December 16, 2015: Untimely editorial

Readers respond to the latest Jerusalem Post articles.

Envelope (photo credit: ING IMAGE/ASAP)
(photo credit: ING IMAGE/ASAP)
Untimely editorial
Is it not ironic that on the very day Hanukka came to an end, The Jerusalem Post saw fit to carry an editorial (“Dynamic Judaism,” December 14) and an op-ed (“Religious fundamentalism is against Jewish diversity”), each of which espouses ideas that Judah Maccabee and his followers fought against – namely the Hellenization of Judaism as mainstream within the Jewish nation.
I would ask the leaders of the Reform and Conservative movements: Would you have surgery from a person who calls himself “doctor,” but did not study the authentic medical books approved by the relevant medical association? Would you want to be represented by an “attorney” who only selectively chooses which laws to observe and which to discard? Reform and Conservative Jews have watered down halacha because they see it as irrelevant and archaic. Now they ask for authority to monitor standards regarding issues like marriage, kashrut and rabbinic courts. They have diluted our precious legacy, substituted a cubic zirconia for a diamond, and now want the keys to the vault.
Ramat Beit Shemesh
All the evidence is in. It has been confirmed by study after study. Conservative and Reform Judaism did not save American Jewry. They contributed to the greatest mass abandonment of identity in Jewish history.
Do you want to import that failed model to Israel? There are not three streams of Judaism, there is only one – Torah Judaism. The others are man-made, open to constant revision, rejection and change, according to the whims, styles and thought patterns of our ever-changing world.
That’s not religion. It is absurd to ask Torah Jews to give that failed model their seal of approval.
The dark side of diversity is division, decay and disappearance.
On the last day of Hanukka, your editorial forgot that the Hasmonean struggle was not only a battle against Greece, but against Greek culture and the Jewish Hellenists who called for revision, change and “dynamic diversity.” They disappeared from history millennia ago.
Unnecessary pipeline
Environmental Protection Minister Avi Gabbay told the Economic Affairs Committee (“Increased domestic gas could cut pollution 99% says environment Minister,” December 12) that Israel needs an additional gas pipeline, and according to other media reports, made a case for his argument by bringing up an incident that occurred during his time as Bezeq CEO.
“We had two optical fibers going up to Jerusalem. One night a pig came and ate one of them and the next day a tractor accidentally ripped the other. There needs to be more.”
There is no comparison between fiber optic cables and offshore underwater pipelines. In 2010, the total reported pipeline length for oil and gas worldwide was approximately two million kilometers but one would be hard put to identify any of these being duplicates for any reason, save capacity and pipe diameter limitations.
Pipelines have great integrity and the actual pipeline material quality and thickness substantially exceeds internationally accepted engineering design safety margins, thus minimizing failures. The weakest link between offshore and onshore is the mechanical and control equipment, which are duplicated.
As a gas/oil professional engineer with 50 years’ experience, having worked on major international projects with underwater pipelines such as Sakhalin (Russia), Tengiz (Khazakstan) and Reliance Jamnagar (India) including Single Point Mooring (SPM) facilities where there were no pipeline duplications, the case presented is poor that, if accepted, will result in excessive unnecessary capital expenditure to be met by the Israeli consumers.
Combat Islamophobia
The authors of the New York Times article “The rise of the hate search,” December 13, measure Islamophobic sentiment by looking at how many people type something like “I hate Muslims” into a Google search.
After the massacre in San Bernardino, California, perpetrated by two Muslims, the authors were amazed to find that there was a sharp rise in Americans using Google searches to express anti-Muslim feelings – “higher than at any time since the immediate aftermath of the September 11 attacks.”
That is a truly amazing finding.
They mention that anti-Semitic hate crimes in America are nearly four times as common as anti-Muslim ones. So perhaps when Jews stop beheading people on television,gunning down colleagues at a work event, and crashing hijacked planes into skyscrapers there will be less anti-Semitism? The article goes on to suggest ways of combating Islamophobia, including: talking to your kids about how most Muslims are nice people, greater surveillance of Google searches by the police and more precautions to be taken by Muslim Americans.
What they fail to suggest is an unequivocal repudiation by Muslims of the violence committed by their co-religionists in the name of Islam. Perhaps if Muslim communities more publicly participated in the outrage that most people express about acts of Islamist terrorism, there would be fewer anti-Muslim hate searches.
If only the answer to anti-Semitism were as simple and obvious as that.
We have a problem...
Reading the article on December 15 (“Can a British billionaire save Israel’s housing market?”) that British billionaire Michael Gross is involved, inter alia, in redeveloping “London’s Houston station,” are we to understand that London’s Euston station is set to become the British Mission Control Center for future British space travel?
Mevaseret Zion
No, the current terrorism does not stem from “despair: (“Abbas: Palestinian youth had no choice but to start wave of violence,” December 15). Why would the Muslim youth be so desperate that violence became a reflex for them, but not Christian Arab youngsters in Israel? Also, no people will ever have it harder than the Jews in Europe, for dozens of generations. They never went on a rampage.
The real reason is Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas himself.
He employed the oldest idea in the book of how dictators remain in the saddle. You create an enemy, everyone gets incensed and forgets to get rid of the potentate.
When polls showed that Abbas would lose reign, he fabricated that al-Aksa Mosque is in danger, and the rest is history. In a sane world he should be tried and executed.
Hidden identity
Your article, “Muslim Americans struggle with fallout from San Bernardino attack,” December 13, quotes Mohammad Halisi’s as saying, “It’s getting to the point where you have to hide who you are” in the USA.
Well, he should come to Israel.
Here, everyone can openly proclaim who they are. But if a Jew goes to an Arab country, he has to remove all semblance of his Judaism.
And, since Muslims have infiltrated France, Germany and England, that’s becoming true there as well.
This is not the result of a few “bad” Muslims, but is endemic of the Muslim population in the Middle East (Hundreds of Millions) and this problem has been exported to the world at large.