Mutual responsibility

When laboratory rats are crowded together, they become more aggressive and attack each other all the more. This is similar to the situation on Israel’s roads.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Mutual responsibility
Regarding your August 26 editorial “Collective responsibility,” one must certainly agree with the remarks about the historical role of collective responsibility of Jews toward each other. One can only share the writer’s concern about the lack of feeling by Israeli Jews of responsibility toward Diaspora Jews.
However, we are informed by polls and other sources, including articles in The Jerusalem Post, about the way Diaspora Jews are increasingly distancing themselves from Israel, about what is, at best, apathy and indifference, and, at worst, support for anti-Israel causes such as BDS and J Street.
Realizing that collective responsibility should be mutual, as the editorial states, what could and should our response be?
I’m interrupting my lunch to write and disagree with “Collective responsibility.”
My husband and I made aliya in 2010 He has since passed on, but even though I’m now 89, I’m still going strong. We had many grandchildren follow us, and they have been most prolific here in this wonderful country of ours. Four of our five children are still Stateside, but I know they will be joining their own children here before too long.
My apartment is very comfortable, and wherever I look, I have pictures of the grandchildren and great-grandchildren. We’re all in touch, so I’m never alone. And they come over often.
So do take heart. The good Lord works at His own pace, and so do His children.
Glick’s contortions
It is really disillusioning to read Caroline B. Glick as she strives to make a case for Donald Trump and his version of the Republican Party (“Trump and the American Dream,” Column One, August 26).
Glick is a highly intelligent and gifted political commentator who must surely be aware of the sinister overtones (and undertones) of Trump’s campaign. He is really like a little boy who wants to drive a red fire engine when he grows up – but in his case, he wants to be president of the United States.
One feels embarrassed, infuriated and, on occasion, hysterically amused by the Republican presidential nominee’s clumsy shenanigans, starting with the viciously cruel way he put his wife in the limelight, making her look the total idiot she is, for all of us to see. He has now co-opted dangerous, delusional, alt-right Ku Klux Klan-types to run his show.
Glick is surely aware of this frightening development. She might hate Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and the Democratic incumbent, Barack Obama, but she is bright enough to know that Trump is not the answer.
Each time one sees the occasional black or Hispanic voter trying lamely to show support for Trump, one wonders who greased their palms. One must assume that Glick does not fall into this category.
But she can surely sense the arch-racist in Trump, who might be able to say that some of his best daughters are Jewish, although this surely doesn’t fool those of us Jewish Israelis who can sense anti-Semitism and bigotry.
Donald Trump is not and will never be good news for Israel!
Stifled imaginations
“Tomorrow’s job market: Are we ready?” (Observations, August 26) says that Israel lags behind other nations in literacy, numeracy and problem-solving skills. This is particularly troubling since most developed nations also have falling standards in these areas.
But it’s understandable. With Israel’s high level of smartphone ownership, who needs to learn to spell when the auto-correct feature makes dictionaries obsolete? Why learn long division when you have a powerful calculator in your phone? For its security, Israel needs a population that is able to do problem- solving. But recently, Britain’s Engineer magazine bemoaned the fact that modern engineers, while being highly competent technically, are no longer able to visualize solutions to problems. When I grew up in the 1950s, reading books and listening to the radio stimulated the imagination, but modern youth are growing up with their senses overloaded, leaving no room to develop their own imaginations.
Israel needs to devise ways to ensure that a child’s natural imagination is not stifled by the overuse of computers. Apart from helping the child, it will also help Israel’s security.
Women in Orthodoxy
With regard to “New Orthodox ‘rabbanit’ will fill pastoral, spiritual roles in J’lem synagogue” (August 25), the International Rabbinic Fellowship joins in congratulating Rabbanit Carmit Feintuch on her appointment as a female spiritual leader at the Ramban Synagogue in Jerusalem alongside our dear friend and outstanding rabbinic leader, Rabbi Benny Lau.
Just to correct a small error in the quote from the Beit Hillel organization, the International Rabbinic Fellowship is a modern- Orthodox rabbinic organization consisting of more than 225 men and women. It has had women as members and in leadership roles since 2013.
NISSAN ANTINE JASON HERMAN New York. The writers are rabbis as well as president and executive director, respectively, of the International Rabbinic Fellowship.
Just a waste
Every member of our tribe should read Isi Leibler’s “Exposing the criminal society and the culture of death” (Candidly Speaking, August 25). It is for those like myself, for whom these horrific truths are self-evident, and for all those who are delusional and naive, believing that “peace in our time” can be achieved if only we weren’t so “intransigent” and would only stretch out our hands again and again.
I am a secular Israeli with children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Although I am fully cognizant of our imperfect society and long for the necessary changes, my longing to live in my own country – Israel – in peace with our neighbors overrides all.
But basic facts have to be faced.
The entity we are dealing with is not in parallel to our desires, so anything short of having Encountering Peace columnist Gershon Baskin, with his enormous talent and major contacts, use his energies to drum in the fact that we’re not going anywhere and are strong, is just a waste.
‘Practical’ Arabic, too
The Education Ministry’s plan to emphasize spoken English is laudable (“Schools to emphasize ‘practical’ English this year, says Bennett,” August 24). A plan to start teaching Arabic from the first grade would be laudable, too.
It is very surprising that Arabic is not mandatory in our public schools. Some 20 percent of our citizens are Arabs, and about 50,000 Palestinian workers come to Israel every day to work, but most of us are not able to communicate with them in their native tongue.
Wouldn’t it be logical – and practical – for all obvious reasons to introduce spoken Arabic into our curriculum?
Road carnage
When laboratory rats are crowded together, they become more aggressive and attack each other all the more. This is similar to the situation on Israel’s roads.
This tiny morsel of land cannot afford, either physically or financially, to increase its network of highways, which are inadequately policed. Yet our government, instead of drastically reducing the number of cars, blithely permits over 200,000 new vehicles annually to be added to our horribly congested roads, proportionately increasing the carnage.
One might understandably gain the impression that there is a strong suicidal streak in the Israeli people.
We can have more cars and fewer people or fewer cars and more people.