Says it all
Sir, – Isi Leibler says it all in his outstanding “Lessons from France: Aliya is the cornerstone of Zionism” (Candidly Speaking, January 20).
President Reuven Rivlin was a huge disappointment for indirectly joining the chorus against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by stating that aliya must stem from love, not fear of anti-Semitism. As for Natan Sharansky’s response, his poor wife, Avital, must have cringed remembering how she traveled the world begging for help so he’d be allowed to come to Israel.
The rest of us who already are privileged to have made aliya to this country, which is our Jewish homeland, scream and shout by any source of communication we can find: Come home! We want you here with us! We beg you to make aliya! This is the safest place in the world for Jews to be – do not let anybody fool you by stating otherwise!
LINDA HIRSCH Netanya
Sir, – Diaspora Jews are targeted and murdered because they are Jews, and the community is increasingly surrounded by enemies, including homegrown killers with combat experience.
Jews are terrified and often feel obliged to conceal their identity, assimilate or, worse still, endorse the obscene manner in which their people are being treated. Still, the majority prefer to stay put. This applies to Jews worldwide who suffer the same indignities and danger but are not anxious to leave their host countries.
It is all very reminiscent of European Jewry, who made every excuse in the book not to leave the gentile countries in which their lives had been so “enriched.”
It is sad that after thousands of years of being without a Jewish homeland, the majority of Jews cannot bring themselves to come home. Even stranger is the fact that they have made their lives in the same countries that slaughtered or allowed the slaughter of their families.
I cannot bring myself to welcome Jews who come here only as a last resort.
YENTEL JACOBS Netanya
Sir, – A friend of mine in Paris with two boys in a Jewish school told me that she and the other parents received a letter from the school asking them to stop bringing food to the soldiers and policemen on duty there.
They have complained that they find it difficult to fulfill their duties while all the mothers take care of them. They have complained that they are putting on weight, as they also have an open account, paid for by the parents, at the nearby kosher bakery. Moreover, they do not know what to do with all the food and drink they have received so far.
I have heard similar stories from parents with children in other Jewish schools in Paris. This is what make us, the Jewish people, so special.
VALERIE CUDKOWICZ Jerusalem
For all humanity
Sir, – Your article “Rivlin to leave for New York on Sunday” (January 20) states that while in the US, President Reuven Rivlin will visit West Point and lay a wreath on the grave of Mickey Marcus. Marcus is the only American soldier buried at West Point who died fighting for a foreign country. The headstone on his grave describes him as a “soldier for all humanity.”
Retired American Col. David (Mickey) Marcus initially was recruited to serve as military adviser to David Ben-Gurion and the Hagana. His tremendous vitality and multi-faceted personality had a remarkable impact on everyone he met.
On May 28, 1948, Ben-Gurion officially appointed him supreme commander of the Jerusalem front with the rank of aluf, or major-general, created especially for him. He was the first general in Jewish history to lead four brigades in an all-out operation to open the ambushprone road to Jerusalem. He was also at the forefront of the “Burma Road” project, transforming a mountain trail under the most grueling, dangerous conditions into a bustling lifeline to Tel Aviv.
Mickey Marcus was a trailblazer.
He personified the volunteering spirit that motivated thousands of overseas volunteers who were later known as Mahal.
I am pleased to note that President Rivlin will lay a wreath on his grave, a tribute not only to Marcus but to all overseas volunteers, who indeed can be regarded as inspiring and heroic individuals.
ZIPPORAH PORATH Ganei Tikva The writer is author of Col. David (Mickey) Marcus: A Soldier for All Humanity, a booklet based on interviews – never before published – conducted over 66 years ago with those whose lives he touched.
Not for him
Sir, – Concerning “Israel: Land for the living, not the dead” (Borderline Views, January 20), my late father, Leslie Curzon, worked as a travel agent in London.
He specialized in what is known as “transfers” – sending the remains of people who wished to be buried in the Holy Land.
What remains clearly in my memory is that this was an extremely complex and expensive procedure that often kept him up at unearthly hours of the night and involved a huge amount of paperwork, time and energy. He told me quite bluntly not to even consider doing a “transfer” when the time came for him.
I respected his wishes even though my mother is buried here in Safed.
LINDA STERN Safed
Sir, – With regard to “Boycott paranoia or the captive boycott” (Borderline Views, January 13), when applied to South Africa, BDS actions were intended, in the words of its promoters, to ensure a change from a minority to a majority government. In the case of Israel, what is the intention? It is definitely not a change of government or peace, since Hamas and even Fatah have made it quite clear in their charters that the establishment of the State of Israel was entirely illegal and that the Zionist state must be demolished and Palestine completely liberated.
All these and similar sentiments supported by backers of the BDS movement seem not to disturb David Newman, who is disturbed by the fact that there are individuals and organizations fighting back against this ever-growing scourge. Let me remind naïve academics – and there appear to be a substantial number – that the world is aware of Israeli and Jewish achievements, which only seem to fuel jealous anti-Semitism.
BDS has one aim: to weaken Israel in order for its enemies to destroy it. While not all BDS supporters are anti-Israel or anti-Semitic, all anti-Semites are pro- BDS. Hence, Prof. Newman would serve his people better by supporting reality rather than criticizing those who try to defend both him and me.
BERNHARD LAZARUS Tel Aviv
Sir, – Though the Cameri company put on an excellent production of Hair (“‘Hair’ makes the cut,” Billboard, January 2), not one black person performed.
Moreover, the actor portraying a young black person was in fact of Middle Eastern appearance, dressed up with an afro. He was definitely not of African origin.
Is the producer suggesting that no black person, Ethiopian or otherwise, is talented enough to fill such a role? Is there no room for a black person in the company? The original Hair portrayed a rainbow of talented young people, but the Cameri production gave us just the usual white or slightly darker faces.
Nowadays, every city has actors of all colors. It is time for the Cameri to stop using the excuse of not finding enough talent among young black people.
JUDY GABA Rehovot