December 22: Like small children

The dedicated police officers of this great country – not to mention its citizens – deserve better.

Like small children
Sir, – Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch said he hoped that by appointing the next chief of the Israel Police he would “bring calm and stabilize the police following recent turmoil” (“Danino appointed police chief,” December 20).
It looks like Aharonovitch will have his work cut out for him. You reported that the three mostsenior leaders of the force were in his office before the announcement – each one a potential police chief, and each responsible for upholding the law – and yet, like small children, they had their cellphones confiscated to prevent leaks to the media.
They could not be trusted to follow simple protocol and basic commands. The dedicated police officers of this great country – not to mention its citizens – deserve better.
Beit Shemesh
Sad, but wrong
Sir, – By donating organs from his son Gilad, it may seem that Yossi Sherman (“Lung and kidney recipient agrees to donate organs of dead son,” December 20) did a commendable act. But this is not so.
According to rabbinic law, a body that has had its organs taken out cannot be buried properly since it is not a complete body. This is considered disrespectful to the dead, especially since Gilad apparently had not left any legal documents agreeing to such an act.
Yes, I am aware that his organs are saving the lives of others, but this has been done in an immoral way.
My deepest sympathies to Yossi Sherman for his loss. I just wish this had not been done.
Hardly Churchillian
Sir, – In “More Yitzhak Shamir than Winston Churchill” (Reality Check, December 20), Jeff Barak writes about our prime minister.
Lack of leadership... waste of time... wants to block rather than promote peace... and other compliments.
Could it be that Barak doesn’t like Netanyahu? All this from a dyed-in-the-wool leftist is unsurprising, but what is a little eye-opening is Barak’s inability to provide one piece of evidence for his assertions. I am not a Likud supporter, nor did I vote for the present prime minister, but simple repetition doesn’t make allegations true.
What is true? Netanyahu, against all his previous beliefs and policies, froze absolutely all building in the whole of the West Bank. Did Abu Mazen immediately rush to the bargaining table to exploit every precious second, like a peace-thirsty champion of the oppressed? Did the PA for a second give credit to a right-wing government that went farther than any previous government had gone? Much more likely is that the party that is actually responsible for the frozen process, for intransigence, for disingenuousness, for dishonesty and for “failing to understand that a diplomatic freeze will eventually lead to disaster” is Fatah.
For Barak, we are the sole arbiters of events, and only our actions have significance. Certainly, he’s more Barak than Churchill.
Rosh Pina
He’s not a victim
Sir, – I am writing in response to the article written by Jeremy Ruden (“The goyim and us,” Comment & Features, December 20) in which he disagrees with the letter by respected rabbis regarding Jews who rent or sell land in Israel to non-Jews.
As someone who has personally experienced the hatred of an Arab neighbor and has siblings who have been attacked by the same neighbor although we lived in a Jewish neighborhood, I can say that what these great rabbis propose is a fantastic idea.
Since Rubin apparently never was such a victim, I ask that he please not put down these great scholars’ ideas.
Appalled by reaction
Sir, – I was appalled to read the flow of letters agreeing with the infamous letter by a number of “eminent” rabbis (“Not in my backyard,” Letters, December 20). I was sickened to see how many closet fascists live among us and call themselves Jews (even observant Jews).
Until now my impression had been that most Jews felt as bad as I did. I can only hope that there will be a similar outpouring of feelings, like mine, that prove to the general public that not all Jews are secret fascists.
Sir, – I was born in Britain. I lived in a suburb where our street was mainly Jewish. In the ’60s, when the blacks started to move in, the Jews started to move out. My father said he didn’t care who lived next door as long as they were quiet.
I agree with my father. Not all Arabs want to kill us. Most of then, I would imagine, want to live normal lives.
Perhaps these rabbis would prefer criminals or pedophiles living next door?
Tel Aviv
Layout lesson
Sir, – Barry Rubin (“Who ‘likes’ Islamic groups?,” The Region, December 20) warns that the West is slumbering as radical Islam is winning in four crucial Arab countries.
On the same page, Tzachi Hanegbi (“A double freeze in Washington”) opines about our local diplomatic process.
Considering which issue presents the greater danger, Rubin’s reasoned warning most surely should have appeared above the fold rather than that of Hanegbi.
Jerusalem Earn that headline
Sir, – Ma’aleh Adumim is surrounded by vast stretches of arid desert in which even the hardiest of trees can be grown only with artificial irrigation. It is also a city bursting at the seams. The residents who moved here 20 or 30 years ago as young couples now have four or five children of marriage age, many of whom would love to live here but are excluded by the high prices.
A bold announcement of the intention to build a few thousand homes in Ma’aleh Adumim would have an immediate and positive affect on both rental and property prices. This would truly warrant the headline “Gov’t tackles the housing shortage” (Business & Finance, December 17).
Ma’aleh Adumim
Little faith
Sir, – I believe our soldiers often have the capability, but when they are sent to war with instructions only to contain the enemy, they have lost even before the battle begins (“‘We will know how to smash them,’” Security and Defense, December 17). Therefore, I have absolutely no faith in such talk as portrayed in the headline.
Another reason for my lack of faith is “IDF pooches team up with vacuum cleaners to detect explosives at checkpoints” (December 14). In line with Israel’s efforts to ease restrictions on Palestinians and enable faster passage at checkpoints, the officers of Oketz admit “there is no question that the best way is to stick a dog’s head in the car, but we want to make things easier, faster and more effective.”
If it was not so pathetic it would be laughable, so pardon me if I have little faith in “smashing our enemies.”
Is this a joke?
Sir, – As a religious Jew I found “Coming of age, in more ways than one” (Bookmark, December 12) to be highly insensitive and insulting, especially coming from a Jewish author.
It is absurd to suggest that a “book mitzva” may exist, and even be so forward as to involve a rabbi.
Additionally, the content of this book provides a negative portrayal of what could possibly be a beautiful Jewish home, persuading readers as it does to side with a selfish, immature woman.
This funny, Freudian and engaging tale makes a mockery of a beautiful Jewish tradition.