February 16: Unity after terror

The terror attacks being directed against Israeli targets abroad should come as a warning not only to Israelis but to Jews everywhere.

Letters 521 (photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
Letters 521
(photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
Unity after terror
Sir, – The terror attacks being directed against Israeli targets abroad (“J’lem blames Iran Hezbollah for bomb attacks,” February 14) should come as a warning not only to Israelis but to Jews everywhere.
Jewish people are really part of an extended family. The world views us as one, whether we live in Brazil, Ireland, Croatia or the United States. Iran definitely views us in this way.
We should be very happy to make Israel stronger because what we do for Israel is what we in the long-run do for ourselves.
Sir, – All Indians were shocked by Monday’s attack on Israeli diplomats in New Delhi.
Although Indian politicians are afraid to come out in support of the people of Israel in their fight against terrorism by Islamic fundamentalist organizations, the nationalists in India stand by you since we hold you in high regard and esteem for your suffering and sacrifices to survive as a nation.
Not all are railing
Sir, – William Kolbrener (“Light Rail revolution?,” Comment & Features, February 14) does in fact have several choices for public transportation in Jerusalem.
Instead of the Light Rail and a bus, he can take the #14 bus directly from the Central Bus Station to the Givat Ram campus, a 5-7-minute ride. Or, he can walk, as I did the other day in the reverse direction, a healthy and less-than-10 minute alternative.
But I had a very different Light Rail trip. After a not-so-pleasant experience at the Central Bus Station to have my Rav Kav card straightened out – CitiPass goofed royally there – I took the Light Rail down Jaffa Road. I just missed a train but waited only a few minutes for the next one, and I found it to be a very pleasant experience.
It was a horror until it began running and it’s had more than its share of kinks to be ironed out, but the Light Rail seems now to be up and running quite efficiently. Count me among those who are optimistic.
Sir, – Jerusalemites are slaves to the Mahane Yehuda merchants who need deliveries at all hours. On Agrippas Street, with one narrow lane in each direction and where I and others have sat in traffic jams for hours, there is a solution that most large cities already have: Deliveries can only be made from 7 p.m. until 7 a.m.
Since we have no other public transportation, I personally suggest that we block the streets and tracks at peak hours. By causing a monumental mess, maybe our mayor will stop hiding and do something, especially if he wants to be reelected.
Whose prayers?
Sir, – The police spokesperson stated that the “areas of the Temple Mount and the Kotel Plaza are used as a place of prayer and religious rituals....”
(“Authorities block Likud’s Feiglin from ascending to Temple Mount,” February 13).
The last time I heard, this “use” was not very symmetrical, with Jews not being allowed to show any sign of prayer or hold a prayer book. Apparently, the police spokesperson meant that the Temple Mount is used as a place of prayer and religious rituals for Muslims only.
It is about time that such a visit is no longer considered incitement, and that Jews (who, ironically, have sovereignty) are given equal time and privileges, as is done at the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron.
Jerusalem Wurzburg remembers
Sir, – “Wurzburg ‘brings back’ its Jews” (February 13) almost glossed over a most important event in the history of that German city: It was a collection point for the deportation of tens of thousand of Jews to extermination centers.
On June 17, 1943, the last of six transports, involving 2,063 Jews including members of my family, proceeded from Wurzburg. The Jews were collected in an amusement hall called Platz’schen Garten, and then marched across town to the Aumuhl-Ladehof railroad station, from where they were loaded on trains to the east.
Forty-one survived the Shoah.
Thanks to the meticulous records the Nazis kept, today’s citizens of Wurzburg were able to identify 850 Jews in this transport. On May 10, 2011, they organized a march in which thousands of people participated, repeating the trek from the amusement hall to the railroad station.
Each of the 850 Jews was represented by a plaque carried by a current resident. The plaques included the names of my father-in-law and my mother-in law, both of whom were murdered at Auschwitz. The plaques are now a part of a visiting exhibition.
Jerusalem Heart of frustration
Sir, – Reader Jerry Aviram (“No logic,” Letters, February 13) states the obvious – direct election of the prime minister was an abysmal failure – and is miffed that Prof. Uriel Reichman was mentioned “almost as an afterthought” in your editorial (“Electoral reform,” February 10).
The Committee of Concerned citizens, founded by the late Chaim Herzog in 1978, was the front-runner for electoral reform. We worked closely with Reichman, who openly stated that his mission was to write the constitution for Israel. He needed the reform, which had already been worked on by Gad Ya’akobi and others years before and was almost identical to the one being proposed today by the newly-formed Sikui movement headed by Meir Dagan.
Reichman was party to all that happened from the early ’80s and was close to Binyamin Netanyahu. He decided he had bigger fish to fry and moved in another direction, and for almost 30 years did nothing. It’s a poor excuse for the letter writer to blame everyone else and say “our movement faded away.”
If the public outcry of last summer can be harnessed there’s every good reason we can finally get real representation and, most of all, accountability from elected representatives – the lack of which lies at the heart of our society’s frustration.
The writer was a co-founder of the Committee of Concerned Citizens
Faulty default
Sir, – Elliot Jager’s interpretation of the Portrait of Israeli Jews report as revealing that “Israelis are not fond of the country’s ‘either-or’ school system” is right on the mark (“In God they trust?,” Comment & Features, February 13).
A friend of mine recently attempted to register her three-year- old for municipal kindergarten on her city’s website.
The system refused to accept her choices and she was asked to come to City Hall and register in person. However, her choices were rejected again.
Why? Because she had chosen a religious kindergarten as her first choice and a secular one as her second choice. The system was programmed to reject this possibility.
She was told in no uncertain terms by the manager of the municipal education department, “You have to decide! Are you religious or secular?” No other parameter for choosing a kindergarten was permitted, even for a three-year-old, for whom proximity to home or a parent’s place of work might actually be more relevant to the choice.
Speaking as somebody who tried to beat the system by living in a secular area while sending my children to a religious school – and then having to deal with the consequences – I can indeed sympathize.