January 7: Deri’s comments

Perhaps Shas leader Arye Deri was incarcerated too long to realize that an interim agreement with your enemy ultimately becomes a permanent agreement.

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Deri’s comments
Sir, – Shas leader Arye Deri states that there should be an interim agreement with the (socalled) Palestinians, and immediately afterwards urges an Israeli withdrawal from parts of Judea and Samaria (“In ‘Post’ interview, Deri calls for long-term deal with Palestinians,” January 4). Perhaps he was incarcerated too long to realize that an interim agreement with your enemy ultimately becomes a permanent agreement.
On the one hand Deri says, “We aren’t nationalist,” and then states that God gave us this land. First, why isn’t he a nationalist? That’s what he and all of us should be. Second, if God gave us this land, who gave Deri the right to give it to others? His comment, “Our rabbis will decide what is best to do,” is particularly objectionable, as rabbis are supposed to decide halachic questions, not political or national questions, especially when it comes to relinquishing our holy land.
Who else is there?
Sir, – Regarding “Republican Sen. Rand Paul to arrive on Sunday” (January 4), the senator is quoted as saying that he is “appreciative of the fact that Israel is...one of the few true democracies in the Middle East....”
Paul might want to consider surrounding himself with better advisers on foreign affairs or do some of his own investigating.
Exactly which other Middle Eastern country is considered a democracy?
Ma’aleh Adumim
Polluting victory
Sir, – The law doesn’t cover all instances of immorality. That is the case with former US vice president Al Gore’s sale of his TV channel (“Al Gore’s Current TV said to have been sold for $500 million to Al Jazeera,” January 4).
Gore received the Nobel Prize for his outstanding ecological achievements. It obviously does not include the morally and politically polluting victory of Al Jazeera gaining a foothold in the ex-vice president’s own country.
Food for thought
Sir, – The section on restaurants in your Billboard publication has been becoming more and more non-kosher. Last week’s coverage of four non-kosher restaurants was simply inexcusable.
Are the writers simply too lazy to move out of their Tel Aviv, non-religious bubble and write reviews that many Jerusalem Post readers would be able to use?
Beit Horon
Sir, – Billboard had four restaurant reviews, and not one of the restaurants was kosher. I really find that disappointing. Two non-kosher reviews have become the norm; certainly one out of four could be a kosher place.
Not the speed
Sir, – Your editorial “Speed kills” (January 3) is totally misleading.
Saying that speed kills is a vain attempt to reduce road fatalities. Speed does not kill; it is incompetent driving that does.
Speed may magnify the consequences of an accident but is almost never the primary cause. Most accidents do not happen on main highways anyway.
The only reason a speed limit should not be raised is perhaps the generally poor infrastructure of roads and the abysmal standard of driving in Israel. The recent decline in road fatalities is due only to an improvement of that infrastructure in recent years and has nothing to do with speed cameras. The cameras are there mainly to collect money, and Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz as well as the police know that.
Sir, – After driving in England for 48 years I passed my Israeli driving test – but cannot drive here as the driving on the whole is disastrous and too many people get killed on the road. Many others feel the same way.
The speed limit should certainly not be raised, and I think a partition should be made in roads for safer driving. The lines in some cases are very badly maintained. In a built-up area the speed should be reduced considerably, like in England.
Sadly, Israelis drive like they are in a war zone, but in some cases road safety is still the responsibility of the government. Everyone should try and get together to change this.
God and gays
Sir, – I have a great deal of respect and admiration for Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein, who is surely one of the leading Torah scholars in our time. However, unless something was left out of “Senior national-religious rabbi calls for community to exhibit ‘greater honesty’ toward homosexuals” (January 3) regarding his view on the acceptance of those who practice homosexuality in the Salute to Israel Parade in New York City, I would like to ask him a question.
If a group of Jews wished to march in the parade with banners proudly proclaiming their pride in not observing Shabbat or not abiding by kashrut, would you be comfortable with this? I believe the point of the ban was not that these people are homosexual.
This is a private matter for the Almighty to deal with. Their proud display of their homosexuality is objectionable and I believe this would be a desecration of God in public.
Beit Shemesh

The writer is a rabbi
Feeling uneasy
Sir, – “Jewish man’s best friend” (View from the Hills, January 2) by Josh Hasten left me feeling very uneasy for two reasons.
Reason number one: It showed contempt for the Arab population.
Reason number two: Why import dogs from Holland? Our animal shelters in Israel are full of dogs of all shapes and sizes, pure- and mixed-breeds. Experts could certainly find dogs that qualify for the assignments. Dr.
Rudolphina Menzel trained local Canaani dogs for the Hagana and as guide dogs for the blind.
What was not said
Sir, – In “Netanyahu: Commit to two states” (Encountering Peace, January 1), Gershon Baskin correctly states that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas must convince the Israeli people that he is a true partner for peace. Alas, Baskin did not mention Abbas’s Facebook page marking the 48th anniversary of Fatah.
As pointed out by Itamar Marcus of Palestine Media Watch, the page is filled with anti-Semitic incitement, praise for Palestinian terrorists and pictures of armed Palestinian children. This being the case, it is quite obvious that Abbas has failed Baskin’s requirements for two states to live side by side in peace and security.
Maybe Baskin could truthfully explain what it is that Abbas really wants.
Petah Tikva
Sir, – In response to Gershon Baskin, Leslie Wagner (“A twostate solution is the only way,” Comment & Features, January 1), presidents Shimon Peres and Barack Obama, and all the others who look at the world as they would like it to be instead of how it is: There cannot be a two-state solution that does not include Gaza, and Gaza does not want to be part of a two-state solution.
In addition, until the Palestinians finally have the elections they have been talking about for five years and vote for somebody to represent them, there is no use wasting time on negotiations.
Mahmoud Abbas’s term ran out a long time ago.
Let them vote and see what the majority wants. Then we will see if they want peace or not.