August 28: Iranian test

Does anyone think that what is happening in Syria is just a civil war and not a test by Iran to see how the world will react to something bigger?

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
No comparison
Sir, – Like so many other leftwingers, David Newman (“US civil rights and the Jewish community,” Borderline Views, August 27) attempts to compare the situation of the Palestinians with that of the African-American community in the US in the 1960s. But the two cannot be compared.
African-American history is well-known, beginning with thousands of people being forcefully uprooted from their country and brought, in chains, across the ocean to become slaves to white Europeans living in a new land. Only after the Civil War was slavery abolished, and then 100 years later official discrimination as well.
Throughout, as far as I know, the African-Americans did not seek to secede from the United States to form their own country.
Nor, for that matter, did they claim that the country in which they were living was actually theirs and that all white Americans would have to leave when an African-American state was achieved.
I wonder whether African- Americans, in their segregated schools in the deep south, were indoctrinating their children to hate all non-blacks. Were they negating the European history of the United States and replacing it with African history, complete with new maps? Although there were violent factions, such as those led by the likes of Malcolm X, I don’t recall reading about suicide bombers and drive-by shootings against whites.
How can Newman honestly compare the two? Their histories, current situations and intentions are not even remotely similar.
Arabs in Israel are professionals, members of Knesset and have full civil rights.
Newman and all other peace activists should get their heads out of the clouds before it’s too late for all of us living here.
CHANA PINTO Ra’anana Disaster and disgrace
Sir, – I am outraged by the proposal of Cabinet Secretary Avichai Mandelblit and Bayit Yehudi head Naftali Bennett (“Plans for egalitarian section for Kotel likely to leave Women of the Wall unhappy,” August 26).
Their plan is a disaster and a disgrace as it ignores the April ruling of Jerusalem District Court Judge Moshe Sobel, who said the Women of the Wall (WoW) have the right to pray at the Western Wall according to their custom.
I wish I could have been in the Western Wall Plaza on Sunday, August 24, joining the WoW sitin protesting the idea that the group’s prayer services should be removed from the women’s section of the traditional Western Wall and exiled to a separate place.
As we know from the 1954 United States Supreme Court ruling Brown v. Board of Education, separate is not equal. The government has obviously capitulated to haredi demands and their control of the Western Wall. This taints Israel as a country that upholds democratic values.
As long as the government continues to designate the Western Wall Foundation, composed strictly of ultra-Orthodox men, to remain in control of the Western Wall’s rules and regulations, the rest of world Jewry, and specifically women, do not have representation. WoW, as well as the Reform, Conservative and modern Orthodox streams of Judaism, should have the right to equal representation on this council and equal rights for praying at the Kotel.
If the government feels that the new proposal offers equality to WoW, I suggest that the ultra- Orthodox be relegated to the area being designated for the members of WoW.
Iranian test
Sir, – With regard to Aaron Magid’s “Why inaction is the best response on Syria” (Comment & Features, August 26), the Spanish Civil War was more than a civil war. It was a testing ground for World War II, and Hitler was greatly encouraged by the lack of world reaction.
Does anyone think that what is happening in Syria is just a civil war and not a test by Iran to see how the world will react to something bigger? JOEL BLOCK Haifa Spoiling a column Sir, – As a secular Jew I found myself in total agreement with Jeff Barak in his comments on the full observance in Israel of the traditional Yom Kippur (“Tennis observes Yom Kippur,” Reality Check, August 26.) But on reaching the last paragraph I found a clear reference to his known dislike of our prime minister.
Barak’s logic reflects his attitude but defies objective acceptance.
Thus, he should remember that Binyamin Netanyahu’s insistence that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas accept Israel as the Jewish state is not to provide us with a piece of paper to make us more Jewish.
The insistence would allow us to abide by our decision to prevent the return of so-called Palestinian refugees to Israel, with the clear acceptance of the rest of the world.
It is a pity that Barak could not avoid spoiling an otherwise excellent column by introducing his political hatred.
MONTY M. ZION Tel Mond A vote for Hillary
Sir, – As one who marched with Martin Luther King Jr. some 50 years ago, I feel thrilled to read that MLK’s grandson seems to have taken up the baton of leadership and is ready to carry on (“50 years later, marchers in US urge fulfillment of MLK’s dream,” August 25).
One might say that a good part of King’s dream has been fulfilled with the election (twice!) of a black man as president. I would like to believe that this is a sign that perhaps the US is also ready for a woman president.
We shall soon see whether a former first lady can win the presidency on her own. I firmly believe that Hillary Clinton is qualified. Now we’ll see whether American voters believe this, too.
Clinton will certainly get my vote if she decides to run.LEONARD ZURAKOV Netanya
Supplemental angst
Sir, – When I looked at the September supplement Home and Garden I was extremely disappointed.
With one exception (Ruth Beloff), all the contributions were about or by the advertisers. There was nothing whatsoever about a garden or gardening.
I know the main purpose of these supplements is to advertise products or services. But once upon a time, not too long ago, they also featured informative and enjoyable features.
It is sad.RUTH SCHUELER Jerusalem
Sir, – The idea of a wine buying guide (Weekend, August 22) is very good, especially just before the holidays. However, your resident expert, Adam Montefiore, seems to get carried away trying to show off his knowledge and love of wines.
Montefiore is very quick to belittle the connection of Judaism and wine, and is quick to shoot off his mouth when he mentions Israeli wineries.
“Most of these will be kosher and not open on Shabbat, festivals and memorial days,” he writes about the wineries. He then rattles off this list of holidays without thinking. Memorial days, such as the days to remember our fallen heroes, are national holidays and have no connection to kashrut. Most places of business are closed.
The writer’s put-down of supermarkets is also distasteful when he writes: “Most supermarkets will sell kosher wines only.” There is nothing inferior in selling kosher wines, quite a few of which have won international awards in blind-tasting competitions.
Montefiore also tells us that the “better red wines should be lying horizontally to preserve quality.” This is misleading. The reason for laying down the bottles is to keep the cork moist so it will not deteriorate and fall into the wine.
Some of the suggestions mentioned in the guide, however, such as how to choose an appropriate wine to accompany a meal or course, are helpful.BARRY RYDER Hatzor Haglilit