February 4: It's not the kiss

Wake up, people! This is not about the kiss. It's about abuse of power.

letters to the editor 88 (photo credit: )
letters to the editor 88
(photo credit: )
It's not the kiss Sir, - Re "Judges convict former justice minister Ramon of indecent act" (February 1): As a woman and onetime feminist activist, I was delighted that someone had the courage to stand up and make a statement. Wake up, people! This is not about the kiss. It's about abuse of power. People in power have to be extremely sensitive to their positions and understand the extent of influence they have just by being in government. They have an even greater responsibility than the average person because, good or bad, they are the examples we follow. The trend in our society, especially over the past 10 years, has been to allow our MKs a free hand. Once they get into office they do more or less what they want, with no accountability to the public whatsoever. Their strength lies in manipulating their party cohorts. The argument that "Heh" flirted with Mr. Ramon and was therefore "asking for it" is typical of exonerating the male. Whatever a woman wants, she doesn't want to be violated. The message we receive as women is often: Be a good girl and we will take care of you. We don't need to be taken care of. We can take care of ourselves. We need to be protected by the law that recognizes that we are not fair game, but should be respected as equals. SUSAN AHYED Haifa Human rights in wartime Sir, - We believe in freedom of speech, but sometimes we ourselves are our worst enemies. The group called "Breaking the silence" is active on American campuses, telling students how the IDF is violating the human rights of Palestinians. I have no doubt that this is true, but what this group doesn't seem to accept is that Israel is at war. Unfortunately, many on the Left tend to deny this fact and to ignore the routine threats from Palestinians that their ultimate goal is to obliterate Israel. It would truly be wonderful if there was no security fence, no roadblocks, no incursions into Palestinian areas, no arrests of terrorist suspects; if Palestinians and Israelis could live side by side in complete harmony. Isn't that what every Israeli aspires to? But in war, human rights are violated. No doubt, innocent Palestinians are suffering, but I for one much prefer their inconvenience and the violation of their human rights to burying victims of terrorist attacks every day. It's time we stopped denying the terrible reality: We are at war ("US Jewish groups seek to expel Progressive Zionists from coalition," February 1). RON BELZER Petah Tikva Sacrifice for peace? Sir, - Khaled Abu Toameh reported that the mother of suicide bomber Faisal Saksak, who attacked the bakery in Eilat on January 29, said she knew of her son's plan to blow himself up and had wished him good luck. The mother was also quoted as saying that she was prepared to sacrifice her remaining eight sons "for the sake of the Aqsa Mosque and Palestine." Dozens of Palestinians chanting slogans against Israel and the US converged on the Saksaks' home to congratulate them on the success of the attack. If this is a cross-section of the Palestinian mind-set, how can any reasonable person contemplate negotiating for peace with the Palestinians? WILLIAM K. LANGFAN Palm Beach, Florida Moderate Islam Sir, - Michael Freund's "The straightforward arithmetic of jihad" (January 31) makes the point that it is not only the fanatic extremists among the Muslims who want to destroy us, but the majority of Muslims who support them. A lot has been said and written about the lack of moderation in Islam due to the fact that that religion has never gone through the process of Reformation and Modernism, as Christianity and Judaism have. The implication and the hope are that a moderate, modern, non-fundamentalist Islam would be more friendly to Israel and the West. What makes us hopeful ones so sure about that? The sad fact is that within the post-Reformation and post-Modern Christian world the mainline churches are not pro-Israel, but pro-Palestinian. While the Catholic Church has made its peace with Israel and established diplomatic ties with the Jewish state, it is only the fundamentalist portion of Protestantism that supports Israel. If this is true of the non-Arab and non-Muslim parts of the world, what should we expect from a moderate, modern Islam, should that arise some day? J.M. KING Jerusalem Praying for Jews in Ireland Sir, - I am very glad to report that the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin wrote the following email to priests in the Archdiocese asking that prayers against anti-Semitism be said in all 200 churches in the Archdiocese: "Saturday 27th January is International Holocaust Day, as designated by the UN and the EU. Sunday 28th January is celebrated in Ireland as Holocaust Memorial Day. Please include prayers against anti-Semitism and include the following in the Prayer of the Faithful. "For Saturday 27th: On this Holocaust Day, we pray for the Jewish people, the first to hear the word of God. As we recall their sufferings, strengthen our resolve to reject discrimination and hatred. "For Sunday 28th: "On this Sunday after Holocaust Day, we pray for the Jewish people, the first to hear the word of God. As we recall their sufferings, strengthen our resolve to reject discrimination and hatred." PADDY MONAGHAN Secretary Irish Christian Friends of Israel Dublin A giant proof of divine power Sir, - Is Yakov M. Rabkin joking or being naive when he says that the reason those Natorei Karta characters embraced the president of Iran was to prevent him from attacking Israel? ("The problem, Benny Morris, is Zionism," January 30.) Unfortunately, these infamous Jews make no secret of the fact that they do not want the State of Israel to exist. Mr. Rabkin also writes that the State of Israel has transformed the "humble Jew relying on Divine Providence into an intrepid Hebrew relying on [his] own power." Well, the "intrepid Hebrew" writing this letter, plus a great many other Israeli citizens I know, all believe that the survival of the State of Israel all these years is a giant proof of the Divine Power protecting the Land of Israel. MALKA FEDER Nof Ayalon Not unanimous Sir, - I would like to complain about "Jerusalem recognizes its first gay couple" (January 30). You reported: "A panel of seven justices, headed by now-retired Supreme Court president Aharon Barak, ruled unanimously that [homosexual] marriages must be recognized by the state." In fact, the ruling was not unanimous; one justice dissented. It took me six seconds to check this on the Internet. I was also surprised that you quoted only those people who looked favorably upon the registration of two homosexual men as a married couple. I would think you would also have interviewed at least one person who views this step as inimical to family values. SHIRA LEIBOWITZ SCHMIDT Netanya The Editor responds: The ruling this reader refers to was indeed not unanimous, but 6-1. The error originated in a November 22, 2006 Jerusalem Post story, and we apologize for it.