December 29: A disgrace

We need to send a clear message to our government: It is morally repugnant to continue allowing the citizens of Sderot to live under enemy fire for the sake of "diplomatic grace."

letters good 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
letters good 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
A disgrace Sir, - According to Anshel Pfeffer's "The phony cease-fire" (December 28), "Ehud Olmert and Tzipi Livni... prefer the risk of Kassams to the chance of another IDF operation going wrong." In other words, Jewish blood is cheaper than the blood of our enemies and those who harbor and support them. As Israeli citizens we need to send a clear, strong message to our government: It is morally repugnant to continue allowing the citizens of Sderot and the Western Negev to live under enemy fire for the sake of "diplomatic grace." JOSH HASTEN Jerusalem Kashrut in Jerusalem Sir, - Anshel Pfeffer showed his disdain for the rabbinate's authority in "Kashrut in Jerusalem: It's all about power" (December 26). This is a Jewish state, even if many are not observant, and kashrut and Shabbat laws must be upheld. I have spoken to kashrut supervisors and know how hard it is to maintain the certificate's validity. The rabbinate is doing its job to the best of its ability by ensuring standards which prevent some people from erring and eating in a non-kosher restaurant. Yes, money is a universal need, but rather than being grateful for the rabbinate's finding practical solutions to a kashrut problem - and it can be creative - Mr. Pfeffer prefers to attribute its motive to greed. The implication that the state suffers from funding the rabbinate is ridiculous since a) this is a Jewish state with no separation of state and religion as in other democracies; and b) that could be a valid economic argument for all governmental regulation, so why single out one branch? Furthermore, where does your reporter get the idea that rabbis do hardly anything to ensure that kashrut supervisors carry out their job properly? Following a basic law of economics, if having a kashrut certificate didn't pay, most places wouldn't carry one. YOSSI BLASBALG Jerusalem Where was the media? Sir, - In her op-ed about the IDC media conference in Herzliya, Ellen W. Horowitz complains with justification: "It's a shame more Israeli press weren't there to cover the forum," going on to refer to the media's general indifference to such events. She could have added that no one arrived from the Foreign Ministry (though the American embassy did send a representative). This sorry story was repeated at the "Volunteer Public Diplomacy for Israel" seminar held this week at the Ariel College under the auspices of CoHaV, the Coalition of Hasbara Volunteers. Despite the fact that almost 100 media organizations were notified in advance of the seminar no press or government representative showed up. One official was slated to appear, and didn't. In participants' feedback, which was full of praise for the content of the seminar, many commented on this lack of media interest. Is it any wonder that these wonderful volunteers reach burnout when they see such a lack of coverage of their efforts on behalf of our country? ("Heads meet hearts in a rekindling of Zionism," December 26.) STUART PALMER ICAN Israel Citizens Action Network Netanya