letters to the editor 88.
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My ox, or yours
Sir - The gay parade debate pits two values against each other - freedom of expression vs fear of bloodshed.
Liberal values are often easily bent by the winds of the times. Would free expression support a parade of nudists?
On the other hand, is fear of violence sufficient justification for stopping Jews going up to the Temple Mount on Tisha Be'av? It seems it depends whose ox is being gored ("Mazuz orders police to allow Gay Parade," November 6).
Sir, - The attorney-general said that canceling the gay parade "will threaten the nature of the country." I agree that violence is an unacceptable Torah response. A correct response, if the state insists on imposing this parade on the Holy City of Jerusalem, is for Torah-observant Jews to avoid any nearby area during the parade.
Sir, - The irony in "Haredi sages can't curb rioting" (November 6) was fantastic.
Rabbi Moshe Sternbach, head of the Eda Haredit Rabbinical Court, was quoted as saying, "I said, 'don't give blows,' but the public is really angry and cannot control itself." You then reported that Shmuel Poppenheim, editor of the Eda Haredit's Ha'eda, "rejected the claim that homosexuals had no control over their sexual desires." He stated, "I believe God gave each person the strength to overcome his bad qualities if he wants to."
Gentlemen, you can't have it both ways.
TAMARA LEFCOURT RUBY
A substitute for recognition
Sir, - Elliot Jager's "Say 'yes' to the 'hudna,'" (November 5) brings us the conciliatory words of Ahmed Yousef, who says hudna can "become a substitute for recognition of Israel... Israel is a state now, it is part of the UN, it is de facto there, and we deal with it every day."
How true! The Kassams keep coming, don't they?
To quote a late-lamented Israeli statesman, we don't need anyone's recognition. But I'd be grateful if the leaders of the local Arab population got together and eliminated "destruction of Israel" from their charters and agendas. Now that could be considered a "substitute for recognition."
"Let the haggling begin," Jager writes. It would seem to me an act of good-will, the proverbial "confidence-building gesture," if the Arabs put on the table repayment of the loans and confiscations taken from the Jews of Medina and Kheybar to finance the spread of Islam outward from the western reaches of the Arabian Peninsula.
We have been very patient and could surely make compromises on matters of accrued interest and present value.
SYDNEY L. KASTEN
'Post' readers pan 'Fun Israel'
Sir, - Reading Caroline Glick's "Truth in advertising" (November 3) I was shocked to learn how the foreign minister wants "Israel to bridge the gap between the real Israel and its international image." Apparently a host of public relations firms has been delegated to find ways to reinvent Israel in order to make people like us.
Tsipi Livni wants to promote Israel as a "fun" place, a libertine country replete with beautiful women (which we have) and a wild night life which we also have, unfortunately. She seems to think that this will encourage tourism.
Wake up, Foreign Minister. Where else do you see people kissing the ground on arrival? Tourists are interested in our country because of its history, which no other country has. Tourists want to be a part of the miracles that have taken place here.
Overseas visitors have their own "fun" places, but no other country can match what we have to offer. The ministry should concentrate on projecting Israel as the Holy Land.
Sir, - The notion of marketing Israel to appeal to homosexuals is very disturbing. The idea that our country be touted as a place for sexual encounters of every kind does complete injustice to the idea that Israel is the place where God encountered man, and man was transformed.
Not even Amsterdam advertises itself to the world as a place for tourists to visit on account of its bars and sex life.
Israel does have beautiful beaches and alluring scenery, but so do many places. Our country's approach to the world has to be that it is steadfast in its belief that something miraculous happened here, and that the world can benefit from that miraculous encounter.
Sir, - What action would the caring parents of young adults take if their dear ones showed an interest in making aliya to this "den of iniquity"?
Sir, - If tourists want wine, women and song there are a lot better places to vacation - France, Italy and Hawaii, to name a few. Our uniqueness should lie in showing the rest of the world a moral striving to keep civilization alive.
Sir, - Caroline Glick says that "Israel doesn't need to reinvent itself. All it needs to do is tell the truth." I found the truths she wants to advertise very selective, and would like to add three of my own.
â€¢ After 58 years Israeli Arabs are still second-class citizens in Israel.
â€¢ The government has given up 100% on trying to find a diplomatic solution to our problems.
Mahmoud Abbas is too weak to deal with; Hamas and Hizbullah are both terrorist organizations; this is not the right time to speak to Syria; and Iran has a madman as its president. This leaves only the military option, and after Lebanon War II it is a little more difficult to sleep at night.
â€¢ To my knowledge this is the first time in the history of modern Israel that the major party governing our country, Kadima, lacks an ideology or political philosophy. It appears to be a large, stable government so well-balanced that the Right cancels out the Left, and vice versa.
We appear to be in for a long period of stagnation, and there's nothing we can do about it.
Sir, - Ever since postal services were privatized, it's all been downhill. The lines at the post office are endless; charges for everything, including stamps, have gone up due to the VAT we are now required to pay. And now, adding insult to injury, mail distribution will be reduced to five days a week. What next? ("Mail distribution goes to 5-day week," November 6.)
Faint praise for great play
Sir, - Amazingly, Ravi Ubha apportioned only 21 words of his column on British football to Tottenham beating English Premier League champions Chelsea 2-1 ("Coaches scuffle as West Ham tops Arsenal on Harewood goal," November 6).
I understand that West Ham has our beloved Yossi Benayoun, but anybody who witnessed both games would - putting aside the touchline shoving incident by the ever-moaning Arsenal manager - have recognized the Spurs victory as the most entertaining game of the season thus far, not quite, but almost total football and an insight into how to beat the mighty Chelsea.
For some of us yesterday was like Hanukka and birthday all rolled into one. Please, let the scales of football justice kick in and balance your football writing.