Sir, – Even as Israel, sadly, denies immigration to Monique
Martinek, a Swiss woman of clear Jewish origin who desires to live her life
among her own people (“Government to block aliya of granddaughter of Holocaust
victim,” October 20), the ADL’s Abe Foxman pressures Israel into providing
permanent residency to illegal aliens who have overstayed their visas (“Do not
send these children away, Foxman pleads,” October 20).
as director of the ADL is to fight anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry in
America. Deporting illegal aliens is neither racism nor bigotry, merely common
For Israel to buy into the politically correct anarchy of illegal
immigration is nothing less than suicidal.
We can afford it neither
financially nor demographically.
Foxman would be on far more solid ground
were he fighting for the right of Monique Martinek to make aliya, rather than
strong-arming Israel into diluting itself hopelessly into a non-Jewish
‘Ma was misinterpreted’
Sir – Regarding The
Associated Press’s dispatch (“Taiwan’s Ma focuses on economic benefits of better
China ties, plays down prospects for broader political agreements,” October 20)
reporting that President Yin-jeou Ma suggested that “political talks could start
as early as a second four-year term if he wins re-election in 2012”: This was a
serious misinterpretation and misleading.
Firstly, President Ma has never
made any remarks on the presidential election in 2012 because of sensitive
domestic politics and electoral process regulations.
Secondly, the most
daunting task for him now is to carry out his strategies of minimizing the
military threat from mainland China while normalizing economic and financial
relations between the two sides. Once the dual goals are reached, then there is
the possibility to set political talks in motion.
As a former deputy
minister for handling Taiwan’s China affairs, I know quite well that any
assertion or prediction on the timing for political talks with China is
unfounded, especially so if linked with presidential elections.
assuming the presidency, President Ma has been trying very hard to smooth the
waters across the Taiwan Strait. The optimal choice for Taiwan and China at this
moment is to face the political reality, pushing it aside if it hinders economic
and cultural relations between the two sides. Any political dialogue is doomed
to fail if lacking mutual trust and benefit.LIANG-JEN CHANG
Representative Taipei Economic and Cultural Office Tel Aviv Funding and meddling
Sir, – Your article “Education Ministry mum as haredim put on show of defiance
against Sa’ar’s demand they teach core subjects” (October 19) states that the
haredim consider the subject of teaching core subjects as “external meddling in
a crucial internal matter.”
Fine, if that’s what they feel, then they
don’t have to teach the core subjects. However, they then shouldn’t be given the
100 percent state funding either. They can’t have it both ways. Either it should
be core subjects and state funding, or no teaching of core subjects and no state
Jerusalem IFCJ and walking a fine line
Sir, – I
was pleased to see your detailed feature on Rabbi Yehiel Eckstein and the
International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (“Reaching out,” October
Eckstein is to be commended for enabling Christians from around the
world to feel connected to and supportive of Israel. The charity dollars that he
brings to Israel are invaluable as well.
Personally, I have had the
privilege of working with him and the IFCJ to bring Christian tourists to donate
blood in Israel, something that’s been both successful and meaningful and
tangibly helps save lives here.
It’s a great shame that he has to go out
of his way to convince skeptics in order to help them receive financial support.
From my perspective, anyone shunning Eckstein and the IFCJ is missing an
opportunity to serve the people that their organizations claim to
It’s odd to have to fight an uphill battle to give money away to
help Israelis of all walks of life. Kudos to Rabbi Eckstein for his commitment,
fortitude and success.JONATHAN FELDSTEIN
Sir, – In your report
“Reaching out,” Rabbi Yehiel Eckstein refers to rabbis, the “haredi community
and others,” as being the last major obstacle to his success. Our organization,
JewishIsrael.com, is one of the “others” that Eckstein refers to.
we’ve all enjoyed good relations, assistance and benefits from gentile friends
who choose to take a moral stand with the Jewish state, organizations like IFCJ
put a theological/evangelical spin on those efforts – and that makes things
Eckstein may claim that he “would never work with any group
involved in missionary activity targeting the Jewish community,” but there is
ample evidence that the Christian figures appearing in IFCJ’s promotional
material (Jack Hayford, Pat Robertson, and Pat Boone) do promote missionary
activity which targets Jews, and they support the growing and strengthening
Christian messianic community in Israel.
As a community concerned with
Torah values and spiritual continuity, we have very real concerns and questions
which must be asked: Is it healthy for the Jewish state and the state of Jewish
society to become utterly dependent on non- Jewish and devout Christian sources
for our philanthropic needs? And should those sources be intimately involved and
wield significant influence in government agencies and the private sector of
Israeli society? It’s the job of our rabbinic leaders to get past the money
issues and to uphold the Torah, Halacha and the unique status of the Jewish
people in the Land of Israel – which includes separation from foreign worship
Red lines on this theologically loaded relationship are
necessary and honest questions should be asked.
The “last major obstacle”
that Eckstein can’t seem to overcome may simply be our need to ensure Jewish
independence, integrity, unity and spiritual continuity.SHULAMIT LEIBLER
Public relations director JewishIsrael.com Don’t pin it all on the poor
Your editorial “The urgent imperative to tackle poverty” (October 19), concluded
that poverty is largely due to chronic, deliberate, and excessive unemployment
among the Israeli Arab and haredi sectors and is largely centered in these two
While this conclusion is basically correct, it is certainly
Indeed, another, recent Post editorial addressed the
financial problems caused by the excessive concentration of wealth among a
relatively small number of wealthy families and the monopolies they control.
This editorial was mainly concerned with the enormous financial problems such
concentration of wealth can cause in times of economic instability and not the
negative impact these monopolies have on consumers and the poor.KENNETH
Kiryat Arba Yes, but...
Sir, – While I find Shmuley Boteach’s
advice to Jewish homosexual couples quite in order (“The Jewish view of
homosexuality,” October 19), his presumably Orthodox Jewish view of
homosexuality fails to accept that the Torah’s prohibition of the sexual act
between two males as an abomination implies its detrimental effects on the
private and public social fabric.
Boteach’s view is based on his value
distinction between moral and religious precepts, which Maimonides in his Guide
explicitly disqualifies.ARYEH NEWMAN