Show your justice
Sir, – So the president of the Palestinian Authority is impatient, is he? He calls the perpetrators of the Fogel family slayings “inhuman and immoral” and wants a “deterring punishment” (“Abbas ‘impatient’ to know who carried out Itamar killings,” March 17).
I have a proposal. Once the killers are caught, let’s hand them over to the PA. We ourselves don’t have to prove to the world that we have a fair justice system. Let the Palestinians show the world what they mean by justice. It will save us money, too.MOSHE-MORDECHAI VAN ZUIDEN
Jerusalem Change of pace
Sir, – I usually read Larry Derfner’s columns much like a person who sees a road accident – I want to look but I don’t want to look. I find that I disagree – vehemently – with almost everything he writes. However, for his latest piece (“The Palestinian victim mentality,” Rattling the Cage, March 17) I must say he did a magnificent job!
His words about the pathetic response from the Arab world and, most significantly, from the Palestinians regarding the Fogel family killings is worthy of great praise. The underwhelming condemnations and the lack of acceptance of true responsibility, the immediate use of the word “but” and the endless falling back on the excuse of “occupation” are all indicative of a lack of societal ability to take responsibility for enabling a despicable murder.
Thank you, Larry! ZE’EV M. SHANDALOV
Ma’aleh Adumim Worse than just PC
Sir, – Isi Leibler’s “A Jewish- Muslim alliance?” (Candidly Speaking, March 17) strikes a responsive chord concerning our Supreme Court’s judicature of the profiling procedure used at our airports.
Hopefully, the Court will understand Leibler’s telling statement: “Refusing to implement profiling...not only represents an appalling form of political correctness, but endangers innocent life and lacks any moral justification.”ALBERT RETTIG
Sir, – Isi Leibler asserts quite correctly that “we are obliged to fervently oppose discrimination or persecution of law-abiding Muslims and collaborate with genuinely moderate Muslim leaders.” That is indeed what the World Jewish Congress strives to accomplish as part of its interfaith programs around the world.
Our policy is clear: We vigorously attack Radical Islam while reaching out to those moderate Muslims willing to participate in dialogue.
However, we are neither naïve nor craven in our endeavors, as Leibler seems to imply. We vet those Muslims who engage with us and we reject those who do not denounce terrorism or are in any way reputed to be associated with extremist groups.
Leibler is right to urge caution. But he should rest assured that we will not countenance engagement with those who endorse violence against our people either in Israel or the Diaspora.MICHAEL SCHNEIDER
New York The writer is secretary-general of the World Jewish Congress Over there, too
Sir, – Michael Freund eloquently asserts that “We are all settlers” (Fundamentally Freund, March 17). How true.
A few weeks ago I attended an Israel night at the University of Vermont that was sponsored by a local organization of Christians and Jews as part of a fundraiser for ZAKA, the Israeli rescue squad. In order to enter the auditorium we had to pass through a large and raucous gauntlet of student demonstrators who were screaming “Genocide! Murderers!”
There’s no escaping it: Even in Vermont we are all settlers.DAVID KATCOFF
Jericho, Vermont No excuse
Sir, – I read with awe and admiration the moving story of Monique Buzhish (“Monique’s revenge,” Comment & Features, March 17). But why, oh why, does journalist Frucht write “as relatives would later say, [the terrorist] was upset by the number of Palestinians killed by IDF,” as if to offer up some explanation for this murderous act?
There can be no “because” to justify any terrorist attack. This heinous behavior is learned from the earliest age and is action, not reaction.SHOSHANA WEINSTEIN
Kfar Adumim Collective satisfaction
Sir, – Seth J. Frantzman has a point (“The decline of the Israel Prize,” Terra Incognita, March 16). When someone receives the Israel Prize, the whole nation should say, “What a good choice!”
Israel has so many high-minded, inspiring citizens – not just those who hit the headlines, but those on whose merits the whole quality of our society rests. And we all know some who fit into both categories, who are both famous and quiet achievers.
Does the Israel Prize committee have any community input? Do members of the public have the right to send in nominations? And do we have any influence on the make-up of the prize committee itself? RABBI RAYMOND APPLE
JerusalemA further plea
Sir, – Suzanne Singer’s eloquent plea (“Can loss become life?,” Comment & Features, March 13) that Larry Roth’s death “spur Jerusalem to create the first comprehensive plan for fighting the war against road carnage” merits the support of everyone.
As the individual privileged to claim Larry Roth, the personification of the teachings of Pirkei Avot
, as my first mehutan
(inlaw), I wish to offer two proposals regarding bus travel.
A law should be passed without delay requiring that Egged and other bus drivers not proceed from any bus stop until the completion of fare collection and ticket punching. In addition, these personnel should not be permitted to talk on cell phones while driving.
Heavy penalties should be meted out to each transgressor. Such measures would lead these drivers to pay more attention to traffic and pedestrians.MONTY NOAM PENKOWER
Jerusalem Direct to consumer
Sir, – We read about a new flotilla to protest shortages in the Gaza Strip (“New flotilla may head to Gaza in May,” March 9) while Gazans sell excess food to Egypt (“Tunnels used to smuggle goods to Egypt from Gaza,” February 4). So, what say the organizers of the flotilla cut out the middleman and head straight for Egypt? YONATAN SILVER
Jerusalem Esther as example
Sir, – According to the Talmud, Queen Esther, the heroine of the Purim
story, was a vegetarian while she lived in the palace of King Ahashverus
in order to avoid violating the kosher dietary laws while keeping her
Jewish identity secret. Therefore, Purim is an ideal time for Jews to
consider a shift toward vegetarian diets.
This dietary change would best apply important Jewish mandates to
preserve our health, treat animals with compassion, protect the
environment, conserve natural resources, help hungry people and pursue a
more peaceful, less violent world.
While Purim commemorates the triumph of the Jews in ancient Persia over
their oppressors, a shift toward plant-based diets would enable
contemporary Jews to reverse current threats from an epidemic of disease
related to animal-based diets and the many environmental problems
related to modern intensive animal-based agriculture. This is especially
important now as Israel suffers from the worst drought in its history
and climate experts warn of severe heat waves, flooding, storms and
inundation from a rising Mediterranean due to global warming.
The writer is president of Jewish Vegetarians of North America