May 26: Eat Jewishly, young man

I am delighted to hear that we did not pay for Rahm Emanuel's restaurant party in Eilat.

letters (photo credit: JP)
(photo credit: JP)
Eat Jewishly, young man
Sir, – I am delighted to hear that we did not pay for Rahm Emanuel's restaurant party in Eilat (“Tourism Ministry: Shellfish wasn’t on us,” May 25). Mr. Emanuel makes enough money, and the members of his party, I presume, were not indigent.
However, he and his party are here to celebrate a bar mitzva. Kashrut observance is one of the great laws of Judaism, and the whole point of becoming a bar mitzva is for the young man to undertake to observe the religion’s tenets.
Not above the law
Sir, – The editor of Haaretz says it’s a matter of principle not to put Uri Blau on trial for receiving and publishing state secrets that seemingly can endanger all Israelis (“Anat Kamm espionage trial begins in Tel Aviv,” May 25).
This argument, prevalent throughout the media world, seems to say that journalists are above the law. I know that journalists have exposed corruption and criminality, but every case should be judged on its merits, and in the case of state secrets being revealed, the full force of the law should be brought to bear.
    CYRIL ATKINS    Beit Shemesh
Take it back
Sir, Caroline Glick so eloquently articulated my personal feelings of rage and frustration at our government's impotence and highly irresponsible negligence vis a vis its feeble response to the Palestinian narrative, which is becoming increasingly effective in its delegitimization and negation of Israel (“Reclaiming language from the Left,” May 25).
Nazi propaganda vilifying Jews aggressively intensified anti-Semitism and resulted in the killing of 50 million people, including the Final Solution. In light of this horrific precedent, surely it behooves those of our many accomplished and resourceful citizens to mount an aggressive PR offensive to neutralize the hate fest and lies of our enemies.
This initiative should be taken immediately and financed accordingly. Please note, Prime Minister Netanyahu!
    GISH TRUMAN ROBBINS    Pardesiya
Sir, – In addition to misusing the "terminology of human rights," the Left puts its faith in third parties while at the same time hoping they’ll take steps to thwart the policies of an elected government. For what reason do we have our own state, then?
    BARRY LYNN    Efrat
A little consistency, please
Sir, – The attack against Shas chairman Eli Yishai by haredi extremists should fill us with dismay and anger (“Yishai pelted with stones, eggs,” May 25).
There is no more conclusive evidence of the gross hypocrisy and self-serving interests of these extremists than a comparison of their fury over the bones at Ashkelon’s Barzilai Hospital and their deafening silence about the removal of graves from Gush Katif. The removal of entire Jewish cemeteries from Gush Katif not only dishonored the dead, but also shattered our national integrity.
The continuing criminal behavior of these extremists, coupled with an apparent indifference among their rabbinic leadership, make them all party to the grievous sin of desecrating God's name.
    ZEV CHAMUDOT    Petah Tikva
See for yourselves
Sir, – To those judges who are deciding the fate of opening Route 443 to the entire population – I challenge them to drive the road back and forth all day, without their security detail (“Easing Palestinian traffic restrictions gains little praise from anyone,” May 25). After that, they can make an informed, logical and safe decision.
    REBECCA RAAB    Ma'aleh Adumim
If you can dish it out...
Sir, -- The expansive Page 2 ad by the New Israel Fund attacking NGO Monitor (May 24) is an interesting phenomenon. If memory doesn't fail me, the NIF has never made such a publicity splash, even to defend Palestinians from Israeli "fascism" and "apartheid." Why now?
Until recently, the NIF and its fundees felt it was their God-given right to criticize without being criticized. NGO Monitor and other watchdog groups are now saying that no organizations or personages in our democracy are above criticism.
The shortcomings of the NIF and its dependent agencies should be part of the public debate.
    DOUG GREENER    Jerusalem
First, peace at home
Sir, – In preliminary, indirect talks with American envoy George Mitchell as the intermediary (“Palestinians, Israel agree in principle to land exchange, Abbas reveals,” May 23), how can the sides reach concrete, solid conclusions regarding borders when the Palestinians do not have their house in order?
Dissenting members in any family create disharmony, disunity and dysfunction. Infighting precludes any meaningful, long-term relationships with those outside the family.
Only when Hamas and Fatah become one indivisible, politically functioning body representing the entire Palestinian people can such a body politic move forward with credible, reliable and meaningful accords relative to borders.
    YOEL NITZARIM    Skokie, Illinois
Organization or disorganization?
Sir, – I was greatly surprised to see Prof. Gerald Steinberg’s attack on a conference he participated in two weeks ago at Tel Aviv University on the topic of academic freedom (“Israel’s academic Left on the attack,” May 18).
Prof. Steinberg was himself part of the organizing committee. He was consulted at every stage on the appropriate speakers and also made his own recommendations as to lecturers who would represent alternative positions. The conference was balanced, and he himself made a presentation that expressed his views.
His attack on the conference participants does a great disservice to the cause of free speech and academic exchange.
    Prof. Daniel Bar-Tal    Tel Aviv
Steinberg replies: While I was initially asked and agreed to be on the organizing committee, I was consulted once, and my suggestions for a balanced discussion were ignored. When the program was published, I was surprised by the highly politicized list of speakers and realized that this had been an academic ambush.

Influence overlooked
 Sir, – I find it surprising that in The Jerusalem Post’s list of "The 50 most influential Jews in the world" (Shavuot supplement, May 18), no rabbi (with the exception of Britain's Jonathan Sacks) made it into the ratings.
What about Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, whose every utterance is like a holy decree to hundreds of thousands of Jews.? It seems to me that he is a little more influential than a basketball player with the Sacramento Kings.
    PAUL KOHN    Herzliya
Sir, – It was interesting to read your list of the world’s 50 most influential Jews and the comments you received.
Evidently, such a list is never perfect. Nevertheless, I would like topoint out that there hardly is a man or a woman of music, culture orthe arts. Does not Amos Oz belong on this list?
Furthermore, it contains hardly any outstanding Jews in the formerSoviet Union. Needless to say, I am aware of Natan Sharansky andAvigdor Lieberman, but they now live in Israel.
    Tel Aviv
    The writer is a former MK
A proposal for peace
Sir, – The nation of Israel cannot let the Palestinians and theirallies continue to upset its peaceful life. The Palestinians will notaccept Israel’s right to territory. There is one answer: Separate thetwo nations.
Let the land-rich countries of Jordan, Iran, Syria and Lebanon givesome of their territory for a state of Palestine. Then let Israelishelp the Palestinians turn it into a capable, viable state with a goodeconomy, good government and productive lands.
The Palestinians have never before had a land of their own. Give themone – but not land already belonging to Israel. Iran can finance this.The process will give the whole area a well-needed break from violence,distrust, death  and sadness. All the money being spent on arms wouldgo to a much better cause.
I pray daily for the peace of Jerusalem and for all its peoples.

Palmwoods, Australia