August 10: Quite the stain

Who was it who said: We all know politicians are wedded to the truth, but like other married couples they sometimes live apart?

Quite the stain
Sir, – Regarding “Katsav may have had sex with ‘Aleph,’ say his attorneys” (August 8), who was it who said: We all know politicians are wedded to the truth, but like other married couples they sometimes live apart?
Is the dirty laundry finally coming clean in the wash?
Inappropriate gloom
Sir, – I am an admirer of Stewart Weiss and his columns, but I felt his horrendous scenario (“A world without Israel,” Comment & Features, August 8) to be inappropriate, especially on the eve of Tisha Be’av. What should be the role of God in this depiction of utter gloom? Despite the profound sorrow we express, there is always an element of hope and ultimate redemption. More fitting for a day of anguish would be the prediction of the prophet Zechariah (8:19) that Tisha Be’av will one day become a time of rejoicing.
Sir, – We are still fighting for our right to live peacefully. Don’t you think writing about achievements, hoping for a happy future for our children and grandchildren, being a strong people would have made much better reading than ashes and gloom, even at Tisha Be’av? We desperately want to smile and not to cry!
Kfar Saba
Sir, – “A world without Israel?” makes me shudder in horror.
However, very sadly, Stewart Weiss’s projection is not so unrealistic as one would hope.
Are we not already denied many of our rights in our own land by our government? Are we not already condemned by gentiles merely for trying to retaliate in self-defense? Are we not already in a situation whereby we must ask permission from US President Obama to build homes for Jews in the Land of Israel? We have to believe that another Holocaust is possible and even probable given the hostility of the world, especially those calling themselves “friends,” and because of leadership that lacks faith and courage in our just cause to keep this land for the Jewish people.
Sir, – On the eve of the day we Jews remember that we lost our precious Temple because of disunity and hatred of fellow Jews, Stewart Weiss felt it appropriate to make an ugly comment about the “Israeli Left.”
Is he so blinded by hatred of the Left? Is his antipathy of these fellow Jews so virulent that even just before Tisha Be’av, he is incapable of controlling himself? GARY SMITH Jerusalem Primitive concept Sir, – Having just observed Tisha Be’av, the time has come to discard the widely accepted mantra that because of sinat hinam (Jewish hostility to fellow Jews), the Temples were destroyed and the Jews were sent into exile.
It is true that in Roman times the Jews were divided into warring sects, which made it easier for the Romans to destroy Judea.
But the fact remains that at the time, Rome was the most powerful nation in the world, whose armies conquered every other nation, regardless of its size and strength.
Even if all the Judeans had been united in their defense of their homeland, Rome, which was irritated by a small, troublesome country that rejected its gods, culture and way of life, would have destroyed the Jewish homeland and scattered its people, many of them as slaves, throughout the known world.
It’s time for us to stop beating our breasts and discard the primitive concept that we were responsible for our own destruction! We should be mature enough today to lay this absurdity to rest.
Shocking, I say
Sir, – If the Electric Company raises our rates by 12 percent (“Treasury cuts electricity hike to 12%,” Business in Brief, August 8), do its workers – supposedly the highest paid of utility employees – still receive free electricity? Where is the social justice in that? Perhaps they should start paying for their electricity usage.
Look who’s talking
Sir, – Silvan Shalom’s “An opportunity for real change” (Comment & Features, August 7) is, to say the least, a bit of chutzpah.
Having spent the last decade and more in high governmental positions, he bears with his colleagues the responsibility of the current protests.
Whatever measures are taken, the only true, real and effective change would be to reform the present electoral system – oft promised but never undertaken – from 100 percent proportional to just 50%, the balance being based on regional representation, which might reduce the presence of smaller parties and could also make for better MKs.
Failing to do so will produce the same results in future elections.
HENRY WEIL Jerusalem
Paying the price
Sir, – Perhaps Monty Zion and Diana Barshaw-Rich (“Here’s to health!,” Letters, August 5) can tell me what I am doing wrong.
Having made aliya five years ago and regrettably having been forced to avail ourselves of the country’s healthcare facilities, my wife and I can honestly say that they do not compare so favorably with those in England.
Furthermore, despite being pensioners, we have to make National Insurance Institute payments every month, pay most of the cost of prescription medications, a fee (Form 17) for every referral to anyone other than our family doctor, plus a monthly subscription to a health plan.
As pensioners in England, all of these items were completely free, including exemption from National Insurance payments.
Please don’t think I am knocking the health system, but I feel it is a gross misrepresentation to say that it is “as good as or better than that in any other country” or “the best and most equitable in the world.” I accept its shortcomings as a price one has to pay to live in one’s own country.
No rubber stamp
Sir, – I was very disturbed when I read “Claims Conference: A failure of leadership” (Candidly Speaking, August 4).
Actually, though, I was not surprised, as two years ago, at its annual meeting, I saw the Claims Conference board in action – or, better expressed, inaction. I was at the time a board member. I later exchanged letters with the chairman and other leaders.
I became aware of those who led as if the Claims Conference is a private club and not an organization providing assistance to the last survivors of the Holocaust who live in dire poverty. It should be managed in the best way possible, and not behave as if all is well.
I decided to resign from the board and wrote: “I am too experienced and old to be a rubber stamp for the automatic majority the Chairman of the Claims Conference Board and its management have and use in their decisions.”
HAIM ROET Jerusalem
Sir, – Generations of the Shoah International (GSI), the world’s largest Holocaust survivor family organization, applauds The Jerusalem Post for taking a global leadership role in pursuing the investigation into the Claims Conference.
For Holocaust survivors and their families who have felt disenfranchised for decades, columnist Isi Leibler has become a clear advocate calling for transparency, accountability and integrity in a scandal-ridden organization.
The Post has shown its commitment to the Jewish community by reporting this ongoing story and speaking truth to power.
The writer is president, Generations of the Shoah