Letters to the Editor July 6, 2022: Basic Jewish teachings

Readers of The Jerusalem Post have their say.

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

Basic Jewish teachings

Regarding “Tzohar kashrut launches radio campaign to promote its kosher brand” (July 5): I believe that Tzohar is to be very strongly commended for its courageous efforts to create a more open, tolerant, compassionate Judaism.

However, as president emeritus of Jewish Veg and author of the book Vegan Revolution: Saving Our World, Revitalizing Judaism, I wonder very respectfully if, in their kashrut decisions, they consider the massive mistreatment of farmed animals and how the production and consumption of meat and other animal products contribute substantially to an epidemic of life-threatening diseases, climate change and other environmental threats to humanity, the very inefficient use of energy, water, and other resources, world hunger, and the potential for future pandemics, thereby violating several basic Jewish teachings.



Actively seeking peace

Regarding “Top PA official to ‘Post’: We have 5 demands for Biden” (July 4), Ahmed al-Deek’s definition of negotiating agrees with that of Mahmoud Abbas – Israel should give the Palestinians everything they demand; the Palestinians, unlike Israel, do not have to make any concessions.

Furthermore, he feels the US should reopen the Palestinian Consulate in the US Embassy in Jerusalem, bolstering the Palestinian claim that Jerusalem has no special meaning for Jews. And Israel should stop persecuting the Palestinians by attempting to prevent attacks on Israelis and arresting Palestinians suspected of attacking Israelis.

The US should restore funding to UNRWA so millions more Palestine refugees (now numbering over 5,500,000) can be added to the agency’s rolls and be groomed to be the means by which the nation-state of the Jews can be turned into a Muslim-majority state where Jews will be second-class citizens if they are tolerated at all.

I hope that President Biden will have the courage to inform the Palestinian leaders that both sides have to be actively engaged in efforts to achieve peace. That means the PA should be working on developing Areas A and B in Judea and Samaria instead of trying to move Palestinians into Area C, which the Oslo Accords designate to be under full Israeli control.

Actively seeking peace means the PA needs to stop inciting Palestinians to attack and kill Israelis, rewarding those who answer the call with lifelong stipends to murderers and/or their families. Actively seeking peace means the PA needs to stop condemning Palestinians for “normalizing the occupation” when those Palestinians join with Israeli peace activists working to bring the conflict to an end.



Two words are missing in “we have 5 demands for Biden” – “painful concessions.” Of course the Palestinian Authority trots out the usual lists at the hand of “top official” Ahmed al-Deek, but does not want to disturb the PA’s “Pay for Slay” scheme whereby its citizenry is encouraged and rewarded for the slaughter of innocent Israelis. 

And is “top official” the best they can do when the leader of the free world comes to town? Of course we all know that the Israel/Palestine conflict is not the main issue of Biden’s Middle East visit. As he has revealed, he is hoping to get the Saudis to increase oil production before the midterm elections so that Americans can get some relief from their pain at the pump, brought on by the radical Left’s transition to their Green New Deal.

What has dropped out from the president’s visit already is the PA’s stepping down from its untenable position and releasing the bullet that killed al-Jazeera journalist Abu Akleh. This can only lead to good for Israel.



Moral compass

In “Lessons to be learned from the Bennett experiment” (July 1), Ruthie Blum demonstrates that she is so mesmerized by Bibi’s past accomplishments that she can no longer think straight. She totally ignores all of Bennett’s accomplishments that have been cogently noted in The Jerusalem Post by Gil Troy, Herb Keinon and many others, and blames Bennett’s lack of success on a shared desire on the part of the coalition to prevent Bibi from getting the top job.

That’s absolutely wrong. Yamina agreed to support Bibi, but even with Yamina, Bibi couldn’t form a coalition. Blum refuses to admit that the coalition was formed for an unselfish reason – the desire by Lapid and Bennett to avoid a fifth election and to stabilize the government. Blum can’t fathom that there are some politicians (unfortunately very few) that have scruples, and Bibi is not one of them. After the coalition was formed, Bibi went on a scorched-earth campaign to bring down the government – illegally and immorally pressuring Yamina ministers to leave the coalition and even preventing the passage of bills necessary for the welfare of the state (e.g., the US Visa Waiver Bill, the Metro Bill, renewing the Citizenship Law to prevent Palestinians from marrying to gain citizenship, etc.) – laws and bills that he would have endorsed as head of the government. It’s obvious that Bibi wants what’s good for Bibi, not what’s good for Israel.

Blum later discusses the Bibi-Gantz rotation agreement and states that Gantz didn’t get “his chance at the helm” due to Bibi’s “failure to pass a budget.” Absolutely wrong again. It wasn’t Bibi’s failure to pass a budget, it was his refusal to pass a budget. Blum is totally blind to Bibi’s moral bankruptcy. 

He signed onto a rotation agreement knowing full well that he had absolutely no intention of fulfilling it and used the budget as an excuse. He took his chance at the helm and then brought down the government when it was Gantz’s chance. Bibi lost his moral compass a long time ago.

It would be an absolute disgrace for the Jewish state to have a prime minister with Bibi’s moral stature.



Truth is the first casualty

Once again the narrow interests of political parties result in the public suffering (“Knesset disperses without Metro Law,” July 1). The reason the Metro Bill wasn’t passed is that Netanyahu’s opposition bloc wanted to move the election date earlier by a week. Having the elections earlier would have maximized the potential vote for his haredi allies because it would have been during a break in yeshiva schedules.

The religious parties benefit from having large groups, like yeshiva students, that generally respond en bloc to the calls of their authoritarian leaders. And this would aid Netanyahu in his pursuit of the elusive 61 Knesset member majority he so desperately needs. The losers, of course, are the Tel Aviv region residents whose public transit system will be further delayed and result in them continuing to struggle with commuting problems.

This sort of gray-area political maneuvering is part of why Netanyahu is currently on trial. It is also why Rabbi Yaakov Litzman of UTJ was forced to resign from the Knesset. It is also why Rabbi Aryeh Deri of Shas spent time in a cell, and why his political allies jumped through loopholes to find a way for him to return to politics.

Truth is the first casualty in elections as well as in war. We have recently seen far too many examples of this from the head of the opposition in the Knesset. Netanyahu was our longest serving prime minister because he spent about a quarter of that time as the head of caretaker governments that were also notable for failing to pass legislation that affected the welfare of many sections of the population.

When the time comes to vote, we would all do well to remember the words of Psalm 146 which is recited daily in the morning service: “Don’t put your confidence in powerful people; there is no help for you there.” (New Living Translation).



Multi-generation refugees

Regarding “UN appears to be furthering Hamas’s agenda” (July 3): Under international law (San Remo Accords, 1920, League of Nations, 1922, and Article 80 of the UN Charter), Israel includes all of Mandatory Palestine.

In 1947, the UN “suggested” that the Jews share the land with the Arabs to avoid further conflict. The Jews agreed. The Arabs, under Nazi war criminal Haj Amin al-Husseini, grand mufti of Jerusalem, refused.

In 1948, Britain ended the mandate. The Jews declared the State of Israel and the mufti declared a war of genocide against the Jews. Five Arab armies joined the war against the new state. 700,000 Arabs fled the fighting, most at the urging of their own leaders.

Jews caught behind Arab lines were ethnically cleansed. Their synagogues were destroyed and their properties stolen. Arabs caught in Israel became Israeli citizens. There was no moral equivalency. The tiny Jewish homeland welcomed in 850,000 Jews forced out of Arab lands.

There should be US bipartisan support for a two-state solution. The first step is to defund the PA until they stop paying terrorists and their families for killing Israelis. Then the US should state clearly that the unique multi-generation refugee status that only Palestinian Arabs enjoy is null and void and no American funds will flow to UNRWA or other corrupt agencies purporting to care for them.

Then the screws have to be put to Hamas. The US will not again stop Israel from destroying them. If they dare fire rockets into Israel or carry out attacks anywhere, they are on their own.

These points may not sit well with the Congress’s Muslim Brotherhood fan club, but they are the way forward.



Constant lies

Is it not bad enough that otherwise intelligent people in the US whose news consumption is limited to the “mainstream media” have been brainwashed by constant lies over many years to believe easily-refuted falsehoods?  Why do we here in Israel, who have the opportunity to objectively see what is happening in America and to follow a more varied diet of news reporting, also have to be subjected to these lies and stupidities? 

Two glaring examples in this past Friday’s Frontlines are from two of The Jerusalem Post’s most intelligent and generally thoughtful writers.

Amotz Asa-El (“Bad news for American Jews,” July 1) goes off on a rampage against the US Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision which overturned Roe v. Wade, insisting that the decision was entirely ideological. No, that is incorrect and false. Even a very cursory look at the US Constitution makes it clear that the court simply returned the decision-making on this very personal and controversial subject back to the people and their states, where it always belonged, because there is zero mention in the Constitution about abortion, and thus it doesn’t belong within the court’s realm. 

This contrasts easily with the right to bear arms, which is clearly stated in the Second Amendment. So he is simply wrong on that distinction as well.

Yaakov Katz, in his otherwise lovely piece – “Lapid’s turn as Israel’s prime minister” (July 1) – feels the need to get in a jab with his comment: “prime ministers doing everything they could – short of a January 6-style limousine steering-wheel grab  – to hold onto power.” 

That claim, made by a White House staffer who was nowhere near the limo or the president, has been roundly refuted by Secret Service people and the driver, who were right there with president Trump at the time. And the vehicle has been described as having a barrier between the driver and the back seat, making it impossible for anyone in the passenger area to “lunge” at the driver and attempt to take the steering wheel. Not hard to fact-check this one either. Just lazy writing and the nasty assumption that your readers are ignoramuses. I for one found these two references to be offensive and insulting.


Tzur Hadassah