Letters to the Editor: Discrimination, Lorde and Ahed Tamimi

Lorde performs during the iHeartRadio Music Festival at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada U.S. September 23, 2017.

Going backward

In response to “In favor of discrimination” (Haaretz Editorial, Dec. 31)

Reading your article regarding Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked’s support of legislation giving support to the so-called financial affairs tribunal and weakening Israel’s civic democracy is enough to make one sick. Her kowtowing to her mentor, Education Minister Naftali Bennett, and blindly supporting laws that will limit democratic rule, put women back in place as second-class citizens and turning Israel into Saudi Arabia and Iran in its treatment of women and minorities is absolutely abhorrent. Does she not realize that she and her fellow ‘’witches” Culture Minister Miri Regev and Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely will no longer be able to hold their positions in the current right-wing Orthodox-dominated government, or be allowed to sit in the same chambers with their “holy” peers, or speak from the rostrum during Knesset sessions?

What is happening in our country is appalling as we continue to go backward, to forgo all of the advances that have been made in our society — equal rights, equal opportunities, leadership roles for both men and women. And in most areas they are even allowed to walk on the same side of the street, dress as they wish and live as they choose.

This legislation, along with the other laws the coalition is trying to ram through regarding police investigations and reports to the public and to the proper law authorities are truly an abomination. How does the thinking, caring public get its message across — demonstrations mean nothing, letters to Knesset members mean nothing — and we remain under the thumb of corrupt, self-interested government so-called leaders.

Enough already.

Judy Telman
Mevasseret Zion

Lorde did the right thing

Lorde (Ella Yelich O’Connor) is an attractive, intelligent and very talented young lady who has a strong sense of what is morally right and wrong in the world today, and has shown that, on many occasions.

She had two choices with her proposed concert in Israel. One, she could have boycotted the event, as per the wishes of the boycott, divest and sanctions movement. Two, she could have gone, performed and while there, used every opportunity to push the message that a negotiated, peaceful, “two-state” solution to this 70-year conflict and 50-year occupation of the Palestinian territories would be in the best interests of Israelis, Palestinians and indeed, the entire world! (Everyone can see this, except for the apologists for Israel and its government.)

That she heeded the call of the BDS lobby and canceled is entirely her affair and vicious attacks on her integrity are unbecoming and unnecessary. Recent spokespersons for Israel such as Juliet Moses (of the New Zealand Jewish Council) and Eli Shaul (writing in the New Zealand Herald) conveniently failed to mention the occupation of the West Bank and associated daily human rights abuses heaped on the population by the Israeli army. The house demolitions, leaving Palestinian families homeless, while more of their land is stolen for Jewish settlements, and the complete hostility to any sort of peace settlement displayed by the current (corrupt and autocratic) Israeli government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Education Minister Naftali Bennett. (Netanyahu has serious bribery and corruption charges pending.)

What is at stake here is the 50-year military occupation of areas of Palestine that were not part of Israel to begin with. Any silly talk of Israel’s critics wanting to destroy Israel and “wipe it off the map” is just a red herring designed to hide the real issues and allow the Israelis and their armed forces to literally get away with murder.

Until there is a binding peace settlement between the parties, so that Israelis and Palestinians can at last peacefully coexist alongside each other as neighbors rather than endlessly fighting as enemies, no artists and/or musicians should go there to perform.

Haven’t we been through this movie before, with South Africa?

John S. Watkins
New Zealand

What about hope for peace?

In response to “My daughter, these are tears of struggle” (Bassem Tamimi, Dec. 29) 

This piece fills me with sadness.

Nowhere are there words of a hoped- for peace. The “struggle” is both the way and — it would appear — the goal. Perhaps along the way, the hope of peace has been obliterated and the struggle has been raised as the ultimate “cause” that Mr. Tamimi, his daughter and their family are fighting for. It would seem they have lost sight of the goal.

Bakol Ruben Gellar

Violation of Torah ethics 

In response to “Ari Shavit has been punished enough” (Alit Karp, Dec.22)

Not only has Ari Shavit, a former Haaretz journalist, been punished enough, but he has also been humiliated. Shavit was accused of inappropriate sexual behavior toward Danielle Berrin and three other women, which certainly did not rise to the level of the criminal accusations against Harvey Weinstein and his ilk. 

Berrin could have rebuked him then privately and didn’t but now again, on Dec. 22, published her accusation on the op-ed page of the widely read New York Times. She should know the Talmudic declaration that someone who shames another person, especially in public, has no share in the World to Come. As Shavit has offered an apology and she is not willing to accept it, it seems that Berrin has nursed a grudge against him for over a year. Revenge is another sin that violates Torah ethics.

Compared to the recent accusations of celebrities acting repulsively against women in the American entertainment world, did Shavit’s minor misconduct warrant a lifetime ban from journalism? I think not.

Jacob Mendlovic

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