Sir, – In the article “PM reaffirms two-state solution after Bennett
says it’s reached dead end,” the impression given is that there is a conflict
between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali
Bennett, a senior minister in his cabinet. Bennett is direct in saying the
two-state solution is dead, while Netanyahu affirms a two-state solution and his
policy up to now calls for security of the new state to be in Israel’s hands as
well as a disarmed state with no possibility of a divided
Netanyahu is in effect agreeing with Bennett, while using
diplomatic words to satisfy the US.
Peace will only come when the prime
minister makes it clear to the Palestinians that they must either join Israel or
Jordan, and that there is no room for a third state in the region.
Sir, – Can Netanyahu and Bennett put aside their differences and
work together for a secure and peaceful Israel? The question of whether a
Palestinian state is possible will only be settled in the future. Such a state
that makes demands on Israel that would result in its national suicide and names
Hitler as a hero is not a worthwhile goal.
It is not Israel’s government
that prevents a Palestinian state now, but what has been taught in Palestinian
schools since 1996 and the PLO’s glorification of violence against Jews. When
the entire West and most of the Arab world wakes up to the fact that Islamic
fundamentalism is a major threat to them, not just us, then a Palestinian state
may be possible.
DAVID LLOYD KLEPPER
Sir, – There
is no better argument for the abolishment of the Chief Rabbinate than the recent
physical attack against Rabbi David Stav, a good and decent man (“Politicians
rabbis express outrage over attack on Stav, June 18).
This was nothing
less than horrific.
The verbal vitriol coming out of the mouth of Rabbi
Ovadia Yosef is a clear and unambiguous manifestation of the dementia that is
now afflicting him. Any member of Knesset who visits, or shows deference to this
individual should be sanctioned in the Knesset plenum.
It is absolutely
clear that the haredim, having failed in their quest to turn the State of Israel
into a 14th century Lithuanian shtetl, are now driven by fear and trepidation
regarding the decisions the new government will be making that impacts their
community, such as studying the state’s core educational curriculum and
participating in periodic scholastic evaluation examinations, performing
military or national service as their non-religious fellow countrymen do,
preparing themselves for a vocation that will enable them to earn a respectable
living and support their ever-expanding families, and learning how to coexist
with members of the opposite sex in a normal, interpersonal and egalitarian
These are the principles that Stav stands for, and they will do
nothing in the long term but benefit the ultra-Orthodox community.
overwhelming fear and insecurity of this community regarding efforts to bring
them into the mainstream can be overcome with Stav’s leadership.
Israel will descend into a downward trajectory, and we will all be living in a
state with two different societies having absolutely nothing to do with each
Sir, – The recent extreme hostile
pronouncements by the spiritual head of the Sephardi haredi community in Israel
and former chief rabbi against a nationalreligious MK for his insistence on
“sharing the burden,” and towards the national-religious rabbi who is a
candidate for the chief rabbi position, reminded me of a story that appeared in
Rabbi Maimon’s book, Sarey Hameah, that has a moral lesson to it (“Tzohar calls
on Shas leader to repent for comments against Stav,” June 17).
Satan complained to God that He created the angel Michael to be Israel’s pleader
and defender of Israel and myself as the prosecutor of Israel, a task that I
undertake with great dedication and devotion.
However, now you gave to
Michael a ‘helpmate unto him,’ Rabbi Levi-Yitzchak from Barditchev, to aid him
in his task, and I remain by myself without a helper. I beseech you to give me
several righteous people that will help me to find fault with the people of
It appears that Satan’s request was fulfilled.
Sir, – Rabbi Ovadia Yosef’s description of Rabbi David Stav
tells us only what opinion to have about Yosef.
Sir, – Rabbi Ovadia Yosef called Rabbi David Stav wicked and dangerous and unfit
for the post of chief rabbi. As in this week’s Torah portion of Balak, if Balam
the Wicked can be castigated by an ass, why cannot Stav be reprimanded by Yosef?
DANIEL ABELMAN Jerusalem Voice of women Sir, – Firstly I would like to
congratulate Barbra Streisand on the honor bestowed upon her at the Hebrew
University (“Streisand receives honorary doctorate from HU, June 18).
the ceremony she said “it is distressing to read of women in Israel being forced
to sit at the back of the bus.”
I would like to point out that women are
not forced to sit at the back of the bus anymore as there is a law against it.
In addition, the Women of the Wall are out of order by their insistence of doing
everything that is against the practice at the Western Wall. They know very well
that it is provocation, and do it as a way of getting attention.
they put on tefillin and tallit if it was expected of women to do it? I doubt
Would they have the temerity to go into any of the Orthodox
synagogues and behave like that? If they are so sincere in their prayer, why do
they not just come and pray in a respectful way and in that way show respect for
the place. The fact that they are abused by protesters from the other side is
despicable and unacceptable and that cannot be tolerated.
Maybe a little
bit of research would be in order.
Sir, – Israel is
indeed blessed to have Barbra Streisand visit. It is unfortunate she had to make
a comment about Orthodox Jews and their treatment of women, collectively
criticizing a whole community, which was reported extensively in the foreign
It was as much out of place as if she would have commented on Arab
honor killings in our part of the world.
With the current issue of
pricetag related graffiti giving incentive to incitement, words should be chosen
Sir, – I found it interesting to read
that Barbra Streisand, on her recent visit to Hebrew University, praised the
fact that Jews and Arabs sit together in classrooms, the cafeteria and learn
from the same professors.
She went on to say that “this is proof that
people from different backgrounds can live in peace.”
Yes, it is, but
largely because Israel is a democracy which promotes mutual respect for all
In her aspiration to see equality in Israel for Arabs and Jews,
Ms. Streisand, who generally is known for her liberal positions, must understand
that a Jewish majority and Jewish control is the only way that these rights and
equalities will be preserved.
To our dismay, the vast majority of Arab
cultures do not allow for these freedoms and equalities to exist, so it is vital
for this “larger than life” celebrity to understand the importance of Israel
remaining a Jewish state with Jewish elected leaders who make it possible for
her to visit freely and express all of her ideas, thoughts and aspirations in
the democratic and free society that we are today.