December 8, 2015: Letters

Readers respond to the latest Jerusalem Post articles.

Envelope (photo credit: ING IMAGE/ASAP)
(photo credit: ING IMAGE/ASAP)
Logical analysis
Martin Sherman’s column (“Dear Defense Minister: I respectfully – but firmly – disagree,” Into the Fray, December 4) is a logical and rational analysis for what is step one of basic “strategic thinking for dummies.” Of course you have to destroy the will of an implacable enemy and the result will look like “victory.”
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon has forgotten that he directs the IDF and that the army’s mandate is to defend the Jewish nation and pursue victory against its enemies.
Obviously, maintaining the “routine” of the hostile Palestinians will lead to the upending of the Jewish state’s “routine” and result in Jewish capitulation.
Sadly this is an article that should not have had to be written.
Zichron Ya’acov
Chanukah or Hanukka? Passover, Pesach or Pesah? Chagim or hagim? I suppose it all depends how you pronounce your “ch.” I assume that the majority of your readership is Jewish and is capable of knowing how to pronounce the “ch” in the word, so it won’t be ch as in chocolate or Christmas, but as in chutzpa. It would be a great improvement if your newspaper were to write Chanukah, Pesach and chagim.
Beit Shemesh
Light unto nations?
It’s all very well for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to criticize US Secretary of State John Kerry and Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom (“PM responds to Kerry: Israel won’t be bi-national state,” “Netanyahu calls Swedish PM to protest ‘extra-judicial’ killing comments by FM Wallstrom,” December 7) but how about reserving some of his invective for Israel’s tax-funded rabbinate that illegally forbids women from lighting Hanukka candles at the Kotel? Attitudes like that damage the cohesion and very fabric of the state, but are greeted with deafening silence from our prime minister.
Shulamit Magnus filed suit to enforce supposed Supreme Court rulings that recognize full religious expression at the Kotel, including Torah readings (“Women, the Wall, lights and rights,” December 6) Sorry, but the overwhelming consensus among Orthodox rabbis, following clear Halacha is that only men do public Torah readings and not women. It is not true when Magnus writes that women are “denied access to Torah scrolls on no basis in rabbinic or civil law but purely through the arbitrary and corrupt exercise of illicit power.”
Bnei Brak
In the Friday night service, the men sing “Lecha Dodi” and turn to the rear of the synagogue to welcome the Sabbath Queen, because for sure she ain’t sitting with the men.
But now we have it loud and clear. The opinion and decision of the attorney-general are superior to the Orthodox authority. The rabbis after all are only maintaining – not adding or subtracting from – the centuries-old tradition.
It is both presumptuous and uncivil for a minority group to even attempt to impose their misguided whims to the majority.
What really is their motive – religious fervor or politics?
Ramat Beit Shemesh
Education reform
In their hysterical opposition to higher education for haredi girls (“Battle rages over education reform for haredi girls,” December 6), the haredi (ultra-Orthodox) rabbis are expressing a fear of losing control over their minions. By promoting ignorance and poverty, while exercising nepotism in the well-paying positions, such as judges and town rabbis, they control enough votes that allow them to milk the public purse.
This approach is reminiscent of how the hillbilly community in America allegedly kept their wives from straying – pregnant in the summer and barefoot in the winter.
Klingberg mystery
I was educated in a yeshiva in the 1960s, where I was taught of the brotherhood and sisterhood of Jews. That’s why I don’t understand how a Jew like Marcus Klingberg, who spied for the Soviet Union from the 1950s to the 1980s, could betray his country, Israel, which welcomed and nurtured him (“An unsolved mystery,” Front Lines, December 4).
Earlier, a disproportionate number of Jews spied for the Soviets in the 1940s. In the US, they included Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, David and Ruth Greenglass, Harry Gold and Morton Sobell. Fred Rose was the only member of Canada’s parliament convicted of espionage.
And today it continues. Last week, Marsha Levine, a British scholar on horses, chewed out a young girl simply because she was Israeli.
Here, in downtown Toronto, for the past several years, anti-Zionist Jews denounce Israel in front of the Israeli Consulate every Friday between 5 and 6 p.m., even if it falls on Rosh Hashana. Hate overcomes respect for Judaism.
Proportional response
I really want to know what Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom meant by “a proportional response” to terrorism (“Netanyahu calls Swedish PM to protest ‘extra-judicial’ killing comments by FM Wallstrom,” December 7).
There are 1.6 billion Muslims, and it is a fact that they outnumber Jews 200 to 1. So what do I understand by a “proportional response?” If a Muslim kills a Jew, the Jews have to respond, in her words, in a proportional ratio of 200 to 1, by killing 200 of them. If this is what the Swedish FM wants, I suggest that she spell it out, and not hide behind such meaningless jargon as “proportional response.”
The Swedish foreign minister is only concerned with the fact Israel seems to be surviving and forging ahead in spite of the desire of Sweden.
She is concerned that when Israelis need to defend themselves and kill terrorists that there may not be proper juridical procedures.
It is very difficult to imagine that as the terrorist tries to insert a knife into the neck or back of someone or try to shoot him or run him over with a vehicle there can be a court order to hold the terrorist. There is an immediate threat of life and death.
Sweden is unfortunately a land of darkness for seven months a year. Let us pray that the Swedes have a lighter and brighter side to look forward to so that there may be some comprehension of what terrorism is really all about.
Teach your children
Pity that the Jews for Justice for Palestinians organization cares less about the welfare of Palestinian children, than about another opportunity to knock Israel (“Using children,” Letters, December 7).
As opposed to what Glyn Secker wrote, Israeli authorities don’t arbitrarily detain Palestinian children.
Those detained are children who are suspected of throwing firebombs or stones at cars, people, soldiers or police, often causing serious wounds and in some cases death. Stone or firebombs thrown by minors are no less lethal due to their age.
These children are motivated to do so by endless incitement against Jews fed to them at home, school or mosque. Parents who allow their children to go out and commit such violent, criminal acts or teachers who encourage them are guilty of child abuse.
I would therefore suggest that these caring Jews go to the Palestinian Authority and discourage them from so abusing their own children. Teach them the Jewish values of loving life, to raise their children to grow up, pursue careers and make useful contributions to society, rather than inciting them to hate, motivating them to put themselves and others in grave danger. That might be a positive contribution to justice and peace for all concerned.
Kiryat Tivon