August 19: Missing element

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Keeping the promise
In “Police detain three Jews for incitement on Temple Mount” (August 17), you report: “Sunday’s arrest marks the fourth time in less than one month that a Jew has been arrested for slandering the Prophet Muhammad amid heckling by hostile Muslim groups.”
It acceptable for Muslims to call Jews pigs, monkeys and other disgusting, slanderous comments, and to throw in our face such lies as the Temple Mount has no Jewish connection, only Muslim. Yet a simple “Muhammad is a pig,” said only after the lady was subjected to a constant barrage of obscenities over the whole of her visit, with no intervention by police, is called “incitement.”
The other two who were arrested included a 14-year-old boy who wore the vest-like garment with his tzitzit (fringes) over his shirt, and someone who “was reportedly singing a Jewish song.”
With such Jewish incitement against Muslims, it’s a wonder the earth did not open up and swallow them.
Of course, the police are only carrying out the orders of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who, it should be remembered, flew to Jordan to reassure the king that while he was prime minister, no Jew would pray on the Temple Mount. No one can deny that he has kept that promise.
Small price
Dov Weisglass has clearly raised the bar to new heights for loyalty (“Sharon designed Gaza pullout to save West Bank settlements, says former aide,” August 17).
After all this time – 10 years since the Gush Katif expulsion – Weisglass is still promoting the same canard. Yet anyone who has taken the time to analyze what transpired knows quite well the reason for abandoning the 21 communities: to keep Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and his sons out of jail! The most telling feature of this elaborate ruse? It is how Sharon’s “grand scheme” was first brought to the public’s attention.
Was it in an address to the full Knesset? A major news conference attended by the international media? Not quite. It came out during a private meeting with a reporter whose columns had relentlessly called for indictments against Sharon and his sons for various indiscretions (not least of which was enriching themselves at the public’s expense).
In retrospect, we know that Sharon’s plan worked – immediately, that reporter and his like-minded brethren in the media from the far-Left ceased and desisted from further attacks on Sharon. Overnight, he turned from a pariah into Golden Boy! So, Mr. Weisglass, I congratulate you on your loyalty to your former employer. If it means continuing to foist the grand hoax on the Israeli public, that’s a small price to pay.
Kochav Yair
Missing element
The Jerusalem Post staffer who wrote “Yes Planet” (Editorial, August 17) presents the argument logically and convincingly.
But I think there is an element missing as to the religious motivation of Jerusalem residents.
There is an assumption that we want to force non-religious Jews to conform to our way of celebrating Shabbat. But the truth is just the opposite. We simply want non-religious Jews to stop infringing on our spiritual way of life.
On Friday nights, I have to pass a restaurant on Gaza Road that is open on Shabbat. There are no protests in front of this restaurant, and no one says anything negative to anyone. But watching people desecrate Shabbat impinges on my Shabbat.
It’s like looking at the grandeur of the Mona Lisa and having rock and roll piped into the background.
It distracts you from fully appreciating the beauty in front of you and detracts from your ability to relate to the awesomeness of the experience in full.
For many of us, the desecration of Shabbat is an infringement on our spiritual well-being. It hurts to watch others desecrate what we find holy.
It is one thing to experience such hurt in the Diaspora, or even in Tel Aviv, but it’s another thing to experience this pain in the very spiritual center of Judaism.
Surprise, surprise
I was not surprised by Haisam Hassanein’s “Israel: An unexpected surprise” (Comment & Features, August 17).
Although not as virulent as in the past, there still exists in Egypt an antipathy toward Jews and Israel, as demonstrated in schools and mosques, not to mention the lukewarm attitude toward us by the government in Cairo. Hassanein’s benign surprise to find that we are not all ogres was truly heart-warming and perhaps will herald a tourist invasion from Egypt, at least by those who read The Jerusalem Post (which, I suspect, is not many).
Reading this piece, my mind was brought back to an experience I had as a young dental student in Edinburgh in 1959, when a very nice Egyptian doctor studying for his fellowship in surgery was thrust upon me to alleviate his dental pain.
When it was finished, the patient asked if the gums student had been Jewish. Why? Because the Egyptian had suffered agonies in that student’s chair, and had been warned in Egypt not to fall into the hands of a Jew.
I assured him that the gums student was not Jewish – but that I was! That was a bigger surprise than Hassanein had in Israel.
Fifty-six years later, I hope it’s not a case of plus le change, plus le meme-chose.
Church’s weakness
In “How I almost became a Catholic, and why I am angry with the Catholic Church” (The POSTman Knocks Twice, August 14), Avraham Avi-Hai made some interesting points about the Catholic Church’s relationship with the Palestinians.
Palestinian Catholics became virulently anti-Semitic with the support of the Church. Despite this, they have been persecuted by their Muslim neighbors. The Church ignores this persecution and does not protest the expulsion of adherents from many areas, such as Bethlehem.
This, however, is not the only important reason to blame the Church. Surprisingly enough, it has registered no protests against Muslims who have been “rewriting” early Jewish history along with the destruction of archaeological sites on the Temple Mount, thus erasing the historical basis for Christianity itself.
In addition, the Church is reluctant to protest against the massacres of African Christians.
This cowardly surrender and refusal to protest is tantamount to historical suicide. It emphasizes the weakness of the Catholic Church.
Kiryat Ono
No perfect world
With regard to “Shin Bet nabs far-Right activist” (August 4), Meir Ettinger does not understand that Jews don’t live in a vacuum. Though our people were murdered through the centuries, there were many decent, God-fearing Christians who helped us survive. Do we not honor righteous Christians? We, of the Chicago chapter of the Jewish Defense League (JDL), had Christians fighting alongside us against neo-Nazis on several occasions. I wanted Christians to fight alongside us not because we were Jews, but because the neo-Nazis were everyone’s enemy.
The perfect world Ettinger seeks – with only Jews – does not exist. I understand attacking those who attack us, but not the innocent – who may even be of the same “tribe” as those who hate us.
Ettinger’s best move would be to bring his colleagues into the Israeli military and stand tall in the footsteps of men like Menachem Begin, a quiet man of inordinate courage and inner strength.
The writer was chairman of the Chicago chapter of the JDL.