February 9, 2017: Not in vain

Having defended our borders as an IDF conscript and reservist, I want to make sure nothing was in vain.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Not in vain
Regarding “British PM May: We are committed to two-state solution” (February 7), I write concerning only one point: the Jordan Valley.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and all government officials must state that this area, from the Jordan River west to the top of the ridge overlooking highways 578, 508, 506 and 90, including all the Israeli settlements in the area, must be retained by Israel as part of any agreement. The few Palestinian villages and Jericho can be overseen by the PA.
This would allow the IDF to protect our eastern flank from any attack by terrorists or Arab countries. It has to be an emphatic statement and position of our government, not a wishy-washy statement of the type constantly made.
I hope the prime minister, members of Knesset and our military read what I have written.
Having defended our borders as an IDF conscript and reservist, I want to make sure nothing was in vain.
Kiryat Motzkin
Retroactive innocence
The bill passed by the Knesset that retroactively makes legal the occupation of Arab land (“Knesset passes historic bill retroactively legalizing 4,000 settler homes,” February 7) was a great piece of legislation. I hope it will now be extended to make it possible for all acts of bribery and corruption committed by members of Knesset to be deemed legal activities.
The MKs will no longer be guilty of these charges. They can continue their work in the Knesset, where clearly they fit in so well.
Kfar Hamaccabi
Takeoff in question
Reading “Labor court orders pilots to end work action against El Al” (February 7), I imagined the following conversation: “You’re going abroad?” “It’s all up in the air.”
“Ah, you booked El Al, didn’t you!”
Beinart and Kushner
With regard to Shmuley Boteach’s “Beinart savages Kushner on refugees but gives Obama a pass” (No Holds Barred, February 7), I read Peter Beinart’s article on Jared Kushner in The Forward and feel that Beinart has mistaken opinion for self-evident truth.
His interpretation of the Exodus is peculiar. Joseph’s brothers come to Egypt because there was a famine in the land where they were living. One could easily conclude that God wanted the Jews to remember how He had saved them in Egypt, and not feel for the strangers in a strange land in which they found themselves.
Worse than Beinart’s interpretation of this part of the Torah is his statement: “Every synagogue where Kushner prayed regularly should ask itself whether it bears some of the blame for having failed to instill in him the obligations of Jewish memory.”
American presidents take an oath to protect the Constitution, and include in that moment a determination to protect the American people. President Donald Trump’s rulings to vet people seeking to enter the United States from seven Muslim countries does not mean that America has closed its doors to visitors and immigrants across the board.
Muslims will still be able to visit and immigrate once their history is properly checked.
Beinart has drawn the wrong lessons from the Torah and now is smearing Modern Orthodox institutions for no reason. And if he doesn’t like the president, he has a right to disagree, but he has gone way past all of that.
In trying to create an interesting opinion piece, he failed to make his point with me and hurt the Jewish people with his poorly written remarks.
Trump and climate
While there have been many articles and letters in The Jerusalem Post praising US President Donald Trump, one factor, especially relevant and important around the nature holiday of Tu Bishvat, seems to be overlooked: The chances of averting a climate catastrophe have been greatly reduced by Trump’s election.
While all 195 nations, including Israel, at the December 2015 Paris climate change conference agreed that immediate steps must be taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Trump has promised to ignore the agreement.
He also has promised to ignore or weaken many of the recent US initiatives to slow climate change, and has filled key positions with people who are in denial about climate change, including the new head of the Environmental Protection Agency, who sued the EPA several times to restrict its efforts toward a cleaner environment.
In addition, Trump is ignoring the strong consensus of climate scientists who say climate change is largely due to human activities and is a major threat to humanity. These scientists say we have just had three consecutive years of record temperatures and that the 17 warmest years since records were first kept in 1880 have occurred since 1998.
Glaciers and polar ice caps are rapidly melting, oceans are rising, deserts are expanding, storms are becoming more severe, and wildfires are becoming more frequent and more severe.
The Pentagon and other military experts warn that there will be tens of millions of desperate refugees fleeing droughts, wildfires and storms, increasing the chances for world instability, terrorism and war.
It is essential that we protest Trump’s environmental policies in order to improve the chances for leaving a decent world for future generations.
Letters about letters
I write in reply to reader Avigayil Ravitz (“Women of the Wall,” Letters, February 7). While I agree with her comments, there are two factual errors.
The Western Wall is not the “holiest place for Jews....’’ That title is reserved for the Temple Mount. While our access is severely restricted there, it does not diminish its holiness.
In addition, the Western Wall is not “the true remnant of the holy Temple.” The wall, while holy in its own right, is a retaining wall that was built to support the mountain upon which the Temple was built (may it be rebuilt speedily in our day).
Ma’aleh Adumim
The writer is a rabbi.
With reference to reader Frank Kale’s comments (“...and Israeli drivers!” Letters, February 5), I hereby coin a new word for road accidents caused by reckless drivers: stupidents.
Since the dictionary definition of an accident is “An event that is without apparent cause, or unexpected,” it is inaccurate to use “accident” to describe crashes caused by stupidity. The use of “stupident” instead might deter some road menaces.
Our warm beds
During a recent visit to Ashkelon, half an hour from Gaza, I slept in a warm bed on a cold night.
There are two million people living in the Gaza Strip, shivering from the cold and rain, having only two or three hours of electricity because of power cuts.
There is also a shortage of drinking water; many have to do their cooking during the limited hours of electricity using salt water from the sea. Sewage also seeps through many of the streets.
The late Helen Suzman served as an member of parliament in South Africa for 36 years. Her most respected quality was her unyielding belief in “going to see for yourself,” which she always did, refusing to be indifferent.
I say to the disbelievers: Follow Suzman’s example. Do not blame, attack or criticize; rather, in the warmth of your bed, spare a thought. It’s called compassion.