July 2, 2017: What to wear

"Jamie Halper (“The dress I wore to the Knesset,” June 28) knew about the Knesset dress code and should have acted accordingly."

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
What to wear
Jamie Halper (“The dress I wore to the Knesset,” June 28) knew about the Knesset dress code and should have acted accordingly.
Looking at the photo, I deem her dress too short. She looks as if she’s going to the beach. She should have thought more deeply about her attire.
Jamie Halper notes that she was turned away “by a male guard” at the Knesset for transgressing the dress code. This is comparable to bringing a burger to a rabbi, asking him whether it is made from kosher or non-kosher meat, and having the rabbi answer: “Give me a bite and I will tell you based on the taste.”
If the Knesset dress code is based on the halachic concept of tzniut (modesty), perhaps the guards should be informed that the latter includes tzniut b’dibur (modesty in speech, which is to say not loud, rude or lewd) – in which case they would have to bar a significant number of MKs.
Since tzniut also includes not acting rashly, which in the context of the Knesset would imply that one should not vote without knowing what he is voting for, entry by most members of the cabinet should also be prohibited so that we might be spared headlines like one that appeared in the very same issue: “Marathon efforts under way to modify conversion bill and contain Kotel damage.”
One of his own
With regard to “Hadassah dispute heads to mediation” (June 28), one has to seriously wonder whether Health Minister Ya’acov Litzman would act the way he does if his own Gerrer Rebbe had a young family member receiving chemotherapy at Hadassah.
Petah Tikva
Intrusive largesse
Shame on Martin Schafer, spokesman for Germany’s Foreign Ministry, for seriously misrepresenting the central provision of Israel’s 2016 NGO Transparency Law (“Germany compares Israel’s NGO law with Russia and China,” June 25).
Schafer claims the law shows that Israel regards “the funding of nongovernmental organizations, of civil society efforts, by donors from abroad as... hostile.” In fact, the law, as well as related legislation, was very carefully drafted to apply only to donations by foreign governments, just as provided in the Foreign Agents Registration Act (1938) of the US, on which the laws are based.
While reporter Benjamin Weinthal correctly states that Israel’s law “requires nonprofit organizations that receive more than half of their funding from foreign governments to report this fact each year to the registrar in the Justice Ministry,” he does not point out the error in the spokesman’s statement.
The danger of foreign-government funding for Israeli nonprofits that are politically active and attempt to influence public option cannot be overstated. Fortunately, our government is becoming increasingly aware of this reality, and as Weinthal points out, our prime minister now “wants to make the NGO transparency law stricter.”
Based on Schafer’s misrepresentation, he has a list of non-democratic countries that, in his view, have similar laws, to which Israel has been added. Let’s ask him to provide us with another list, this time of those countries to which his government contributes significant funding for politically active NGOs, and preferably without disclosure. Would there be any other countries on this list, or are we the sole beneficiary of Germany’s intrusive largesse?
Jerusalem Critical
Critical Omission
Tali Sharon omitted a very important and relevant fact about the “Peace Island” in “Cascaded touring of Ashdot Ya’acov” (Travel Trends, June 25).
On March 13, 1997, seven schoolgirls from Beit Shemesh were gunned down by a Jordanian soldier while on a school trip to Naharayim. The memorial park dedicated to their memory was built and lovingly tended by Orna Shimoni, whose son Eyal was killed when two IAF helicopters collided over Sha’ar Yishuv a month earlier.
Orna was at Naharayim when the massacre took place. She became deeply involved with the bereaved families, and is in contact with them to this day.
Alon Shvut
Truth as casualty
I have been an admirer of Melanie Phillips for many years. Her intuitive evaluations of the ongoing political machinations and struggles for Israel’s survival are monumental. No one could be more clear in describing the dangers and evil forces being exhibited constantly on the world scene. But I take strong objection to “The fight to the death in Britain and America” (As I See It, June 23).
Comparing Britain’s devastating terrorist attacks to political threats caused by America’s current governmental crisis is not only an oversimplification, it is an outrageous libel. Two examples are “Democrat supporters repeatedly advocate the murder of President Trump” and “people are now murmuring about civil war.”
I would counsel Ms. Phillips to avoid unsubstantiated and exaggerated claims when arguing for political sides. Truth should not be a casualty, no matter what the cause.
Modi’in Haredim
Haredim and uniforms
Dov Lipman’s “I have a new hero this week” (Observations, June 16) is rather startling: His son was wearing his army uniform and was being pursued by Jewish extremists in Mea She’arim.
Would they have killed him? Severely beaten him? For wearing an IDF uniform and a kippa? What has our country come to? It is hard for me to believe that our people would be so violent.
Thank God for the man who came to the rescue, and thank God for Lipman’s attitude – he focused on honoring the man who came out of the shadows and helped his son, getting him to safety.
I’m glad that Lipman will work to get something started to help create an Israel in which an act of heroism of this kind won’t be necessary.
Poriya Illit
As reports of IDF soldiers being attacked in Mea She’arim become common, I don’t understand why hundreds, nay thousands, of soldiers from all walks of Israeli society don’t march through the area’s streets and vociferously, yet non-violently, protest this abhorrent behavior and state that they aren’t going to take it any longer.
Mevaseret Zion
An invitation
We are fortunate to live in one of the most liberal, democratic and open societies on the planet, and long may this continue.
This enables us to tolerate – and disagree with – such ludicrous statements as “Israel is slipping into fascism” (Isaac Herzog – well, he’s got a leadership election coming up) or “Bibi is corrupt” (Moshe Ya’alon, possibly libelous, but he won’t pass the electoral threshold anyway) or even “Israel is on the way to becoming an apartheid state” (Ehud Barak, the party of one – unless, of course, we do what he says).
In my view, the line must be drawn, even in Israel, when comparisons are made of Israelis to Nazis and the State of Israel to Nazi Germany, as in the recent case of a University of Haifa lecturer caught on video making such a statement to his captive audience of students.
Statements such as these are seditious blood libels and should be subject to criminal sanction. A simple amendment to Section 136 of the Penal Law against Sedition – currently punishable by five years imprisonment – should achieve the desired effect.
I invite all like-minded persons to join me in lobbying members of the Knesset for the introduction of such a change in the law.