Letters: June 20, 2017: BBC on Israel

I always felt that they looked down on me as somewhat inferior and lacking for not following and practicing Halacha as fervently as they did.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
BBC on Israel
Great that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is standing up against the antisemites in charge of BBC news (“Netanyahu wins headline spat with BBC over Jerusalem stabbing,” June 18).
I use the word “antisemites” deliberately. The BBC knows perfectly well that Britain’s SAS commandos have shoot-to-kill orders in relation to any new terrorist attack in the UK, and never for one moment did it query whether the police response to recent terrorist attacks in London and Manchester was disproportionate.
The BBC chooses to continue in its traditional bigoted and prejudiced way when it comes to reporting – or, rather, misreporting – the same scenario here.
About 25 years ago, I happened to hear the 7:00 am broadcast of the BBC World News. The lead headline was about an “Arab civilian” who had been “shot dead” by an Israeli soldier in Jerusalem early that morning. Turns out that two Israeli soldiers were waiting at a bus stop when suddenly they were attacked by an Arab who stabbed one of them. The other soldier shot and killed the assailant.
The BBC is incorrigible. It was disgustingly biased against Israel 25 years ago and is still biased today. Apparently, the aphorism “a leopard cannot change its spots” still holds true.
I read with interest about how Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu got the BBC to change its appalling headline – “3 Palestinians killed” – relating to the murder of Border Policewoman Hadas Malka.
As the government is considering the banning of Al Jazeera from operating in Israel, should it not consider doing the same with the BBC? Its coverage over many years has been tendentious, to say the least, and it is a much more powerful worldwide anti-Israel voice than Al Jazeera.
Henrietta’s tears
Your editorial about the Hadassah conflict over the treatment of children with cancer (“Hadassah’s children,” June 16) was right to the point. This follows the daily reports by your health editor, Judy Siegel.
I sat with the protesters, their children, the doctors and others on Shabbat because their tents are near my residence. One can easily cry when you see the children who might die at any time.
Surely we can blame Health Minister Ya’acov Litzman or Hadassah Medical Organization director-general Zeev Rotstein, but I am flabbergasted by the silence of the Hadassah organization itself. I am aware that at least some Hadassah chapters in the United States know nothing about this crisis.
Hadassah founder Henrietta Szold must be weeping up in heaven as she sees the impotent women who today call themselves Hadassah leaders.
BBC on Israel
I cannot sufficiently applaud Elazar Stern’s “Separating religion and state” (Observations, June 16), no matter how hard I try. My wife and I made aliya a few years ago, and reading Mr.
Stern’s comments vindicates our decision by the fact that I think (and hope) the majority of Israelis agree with his views.
In the United States, we belonged to a Modern Orthodox congregation, where I felt alone and isolated from most of the members, some of whom were my neighbors. I always felt that they looked down on me as somewhat inferior and lacking for not following and practicing Halacha as fervently as they did.
At great financial hardship, we sent all our children to an Orthodox day school so they would have the proper background to make the right choice for themselves.
This was expected in our neighborhood, but it did not change how I felt about my neighbors, and vice-versa.
I grew up in a household that stressed the cultural and intellectual aspects of Judaism, not the religious aspect, and of being a Jew. This has become an integral part of my personality. Hence our decision to come to live in Israel.
Here I feel I can be a good Jew in ways that make me feel good about being a good Jew. Thank you, Israel.
Tel Aviv
The application of simple rules of logic exposes the faulty thinking of Elazar Stern, since his ultimate proposal is the separation of Judaism from Halacha. This did not work in the past and would be disastrous in the future.
We have survived as a people primarily due to our fealty to Halacha. The latest Pew Report shows two population trends in the United States: one the ascendance of the religious community, the other the decline of the non-religious community.
In the limited sampling represented by my own experience, I have not met many third- or fourth-generation Conservative or Reform Jews.
Time to wake up
With regard to “Israel said to advance plans for 14,000 Palestinian homes in Area C” (June 15), the government is approving the construction of thousands of Arab homes in Area C while giving lip service about building in the Jewish towns and villages in Judea and Samaria.
Presumably, this is being done to give the Palestinians, at the request of Washington, the confidence to go forward in the “peace process” while they claim at the same time that the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron is theirs.
This is another example of the “give and take” of the peace process: We give and they take.
And then they ask for more.
When will our government learn? We can easily show US President Donald Trump that the Palestinians have never done anything to give Israel the confidence that they want to live in peace. In fact, the opposite is true: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recently tried to show that the Palestinians were no longer giving money to the families of terrorists, but this was immediately refuted by senior Palestinian officials.
It is time we sent a clear message to our so-called peace partners that we are here to stay, and that the promise of building in the Jewish “settlements” will in fact be carried out.
To think that the Palestinians actually want to live in peace with Israel is delusional. The time to wake up is now.
The photo accompanying “Rivlin emphasizes UN vote in accepting new credentials from four ambassadors” (June 16) shows incoming Tanzanian Ambassador Job Daudi Masima, his wife and five children posing with President Reuven Rivlin at the President’s Residence last Thursday.