Letters to the Editor March 27, 2023: Chaos and anarchy

Readers of The Jerusalem Post have their say.

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

Chaos and anarchy

Stopping judicial overhaul as the defense minister is demanding, is giving in to mob rule (“Gallant to PM: Stop judicial overhaul,” March 26). If the IDF establishment prevails in this tactic, it will become a weapon to be used in the future.

If members of the IDF in the future will refuse closing a settlement despite a government order, or refuse to destroy a Palestinian terrorist’s family home despite a court order, it will signal the end of democracy. It is a prescription for chaos and anarchy.

There are consequences to elections and change should only come through the ballot box and debate. When the opposition refuses to negotiate without preconditions, their motives become clear. It is to forcibly change the November 1 verdict.



Most powerful dictatorship

In reference to Amotz Asa-El’s column of March 24, firstly he has long ago lost the right to call himself “Middle Israel,” as he is about as middle of the road as Meretz. As to the content of his latest article, “The grand retreat has begun,” he has made no secret of his approval of the right of the US to lecture us on democracy, and he once again states the big difference of having the checks and balances of a bicameral system and a Constitution.

Either he is ignorant of the facts or he is depending on our ignorance. The US bicameral system has nothing to do with Supreme Court justices. The president alone selects the nominees who are then approved or rejected, not by the full bicameral legislature but only by a small committee of the Senate

After the committee, the whole Senate does vote, but it is pretty much a done deal once the committee has its say. The makeup of the committee always reflects the majority party in the Senate and the decision is by a simple majority of one vote.

This must make the US the world’s most powerful dictatorship. As far as the Constitution matters, in my lifetime it has clearly stated that segregation is legal – and illegal, and that abortion is a guaranteed right – or it is not. It would be nice if, to support his arguments, Mr. Asa-El would use facts and not fiction.


Petah Tikva

Take up arms

David Friedman`s article “The battle for Israel’s soul” (March 24) cites from Genesis about Jacob’s division of the inheritances in the Land of Israel among the tribes of his sons. The first sentence was correct in that there was an agreement that Zevulun would work in order to support Issachar`s Torah study.

However perhaps Mr. Friedman intentionally omitted to refer to the continuation of the Torah portion, according to Rashi, that when the time comes to wage war, Issachar, too, would take up arms in battle to conquer the enemy.

Perhaps the draft-dodgers should study the Torah more thoroughly.



There is no doubt that David Friedman has a lifelong link to Israel that encompasses his love of the country and its people. However, although he is rightly concerned, like many, regarding the current turmoil, a number of his observations appear to be seen through rose-colored glasses.

Yes, whether you are coming to this brouhaha from the Right, Left or Center or any positions in-between, one aspect is very clear. A Jew committing his life to the study of the Torah as delineated by Mr .Friedman, is as he puts it, accepting of the poverty and self-sacrifice that such a lifestyle in society entails.

But yes, there’s the rub that such a way of living requires another to subsidize it. In the year 2023, it makes for a very difficult situation financially that in future years, with an ever-expanding population in that sector, will make such a prospect unsustainable.

It is vital that all citizens are taught the basic school curriculum enabling and offering them the opportunity to gain active employment, with less reliance on government subsidies.

I am sure as well that should, God forbid, a major conflict with our enemies break out, the sector that chooses not to enter the IDF will be calling for protection. This again is a matter of contention however; we have one home and all who live here must contribute equally via work for its, and their, betterment and likewise be prepared to protect it from outside forces.

We may be divided politically but when it comes down to it,we should all place country first and strive to make it so.


Tel Aviv

Form a new party

Regarding “Justice minister threatens to disobey High Court” (March 22): The title of your article is misleading. It refers to the possibility that the Supreme Court will challenge the bill on the composition of the Judicial Selection Committee.

Which legal code gave the High Court the power to overrule a law which was supported by the majority of the Knesset? In particular, as this legislation refers to the rights or limiting the rights of justices of the High Court.

The Supreme Court is an interested party in this law, and thus cannot take any position, to defend its interest against the sovereign parliament of this country. The correct headline of this article should read: “High Court threatens to disobey the new law, endorsed by the majority of the Knesset.”

If the Supreme Court wants to influence the legislative process of the parliament, these justices should enter the political arena, form a new party – the High Court party – and try to influence or change legislation.

The present High Court – with its omnipotent ambition to rule this country –  cannot substitute for the democratically-elected parliament, or challenge any legislation, affecting their rights.



Approve of the changes

I guess we’re doing something right. According to the 2023 World Happiness Report, Israel’s happiness ranking improved from ninth to fourth out of 137 countries (“Israel hops, skips and jumps to world’s fourth-happiest country, report says,” March 21).

I guess all this “end of democracy, end of the world” scenario doesn’t affect our happiness. Could it be that most Israeli citizens approve of the changes that are being proposed? I for one voted for this type of government knowing that they wanted to make these changes. I wasn’t “shocked and dismayed” as the media and the protesters want everyone to think.



Family closeness

I think Joanna Landau’s article “Almost the happiest” (March 23), analyzing why Israel was ranked as the fourth happiest country, right behind Iceland and Finland, is right on target in listing family closeness as one of the main factors promoting happiness.

As a recent transplant from the US, I have found the geographical closeness of family a big difference of life in the two countries. In addition, there is the sense that all Jews are one family, a feature markedly present in Israel.

I remember noting early on that even on a highway, where you might have a driver yelling at you for some imagined slight on the road, if you signal to that same driver that you are having a problem, he will pull off the road and proceed to help you out for as long as it takes.

This may also be present in Iceland to some extent, when on my visit there, it was pointed out that most Icelanders trace themselves back to one or two families from Norway or Scotland and still identify themselves as part of those clans. 

In addition I found that living so close to nature, rather than in cities of steel and glass, is very conducive to contentment, something shared by the first two counties mentioned.

In addition, the conviviality associated with food afforded by the many opportunities for family meals during the holidays, with seasonal appropriate menus, not the least being the weekly traditional Friday night dinner, enjoyed by observant and non-observant Jews alike, adds to the sense of solidarity and comfort.

Whatever the research methods quoted by Landau giving Israelis the distinction of being the “happiest,” a visit to any cafe during a Friday morning breakfast will tend to confirm the appellation.


Beit Shemesh

Actions of allies

Regarding the editorial “Alienating allies” (March 24): Judicial reform as an  attack on democracy is a smokescreen for anti-Right-of-Center “democracies” and  other anti-Israel nations.

The proposed changes in Israel to the process of appointing judges is still more democratic than the appointment of justices by the executive, and their confirmation by the legislature with no input from the judiciary, which is the current system in place in the US – the “great democracy.”

Our “allies” want a government that will twist to any position they want, almost always to the detriment of the Jewish population of Israel. Allies are entitled to their opinions, but canceling high-level visits or refusing meetings are not the actions of allies.

Imagine the internal and international uproar if Israel were to act in this manner, or if Israel were to try to influence foreign national opinion on internal issues of those countries.

If the protesters in the streets of Israel are truly disturbed by proposed reforms currently in play; if they are protesting laws that they understand, that is democracy – not a threat to democracy. If the entire protest is due to “anti” convictions, be they against Mr. Netanyahu, settlers, territory or religion, there should be honesty and clear knowledge of the opposition’s position in directing the protests.



Interesting reading

I was very saddened to read that Yaakov Katz is soon to stop serving as the editor-in-chief of the Post (“Avi Mayer named new ‘Post’ editor,” March 22). He is a very insightful writer and his analysis of current events always made interesting reading.

I hope his successor proves to be up to the task and look forward to his articles. Meanwhile I wish Yaakov every success in his new endeavor and look forward to his occasional contributions.



EDITOR’S NOTE: Katz will continue to write a weekly column for the paper.

Trendy ideas

I believe that Cookie Schwaeber-Issan, in her article “Jewish and Judaism: Not the same” (March 22), is sadly misinformed.

To immigrate to Israel, one needs a letter from a rabbi stating that you are  halachically Jewish. Whether you are observant of the religion is not a prerequisite. She is also confused about the role of the Talmud, which explains the scriptures. It is not in opposition to them.

It is true that most of world Jewry is not religiously observant, and that is the reason why we have such horrific statistics of intermarriage in the Diaspora. The only way of transmitting Jewishness and Jewish identity is through Judaism itself. All of the other trendy ideas about how to be Jewish have failed.

She is correct in saying that all Jews are candidates for persecution. That is just another reason to understand what it means to be Jewish and to appreciate the beauty of Judaism through its observance.



Make it free

It’s depressing that Gershon Baskin still believes, as stated in his article “Israel and the Palestinians: Non-implementation of agreements” (March 23), that the real issue is the “continuation of the Israeli occupation.”

Perhaps Baskin has not heard the popular pro-Palestinian slogan, “from the river to the sea we will be free.” Everyone knows that this describes all of Israel and the only way to make it free is to free it from the Jews, meaning that it’s not an occupation, but the existence of Israel that is the real impediment.