Sir, – The sub-headline of “Beijing welcomes Abbas with
four-point peace plan” (May 7) reads: “Proposal calls for Palestinian state
based on pre-’67 lines with capital in east Jerusalem, security for
Can we now call for an independent Tibetan state based on the
pre-1950 borders with its capital in Lhasa, and security for China? After all,
in 1950 China invaded and conquered a peaceful state, and coercively moved in
millions of its own people (who were not consulted). It continues to repress the
native population and seeks to stamp out its peaceful, non-violent religion –
and has ever since refused to discuss the matter.LESLIE PORTNOY
Sir, – With regard to “Rabbi Shteinman: There will be no
secular studies in haredi education system” (May 7), it is unimaginable that in
a modern, technologically advanced and democratic country like Israel one of the
fastest-growing sectors of society refuses to incorporate a level of education
that will eventually allow its graduates to take their rightful place in a
rapidly changing, hi-tech workforce.
There is no other explanation for
this – it is criminal behavior. It is incumbent on the state to intercede and
demand that these critical academic changes be made, by force if necessary.
Israel cannot afford to have perhaps 20 percent of its adult male population in
a situation of perpetual unemployment – we would lose an enormous tax base and,
furthermore, face ejection from the OECD.
It is not the fault of these
They are, for the most part, very bright and want to learn
secular subjects. Rather, it is their rabbis who live in a constant state of
fear and trepidation of these students being integrated into mainstream Israeli
Sir, – If the Israeli government
reduces the budgets of haredi schools that don’t teach basic secular studies
such as maths and English, surely these schools can simply appeal to haredi
donors abroad who, having benefited from a secular education in the countries in
which they live, can afford to make up the shortfall.YONATAN
Jerusalem Careful, Tamar
Sir, – MK Tamar Zandberg needs to think
her actions through a little more carefully (“Meretz lawmaker Zandberg boycotts
Knesset cafeterias,” May 7).
If all members of Knesset were to act
likewise as a protest against the lack of direct employment for cafeteria
workers, there would be no customers and the workers would have to be
sacked.DAVID S. ADDLEMAN
Mevaseret Zion Do not succumb
Sir, – Isi
Leibler’s “Bayit Yehudi: Choosing religious moderation or extremism” (Candidly
Speaking, May 7) was a most erudite and brilliant piece of journalism. I hope
Naftali Bennett reads it and grasps the full implications of all its great
rewards or, heaven forbid, dire consequences for acts of stupidity and a lack of
I fully agree with Leibler that Bennett is one of the most
successful of the new generation of Israeli politicians, having won many votes
from people who are not religiously observant.
However, I am most
concerned that his party has four MKs with radical ideologies who are under the
control of the extremist Tekuma rabbinical council.
These extremists will
do their utmost to undermine many of the liberal stands Bayit Yehudi promised
its voters. Bennett dare not succumb.
The future holds great promise for
a party blessed with such a charismatic leader. Don’t throw it away.URI
Herzliya An Islamic value
Sir, – Michael Freund (“The lies we tell
ourselves about moderate Islam, May 7) is quite right. It is becoming absurdly
difficult for the Obama administration to keep up its self-deception and
obsessive denial of something that is clear to anyone capable of connecting the
The result of a recent Pew Research Center survey, cited by Freund,
should come as no surprise.
An extremely large percentage of Muslims
worldwide supports the actions of suicide bombers in “defense of
Where is moderate Islam? A Jew who is fired with love for his
land and people, and who does the kind of actions associated with so-called
price tag attacks, can properly be called an extremist. He has taken important
Jewish values to an extreme, to the point where it is no longer a Jewish value
and most fellow Jews would disapprove.
In Islam, however, hatred of the
infidel, idealization of the “martyr” and violent Jihad are theologically well
grounded and publicly preached so that a Muslim suicide bomber has not taken
anything to an extreme.
He has simply implemented an Islamic value
(albeit politically incorrect). This explains the findings of the
Jerusalem Those boos again
Sir, – Alan Dershowitz
(“Jews who boo efforts to make peace,” Comment & Opinion, May 6) has it all
wrong. The participants at the Post conference didn’t boo those seeking peace –
they booed the idea of dividing our land in order to achieve peace.
as Dershowitz claims, we have no long-standing rights to Judea and Samaria, he
as much as denies our rights to the entire country, including the area we have
inhabited since 1948.
If we display a willingness to compromise by
dividing our property, the Arabs would learn two things. One is Israeli weakness
of purpose, the other is that our oft-repeated claim of the holiness of
God-given land is untrue. After all, we would be willing to give it
Let us remember that for the Muslims, the world is divided into two
groups: the area under Islam’s domination and the area still to be conquered. To
them, any lands that used to be Muslim, such as Spain, are rightfully
So let us remember that the Land of Israel is not just a piece of
real estate we can split up at will in order to obtain some temporary benefit.
There is no reason we should be forthcoming.
They are not.RHEA
Sir, – Is Alan Dershowitz insinuating that all bible believers
are radicals who support assassination? If so, that is both offensive and
“chutzpah,” to use the title of his book.
It’s very easy for the good
professor to suggest what those of us who live here should or shouldn’t give up.
Until he’s willing to immigrate and live with a new front for rocket launches
from land we gave up for the sake of peace, I suggest that he stick to teaching,
writing and lecturing on topics where his well-intended suggestions are
Sir, – Yes, Prof. Dershowitz,
everyone deserves the right of free speech. But without booing you, sir, I can
only state that you are almost hopelessly naïve thinking that the Palestinians
would be willing to make peace with an abhorrent Jewish state if only we were
willing to compromise a bit.
The constant incitement in their media,
mosques and schools should be enough to convince anyone what they really think
of us. Their insistence on a state that is judenrein is itself a blow to
Their demonization of Israelis (and Jews) is meant
to encourage wholesale slaughter.
And they refuse to recognize Israel as
the one Jewish state in the entire world.
Every compromise, every
withdrawal, every gesture Israel has made has failed to move them from their
main goal of destroying us.
Prof. Dershowitz, you have joined the ranks
of those with what I term the “fairy tale mentality”: Give it all back and we’ll
live happily ever after.RON BELZER