Harper’s support for Israel is unwavering
Regarding the article “EU move on Hezbollah applauded, questioned” (CJN, Aug. 1), whatever one’s politics, we, members of the Jewish community, must never forget how this government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been right beside us in defence of Israel and our interests here in Canada. Remember former prime minister Jean Chrétien with his Jewish cabinet ministers? Tokens to hide behind as his government turned away and pretended they couldn’t see or hear. So as tough as it may be for regular Liberals or NDPers, we need to remember who our friends are when the next election is here. Otherwise, we will be on our own –again.
* * *
Peace talk problems
As a lifelong supporter of a free and democratic State of Israel, I hope and pray that the peace talks recently initiated in Washington will bear fruit. What is troubling to me is that the Israelis and the Americans had to make all the concessions to even get the Palestinians to the bargaining table. Israel promised to release 104 Palestinian prisoners (“Protesters rally against Palestinian prisoner release,” CJN, Aug. 1), many of whom were convicted for murdering innocent Israelis, and the Americans promised $4 billion in investment and aid to the Palestinian Authority. Nothing was asked of the Palestinians, even to concede that they would recognize Israel as a Jewish state. The Israelis even agreed to go back to the pre-1967 borders with some adjustments.
The world seems to have forgotten that Israel, from the time of its creation, has been rejected by the Palestinians and other Arab countries and its existence threatened by wars and intifadahs. The Palestinians are insistent that in the new Palestinian state, there will be no Jews, even those who would remain inside the borders of an independent Palestinian state. As a result, for the safety and security of those Jews currently in the West Bank, their land must become part of Israel proper in consequence of any peace settlement. Meanwhile, Hamas, which governs Gaza, is still committed publicly to the destruction of Israel. All the concessions being made by Israel do not bode well for a successful peaceful resolution.
* * *
Time has passed for talks on gets
It is high time to stop the hand-wringing and agonizing about restrictive, potentially punitive Jewish divorce laws that can leave a woman in a failed marriage “chained” without the freedom to remarry. In her recent column (“Who will redeem the chained women?” CJN, Aug. 1), Norma Joseph urges readers to enlist the aid of rabbis and demand “education and real action” on this longstanding issue.
Why? More than 30 years have elapsed since the problem of women unable to obtain a Jewish divorce, a get, from a husband rose to public consciousness, and still there is no solution. The window of opportunity for a remedy – indeed if it existed at all – has closed, and no amount of public angst is going to fix it. The rise of multiple, competing factions within Orthodoxy negates any possibility of a solution acceptable to all. If rabbis can’t agree on the kashrut of raisins, how do you expect a consensus on something far thornier?
What “real action” does Joseph have in mind? Shaming a recalcitrant husband at his place of work or in the privacy of his home? Using civil laws and/or courts to act as enforcers of Jewish law? No and no.
My advice: Jewish law is what it is. Deal with it. Either don’t get married under a Jewish wedding canopy, or do so and accept the risks and potential consequences.