April 25: Kerry's comparison

I rubbed my eyes and then read again the headline “Kerry compares victims of Boston blasts to activists aboard ‘Mavi Marmara.’”

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Kerry’s comparison
Sir, – I rubbed my eyes and then read again the headline “Kerry compares victims of Boston blasts to activists aboard ‘Mavi Marmara’” (April 23).
I still could not believe what I was reading when it said that Israel’s leadership “made a point of not responding,” and that “[h]igh-ranking diplomatic officials in Jerusalem said they believed Kerry was misunderstood....”
Are we afraid that our discussions for restoring normal relations with Turkey are so critical that we cannot even point out the absurdity of US Secretary of State John Kerry’s comparison? Have we lost all our self-respect?
Sir, – How can we explain that the man who will pose as an honest broker in Israel- Palestinian negotiations be entrusted by the US government when he is so totally confused and cannot differentiate between terrorists and innocent civilians? After the Mavi Marmara incident, we recall that US Vice President Joseph Biden stated emphatically that Israel had been totally justified in responding as it did since Israel is considered to be at war with the rulers of the Gaza Strip. He hasn’t made public statements on that issue since! US Secretary of State John Kerry’s statement is not a travesty merely to us, but to Americans who have been grieved by the Boston attacks.
Sir, – I am relieved to learn that US Secretary of State John Kerry compared the flotilla terrorists to the alleged perpetrators of the Boston Marathon bombings. This can only mean that on behalf of the American people, President Barack Obama will soon apologize to Chechnya for killing one of its peace-loving Muslim sons.
No doubt the US will be offering financial compensation to the Tsarnaev family, whose lives were ruined by the disproportionate response of US law enforcement officials who eschewed the more reasonable response of first shooting at the brothers’ legs or using tear gas.
Also, I can’t wait to see the US extradite all the FBI agents and policemen involved in these extrajudicial killings to stand trial in the Hague before the International Criminal Court. It’s so reassuring to know there’s still justice in the world.
Sir, – In view of the origin of the perpetrators of the Boston Marathon bombings, I wonder whom the victims will turn to for damages of a million bucks each. Chechnya? Russia? Or perhaps a special fund created by Islamic countries for this purpose?
Sir, – Since US President Barack Obama’s visit here, various utterances by his new secretary of state have marked John Kerry as a serious candidate for the “least informed and most ill-considered” prize due holders of that august post.
It seems Obama’s second term will be as blighted by ignorance and a lack of professional policy as was the first.
Blasting Lapid
Sir, – I was appalled by Yair Lapid’s hate-filled first speech in the Knesset (“Yesh Atid’s Lapid blasts haredim in maiden Knesset speech as finance minister,” April 23).
It reminded me of scenes we all witnessed at the sea shore when we were kids. Here’s a little girl building a very intricate sand castle. It took her most of the morning. All of a sudden, the bratty little kid from the next blanket steps over. With one vicious kick he flattens all her work.
Yes, Lapid can flatten all the work of the haredi community.
What does he have to put in its place? We mustn’t forget other revolutionaries from other times: The French Revolution and the Russian Revolution totally destroyed the countries they were trying to save. It took them years to recover. (As for Castro’s Cuba? They are still driving cars manufactured in the 1950s and using appliances of the same vintage.) Revolutions are much better at destruction than at construction.
A responsible leader would search for ways to bind his country together instead of fomenting hatred that can destroy us all. Apparently, Lapid is not a responsible leader – just a good-looking rabble-rouser.
Sir, – King Yair bitterly complained about inheriting 30 years of mismanagement. But not to worry, in two years he will make us reach utopia, whether we like it or not.
Lapid’s prepared sniping and tongue-lashing of the haredi populace was of course well received. “Don’t tell me what to do on Shabbat, etc., etc.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise, knowing that he does not have the experience, finesse, understanding or will to learn the nuances of a person representing a nation.
Yes, Mr. Lapid, you are a private person but, like it or not, you represent the State of Israel and what you do on Shabbat is everybody’s business.
I’m sure his father is applauding him from his grave.
But I want to mention one representative point: core studies.
The powers that be have decided that for the best interest of the nation haredi schools must teach core studies; otherwise, they will not receive funding. I ask the new minister of education: You are called a rabbi, so tell me, isn’t it about time to force public schools to teach the core subjects? How is it possible that millions of children throughout the years do not know the meaning of the Shema, the meaning of other prayers, what is Shabbat, the 13 fundamentals of Judaism and more? I do not mean, heaven forbid, to force the irreligious to pray. I bite my tongue for that. But they should learn the core Jewish topics to make them aware that they live in a Jewish state.
Any school not teaching core Jewish topics should not be funded by the Jewish state.
Truth be said, King Yair represents the non-Jewish State of Israel – the irreligious, antiharedi element that wants to adopt all of the waste the Reform movement produces: civil marriages, no kashrut, no Shabbat, no cheder, mixed marriages, dogs having a bar mitzva, no Judaism. (Of course, some religious Jews will have to remain; otherwise, terrorists will not know who is a Jew and might attack the wrong targets.) In my opinion, though, Lapid is doing us a service. It is about time for Torah Jews to realize that we are living in an illusion. It is time for the haredi parties to quit the Knesset.
It is time for the haredi populace to understand that that we are not part of the new non-Jewish State of Israel.
We must organize our lives and realize that we are outsiders.
We must save what we can, but we must be prepared to be cut off from the State of Israel – by the State of Israel.
Critiquing the critic
Sir, – Jerusalem Post critic Uri Eppstein lives in an alternate universe.
Each time we see a performance of the Israeli Opera (we go to all of them) and then read his review, we have to laugh. It is wonderful that he is a satirical writer who enjoys making fun of what he really judges to be great performances.
Seriously, though, his reviews seem to have no connection at all to the reaction of audiences to the splendid performances we witness.
A pathologist uses a microscope to examine diseases, but with eyes and ears, opera lovers look and listen, and then shout bravo while Mr.
Eppstein sulks.STEPHEN and MARGARET KOHN Ra’anana