January 2: Zoabi and the court

Zoani's offensive, anti-Israel diatribes turn even people of good will against her.

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Zoabi and the court
Sir, – I wish that MK Haneen Zoabi had said a few words of appreciation to the High Court of Justice, which upheld free speech and the rule of law and unanimously rejected the politically-inspired decision to disqualify her candidacy for the Knesset (“High Court overturns Zoabi ban,” December 31).
I know that she and other Arab Knesset members are often attacked and insulted in plenum debates by right-wing Jewish MKs. However, her offensive, anti-Israel diatribes turn even people of good will against her – people who sincerely want coexistence, equality and friendly relations with Israeli-Arabs.
RUTH RIGBI Jerusalem
Sir, – Modern democracy in the West is an amalgam of ancient Greek attitudes toward individual autonomy and civic responsibilities, and the moral outlook of the Hebrew and New Testament scriptures. These are its consensus, its philosophical and spiritual content.
The democratic system of representational government can serve this content. In Israel, we must add to this amalgam Zionism, the prophetic development of Hebrew scripture.
There seems to be an embarrassment here to recognize the Zionist content and consensus of our democracy – a conflict, in fact. There should not be. Our democracy must serve its Jewish- Zionist consensus.
The decision of the High Court of Justice regarding the Zoabi woman indicates a confusion about what is serving what.
Sir, – The Prophet Jeremiah, about 2,600 years ago, had it right when he told the Israeli people, “Your destroyers will come out from amongst you.”
It is truly unbelievable! Here is a member of Knesset who constantly and openly does everything against the state. (I wonder how many other parliaments have members acting against the state.) And yet, some Israelis wave the banner of “democracy” on her behalf.
This is the same “democracy” that influenced former US president Jimmy Carter to bring the ayatollah regime to Iran, that elected Morsi in Egypt and Hamas in Gaza. Even Hitler won “democratically.”
The amazing thing is that instead of insisting on real values, many prefer to use meaningless cliches.
Sir, – Like thousands of Israelis I would like a clear and concise explanation from the High Court of Justice as to why it ruled that Haneen Zoabi will be allowed to stand for Knesset. She was present on the Mavi Marmara, where terrorists attacked our soldiers.
When I compare this with the decision in 1988 of banning Meir Kahana from participating in elections, I am confused. Kahana may have used incitement and extreme language, but as far as my research has shown he never committed a terrorist act.
I fear that almost 65 years of statehood have not eradicated the Diaspora from our souls. We still make decisions on what the gentiles will say, and not what our laws and common sense tell us to do.
Wrong call?
Sir, – I find it paradoxical that Rabbi Ovadia Yosef calls on yeshiva students “to take a break from their Torah studies to ‘go from house to house to tell people to vote Shas’” (“Deri: Resurrecting ethnic fight is right,” December 31).
I do not seem to be able to remember a similar call to yeshiva students to serve in the IDF and perhaps fulfill the great mitzva of pikuah nefesh, saving a human life.
A boss’s travails
Sir, – With regard to “Wringing my hands as an Israeli employer” (Comment & Features, December 31), as far as I know, severance pay of one month salary per year worked is mandatory for fired employees, as well as for those who leave voluntarily and are above retirement age. Paying severance to employees who resign is at the employer’s discretion and is not uncommon.
On the other hand, businesses are required to set aside funds to pay severance, so it shouldn’t burden Hilary Faverman’s company.
STEVE KRAMER Alfei Menashe
Sir, – I would like to tell Hilary Faverman that I would be willing to work for her anytime. She appears to be the type of boss anyone would appreciate.
Sacks deserves better
Sir, – Your headline for the article about the chief rabbinate of Lord Sacks (“The chief rabbi of Canterbury,” Comment & Features, December 31) is disgraceful.
Lord Sacks has been the most inspirational religious leader the community has had The fact that the non-Jewish world looked up to him as a leader is no bad thing. In fact, his predecessor, the late Lord Jakobovits, was regarded by Margaret Thatcher as her religious mentor! Lord Sacks has been an amazing motivator of the younger generation.
The Jewish community in Britain will look back on his term as chief rabbi with admiration and pride.
EDWARD L. JACKSON Netanya The writer was rabbi at Hampstead Garden Suburb Synagogue in London
The friendly type
Sir, – I laughed out loud when I saw the cartoon, with the child asking, “Why does saba always talk to people he doesn’t know?,” above Herb Keinon’s “Love the stranger” (Out There, December 30).
My significant other half should meet up with the writer’s father. He made aliya from England three years ago and doesn’t speak a word of Hebrew, but there is not a waiter or waitress at any of our local beach cafes who doesn’t know him.
The employees of every shop and most restaurants in the vicinity know him. Walking along the promenade on the beach, we are greeted by any number of people, most of whom he doesn’t remember having met. But they certainly remember him.
It can be irritating at times, especially as Keinon notes, when someone asks for directions and the whole family history comes out.
In meeting visitors from England, of course Jewish Geography comes into play, and it turns out that my partner’s Aunt Fanny was married to the brother of the cousin of this woman’s best friend.
When his daughter, on a visit from England in the summer, walked down to the beach one evening with her baby, she forgot to take money with her.
But when she described her father and the football team he is always talking about, she was treated to free drinks! Let them keep talking to strangers. It can only be a positive thing! LINDA SILVERSTONE Herzliya Pituah
We’re doing better
Sir, – I am an elderly widow living on a kibbutz near my older son, his wife and family. Occasionally, I am invited by friends or family in other parts of the country to be with them for Shabbat. As I have no private means of transport, I travel by bus or taxi.
I have been the recipient of many offers of help – with my small bag, to climb up a steep bus step, to get off a bus, to cross the road (at a proper crossing), even to hail a taxi. Yesterday, the bus driver even took my bag off the bus for me.
This trend is becoming more and more common in Israel. I remember that on my first visit, about 30 years ago, I was pushed out of the line to board a bus, and no one offered any help. (I was that much younger at the time.) But since then the offers of help have become much more common.
I, for one, feel that a public letter of thanks is due the readers of all newspapers, not only The Jerusalem Post, to which I have subscribed since my aliya some 20 years ago.