July 18, 2018: Stick to the facts

Our readers have their say.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Regarding the analysis “Another futile round” (July 16), not every sentence that sounds good need to be written. Military correspondent Anna Ahronheim flippantly writes, “another summer, another war.”
Really?! There is no factual basis to say that there is a war in Israel every summer.
Furthermore, it’s cynicism unbound to think that Israeli leaders send their country’s sons to war because their tempers rise during the heat of the summer.
Nonsense. Stick to the facts please!
Give peace a chance
UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov appealed to the Palestinians to “give peace a chance,” July 16.
Apparently, it never crossed Mr. Mladenov’s mind that Muslims might have quite a different understanding of the word peace than John Lennon did, and that in their understanding this peace can only be reached after a victorious jihad.
Kippa comments
Regarding “Reclaiming the kippah,” by Hen Mazzig, from the Friday, July 13, I read with great interest about the reasons why Mr. Mazzig is wearing a kippah. He left out the most important reason, which has nothing to do with pride. It symbolizes modesty, that we are not the masters of the universe, there is a higher power – whatever we call it.
Mr. Mazzig is to be applauded for desiring to proclaim identification as a Jew by wearing a kippah.
There is just one teensy problem.
His totally secular life sort of conflicts with the meaning and message that a kippah conveys.
A Jewish man wears a kippah or hat (or both, in some circles), covering his head, as a sign of modesty and humility, proclaiming his recognition of a higher intelligence. The human brain, the most able and intelligent of the animal world, is still subservient to G-d’s, the omniscient One.
Why don’t women have to wear one? In a nutshell, women inherently have a closer connection to G-d, and don’t need such reminders (kippah, tefillin etc).
Mr. Mazzig’s statement “I am not a religious Jew. I do not keep Shabbat, I eat non-kosher food....” do not go hand in hand with the idea that G-d knows better.
True, he is a Jew, and true, he does have free choice whether to keep the Torah or not. I just want to point out what wearing the kippah implies, besides being a member of the tribe.
As for the Rabbinate, yes, there are flaws, but their focus is to keep Am Yisrael, the Jewish People, as holy, for lack of another word, as can be. That includes marriage according to Jewish law, public places and the army being kosher, and preventing public Shabbat desecration.
In the spirit of the Nine Days, when we mourn the destruction of the two temples, among other tragedies, caused by gross violations of the spirit of Torah law, and baseless hatred, I pray that Mr Mazzig’s wish that the Kippah will unite all Jews comes true.
A nicotine stain It is with great regret having to write once again concerning an advertisement for cigarettes in the July 6 issue of the paper.
With all the knowledge gleaned on the serious and acute dangers to ones health in starting or continuing with smoking, it is beholding to a government to take responsible action in banning advertising of such products in all areas of the media.
No doubt revenue still seems to take priority over the health of the nation and is a stain (a nicotine one) on this nation’s Health Ministry and the hypocrisy of its guidance on these matters.
A nation’s health must be a priority and the only message that should appear is one that deters this life threatening addiction, just visit any hospital to witness the dangers along with the high ancillary costs to our health service.
We owe this positive action to our current and future generations.
Tel Aviv
Refugee problem
Caroline Glick’s excellent article on UNWRA in the July 6 issue should have mentioned how a similar refugee problem in 1948 was solved.
Far more Jews had to flee from their homes in Muslim countries in 1948. The Jewish refugees were also at first housed in tents in refugee camps. Then Israel built tin huts and later small simple homes and today normal buildings.
The Jewish refugees from Arab countries worked to build Israel and are today normal citizens. This was achieved without billions from the UN.
In 1947 the partition of the Indian subcontinent resulted in a huge, two-way migration.
About 13 million people were uprooted.
There is no UN agency specifically tasked with caring for the descendants of any of these refugees in perpetuity.
By way of contrast, consider that only two years’ residence in a former Ottoman Empire, then British Mandate- controlled area allows this entitlement: “The descendants of Palestine refugee males, including adopted children, are also eligible for registration. When the Agency began operations in 1950, it was responding to the needs of about 750,000 Palestine refugees. Today, some 5 million Palestine refugees are eligible for UNRWA services.”
Why is one group of refugees privileged in this Ponzi scheme-like way? The difference in treatment seems designed to foment resentment in one group and to destroy any chance of a peaceful resolution. It is long past time for this charade to end.
Live to learn
The title question “What will it take?” of Charles Golding’s piece (July 12) referring to the future of aliyah from the UK may be raised in connection to many of the existential problems currently faced by Israel and the Jewish people and in each case both positive and negative approaches have been proposed.
In addition to aliyah we may also consider the propagation of our religious heritage as well as how to educate our children to a rapidly changing world economy.
In these three areas the negative approach is characterized by instilling fear in order to get our point across while the more difficult positive approach involves the love, appreciation and awe of the ultimate goal.
Traditionally, over the millennia our rabbis and teachers have discussed two kinds of incentives for religious observance: fear of punishment and the awe of the majesty and grandeur of our creator.
In current education, the trend is subject oriented study by raising fears of being obsolete, replaceable by robots and generally non-relevant. The objective is to amass knowledge in order to pass a test rather than developing a love of learning, a thirst for knowledge and the ability to think creatively.
Mr. Golding’s article predicts a continuing dearth of aliya from the UK despite the increased fear for the future of Judaism there. Fear as a motivator is self defeating.
Not only does it not induce people to move from a known to an unknown situation but it also leads to a higher rate of reversal for those few who actually try it.
A much healthier approach to aliyah is to recognize the unique opportunity to participate in and contribute to a unique revival of Jewish sovereignty, to realize that Israel is the right place to raise children and to stand in awe of the amazing accomplishments in the past 70 years.