August 30: Ariel ‘lamedvavniks’

Our intrepid group of actors, behaving in the manner they have chosen, should consider if this is how they wish to enter our New Year.

letters thumb (photo credit: )
letters thumb
(photo credit: )
Ariel ‘lamedvavniks’
Sir, – I read with dismay of the decision of 36 artists who have chosen not to perform in the city of Ariel (“36 artists sign letter refusing to perform in Ariel settlement,” August 29), claiming it is against their consciences.
One cannot help but think of another group of 36 individuals – those who legend describes as humble, unassuming Jews who earn their living by the sweat of their brow. At times of great peril, particularly of anti-Semitic violence, they emerge to rescue their fellow Jews from danger, afterwards returning to their former obscure lives.
Our intrepid group of actors, behaving in the manner they have chosen, should consider if this is how they wish to enter our New Year, rapidly approaching, and if this is how they wish to be perceived by their fellow Jews.
Mevaseret Zion
Sir, – I do hope that the 36 artists have thought through fully the consequences of their threatened protest action. In that case they will not be surprised to find that there will be many thousands of Israelis who will find it against their consciences to attend any performance by these artists in Tel Aviv or anywhere else they do decide is acceptable for them.
Sir, – It’s good to know that there is so much work for artists these days that they can even choose in which part of the country they don’t want to perform. And I’m sure having such supporters as Ahmed Tibi must make these artists feel confident that boycotting Jews is the most appropriate way to express their political views.
But I do think your newspaper owes it to its readers to identify these 36 “artists” so that we, the Jewish viewing public, the people who have made these performers such a success, can also reevaluate whether we want to attend their performances – in any part of the country.
Sir, – 150 Irish artists boycott a whole country – Israel, which has 7.5 million inhabitants.
Thirty-six Israeli artists boycott a whole city, Ariel, which has 20,000 inhabitants. I am not that ambitious. I will only boycott the 36 Israeli artists.
‘Justice, justice’ in Silwan
Sir, – There is a universal principle that there should be equal justice under law for all peoples.
However, this principle seems to be violated constantly in the Land of Israel because Arab perpetrators of violence and rioting are somehow very rarely held accountable.
There was a terrible scene of violence in Silwan just a few days ago (“Pre-dawn riots in Silwan subdued with no injuries,” August 27), where cars were attacked and families had to take shelter because the Arab mob was out to commit mayhem. The police finally came and were jubilant in saying after an hour-and-a-half that the riot had stopped.
No one had been held accountable. No one was arrested, and the leaders of the mosque which had called for the Arabs to riot were not even reprimanded. This is hardly justice or respect for the law. No one should be allowed to permit violence to be perpetrated against innocent families who live in Ir David, Silwan.
“Justice, justice” we should pursue, as there really can never be peace unless there is respect for the law. The Arab and Moslem populations are protected by the law. They should be accountable to the laws they violate as well.
What about our children?
Sir, – President Shimon Peres said it was inconceivable that the foreign children would be deported from Israel because it would do great damage to Israel and terrible harm to the families concerned (“Peres says deporting 400 foreign workers’ kids is ‘out of the question,’” August 27). Yet Peres was not concerned about the terrible harm caused and still being caused to the thousands of families with their children expelled from Gush Katif, the continuing talk of expelling many thousands more, and the great damage done to Israel.
Although he is opposed to draconian measures expelling the foreign workers and their children, he does not see how draconian it was to expel thousands of Jewish families with their children from their own homes in their own land.
Sir, – Deporting 400 Israeli-absorbed children is wrong, firstly because they are children.
The Israel Association of Pediatricians has rightly condemned the plan for its cruelty to children, as children. Secondly, Menachem Begin, the quintessential champion of the underdog and a Jew to his core, allowed foreign Vietnamese boat people into Israel because it was the right thing to do and the Jewish thing to do.
Rosh Pina
Why negotiate?
Sir, – David Horovitz (Editor’s notes, August 27) says it all.
Why should Abbas bother? Due to the largesse pouring in from the West, the West Bank’s economy is flourishing. The American-trained and -supplied police force has created the stability for that to happen.
Israel protects him from Hamas. The US, the UN and the European Union keep pressing Israel to make concessions while imposing no corresponding pressure on Abbas to concede anything. As money pours into the West Bank, disdain and hatred pour onto Israel. The UN will eventually make demands which Israel will have to refuse, incurring, inevitably, sanctions for which our supposed friends will now vote yes.
Why should he bother? He’s got his cake and he’s eating it, too!
Railing against the ‘Post’
Sir, – I wish to strongly protest against the August 26 editorial headlined “Haredi prurience off the tracks.” This was purportedly a reaction to a statement by Yair Naveh, CEO of CityPass, that his company was considering the option of gender-segregated mehadrin cars.
“The train was built to serve everyone... to create alternatives for everyone,” noted Naveh. “It would not be a problem to declare every third or fourth car a mehadrin car.”
As the editorial acknowledges, “almost 150,000 people, or 30 percent of the Jewish population [in Jerusalem], are haredim aged 20 or older.”
The editorial continues: “Hundreds of thousands of Jerusalem’s residents who are not party to this collective madness should not have to suffer when they board the light rail.”
But I must ask, in the same way that Mr Naveh feels it appropriate “to create alternatives for everyone,” why does the esteemed Jerusalem Post not feel it necessary to produce a newspaper with which all its readership can feel comfortable? Does the Post not have a mixed readership? Does the editor think he has no haredi readers? Maybe he shouldn't have! Surely whatever one thinks of the idea of mehadrin cars, some credit must be given to contrasting opinions rather than merely to besmirch their proponents. I expect from a quality newspaper a dispassionate discussion of the issues and not an anti-haredi diatribe.
To write of “collective madness,” “increasingly zealous and extremist positions,” and “sexfixated, and apparently idle, minds of some haredi men” is deeply insulting.