November 27: No more fooling

Birthright is intended for Jews alone, not for Christian groups that disguise themselves as Jews.

letters 88 (photo credit: )
letters 88
(photo credit: )
No more fooling Sir, - As reported in the Post, Birthright is totally correct in rejecting so-called "Messianic Jews" or "Jews for Jesus" as program participants ("Birthright screening out Messianic Jews," November 26). Birthright is intended for Jews alone and just as Christians - no matter how supportive of Israel - do not meet the criteria for participation, so too do these Christian groups that disguise themselves as Jews. This deliberate deception that they are really Jews and not Christians has succeeded all too long. The definition of a Christian is quite simple: one who accepts Jesus as the Christ (i.e. Messiah). It is time we called a Christian a Christian and stopped permitting them to put on these disguises. Perhaps they are fooling themselves, but they should not be permitted to fool us. The statement at the end of the article by a father whose son was kicked off Birthright tells it fully. He says, "The only difference is that I read the New Testament and I believe that Yeshua is the Messiah." Knowing that these groups take every opportunity to recruit others and to persuade Jews that they should believe in Jesus, it would be folly indeed for Birthright to permit them to participate. REUVEN HAMMER Jerusalem Accepting admonition Sir - Regarding Rabbi Ovadia Yossef's comments calling secular teachers 'jackasses': if Bilaam the Wicked could accept admonition from an ass - then who are we not to accept it from this rabbi? (Rabbi Ovadia Yossef: Secular teachers are 'jackasses,' " Internet Edition, November 23). DANIEL ABELMAN Jerusalem On innocence Sir, - The inevitable implication of categorizing victims of terror between "innocent" and "intended" is the bleak conclusion that non-innocents in some way have it coming to them ("Media Matters: Journalism's bang-up job," November 20). When choosing to assign degrees of culpability to specific acts of terrorism, Ruthie Blum Leibowitz might find it less "debatable" if she looked beyond the homespun gangsterism currently being played out on the streets of Israel. The desultory consequences, whether intended or not, of massacres such as Omagh in the north of Ireland, illustrate that the incidental results of terrorism are felt no less profoundly by society, the victims and their families. "Innocence" is a factor determined by a court of law. MICHAEL FLAHERTY Yavne Belonging Sir, - The pervasive misrepresentation of fact that Mahmoud Abbas adheres to in saying the "return of our land" must be refuted ("Abbas: Israel is intentionally blocking the peace process," November 25). Judea and Samaria, and Gaza, never "belonged" to the Palestinian Arabs. With the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, Great Britain assumed the Mandate for Palestine, which recognized all of the land, from river to sea, to be the Jewish homeland. When the Arabs rejected the partition plan and attacked in 1947, upon the war's end, neither Egypt nor Jordan, who were still in control of Judea and Samaria, and Gaza, respectively, entertained the notion of deferring to a Palestinian state. And in 1967, when Israel moved into those regions, she was moving into unclaimed land. What is more, there is nothing sacred about the 1967 lines that were only temporary cease-fire lines and never intended to be permanent. By no stretch of the imagination does everything on the other side of these lines "belong" to the Palestinians. ARLENE KUSHNER Jerusalem No forgetting the other side Sir, - I find coverage of the illegal activities by the Left suspiciously silent, while it is poured on the Right ("Extremist violence in Hebron area sees soldier hurt, Muslim cemetery vandalized," November 21). The Jewish owners of a building in Hebron and their right-wing supporters are continuously demonized, but there is silence about the left-wing rioters in Ni'ilin who continually attack IDF soldiers. Why not call for the arrest of those groups who support the attacks on our soldiers, instead of those who simply want to live in their homes? DAVID FEIGENBAUM Netanya Hamas for Knesset Sir, - Regarding last Friday's full-page advertisement describing the "Arab Peace Initiative" (November 21), which requires that Israel accept Arab refugees "in accordance with UN General Assembly Resolution 194" (Clause II), the Arab interpretation essentially gives every refugee the right to live in Israel. Moreover, according to Arab counting, the refugees number about 4 million. Therefore, acceptance of the "Arab Peace Initiative" would lead to nearly 6 million Arab citizens of Israel (that's including the 1.5 million Israeli Arabs), thus outnumbering the 5.5 million Israeli Jews. The PA-Hamas Knesset majority would then immediately enact two laws. First, the name of the State would be changed to Palestine to reflect the wishes of the majority. The second law would implement the often stated Arab demand that all descendants of Jews who arrived after the 1917 Balfour Declaration return to their original homeland. Arab terrorism would immediately cease because there would be no Jews left here to terrorize. Best of all, The Jerusalem Post could go back to its original name of The Palestine Post. NATHAN AVIEZER Petah Tikva Coming around Sir, - Sadegh Zibakalam's call to "Expect a decline in religious fundamentalism in Iran" (November 10) was encouraging, but the world may also witness a global decline in Islamism. The modern rise in suicide terrorism is a key sign of impending change. To understand why, one must appreciate the practical benefits that Islam traditionally bestowed on its adherents. While we may recoil morally today at early Islam's conquests, the faithful were nonetheless amply rewarded from taxes, booty and other privileges of dominance. But those swashbuckling days are long gone. Material rewards now come from more mundane pursuits: oil drilling, business or professional degrees. To compensate, there has been a shift to the more ethereal aspects of Islam for inspiration, with an emphasis on martyrdom and the afterlife. Enter suicide bombing, and one's rewards that now come in heaven. Rest assured that Muslims are no different than anyone else when it comes to their rational self-interest. They will eventually see through the malarkey and demand something better. DAVID KATCOFF Jericho, Vermont Beefed up education Sir, - I was excited to read the article describing Asaf Hefetz's plan to beef up the police ("Ex-cop turned Likud candidate outlines to Post how he'd fight crime," November 20). One thing that struck me is that he wanted to raise the basic starting salary from around NIS 4,500, which makes a lot of sense. But the way to justify that must be to recruit college graduates. The police need to publish courses and degrees that they value, and find funding to beef up their compensation packages to recruit better quality officers. MATTHEW BERMAN Herzliya