Letters to the Editor February 2, 2022: Mockery of the rule of law

Readers of The Jerusalem Post have their say.

Letters (photo credit: PIXABAY)
Letters
(photo credit: PIXABAY)

Mockery of the rule of law

As an avid reader of The Jerusalem Post in general and Yaakov Katz’s “Editor’s Notes” in particular, I was disappointed by the unbalanced and misleading article titled “It is time to combat settler violence” appearing in the January 28th paper. It is way past time to combat violence from all quarters. But it is a cruel fiction to assert that the law is enforced “inside Israel” but not in Judea and Samaria. Unfortunately, our government has made a mockery of the rule of law and civilized behavior throughout Israel.

Instead of enforcing property rights, the government rewards violence by ceding wide swaths of the Negev to the Bedouin. Instead of enforcing even Supreme Court decisions, the government caves in to Arab rioting in the Shimon Hatzadik (Sheikh Jarrah) neighborhood of Jerusalem. Instead of protecting even Area C of Judea and Samaria, the government allows European-financed illegal construction. Instead of pursuing the Zionist enterprise and allowing young families access to affordable housing, our government obstructs building and cancels a badly needed housing project in the Atarot neighborhood.

Our youth are misguided and led to violence because they see that the only language the government understands is rioting and rock throwing. It is time to stop the policy of appeasement and defend and build the Land of Israel. It is time to end the dangerous policies that incentivize violent behavior no matter who is the perpetrator.Prof. Linda AllenWilliam F. Aldinger Chair in Banking and FinanceBaruch College, City University of New York

Bennett interview: Western Wall

My appreciation to the prime minister for his firm position on the sanctity of the Kotel, and thus maintaining the age-old praying practice and ritual at the Kotel (“‘Gov’t unlikely to approve Kotel deal,’” January 28). According to statistics, some 12 million people from Israel and all over the world visit and pray at the Kotel, this most holy place of the Jewish nation. All these millions of Jews and non-Jews – among them presidents and ministers from all over the world –  express respect and honor to this place and this 2000-year-old prayer ritual.The political engagement of some 50-70 Women of the Wall ladies every Rosh Hodesh on the Kotel site is nothing else than a shameful show of crying and dancing. I am sure that if the media will boycott this monthly show, all these ladies will disappear within some time from the Kotel, and peace and holiness will return to the Kotel also on Rosh Hodesh.

 Women of the Wall praying at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, December 5, 2021.  (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST) Women of the Wall praying at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, December 5, 2021. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Our generation must be most grateful to the Almighty that we were privileged to witness the historical episode of liberation of Jerusalem and the return to the Kotel – a dream of all generations of Jews during 2000 year of exile. Thus, we have to show respect to this holy and unique place of our nation, and not allow a fringe and estranged minority to profane the sanctity of the Kotel.SHLOMO FELDMANNGivatayim

Leave your agenda behind

Your editorial “Kotel Disagreement” (February 1) is worrying since it does not refer to the root of the problem at all. You will excuse my ignorance but I just do not understand this controversy about a separate praying area at the Western Wall for Reform and Conservative Jews.

Am I wrong that there is no obligation, no law, no religious dictate which actually obligates a non-Orthodox Jew to pray next to his wife, or girlfriend, or any woman for that matter? Or for a woman to be obliged to be alongside a man? Does the non-juxtaposition of a member of the opposite sex mar or otherwise impair the sincerity of his or her supplications?

When you visit a mosque or a Buddhist shrine, it is demanded of you to remove your shoes; in a cathedral, to remove your hat. Will these people who insist on the proximity of a woman (or a man) insist on their “right” to wear their shoes or their hats when visiting these places? I do not think so. So why are they intent on pushing their political and feminist agenda down the throats of the general Israeli public in relation to this holy place, which, for centuries untold has set and followed the ground rules engraved in the annals of time and tradition.  Even non-Jews, when visiting the Wall, conform to those same ground rules.

By all means come and pray and be part of the Jewish people at their holiest place, but leave your agenda behind and pray with sincerity, like most others present will be doing.

LAURENCE BECKERJerusalem

I would like to add one more thought on the controversy about how the Kotel deal or lack thereof affects American Jewish relationships with Israel. During a trip back to the US, I was visiting a friend of mine, an occasional member of both Conservative and Reform synagogues, who was very agitated about something she had read about the Kotel deal. Since I knew her not to be a regular shul goer, nor planning a trip to Israel anytime soon, I asked her why she was so concerned. She replied in all sincerity that she feared that as a Conservative or Reform Jew she would not be allowed to come to the Kotel. Once I explained that she could come, every day if she wished, she expressed relief and calmed down considerably. As a matter of fact, she lost interest in the subject entirely.

I think there is a disconnect between the political aspects of the controversy and the way ordinary Jews in America feel and think. Of course it is important to try to reach accord on this subject, but we should not be overwhelmed by the hype.MARION REISSBeit Shemesh

How is that apartheid?

Amnesty International reports that Israel is an apartheid state and should not exist (“Foreign Ministry: Amnesty apartheid report denies Israel’s right to exist as Jewish state,” February 1). This is about as anti-Israel, antisemitic and viciously wrong as it gets. I live in a neighborhood in Beersheba with Arab neighbors who own  elegant and expensive homes – how is that apartheid?

At the Soroka Medical Center, many of the doctors and nurses are Arab – how is that apartheid ? In the drug stores many of the licensed pharmacists are Arab – how is that apartheid ? In the Sami Shamoon College of Engineering many of the students are Arab – how is that apartheid?

As a professor of physics at Ben-Gurion University (now emeritus), I have served as research adviser to several Arab PhD students who are now college lecturers – how is that apartheid ? Israel has Arab members of the Knesset, now also members of the government – how is that apartheid ? Amnesty should be ashamed of themselves; they deserve to be ostracized and drummed out of town.

YIGAL HOROWITZ

Professor Emeritus of Physics

Beersheba

Amnesty International UK needs to be reminded that, in signing the Oslo Accords, Israel afforded the Arabs of Palestine what no Arab leader had ever offered them – the opportunity to live under the administration of leaders of their own choosing. Unfortunately, their chosen leaders have betrayed the people’s trust. The heads of both the Palestinian Authority and Hamas have long overstayed their elected terms, enriched themselves by embezzling monies donated for their people’s benefit, and diverted humanitarian aid to efforts to destroy the nation-state of the Jews. Had the leaders instead prioritized the building of a Palestinian state willing to co-exist, peacefully, with the world’s only Jewish state, the Palestinians could have become productive citizens in their own state long ago.

Unfortunately, when the Palestinian leaders say they accept a “Two State Solution,” they envision a Palestinian state from which all Jews have been banished and a Muslim-majority Israel, peopled by the Palestine refugees (as designated by UNRWA). Very few of the “refugees” are people who fled (or were forced from their homes) during Arab-initiated violence aimed at ridding Palestine/Israel of its Jews in the 1940s and 1967. The typical Palestine refugee was born in an UNRWA camp because the UN abets Arab and Palestinian leaders who insist that Israel must give the “refugees” the homes they claim their parents, grandparents, great-grandparents… lost in what became the modern State of Israel generations ago. Unfortunately, the “refugees” have grown up seeing people highly honored and richly rewarded for killing Jews. Jews would be second-class citizens in a Muslim-majority Israel, if they were tolerated at all.

This is the true “apartheid” in the Middle East that no one talks about. In the first three decades following 1948, Israel absorbed and uplifted 800,000 Mizrahi Jews who’d been thrust from their homes in the Muslim countries of the Middle East and North Africa. Surely, the numerous Arab countries, some oil rich, should have rehabilitated a similar number of Arab refugees who share language, religion and culture with their own citizens. This is especially true because Arab countries went to war instead of helping the Arabs of Palestine achieve self-rule in 1948.

TOBY F. BLOCK

Atlanta

Paralyzing differences

While Seth Frantzman’s suspicions regarding Turkey’s reconciliation agenda are understandable (“Is Turkey reconciliation getting more support here?” January 31), his outright rejection to accept any sort of an olive branch from Ankara is not. As has been pointed out repeatedly over the last several years, a new Middle East is slowly but steadily turning into a reality, and the two nations of this region most aligned with western culture – Israel and Turkey – must be the focal points of change and reform. It goes without saying, therefore, that the interests of the two countries need to be realigned and efforts must be made to work out any paralyzing differences. And while the benefits, for now, may be one-sided, considering the level of distrust and animosity that has become the norm, what we’ve seen in recent days is a good start.

Frantzman, moreover, need not be overly concerned about Israel’s well-being. The Jewish state has not survived seventy-plus years by being naive or unwary of neighborly intent and attentions. Recognizing wolves disguised as harmless, timid sheep is an established protocol of our security and defense operations, which have no doubt become increasingly watchful of Turkey. And, no, I don’t think that Turkey has suddenly woken up and is smelling flowers or coffee (or whatever the current metaphor is) and will support Israel as a valued ally in all matters, but I do think that Ankara has come to the realization that having Israel as a working partner provides benefits too worthwhile to turn away from. Israel, in turn, cannot afford to ignore serious or even potentially serious overtures to stabilize this very volatile and unpredictable region.

Both countries are impatiently waiting for the end of the pandemic so that the important tourism industry, a critical component to the economy of both countries, can once again flourish. Turkey’s sophisticated cuisine, numerous hiking and biking trails and artistic attractions are precisely what the seasoned Israeli traveler finds appealing. Similarly, Israel’s historical landmarks in which are found remnants of ancient civilizations, wide expanses of both foliage and desert, and a welcoming personality are what draws visitors from all over the world including, of course, Turkey.

Both Jerusalem and Ankara, I’m sure, are eagerly looking forward to the return of unrestricted travel and vacationing. The time has come to mend fences and get bilateral diplomacy back on track. Although there is debate as to whether or not Abraham Lincoln should be credited for the observation that if you look for the bad in people expecting to find it, you surely will, it is most certainly applicable to Frantzman and his position on reconciliation.  

BARRY NEWMAN

Ginot Shomron

Without his beloved Esther

Although I never met either Jonathan or Esther Pollard, I was much saddened to hear of her death (“Thousands attend funeral of Esther Pollard,” February 1). I’m sure there are many people like me who admired her constant support for her husband over the many, too many, years he was incarcerated in a US jail. She fought for him, stood by him when he was finally released and both of them were able to realize their dream to come to Israel.

That they lived together in Jerusalem for such a short time is so sad and now Jonathan is without his beloved Esther.

I fervently hope their many friends will rise to the occasion and be there for him in his hour of need, nay, the many weeks and months to come; he deserves no less. “May God comfort you among all the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.”

BRENDA GOLDBLUM

Jerusalem