Sir, – We have got used to hearing that Israel has struck the tunnels
of the Gaza Strip after every terrorist attack (“IAF bombs Gaza tunnels in
retaliation for last week’s attacks,” September 6).
The tunnels are used
to smuggle in weapons to the Gaza Strip – at best they are used to bring in
contraband by profiteers. We know that there is no shortage of goods in Gaza, so
the tunnels are used only for illegal and nefarious purposes.
It may be a
simple and naïve question, but why do we wait for an attack and only
retaliate by bombing a few tunnels? We know they exist, and if their
are known, why are we not bombing all of them in one go? Surely, the
an indisputable and legal military target.YEHUDIT COLLINS
it like it is
Sir, – Regarding “Lieberman: We won’t have peace for generations”
(September 6): At last! A substantive, truthful headline!
Sir, – It would be much better if Foreign Minister Lieberman conducted
peace negotiations with the Palestinians. His realistic outlook would
expectations of the Palestinians. Therefore, PA President Mahmoud Abbas
not pressure him too much.
In contradiction, Prime Minister Netanyahu’s
repetitive declaration that peace will be achieved within one year is
invitation to Abbas to raise his demands and pressure us on all fronts.
first such test will come during the next round of talks, when the PA
presents our prime minister with an ultimatum to continue the
freeze until the negotiations are completed.
Everyone who knows Netanyahu
knows the outcome. This would only be the beginning of his “concession
in order to save the “peace process.”S. FELDMANN
Givatayim Hawking makes
Sir, – While I evidently share Uri Hirsch’s and Gerald Schroeder’s
acceptance of the central role of God in the eternal debate between
deny or affirm His existence (“Faith and fact,” Letters, September 6),
a radical difference in the degree of certainty of our faith.
completely unconditional and does not depend on empirical proof of His
existence. It is not a hypothesis depending on its verification, as is
in the work of scientists.
Indeed, the Torah records a dialogue between
Moses and God on this very matter.
When he asked to actually know God,
the answer came that the only thing you can know of God are the virtues
represents of justice, compassion and truthfulness, as outlined in the
attributes the people of Israel undertook to follow in their daily
which similarly underlie the seven Noahide laws. Or, as one of my
Torah authority Rabbi Abramsky, never tired of emphasizing in quoting
paragraph of the book of Esther: “King Ahasuerus laid tribute on the
islands of the sea and all the acts of his power... and a history of
greatness, are they not recorded in the archives of the kings of Media
If you are looking for history, anthropology, biology, etc., you
will only find it in the universities and science institutes. Not in the
which is a timeless ethical guide on how to behave.
Prof. Stephen Hawking
(“Israeli scientists blast off at Hawking’s view that ‘God was not
create the universe,” September 3), to whom the letter writers were
is right in the sense that God is not a scientific fact. Indeed, it is
more. It is an essential part of our humanity for each individual to
feel in his
very being to reinforce the practice of the virtues that He
Sir, – As a scientist and an Orthodox
Jew, I would like to comment on the extensive publicity given to the new
and the accompanying claims of Stephen Hawking.The Jerusalem Post
headline expressed the scientific findings correctly, that God was not
By contrast, the headline of the Wall Street Journal was “Stephen
Hawking: God Did Not Create the Universe.”
The difference between these
two headlines is profound. For example, it is correct to state that a
estate agent was not needed to locate my new apartment, but it is
state that a real estate agent did not locate my new apartment for me. I
an agent and paid him a large fee.
The Torah view is that God intervenes
in the physical world within the laws of nature (olam k’minhago
For example, as recorded in Exodus 14:21: “God ordered a
powerful east wind to pass over the sea all that night, causing the
become dry land; and thus the waters split.” In other words, a sort of
struck the Red Sea, producing a natural event that has been observed to
occasion in various bodies of water. The miraculous aspect of splitting
Sea lies in the purpose and timing.
Returning now to Hawking, God did
create the universe, as Genesis reports, but He did it within the laws
nature, by means of the Big Bang, as Hawking has discovered.PROF. NATHAN
Petah Tikva Supplemental thinkin’
Sir, – On one of the two holiest days
of the Jewish year, there is nothing I would rather read about than the
richest Jews in the world (Rosh Hashana holiday supplement).
To quote Dr.
Phil, “What were you thinkin” (or rather, not thinkin’)? Besides being
off-key, the article reeks of laziness. It comes across as a piece that
researched by computer within a few hours and be factually sound with no
hard thought involved.
Almost any other idea would have been better: “50
outstanding young Jewish leaders,” “50 outstanding Jewish teachers,””50
outstanding Jewish inventions,” “50 best Jewish chefs.” Anything. Even
number 50 isn’t engraved in stone.
You have a whole year to
Please do better in 2011.CAROL CLAPSADDLE
Jerusalem Hotovely on to something
Sir, – The current peace talks are doomed (“Government
offers Palestinians gestures instead of settlement freeze extension,”
5) not because of Israeli intransigence or settlements, but because, as
stand now, the Palestinian leadership has no logical reason to agree to a
With so many people, including Israelis, saying the Israeli
government needs to hurry up in light of the demographic threat, it is
rational for the Palestinians to simply block any two-state solution via
own intransigence and terrorism.
The more people preach that the clock is
ticking to Israel’s detriment, the more the Palestinians will be all too
to sit back and watch.
So how do we get out of the above conundrum? As
uncomfortable as it may be to hear, the real choice lies in the options
to foster a successful one-state solution that ensures the existence of
Jewish state. Therefore, MK Tzipi Hotovely’s proposal (“Meanwhile, on
Right,” September 3) is very much a step in the right direction.
adjust Hotovely’s plan to grant Palestinian residents of the territories
same voting rights that the citizens of Puerto Rico have – i.e., they
delegates to the Knesset who can participate in plenum discussions, vote
bills and serve on committees.
A bicameral legislature, with only one
house allowed to make decisions relating to the identity of the state,
also afford a solution that allows for maximal democracy while
country’s Jewish character.
The one-state solution might look odd, but
it’s high time for Israelis to start thinking outside the box – because
we’re in now is nothing more than a very ornate and way-too-expensive