August 9: Own worst enemy

If Jews must be evacuated for political reasons, it should be the responsibility of the police force, not the army. Why have Jews in Israel become their own worst enemy?

letters 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
letters 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Own worst enemy Sir, - With respect to "Protect our army" (Editorial, August 8): I definitely agree that army orders must be obeyed by soldiers, but only if the orders are legal. Illegal orders may and should be disregarded and disobeyed. The purpose of the army is to protect Jews, and other Israelis. It should not be to attack Jews. And yet that is what has been happening lately. The left-wing politicians of our government, spurred on by the likes of Peace Now, have decided to remove Jews from their homes. If there is some reason these Jews must be evacuated for political reasons, it should be the responsibility of the police force, not the army. Soldiers should have every right to disobey such orders, and should not suffer any punishment for it. Why have Jews in Israel become their own worst enemy? ELI BERLINGER Beit Shemesh Sir, - Your editorial writer stated: "Refusing orders on ideological grounds is morally indefensible regardless of which end of the political spectrum motivates it." I would like to point out the distinction between soldiers from the extreme Left refusing to serve in Judea and Samaria and what happened on Tuesday in Hebron and in the various previous disengagements. The former is strictly ideological and fits your sentence. The latter is not just ideological, but moral and religious. Substitute "moral and religious" for "ideological" in your sentence. Does it make sense? GIL LIEBERMAN Givat Shmuel System overload Sir, - I, a grandmother, agree with the Four Mothers that the police is not doing a proper job catching criminals ("By every parameter imaginable, the state of the police force is the worst it has ever been," August 8). Of course "the police do not have the funds and the manpower to ensure an effective presence on the street." Two years ago they were too busy forcing Israeli citizens out of Gush Katif and Samaria, and now they are too busy forcing two Israeli families out of an apartment building in Hebron. How much can the police do? BRENDA GOLDREICH Jerusalem Why use this word? Sir, - Isn't this akin to Newspeak: "After hours of fierce resistance, settlers are evacuated from Hebron market" (August 8)? "Evacuated" implies saved from danger, as in "evacuated from the burning building" or "evacuated from the besieged city." Can we now expect to read about the "evacuation" of the Jews from Spain in 1492? ROBERT KAPLAN Jerusalem Love ain't all you need Sir, - We agree with Steve Schwartz (Letters, August 8) about Caroline Glick's op-ed "Sharansky's democracy lesson" (August 4) that Binyamin Netanyahu is not perfect. But one must not forget that, hopefully, the next leader of the Likud will be our next prime minister. In this regard, we feel that a vote for Moshe Feiglin is a vote for Ehud Barak. Mr. Schwartz says that he loves Caroline Glick, but is voting for Feiglin. We also love Caroline, but we are voting for Bibi. JERRY &D SYLVIA DORTZ Ariel JNF's principles Sir, - Re "Say goodbye to the JNF" (August 5): 1. In contrast to Erik Schechter's claim, the lands purchased by the JNF in 1948 from the State of Israel were purchased legally and paid for in full, at prices that matched market prices, or even higher. The JNF paid IL 24 million, used by the state to buy weapons critical in the continued struggle for its independence. 2. Contrary to what the article states, the JNF only has a 49% representation on the ILA Board. 3. Unmentioned was the fact that over a period of 44 years, from the signing of the agreement between the State of Israel and the JNF in 1961, no Israeli citizen, Jew or non-Jew, was prevented from leasing property owned by the JNF. A special land exchange arrangement enabled anyone to lease a dwelling or land anywhere in a manner that honored the principle of the equality of all Israeli citizens, and at the same time enabled the preservation in its entirety of the land purchased by the JNF with the moneys of the Jewish People as a land reserve for Jews in the Land of Israel. In operating by this arrangement, the JNF stated that it never sanctified the land itself, but preserved and continues to preserve the principle dictated by the founding fathers of Zionism regarding the settling of Jews in the Land of Israel. In this manner, and in contrast to the example cited by the writer, a situation could not have arisen whereby Maj.-Gen. Yusuf Mishlab, a Druse, would have been prevented from living anywhere, in any locality, or in any dwelling in Israel. Regrettably this arrangement, which worked impeccably, was unilaterally revoked by the ILA in 2004 in such a manner as prevented the JNF from being able to act in accordance with the memorandum and the regulations approved by the Knesset in legislation from the 1950s and '60's. The revocation led the ILA to reject the application of an Arab to lease land in Karmiel. MIKE NITZAM Chair, PR & Communication Committee KKL-JNF Israel Kibbutz Lotan Erik Schechter responds: Mr. Nitzam's objections to my op-ed make little sense. First, I never said that the JNF did not pay for the absentee land sold to it by the state. I simply noted that the government had no right to sell the confiscated Arab properties in the first place! Second, it's irrelevant whether the JNF has 50- or 49-percent representation on the ILA policy-making board; corporatism is corporatism. Third, why should the state have to constantly engage in land swaps just to protect the JNF's privileged position? Raring to roar Sir, - How long we have waited for someone to tell it like it was during the tenure of Conrad Black at The Jerusalem Post! ("The Jerusalem Post's Black years," August 2). Most JPost readers and former staffers, as well as practically the entire press community, had more than an inkling of what was going on, with the paper plummeting to untold depths while talented writers disappeared from its pages. What a relief at last to read a frank account of the story, no holds barred. I will, in spirit, join in that "roar of exultation" from the JP office the day sentence is passed on Conrad Black - and join in the party Larry Derfner fantasized about. MIRIAM SHIMONI Tel Aviv Non-Jewish trio Sir, - "Report: Hitler listened to Jewish composers" (August 8) says that Hitler listened... to Tchaikovsky, Borodin and Rachmaninoff. To set the record straight, none of the above was Jewish. IGO FELDBLUM Haifa Drained brain Sir, - The claim that lack of a brain would leave one with no recourse other than "to run for public office" is not strictly true (Short Order, Judy Montagu, July 27). Reuters recently reported that a 44-year-old married father of two who was discovered to have "little more than a thin sheet of actual brain tissue" is employed by the French civil service ("Tiny brain no obstacle to French civil servant," July 20). Y. SILVER Jerusalem