Letters to the Editor: Ettinger detention

The moment a free society persecutes its dissenters, as Israel is doing, it ceases justification to be called an enlightened democracy.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Ettinger detention
Meir Ettinger, despite his extremist views, deserves the protection of law in a democratic society (“Ettinger’s detention extended,” News in Brief, February 2).
The moment a free society persecutes its dissenters, as Israel is doing, it ceases justification to be called an enlightened democracy.
Reading the interview Ettinger’s wife Moriya gave to the Arutz Sheva website, one is shocked to the point of exasperation. It is nothing less than outrageous that a Jewish government can allow such cruelties and totalitarian practices to be used against an uncharged Jewish accused.
A distinction must be made between isolated Jewish acts of violence and a national, organized Arab campaign of terror and murder. Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should call on the new attorney-general to either charge Ettinger immediately or release him.
It is impossible to know why the administrative detention order against my grandson, Meir Ettinger, was extended by four months. The crimes he allegedly committed were revealed only to the judge in a closed-door hearing.
But from leaks to the media, I can count two that are accurate: He is the grandson of Rabbi Meir Kahane and he is a talented writer.
Apparently, these two “crimes” are sufficient for Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon to sign another secret order against him.
Ruthie’s writing R
uthie Blum possesses a writing skill that acutely expresses events.
In “The Vatican’s disgraceful display” (Right from Wrong, February 1), she writes: “Pope Francis fawned all over the puppet head of the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei-led regime” during his meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. She follows this with: “It is not clear whether the pope is delusional or an idiot.”
Her words always paint a clear picture of the circumstances.
Keep it open!
We have read the news that Israel plans to eliminate its consulate for the mid-Atlantic region of the United States, based here in Philadelphia. As leading advocates for Israel in the area, we can attest first-hand how indispensable the consulate and its staff are to Israel in one of the most important regions of America – and what a mistake it would be to shutter it.
In an era when pro-Israel advocacy and activism are most needed, the consulate and its staff inspire and reinforce the organic pro-Israel sentiment and activity of both the Jewish community and its non-Jewish friends.
Whether it be as a guest speaker at one of our meetings, a participant in a rally or subject of a media interview, the consul- general or a staff member of the consulate is always a welcome sight.
Meanwhile, the many briefings for organizational and communal leaders held regularly at the consulate – usually part of the “Word from Jerusalem” series – have given us, our colleagues and counterparts important information and perspectives that further our advocacy and would otherwise be unavailable.
The consulate is responsible for an area that is home to 37 million Americans, including nearly one million Jews. Here in the immediate metropolitan area, there are some 250,000 Jews among a population topping two million. As the Philadelphia- Israel Chamber of Commerce says, “More than $5 billion of all Israeli exports to the US pass through the greater Philadelphia region every year.”
If anything, the consulate should be expanded. We respectfully appeal to Jerusalem to reverse its decision and continue maintaining this important installation and staff, and keep them based in Philadelphia.