January 31: Last straw

The word “Jewier” is the last straw for me, even if it was in quotes.

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Last straw
Sir, – The word “Jewier” is the last straw for me, even if it was in quotes (“US rabbis tweak readings to make them ‘Jewier,’” January 29).
For years I have cringed at “different to” and “different than,” and at numerous other bastardizations of my mother tongue. Now I think we are all going to end up in the tower.
No, not the Tower of London – the Tower of Babel.
Raise the covers
Sir, – Kudos to the Post for raising public awareness about child abuse in the Jewish community (“NGO decries ‘cover-up culture’ in sex abuse cases,” January 29).
Every Jewish community must create child protective services like Magen, working with all religious leaders and professionals.
Prosecution and sentencing for failing to report must be severe and exoteric for perpetrators, enablers and accessories. The pharisaic act is not in the reporting, but in the silence.
Press about Jewish cases must be in the context of cover-ups in the secular community. Out of context, the press can appear anti-Semitic for picking on the Jewish community, and this encourages wrongful but inevitable cover-ups.
In England, Rabbi Padwa allegedly ordered the victim not to report the crime to civil authorities. Yet executives, producers and cast members at the BBC knew of television personality Jimmy Savile’s decades-long molestation of children and never reported it. They were transferred or retired with golden parachutes after the story broke.
They have not been arrested or charged in the conspiracy of silence.
Israel, by the way, has an unsavory international reputation for protecting accused abusers who fled from other countries, rather than extraditing them.
HAROLD GOLDMEIER Beit Shemesh The writer is a member of the Magen board and former executive director of the Massachusetts Committee for Children and Youth Strange alliance
Sir, – The recent alliance of the Board of Deputies of British Jews with the blatantly anti-Israel Oxfam, and its virtually unanimous support by almost the entire British Jewish establishment, as well as by the government in the person of the British ambassador to Israel, symbolizes much more than the liberal Jewish tendency to bend over backward to help others (“Anglo-Jewish leaders partner with Oxfam,” Candidly Speaking, January 29).
This and other recent liberal Jewish trends worldwide, including open hostility to many Israeli government policies, clearly indicate an end of the axiom of automatic admiration, sympathy and legitimacy of the State of Israel in the eyes of Diaspora Jewry.
The most obvious reason for this is demographic, with the rapid demise of the generation that knew the horrors of the Holocaust and what it meant not having a sovereign state. In many ways, this generation clearly viewed helping to ensure Israel’s existence and prosperity as an obligation for every Jew.
Despite receiving the Jewish “gene” for liberalism and concern for others from this generation, their children and grandchildren were not imbibed with their inbred sympathy for, and emotional attachment to, the already-existing state.
Israel itself became overly dependent on this attachment, and has basically neglected the growing trend toward the more troubling directions we see today. It is time our leaders and even citizens undergo a radical change in thinking and begin dealing with a very new and worrisome reality in which the State of Israel no longer is one of world Jewry’s top priorities.
GERSHON HARRIS Hatzor Haglilit
Sir, – There was a strange harmony, or possibly one should say dissonance, between Isi Leibler’s column “Anglo-Jewish leaders partner with Oxfam” and the article on the back page of the same issue, with its apologia for the enormously influential figure in modern anti-Semitism (“Taming Wagner,” Arts & Entertainment).
On the one hand you have Jews trying to support Oxfam, which is notorious for anti-Israel propaganda that has spilled over into anti-Semitism. On the other, you have the usual bien pensant Jews who feel they must show how liberal and cultured they are by advocating public performances of Wagner.
Our Supreme Court has set the correct tone by its decision that Wagner not be played on public radio, and that Wagner lovers be content with supporting local record shops and buying discs should they so wish. That is their affair, but it is our affair if they wish to spend taxpayers’ money or give the man any official sanction.
This is of significance now because the musical world will certainly celebrate the 200th anniversary of Wagner’s birth in May. This is a party we cannot attend.
LOUIS GARB Jerusalem
By any definition
Sir, – How can Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein permit the government to approve the Prawer Report on the relocation of Negev Beduin to end, as Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said during the most recent cabinet meeting, “the spread of illegal building by Negev Beduin” (“Gov’t to address disputed Beduin lands in Negev,” January 28)? After all, it is clearly a transition government by all definitions.
And yet, as early as October 2012 Weinstein ruled that the government could not consider the adoption of the Levy Report on construction in Judea and Samaria, an equally critical issue, on the grounds that it was a transition government – which at the time it was not. Elections had simply been announced, but the government had not fallen.
Hopefully, the Supreme Court will invalidate this ill-considered government decision. But Weinstein’s analysis will carry much weight. I respectfully look forward to learning his definition of a transition government so that it applies to the facts of the Levy Report, but not to those of the Prawer Report, and to seeing if the Israeli public will accept it.
Bit of a stretch
Sir, – I read with interest the article written by Sarah Honig regarding “anti-Semitism” in Cahersiveen, a torn in County Kerry, Ireland (“That unwitting indecency,” Another Tack, January 25).
I know the town, I know the school and I know teachers in the school, and unfortunately the events as stated by Honig are a total distortion.
Even if they were accurate, though, to extend this to claims of “anti-Semitism” is shoddy journalism in the extreme. Would an Israeli teenager saying that we, the Irish, all support the IRA be evidence of anti-Irish feeling in Israel?
JOHN DOYLE Cork, Ireland
Caspit’s Bibi problem
Sir, – As a subscriber to The Jerusalem Post I enjoy reading articles with viewpoints that are not my own. The same cannot be said for “The perfect Israeli” by Ben Caspit (Observations, January 25).
Caspit generally relishes attacking and vilifying Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, and I find his columns sensationalist, superficial and just plain distasteful. In “The perfect Israeli,” while yet again bashing the prime minister, Caspit treats us to this gem: “Netanyahu will always do the worst possible thing at the worst possible time. And when he finally reaches a dead end that forces him to do the right thing, then it’s either too late or at a price that’s too high.”
I would like to ask Caspit how Can-do-no right Netanyahu continues to fool millions of Israeli voters? The prime minister not only served an almost full term, he emerged from the recent elections as the frontrunner to form the next government, and his party received almost as many seats as the next two parties combined.