June 20: Outside the box

Instead of the African migrants settling in Tel Aviv, which is grossly overcrowded, why not settle them on the West Bank?

Sir, – Regarding “Yishai says he will work to deport all Eritreans and Sudanese” (June 18), I have a modest proposal for the Israeli government that could kill two birds with one stone: Instead of the African migrants settling in Tel Aviv, which is grossly overcrowded, why not settle them on the West Bank? Israel has the legitimate right to build there. Who could complain about allowing black immigrants, most of whom are refugees fleeing war and poverty, from settling there? This way they could have their own communities yet benefit Israel by being on the West Bank.
Why should the Palestinians complain about this? They would be providing assistance to suffering humanity. Most of the Africans are Muslims anyway.
Why not have the UN support this? Surely, UNRWA could afford to do so from the billions of dollars it gets in aid.
By thinking out of the box we could solve two problems in one go.
Tribal dues
Sir, – Your editorial “Adoption and faith” (June 18) left me absolutely bewildered.
I thought the passionate advocacy of Prime Minister Netanyahu, that Israel is a Jewish and democratic state, had found agreement with your editorial policy. Now you advocate that couples be allowed to adopt Christian children, and that these children, Israeli citizens, can remain Christian.
How can this be allowed in a state that calls itself a Jewish state? Maybe MK Nitzan Horowitz of Meretz doesn't care, but certainly The Jerusalem Post should.
Any Jewish couple living in Israel wishing to adopt a non-Jewish child should value their Jewishness enough to have the child converted.
If they belong to a private sports club they have to pay admission!
Sir, – The human brain is unique in being able to accept simultaneously two ideas that negate each other.
To initiate negotiations with the Palestinians we insist on our identity as a “Jewish” state. But if we want to define Israel as a Jewish state we must define it first to ourselves – and it cannot be a state that divorces itself from standard mainstream Judaism that has stood the test of over 3,000 years.
Peres and Pollard
Sir, – I readily proclaim that I do not possess the required Solomonic wisdom to have decisively demanded that President Shimon Peres make his acceptance of the US Presidential Medal of Freedom conditional on the release of Jonathan Pollard.
Having said that, however, I find the statement by Peres’s diplomatic advisor, Nadav Tamir, that “Obama listened seriously and asked good questions” (“Peres adviser: Door not slammed on Pollard release,” June 17), to be a pathetically ignoble attempt to redeem and explain the abominable continuing miscarriage of justice regarding Pollard.
Tamir’s statements do not offer anything but an insult to people’s intelligence. One has every right to expect that the serious listening and the good questions would have taken place when Peres lent the dignity of his office and made his first request for the release of Pollard several months ago. Indeed, the serious attention to the cruel and unusual punishment should have begun 27 years ago when Pollard was first arrested.
The fact that this inhumane incarceration of Pollard continues despite the many American and international statesmen and jurists who have asked for his release remains a blatant mark of shame on both Peres and US President Barack Obama.
Sir, – The indictment charged Jonathan Pollard with violating the federal law that makes it a crime to deliver defense information to a foreign government “with intent or reason to believe” that the information is to be used in one of two ways: “to the injury of the US” or “to the advantage of a foreign nation.”
Significantly, the charge against Pollard cited the second prong, but between the plea bargain date and the time of sentencing 10 months later the prosecution arbitrarily reversed its position to the first prong.
As Rabbi Avi Weiss of New York proclaimed, “Jonathan Pollard was tried as an American and sentenced as a Jew.”
ALEX ROSE Ashkelon
It’s the Right
Sir, – Gershon Baskin is right (“Despite it all, still committed to peace,” Encountering Peace, June 13).
When the Palestinians get a state they will have border controls and sovereignty, and the Israeli Right will not continue to expand and settle at will across the borders. But the Right, as underscored in Prime Minister Netanyahu’s support for settlement expansion, can’t accept such simple logic.
Golda Meir asked so famously why the Palestinians tried to tear down Israel rather than build their own state. Golda would be appalled that since her time it is Israel’s Right that has been wiping off the map the world’s unique and fragile Jewish state.
JAMES ADLER Cambridge, Massachusetts
Not anti-Semitic
Sir, – With reference to “Swiss Jews slam supermarket boycott of settlement products” (June 12), I wish to formally deny the accusation of anti-Semitism concerning our initiative “Occupation Tastes Bitter.”
The accusation tries to divert the matter of concern, namely the strengthening of international law by not buying products from the settlements. The Jewish supporters of the initiative in Germany look at it the same way.
Pax Christi keeps the memory of the Shoah alive and supports friendship between Germans and Israelis, and a just peace.
WILTRUD METZLER Stuttgart The writer is vice president of Pax Christi Germany Library in Safed
Sir, – As a prelude to the recent Hebrew Book Week, Channel 2 decided the Safed English Library would be an interesting source of material for its report.
Nonagenarian Edyth Geiger, who founded and coordinates the library to this day, was interviewed and told viewers about the beginnings of the library. It stemmed from the fact that when she came to live in Safed some 40 years ago there were no English-language books available anywhere, so people would come and borrow them from her private collection.
The library started out in her tiny apartment until it became impossible to move because of the increasing number of books lying around, so it extended downstairs to a property bought thanks to donations organized by Edyth.
Today, with a growing Anglo community spreading across the entire religious spectrum in Safed and the surrounding area, the library is open four times a week and offers some 47,000 volumes, an extraordinary number made possible by yet another purchase of two properties on the town’s main street.
Some 50 volunteers help out on a regular basis in this haven of eclectic reading material for adults and children, which includes classics, novels, non-fiction, issues from dozens of magazines, audio tapes, DVDs and even jigsaw puzzles. The library is free of charge and funded by donations only.
Who says reading is going out of style?
CORRECTIONS The photograph that appeared on Page 2 of the June 19 edition of The Jerusalem Post was of Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, and not of MK Binyamin Ben- Eliezer. Also, the photograph on Page 10 of the same edition is of the late Saudi crown prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz, and not of the new crown prince, Salman bin Abdulaziz.