July 1: Worth a try

There is a combined study-army service program that has been in use for years called etudayi.

Letters 521 (photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
Letters 521
(photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
Worth a try
Sir, – As a replacement for the Tal Law (“Coalition crisis brewing over ‘Tal Law’ replacement,” June 28), a tried and proven system is already in place.
There is a combined study-army service program that has been in use for years called etudayi, where a person studies for six to seven months a year and does army service for the remaining time.
They can do the same with the ultra-Orthodox. I think it is worth a try.
Truth in labeling
Sir, – While understanding the view of Alon Liel concerning the labeling of products made in the West Bank as being made in Israel (“Ex-envoy to South Africa supports settlement boycott,” June 28), I take strong exception to one comment he made in his article in the South African newspaper.
The Arabs here refused a state when offered one by the United Nations in 1947. The only historical claim to the area is that of the Jewish nation, dating back 3,000 years. Thus, Liel’s statement, “I...
do my best not to buy Israeli products from the occupied territories,” reveals an ignorance of historical facts that is not expected of a former director-general of the Foreign Ministry.
Whose territories are being occupied? Jordan’s? No, that country’s annexation of the West Bank was not legal and it has since renounced all claims to the area. Palestine? There is no such state, and the territory is being administered pending a final resolution to the conflict.
Liel should have suggested that the products be labeled, “Produced by Jewish and Arab workers in Judea and Samaria.”
Kfar Saba
IRA priorities
Sir, – It should be noted that the IRA never demanded that Britain hand over London, nor did it refuse to accept full Irish sovereignty unless millions of Irishmen had the right to live in England (“Britain’s queen shakes hand of ex-Irish Republican Army chief,” June 28).
Whose is it?
Sir, – Thank you, Jerusalem Post, for your balanced editorial on the distressing Ulpana issue (“Ulpana peace,” June 27), but I felt that you were way off base in stating definitively that the land in question “belonged to a Palestinian.”
According to the Israeli residents of Ulpana, the land was purchased legally but the Palestinian seller kept it secret for fear of being put to death by fellow Arabs for selling land to Jews. For many years the supposed Arab owner did nothing as homes were built and Jews settled there, and it was only when he was approached by Peace Now and persuaded to do so that he came out with the claim that the land belonged to him.
Although a panel of three Supreme Court justices (who are known to be against the settlements) found in favor of the Arab claimant, the District Court, which is the only judicial body mandated to decide such issues, has yet to reach a decision. In such circumstances I don’t think one can declare positively that the land belongs to a Palestinian.
United front
Sir, – In “US Jews’ retreat from Zionism” (Center Field, June 27), Gil Troy has authored a most lucid, compelling and comprehensive explanation of contemporary Zionism, the forces aligned against it, what it yet has to offer and the Jewish people’s need for it.
In my opinion, he succeeded in touching all the bases and in the end gave us a wonderfully constructed whole. I can only extend my sincerest admiration and deepest gratitude.
Sir, – Anti-Zionists deny that Israel is a nation-state like others, insisting instead that Zionism is a political movement that one is at liberty to support or oppose.
In this way they seek to open the question of whether Israel has the right to exist.
Gil Troy’s argument, that US Jews should position themselves as supporters of Zionism, would tend, therefore, to help the anti- Zionists in their relentless efforts to treat the legitimacy of Israel as a question for endless debate.
It would be better to embrace the straightforward liberal principle under which states that exist have the right not to be conquered.
Jewish identity is complex, plural and diverse, and we should defend our rights to continue to be Jewish in our own ways. Identity does not need to be organized into a single “ism” and worldview complete with accusations of cowardice against of those who fail to embrace it correctly.
Sour grapes
Sir, – While respectfully mentioning the names of some of the guests at the state dinner for Russian President Vladimir Putin in her Grapevine column of June 27 (“Partying with Putin”), Greer Fay Cashman snidely writes that Interior Minister Eli Yishai was there “with a bunch of his lackeys.”
I am shocked at the blatant editorializing.
Friendly reminder
Sir, – Someone should have reminded Russian President Vladimir Putin during his visit to Israel that the refusal of the world powers to recognize and act against the threats posed by the Nazis early in their tenure resulted in the murder of not only six million Jews, but 60 million human beings – Frenchmen, Poles, Norwegians, Dutch people, Americans and others, including Russians (“Putin, Peres unveil Netanya memorial honoring Red Army for fighting Nazis,” June 26).
It was not only Russia that refrained from acting while Germany was threatening and arming.
Britain, France, Holland, Norway and even far-off America also paid the price for closing their eyes. That is the true lesson we can learn from the drama of the 1930s and 1940s.
What begins in the Middle East or Persian Gulf today will spread far and wide. Russia will not be immune to the effects of a nuclearized Iran, even if its only victim is Israel.
Two-way street
Sir, – Michael Freund, in “Kiss the Green Line goodbye” (Fundamentally Freund, June 20), writes about the 722,000 settlers in the West Bank and asserts that “the Green Line is dead and buried, and the Left can kiss it goodbye. It is no longer of any relevance, politically or otherwise.”
These are tough words.
Just one question: If the green line is really dead and buried, is the blockade to movement being kissed goodbye in both directions? Or is one of the two peoples still impeded at the border while the other is free to move across? If the Green Line were really dead and buried there would be free movement of people in both directions.
Freund and other Post columnists who are getting carried away in their tingling excitement for conquest, such as Caroline B. Glick and Martin Sherman, have a decision to make: whether to talk impractically and unethically or urge that we save our people.
Cambridge, Massachusetts
 I honk, I exist
Sir, – Why do Israelis love to honk their horns? Whether the traffic lights have not changed fast enough or somebody’s driving is not up to par, or even if they just want the world to know that they exist, they honk.
As I write this the horns are honking frantically outside.
Where is the cop on the beat, ready to make an example of these public nuisances with a hefty ticket?