White House stunt

US President Barack Obama invited a few Jewish people to the White House to partake in a Seder but this certainly doesn’t make up for his prolonged and increasingly shabby treatment of Israel.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
White House stunt
So, US President Barack Obama invited a few Jewish people to the White House to partake in a Seder (“There is always reason for hope, says Obama as he hosts White House Seder,” April 5). This certainly doesn’t make up for his prolonged and increasingly shabby treatment of Israel and the Jewish people.
This is the same Obama who is threatening Israel’s very future via a potentially horrific nuclear deal with Iran; the same Obama whose minions have said the US could abandon Israel to fend for itself, and withdraw its support at the United Nations; the same Obama who sternly tells a sovereign nation where it can and cannot build, and where its borders should be; the same Obama who talks down to Israel like he is scolding a misbehaving child, and has treated Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with contempt and utter disrespect. It goes on.
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Obama caters to the enemies of both Israel and the rest of the democratic world, and shows no sign of repenting. Why would the recipients of such disdain dine with him? Are a few matza balls at a table in the White House really worth it? I simply do not understand why anyone would attend such a blatant PR stunt that amounts to nothing more than a gratuitous pat on the head. Given the president’s record on Israel, can anyone really believe the man yearned to be part of a revered Jewish ceremonial feast?
LINDA SLOBODIAN Deloraine, Manitoba
Not so funny
In “Israel and comedy – an uneven playing field” (Arts & Entertainment, April 5), Noa Amouyal discusses the way leading comedians (many of them Jewish) poke fun at Jews and Israel.
She also discusses the rebound this brings.
One wonders: Why don’t these same comedians ever poke fun at Islam and its adherents? Could it be that this censorship is a matter of self-preservation and survival?
Wrong definition
In his article headlined “28-year ‘aguna’ freed two days before Passover” (April 2), reporter Jeremy Sharon offers an incorrect assessment of the halachic definition of mamzer.
He writes that “Jewish law requires a husband to give his wife a bill of divorce, a ‘get’ in Hebrew, in order to terminate a marriage and allow the wife of such a man to remarry. If a woman has children in a different relationship without having remarried, the children are defined as mamzerim, an extremely problematic status within Jewish law.”
One unfamiliar with Jewish law might understand from Sharon’s words that a child born out of wedlock is considered a mamzer.
However, this is not true. The fact that a woman is still married to her husband makes her children from another man a mamzer.
Whether or not she remarries is irrelevant.
The writer is a rabbi.
‘Post’ terminology
On June 28, 1967, the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem were delineated under an enabling law.
On July 23, 1980, in the Ninth Knesset, MK Geula Cohen proposed an amendment to the Basic Law of the State of Israel, widely known as the Jerusalem Law, which was adopted by 65 to 12 votes and incorporated into the Basic Law. In 2001, it was amended by three additional paragraphs to define the Jerusalem boundary as per the enabling law of 1967.
Unfortunately, reporter Tovah Lazaroff (“A boom-and-bust builder over the Green Line,” March 17) ignores the Jerusalem Basic Law. She states: “The large multistory apartment buildings jutting out behind him on the sunny, chilly spring day were a subtle reminder that [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu is a builder of Jewish homes over the Green Line, especially Jerusalem....”
The “Green Line” was abolished 48 years ago! One does not expect The Jerusalem Post to use terminology that effectively stabs the state in the back along with those who refuse to acknowledge the city’s status.
The Editor responds: The Jerusalem Post seeks to be as neutral and balanced as possible in the use of terminology. While we clearly are supportive of Israel in our editorial policy, we have to bear in mind that we have an international readership. To this end, we have compiled a stylebook, which all our reporters and editors attempt to follow. We use terms such as Green Line because they are universally accepted and do not reflect any political stand on the part of the newspaper.
Worried reader
Many American and Israeli Jews are increasingly worried that Israel is, electorally, becoming a permanent right-wing state.
The Likud won in 1977, when Israel had 11,000 settlers. It has ruled for most of the past 38 years, and right-voting settlers have risen to a perhaps unbeatable 750,000. Now, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Election Day warning about Israeli-Arabs “voting in droves,” and his rejection of a Palestinian state suggest a frozen, settler-driven majority and a permanent occupation over a non-voting population.
Whether the region is calm or in flux, there are always excuses.
They change to fit the case.
The Likud charter and Netanyahu both opposed then-prime minister and Likud leader Ariel Sharon’s anti-occupation speech way back in 2003. But this issue involves the West because most of the area’s borders were internationally arranged, and the conflict over a non-voting people is an international matter.
I care deeply for Israel. But also, inescapably now, I care for the people it occupies, over whose political fate these right-wing election results might decide. I worry about what might now be permanently right-wing political results.
JAMES ADLER Cambridge, Massachusetts
Time to apologize
Recently, our television screened the story of the ship Exodus and its long journey in 1947 from Europe to Palestine. It was packed with a large number of Holocaust survivors. The cruelty of the British troops in reaction to the survivors’ refusal to disembark at any other Mediterranean port was unforgivable.
The drama ended when the passengers were finally forced, physically and one by one, by the British soldiers to disembark at a port in Germany – the Germany of the Nazis that was so fresh in their memories! The film ended with the November 29, 1947, vote on the partition of Palestine at the United Nations. Britain abstained. What a way to get out of a predicament dating back to the Balfour Declaration, and subsequently including all of Britain’s decisions that watered it down! Is it not time for Britain to publicly apologize for its treatment of Jewish Holocaust survivors?
Language barrier
I have been here just a few weeks and wonder whether anyone can tell me if the English language is being boycotted or just that spoken English is not encouraged.
Having bought a washing machine, connected to Cellcom and attempted to purchase water, trying to speak to these service providers is nigh impossible in English. It is often very difficult to contact an English-speaking operator on the phone.
Just like anyone else, English speakers do not want to waste time and money.
Fast food
Is it my imagination or have our sheets of matza gotten smaller? I seem to recall it taking an age to butter a piece, but today it’s done and eaten in a trice!