May 29: Handsome and proud

Rabbi's statement likening the IDF uniform to work clothes of a garbage collector misguided, reprehensible.

May 28, 2013 22:24

Letters 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )

Handsome and proud

Sir, – The Jerusalem Post editorial (“Protect our soldiers, May 27) quoted Rabbi Mordechai Bloi, a member of the Guardians of Sanctity and Education, who likened the IDF uniform to the work clothes of a garbage collector.

I cannot recall a more misguided and reprehensible statement uttered by a Jew than those words of Bloi. I have lived in Israel for more than 50 years, yet I still thrill when I see our handsome and proud soldiers of the IDF.

Bloi, wake up! Recognize the fact that you are able to walk the streets of Jerusalem by virtue of the blood, sweat and tears of our holy soldiers.


Fantasy world

Sir, – The fantasy world in which US Secretary of State John Kerry lives was made abundantly clear via the juxtaposition of front page stories on May 26. On the left, Nasrallah’s followers stand beneath a banner announcing the promise to raze Tel Aviv, (“Nasrallah says Hezbollah will bring victory to Assad”) while on the right, Kerry is discussing peace with Abbas (“Peres, Abbas, Kerry, King Abdullah II to discuss peace together in Jordan”). Unless Abbas can control all others on the region, no peace is on the agenda.

Mercaz Shapira

Paradigm shift

Sir, – Although Akbar Ahmed is to be applauded for his efforts to bring the various sectarian groups in the Middle East conflict together, in his article he writes: “It is clear that if Israel continues to work within the current paradigm, the violence will continue” (Center vs periphery: The roots of terror, Comment and Features, May 26).

This puts all the blame on Israel. But, it is the Arab states and the Palestinians who are responsible for the current paradigm.

Their basic policy is to destroy the State of Israel and all of its citizens. This is certainly true of Hamas, Hezbollah and much of the Arab world.

Israel is essentially defending itself against the current Arab paradigm. When this paradigm is changed, and there is some concrete overlap between the two positions – i.e. one side not wanting to eliminate the other – then there might be peace.


Sir, – In regards to Akbar Ahmed’s article on May 26: It amazes me that he was able to have inserted in The Jerusalem Post what was proffered as an op-ed piece but was nothing more than a self-serving book review of his study The Thistle and the Drone.

In addition, he makes it sound like the greatest threat to peace is the existence of drones. He seems to downplay or almost dismiss out of hand the idea that Islamist extremism is responsible for the death of thousands of individuals. He seems to renew the old canard that there is parity between acts of terror on innocent civilians and the response to that terror by sovereign nations.

It seems to me that that space in your paper could have been put to much better use.

Ma’ale Adumim

Hague’s hype

Sir, – I agree with British Foreign Minister William Hague’s observations during his talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (“Compromise for peace, Kerry urges Netanyahu, Abbas,” May 24).

Both sides had better make realistic concessions soon because there is no “Plan B” so to speak. Both sides have to stop the sniping and vitriol and strive to make a two-state solution become factual.

Time is running out, and unless both sides are planning to annihilate one another, we’re looking at a conflagration that will ultimately involve the entire free world. Indeed, it is time for leadership on the part of both sides and our “on the job training.”

A popular Beatles tune says it best: “We Can Work It Out.” I pray that Israel and Palestine do.

Mooresville, North Carolina

Sir, – Why has Queen Elizabeth II, in her 60 years on the throne, never visited Israel? British Foreign Minister William Hague, during his brief visit here, was quick enough to advise us what should be done to achieve success.

Perhaps, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office could lift its long time ban on the monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, visiting Israel. Is it not time the titular head of the Anglican Church visited the Holy Land? This would go a long way to eliminating the voracious anti- Israel sentiment in the UK.

Why did neither President Shimon Peres nor Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who Hague met, formally convey an invitation to the Queen through him? COLIN L. LECI Jerusalem End to restraint Sir, – “British PM urges against ‘knee-Jerk’ response to terror after attacks on UK mosques,” (May 24) appeared as a headline in The Jerusalem Post. I would like to suggest that the prime minister’s statement reflects an even more harmful knee-jerk reaction to the terrorist massacre that took place on the streets of London.

Of course, burning down mosques is not the appropriate response to the atrocity, and therefore the PM urges “restraint,” but by doing so he helps divert attention from the despicable barbarous act of attempted decapitation that deserves the full focus of attention.

We owe a debt of gratitude to Seth Frantzman’s article “Nigeria: Why Islamism succeeds, in miniature,”( Terra Incognita, Comment and Features, May 22) wherein with admirable boldness and exemplary lucidity he explicitly stresses that “the resort to compromises merely feeds the illusion that terrorism is part of a legitimate ‘conflict with the state.’ It isn’t. The terrorist goal is mass killing of civilians; its conflict is with humanity.”

The prescient accuracy of Frantzman’s words was dramatically demonstrated with the repulsive terrorism carried out in broad daylight in London.

It becomes increasingly obvious that neither dialogue or restraint can serve as a proper or effective response to unadulterated barbarism. Terrorism, says Frantzman must be confronted with the most “disproportionate force” possible and “prisoners should only be released in coffins.”

Petah Tikva

Hidden bounty

Sir, – The Jerusalem Post’s report of the Zemach Committee’s recommendations for the export of newly discovered gas upset me (“Shalom: Zemach Committee protocols to be published,” May 24).

This bounty lay hidden for millennia under the Mediterranean Sea into which the Arabs always vowed to throw our people. The gas fields were revealed to us just in time for the “Arab Spring” revolution in Egypt and its resultant disconnection of gas supplies from Sinai. These are no different from “gishmei bracha“ (blessed rains).

Would we ever export our precious water? We have no right to give away such divine gifts.


Humanist approach

Sir, – I want to thank The Jerusalem Post for printing Rabbi Donniel Hartman’s letter to President Mahmoud Abbas (“A letter to President Abbas: Don’t prove the naysayers right,” iEngage, Observations, My 24). It is right to the point, and fully expresses a humanist approach to the Israel-Palestine problem.

There are only two suggestions that I would like to make. First, that Rabbi Hartman addresses a similar letter, if possible with greater fervor, to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Second that both these gentlemen be required to respond, in public, and that their responses be given in Hebrew, Arabic and English, to avoid any possibility of misunderstanding or misconstruction.


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