October 17: Chip off the old rock

A rock thrown by a 12-year-old can kill just as easily as one thrown by a 20-year-old.

letters 88 (photo credit: )
letters 88
(photo credit: )
Chip off the old rock
Sir, – In Melanie Lidman’s report (“Jerusalem police: We will hold parents responsible for boys who throw stones,” October 14) Shmuel Ben-Ruby, the Jerusalem Police District spokesman, says: “We will not arrest the parents [of kids under the age of 12 who throw stones]... but we do want to make them be responsible for their kids.”
Did it ever occur to Ben-Ruby that hate for the Jews and Israel start with the parents’ influence and words at home? These parents are directly responsible for their children throwing rocks. At least one of the parents should spend time in jail, and a large fine should be levied on them.
Their children should be taken from their home and environment and placed in child welfare care, where they will be taught not to endanger lives and to act like responsible people.
A rock thrown by a 12-year-old can kill just as easily as one thrown by a 20-year-old.
Ma’aleh Adumim
Hear, O Barry
Sir, – Barry Leff, cochairman of the board of Rabbis for Human Rights, claims that Judaism does not require its adherents to make a statement of his/her belief in God (“The loyalty oath is contrary to Jewish values,” October 14).
Had Leff read the second of the Ten Commandments and further, he would be cognizant of the fact that the Jews pledged allegiance to God and to His Torah.
The first words a Jewish child is taught and the last that a Jew utters are those of the “Shema,” a loyalty oath also taken twice a day and an affirmation of fealty to God.
More illegal structures
Sir, – Regarding the possible demolition of illegal Arab homes in Silwan (“State comptroller criticizes municipality for illegal structure increase in Arab Silwan neighborhood,” October 14), the only way to legitimize such demolition is by applying the law equally to all parts of Israel’s capital.
This should begin with the evacuation and total demolition of the Holyland project, which is a vastly greater crime and an infinitely greater eyesore than anything being perpetrated by Arabs on the other side of town.
By demolishing Holyland and making that plot of land a public park in perpetuity, the municipality would deliver a powerful message that there is no double standard when it comes to illegal construction – not between Arab and Jew, and not between big money and small.
The idea that great crimes should go less punished than minor ones is a disgrace.
Recognizing the verbiage
Sir, – How are we to understand Bill Clinton’s accusation that children of Russians in Israel are against the division of the land (“Why ‘Russians’ in Israel don’t want peace,” October 12)? Did it ever enter Clinton’s mind that it is precisely the immigrants from the former Soviet Union, who grew up under totalitarian regimes that cloaked themselves in slogans and cliches of lofty idealism, that recognize when real peace is being sacrificed for a pot of verbiage which will only result in disaster for the parties involved?
Petah Tikva
Jewish and democratic?
Sir, – Ever since 1948, the world has recognized Israel as the Jewish state, since in the eye of the Gentile beholder Israel, despite its large Arab minority, is identified for better or worse with the Jewish people and will always be so.
But do we citizens of Israel recognize Israel as a Jewish state – Jewish in the sense of following a Jewish way of life as laid down by tradition? What we have today is a country riven by political differences, by large-scale social distress and poverty, and an increasing and deeply disturbing prevalence of crime, lawlessness, corruption and promiscuity.
We still have a long way to go before we can truly call this a Jewish state and “a light unto the nations.”
If by democracy we mean the ability to shout and criticize one another at the top of our voices whenever we please, and to split our national unity into a gaggle of conflicting parties, then we can indeed call ourselves democratic.
A truly Jewish state should be marked by social unity, conciliation and tolerance.
Lieberman ad hominem
Sir, – The proverbial power elite in this country are sharpening their knives against Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman of the Israel Beiteinu Party (“Israel needs a real foreign minister,” October 7).
The latest attack comes because Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s cabinet has proposed a law requiring naturalized citizens to take an oath of loyalty to Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.
This proposal is one that Lieberman and his party have been backing for a long time.
Actually, Lieberman is being attacked because he is not a member of the social and political establishment.
He is fiercely independent and Russian.
Let us beware of attacking individuals rather than having normal discussion of policies.
Sir, – It is inconceivable that a foreign minister – who is responsible for setting out the policy of his government – should address the United Nations General Assembly by putting forth his own agenda, in direct contradiction to the policy of the government he purports to represent! It is also inconceivable that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu not dismiss Foreign Minister Lieberman from his government.
Obviously, in our perilous electoral system, the prime minister does not wish to endanger his coalition, but neither should he allow Israel’s policy on peace talks to become a laughing stock.
Kicked herself in the foot
Sir, – Surely Israel would have served her own interests much better, had she allowed Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead Corrigan- Maguire to enter the country on September 28 and hold meetings until October 6 (“State orders Maguire to leave immediately, after failed appeal,” October 5).
Since the Supreme Court allowed her to stay until that date, why stop her from meeting with some Israelis and Palestinians? She might then have left the country with a better idea of Israel’s needs.
By kicking her out, Israel kicked herself in the foot!
Kudos to ZAKA
Sir, – It was interesting and emotionally moving to read Yehuda Meshi-Zahav’s article to mark 10 years of ZAKA activities (“Barrels of blood,” October 5).
I would like to say bravo to these selfless men who made themselves available at all times to assist in the horrific task of bringing honor to the dead and the unfortunate families.
The article gives the reader just a small insight into what these amazing men endured.
Petah Tikva
Self-respect is dignified
Sir, – We could not disagree more with Jeremy Rubin regarding the non-attendance of an Israeli representative at Obama’s UN speech during Succot (“UN-dignified,” September 27).
By not attending Israel displayed a healthy dose of self-respect. We can hardly expect anyone to recognize us, let alone respect us, as a Jewish state if we do not respect our own Jewish religious traditions and values.
No more ‘tzores’
Sir, – Regarding Gil Shefler’s report “Soros a secret J Street donor since ‘08,” (September 26): If J Street were to fold, it would have no more tzores with Soros.