January 18: Too high-falutin’

The past year made for a dominance of virtuoso piano and violin solos as well as the playing of obscure works.

Too high-falutin’
Sir – The January 16 Post had an article on the crescendo by the exclusive music academics guild protesting the IBA’s appointment of a non-member to head its classical radio station (“New boss at Voice of Music sparks major dissonance”).
As an ordinary listener, I welcome this change. The past year – evidently under the influence of teacher-connoisseurs – made for a dominance of virtuoso piano and violin solos, including one-instrument symphonies and opera arias, as well as the playing of obscure orchestral works.
These have a place in the conservatories, but not on government radio where the public seeks to enjoy good music.
Being singled out
Sir, – For the past several weeks, hadarat nashim, the marginalization of women, has been front and center in the news.
Initially, I was pleased that the media had finally taken notice of the lack of parity between men and women in Israel. My concern rose, however, when it became apparent that the battle was not exclusively about the covert and overt discrimination against women, but rather a subterfuge for anti-haredi pronouncements.
While I do not in any way condone the harassment of little girls walking to school or the relegation of women to the back of the bus, I question the way in which the situation is being examined.
Instead of pointing fingers at blatant injustices that exist in haredi society, I suggest that the media also examine their own communities – secular, traditional and national-religious. Sexism and discrimination occur in all strata of society. It is neither fair nor representative to single out one group as the sole perpetrator of unjust acts.
Unfamiliar player
Sir, – Kol hakavod to Liat Collins for her well balanced piece on Yair Lapid (“Prime-time player,” My Word, January 15).
Collins could have gone all out, either with praise or by tearing Lapid down. She did neither, doing a favor to the many who do not read Hebrew and thus are not familiar with him.
Sir, – Liat Collins’s thoughtful Sunday columns are always a pleasure to read. The latest, on Yair Lapid’s move to politics, was no exception, offering a rather unconventional perspective from someone who never watched Lapid’s Friday night news magazine show on Channel 2, widely considered his main stepping stone into the political realm.
One detail irked me, though.
When discussing Lapid’s family, this is what Collins had to say: “His mother, Shulamit, is also a well-known writer.” Period.
Why the slight? Far from being “also,” Shulamit Lapid belongs to the small, exclusive group of leading living Hebrew authors, and is one whose versatile work as a novelist and playwright is widely appreciated and admired.
Sir, – In “Yair Lapid blames Israel’s problems on haredim, settlers and tycoons” (January 13), you quote him as saying, “How polite do you think it is to use a man’s dead father as an example in an argument with me?” If Lapid wants “polite,” he should stay out of politics.
It’s not prejudice
Sir, – What Jay Bushinsky (“Let the children stay,” A Different Perspective, January 13) fails to understand is that illegal “economic refugees” keep arriving in Israel. We cannot allow them to remain, as it will only encourage more and more to arrive. Their increasing numbers make them a burden on our society.
These people are not being sent home because of either racial or ethnic prejudice. They are being sent home because they don’t have the legal right to remain. This is what occurs in most countries in the world.
This includes offspring who are born here. While these children learn the language, make friends and consider Israel their home, they cannot be here without their parents, and their parents cannot remain. The lives of these children would not be affected any more than are the lives of children whose parents move legally to another country.
We are not lacking in social sensitivity, but a bleeding heart mentality will not be of help to our country.
FRANCES DASH Zichron Ya’acov
Taiwan’s democracy
Sir, – In response to “The global impact of Taiwan’s presidential elections” (Comment & Features, January 12), I’d like to point out that the result of the elections proves again the real democracy in Taiwan.
Voter turnout was 74.38 percent.
President Ma Ying-jeou was reelected with 51.6% of the vote, while the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate Tsai Ing-wen scored 45.63%, and James Soong, candidate of People First Party (PFP), got 2.77%.
The Washington Post headline was “Taiwan, the Chinese-speaking world’s only full democracy.”
Tsai congratulated Ma and then quit as chairwoman of her party to express her responsibility for her loss. Soong said he accepted people’s decision but appreciated those who supported him.
The writer is director of the Information Division at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Tel Aviv
Not columnists
Sir, – In choosing two new writers, Hirsh Goodman and Uri Savir, the Post has become more than ridiculous.
Despite the Palestinian Authority’s six unacceptable demands (no recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, making Jerusalem an Arab capital, returning Arab refugees, a return to the pre- 1967 borders and the expulsion of all settlers), Goodman, in one of his early columns (“One man’s storm is another man’s island,” PostScript, November 25), wrote that “these are people the government of Israel can sit down with and talk reasonably.”
In the same column he wrote: “Hamas has repeatedly offered Israel a 10-year hudna, or ceasefire. We should take it.” Nobody in Israel except, apparently, Goodman has ever heard of such an offer, but everyone has heard Hamas endlessly repeat its threats to wipe us out.
The Hebrew word for reasonable is savir. What a misnomer for a man who, in the same issue of your paper, launched a vitriolic attack on “the right wing’s drive to populistic, sometimes even racist, legislation,” wrote of Israeli Arabs as being “second-class citizens in their own country” and spoke about so-called McCarthyism (“In need of a new system,” Savir’s Corner).
What is alarming is that Uri Savir is head of the Peres Center for Peace. Does our president endorse Savir’s criticism of the government that he himself lauds every time he goes abroad? The Post should reconsider its choice of these two writers, who are more calumnists than columnists.
Playing hooky
Sir, – On the evening news recently we saw families with children enjoying the snow that had fallen on the Hermon. Was anyone bothered by the fact that this had been a school day? It seems to have become completely acceptable for children to miss school for a family trip or celebration, or sometimes (I have heard) just because they don’t feel like going! If the attitude of parents is that it doesn’t matter if a child misses a school day, what sort of an attitude will the child have toward school?
Tel Mond