Sir, – Five and a half years ago, my wife and I spent Pessah at
the Ramot Resort in the Golan.
The scholar-in-residence was Seth Farber,
then a relatively recent oleh.
Farber spoke about his group, Itim, and
the good work it was doing on behalf of Jews who could not prove their ancestry
to the satisfaction of the Chief Rabbinate.
He stressed that he was not
an opponent of the rabbinate, but was working with it to alleviate problems for
people having a hard time getting married in Israel.
I turned to my wife
and said, “This poor guy. The political hacks at the rabbinate will squish him
like a bug. I give him three years before he calls for abolishing the entire
Well, I’m impressed (or maybe disappointed) with
Farber’s patience in waiting so long to file this lawsuit (“Why I’m petitioning
against the Chief Rabbinate,” Opinion, September 5).
I still believe he
will conclude that the only solution is to abolish the rabbinate and its control
over marriage and personal status, but his belief in the good intentions of
power-mad politicos is sort of touching in its naivete.DAVID GLEICHER
Jerusalem Grapefruit caveat
Sir, – The September 5 Health Scan article by Judy
Siegel (“Grapefruit’s sour taste holds a sweet promise for diabetics”) neglected
to mention that a large number of medicines include warnings against the
ingestion of grapefruit. Readers should be alerted to this.L. BLASS
Jerusalem Revealing lapse
Sir, – I loved the beautiful paean to Israel by Ron
Feinberg (“Why Israel tops this traveler’s list,” September 5), but was dismayed
to see that it was accompanied by a large photo of bikini-clad swimmers that
bore no relationship to the writer’s feelings.
There are surely more
appropriate photos you could have used.BRENDA BRONNER
Jerusalem In with
Sir, – “The new Netanyahu?” (September 3) by the old Caroline Glick
disregards the fact, as Glick columns do without fail, that nobody wants another
60 years of the status quo.
Glick has only one disc, which she plays over
and over and over again, criticizing anybody, everybody and any attempt to try
and resolve our situation.
Please, let’s move on to some fresh analysis
by fresh contributors with some answers and a breath of fresh air!
Bet Shemesh It just won’t work
Sir, – Has MK Tzipi Hotovely gone mad? Anyone who
would endorse such a plan (“Meanwhile on the Right...,” September 3) is in my
opinion crazy and has no regard for the safety of Israel.
conditions, the plan might work. But the conditions and circumstances are not
normal in Israel. The Palestinians and many Arabs surrounding Israel want to get
rid of or eliminate Jews and free all of Israel for themselves.
you make peace with anyone who despises you and wants you dead? Tzipi Hotovely
is young, inexperienced and quite naive, and in this sense as an MK, quite
Sir, – I was appalled reading Gil
Hoffman’s piece on Tzipi Hotovely and her hawkish beliefs. Anything, just not to
give up any part of the Land of Israel.
What Hotovely really means to do
is calm the Arabs’ fears by making them citizens of Israel, and then, later,
find some way to take away their citizenship, for whatever reason.
says the hardest part of her one-state “solution” is to sell it to the Israelis.
Less difficult, she says, would be to sell it to the Palestinians.
Sir, – Several pieces in the September
3 Jerusalem Post (“Theatre of the recurred” by Herb Keinon, “Meanwhile on the
Right” by Gil Hoffman and “Hopes and fears” by David Horovitz) comment on the
direct talks recently launched in Washington. However, no one has come up with a
really novel idea that is distinct from either the two-state solution or the
I propose a confederation, a state that consists of
Israel and Palestine, each governed separately but unified in economic, security
and other matters. This would be similar to the states of the US or the
countries of the EU.
By having such a confederation, the right of
Palestinians to live in Israel and Jews to live in Palestine would be
Of course, this confederation might take some
time, but it could be joined by Jordan, making a stronger and more equal
I owe this idea to Christian Anfinsen, a Nobel Prize
winner in chemistry (1972) who saw clearly that this would answer the needs of
two peoples.JACK COHEN
Netanya Memory and manners
Sir, – If I remember
correctly, Israel was attacked by the Arabs in 1948, 1967 and 1973 (and, of
course, in between). In all these wars, by the grace of God and our wonderful
fighting soldiers, we won. Isn’t there a saying, “To the victor go the spoils?”
When Prime Minister Netanyahu goes to Sharm e-Sheikh, he should think about the
soldiers who fought and died there. We made that town beautiful and then gave it
away to Egypt. Something is wrong with our leaders’ thinking and sense of
By the way, while Netanyahu and Abbas were giving their speeches
in Washington, why didn’t President Obama sit down instead of standing alongside
them? Wouldn’t that have been the polite thing to do?
Sir, Netanyahu, Abbas and Clinton approach a White House table. Netanyahu and
Abbas adjust their chairs. Neither assists Clinton to hers.
Menachem Begin would never have been guilty of such a lack of courtesy! IVOR
Even Yehuda Disagrees with Oren
Sir, – I find myself having to take issue
with Ambassador Michael Oren (“Reason for optimism in Mideast talks,” September
2). With all due respect, I find his reason for optimism fatuous and not based
on the reality of the situation.
I shall take his points in the order of
1. There is no factual reason for believing that now that
Iran is the main enemy, the Arabs will come to terms with the existence of
Israel. Even if this is the view of the Arab countries, it is not the view of
the Palestinians. They are as intransigent as ever in not accepting a Jewish
state. Their reaction, certainly of their people, to the recent heinous attack
on innocent Israelis was one of glee and rejoicing. It is very questionable if
PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s attempt to restore order in the West Bank has
anything to do with altering his people's attitude toward Israel.
would not bank too heavily on the hope that the people of Gaza “will someday rid
themselves of Hamas and opt for peace.”
3. The issue is not “adding a
bedroom for a growing family,” but the right of Jews generally to settle in the
4. Ambassador Oren does not insist that, before talks begin,
the Palestinians cease teaching their children that Israel has no right to exist
and naming their squares after terrorists. What chance would any nation have of
establishing peace with people who start out with such hatred in their hearts? I
certainly do not share Oren’s optimism.
5. Where does Oren get the idea
that “settlements have never been an obstacle to peace?” The continual war cry
of the Palestinians against settlements contradicts that, even though their main
agenda – not often stated these days – is to eliminate a Jewish presence on both
sides of the Green Line.EDWIN HOFFENBERG