May 13: Deri’s return

I may not agree with everything Deri says and certainly not with how Shas acted during the Oslo era, but the hatred dripping from this article makes Weinberg as much a purveyor of hate as he accuses Deri of being.

By JERUSALEM POST READERS
May 12, 2013 21:48
Letters

Letters 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )

Deri’s return

Sir, – David Weinberg’s demonization of Arye Deri (“Beware of Baba Arye,” Observations, May 10) is unbelievable. It is not worthy of the Post, but rather of some sensationalist tabloid.

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For example, the Shas school system provided a long day, which many working parents welcomed as it saved them the worry of what to do with the children in the afternoons. And these kids got a dose of Yiddishkeit and less exposure to the undesirable influences of the street. Weinberg is concerned that they might become more religious than he’d like and so maligns the system.

As to not expressing remorse, it’s hard to regret something when one believes he is innocent.

Courts have been known to convict innocent men. But here is someone who accepted the heavenly decree and served his time.

I may not agree with everything Deri says and certainly not with how Shas acted during the Oslo era, but the hatred dripping from this article makes Weinberg as much a purveyor of hate as he accuses Deri of being.

BATYA BERLINGER Jerusalem

Sir, – With regard to “Deri’s return” (Editorial, May 9), reinstalling a “charismatic ex-con” at the helm of Shas should bring a great amount of shame to the supporters of Shas, and disbelief to the citizens of Israel.

Time and time again we are shamed for the political circus that allows people to return to public service after being convicted of acts of moral turpitude.

The rules are obviously the same for all, so I suppose one should not distinguish between secular and religious offenders.

The fact that Deri is a member of a haredi party, though, is so much more painful. As an observant Jew, I am hurt that much more when a so-called God-fearing party would perform such backroom deals. How is it that one of the great sages, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, would condone such behavior? Perhaps the time has come to do away with exclusively religious parties and instead have religious politicians serve as members of other parties. That way, when a religious politician commits an offense, he or she will bring shame only upon him or herself, and not an entire party that should be operating within the guidelines set forth by the laws of the Torah as well as those of the government.

JONATHAN SURASKY Ra’anana

Sir, – The Jerusalem Post scores a bull’s-eye when it argues that “the question remains whether what is not preventable by strict legalistic criteria is perforce acceptable by civic standards.”

By these criteria, however, you yourselves were guilty of overt hypocrisy by granting a starring role to Ehud Olmert at your recent New York shindig. One can legitimately question whether someone who is not yet preventable by strictly legalistic criteria is perforce acceptable by journalistic standards.

When it comes to unmitigated hubris, entitlement and grand larceny, Arye Deri is a relative amateur. Besides, he has already paid his debt to society.

J.J. GROSS Jerusalem

‘Jewish’ coach

Sir, – “Moyes trusted with keys to Man U machine” (Comment, Sports, May 10) reports that the new manager of Manchester United is a Jew. While this is welcome news to us, it is the type of information I would expect from a Jewish or Israeli media outlet, not from Reuters.

What does his religion have to do with anything? Did we know the religion of Alex Ferguson or any other football manager?

MEIR SMULLEN Beit Shemesh

Sir, – As a keen Newcastle United supporter for many years and having some knowledge of the English Premier League, I had never heard of David Moyes as being Jewish or indeed having any Jewish family background whatsoever. On Googling his name and searching online I could indeed find no reference whatsoever to any Jewish connection for this gentleman.

Perhaps this claim was intended to boost sales of your newspaper to British soccer fans like myself living in Israel or, more likely, due to a lack of research and fact-checking by your staff.

JEFFREY GILBERT Jerusalem

The Sports Editor responds:
We mistakenly identified new Manchester United manager David Moyes as being Jewish when in fact he is not. The Jerusalem Post sports staff sincerely apologizes for any confusion this error might have caused.

Hawking’s decision Sir, – I am thoroughly disgusted with Stephen Hawking’s decision to boycott the President’s Congress because of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians (“Hawking canceled visit in support of Israel boycott, May 9).

Does he boycott China about Tibet, England regarding the Falklands, Turkey with respect to Cyprus? The list is endless. He is just an uninformed, spiteful hypocrite.

JUDY PRAGER Petah Tikva

Sir, – Once an academic decides to join an academic boycott he is no longer an academic.

When an academic decides he no longer wishes to engage in open thought and debate with another academic, dogma replaces academia. It is the time when he no longer listens. It is the time when he knows better than the academic on the other side and is no longer open to reason.

It is the closing of the academic mind.

BARRY SHAW Netanya

Sir, – I very much support Prof.

Stephen Hawking for having the courage of his convictions and supporting the British academic boycott of Israel by pulling out of the upcoming President’s Conference.

I would trust then, that if the day comes when Israeli scientists discover a cure for ALS, he will not avail himself of that cure.

MARSHA GREENBERG MOTZEN Englewood, New Jersey

Sir, – What can I say? “The mind is a terrible thing to waste,” perhaps, or “Guess he ain’t as smart as we thought he was.”

Either way, the universe will continue to expand even though Stephen Hawking’s mind is contracting.

Perhaps this will serve as a new cosmological model and he can sell a few more books.

ELI SCHMELL Rehovot

Truths, untruths

Sir, – In “Truth, lies and legitimacy” (Encountering Peace, May 9), Gershon Baskin makes a crucially important point.

Writing about the lack of unification in Jerusalem, he calls for more honesty and an end to lying. Indeed, without a far higher degree of honesty and truthfulness on the part of all parties involved, there is little chance of a peaceful resolution to the Israel-Arab conflict.

The trouble is that very few people understand the principles of truthfulness or abide by them.

Apart from blatant lies, untruthfulness comes in many forms.

The half-truth and lie of omission are common. Another common form is wishful thinking, with which people often hoodwink themselves.

Baskin, despite his sincere commitment to fostering peace, frequently indulges in these forms of untruthfulness when he chooses to ignore or downplay relevant facts and factors. One is the responsibility accruing to the Arab world for its attempts to invade and destroy Israel (one of which led to Israel’s takeover of Judea and Samaria).

Another is the various international documents attesting to Jewish rights in Palestine and the violent rejection of those rights by local Arabs and the rest of the Arab world.

Baskin could be so much more effective by relating to all the relevant issues and calling on his many Arab contacts to understand that only through truthfulness can problems and conflict ever be resolved.

RALPH DOBRIN Jerusalem


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