August 8, 2017: Restrictions at Erez

Apart from some Jewish groups, there is not one body, locally or internationally, that shows us unalloyed good faith.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Restrictions at Erez
Arab Palestinians entering Israel legally are now enjoined from bringing laptop computers, according to Gisha, an NGO that prominently features anti-Israel propaganda on its homepage despite claiming lofty goals about “freedom of movement” (“NGO: Devices ban for Gazans at Erez crossing,” August 6).
The left-wing NGO fails to contextualize this security measure by pointing out that similar policies are now in effect in the US due to advances in Islamic terrorist bomb-making technology.
Gisha fails to mention the sorry history of Arab Palestinians attempting to smuggle into Israel a cornucopia of weapons for alltoo- frequent acts of mayhem and murder. Gisha fails to acknowledge that when Arab Palestinians accepted political autonomy, they also accepted a requirement to comply with the border restrictions of Israel or any other foreign country they might wish to enter.
Israel is not required to assist in its own destruction by abjuring restrictions on the entry of foreigners.
No country on earth grants unrestricted entry rights to foreigners.
My guess is that when the reason for the new restrictions is announced, there will be credible justification.
Williamsville, New York
Mountains and meat
With regard to “Mountains and meat” (Travel Trends, August 6), it is clear to anyone with his eyes open that Israel, the national homeland of the Jewish people, is peopled by Jews of all walks of life and variations of Jewish practice, including non-practice. That is certainly true of the readership of The Jerusalem Post. In this liberal democracy, individuals are free to act and believe as they please.
But that is different from recognizing the core identity of Israel as the Jewish state. As such, it is well established that there are things that individuals might do, and are free to do, that the state of the Jews must not. Thus, state and public functions are kosher, and Shabbat, for the most part, is respected as Shabbat in the public sphere. Anything else would negate Israel’s Jewish identity.
And so Seth J. Frantzman’s otherwise nice travelogue is marred by its emphasis on the lovely opportunities to gorge on German and Italian pig dishes, which is utterly out of place. It is a rather tasteless and shameless public declaration in a Jewish, Israeli newspaper about how great it is to eat pork. Your decision to print it was a serious, indeed shameful, lapse in editorial judgment.
You don’t have to be religious – just Jewish, with a modicum of Jewish sensibility – to understand this regardless of one’s level of observance.
I am eternally grateful to Seth J. Frantzman and The Jerusalem Post for whetting my appetite to go dine “at a restaurant called Albergaccia di Castellina” in Italy’s Chianti region, where more fortunate Israelis can have “the gran menu degustazione for 68 euros that includes an eggplant appetizer, the ravioli, beef cheeks” – now I’m really salivating – “ roasted piglet, a selection of cheeses and some sort of strawberry sorbet.”
If only Frantzman had gotten the chef’s secret recipe for the roasted piglet, we could start planning the barbecue for our 70th Independence Day. Hopefully, it includes some sort of cheese topping as well. After all, a great dish must aim for nothing less than perfection.
Cost of being
Jewish In response to Leslee Komaiko’s “It’s too expensive to be Jewish” (Comment & Features, August 6): in the US, yes; in Israel, no.
For Jews searching for a significant and meaningful way to incorporate religion into their life, living in Israel is the answer.
I am a secular Jew, formerly from the States, who has lived in Israel for over 40 years. Our sons had wonderful bar mitzva ceremonies in our local synagogue, with coaching by a young religious student from a nearby college and an older Jewish scholar from our community. The fees they charged were symbolic. Preparing a boy for this day was a mitzva to these teachers.
All Israeli students learn Bible in school. Celebrating the Jewish holidays, speaking Hebrew – all of these allow even a secular Jew to be a part of the most vibrant Jewish community in the world.
In addition, we don’t “pay to pray” here – participation in Shabbat and High Holy Day services is free.
I read Leslee Komaiko’s opinion piece with amazement, not because I disagree with her statement that living an observant Jewish lifestyle is expensive, but because of her total lack of prioritizing Judaism in her life.
She only seems to have considered the need for preparation for a bar mitzva for her son. The prices she mentions for tutoring appear excessive, but she did not seem to examine other possibilities, such as college students or Chabad, even if not recommended in her affordable Taekwondo classes.
Just how positive an experience can a one-hour-a-week session provide about Jewish life and culture in addition to teaching one to read Hebrew in preparation for an important ceremony? I hope Ms. Komaiko can fit her son’s religious training in among the affordable baseball and summer camp experiences so that he can move on in life with some Jewish foundation that his parents did not think he needed until now.
This piece reflects the sad state of the unaffiliated Jew in America.
Rain on their parade
With regard to “Parading with pride” (August 4), the LGBT community wishes to be part of and accepted by society. I suggest that members of the community act like heterosexual people – who do not parade or otherwise advertise their orientation and are thus part of and accepted by society. QED.
Angry with Glick
For once, I am really angry with Caroline B. Glick (“Losing and winning the Temple Mount,” Column One, August 4). What shoots my carefully controlled blood pressure through the roof is her demand that “the government should... make a good-faith effort to involve all relevant groups” to ensure its continued sovereignty over the Temple Mount and ensure that all faiths can worship freely there.
Come on! Apart from some Jewish groups, there is not one body, locally or internationally, that shows us unalloyed good faith. How often have I asked how Israel is expected to negotiate with (and feed) the hand that bites us? What is our bargaining base? Mass suicide? Has Ms. Glick forgotten Khartoum (no negotiations, no recognition, no peace) and modern, unadulterated antisemitism in which Jews and Israelis can do no right while Arabs and Muslims can do no wrong? Our prime minister needs to tell us he is standing down in, say, six months and repeat that he is always interested in making peace with our neighbors, but until we are shown some good faith on their part, forget it!
Takes the biscuit
I was amused by one of Transportation Minister Israel Katz’s comments appearing in “Green light for olim: Experienced drivers no longer need to take test” (July 25): “I’m pleased to inform you that the Transportation Ministry, under my leadership [my emphasis], is also contributing to the rapid and successful absorption of immigrants.”
This really takes the biscuit.
Katz has presided over the rising carnage on Israel’s roads, to which at least one of his decisions, increasing speed limits, has contributed.