November 1: Laws should be reciprocal

Laws exist in the State of Israel that discriminate against Jews in favor of Arabs. The rule of reciprocity should be applied.

Laws should be reciprocal
Sir, – Regarding your editorial of October 29, 2010, “Equitable housing plans for Jews and Arabs”: The rights of both Jews and Arabs should be reciprocal.
It is a capital offense for an Arab to sell his property to a Jew, but it is lawful for a Jew to sell his property to an Arab.
Jews are not permitted to live in or even enter parts of Israel designated as “Area A.” They are reserved for Arabs and non-Jews.
Jews are not permitted to pray on the Temple Mount, whereas Arabs openly pray there, despite the fact that the Temple Mount area has been holy to the Jews since Temple times, long before the establishment of Islam and certainly long before the Arab presence there was established.
Laws exist in the State of Israel that discriminate against Jews in favor of Arabs. The rule of reciprocity should be applied.

Prevent tragedy: immobilize
Sir, – Regarding “16-year-old unlicensed driver and friend killed in joy ride” (October 28): Such a terrible tragedy could sadly very easily occur again with others if indeed 13 percent of teenagers admit to driving without a license.
Parents with teenager children should all install immobolizers in their cars which require a code to be keyed in before the car will start. The code should be known only to the parents and should be changed at regular intervals.
There are many other devices which protect against unauthorized use and thus act as a barrier against the temptation of taking the keys and driving illicitly. Such devices are effective also against burglaries and are a good preventative measure.
Perhaps the government should force all car owners to install such devices.
Kiryat Ono
The intolerance of the far Left
Sir, – In “American Psychos” (Rattling the cage, October 28) Larry Derfner expresses the extraordinary intolerance that seems characteristic of the American Left.
He refers to the Republican Party as “deranged,” and the Tea Party movement as “crackpots” and “freaks.” He goes on to insult Glen Beck, Sarah Palin and the Republican Party in general.
His ridiculing does little to raise the level of discourse.
There has rarely been a period in American political life in which one side has so demonized the other and seems incapable of believing that there are those who may simply disagree with them.
Sir, – Kudos to Larry Derfner for exposing the attitudes of – the Democrats and the Democratic leadership.
Some of the numerous condescending and patronizing remarks – typical of the Democratic elite – that Derfner makes about the American people in his article include: “It amazes me how gullible American voters are,” and “Glenn Beck brainwashes millions every day.”
Translation: The majority of Americans don’t agree with the Democrats’ policies and want to unseat them. Therefore, Americans are just, well, dumb.
Sir, – I choose to believe in the integrity of the vast majority of the scientists involved in Torah codes, but they have invested so much energy into their projects that they seem to have lost any possibility to think about them scientifically, objectively.
The letter by Harold Gans and Art Levitt (“Codes without magic,” Letters, October 31) is a case in point in two respects.
The correspondents note that the codes “exist and are not a mere coincidence.”
That is true, but the opposite is also true! These codes exist but cannot be proved to have any significance, because one cannot do statistics on a collection of one (one Torah text).
Peer review in three scientific journals and a number of Torah authorities support their work, but this statement is the result of cherry-picking – a major sin for statisticians! A significant number of people in the know completely reject their work if it claims to be more that just art and beautiful.
‘I felt utterly cast down’
Sir, – To deny Monique Martinek the right under the Law of Return is indeed a travesty, particularly as her grandmother was murdered by the Nazis for being born a Jew (“Disgraceful rejection of a latter-day Ruth,” Editorial, October 19). Apparently this was denied her on the grounds of evidence indicating that her grandmother had practiced Roman Catholicism.
How little the Shas bureaucracy knows of the desperate wartime situation. Some tried to deny their Judaism, others practiced or even converted to Christianity in the hope of saving their lives. I was always of the opinion that if you are born a Jew, you die a Jew – no matter what.
Fortunate to possess the “right looks,” my sister and I survived by passing for non-Jews in Warsaw.
My sister had a fake identity card, and as a boy I was armed with a baptismal certificate. It was prudent to attend church regularly to ward off any suspicion by hostile neighbors.
Having survived a long and terrible war, ironically when I planned to marry “a nice Jewish girl” I was unable to prove I was Jewish, at least not enough to convince the London Beth Din.
On one of my several visits I switched to Yiddish when addressing the rabbinical court, hoping to impress the dayanim sitting in judgment, stroking their beards – but to no avail. One of them adjudicated that as there were millions of Jews in Poland, some non-Jews must have spoken Yiddish and was no proof I was Jewish! I felt utterly cast down and can well imagine how Monique Martinek now feels.
Being the son of a kohen made it all the more difficult for me.
The wedding had to be postponed for about a year, causing much anguish to the families.
Finally, the rabbi in Brussels called my bride-to-be to tell her that he had good news for her: “The wedding can now proceed!” “With a name like Reev’n Katz,” he said, “I knew all along he could not have been anything but a Jew.”

Mystifying cruelty
Sir, – Regarding “Pollard’s lawyers file clemency request with Obama” (October 17): There is something quite mystifying about the continued solitary confinement of Jonathan Pollard in an American jail for the past 25 years.
His 25-year-old sin is quite unlikely to be of any importance whatsoever these days.
How can the US justify the cruelty of his continued imprisonment?
 So much for sanctions
Sir, – Why did the European Commission and Eurostar reward the German manufacturer Siemens for its trade ties with Iran by agreeing to buy 10 new trains (“Eurostar chooses Siemens trains,” October 8)? Siemens sold Teheran equipment which the Iranian regime used and continues to use in its subjugation of the Iranian people.
In a word
Sir, – Regarding Herb Keinon’s article, “Conversation, simplified” (Out there, October 31): Sababa.

The article by Maj.-Gen. (res.) Giora Eiland on page 5 of Sunday’s paper was based on his presentation at a recent conference on “Israel’s Critical Security Needs for a Viable Peace,” sponsored by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.