Letters to the editor: Feb. 23

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Hitting the bottle
Sir, – Do we laugh or do we cry at the new crisis fully occupying our media: Sara Netanyahu’s bottles (“Opposition blasts PM over alleged alcohol expenditures, recycled-bottle hoarding,” February 1).
The scope of media reaction to this NIS 1,000-per-year pillage makes it clear to all of average intelligence that we are witnessing unbridled election propaganda, where rampant hostility overrides all sense of judgment. The bottle bandit’s burglary plays in unison with media cries of the alleged illegality of the daily Israel Hayom totally backing the Right and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in the upcoming elections.
Would you agree with me that the chronic cries of Haaretz have always reflected one side of the political spectrum? All this against the background of Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas is enough to drive a sane man to the bottle.
Sir, – I must congratulate the members of the various political parties who have scraped the bottom of the barrel looking for minutia to find fault with the prime minister’s wife. It would be of more benefit if they concentrated on real items.
Have they ever thought about the logistics of returning wine bottles to reclaim 30 agorot per bottle? Even a month’s collection, at a bottle a day, would weigh quite a few kilograms. Would you wish to drag all that weight to the bottle bank each month and wait in line to receive your cash of circa NIS 9? I certainly would not, but if Sara Netanyahu or her delegated team does, good luck to them. For being so civic-minded they deserve the NIS 9.
Let the electorate make up its mind on real issues. Otherwise, the people in that household will be nervous of even blowing their noses – or worse when using state paper for the various purposes.
Sir, – How about discussing the Iranian attempt to open a front on the Golan? Our people are in danger. Enemies surround us. My life, your life, our children’s lives are at stake, and all you can talk about is whiskey and wine? Winston Churchill wrote in The Gathering Storm concerning England in the 1930s, when that nation thought eternal peace was around the corner: “We must regard as deeply blameworthy before history the conduct [of the political parties]...in this fateful period. Delight in smooth-sounding platitudes, refusal to face unpleasant facts...pathetic belief that love can be the sole foundation [of peace], obvious lack of intellectual vigor...aversion from its [European] problems, violent pacifism [leading to]... fatuity and fecklessness which, though devoid of guile, was not devoid of guilt... played a definite part in the unleashing upon the world of horrors and miseries which... are already beyond comparison in human experience.”
May we not share the same fate.
Costly campus
Sir, – Jewish Theological Seminary chancellor Arnold Eisen’s announcement (“JTS to finance capital improvement by selling dormitories, air rights,” February 1) arouses specific memories in this alumnus, ordained 50 years ago, in June 1965.
First, why does that campus at 3080 Broadway exist? In the early 1920s, JTS began to move from midtown up to the current campus for several reasons. Dr. Cyrus Adler, the chancellor, convinced Louis Marshall, the Warburgs and the Unterbergs – most of them Reform Jews who had assisted Solomon Schechter on his arrival earlier in the century – that it could be the great Jewish university American Jews wanted.
The current property is down the street from Columbia University and across the street from Union Theological Seminary.
Eisen’s hopes match Adler’s in a meaningful fashion.
Second, as JTS moved to its new campus, a rabbinical student died from lack of food. As a result, from the late 1920s through the 1960s, every rabbinical student was given a complete food scholarship. In our freshmen year, we had to wait tables on Shabbat since meals were served, but after that there was free food through ordination.
Sadly, none of the chancellors, from Adler through Finkelstein through Cohen through Schorsch, realized what a gold mine they had in their alumni.
We were never solicited in a real fashion. The only monumental gift by a rabbi came from Myer Kripke of Omaha, Nebraska.
The Kripkes had been married at JTS – the rabbi became an intellectual force on the rabbinical assembly, while his wife wrote delightful children’s books. Mrs. Kripke had a friend, Susan Buffett, invest her profits from book sales.
The Kripke Library Tower was erected in honor of a $12 million donation from the couple, interestingly made possible by the wife of Warren Buffett.
Telling support Sir, – “The insider’s guide for the politically perplexed” (Politics, January 30) seems to raise many more questions than it answers. But there is one simple (yet critically important) guideline that should be followed by responsible voters in an Israeli election.
If a particular candidate is popular with the international community, especially the Europeans, you should unequivocally strike that contender from your list of possible nominees.
Zichron Ya’acov
Then what?
Sir, – In “If Palestine joins the ICC, then what?” (Comment & Features, January 26), Birte Brodkorb assumes your readers are au fait with the “commission of acts [crimes] that fall under the Court’s jurisdiction.”
Briefly, the ICC-Rome Statute, Article 5, differentiates the following Roman foursome order – crime of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and crimes of aggression – whose semantic articulations display a Nuremberger pedigree. Hence, the imperative questions: Why tamper with the Nuremberg foursome order: conspiracy, crimes against peace, war crimes and crimes against humanity? Why discard conspiracy and crimes against peace, the dual prologue for the commission of the latter two? A reread of the Nuremberg trial proceedings will suffice to illuminate the ICC-Rome Statute predicament.
Sir, – Let us say that someone comes along blustering that you, dear reader, are a thug who has committed grave atrocities. You probably would not volunteer to promote this person by holding a parlor meeting on her or his behalf.
Why, then, should The Jerusalem Post (emphasis on Jerusalem), an Israeli newspaper, provide valuable op-ed space of its own free will to anybody who has this to say about our country and government: “Israeli officials [and] protagonists of the Palestinian Authority... will have to consider their future actions, such as killing civilians or constructing settlements, in the light of possible...
trial [by the International Criminal Court]”; “[C]riminal acts are state practice, such as the construction of settlements”; and “[V]ictims of grave state atrocities...have suffered from unlawful acts on both sides.”
Does the Post truly think it is within the spectrum of respectable op-ed opinion to insinuate that “constructing settlements” is criminal, as opposed to, say, inadvisable? That building a daycare center in Ariel is comparable to killing civilians? That the State of Israel has committed “grave atrocities”? I am not sure that the author of this travesty is the only party to blame here if we ourselves (or the editors of the newspapers we buy) do exactly the same thing. As a matter of urgency, your editorial board should convene to determine how to serve as an example to other Israeli media by establishing red lines beyond which your for the most part wonderful newspaper will not go.