December 22: Sacred & profane

Giving Jimmy Carter so much publicity is feeding an overstuffed donkey.

letters good 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
letters good 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Elitist... Sir, - Yossi Sarid's self-portrait shows him to be elitist, smug, know-it-all, and contemptuous of anybody who doesn't share his views ("Who's Left?" Ruthie Blum, December 21). From a leader who managed to drive Meretz a long way to oblivion, a little humility would have been more appropriate. DAVID MANDEL Savyon ...ugly Sir, - Giving Jimmy Carter so much publicity is feeding an overstuffed donkey. He is thriving on it and becoming richer from increased sales of his dreadful book! We already know what his politics are. He insults us, and knows it. What he wrote is no surprise, just ugly and full of lies. Let's let it go now. MARGERY FEINSTEIN Jerusalem IBA's blind spot Sir, - Isi Leibler is right about the lack of action and drive by our governments ("Winning the battle of ideas," December 19). There is, however, also a very serious problem with the Israel Broadcasting Authority. Just when Al Jazeera has launched an English service, someone at IBA seems determined to cut down English news on TV. There is supposed to be an eight-minute weekday English news broadcast on Channel 1 at 16:50 and an extended one on Channel 33, which is not received everywhere. On the day Mr. Leibler wrote, once again there was no English news because of a science competition. A similar non-broadcast happens when there is a basketball game. This non-broadcasting happens more and more. Children's TV and other programs seem more important to the IBA than getting our message across to the wider world. This is supposed to be our national broadcasting body, for which the citizen pays a licence fee; but IBA clearly finds the national message not that important. Surely it is high time to ensure that the IBA fulfills its obligations to the nation, and even adds time to this important English-language broadcast. MENACHEM SAMUEL Jerusalem Sacred & profane Sir, - The bizarre item in your issue of December 8 heralding the advent of "kosher electricity" set me to musing about, and seriously doubting, the widely held belief that we Jews are a clever people ('''Shabbos goys' set to switch on kosher electricity in 2007"). We already have kosher toilet paper, kosher mineral water (on Pessah, treif water from the national carrier), kosher cell phones, kosher sex, Shabbat elevators, sex-segregated buses and countless examples of - to this reader - absurd halachic decisions, causing the ordinary citizen to wonder whether he is a member of a rational society or lives in a state run by whacky medicine men out of touch with the 21st century. Whatever happened to pure, unadulterated faith free of ritualistic shackles and superstitions? I fail to understand how hiring "Shabbes goyim" - a demeaning term, insulting to both Jews and non-Jews - besides opening us up to well-deserved international ridicule, is supposed to magically make our profane electricity supply "kosher" and thus receive the almighty's blessing. C.K. FUCHS Haifa