October 25: Map of justification?

Does the fact that Ramot is "over the pre-1967 Green Line” justify – or encourage – the stabbing of a teenager?

By JERUSALEM POST READERS
October 25, 2011 05:18

 
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Map of justification?

Sir, – Regarding “Jerusalem teenager stabbed in apparent terror attack” (October 23), the Post seems to feel that describing Ramot as being “over the pre-1967 Green Line” helps the reader understand that it is in an area occupied by Israel. So are the Jerusalem neighborhoods of Ramat Eshkol, Gilo, etc.

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Does this justify – or encourage – the stabbing of a teenager?

LEO BERG
Jerusalem

Follow the money

Sir, – Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is handing out huge sums of cash to the Palestinian murderers just let go from Israeli jails (“Abbas to reward prisoners released in Schalit deal,” October 23). I wonder if the American taxpayers and the various NGOs that support Abbas know how their financial support is being used.

Shame on them if they know and simply don’t care.

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JOSHUA J. ADLER
Jerusalem

Real religious freedom

Sir, – After reading “Rioters block march against segregation in Mea She’arim” (October 23), I wondered what the reaction would be if a group of haredim paraded in an absolutely nonreligious neighborhood and quietly chanted prayers and perhaps blew a shofar or two.

Wouldn’t we – myself included – say that they were troublemakers? Surely, if the marchers mentioned in your article were to demonstrate in Arab towns against gender segregation they would be considered intolerant.

Why the difference? Similarly, in Rabbi Uri Regev’s op-ed (“Social justice, religious freedom and the tent protests,” Comment & Features, October 23), I find a clear lack of tolerance and true liberalism.

Although I don’t personally see the necessity for gender segregation on buses, I can respect a different opinion, especially if the bus travels through haredi neighborhoods.

As Regev heads a group that espouses freedom of religion, I would expect more understanding on his part. I would respectfully suggest that instead of threatening a culture war, he promote more Jewish culture and thus help lower the very high rates of intermarriage in Conservative and Reform Judaism.

YITZCHOK ELEFANT
Dimona
The writer is a rabbi

Sir, – If, as Rabbi Uri Regev says, the Israel Democracy Institute ranks religious freedom in Israel no higher than in Syria, Saudi Arabia or China, then maybe the IDI is less than objective.

At midday on Yom Kippur, if I feel like it, I can put a big cross around my neck and walk down Tel Aviv’s Allenby Street singing “Jesus Loves Me” while eating a ham sandwich. Maybe not in Mea She’arim, but around Tel Aviv and, I dare say, across most of the country, anyone can easily find a place to express any religious feelings in public as an individual or a community.

At midday during Ramadan in Saudi Arabia, where can I wear a crucifix in public? I can’t even bring one into the country. I can’t openly organize a prayer meeting if it isn’t Islamic.

The IDI has evidently let its own agenda overwhelm its sense of proportion.

MARK L. LEVINSON
Herzliya

How very encouraging

Sir, – After seeing the bloody way Muammar Gaddafi was summarily executed (“Gaddafi killed in gruesome mob attack,” October 21), the world can now rest assured that in the Arab world, a Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson or Abraham Lincoln will arise to lead the people into a democratic future.

SONYA FEDERMAN
Jerusalem

Under the boards

Sir, – The reason Maccabi Tel Aviv lost to Olimpia Milano (“Mac TA defeated by Milano in opener,” Sports, October 21) was not poor shooting, but the lack of an inside game and rebounding. It’s amazing that Maccabi would field a team without three or four big men to match European competition.

Why doesn’t your reporter write more critically? Maccabi’s management should be soundly berated. You cannot win relying on perimeter shooting alone.

P. RABOFF
Jerusalem

An army of one

Sir, – Tzahi Hanegbi’s account of his interaction with Gilad Schalit’s grandfather (“Let’s learn the lessons,” Comment & Features, October 21) raises profound concerns about the prisoner exchange.

Hanegbi says that “Zvi Schalit sought to persuade me that the state should not draft tougher principles on negotiating with terrorists until his grandson was safely returned to his family.”

This shows at least one Schalit family member recognized that the deal under consideration might have been contrary to the best national policy, yet the elder Schalit pushed for the government to make the deal to release his grandson before greater societal interests were considered.

Far from a principled stand on the value of any single Jewish soldier’s life (as many have described it), this was a deal in which Schalit placed the value of his grandson above that of all other Israelis.

Hanegbi says he decided to express his opinions on this issue of critical importance only in private discussions with government officials so as “not to worsen the family’s pain.” In failing to make his views public, the then-chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee allowed the Schalit family and sympathetic news media to control the public debate, leading to a potentially dangerous outcome. An important elected official acted at the request of a single individual rather than focusing on the safety and security of all Israelis as his overriding priority.

EFRAIM A. COHEN
Zichron Ya’acov

Tenacity, not stupidity

Sir, – Caroline B. Glick, in her inimitable way, has blasted the media for exploiting the Gilad Schalit campaign (“Marketing Gilad Schalit,” Column One, October 21).

She is not happy that her idol, our prime minister, caved in to public pressure inspired by the media. Her bottom line is that it’s “only a matter of time before the public again is convinced to support policies that it knows endanger the country.”

I, for one, did not need the media to convince me to actively support the campaign for Schalit’s freedom. Instead of admiring the tenacity of the Israeli public, Glick is treating us as if we are all stupid.

ZELDA HARRIS
Tel Aviv

Sentence with a twist

Sir, – Shmuley Boteach, in “Israel must have a death penalty for terrorists” (Comment & Features, October 21), seeks to preempt the next Schalit affair by proposing to eliminate the lures that motivate Hamas to undertake kidnappings. Alas, his proposal lacks viability inasmuch as various streams of Israeli democracy and the expected international outcry might join to block its enactment.

Accordingly, I propose the following scenario: Israel legislates that individuals convicted of terrorism be sentenced to death, although the sentence will be held in abeyance pending the next kidnapping.

Then, by dint of its pre-publicized legislation, Israel will put the onus on Hamas by declaring that each day (or week) that it refuses to release the kidnap victim will trigger the execution of a previously sentenced terrorist.

Think about it: Hamas, not Israel, will possess the triggering mechanism for carrying out a death sentence on one of its own.

This approach would require numerous refinements and would have to withstand the unforgiving test of wisdom. But at least it would be part of the discussion taking place in Israel.

PINCHAS COHEN
Teaneck, New Jersey

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