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Letters to the Editor: Week of November 7

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Where is Israel’s peace partner?

 

Regarding the fiasco in the Middle East, I am constantly reminded of the classic children’s story, The Emperor’s New Clothes. It is a perfect metaphor for how Israel handles itself and how the world responds accordingly. It is absolutely baffling to me that the charade continues and that Israel and the world pretend that Israel actually has a peace partner. Who are we kidding?  

The story that I allude to is all about pretending – pretending that the emperor is actually wearing outstanding royal robes when in fact he is wearing nothing at all. The swindler tailors have told the king’s subjects that anyone who sees otherwise is merely stupid and incompetent. Finally, a child speaks the truth and the bubble bursts. The charade is over.

Why do our Israeli leaders pretend that we actually have someone to negotiate with, someone whose interests are the same as ours? Thus the myth, the metaphor and the insanity continue. When will this nonsense end, and who will finally have the guts to speak the truth? Anyone?

Eileen Shapero

Thornhill, Ont.

 

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Netanyahu’s win wasn’t surprising

 

Yair Lootsteen was “astonished” that in the May 1996 elections Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defeated the “peace” candidate, and Rabin heir apparent, Shimon Peres, with over 60 per cent of the Jewish vote (“Remembering Rabin becomes less partisan,” The CJN, Oct. 10).

Given that between Feb. 25 and March 4, 1996, four Palestinian suicide bombers murdered 60 Israelis and wounded another 284, it is surprising that Netanyahu did not do even better. It was these actions by Palestinian rejectionists that did more harm to the Oslo accords than the assassination of Yitzchak Rabin by Yigal Amir.

In 2000, then-Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak made a very generous offer that even Rabin would have balked at, and this was rewarded with the second intifadah, costing another 1,000 Israeli lives, so it is naïve to think if Rabin had not been assassinated the Middle East would look that much different today. 

Ezra Franken

Toronto

 

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Supervision doesn’t make it kosher

 

It may surprise readers that not every Israeli winery is considered kosher, especially many of the smaller vineyards, even when following kashrut standards (“Vineyards revive ancient Negev wine route,” The CJN, Oct. 24).  One reason for this is the cost (financial and political) of supervision by the Chief Rabbinate Council of Israel.

In Israel, only the rabbinate can declare something kosher. Rujum, one of the wineries in the article, is trying a new path. They now work with the Masorti Movement (the Conservative Movement in Israel) for their supervision. The supervision, while overseeing the process, cannot legally declare the wine “kosher.” Instead, the labels say “kosher of trust.”

While some will say the supervision is all that matters in the end, it is important to realize that neither the rabbinate nor other supervising organizations make something kosher. It is an observance of the laws and processes that make something kosher. The label and hechsher are simply modern innovations that make buying and selling easier. Just ask the thousands of kashrut-observant households about their kitchens. None are under supervision. All are kosher by trust.

Rabbi Jennifer Gorman

Toronto

 

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We must not glorify assimilation

 

According to the article “Skating legend hid her Jewish past” (The CJN, Oct. 24), Ellen Burka not only hid her Jewishness, but gave it up, raising her family as Christians.

Did Ellen Burka ever return to being Jewish?

If not, I have trouble understanding why she would be inducted into the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame and why The CJN would place her life story on the its front page.

She may be a wonderful person who led an exemplary life, but she is no longer Jewish. I do not judge her or her reasons for hiding her Jewishness, but six million people died defending their right to be Jewish. Surely we must have some heroes who are proud to be Jewish to write about.

Larry Swern

Toronto

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