August 30, 2015: Fingers in the till

I find it absolutely incomprehensible that a so-called Western country in this day and age can appoint as cabinet minister a convicted thief who stole from the country’s purse.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Fingers in the till
In reference to “Deri: I won’t okay gas deal without new antitrust head” (August 27), I find it absolutely incomprehensible that a so-called Western country in this day and age can appoint as cabinet minister a convicted thief who stole from the country’s purse.
To further confound this, he is allowed to hold the country for ransom by being placed in a position of power to block the government-approved gas arrangement and stall an income of billions to those from whom he stole.
Outside of Alice’s Wonderland, in which we seem to be living, Economy Minister Arye Deri, with his history, would find it difficult to get a job as a cashier in a supermarket for fear he would dip his fingers in the till.
Why is there not a national outcry against his appointment as a minister? Surely this farce has gone on long enough!
Open and closed
With regard to “Jerusalem minimarket owners plan protest over forced Saturday closures” (August 27), the Declaration of Independence declares that Israel “will be based on the precepts of liberty, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel....”
What did the prophets say about supermarkets opening on Shabbat? See Isaiah 58:13- 14: “If you refrain from trampling the Shabbat, from pursuing your affairs on my holy day; if you call the Shabbat ‘delight,’ the Lord’s holy day ‘honored’; and if you honor it and go not your ways nor look to your affairs, nor strike bargains – then you can seek the favor of the Lord. I will set you astride the heights of the earth and let you enjoy the heritage of your father Jacob....”
We should keep in mind the observation of the secular Jewish philosopher Ahad Ha’am: “More than Israel observed the Shabbat, the Shabbat preserved Israel.”
Public Shabbat observance is not a haredi matter. It is about what we do to merit living in Jerusalem after nearly 2,000 years of exile.
Everyone has heard about the height of chutzpa being the man who killed his parents and begged for mercy because he was an orphan. Well, here’s another one (“Tel Aviv cafe fined for not opening on Shabbat,” August 27).
Ofer Liperman, franchisee of the Henris cafe in Tel Aviv’s new, upscale Sarona Market, describes himself as religiously traditional, as well as observant of his Jewish heritage and basic aspects of Jewish life, such as kashrut and, in part, the Sabbath.
He states that he keeps a kosher home and puts on tefillin every day, but while he might travel on Shabbat, he will never work on that day.
This is a direct contradiction, if I ever saw one.
Shabbat is one of the basic laws of Judaism. It is one of the Ten Commandments. So I find reader Naomi Sandler’s comments (“Sabbath in Jerusalem,” Letters, August 26) very disturbing.
Ms. Sandler writes that the only way to understand the conflict raging in Jerusalem is that the Orthodox, like H.L.
Mencken, have a “haunting fear that someone, somewhere is having a good time.” That line makes me laugh. But it is one of those sad laughs, for it shows blind judgment of religion.
Even though I am only 17 years old, the thought of my religion has never felt like a burden. The few hours leading up to Shabbat are the most uplifting of my week, and all throughout I am ecstatic. I don’t think we should force people to keep Shabbat privately, but at least in the public domain, this must be a Jewish state! That is what our ancestors dreamed of for so long.
The news of the cafe owner in Tel Aviv being fined for not opening on Shabbat just proves that when the Sabbath is disgraced, it is just a short slide toward disregarding another’s will to keep it.
Quid pro quo
The first paragraph of Eric R.
Mandel’s “The price President Obama will demand from Israel for increased military aid after the JCPOA” (Comment & Features, August 27) reveals much about being an ally of the United States.
Mandel writes: “There may be a threatening quid pro quo on the horizon for Israel [in the wake of the agreement with Iran], namely that the truly consequential armaments it needs to defend itself will be withheld unless Israel concedes to a Palestinian state.”
What quid pro quo will the US be demanding of the Palestinians, who refuse to concede that Israel has a right to exist? How can the US, a declared and staunch ally of the State of Israel, threaten to withhold promised armaments unless it recognizes a state that does not legally exist?
Sounds familiar
Following a decision by the High Court of Justice, Israel has begun releasing African migrants being held at a facility in the western Negev (“Holot detention center begins releasing hundreds of migrants,” August 26).
The solution to the migrants’ resettlement is actually quite simple. Split them into small groups and place them in selected places such as Herzliya Pituah and near the homes of esteemed judges and heads of NGOs that are more concerned with the welfare of the migrants than that of the residents of south Tel Aviv. In addition, restrict their movement, and if they are caught outside a defined area without police approval, rearrest them.
This is exactly what I experienced in England during World War II when, as a Jewish refugee who was in the country legally, I was referred to as an “enemy alien.”
I am sorry to say that Israel, like England in World War II, is also in a state of war.
Trumping Trump
With regard to “Trumps them all” (Letters, August 26), Donald Trump should not be a candidate for president of the United States. He is a volatile, loose cannon who is out of control (and I am not referring to the immigration issue, which has to be addressed by more logical minds).
Trump is the personification of a global ruffian who would try to bully potential adversaries into submission. He could end up initiating major conflicts.
My concern is that he will shoot from the hip and blunder into a nuclear war with Russia or China.
I have been voting as a conservative for various candidates from both parties since 1960, and I do not recall a presidential candidate who is so off the wall as Donald Trump. He is not presidential material and could be a threat to the security of the US and the world.
We need to trump all his cards and return him to his casinos.
DONALD A. MOSKOWITZ Londonderry, New Hampshire
Should Donald Trump be the GOP presidential candidate, it will mean he’s hired. If he doesn’t get the nod, that means he’s fired.
Take your choice!
HERBERT W. STARK Mooresville, North Carolina
Freudian slip? In “Detention without trial” (Editorial, August 25), the writer mentions principles that are meant for “the protection of the individual’s liberty,” including “guilty until proven innocent.”
Surely it was a mistake...
or perhaps a Freudian slip?
The editorial editor responds: It indeed should have said “innocent until proven guilty.”