January 11: Lapid in the Ring

Just what we need – another political party to split the vote further.

Lapid in the ring
Sir, – Just what we need – another political party to split the vote further (“Yair Lapid quits journalism, takes plunge into politics,” January 9).
Everyone who wants to start a party should be able to, but the ridiculously low threshold needed to get into the Knesset should be increased to at least 10 percent, if not more. This would reduce the number of parties to three or four. While there would still be disagreements, the numbers would be easier to work with.
Unless the electoral system is changed, the Israeli government will never be able to function normally.
Sir, – So Yair Lapid wants to give up journalism and enter politics. Fine! But why does he not join one of the existing parties whose views coincide with his own rather than creating yet another small and completely unnecessary party? JACKIE ALTMAN
Sir, – I find it quite difficult to understand all the hullabaloo over Yair Lapid. He has yet to show he has a real following despite predictions that he could win as many as 15 seats in the Knesset.
If he manages to put together a slate and win 15 or more seats, that will be the time to talk. Until then, it sounds to me as though this were the second coming of Christ.
Puah and exclusion Sir, – How ludicrous not to include female physicians, especially those specializing in obstetrics and gynecology, at a conference organized around issues of fertility but designed especially for ultra-Orthodox couples (“‘Exclusion of women’ makes waves for conference,” January 9).
Most women, not simply ultra-Orthodox women, feel more comfortable discussing issues of a sexual and intimate nature with female medical personnel.
While it suits the needs of ultra-Orthodox male participants to be addressed only by males, what of the needs of the women? Since at Puah conferences there is a physical barrier in any case, why not have men and women in separate rooms benefitting from talks via video conferencing? While it is perfectly acceptable for male practitioners to address women, men who refuse to be addressed by female practitioners could then opt to avoid the lecture by walking out of the room, with no offense to the speaker.
Sir, – Puah, an otherwise impressive organization that helps religious couples with fertility problems, is excluding female gynecologists from addressing a conference on gynecology and Halacha so as to accommodate some ultra-religious male members of the audience.
Actually, it could be worse. The people who believe it’s wrong for a man to hear a woman speak about gynecology don’t seem to have yet realized what male gynecologists do for a living, and could have demanded that they be excluded as well.
A choice of scenarios
Sir, – The very title of Susan Hattis Rolef’s op-ed piece (“How will it all end?,” Comment & Features, January 9) is audacious enough. To then present four unpalatable scenarios, one of which “we shall have to choose,” is brazenly presumptuous.
Comparing Israel’s situation with France’s Algerian quagmire has been done – and has been refuted – before. Algeria was never a threat to the French homeland, whereas the irredentist Palestinian leadership has never surrendered its zero-sum ambitions to have an Arab state enveloping our Jewish state.
Besides, when will we finally cease and desist from the abhorrent notion of removing Jewish settlers from parts of our homeland? Judea and Samaria were never under Arab sovereignty.
Why do we persist in collaborating with the canard that we are “occupying” someone else’s sovereign territory? It’s time to admit to a fifth scenario in which, as Martin Sherman argues (“To be or not to be – that is the question,” Into the Fray, January 6), the notion of a two-state solution is firmly laid to rest. Sherman’s humanitarian paradigm is naive.
Nevertheless, the virtue of the scenario is that it rests candidly on the authentic Zionist scenario in which Israel maintains, without apologies, its own longterm Zionist agenda of settling and securing the Land of Yisrael.
Sir, – The Messiah must surely be on the way, as I find myself in agreement with Susan Hattis Rolef – although not quite in the way she would expect it.
Apparently, the two-state solution is the only real panacea, and she lists several variations, ending with the “abhorrent” transfer of all Jews out of the “Palestinian” state. Then she goes on to mention that “such solutions, traumatic as they may be, can resolve impossible situations,” using Algeria as an example.
I couldn’t agree more! Let’s transfer the Arabs to any of the 21 Muslim countries, and even pay them to leave, a la Martin Sherman’s plan!
Sir, – Hats off to Martin Sherman, a phenomenal writer and analyst. He so clearly states that the Israel-Egypt peace treaty has been defective and dysfunctional from the beginning.
We are bearing the pains of his prediction these days. At present he claims that Israel must practice demilitarization until it is time to practice remilitarization.
I value his insight.
Fact and fiction Sir, – In David Brinn’s article about actress and singer Jane Birkin (“A ’60s love child grows up,” Arts & Entertainment, January 9), Birkin says scheduling shows for separate audiences will be difficult as “we have to separate the two dates and go back to Palestine a month later.”
Birkin is entitled to her opinion but not to her facts. There is no Palestine and hasn’t been since she was two years old.
Let’s separate fact from fiction.
Ma’aleh Adumim
Only Beit Shemesh!
Sir, – While I of course believe that the criminals who spit at little children on their way to school should be stopped, am I the only one who feels the issue has been blown out of proportion compared to the many more-serious issues our country is facing? Hundreds of thousands of Israelis and major media outlets across the world have united behind the children of Beit Shemesh. Thousands have come out to protest, and every other editorial for weeks has been about this matter. Why is there no similar outcry about the missiles that are still being launched at Israeli towns around Gaza? Where are the front-page headlines, editorials calling for the government to finally take decisive action, or thousands of people in the streets showing support for the 250,000 Israelis who are terrorized almost daily by rockets aimed at their homes and schools? When a haredi man calls a female soldier a bad name it makes headlines for days, but most Israeli media outlets do not even mention it when missiles hit southern communities.
Are we really more outraged by a few dozen haredi criminals who spit and yell bad words than we are at Hamas projectiles launched to kill as many Israeli children as possible? While the police must act in Beit Shemesh, I think Israelis and the Israeli media have their priorities mixed up.
Beit Shemesh