January 8: What America needs

US presidential hopeful Rick Santorum is surging in the polls because he is militantly pro-life, morally consistent and politically courageous.

Letters 521 (photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
Letters 521
(photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
What America needs
Sir, – US presidential hopeful Rick Santorum is surging in the polls because he is militantly pro-life, morally consistent and politically courageous – just what America needs (“After Iowa, now is the tough part for Republican Santorum,” Iowa Caucus Results, January 5).
The foundation of America’s problem is not the economy, immigration or foreign policy, but morality. When morality disappears, when men begin treating each other as mere commodities, everything else falters.
Decades of Godless Supreme Court decisions have created an anti-family culture of death in the US that now sanctions and promotes everything from contraception to abortion, homosexual activity, sex outside of marriage, pornography, easy divorce, embryonic stem cell research, sterilization and invitro fertilization. Barack Obama, more than any other US president, not only has continued this tradition of moral bankruptcy, but has worked endlessly to spread it abroad, all at the taxpayer’s expense.
The only candidate seriously capable of altering this sad state of affairs and reestablishing America as a nation in touch with its democratic roots and moral foundation is Rick Santorum.
He is a man in touch with the true heart and soul of America.
PAUL KOKOSKI Hamilton, Canada
Lengthy countdown Sir, – Spokesman Zeev Feiner’s statements about the inordinate delay in launching the projected new TV news station (“Kazakh billionaire’s ‘Jewish Al Jazeera’ in development,” January 5) sound pretty feeble to me. Either Alexander Mashkevitch is funding the new station or he isn’t.
If he is, why on earth is he trying to “draw more investors to the project?” Nothing succeeds like success.
Let Mashkevitch use a small proportion of his billions to get the station up and running, and others will join him to develop the project – if that is what he wants.
Redressing the media balance against the purely Islamist view of the Middle East that is pouring into millions of homes each day has been in the offing literally for years. It’s about time for some action.
Beit Shemesh
Ravad and Shahar Sir, – Regarding “IDF chief rabbi calls for Moshe Ravad to be fired over resignation from ‘Shahar’” (January 5), ever since the IAF’s chief rabbi created the Shahar program for haredi men five years ago he was looking over his shoulder. While the program was widely applauded by all sectors of society, there were elements within the haredi camp, as well as in the IDF, that would have been just as happy if the program didn’t exist.
Should Ravad’s resignation spell the end of Shahar, it will be a victory for the extremists and a loss for the country.
MATTIAS ROTENBERG Petah Tikva Haredi-secular divide
Sir, – “Will Beit Shemesh lead to erosion on Capitol Hill?” (Washington Watch, January 5) is confusing. We should know for what cause Douglas M. Bloomfield labors, as he mistakenly lumps together the entire American Jewish community. He fails to address dangerous erosion caused by its high rate of intermarriage and assimilation.
Many Jewish groups have extremist fringes, but there are constant attempts to bridge gaps to support a unified Zionist base. Thus, it seems misguided for “best friends, critical supporters and valued allies” to angrily attack our elected leadership from afar.
Sir, – One line in Natan Slifkin’s “Everyone is fighting a different battle in Beit Shemesh”) Comment & Features, January 4) rings so true.
Haredi society is pervaded by a fear of not appearing adequately frum. It has less to do with God and more to do with one’s personal image in society.
This fear discourages individual thought.
So the problem is not the very few crazy extremists, but the haredi masses that are too afraid to speak out. The single issue for them thus becomes the incitement against them – which does exist and should be addressed in secular newspapers.
Sir, – Gil Troy’s “Banning dads from daughters’ sports” (Center Field, January 4) speaks in wonderful platitudes of “the democratic value of every citizen.”
It’s hard to argue with such a statement.
But then Troy proceeds to instruct Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu how to force others to change their religious beliefs and opinions, and how to marginalize two major parties, Kadima and Labor. He concludes with a demand for a “new social contract between haredim and the Jewish state, imposing some core courses in basic skills into their educational curriculum.”
While I readily agree with Troy’s Jeffersonian dream for Israel, these suggestions will hardly build bridges. They will tear down and disrupt competing ways of life as they attempt to meld the opposing beliefs and opinions of thousands and perhaps hundreds of thousands of disparate individuals who don’t want to their viewpoints melded.
Sir, – Okay, we get the point! Everyone agrees that there is a group of haredim that is behaving shamefully and should be punished.
But since the vast majority of letters to The Jerusalem Post during the past two weeks has excoriated the haredim, it probably seems to all readers in Israel and around the world that this is the only problem we have.
It’s time to stop fanning the flames of hate against haredim.
Our nation has many enemies around it. If we are to remain here, it can only be if we are united.
Plenty of fat
Sir, – In “The right balance” (Editorial, January 3), you call for cutting the gap between rich and poor, endorsing the recommendations of the Trajtenberg Report. The defense budget, however, can be cut without endangering Israel’s security.
Why does the Defense Ministry, which has the largest allocation in the national budget, allow its non-combat personnel to retire with full pensions at ages 42-45? Why continue with expensive, uninformative Army Radio when there are many alternative stations available? Why does the IDF continue its expensive parachute training course? (No nation uses paratroopers anymore, only helicopters.) Why does the ministry pay for overseas university training for retired generals? Why does the IAF use its planes to ferry top brass to and from their homes?

Decisions, decisions
Sir, – Our chief of staff’s announcement (“Gantz: Soldiers are forbidden from leaving when women sing at official IDF events,” January 3) is a surprise.
Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz had already announced on Army Radio that he worked out an arrangement for female soldiers to sing “at any IDF function anywhere” while religious soldiers at those functions could leave.
If Gantz is this indecisive about religious soldiers at singing ceremonies, how will he perform under the pressure of combat?

Ma’aleh Adumim
Wrong coasters

Sir, – Regarding “Knesset panel heads: Gov’t lacks solutions for dealing with migrants” (January 3), the latest country in Africa to fall to Islamic militias is officially known not as the Ivory Coast, but as Côte d’Ivoire, and its inhabitants are not Ivory Coasters but Ivorians. Ivory coasters are what Donald Trump puts his drinks down on.