November 30: Black Friday

Readers respond to the latest Jerusalem Post articles.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Black Friday
I came to Israel in 1959 when all the Jewish holidays were a joy to celebrate. Jewish history is full of “Black Fridays.” Do we need a new one? What about a nice “pre-Hanukka sale”?.
Love for Leibler
Not for the first time did my husband and I want to cheer out loud after reading Isi Leibler’s outstanding column (“Saving innocent lives must have priority over civil liberties,” Candidly Speaking, November 26).
He is one of the few columnists who can put into words what we the people of Israel need to hear.
Yes, we are not ashamed to admit we are frightened for our children and grandchildren and yes, although we are proud to live in our democratic state, we agree with Leibler: enough with the murder of innocent people in our streets. Our government has a number one duty to protect us from crazed religious fanatics in every way that Leibler cites.
This column should be read by every one who cares about our future, particularly our government.
This is no time for genteel diplomacy.
Guys, this is the time for strong action, harsh words. Remember, we will not forget how you dealt with this horrific crisis – when it comes to election time we will be careful to use our votes to give you our message loud and clear.
Pity Leibler never chose to go into politics as a career.
Learn from experience
Regarding the story (“IDF recommends Israel strengthening PA to help avoid security deterioration,” November 26) it seems the IDF has gone crazy, seeing that the generals and officers have forgotten that when the Oslo ‘peace treaty’ was signed a decade or so ago by Shimon Peres, Yasser Arafat and a very, very doubtful Yitzhak Rabin, Israel presented Arafat with hundreds of thousands of bullets and guns to kill all Palestinian ‘terrorists’ who were preventing the ‘peace’ treaty from becoming a reality. Thousands of Israelis were killed or wounded by those very guns and bullets, as well as by male and female suicide bombs.
It’s sad that our leaders, whether political or military, never seem to learn from experience.
Kiryat Ono
Kudos to Boteach
All credit must go to Shmuley Boteach for daring to step into the “lion’s den” of the Oxford University debate, (“The Oxford debates on Israel,” No Holds Barred, November 24). But having watched one of the debates recently, I must ask whether it is worthwhile. A debate is when two parties present their differing viewpoints on a subject previously decided by the society’s committee. When one side has an obvious agenda that it wishes to publicize via the debate, and is prepared to use downright lies to vilify their opposition, it makes a farce of the whole event. Both sides must be required to provide hard evidence for any claims they intend to make during the course of the debate, otherwise the most infamous and vicious demonization can be achieved, without redress. Once these disturbing things are said, any denial rings hollow unless proof can be provided in response.
What makes it worse for me as an Englishman, is the oh-so genteel way the pseudo-intellectuals went about delegitimizing Israel, with dinner before, and drinks after the event.
Why pseudo-intellectuals? Because people who are honestly intelligent could never accuse Israel of being “apartheid” or guilty of genocide.
Maybe it’s time to start debating with people who are critical but fair, and prepared to listen to arguments. They may even be swayed in their opinion. Where are these people?
Tel Aviv
Identity crisis
The underlying reason for the identity crisis facing Conservative Judaism in the United States (“Amid identity crisis, Conservative Jews pay for rebranding a new image,” November 27) was inadvertently exposed by Rabbi David Wolpe when he said “he dislikes the movement’s name, not the least because of its unwanted association with a political ideology.”
Conservative Judaism is suffering from a serious case of cognitive dissonance. Voting data indicates that the overwhelming majority of American Jews are liberal; however, many of the liberal positions, such as approval of same sex marriage, are in conflict with traditional Jewish beliefs.
Consequently, the Conservative movement has attempted to reduce the tension by restating Jewish values in order to better correspond to liberal political positions. Thus, liberalism trumped Judaism. To their credit, most American Jews seem to be seeking authenticity rather than political correctness, and this has resulted in a reduction in the number of people who identify with the Conservative movement.
The Conservative movement in the United States performed a historically important function for the better part of a century – it provided a home for those who could accept neither Reform nor Orthodoxy – and kept millions within the fold of Jewry. That historic mission may have been successfully completed and is no longer necessary. The present leadership should be aware of this reality before it redefines itself again and becomes a footnote in the long history of the Jewish people.
‘Elected’ MKs
Morris Kahn’s letter (“Not acceptable,” November 29) decrying the egregious behavior of MK Oren Hazan, puts his finger firmly on the biggest impediment to genuine democratic representation in our electoral system. He describes Hazan as “an elected representative in our Knesset,” but he is no such thing.
He is in fact a crony selected by the party leader of his group, which itself was chosen by a process of proportional representation.
At no time was Hazan ‘chosen’ by the electorate, for if he were, he would have been rejected for the loathsome values he exhibits in our parliament. I suspect there are more than one or two MKs who are grateful for the current method of their selection for similar reasons.
Lone wolf attacks
There is only one way to stop the ‘lone wolf’ attacks by Arabs.
The Palestinian Authority should issue an order to their people, for the immediate cessation of attacks on Israelis, for a one year duration.
It is virtually impossible to negotiate in a hostile environment.
During this period of calm, Arabs and Jews will be able to visit each other’s community centers and try to establish some sort of rapport.
It won’t be easy but it can be done. During this period of calm, the Palestinian leadership will meet with the Israel government and attempt to find a way out of this impasse.
Who will lose out? No one. The worst that can happen is a return to the status quo, when the year of calm has ended. What can be lost by trying? It’s worth taking a chance. Who knows, miracles have happened before.
Kfar Yona
The past repeats
I was looking through The Jerusalem Post book Front Page Israel and came across these headlines that I thought might resonate: ‘October 1933: Arab demonstrations cause many fatalities; Violence and bloodshed in Jaffa’, May 1936: 3 shot dead in Jerusalem cinema; More Jewish victims; Armed bandit fires point blank into theater crowd, December 1947: Riots mark start of strike; 5 Jews 3 Arabs dead; Arab mob loots, burns and stabs, March 1954: 11 bus passengers are massacred by Arab marauders on Negev Road And where were the settlements then? Need one say more?