June 5: Yes to IBA News

I hope that all English speakers in Israel will join me in helping IBA News employees keep the jobs they do so well.

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Never be the same
Sir, – Israel and the US have weathered countless, and often major, diplomatic crises and differences over the years, but certain core values – especially attitudes toward terrorism and terrorist organizations – ultimately won the day. So if nothing else, we could always count on the Americans to stand by us against attempts to legitimize terrorist organizations.
Now, the headline “US agrees to work with new Fatah-Hamas government” (June 3) clearly illustrates that this common value is no longer valid.
Even more disturbing and sinister is how quickly after its formation the State Department publicly announced the administration’s intent “to work with this government.” This clearly indicates that the Obama administration supported Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s plan to reconcile with Hamas all along.
Whether we like it or not, the US-Israeli alliance will never be the same. We can no longer depend on American support in any international forum or movement where there are calls for anti-Israel resolutions, boycotts, divestments and the like. The quicker we realize this and act accordingly (despite the diplomatic deluge we will face), the stronger and more self-sufficient we will become.
Hatzor Haglilit
Sir, – I wonder, when US Secretary of State John Kerry and President Barack Obama keep telling us not to worry and that they are watching our back, whether they are looking for a knife to stick into it.
It is hard to imagine that we can trust the United States to be an honest broker, considering the fact that these two are ready to sit down with our worst enemies and treat them as if they do no wrong. Maybe some of this will sink in with Justice Minister and chief peace negotiator Tzipi Livni and her cohorts on the Left, and bring them out of the dream world they live in.

Sir, – With regard to “Ex-British chief rabbi Sacks wins Guardian of Zion Award” (June 3), the latest figures, if correct, show that a very high percentage of members of the British Jewish community either no longer consider themselves Jewish or have no interest in Israel. Also, BDS and other anti-Israel forces are rampant there.
When their ex-leader decides to leave and be an example to his constituents, surely Israel would be the choice, not America.
Some “Guardian of Zion!”

Population group
Sir, – As an Israeli Zionist I would like to thank my Jewish brother from Berkeley, Rabbi Menachem Creditor, for his forthright statements addressing the greatest danger to Israel – the threat from Jewish fundamentalism (“Healing our abused Jewish soul,” Comment & Features, June 3).
However, when Rabbi Creditor states that 64 percent of “Israel’s population identifies as not religious,” he probably means that 64% of “Israel’s Jewish population” feels this way. He is inadvertently insulting 20% of our citizens who are not Jewish.
While Rabbi Creditor is my Jewish brother and I will be happy to receive him as a citizen should he prefer to live with us, Israeli Palestinians are my brothers today as citizens of Israel, and Rabbi Creditor will have no more rights than they should he join them as a citizen.
Inapt phrase
Sir, – In “Actress Ann B. Davis, ‘Brady Bunch’ housekeeper, dies” (Arts & Entertainment, June 3), Will Dunham of Reuters wrote that she “aptly died on Sunday at the age of 88.”
Forgive my ignorance but I cannot determine what in particular was “apt” – that she should die at all, that she died on a Sunday, that she died at the age of 88, or, perhaps, that she died on a Sunday at age 88. These options clearly do not exhaust all the possible interpretations of this inapt phrase.
What am I missing here? Or, rather, what did the editors miss? NORMAN M. MESKIN Jerusalem Not well spent Sir, – I note with some misgivings that the cabinet voted to give over $1 billion to Jewish identity organizations in the Diaspora so that somehow marginal Jews will retain the knowledge that they are Jews (“Cabinet okays budget for Diaspora outreach program,” June 2).
This is not money well spent.
The greatest success in having Jews understand that being Jewish is a most wonderful heritage and that the Land of Israel is God’s unique promise to the Jewish people is to have them come and visit Israel. No lecture is as good.
The Birthright program has had the greatest success because the Land of Israel is so special. Money should be spent in making trips available to families as well as to young people. Give families special hands-on projects so that family members will have a stake in what they do here. Young people can help in projects relating to the armed forces.
Make personal identity with Israel relevant. Diaspora Jews do not need lectures. They need Israel. Let us think outside the box if we want to save Jewry, and do so intelligently.
Way to a temple
Sir, – There has been a flurry of news and opinion items on a possible joint bill in the Knesset aimed at ending the discrimination against Jews wishing to pray on the Temple Mount. We are also happy with any progress toward our human rights regarding access and freedom of prayer there. We respect, admire and appreciate the educational work that people like Rabbi Chaim Richman are doing; they bravely lead – in a safe and legal way – people up to the Temple Mount.
My point, however, is that we should not forget the main and central theme of Jewish oral and written Torah on this issue: It is not about modifying rules in the Knesset or enforcing court orders.
It is not essentially about confrontation.
It is about education.
A little light disperses much darkness. This is the motto of a people that needs to be a light unto the nations. Our sources cry out that if we were to properly teach and reach the nations, if we were to inform them of the abundant blessings that would flow from a prayerful Temple Mount service, they would actually force us to build it, and pronto! Education and enlightenment are the essential elements to bring another temple of justice, peace and tolerance into our reality zone, the Earthly Jerusalem.
Yes to IBA News

Sir, – Instead of being able to see the English TV news one recent afternoon, there was a message on the screen that the employees were protesting the shutdown of the Israel Broadcasting Authority – and quite rightly so. There was no address provided for voicing private protests, so I am writing to you.
It seems to me that English-speaking residents of Israel are being discriminated against. We have a brief news broadcast and then an extended news broadcast at 5 p.m., and no broadcasts over the weekend.
I would suggest that this is a minimal service for English speakers.
I hope that all English speakers in Israel will join me in helping IBA News employees keep the jobs they do so well, and that we will continue to receive our few moments of recognition as Israelis.
Talmei Yosef