Letters to the Editor: Intermarriage, BDS and the Netanyahu Family

Actor Tzachi Halevy and broadcaster Lucy Aharish pose for a photo at their wedding party in Hadera, Israel,  October 11, 2018.
Meggie Vilensky/Reuters

Don’t call me a racist

The marriage of Lucy Aharish and Tzachi Halevy has become part of our culture war. The liberals applaud, saying “Love wins.” Opposite them is the “Jewish” choir excoriating those who bring the impurity of the nations into the vineyard of Israel.

So where am I situated in this battle? I am asking you, my fellow travelers on this journey of building Israeli society: Do not call me a racist.

The Torah commands me to fight for human rights for all human beings. Periodically there emerges a rabbi or public figure who desecrates God’s name with a racist interpretation of the Torah. I am bound to fight against these awful opinions. The Torah of Israel educates to love people and preserve their rights without favoring Jew over non-Jew: Education toward equality between people is not outside the Torah, but the Torah itself.

Now that I’ve said this, I will also say: I pray with all my heart that my children and all members of my family marry members of their people. Just so. My membership in the club known as “the Jewish people” isn’t a technicality. It’s an intimate affiliation that links me to all the memories, hopes and experiences of the generations before me.

This club was never a hermetic one. Its members found ways to deal with the tension between being a member of the human family and being members of this intimate club. Judaism created doors – and windows – through which men and women can enter. But now there are spirits seeking to pull all the locks off the house.

No, my friends. I feel like a partner to your struggles to maintain the humane character of the State of Israel and to respect all its minorities, and to eradicate racism and violence by “God’s representatives.” But this time you’ve crossed a line. You are forcing me to enter “Noah’s Ark” and leave you to cope with the “floodwaters” of blurred identities and the embrace of those who seek to erase the Jewishness of the state.

The love of man that evokes within us feelings of morality and brotherhood must not make us forget the intimate identity card that links us to an ancient people that seeks to be part of the family of nations without blurring its uniqueness.

Benny Lau

Rabbi of Ramban Synagogue

Jerusalem

A test of equality

In response to “The Nave test” (Editorial, October 9).

I am puzzled by the behavior of the law enforcement apparatus, including its top official, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked. The way I see it, an attorney, head of the Israel Bar Association, allegedly planned and committed a violation of the law – and an important law, if we’re to judge by Minister Gilad Erdan’s conduct regarding who is permitted to enter Israel. Not only did this attorney allegedly violate the law when he left the country, he did it again when he returned. It should be stressed that the attorney confessed to the commission of both violations.

In this case, unlike in the cases against the prime minister, the facts are known, the suspect has confessed and yet everyone is still deliberating. The minister is awaiting the results of the investigation, the police are investigating and everyone is chuckling.

If, say, the head of the Joint List had committed a similar violation, they would be removing him from the Knesset, voiding his passport, throwing him out of his house, and perhaps even demolishing it.

Ze’ev Barkai

Jerusalem

Not far from the tree

“In response to “Yair Netanyahu is a compassionate vegan” (Rogel Alpher, Opinion, October 14).”

Yair Netanyahu’s parents aren’t apologizing for or expressing disapproval of what their son wrote about journalist Amnon Abramovich (“that garbage pail”), which essentially hurt all journalists who express their opinion. It would behoove all journalists and newspapers, or at least Haaretz, in the future to ignore his “private” writings and ideas. About this our sources say, “A root that bears gall and wormwood.”

Yaakov Maoz

Rehovot

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