August 2: Crime of another sort

We still have Netanyahu, Barak and Peres roaming the world, desperately determined that, no matter what, we give up our precious land to a people that just doesn’t exist.

letters 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
letters 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Crime of another sort
Sir, – A Kassam rocket was fired from the Gaza Strip toward the western Negev late Saturday evening, and a Grad rocket struck southern Ashkelon on Friday morning. A top Hamas commander was killed and another 22 Gazans wounded in the Israeli retaliation (“IAF strike kills Hamas rocket maker,” August 1).
The Foreign Ministry said the attack was a clear violation of international law and was sending a letter to the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights asking for condemnation. “The indiscriminate launching of rockets at civilians and civilian objects amounts to war crimes and crimes against humanity,” the letter said in part. Empty words, and the world knows it.
We have been sending letters and complaining for years, and still our leaders refuse to accept what is staring them in the face.
We still have Netanyahu, Barak and Peres roaming the world, desperately determined that, no matter what, we give up our precious land to a people that just doesn’t exist.
Now that is what I call a crime against the Jewish people.
Widely shared dismay
Sir, – As an expat Brit, I share David Horovitz’s dismay at the UK’s approach to Israel and the region, which was so skillfully expressed by outgoing ambassador Tom Phillips (“Drifting away from Israel,” Editor’s Notes, July 30).
Basically, the UK says that the violent overthrow of the legitimate authority in Gaza by terrorist bus-bombers, and the aggressive suppression of the population by Islamic fascists, should lead to no real sanction whatever.
Business as usual.
I ask Phillips: Did the UK have “legitimate security concerns” when at war with Nazi Germany? Would you have argued for easing the economic plight of German civilians? Instead of standing shoulder-to-shoulder with your natural ally, you are stabbing us in the back with your velvet-covered dagger.
Rosh Pina
Sir, – I write as a Briton proud of Britain.
The British are not seeing clearly the dangers of Islamic encroachment. And Sir Tom Phillips is wrong when, in response to David Horovitz’s point that “there is an Islamist extremist danger within Britain,” he merely says “We certainly do have a problem with some people who do feel for one reason or another disaffected.”
This is typical British understatement, which, if carried to its logical conclusion, constitutes an existential danger for Britain.
I empathize with Horovitz’s analysis of the outgoing ambassador’s outlook: “The conviction that the Palestinian Authority is ready and willing for a viable deal is... jarring.” It seems to me that this outlook is typical of British “fair play.” Always tell the “other fellow” to play fair, that is. In this context, the “other fellow” is Israel.
The charm of the Briton – especially the professional diplomat – should be suspect. The professional British diplomat has traditionally been an Arabist.
There have been exceptions. Is Phillips an exception?


Sir, – The column may be titled “Drifting away from Israel,” but it refers to England, and the reality is that England is long gone.
As painful as it might be for David Horovitz to acknowledge, the UK has become the Poland of the 21st century, with the people much more anti-Semitic than their leaders.
Yes, the UK is slowly being eaten alive by its many Muslims, but the non-Muslims, perhaps in a case of the Stockholm Syndrome, are siding with them against Israel.
It is time for Israel to view and treat the UK as it does France and Germany: a country that will smile at you as it stabs you in the back.
Highland Park, New Jersey
Judaism and gays
Sir, – In your editorial “A heartfelt Orthodox effort to grapple with homosexuality” (July 30), you make a sharp distinction between the moderate Orthodox rabbis and teachers who signed a “statement of principles” urging an accepting approach to homosexuals, and the “odious” protest of Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Yitzhak Pindrus to last week’s Gay Pride parade.
A careful reading of the “statement of principles,” however, shows that the exhortation against embarrassing, harassing or demeaning behavior refers to cases where someone has a “homosexual orientation” or a “same-sex attraction,” and not where someone openly flaunts homosexual sex, much less publicly encourages this by marching in a “Gay Pride” parade.
For such a blatant affront to Torah values, it would seem that Pindrus’s protest with the donkeys could hardly be called extreme.
Sir, – There were a couple points you made in your editorial that I believe were out of place and not befitting a newspaper such as yours.
To state that if Pindrus had his way “a healthy democracy would not exist” is a particularly slanderous remark and totally uncharacteristic of the man I know. Yes, there are stark divides among our leaders on these issues, but we must remember, we are living in a Jewish state. A democracy, yes. However we must not sacrifice our morals and values. They supersede modernity, as you call it.
As far as your call for our Orthodox leaders to embrace modernity and accept this “new reality,” what does this have to do with modernity per se? Further, if you accept this deviation, what comes next – religious Jews who are not Shabbat observant? We cannot, God forbid, comb through the Torah with a “line veto,” so to speak, and choose what to accept. It will only lead us down a slippery slope.
Sir, – Coming out of the closet is one thing. Coming out brandishing one’s private parts in a conspicuous display down the world’s boulevards is another.
Unless one is a particularly impressive performer, why is one’s sexual proclivity a source of pride? What is there in one’s sexual preference to be proud about?
Like lemmings
Sir, – Isi Leibler’s erudite column on the conversion issue (“The deafening silence of religious Zionists,” July 29) was indeed timely. Those of us in the Conservative and Reform streams are considered secular, and we are patently aware that if something is not done soon, we will, as Leibler says, have 90,000 more young people who consider themselves Jewish and Israeli, yet are unable to marry within the framework of Judaism. And don’t forget those progressive Jews wishing to make aliya.
Ideally, there should be a separation of religion and state. All Israelis should be equal citizens.
We choose to live here and are committed to the state’s existence.
That’s what is important.
We should all be speaking out but, unfortunately, we are blindly following antediluvian principles, like lemmings.
Tel Aviv
What would Jesus say?
Sir, – In “Bullfighting bids Adios to Catalonia” (July 29), one of the paragraphs says, “In the Madrid region, animal activists recently presented more than 50,000 signatures as part of a petition to force a similar debate and vote. However, there they face a tougher battle because the Madrid regional parliament is controlled by conservatives who have declared Spain’s ‘fiesta nacional’ to be part of Madrid’s cultural heritage.”
What a weak argument. Couldn’t the Incas of South America make the same argument, that cutting the hearts out of living men is part of their cultural heritage? If the conservatives mentioned in the article believe in the teachings of Jesus Christ, then they should ask themselves whether Jesus would have frequented bull fights and taken pleasure in the suffering of the poor beast.
Fairlawn, Virginia