September 9: Ask forgiveness

Let's replace "haredim" with "Jews" and "kibbutzniks" with "Europe," then remind ourselves that we are approaching Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur.

letters 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
letters 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Ask forgiveness Sir, - We have finally found the solution to uniting Arabs and Israelis, and it's all thanks to the haredim. Just have them threaten to move into your neighborhood, and everyone in the vicinity will join forces against them ("Arabs, kibbutzniks forge unlikely alliance against proposed haredi city east of Hadera," September 8). "Of course," you say, "I understand that they can't all fit into Mea She'arim. Just don't send them here." It seems that after failing to find Jerusalem neighborhoods that would accept them, they try to build new communities suited to their lifestyle so as not to "bother" their Jewish brothers; but this is not acceptable, either. Nobody wants them anywhere around. Doesn't this all sound too familiar? Have these kibbutzniks already forgotten why their kibbutzim were founded in the first place? Let's replace "haredim" with "Jews" and "kibbutzniks" with "Europe," then remind ourselves that we are approaching Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, when we pray to our Maker for forgiveness. DEENA SPIGELMAN Jerusalem Haredi 'ad' Sir, - Riots against a parking lot open on Shabbat, and against autopsies; protests against the detaining of a suspected abusive mother; an attack on an Arab taxi - this summer's advertising campaign for the haredi life-style, geared toward the secular public and under way in Jerusalem, has been absolutely stunning ("Eda Haredit calls to tone down Jerusalem demonstrations," September 3). Next time there's a haredi riot, not the police but a cordon of local leading rabbis should stand up against the rioters. If that doesn't work, jail would give them an opportunity to think things over. I suspect that quiet would quickly resume. M. HAGENAUER Jerusalem Sir, - As these people are a tiny minority, and the majority of haredim want to find solutions in more constructive ways, I call on the media to balance its images by showing the haredim also involved in wholesome community and family activities. These aggressive protesters don't speak for me, my family or my community. MOSHE MILLER Baltimore Where were you then? Sir, - Brian Walt and Brant Rosen state "kol yisrael arevim zeh le zeh" - that all Jews are responsible for each other. They then go on to remind us that Jews are not only responsible for Jews, but for all mankind and, by extension, for the people of Gaza ("Time for a moral reckoning," September 8). The latter part of what they say would be more credible if they had only heeded the former. Where were these rabbis during the years of terror rockets raining down on Southern Israel before the Gaza blockade? Did the rabbis protest the suicide bombings in our restaurants, cafes, hotels and streets before the Gaza blockade? Did they attend the funerals of the innocent men, women and little children killed in Arab drive-by shootings before the Gaza blockade? Did they even offer their condolences? Did they cry out to the world when our soldiers were captured, some of them murdered, at the hands of terrorists? Where was their Fast For Israel website? Yes, Rabbis for Gaza: Kol yisrael arevim zeh le zeh. DAVID JACOBS Efrat 'Re-engagement' man Sir, - Kadima strategist Eyal Arad, in accusing the prime minister of "whitewashing," is engaging in the ultimate doublespeak - similar to his coining of the term "disengagement" for the 2005 withdrawal from Gaza ("Netanyahu 'unfreezes' settlement terminology," September 7). Netanyahu should also ban the term "disengagement" from official use. He can substitute the more neutral "withdrawal." When I visited Gush Katif before the abandonment of our strategic Philadelphi line on the international border, I saw a huge banner declaring "No to Disengagement" and sensed immediately that Sharon would win. With Arad's help, he had tricked the defenders of Gush Katif into adopting his own agenda and terminology. The vast majority of Israelis wanted to disengage from the Arabs - mostly a personal preference rather than a strategic consideration. I regard it as the height of hutzpa for Arad to declare that Netanyahu is making a mistake by trying to use terminology to his advantage. And what a fleeting "disengagement" Arad and Kadima gave us! They sealed, in Cast Lead, our "reengagement" against Hamas in Gaza. And it will not be the last. Many more of our boys are yet likely to die for Arad's all-too-successful spin. He should be retired, and we should admit our responsibility for having been so easily duped. AARON BASHANI Jerusalem Glick on Iran Sir, - I am a longtime and committed reader of Caroline Glick's column. My belief is that there is nobody here in Israel who more accurately has her finger on the tactical and strategic pulse of this region, as well as on that of the United States, and of the existential danger with which we here in Israel are confronted. Ms. Glick's take on Iranian war preparation ("Time's up on Iran," September 4) eerily reflected what Adolf Hitler was doing in the early 1930s. We remain immobilized at our peril. Based on Caroline Glick's knowledge and understanding, my question is: Why is she not the chief adviser in the inner cabinet of Binyamin Netanyahu? Given the lackluster performance of our government, Netanyahu would be well-advised to appoint her to such a position. FRANCES DASH Zichron Ya'acov The very minimum, one would think Sir, - Re Ephraim Asculai's "The IAEA's credibility is at stake" (September 7) , I am amazed that this UN committee has not simply asked to see the building - or at least its architectural plans - that is intended to house the "electricity-generating plant" Iran claim it needs nuclear power for. JOCK L. FALKSON Ra'anana Send 'em back whence they came Sir, - I read with dismay the report about the neo-Nazi gang in Petah Tikva made up of Russian immigrant youths, several of whom have in the past been jailed for assault ("Neo-Nazi resurgence feared in Petah Tikva shul vandalism," September 7). My question is: Why must we put up with neo-Nazis? Why not send them back to where life was clearly better for them? The police source quoted said the authorities are determined to put a stop to this activity. Putting these youths in jail will only give them breathing space, and is anyway only a temporary solution. Let us send them back to where they came from. Whatever they came here for, they evidently didn't find it. MARCELLA WACHTEL Jerusalem Best of editors Sir, - I was shocked to hear of Abigail's Radoszkowicz's untimely death. She was the best of editors: sensitive, encouraging, punctilious and understanding. Working with her was always a pleasure. She will be sorely missed. I join the staff of The Jerusalem Post and Abigail's family in mourning her passing. NAOMI CHAZAN Jerusalem