February 25: Not Lapid Fan

I long for a leader like Menachem Begin. When asked what kind of prime minister he planned to be he answered simply, “A good Jew.”

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Not Lapid fans
Sir, – I was appalled to read that a new poll shows Yair Lapid and his party winning the next election. The Jewish state would be destroyed. Call his Yesh Atid (There’s a Future) party Ein Atid (There’s No Future).
The younger generation, Lapid’s big voting base, has no idea what it’s doing, no idea what’s right and what’s wrong.
It longs for a completely secular country, preferably non-Jewish, a little America. It has no idea what it means to have a Jewish state.
I long for a leader like Menachem Begin. When asked what kind of prime minister he planned to be he answered simply, “A good Jew.” Doesn’t anybody understand what that means anymore?
Sir, – I was somewhat undecided when I entered the voting booth in January. I really wanted fresh faces in the Knesset. I started to reach for the ticket with Yair Lapid’s name on it, but some force from above moved my hand to the right, kind of like the legend of Moses as a baby.
I am so thankful today. Who needs a hate-monger for a leader? Why doesn’t Lapid put an emphasis on mitzvot as a form of national service? No sin in that. The haredim do mitzvot all year but don’t get the credit.
The secular population should serve Judaism somehow, with a year of religious studies as a requirement for an honorable army discharge. Ideally, the whole IDF could be revamped along the lines of the “hesder” model, combining army and religious studies.
Listen up
Sir, – Your editorial “Listen to the people” (February 22) was right on the money.
It is frustrating to watch our prime minister twist himself into a pretzel in order to avoid bringing into the coalition the parties the people enthusiastically chose. His seeming determination to include those parties the editorial classified as “clear losers” seems to reflect personal considerations rather than the good of the nation.
During the campaign I watched many friends declare with glee that, although they wanted Binyamin Netanyahu to remain prime minister, they would vote for Naftali Bennett’s Bayit Yehudi or Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid parties in order to push for important fundamental changes. I was worried that if too many Likud voters did that Bibi would lose. So even though the merger with Yisrael Beytenu pushed the Likud farther to the right than I wanted, I nevertheless played the “responsible adult” and with some reluctance voted for Bibi.
At this point, if new elections become necessary, Netanyahu will lose my vote and apparently that of many others.
The people have spoken very clearly and responsibly. The prime minister should listen.
Dual loyalties
Sir, – Dan Goldberg’s article “Prisoner X affair raises charges of dual loyalty for Australian Jews” (Jewish World, February 22) resonated with me as an oleh who spent most of his life in Australia.
The dual loyalty accusation is a hurtful and misleading stereotype from which Jews have suffered in many countries.
A person can have and live with many loyalties at one and the same time. As far as countries are concerned, there are two main aspects – political loyalty and cultural loyalty.
One can have a political involvement in one country and at the same time a passionate cultural affinity to another. They don’t have to conflict.
Sir, – With regard to “Six new MKs to renounce foreign citizenships” ( January 27), my wife and I made aliya in 2001 and we decided soon afterward to renounce the citizenships of our home countries – my wife’s was Germany and mine was the US.
The reason was primarily spiritual.
We recognized in the depth of our souls that we had come home, and when we realized that there were some seven million Jews in Israel who in difficult times would never have the option to leave and go some place safer and easier to live, we decided we didn’t want to have that choice either. So we made the choice before there was a choice to make.
Most likely there will come a time when all those with dual citizenship will have to decide to which side they ultimately will be loyal. Is there any competition? I renounced my US citizenship with joy, as did my wife her German citizenship.
We proudly have only Israeli passports and, like any other Israeli, have to obtain visas to be able to go to the US to visit our children.
My purpose in writing this is to encourage others with dual citizenship to make the decision to become Israeli to the exclusion of all other nationalities.
God chose a people, then chose a home for that people. Show your loyalty to God by “undividing” your loyalties.
Making the case
Sir, – Michael Freund’s “Making the case for Judea and Samaria” (Fundamentally Freund, February 19) shows that making such a case for our presence in Judea and Samaria is clear and just. But it is hard to understand his accusations as to why our diplomats abroad have failed. My gut feeling is that our foreign service is made up of people who are simply not doing their jobs and should be replaced by those who believe in what they are doing.
Freund reports on our historical and cultural rights but neglects one important item – the Levi Report, which clearly lays out our legal claims to Judea and Samaria. My perusal of Israeli newspapers, including The Jerusalem Post, shows a lack of attention to this report.
Should it not be displayed around the world to those who are confused about our legal history in the Land of Israel?
Sir, – It is a disgrace that The Jerusalem Post continues to publish columns by writers who refer to Israel’s “occupation” of the “West Bank,” specifically Jonathan Rosen, who in “Netanyahu’s Palestinian predicament” (Inside Out, February 14) mentioned Israel’s “occupation” of Judea and Samaria no fewer than four times.
Does Rosen have any legal expertise or qualifications to say with certainty that these areas are under “occupation?” Occupation is a legal term under international law, defined in Article 42 of the 1907 Hague Regulations, which occurs in wartime when the army of one country assumes effective authority that it exercises over the territory of another country.
Furthermore, Article 43 of the regulations requires that the country whose territory is being occupied to be “the legitimate power” or, in the original French, pouvoir légal.
It is a well-established fact that under international law Jordan was never the “legitimate or lawful power” over Judea and Samaria. These areas were part of the Jewish national home; thus, no “occupation” by Israel ever occurred in the 1967 Six Day War, in which Judea and Samaria were legally restored to the Jewish people, as originally intended in various documents of international law approved and ratified between 1919 and 1925.
Has Rosen never heard of the Levy Report, compiled by three distinguished jurists who determined that no such occupation exists under international law? Is he not aware of the 1920 Franco- British Boundary Convention, which assigned the so-called “West Bank” to be part of the future independent Jewish state? Is he not aware of the San Remo Resolution, which assigned all of Mandated Palestine to the Jewish people, including the so-called “West Bank?”
The writer is the author of The Legal Foundation and Borders of Israel under International Law