August 8: Woeful decision

My grief is for the lamentable fact that perhaps for the first time in Jewish history God is being eliminated from a prayer.

letters (photo credit: JP)
(photo credit: JP)
Woeful decision
Sir, – I was filled with deep grief and concern by “IDF panel keeps God out of Yizkor prayer” (August 5).
My grief is for the lamentable fact that perhaps for the first time in Jewish history God is being eliminated from a prayer, but more so for the sorrowful rift that divides our people and is so painfully reflected in this woeful decision.
Do the majority of the people of Israel truly want God not to remember their fallen loved ones? Both the IDF leadership and our rabbinic leadership deserve censure for their inability to arrive at a version that will not divide us even further.
Petah Tikva
Sir, – While members of the panel may have removed God from the IDF’s prayers, it may be comforting to them to know that God has not removed them from His.
Ma’aleh Adumim
Political pandering
Sir, – Regarding “US Holocaust survivors to receive federal funds” (August 5), your headline is misleading.
This is only a legislative proposal, far from having been approved by Congress, let alone signed into law.
It is not the job of the US government to aid Holocaust survivors, many of whom are not in need of any support, at a time of far greater needs and efforts to spend less and cut back on everything from defense to entitlements.
That role should be taken up by Germany, the Claims Conference and Jewish charitable groups that aid survivors.
This unnecessary legislative proposal is obvious pandering by both of the congresswomen, Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and Ileana Ross-Lehtinen (R-FL), to their heavily Jewish constituencies, and I hope the voters will understand it as such.
New York
Heal or heel?
Sir, – I have been following the pages of The Jerusalem Post with close attention to articles by your columnists on the terrorist attack in Norway, and the response by Espen Barth Eide, state secretary at the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (“A time to heal?,” Comment & Features, August 5).
Eide, in his remarks criticizing the opinions of Post columnists Barry Rubin (“The Oslo Syndrome,” The Region, August 1) and Caroline B. Glick (“Breivik and totalitarian democrats,” Column One, July 29), offers the following comment: [I]t cannot be claimed that supporting... an end to the blockade of Gaza is the same as supporting terrorism.”
I single this remark out since it captures the grave problem with the response of the minister, for it can be argued – in fact, it has been by these two columnists, as well as by the Israeli government itself and countless others – that opposition to the blockade of Gaza is opposition to the legitimate containment of a terrorist group that has murdered many, many Israelis.
There are some who reject this argument on humanitarian or other grounds. But to say that one simply cannot argue that in opposing the blockade Norway lends support to terrorist Hamas is pathetic, unthinking and obscene, especially coming from a high official of a country that prides itself on the liberal virtues of tolerance and open dialogue.
Must the cost of healing include submission to such condescension and dismissiveness?
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Sir, – Espen Barth Eide claims that his government combats the causes of terrorism, implying in the case of Hamas in Gaza that the cause of terrorism is the difficult conditions in which Gazans live.
This is completely untrue.
There are numerous cases of peoples much worse off than the Gazans who have not resorted to terrorism. The Tibetans, who have been occupied and oppressed by China, are a case in point.
The cause of terrorism is a mindset that considers violence against innocent children to be an acceptable tactic to achieve political ends. When these despicable tactics appear to succeed, this attitude is reinforced.
Which brings us to another point: Norway’s attitude is far from crystal clear. It supports Hamas not only physically but also politically, and Hamas is an avowed terrorist organization.
Yes, Norway claims that terrorism is unacceptable, but it supports terrorists.
In my book, actions speak louder than words.
Ma’aleh Adumim
Ill-advised apology
Sir, – As a native Norwegian, I was disgusted to read “Apology to Norway” (Editorial, August 5).
Not only do you find it necessary to apologize and ask forgiveness for the contents of a previous editorial, but you also apologize for views expressed by columnists Caroline B. Glick and Barry Rubin.
This triple apology would have been appropriate and commendable if it had been triggered by factual errors or slanderous remarks. But to apologize for opinions held and independently expressed by two senior columnists? In my view, the apology was ill advised, uncalled for and counterproductive.
It brings into question the journalistic integrity of The Jerusalem Post, thereby damaging its reputation as a serious and responsible newspaper.
Respect, trust and credibility will not be gained by yielding to political correctness.
Sir, – The Post owes no apology to Norway.
The people and government of Norway have to ask themselves how it is that their society produced a monster of the sort who went on this killing spree. Is it perhaps because Norway really did condone, and continues to condone, terrorism done by others (so long as the victims are Jews)?
Zichron Ya’acov
Sir, – Shame on you for apologizing to Norway, and bravo to Barry Rubin and Caroline B. Glick for refusing to do so.
Norway is by any standard the most anti-Semitic country in Europe. Has a Norwegian newspaper ever apologized to Israel for the repetitive anti-Semitic statements made by Norwegian officials? Why do you grovel in shame?
Tel Aviv
Sir, – Regarding your pusillanimous editorial, why is it “Islamophobic” for people to be aware of and react to the encompassing aggressive nature of Islamic societies? What’s remarkable is that they are on the whole as moderate as they are.
You have chosen to meekly join the team of political correctness.
A bit confusing
Sir, – Uri Savir (“A new deal for Israel?” Savir’s Corner, August 5) says that “Israel is one of the ‘developed world’s’ most unjust societies in terms of the gap between the have and have nots.” But just one page away, Martin Sherman (“Come to the carnival, comrade!,” Into the Fray) says that Israel’s inequality index is “just slightly above that of the UK, Australia and Italy and not that different from that of Japan and New Zealand.”
Sherman also says, “There is compelling evidence that the Israeli economy – and many Israelis – are faring considerably better than their counterparts in much of the developed world,” and that in a recent OECD poll, “Seventy-two percent of Israelis were satisfied with life, well above the OECD average.”
Whom are we to believe? Is either of these commentators (or both) cherry-picking numbers in order to support his underlying political philosophies and agendas? How can the Israeli public possibly make informed judgments when essential information is presented inconsistently?
Zichron Ya’acov