January 27: Hunger Strike

The conclusion is that this young man is being incarcerated under harsh conditions because of his ideology, and perhaps because he is the grandson of Rabbi Meir Kahane.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Hunger strike
Regarding “Libby Kahane issues plea for grandson on hunger strike” (January 25), if Meir Ettinger indeed is a terrorist, then charge him. Put him on trial. Tell the courts what terror act he committed.
But no, that is not being done.
The conclusion is that this young man is being incarcerated under harsh conditions because of his ideology, and perhaps because he is the grandson of Rabbi Meir Kahane.
Ma’aleh Adumim
Totally unacceptable
With regard to “Netanyahu fails to quell all coalition rebellion threats over Hebron homes” (January 25), it is totally unacceptable for ministers and members of Knesset to support and encourage the unlawful activities of those who occupied the buildings in Hebron without having obtained the appropriate consents.
Each MK has pledged to bear allegiance to the State of Israel.
Ministers swear to abide by its laws and comply with the decisions of the Knesset. This responsibility should be a priority over any personal political agenda, particularly where it could threaten the safety and security of those they were elected to serve.
If those who perpetrated these acts in fact broke the law, they and their accomplices should be treated like any other suspected offenders.
‘Dodgy’ claims
I’m puzzled by two references in Susan Hattis Rolef’s “The implication of the recent events in Hebron” (Think About It, January 25).
Referring to recent real estate transactions, she writes that “according to international law such purchases are dodgy by definition.”
I never knew that anything could be “dodgy” under international law. And “by definition”? I had no idea that international law had anything to do with private real estate transactions.
My wife and I were not Israeli citizens when we purchased our apartment in Israel. I now wonder whether that was “dodgy” under international law. Do we need to consult a lawyer with expertise in international law as it applies to real estate transaction, or is there some provision in international law that states that the purchase of private property by Jews anywhere but in their country of citizenship or Israel is “dodgy?” I’m also puzzled by the way Rolef includes advice given to the opposition by Avrum Burg. She gave him undeserved credibility by referring to him as a “former Knesset speaker,” but curiously omitted any mention that since leaving office, he took French citizenship and became an active anti-Zionist, thus making his current loyalties highly suspect, to put it mildly.
Them and us
Jeff Barak’s “Double standards” (Reality Check, January 25) confused me a little bit. It was about a Jewish-Israeli vigilante who knifed an Israeli Arab and lightly wounded him, and yelled “death to Arabs!” He received a jail sentence of “only” 21 months.
My confusion is that if this were completely reversed, the result would be much different. If a Palestinian Arab knifes a Jew in Ramallah, the Jew will be tied to the back of a car and dragged through the streets until he is dead and his body unrecognizable.
The heroic Palestinian would receive a medal and a cash reward for bravery, and a parade in his honor.
Time for that change
Congratulations to The Jerusalem Post for its editorial “The people’s choice” (January 24), concerning electoral reform.
Due to its past history, Britain may not be a favorite with some Israelis, but it does have one attribute to be admired: its electoral system. In comparison with Britain, how many of our members of Knesset bother to acknowledge letters sent to them requesting assistance, let alone make home visits? For a number of years prior to making aliya in the late 1980s, I worked at Westminster during the stewardship of the late Margaret Thatcher and was privileged to take part in, and to see first hand, the way a constituency system works. And it does! It is high time for us to make that change.
Minimum wage
Regarding “Who’s afraid of a minimum wage revolution (and who’s not)?” (Comment & Features, January 21), what we should be afraid of is folks like Hilik Bar, who has absolutely no idea how the economy works. Given enough time, government do-gooders, along with the top strata of well-controlled trade unions, inevitably propose an increase in the minimum wage.
Years ago, Israel had the privilege of learning from Milton Friedman, the Nobel Prize-winning economist whose no-nonsense approach to the mythologies of the Left should influence simpletons like Bar.
“The fact is,” Friedman said, “the programs labeled as being ‘for the poor’ or ‘for the needy’ almost always have effects exactly the opposite of those which their well-intentioned sponsors intend them to have.”
Friedman considered minimum wage laws to be the archetype of such programs because they ensure that low-skilled, entry-level workers don’t get employed, don’t get to learn a skill and remain in a permanent underclass.
“There is absolutely no positive objective achieved by the minimum wage law,” he said. “Its real purpose is to reduce competition for the trade unions and make it easier for them to maintain the higher wages of their privileged members.”
Perhaps Bar is a more talented economist than Friedman. I doubt the University of Chicago, Harvard, Columbia and the Nobel Committee would agree, but you never know.
LGBTQ ‘fascism’
What recently happened in Chicago at the National LGBTQ Task Force’s Creating Change conference (“US LGBTQ organization backtracks, will hold event with Israeli leaders,” January 20) was a shame not only for the Task Force leadership, but also for the those organizations that endorsed the conference.
That the Jewish participants were treated in such an irresponsible fashion tells me that even in our own community, the cancer of fascism is alive and well.
The Rainbow Sash Movement’s board of directors, LGBTQ Roman Catholics, voted to publicly condemn such behavior as out of step with the guiding principle of our movement – inclusion. We find such attacks on our Jewish brothers and sisters hard to understand, regardless of what motivates such actions. We condemn them. Simply put, we believe it was an attempt to hijack the conference for sectarian political purposes.
It is our hope that the Task Force leadership will also issue a public condemnation.
The writer is executive director of the Rainbow Sash Movement.
Sendoff for Salasnik
Anyone among your readers who was, or knows someone who was, a member of Bushey United Synagogue in London at anytime since 1979 will want to know that after 37 years on the pulpit, Rabbi Meir Salasnik is retiring to make aliya.
To mark the occasion, Bushey Shul is producing a tribute evening titled “Rabbi Salasnik – This Is your Life,” based on the famous TV series.
To be there or to include a message of goodwill in the evening’s souvenir program, please help spread the word and go to http:// www.busheyus.org/index.php/ upcoming-events/544-rabbi-salasnik- retirement-save-the-date, or email: [email protected]