they deserve all readers’ gratitude for a job exceedingly well done.

The pleasant days of Looney Tunes are long past.


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