July 18, 2017: A look at Solomon...

It’s ironic that anyone would credit King Solomon for Jewish unity.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
A look at Solomon...
It’s ironic that anyone would credit King Solomon for Jewish unity (“Artwork highlights King Solomon’s formula for Jewish unity,” Comment & Features, July 16).
Rashi blamed Solomon for the split of the kingdom into Judah and Israel. Apparently, the people hated him because he taxed the bejesus out of them to pay for the Temple.
Seattle, Washington
...and at the Beduin
There are some misleading concepts in “Beduin housing crisis in the Negev” (Frontlines, July 14).
The basic premise of the article leads the reader to believe that Arab and Beduin residents in Israel have the same background and history. They do not, and it is disingenuous of the champions for Beduin rights to imply that they do. Arabs are a population of Semites from the Arabian peninsula, while the Beduin are nomadic Arabs from the Arabian, Syrian or North African deserts, according to Merriam-Webster.
When the Beduin went to court claiming ownership of land on which they had periodically pitched tents, they lost their cases because they could present no documentation. The State of Israel, at any time in its brief history, could not allow bands of people to wander in and out of its borders at will.
Settlement of this traditionally nomadic population enables a more dependable source of income, clean water, electricity and, most important, free education.
Having lived in the area for close to 50 years, I have seen the number of Beduin students at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev grow from zero to several hundred, and have noticed that at least a third of the pharmacists in Beersheba are Beduin. This is a huge achievement for a traditionally nomadic population. Farther along in the article, it is unsettling to see the upscale bedroom community of “Jewish Lehavim” compared with “Beduin Rahat.” I do not see where this contrast is germane to any point the author is trying to make. I could photograph huge villas in the Beduin town of Lakiya that would rival the most ostentatious anywhere in “Jewish” Israel.
Yes, there are Beduin living without electricity, as there are Jews living on the streets. Both are tragic. The operative difference is that the Beduin are a demographic still in a period of transition. They have come a tremendous way. What other Middle Eastern country has done so much, or indeed anything, for their Beduin?
Disregard to mantra
With regard to “PM calls on Likud MKs to defend him against allegations” (July 14), if corruption is proved and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had his snout in the trough, or if he knew about it but did nothing, in either case he’s culpable to a greater or lesser degree. If neither of the above but it is proved to have happened on his watch, then he’s not culpable – but perhaps still responsible.
I don’t hold by the mantra “But who else is there?” The answer is an old English saying: “Come the hour, come the man.”
Liberman’s stripes
With regard to “Cabinet freezes Kalkilya plan” (July 13), it seems that Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman wants to run in the next election on the “Builder of Palestine” ticket, trying to grab some Arab voters.
Liberman’s enthusiasm to build for the Palestinians around Kalkilya and withdraw from Area C before negotiations have even started only signals to the Palestinians that they will get what they want without any concession from their side. This is exactly as it was under former US president Barack Obama and his secretary of state, John Kerry.
We have daily had terror attacks by Palestinians, culminating in last week’s fatal shooting of two policeman in Jerusalem’s Old City. Maybe the defense minister would now like to double Kalkilya construction.
It is a pity that this clever minister has become “prisoner” of the leftwing establishment within his ministry and the military instead of fighting them. Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked can serve as an example of how a minister can change the rules and spirit in a ministry, as she promised her electorate she would do.
In the next election, Liberman will lose voters from the Right and the traditional wing of the Israeli electorate. Shaked’s party will enjoy the political fruits of her conquest and the fearless engagement of her policy.
I’d be insulted
Regarding “Ireland is a friend of both Israel and the Palestinians, foreign minister tells Rivlin” (July 13), I am shocked at the racism exhibited by Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney, who said that “because Israel is a democracy, we apply the standards of European democracies and we ask of Israel what we don’t ask of Arab states.”
What he actually meant was that – nod, nod, wink, wink, while tapping the side of his nose – we know the Arabs are uneducated and ignorant; they live under oppressive leaders because they do not have to think for themselves and they like it that way; they are inherently violent, they glorify murderers and they do not understand what civilized democracy is – so that is why we treat them as spoiled, unruly children who are not responsible for their actions. If I were an Arab, I would be extremely insulted by his remarks.
Beit Shemesh
Golden and thoughtful
The words of Gershon Baskin (“If I were the Palestinian leader...”) and Zeev Ben-Shachar (“To a new Palestinian state of mind”) in the Comment & Features section of your July 13 issue are golden and thoughtful. You have my congratulations.
Got it right
This time, Susan Hattis Rolef got it right (“Religious indoctrination in secular education,” Think About It, July 10). If you never saw your parent wear a kippa or make kiddush, your children will most likely abandon Israel – both nation and state.
To try to avoid this, we must teach the next generation some sort of Judaism. Ms. Rolef’s question is how. Should Judaism be a tradition, as Greek mythology is to the Greeks? Or a way of going through life, succeeding in maintaining a nation throughout a long history fraught with external threat?
One is reminded of the synagogue president who warned his new rabbi not to preach about kashrut or Shabbat and so on. “Just talk about Judaism,” he said.
Jewish education is not “indoctrination.” It is showing the young how one lives as a decent Jewish human being, with absolute standards of morality.
Defunding counts
US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley says her country is “evaluating the appropriate level of its continued engagement at UNESCO” (“Israel cuts funding to protest UNESCO decision on Hebron,” July 9).
The US stopped funding UNESCO when the body insisted on recognizing the “Palestinians” as a state in 2011. Defunding is what counts. If defunding UNESCO was not sufficient, its contribution to the general UN budget (about 25%, more than any other country) must be evaluated.
How can any civilized country fund a mob-like group that brazenly disregards not only facts, but its own governing organization’s documents?
Due to an error, the crossword puzzles that appeared in the July 14 Jerusalem Post Magazine were those that appeared in the July 13 daily Jerusalem Post. We apologize for the inconvenience.