Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Respect, dignity
I read Dov Lipman’s “Honoring the memory of Taylor Force (Observations, March 18) with great interest. Lipman arranged for a special funeral at the airport for the American citizen killed in the recent terrorist attack in Tel Aviv. I was shocked that the US government had not arranged something similar.
Look at the contrast in what happened Saturday in Turkey (“Israelis among five dead in Istanbul suicide bombing,” March 20). Magen David Adom flew in people immediately to help. The Israeli government was quick to deal with the wounded and comment on the reprehensible act.
After Force was murdered by a knife-wielding Palestinian, the US State Department responded by adding that both sides should curb their violence. What a kneejerk response to terror that killed an ex-soldier and an idealist! Lipman acted with acumen, respect and dignity. Magen David Adom and the Israeli government responded to the terror in Turkey with practical assistance.
The United States, as everyone knows, is a moral and humanitarian failure.
No equivalence
Gershon Baskin continues to amaze me with his inability to find anything good to say about Israel.
In “Addressing the core” (Encountering Peace, March 17), he comes dangerously close to blood libeling the Jewish people and state.
Writing that the “willingness to fight, die and to kill in the Israeli- Palestinian conflict has been clearly demonstrated (by both sides)....” creates the illusion of equivalence. There is no basis in Jewish history that states that we want to kill non-Jews just because they are not Jewish.
In addition, the 100 years of conflict include the period before the establishment of the state, when Jews were killed because they were Jews. There was no “Israeli-Palestinian” conflict in 1929 or during the revolt of 1936- 1939. Between 1948 and 1973, the state was attacked or its existence was threatened continuously.
Schooling them Hollis Gauss and Allison B. Oakes (“The Lerner School responds: We are proud of our record,” Comment & Features, March 17) have penned a skillful rebuttal to Caroline B. Glick’s devastating criticism of teaching values at the Lerner Jewish Day School in Durham, North Carolina.
However, their rebuttal cannot change the essential facts on the ground.
The parents of two children at the school had misgivings regarding proposed changes to the school’s admission criteria.
Instead of trying to allay these fears, a member of the board of directors attacked the parents as racist bigots! Gauss and Oakes should have immediately apologized for this unwarranted attack. Instead of demanding the resignation of the board member, they allowed their hubris to attack the parents.
Perhaps it should be suggested that the Lerner School’s board of directors and teachers attend a short course in Jewish ethical values.
H.B. MITCHELL Mazkeret Batya
The op-ed piece “The Lerner School responds: We are proud of our record” solves a problem I had with Caroline B. Glick’s “Time to draw lines and defend them” (Our World, March 1).
Glick wrote that the school board’s leader had labeled complaints leveled by parents who faulted the Jewish day school’s approach to Zionism as “bigotry.”
Bigotry? How could such complaints be bigotry? It turns out that there was more than Glick let on – parents who did not want their children to be educated alongside non-Jews.
As anyone with any knowledge of Jewish day schools in the United States knows, gentile families have long opted to send their kids to such schools, knowing that the education is better (in some cases, far better) than that provided by what are often decaying public systems. The fact that non-Jews seek out Jewish day schools rather than those of other religions has long been a source of pride for the Jewish community.
It’s possible that the Lerner School’s approach to Israel might not be up to Glick’s excruciatingly high standards, but to hide an important part of the story while ratcheting up the fever by somehow drawing equivalence to BDS and other horrible things happening on US campuses is sloppy punditry, if not outright dishonest.
US Jewish tragedy
Caroline B. Glick’s “The tragic state of American Jewry” (Our World, March 15) could not have come at a more appropriate time.
As we plan for the holiday of Purim, we remember that in Achashverosh’s Persia, the Jews were very assimilated. The Jewish population of Shushan participated in the king’s lavish, sixmonth- long orgy. It was only when they became the victims of Haman’s plot to annihilate them that they took stock.
The expression that darkness comes before the dawn is applicable here.
While a large percentage of American Jews are assimilating and losing their Jewish bearings, there are movements to bring them closer to their heritage, from Chabad and Aish Hatorah to numerous other Jewish-awareness organizations. We see many Jews whose parents and grandparents assimilated now searching for their roots. While they may be fewer in number today, we must remember that it took two individuals, Mordecai and Esther, to change the fate of Persia’s Jews.
May the few lead the many in our time as well, for the battle is not yet over.
Not ‘Netball’!
With reference to “Israelis, Palestinians team up for netball tournament” (Sports Shorts, March 17), for the second time in less than a year, I find myself writing to you about the egregious mistake The Jerusalem Post sports staff has made when translating material from Hebrew. Kadur reshet is not “netball.”
It is a form of volleyball! To add insult to injury, you included a photo of a Gilbert netball used in the 2015 Netball World Cup. Gilbert is an official sponsor of the International Netball Federation! For the edification of your readers, Israel Netball’s national team is gearing up to participate not in a tournament in Eilat, but in the prestigious Netball Europe Open competition that will take place in Newcastle this May.
JUDY AKNIN Givatayim The writer is president of Israel Netball.
‘Living widowhood’
Yael Levine (“‘Mi She-Berakh’ prayer for agunot,” Comment & Features, March 16) wrote a prayer saying: “May He answer the women who are bound in living widowhood.”
The cries of the agunot, women whose husbands refuse to agree to a religious divorce, touch us. Widowhood is where a woman whose husband has died has not remarried. Living widowhood is where a cruel husband refuses to divorce his wife for no good reason.
The Mekilta de-Rabbi Ishmael (Lauterbach, Vol. 3, page 141) says: “You shall not ill-treat any widow or orphan” (Exodus 22:21).
From this I know only about the widow and the fatherless child.
How about any other person? It says “lo te’unon” (you shall not ill-treat them). These are the words of Rabbi Ishmael.”
We pray to God for His answer, redemption and rescue of all men and women who are being mistreated, along with the living- widowed.
CORRECTION In “Energy Ministry says EU keen on receiving Israeli natural gas” (March 17), it was mistakenly reported that the European Union’s commissioner for climate action, Miguel Arias Cañete, was expected to arrive in Israel this week for an official visit. Cañete is expected to visit Israel in the near future, though no date has been given.
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