November 28: Our state

If we cannot stand up and proclaim that Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people, then there is no reason for Jews to make aliya.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Democracy daze
Sir, – I must admit to being confused after reading about a Knesset panel discussion concerning increased religiosity in the army (“Judaism is not the IDF’s enemy,” November 25). It is indeed ironic that those who stress democratic values above all, can not tolerate Col. Winter’s letter to his soldiers.
We are told that the army as well as the government is interested in more haredim joining the army. Surely this is not the way to encourage them.
Our state
Sir, – In 2005, I left my comfortable home and practice in New York to move to Israel. I did so, because as a child of survivors, I did not want to spend my entire life watching Jewish history on CNN.
It was a historical imperative to come and contribute to the nation-state of the Jewish people – or so I thought. It turns out, there are prominent people in our own government, the president, politicians and other self-proclaimed intelligencia, who have a problem with this nation- state of the Jewish people idea.
Our enemies are shaking their heads in amazement, for while they are consolidating their identity in a relentless push to delegitimize and drive us out, we are vacillating over our own identity, and by extension over our legitimacy.
And so, we have just handed our enemies the keys to the country.
Around here vacillation is defeat, so it’s over. If we cannot stand up and proclaim that Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people, then there is no reason for Jews to make aliya, or to remain in this dangerous part of the world, at the fault line between Islam and the West.
Alon Shvut
Why are we here?
Sir, – Concerning the remarkable opinions expressed by some of our ministers in regards to the “Jewish state bill,” the obvious question arises – why are they and you and I here and not in Outer Mongolia? The obvious answer is because Israel is the historical Jewish state, and after 2000 years we have returned. Theodor Herzl wrote about it in Altneuland, and at the San Remo Conference in 1920 and subsequently at the League of Nations in 1922, the establishment of Palestine as a national homeland for the Jewish people was unanimously endorsed, as set out by the Balfour Declaration of 1917.
Yet, Paragraph 13 of the Declaration of Independence in 1948 sums it all up, “The State of Israel will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisioned by the Prophets of Israel, and will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants, irrespective of religion, race or sex.”
Sir, nothing could be clearer. There is no need to complicate matters by including a political, i.e.
democratic, statement, which in itself could cause major arguments of interpretation.
Tel Aviv
Stop overcrowding
Sir, – I commend the education minister’s reform plan to narrow gaps in schools (“Piron unveils reform to reduce gaps in school,” November 26), but think that instead of adding hours to compensate for overcrowding, he needs to eliminate the overcrowding.
Reduce class size from 40 pupils to 30 pupils, and use the money to hire more qualified teachers.
The ministry should also consider upgrading teacher training and increasing salaries to attract skilled professionals, as well as building more classrooms if needed.
Investing in education is the best way to improve our nation’s socioeconomic well-being and future development.
The writer is a retired teacher.