Letters to the Editor (March 14, 2012)

A Jewish anthem versus an Israeli anthem

In response to “Arab justice’s ‘Hatikva’ silence” , March 1

The Jewish people have an anthem called “Hatikva.” It is obvious that from the day the State of Israel was founded, the title and words of the anthem have had more relevance for the Jewish Diaspora than for the Jewish people residing in Zion.

Since the anthem is meant to serve all the citizens of Israel, it is problematic. Its title and words, focusing on the hopes and desires of Jews in the Diaspora ‏(“with eyes gazing toward Zion”‏), prevent a sizable number of citizens from identifying with it. These include Muslim, Christian, Druze and even secular Jews. With time, there is growing alienation from the anthem.

There is a simple solution that will probably satisfy everyone: compose a new anthem for the State of Israel. “Hatikva,” the Jewish anthem, will remain as it is and continue to serve the Jewish people whoever and wherever they are for many generations to come.

Ophir Paz de Portuguese
Kfar Yona

Give us back our valley

Regarding “Kibbutzim ordered to vacate Gazelle Valley by January,” March 6

Jerusalem’s Gazelle Valley, which was cultivated by Kibbutz Kiryat Anavim and Kibbutz Ma’aleh Hahamisha, provided a livelihood for new immigrants during the 1950s − a genuine form of Zionism. Over the years, norms changed and the Israel Lands Administration and the kibbutzim tried to turn apple orchards into real estate ventures and, much to the delight of Jerusalem residents who rallied in opposition to the plan, that effort failed.

I innocently believed the lands administration was looking out for the public’s welfare and would restore the valley to Jerusalem’s residents, who are in need of urban green spaces. But it seems the leopard has not changed its spots. What good is the court ruling if all it did was enable a government agency to reap the benefits instead of the kibbutzim?

Dr. Yaakov Nir

The left is not counting on America

In response to “America giveth, who will not take?,” March 11

Yitzhak Laor claims that the Israeli left is counting on the Americans to dispose of the settlements and end the occupation. But he doesn’t offer even a shred of proof to support this.

The Peace Now movement and the Meretz party are fighting for Israeli public opinion in their struggle against the occupation and the settlements. They don’t concentrate their efforts on foreign countries.

Organizations such as Yesh Gvul fought the occupation in the same manner. Why are all these groups and movements out of the public eye except when they are implicated in this kind of goading that just never lets up?

The movement is not yet victorious, but neither have we become mute or disappeared from the public stage.

Elazar Shimoni
Tel Aviv