May 1: Sour grapes

Do Diskin and Dagan not realize the ammunition they give to our enemies? At least we can now see why their tenure was not extended.

Sour grapes
Sir, – In a normal democracy, people who are selected for a governmental secret operations group have to sign a document that stipulates the conditions under which they may shoot of their mouths. So now, following in the footsteps of Meir Dagan, the former head of the Mossad, Yuval Diskin, the former head of the Shin Bet, makes statements against the prime minister and defense minister – under whom both were quite happy to work until their personal extension-of- service requests were turned down (“Former Shin Bet chief slams ‘messianic’ PM,” April 29).
Do Diskin and Dagan not realize the ammunition they give to our enemies? At least we can now see why their tenure was not extended. If they really believe our leadership has been misleading the public, why did they not resign? EMANUEL FISCHER
Sir, – As a member of the public that Yuval Diskin seems to consider easily duped, let me remind him that the discussion he raises about the likely effect of bombing a nuclear reactor could have been raised both at the time Israel took out the Iraqi reactor and when the Syrian reactor was taken out. However, the fact remains that on both occasions it was the end of those countries’ nuclear programs.
Can Diskin imagine what the US would have had to contend with had Iraq been allowed to continue its nuclear program? Can he imagine what the anti- Assad rebels in Syria might be contending with right now? The public is well aware that there are risks in any mission and that no outcome is certain, but Diskin’s demagogic language helps nobody. One expects a bit of common sense from an ex-Shin Bet chief.
Lyrical adjustment
Sir, – Neshama Carlebach’s “statement” in rewriting the words to Hatikva negates the centuries-old belief in a Jewish homeland (“Neshama Carlebach voices new ‘Hatikva’ at ‘Post’ conference,” April 29).
By “embracing everyone,” Carlebach is being so open-minded that she has holes in her head. She mistakes inclusiveness for appeasement, a process that never works and only begs for more.
Thousands of years of yearning are not to be erased by one’s mistaken idea of inclusiveness.
You don’t erase God’s gift to His people and the UN’s reaffirmation of Israel as the land of the Jewish people just to demonstrate to the world that we’re the good guys.
Perhaps once she and all the other Jews in the Diaspora have made aliya, the words that sustained and unified us and gave us hope for 2,000 years might be changed. But not before.
Sir, – Poor Neshama Carlebach.
Is she so innocent or misguided that she thinks all we have to do is love our neighbors and they will fall over themselves to make peace? That nonsense has been tried ad nauseam. But to change the words of Hatikva? Here’s a story for her. In West Hartford, Connecticut, where I grew up, it was a great honor to sing in the high school choir, including during the Christmas pageant, with words like, “Worship Christ, the new-born king.” I decided that my children would never have to sing such a thing, so we left the US, came to Israel and raised a family very happily.
We know what it means to be in a minority culture. The Arabs have the same choice that we did. They can sing Hatikva as is or they can find a state where they can be part of the majority.
There are lots of such states right in this neighborhood.
Shame on The Jerusalem Post for sponsoring such a travesty.
Petah Tikva
Sir, – First and foremost, Neshama Carlebach needs to heal herself. Her political correctness and good-vibe mentality is misplaced when directed at her Jewish brothers and sisters in Israel. She fails to understand that it is all about living proudly and strongly in our homeland, and never denying or stepping back from who we are or where we came from.
This is a Jewish country, the only one in the world. It is not an Israeli country. Everyone else who lives here is welcome if they accept this simple fact and make peace with it.
Invoking her father’s name is even more disturbing. Of course Reb Shlomo felt that “we have to love more,” but how about starting by loving ourselves? How about his concern and love for his own people? What she has done is the opposite.

Toppling Tal
Sir, – Your editorial “Replacing Tal” (April 29) urges a moderate approach to any replacement for the Tal Law by asserting, with zero supporting evidence, that “in another decade or two, the haredi population will have changed dramatically and significantly larger numbers will be sharing the collective burdens of the Jewish nation.”
In absolute numbers there may be more haredim both in uniform and off the bread line, but in relative numbers the percentage of those who play a productive and contributing role will remain the same.
There is no conceivable reason why a population that has successfully leveraged its demographic representation to its own advantage will discontinue doing so as its demographic power increases exponentially.
What most Israelis – the Post included – just don’t get is that haredim by and large have never accepted the idea of a Jewish state, although most would not hesitate to use the state’s misbegotten political system to its advantage. In this respect they are no different from the Arab parties.
What has to change is not the Tal Law. What has to change is the way we elect our government.
Sir, – It’s about time. If Israel is a democracy, it is the duty of every citizen to contribute to the health and safety of the nation.
It is a national disgrace that a third of Israelis do not contribute to any form of service, whether military or otherwise, yet readily accept benefits and privileges from the sweat and blood of those who daily put their lives at risk for the protection of all.
Those who are fit for the army but unable to serve in combat units should be compelled to do equal time serving in vital back-up units, such as those performing catering, cleaning and general duties.
Special civilian units should be set up for people to serve in hospitals, assist the aged and infirm, or keep their neighborhoods clean and tidy.
Sir, – Regarding new laws for the induction of haredi yeshiva students into the army, it seems a good idea to give those brave fighters who throw deadly missiles at policemen hand grenades to throw at the real enemy.
‘Post’ too right-wing
Sir, – Kudos to reader Michael Brunert for his letter (“Shame and blame,” April 23) concerning the overload of articles by extreme right-wingers, which is making it increasingly difficult to read The Jerusalem Post.
Brunert could have been even more critical, for on many days there is simply page after page of the same kind of propagandistic writing. The Post never seems to have enough of it – although once in a while it throws a sop to the other side by giving grudging (but not equal) space to a Hirsh Goodman or David Newman.
The tilt is without question toward the extreme right, and recently this has been reflected in the editorials as well. Whatever happened to the moderate Jerusalem Post of old? A return to the center is urgently required.