Letters to the editor, February 1

Will and won't Sir, - The European Union intends to continue pushing money down the throats of the corrupted people the Palestinians so adamantly voted out of office in their election last week. Is this the EU way of respecting the will of the Palestinian people? ("EU won't cut PA aid yet, demands Hamas reform," January 31.) BIRGITTA JANAI Kibbutz Ein Harod Ihud Sinister motives? Sir, - Caroline Glick brilliantly articulated and clarified the current prosecution of former AIPAC employees Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman ("The trial of American Jewry," January 31). It seems there are sinister motivations within the echelons of power in Washington - but more alarming is the cold-blooded abandonment of highly rated, patriotic American and loyal Jews in what can only be termed cowardly appeasement. GISH TRUMAN ROBBINS Pardesiya Sir, - This column was just plain silly. Our community of six million US Jews can certainly withstand the conviction of a single AIPAC member - or 10, or 20. Nor does it mean that we are about to be rounded up and put onto trains to Utah death camps. This is the kind of hysteria we are used to hearing from Abe Foxman of the ADL. Too many of our Jews do not practice any form of Judaism. They intermarry, and no longer support Israel in any meaningful way. Now that is a real problem. ABE KRIEGER Philadelphia, PA Sir, - Once again Caroline Glick correctly assesses the true status of American Jewry in American society. The sting perpetrated by the FBI against AIPAC has the same stench of anti-Semitism as the Jonathan Pollard case. To be sure, Pollard is guilty, but does the punishment fit the crime? In the AIPAC case we're not even sure if a crime was committed. Perhaps certain elements in the American government think it's a crime to be too loyal to Israel. Will they soon be saying that just being Jewish is a sign of disloyalty to the US? Perhaps the time has come for our American brethren to seriously consider coming home. HAIM M. LERNER Ganei Tikva A religious dispute... Sir, - Kudos to Berel Wein for his ground-breaking "The true nature of the struggle" (January 31). At last we have someone with the knowledge and guts to tell the truth about the Arab-Israeli conflict. This article should have been included in the White House Presidential Daily Briefings and, of course, sent to Ehud Olmert, Tzipi Livni and Shaul Mofaz. MLADEN ANDRIJASEVIC Beersheba ...must be understood Sir, - In this very fine article Berel Wein highlighted one of the major reasons for the current impasse between the Arabs and the Jews, the problem of religion. To help the average person understand this problem in depth a compulsory course in comparative religion should be a required course in the public and religious school systems, as well as in the yeshivas, in addition to the learning of Arabic as a spoken language. It is impossible to even attempt to solve a problem unless you understand every side of it. Education in all aspects of our regional problems is therefore a prerequisite that should not be overlooked. PAUL BERMAN Shoham Keeping things cool Sir, - The UN Security Council talks scheduled for March will not stop the Iranian nuclear weapons program ("Gillerman sounds 'wake-up call' on Iran," January 29). An air campaign to destroy the Iranian nuclear sites would result in a war between Iran, the Sunni and Shi'ite populations of Iraq versus the US and UK. This war would cause massive loss of life and destruction in Iraq and Iran. An alternative to war would be for the US Congress and president to put Israel under a US nuclear umbrella. Any attack on Israel by any state or group would be considered an attack on the US. The election of Hamas to power in the West Bank and Gaza proves that the "Arab street " has been lost. Democratic elections in other Mid-Eastern countries would result in radical elements similar to Hamas coming to power. So there is no reason for the US not to adopt this policy, which would negate the Iranian nuclear bomb. This is the same policy that prevented the Cold War from going hot. Why wouldn't it work today? GEORGE LEWIS Brackley, UK Undeserved PR Sir, - Talia Sasson does not deserve the exposure given her by the Post unless and until she does the same precise research on the illegal settlements and illegal housing built by Arabs in the West Bank and Jerusalem ("Laws of the land," January 31). All facts deserve to be considered. Why is it that Attorney Sasson condemns only the Israelis for presumed illegality, thereby delighting Israel's critics? SONIA GOLDSMITH Netanya Sir, - What about the 30,000 houses built illegally by Arabs in the Negev, Galilee and elsewhere for which court orders to demolish exist but the state is afraid to implement them? HARRY W. WEBER Netanya Sauce for the goose? Sir, - We condemn the cynical use of children by the Palestinians when they attempt to use youngsters to infiltrate into Israel with explosives. None of the young girls shown breaking into empty homes slated for demolition at Amona in your January 31 front-page photograph appear older than in their teens. They are planning to defy the law and the IDF's demolition of an illegal outpost. Are we equally prepared to condemn those who send these children to break the law? GERALD SCHOR Ra'anana Charles & Marcel Sir, - I have long been a fan of Charles Krauthammer, admiring both his analyses of current events and the dignity and courage with which he has borne his own personal trials. His article in memory of his brother moved me deeply ("Remembering Marcel," January 31). It was a sweet and sensitive eulogy. I would like to express to Mr. Krauthammer our traditional words of solace: "May the Lord comfort you amidst the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem." ARNOLD I. KISCH Jerusalem Sir, - The tribute to Marcel Krauthammer by his brother Charles was very touching. While he wrote the piece for a general audience, the Jewish aspect of Marcel's life should also be remembered. Marcel - who never referred to himself as Dr. or Prof. but as a "proud Galitzianer Jew" - went through living hell during what were the most productive years of his life, but his faith in God never wavered. He was an outstanding Torah scholar with a worldly outlook. He faithfully read the Torah at two shuls on the same morning, even during his illness. Marcel took much pride in sharing with his fellow congregants a beautifully-bound volume of Torah correspondence from his father to him, beginning from his earliest childhood and going into adulthood. His compassion for his patients - including my father - represented the highest moral and ethical teachings of our Jewish heritage. RICHARD A. MACALES Founding President Young Israel of Northridge, California Jerusalem War on poverty - where is it? Sir, - It was incredible to view, on TV, hundreds of employers from every corner of Israel with their overflowing shopping bags attending the recent national gift fair, whose sole purpose was to woo participants into purchasing their wares as Pessah gifts for their employees. Gifts ranged from beautifully-wrapped food baskets, to sophisticated exercise equipment, to sensuous massages, and the employers were urged to take free samples home. Ironically, one commented, even as he continued to stuff his own shopping bag, that most people were there only for the free samples. This celebration of conspicuous consumption, resulting in the expenditure of hundreds upon hundreds of millions of shekels, was all the more ludicrous and unforgivable against the background of the hundreds of thousands of impoverished Israelis, who lack the most basic means of sustenance. The sight conjured up a biblical scene of gross insensitivity: "When Joseph came up to his brothers, they stripped Joseph of his tunic… and took him and cast him into the pit… then they sat down to a meal" (Genesis 37: 23-25). This kind of behavior aroused the prophet Isaiah's wrath when he rejected the pious fasting of the impious on Yom Kippur and called for a fast that would evoke a genuine ethical, spiritual renewal: "This is my chosen fast [said God]… It is to share your bread with the hungry and to take the wretched poor into your home; When you see the naked to clothe him, and not hide from your own flesh (57:6-8)." Would it not be a just and glorious act to ask that our employers, rather than lavishing gifts on us this Pessah, give the huge sums of money involved to our impoverished brethren, thus enabling us to say with integrity on Seder night: Kol dichfin yehtay v'yehchul - "Let all who hunger come and eat. Let all who are in need come and partake of the paschal lamb." AHARON M. ZINGER Jerusalem Sir, - I am saddened to read on a regular basis of the enormous poverty many of our fellow men are experiencing. Institutions and we, as private people, do our best but there is very little help forthcoming from the government, as we all know. The problem is that we are not represented by an MK to whom one could complain and explain the position as we find it. It seems to me - and as I can observe from the comments I read in The Jerusalem Post - that may of the MKs represent only themselves since they are not voted in by the people but selected by the party. There has to be a change. MAKS KRIEGSMAN Tel Aviv Weather up north Sir, - I really appreciate your resuming the weather map of the US and Canada, and also that of Europe; however the map of Israel is lacking the Golan. Why would you want to keep Israeli citizens from knowing the weather conditions on Mount Hermon or in the town Katzrin? Especially now that winter is here and we may want to know about the temperature and possibility of snow there? CHEN GUREWITZ Ashkelon