June 3: Bent priorities

Our readers respond to the Jerusalem Post's recent stories.

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Bent priorities
Sir, – In “Cabinet okays budget for Diaspora outreach program” (June 2) you state that the cabinet approved an initiative to the tune of billions of dollars over the next two decades to finance Jewish identity programs around the world. In “IDF faces major cuts as it’s no longer bulletproof in budget battle” (June 2) you say these cuts will make it harder to protect the Jewish state.
Certainly, it’s nice that we’re considering financing Jewish identity programs around the world, but not if it will be at the expense of major cuts to our IDF. These cuts will make it harder to protect Israel.
We have to think of our country before financing programs outside Israel. Let’s get our priorities straight.
Darwin help us
Sir, – I read The Jerusalem Post online every morning and evening. I was surprised to read that Israel was now implementing the teaching of evolution (“Middle-school pupils to learn evolutionary theory,” June 2).
Tears came to my eyes and my heart. I prayed immediately: Let the teachers speak and no voice be heard! Today Israel is surrounded by enemies and it is getting worse every day. When the next war comes (and it will), are you going to pray to Darwin for victory?
Owings Mills, Maryland

Get it right
Sir, – Regarding “Israel Broadcasting Authority employees to hold protest demonstration today,” June 2), many examples of lack of accountability on the part of employees can be cited. Often, the needs and interests of the viewer/listener are ignored.
Sometimes, it is downright embarrassing. For instance, some of the employees connected to the English television news have only a passing acquaintance with Hebrew. They often mispronounce names, places, etc. No one in authority seems to do anything to correct or help them. An especially egregious example is an anchorwoman who, in reporting sports, substitutes “Hapwell” for “Hapoel.”
Where is management when this occurs? BENJAMIN LERNER

No doubt sincere
Sir, – Rabbi Uri Regev (“Hypocrisy and self-righteousness,” Comment & Features, June 2) criticizes Chief Rabbi David Lau.
Living in Modi’in, we were fortunate to see Rabbi Lau work equitably with Jews from across the spectrum of religious observance.
I never heard anyone question his sincerity. In a personal dilemma I was struck by his insightful sensitivity to conflicting halachic and family objectives, showing respect to each.
Isn’t that the challenge? A leader focused on his mission while being respectful to others? Rabbi Regev endorses Christmas trees in kosher establishments, Jewish leaders praying at the Vatican and increasing non-Jewish prayer at King David’s Tomb. He crosses the line from cooperation to pandering.
Rabbi Regev must have missed “Lau calls Reform rabbis his brothers in NY meeting” (May 18), in which the chief rabbi, during a meeting attended by Orthodox, Conservative and Reform rabbis, was quoted as stating: “All of us here are brothers.”

Used clichés
Sir, – Regarding “After several delays, PA says it will present unity government tomorrow” (June 1), let’s be serious: With or without Hamas, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was never in a position to negotiate any serious compromise to advance any chance of peace. Of course, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is also to blame.
Bibi is tied down by half the Likud and by Bayit Yehudi Leader Naftali Bennett. So from the start, the so-called negotiations were doomed – with Hamas or without.
The EU will, of course, continue its relations with Abbas, and soon the US will also fall in; all understand that currently there is no chance of any solution to the conflict.
For Israel, the best now is the status quo, as long as its lasts. But based on Bibi’s performance in appointing the governor of the Bank of Israel, and more recently his shameful conduct in the presidential election, the inclusion of Hamas adds to his cause, hoping that as with Moses and Korach, the earth will open and swallow our foes.
We need a change, new ideas and realistic objectives, and maybe a new leader who is willing to change the used clichés.

No threat at all
Sir, – I read with interest “US Jews not threatened by anti-Semitism, ex-Reform chief Yoffie says in ‘Time’ essay” (June 1).
Could somebody please explain to me whether or not the non-release of Jonathan Pollard is anti-Semitism? Spies and now terrorists are being released after committing much worse crimes against the US.
Kiryat Ata
Sir, – I wonder if Jewish students on American campuses feel the same as ex-Reform chief Eric Yoffie. I think maybe not!
Petah Tikva

And about Pollard...
Sir, – Gil Hoffman interviewed Jack Rosen, the American Jewish Congress president (“Clinton friend: She’s ‘ready’ on foreign policy,” May 25). Anticipating that President Shimon Peres’s efforts aimed at freeing Jonathan Pollard unfortunately would once again be met with US President Barack Obama’s cruel, hateful, silent arrogance, Hoffman asked what Hillary Clinton would do on the matter if elected.
Mr. Rosen tactfully side-stepped, explaining that both Obama and former president Bill Clinton didn’t release Pollard because of pressure from “the intelligence community.” He further explained that an easing of views could help Hillary Clinton find an avenue to have Pollard released.
Mr. Rosen, you no doubt mean well, but aren’t you fearful that Clinton, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Secretary of State John Kerry and Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada are that “intelligence community?”
Zichron Ya’acov

Missing Maya
Sir, – With regard to “Maya Angelou’s TV legacy, from ‘Roots’ to ‘Sesame Street’” (Arts & Entertainment, June 1), very few people really know how to manipulate the English language and turn it into music to the ears. Maya Angelou was the epitome of such talent.
She was an indefatigable women who overcame hard times and produced volumes of literature as well as dance and music. Once she entered my heart, she entered my English lessons.
My students have been exposed to Maya’s point of view of the power of women, in poetic form. They have also discovered that the Hafetz Haim would be proud of how Maya’s “The Power of Words” concurs with the laws of slander.
I suggest that readers listen to a few of the interviews she had with Oprah Winfrey, and to her readings her own works. She will be missed.
Ginot Shomron
The writer is an English teacher at Ulpanat Lehava.
Other way around
Sir, – In articles critical of Israel one often finds the idea that the Palestinians are an indigenous people, while the Jews are invading colonialists from Europe. In fact, it is known that the Jews maintained continuity in their homeland for the past 2,000 years, so it can be maintained that in fact it was the Arabs/Muslims/Palestinians who were the invaders of Jewish territory.
One wonders why the Israeli government does not find a way to integrate this history of Jewish continuity in the homeland into the hasbara (public diplomacy) it currently uses. One might think it would improve the country’s reputation in the world, as the Jews would be represented as a people defending its homeland while its current adversaries would be seen as the long-term occupiers of Jewish territory.