(photo credit: Courtesy)
No pain, no gain
Sir, - Re "Abbas says 92% offer is unacceptable" (September 30): Who offered Abbas 92%? It must be a figment of his imagination. No responsible Jewish leader today would make such an offer after the Oslo Accords cost us 2,000 dead and several times that number crippled. An entirely new approach is required. We must lay out our demands for further negotiations.
1. To talk with us about peace, the Palestinians must: 1. first reverse their educational program from hatred to friendship toward Jews and Israel; 2. remove all arms from private hands; 3. return to us, in good health, the soldiers they kidnapped; 4. agree to Jewish and Christian worship on the Temple Mount.
Until then, we view ourselves as in a state of war. This means continued internal travel restrictions, selected elimination of violent people and deducting our defense expenses from tax revenues collected on behalf of terrorist organizations like the PLO and Hamas.
It is time the Arabs took "painful" steps toward peace.
Sir, - National Infrastructure Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer's statement that Israel should "take a creative step" and offer to release mass murderer Marwan Barghouti so he can lead the Palestinian people is further proof that the patients are running the asylum ("Barak denies trial balloon on Barghouti," September 26).
In calling for the freeing of this brutal Arab terrorist who, according to court protocols, proudly admitted to directing myriad attacks killing scores of Israelis, Ben-Eliezer made a mockery of justice and cheapened the supreme sacrifice of these many innocent victims.
Additionally, the suggestion that Barghouti be exchanged for Gilad Schalit is disgraceful, equating the IDF soldier with a barbaric murderer. Barghouti should be made to serve the full sentence meted out to him by Israeli law.
SHIFRA HOFFMAN, Founder
Victims of Arab Terror Int'l
Sir, - So when are we going to release Yigal Amir?
Sir, - The argument against a second kosher supervision apparatus makes sense. If we can have a second authority, why not a third or fourth? A precedent started this shmita year would continue.
For the sake of the unity of the Jewish people and Torah, the Chief Rabbinate must be the sole authority. The rabbinical
establishment will bear the ultimate responsibility for whether the Jewish people eats permitted foods or not ("Rebel rabbis take shmita supervision into their own hands," September 26).
...and what we can do
Sir, - Thanks to Isi Leibler for a great article ("Retreat from reason," September 25). Aside from the need to elect a government which can form a majority without being held hostage by any ultra-religious party, I can recommend two things we can all do immediately:
First, let's all turn out in force today to show our appreciation to our Christian friends and supporters during their march in Jerusalem; and, second, let's continue to eat in restaurants that we know uphold the requirements of kashrut, even if the local rabbinate refuses to grant a certificate because of the owners' adherence to the heter mechira.
Sir, - Why worry about Christian missionaries? Again, it all boils down to education. Teach children in school and at home love and understanding of their land and religion so that if and when they come across missionary workers they will be able to defend their Jewishness.
Unfortunately, many parents have not had this education, making it likely their children will be very vulnerable adults ("Rabbinate upholds ban on Jews taking part in Feast march," September 26).
This is truth?
Sir, - In "Let's be fair and seek truth" (Letters, September 26) Momo Uzsinay made a sorry spectacle of himself by repeating, verbatim, the immoral Turkish government stance on the Armenian genocide issue. It is bad enough for someone to shamelessly propagate a government-orchestrated lie; worse when he represents a community, in this case the Association of Turkish Jews in Israel.
Sir, - I was not surprised by Momo Uzsinay's preposterous statements denying the historical veracity of the Armenian genocide. It is disingenuous at best for Mr. Uzsinay to tout the Turkish government's offer to establish a commission to further study the Armenian genocide when several countries across the globe, plus a plethora of international scholarly, legal and human-rights communities, have already corroborated this crime against humanity.
The scholarly evidence reveals that: On April 24, 1915, under cover of World War I, the Young Turk government of the Ottoman
Empire began a systematic genocide of its Armenian citizens, an unarmed Christian minority population. More than a million Armenians were exterminated through direct killing, starvation, torture and forced death marches. The rest of the Armenian population fled into permanent exile. Thus an ancient civilization was expunged from its homeland of 2,500 years."
The morally bankrupt attempt by the Turkish government to whitewash history by dispelling over a century of impartial scholarship on the Armenian genocide is blasphemous and intellectually indefensible.
Toeing Turkey's line of denial is counterproductive to lawful efforts at promoting recognition, seeking reparations and then facilitating reconciliation for this most perverse injustice. For some Israelis to doggedly defend genocide-denying regimes like Turkey while chastising the Iranian regime's outlandish campaign of Holocaust denial is as hypocritical, ludicrous and sinister as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's shameful denial of the Holocaust.
MIRAN G. TERNAMIAN
Sir, - For many years we have been invited to the succa of dear friends, where one of the highlights is the beautiful singing of "A Sukkeleh" by one of the guests. To quote Avi Shafran, it never fails to choke us up. Thanks for the amazing translation, and for bringing out so movingly the deep meaning and significance of the song ("The succa still stands," September 25).
Sir, - To me, the letters column is the vital public face of The Jerusalem Post and, indeed, of every paper. A letters column fosters community - a community of readers - and engages and elicits loyalty and commitment to a paper from its readership, and from the readers to each other. The letters column is one leg of the "three-legged stool" of any paper: hard news, editorials/op-eds, and the readers' letters column. To me, this three-legged stool is what makes a paper a paper.
Sir, - Kol hakavod to the Israeli delegation to the Special Olympics in China, and to the president ("'You bring great pride to Israeli sport,' Peres tells Special Olympians before they head to China," September 25). Those Beit Hanasi caps and pins could really start a trend in motivating Israelis to achieve first place in many areas.
MIRIAM L. GAVARIN