October 27: Nothing to talk about

Since when does the enemy make the demands? No wonder the world questions our rights here.

Sir, – “The moment Israel declares a cessation of settlement construction and agrees to a timeline for withdrawing to the 1967 borders we will go back to the negotiations,” says Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat (“PA: We don’t want goodwill gestures,” October 25).
Since when does the enemy make the demands? No wonder the world questions our rights here. What is wrong with us that we no longer have faith in ourselves? Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas states categorically that we have no place here – and we behave like dhimmis.
Oh, and another thing: There is and never was anything to talk about. My country is not up for negotiation.
No to horse breeding
Sir, – Regarding “Agriculture Ministry slammed for promoting breeding of horses” (October 25), the state currently struggles to enforce laws regarding drugs, mafia infestation, the trafficking of women for the illicit sex industry, and the mistreatment of animals in the areas of food production and product testing, among other social ills.
The importation of horse racing and legalization of gambling would not only add another crime-ridden industry to our already overburdened regulators, it would take us farther from a society that expresses Jewish ideals.
ADAM FRANK Jerusalem The writer is a rabbi and chairperson of Hakol Chai – Education and Action to Help Animals in Israel
Sir, – A US Jockey Club-commissioned study found that only 22 percent of people think favorably about horse racing, in part due to its inherent cruelty and corruption, and that if current trends continue, its fan base will drop 64% by 2020 and horse owners will lose 50% of their income.
Why does Israel seek to enter an industry in decline? Experts testifying at Congressional hearings on widespread drugging, the high number of catastrophic breakdowns and deaths, brutal whippings and more, said that all regulations and laws have been unable to stop the abuse. It is true in every country where this industry-based-on-greed exists.
Also, would Israel enter the horse slaughtering business for those animals not fast enough for racing? Either one is a gruesome prospect.
NINA NATELSON Alexandria, Virginia The writer is director of Concern for Helping Animals in Israel (CHAI)
Celebs and homework
Sir, – I wish to welcome actor Jason Alexander to Israel (“Costanza gets serious,” October 25). His obvious caring for Israel and desire to help bring about peace is commendable.
Nevertheless, I find it problematic when high-profile celebrities with a very limited understanding of the situation get involved.
I implore you, Jason: Do your homework. Read all sides of the argument. By capitulating to demands of so-called moderates we are playing national suicide.
Israel regrettably destroyed the Gush Katif settlements and in return got thousands of missiles.
It let out over 1,000 terrorists to get back one dear soldier, and already the number of terror attacks is on the rise. This is what Israel gets when being “moderate.”
If you really want to help Israel, do not try to take advantage of your celebrity status and pressure us into making dangerous concessions.
I believe you love and care about Israel and your fellow Jews. Please take the time to really learn about the conflict, and enjoy your stay in our home, the Land of Israel.
Soak the rich
Sir, – Daniel Doron says: “Capitalism is in crisis, but why?” (Comment & Features, October 25 ). I can tell him why, if he really doesn’t know.
Any system in which one child in every three goes to bed hungry has to be in trouble. A system in which doctors have to go on strike in order to get what they deserve salary-wise is certainly in trouble.
I could go on and on to list all the ills of our capitalist system, but they’re pretty clear.
Yes, soak the rich. Why not? Taking an extra 15-20 percent from their bloated incomes won’t hurt them much but would help the rest of society.
Not in the beard
Sir, – In “Dear Man...,” Comment & Features, October 25), Shoshanna Keats Jaskoll warns: Beware, girls today are not as naive as their grandmothers and have attained those manly attributes of education, wisdom and pride.
Not all men are alike, though. I was well trained by my grandmother, who on more than one occasion admonished the elders of our community: Der Yiddishkeit is nisht in de bord (Jewishness is not in the beard).
Deep deterrence
Sir, – Louis René Beres (“The hidden meanings of jihadist terrorism,” Comment & Features, October 25) indirectly tells us how to combat Arab terrorism.
Since it is fueled by a religious desire for eternal life, we should remove that incentive. The British taught us how to do that in the 1930s: Execute terrorists, wrap their bodies in pigskin and bury them in unmarked graves. That stopped terrorist attacks in weeks.
We can do the same, all quite legally.
No compassion, please
Sir, – In his October 25 column (“What’s next?,” Encountering Peace), Gershon Baskin is to be credited for admitting that he has no idea what’s going to happen after the deal for Schalit.
Unfortunately, that is where reality ends and wishful thinking begins.
Baskin insists on the same old leftist formula for solving the Israeli-Arab conflict, in this case by rewarding Hamas with an end to the Gaza blockade. He conveniently ignores the continued arms smuggling, future attempts to kidnap soldiers, and rocket fire into Israel.
Baskin should heed our rabbis when they say that “he who feels compassion for the cruel will be cruel to the compassionate.”
A bit let down
Sir, – Your paper recently gave a rave review to a restaurant called L’entrecote de Paris (“Succulent steak and a secret sauce,” Billboard, October 14). Based on this review, my family and I, on a visit to Israel during the intermediate days of Succot, gave it a try.
I can honestly say that the meal was superb – that is, as compared to the typical fare served on Aeroflot. In economy class. Prior to perestroika.
One could argue de gustibus non disputandum est (in matters of taste there is no dispute), which surely explains the spectacular success of Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, McDonalds, et al. However, there can be no confusing an entrecote steak sourced from the rib eye with its far lowlier cousin, which derives from the contrefilet or sirloin. We were served the latter and, frankly, the words hard, leather and tasteless don’t begin to do justice to what was served up. I pity the cow that was slaughtered for a meal of such dismal quality.
The secret sauce, meanwhile, brought tears to my eyes. Literally.
I can only imagine that the constituent ingredients would be of interest only to repressive governments seeking a diabolical new weapon for crowd control. Add to that a fois gras that was first delivered burnt and whose replacement was cold, coupled with frites that required a stiff dose of Viagra – and you begin to understand our collective disappointment.