February 21: Sharon and controversy

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Sharon and controversy
Sir, – Regarding your special section on Ariel Sharon (February 7), whether one calls it disengagement, deportation, eviction, a pogrom or ethnic cleansing, Sharon’s dislocation of 10,000 Jews by other Jews in front of a gloating world media, and the handing over of their bulldozed homes and enterprises to their enemies, dealt a body blow to the morale and abiding land-centered faith of the Jewish People. It only helped install Hamas, which has now fired rockets almost as far as Tel Aviv.
Maimonides stated that for wreaking such damage to Jewish property and morale, some men can lose everything and end up getting no credit, it being the way of God that they not be remembered by Him in the afterlife (Mishne Torah, Hilchot Hovel Umazik).
Despite his previous heroism, self-sacrifice and good deeds, to Ariel Sharon can be applied the verse: “All the righteousness he did will not be remembered” (Ezekiel 18).
Sir, – “The phoenix rises, again,” in your special section on Ariel Sharon, reminded me of the foreword by Uri Dan in Warrior, Sharon’s autobiography.
Although known worldwide as a warrior and the greatest field commander in Israeli military history, Sharon was fundamentally a man of peace, with full recognition of Jews in their one and only land, security for generations, and a united Jerusalem, the eternal capital and the very heart of the Jewish people and State of Israel.
In the summer of 2000, Camp David convened, and then-prime minister Ehud Barak offered Arafat many concessions.
In the following election, Sharon swept into office.
Sharon declared Israel’s deep-rooted links to Hebron, where David was crowned King of Israel. In spite of Israel’s initial fight for independence, he then focused on the future, with hope, like our national anthem.
Herzliya Pituah
Sophisticated taste
Sir, – The Jerusalem Post Magazine is to be congratulated for its excellent taste in showcasing the magnificent work of artist Yoram Raanan as illustrations for the Judaism section each week. Raanan’s work enhances this feature and reflects sophisticated taste.
Beit El
Blathering column
Sir, – Concerning “Why would anyone care who Yair Netanyahu dates?” (Think Again, February 7), Jonathan Rosenblum states that “the intermarriage rate among non-Orthodox Jews in America is currently 71 percent, which means that more than four out of five marriages involving a non-Orthodox Jew are intermarriages.”
Really? Where did Rosenblum get his education on elementary arithmetic? At the local kollel? Where are the editors of The Jerusalem Post Magazine? More importantly, in his same blathering, dithering column, Rosenblum believes that “defending the state with a citizen’s army [has] played a large role in the feeling of most Israelis that they are engaged in a historical project.”
This is true. But it is not true for most of the ultra-Orthodox, who refuse to take part in the citizen’s army and the historical project. They are so unsure of their Orthodoxy that they can’t leave the yeshiva for a few years!
Jonathon Rosenblum responds:
Mr. Horowitz provides a fresh example of an old rule: Do not rush to call others a fool lest you be demonstrated to be one yourself. A 67% intermarriage rate among non-Orthodox Jews would result in four out of five marriages involving non-Orthodox Jews being intermarriages. If four out of five marriages are intermarriages, that means that those five marriages involve six Jews – two who marry one another and four who marry gentiles.
Thus four out of five intermarriages results in an intermarriage rate of 67% – four out of six. Now that wasn’t so hard, Mr. Horowitz, was it?