April 22: Part-time Sundays

For the months of July, August and part of September, how about a true Saturday and Sunday weekend?

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Part-time Sundays
Sir, – David Weinberg has a good solution (“Who will give me a Sunday?,” Observations, April 19), but I believe mine is better.
For the months of July, August and part of September, how about a true Saturday and Sunday weekend? Daylight saving time gives us more daytime and the opportunity for a longer Friday work day. Shabbat could be honored by more people, and Sunday would provide the family a day of leisure we all – especially the Sabbath-observant – so sorely lack.
Including Sunday in the weekend during these months would make the extra hour of work on the other five days well worth the sacrifice.
I have a dream
Sir, – Uri Savir is the one living with preconceived ideas (“National security,” Savir’s Corner, April 19).
What he proposes makes sense. Only one teeny problem: Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is not a partner for peace. He rejects all the ideas put forth by Savir. As everyone should know by now, the aim of the game is to get rid of Israel and not accommodate it in any way.
Savir has a dream. Unfortunately, that’s all it is, for if not we would have had peace a long time ago. Anything that makes sense to us is nonsense to the Palestinians.FREYA BINENFELD Petah Tikva
Happy camper
Sir, – I wish to thank Caroline B. Glick for her inspiring “Israel: The happy little country” (Column One, April 19).
For years I woke up in the morning feeling depressed after reading her excellently researched articles. Now, thank God, I feel like a new person, a happy camper.
After all we went through – the intifadas, the missiles and the deaths of our soldiers – can’t anyone get it right and see that, as Glick writes, “sober-minded contentment is better than pipe dream fantasies?” Why are our leaders still seeking peace without a partner? “The Israeli public,” writes Glick, “gave our elites the opportunity to try out their peace fantasies in the l990s. We gave their peace a chance and got repaid with massive terror and international isolation.”
What did US President Barack Obama accomplish by his recent visit to Israel? He just reiterated what our leftists have been saying for years, that, as Glick recounts, we should “force our leaders to give Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria to our sworn enemies even as they teach their children to aspire to kill our children.”
So why am I now a happy camper? Because Glick has made me realize that “at 65, Israel is becoming a mature, responsible, prosperous and powerful player in the international arena... and the one thing we can do to squander it all is place our hopes in ‘peace.’ And so we won’t, ever again.”
Never again.
JENNY WEIL Jerusalem
Theme-park solution
Sir, – A reader makes the intriguing suggestion that for the sake of preserving Judaism, the city of Jerusalem be designated for keeping Shabbat (“Sabbath day,” Letters, April 19).
Unfortunately, this would make the city the Jewish equivalent of Disneyland – not a modern city but a religious theme park where all its residents play their part in demonstrating Judaism. (But to whom? Without transportation and services, no one except religious Jews would spend a weekend there.) Much of Jerusalem’s secular population, especially young people, would probably move out, and Israel’s largest city would be turned into an economic basket case.
There must be a better way to preserve Judaism.
Mount of contention
Sir, – The current row regarding the Temple Mount is quite preposterous (“New Knesset Interior C’tee head says Jews should be able to pray at Temple Mount,” April 18). Everyone, including the BBC, calls it the “Temple Mount,” not because Muslims or others pray there, but because it is the place where the Jewish Temple stood.
In these days of counting the Omer, we say every day: “May He return for us the service of the Temple to its place, speedily in our days.” If we are not allowed to pray on the Temple Mount, then no one should be allowed to pray there – certainly not to play football or otherwise desecrate the site.
May it truly be in our hands soon.EALLAN HIRSHFELD Ra’anana
Sir, – MK Miri Regev, in her new position as chair of the Knesset’s Interior Committee, is to be congratulated for her clear and correct position that Jews should be able to freely pray on the Temple Mount.
Conversely, Meretz MK Michal Roisin reminds us yet again why her party has been shunted to the fringe of Israeli politics. Her kneejerk invocation of a third intifada and demand that Jews be allowed to pray on the Temple Mount only after a peace agreement has been signed is a profile in political cowardice.
Increasingly, Jews of all religious sensibilities recognize that the refusal to allow Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount is a grave denial of Jewish civil and human rights. Hypocritically, our leadership has been more interested in kowtowing to Muslim sensibilities than in upholding fairness and equal access – values it bends over backwards to respect for non-Jews.
I predict that within the next 18 months the growing demand for unimpeded Jewish access to the Temple Mount will overcome the simpering whining that has denied Jews the opportunity to visit their holiest site without having to be hapless dhimmis.DOUGLAS ALTABEF
Rosh Pina
Ferocious compromise Sir, – The Arabs, as Gershon Baskin sees them, are a remarkable phenomenon.
In “Our memories, their memories” (Encountering Peace, April 18), Baskin warns us on the one hand that in their need for territorial expression of their identity, the Palestinians are implacable and cannot live peacefully without sovereignty on the West Bank. On the other hand, he seems to believe that the same implacable need for territorial expression will be appeased by the gift of the West Bank, and that it will collapse at the Green Line with a sigh of contentment, whereupon the land between there and the Mediterranean will be left in peace.
A remarkable combination of ferocity and compromise.
Sir, – What a delight to read yet another installment in the infinite series of Encountering Peace.
In the latest we read for the umpteenth time how the Palestinians will have to “give up the dream of return to their lost homes.” Just when did our “peace partners” even remotely hint at the slightest possibility of even considering the contemplation of such a concession? As I recall, it was never.
Where does Baskin get his pollyannish fantasy from? Could I get some of what he’s smoking?
CORRECTION Artist Paul Taylor was erroneously cited as the creator of all 18 globes being shown at the Mamilla Esplanade near Jerusalem’s Old City (“‘Round the world,” April 18). Each globe in the “Cool Globes” exhibit was designed by a different artist using a different theme related to the environment.
The globes – a gift of the city of Chicago from the Cool Globes non-profit organization – will remain in place throughout the summer, after which they will be auctioned off, the proceeds being used to benefit environmental projects in the city.