October 11: Honor thy father

With so many (too many) stories of children murdering their parents and cases of elder abuse, it is good to read how children should fulfill the biblical commandment to honor one’s father and mother.

Honor thy father
Sir, – Thank you for Herb Keinon’s article, “Pops or the prime minister” (Out There, October 9).
With so many (too many) stories of children murdering their parents and cases of elder abuse, it is good to read how children should fulfill the biblical commandment to honor one’s father and mother.
Herb Keinon’s article should be required reading in every family.
Autumn in the air
Sir, – Thank you, Liat Collins for your wonderfully upbeat article on the Fall holiday season in Israel (“An Israeli autumn,” My Word, October 9).
It is the unique aura of the Jewish holidays here, regardless of whether one is religious, secular or somewhere in between, that make living here in Israel so special.
May you and your loved ones have been inscribed and sealed for good year.
HAIM M. LERNER Ganei Tikva
Don’t forget Hamas
Sir, – When the doctors finally ended their strike everyone breathed a sigh of relief because they believed the doctors’ union represented all of the doctors. We now find it necessary to continue to negotiate with the resident doctors for the simple reason the union was really not the true representatives of the residents.
As Kenneth Bandler writes, by ignoring Hamas, Israel may someday find itself in the position of coming to a peace agreement with the PLO only to find out they must start from that point and continue the negotiations with Hamas if they wish to obtain the type of peace everyone really seeks (“Ignoring Hamas impedes peace,” On my Mind, October 9).
If Israel and the PLO working together cannot find a way to totally neutralize Hamas then not to include them in negotiations is a folly no one can afford.
Distressing comparisons
Sir, – You wrote (“Swastikas left at Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus,” October 7) that “right-wing politicians, settler leaders and activists... [noted that] the incident did not illicit the same outrage as the Tuba Zanghariya incident.”
Is this surprising? If the vandals had burned down the tomb, the two incidents would be comparable but they did not – this time.
On the other hand, it is heartening that the spokesman of leftwing group Gush Shalom, Adam Keller, should say: “Joseph’s Tomb at the heart of the city of Nablus is a place sacred to Judaism, and the desire of religious Jews to visit it is completely legitimate.”
Arab control is not likely to be a guarantee if the record of the Jordanian occupation between 1948 and 1967 is a precedent.
Not recognizing this is, unfortunately, an example of the ostrichlike wishful thinking all too common in such “peace loving” circles of the left.
Salford, UK
Sir, – I was greatly distressed by the different treatment accorded in your newspaper on October 7 to a murderous attack by Palestinians against Jews and to the desecration of a Jewish holy site in comparison to your coverage of the arson attack on the mosque in Tuba Zanghariya (“Jewish teen held for Galilee mosque arson”).
You placed the mosque arson attack at the top of the front page with a large headline referring to the arrest of a Jewish suspect.
Below this, in much smaller type, was a headline referring to the arrest of two Palestinians who confessed to carrying out what amounted to the murder of Asher Palmer and his infant son Jonathan (“2 Palestinians confess to throwing rock that killed father and son”).
I then had to search the entire newspaper before finally finding, at the bottom of page 19(!) an article about the desecration of Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus were swastikas were scrawled on the walls.
Human life is more valuable than any building, however holy, whether Jewish, Christian or Muslim.
If you felt that the arrest of the suspect in the mosque arson case deserved prominent front page coverage then so did the desecration of Joseph’s Tomb. It goes without saying that the burning or desecration of a Jewish holy place, cemetery or synagogue is just as disgraceful and worthy of condemnation as an attack against a Christian or Muslim holy site.
Please rectify your priorities.
A regrettable past?
Sir, – Uri Savir’s record as an initiator of the Oslo Accords should disqualify him from ever giving political advice again (“It’s about peace,” Savir’s Corner, October 7).
If there is one thing that 99 percent of Israelis wish they could do over again, it’s Oslo. Before Oslo, our terrorist opponents were defeated and their leaders safely quarantined in Algeria.
Ongoing negotiations were in process with indigenous Palestinian leaders, which at best could have generated a peace agreement with people we could live with, at worst could have prolonged the status quo.
The Oslo Accords were the most disastrous move ever made by any state against much weaker opponents: It revived a defeated Arafat to hero status, thus teaching the Palestinians that they need never abandon their objective of destroying Israel.
Savir’s article corroborates his status as a political incompetent.
The crux of his article with regard to Israel is that military expenditures are so high that nothing remains for so-called “social justice.”
Nothing could be further from the truth. Israel spends infinitely more on a per capita basis than any other Western country, and has succeeded in expanding its economy, and developing its resources.
Sure peace would be nice, but the Oslo route – Israel gives and the PA takes – is a non-starter.
We’ve been there and done that and it didn’t work.
Ma’aleh Adumim
Sir, – Again and again Savir teaches us about what we are to do to achieve peace. He talks about soul-searching – of course he means “ours.”
Atonement according to our sages consists of first recognizing a sin; second, admitting of having committed it; and third, to promise not to do it again.
Savir should first recognize, that HIS Oslo was a huge mistake, which heavily harmed the State of Israel.
Errare humanum est.
To admit an error seems to be inhuman.
Posturing and punditry
Sir, – Nili Ben-Gigi and Yisrael Medad are far too soft in their criticism of left-wing journalists – and most are – who deviate from reportage and ex post facto analysis into the realm of attempting to dictate outcomes (“Whatever happened to that ‘diplomatic tsunami’?,” Comment & Features, October 6).
That this is not journalism is beside the point, as is the empirical fact that such punditry is mostly wrong yet rarely held accountable.
It is no coincidence that rational, centrist thinking is more typical of the business, political and military sectors while liberal/leftist thinking and knee-jerk radicalism are more typical of artists, academics and journalists.
While the former have the apparent decision-making power that comes with real wealth, elected office or genuine command, the latter perceive themselves as weak and ineffectual. At the same time they are highly intelligent, and resent their sense of ultimate irrelevance. Hence their postures and posturings are the predictable tantrums of those who need to be heard and crave respect.
To this end, their only hope is by serving as contrarians and stirring the pot, if this is what it takes to be noticed. Agreeing with the prevailing zeitgeist would render them not only irrelevant but ignored.