March 27: Spy vs spy

What I cannot understand is the capitulation to an enemy that chants “Death to America” at every opportunity.

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March 26, 2015 20:21
3 minute read.
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Spy vs spy

With regard to “Israeli officials deny US report of spying on Iran talks” (March 25), it seems that US President Barack Obama has declared a war of words against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and, through him, the Israeli people for their effrontery in not doing as the president decrees and actually exercising their democratic right to choose their own lawmakers.

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Israel is accused of spying on the negotiations between the P5+1 and Iran, which are enabling Tehran to acquire an atomic bomb.

How does the White House know? Were American spies listening in on Israeli communications? Did Netanyahu give away details to Islamic State or Syria or any other enemy of the US? Is that the reason for the rage permeating the White House? What I cannot understand is the capitulation to an enemy that chants “Death to America” at every opportunity. Perhaps Mr. Obama is afraid that his Noble Peace Prize might have to be returned.

If the accusation were not so serious, one might think this was an early April Fool’s joke.

CYRIL ATKINS
Beit Shemesh

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Haredi draft

In questioning the drafting of haredi youth into the IDF, reader Leah Urso writes: “Haredi parents devote themselves to raising sons in an atmosphere of holiness and purity....”

(“Haredi draft,” Letters, March 24).

Where is the holiness and purity in defrauding the state by inflating student figures, rioting en mass, throwing stones and rocks to potentially cause injury, setting fire to garbage carts, and ostracizing and spitting on contemporaries who actually do enlist? The minutia of kashrut appears to override the importance of proper behavior.

IVOR LEWIS
Netanya

We are indeed after the elections. The horse-trading has begun. So perhaps it is time not for more concessions to the haredi community, but rather to the non-haredi community.

Let us aim for shifting the load. Let the new government rescind the compulsory draft for all so that the impure and unholy sons and daughters can, like their pure and holy counterparts in the haredi community, while away their lives in study and procreation instead of enduring boot camp and years of reserve duty, patrolling borders, guarding outposts, fighting wars, dying and sustaining horrendous wounds.

Let the writer’s “religious army” replace the IDF. Perhaps Israel will sleep more soundly when it is protected by an iron dome of psalms, with the mass of young, able-bodied haredi men and women sacrificing themselves on the altar of prayer for the sake of the nation while the impure and unholy stay safely at home.

LINDA WEINBERG
Karmiel

Let them rejoin

I recently attended a conference called “Mapping the Anousim Diaspora: Six Centuries of Pushing Borders,” organized by the Institute for Sefaradi and Anousim Studies at Netanya Academic College.

What was most impressive were the attendees from all over the world who had a thirst for knowledge about their Jewish roots after five centuries and more of being forcibly separated from their origins.

They and others live in Portugal, Spain, the Balearic Islands, Italy, and South and North America.

In separate remarks, the ambassadors of Spain and Portugal mentioned that in their countries, legislation either had been passed or was pending that would allow such people to regain citizenship.

If Spain and Portugal are willing to make amends for their terrible wrongs, the state of the Jewish people should do no less. It seems that the least Israel could do is enact legislation to facilitate those who can document their Jewish origins to rejoin the Jewish people.

JACK S. COHEN
Netanya

The writer is a retired professor and a board member of the Institute for Sefaradi and Anousim Studies.

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