Chip off the old rock
Sir, – In Melanie Lidman’s report (“Jerusalem police: We
will hold parents responsible for boys who throw stones,” October 14) Shmuel
Ben-Ruby, the Jerusalem Police District spokesman, says: “We will not arrest the
parents [of kids under the age of 12 who throw stones]... but we do want to make
them be responsible for their kids.”
Did it ever occur to Ben-Ruby that
hate for the Jews and Israel start with the parents’ influence and words at
home? These parents are directly responsible for their children throwing rocks.
At least one of the parents should spend time in jail, and a large fine should
be levied on them.
Their children should be taken from their home and
environment and placed in child welfare care, where they will be taught not to
endanger lives and to act like responsible people.
A rock thrown by a
12-year-old can kill just as easily as one thrown by a
Ma’aleh Adumim Hear, O Barry
Sir, – Barry
Leff, cochairman of the board of Rabbis for Human Rights, claims that Judaism
does not require its adherents to make a statement of his/her belief in God
(“The loyalty oath is contrary to Jewish values,” October 14).
read the second of the Ten Commandments and further, he would be cognizant of
the fact that the Jews pledged allegiance to God and to His Torah.
first words a Jewish child is taught and the last that a Jew utters are those of
the “Shema,” a loyalty oath also taken twice a day and an affirmation of fealty
to God.TUVIA MUSKIN
Rehovot More illegal structures
Sir, – Regarding the
possible demolition of illegal Arab homes in Silwan (“State comptroller
criticizes municipality for illegal structure increase in Arab Silwan
neighborhood,” October 14), the only way to legitimize such demolition is by
applying the law equally to all parts of Israel’s capital.
begin with the evacuation and total demolition of the Holyland project, which is
a vastly greater crime and an infinitely greater eyesore than anything being
perpetrated by Arabs on the other side of town.
By demolishing Holyland
and making that plot of land a public park in perpetuity, the municipality would
deliver a powerful message that there is no double standard when it comes to
illegal construction – not between Arab and Jew, and not between big money and
The idea that great crimes should go less punished than minor ones
is a disgrace.JJ GROSS
Jerusalem Recognizing the verbiage
Sir, – How are
we to understand Bill Clinton’s accusation that children of Russians in Israel
are against the division of the land (“Why ‘Russians’ in Israel don’t want
peace,” October 12)? Did it ever enter Clinton’s mind that it is precisely the
immigrants from the former Soviet Union, who grew up under totalitarian regimes
that cloaked themselves in slogans and cliches of lofty idealism, that recognize
when real peace is being sacrificed for a pot of verbiage which will only result
in disaster for the parties involved?
Petah Tikva Jewish and
Sir, – Ever since 1948, the world has recognized Israel as the
Jewish state, since in the eye of the Gentile beholder Israel, despite its large
Arab minority, is identified for better or worse with the Jewish people and will
always be so.
But do we citizens of Israel recognize Israel as a Jewish
state – Jewish in the sense of following a Jewish way of life as laid down by
tradition? What we have today is a country riven by political differences, by
large-scale social distress and poverty, and an increasing and deeply disturbing
prevalence of crime, lawlessness, corruption and promiscuity.
have a long way to go before we can truly call this a Jewish state and “a light
unto the nations.”
If by democracy we mean the ability to shout and
criticize one another at the top of our voices whenever we please, and to split
our national unity into a gaggle of conflicting parties, then we can indeed call
A truly Jewish state should be marked by social
unity, conciliation and tolerance.DAVID HERMAN
Jerusalem Lieberman ad
Sir, – The proverbial power elite in this country are sharpening their
knives against Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman of the Israel Beiteinu Party
(“Israel needs a real foreign minister,” October 7).
The latest attack
comes because Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s cabinet has proposed a law
requiring naturalized citizens to take an oath of loyalty to Israel as a Jewish
and democratic state.
This proposal is one that Lieberman and his party
have been backing for a long time.
Actually, Lieberman is being attacked
because he is not a member of the social and political establishment.
is fiercely independent and Russian.
Let us beware of attacking
individuals rather than having normal discussion of policies.THELMA
Sir, – It is inconceivable that a foreign minister – who is
responsible for setting out the policy of his government – should address the
United Nations General Assembly by putting forth his own agenda, in direct
contradiction to the policy of the government he purports to represent! It is
also inconceivable that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu not dismiss Foreign
Minister Lieberman from his government.
Obviously, in our perilous
electoral system, the prime minister does not wish to endanger his coalition,
but neither should he allow Israel’s policy on peace talks to become a laughing
Jerusalem Kicked herself in the foot
Sir, – Surely
Israel would have served her own interests much better, had she allowed Nobel
Peace Prize laureate Mairead Corrigan- Maguire to enter the country on September
28 and hold meetings until October 6 (“State orders Maguire to leave
immediately, after failed appeal,” October 5).
Since the Supreme Court
allowed her to stay until that date, why stop her from meeting with some
Israelis and Palestinians? She might then have left the country with a better
idea of Israel’s needs.
By kicking her out, Israel kicked herself in the
foot! DR. LILY POLLIACK
Jerusalem Kudos to ZAKA
Sir, – It was interesting and
emotionally moving to read Yehuda Meshi-Zahav’s article to mark 10 years of ZAKA
activities (“Barrels of blood,” October 5).
I would like to say bravo to
these selfless men who made themselves available at all times to assist in the
horrific task of bringing honor to the dead and the unfortunate
The article gives the reader just a small insight into what
these amazing men endured.JOYCE KAHN
Petah Tikva Self-respect is
Sir, – We could not disagree more with Jeremy Rubin regarding the
non-attendance of an Israeli representative at Obama’s UN speech during Succot
(“UN-dignified,” September 27).
By not attending Israel displayed a
healthy dose of self-respect. We can hardly expect anyone to recognize us, let
alone respect us, as a Jewish state if we do not respect our own Jewish
religious traditions and values.CHAIM AND YEHUDIT COLLINS
Sir, – Regarding Gil Shefler’s report “Soros a secret J Street
donor since ‘08,” (September 26): If J Street were to fold, it would have no
more tzores with Soros.ELIEZER WHARTMAN