Tell them why
I read “German party: Excuse Muslim students from visits to Nazi camps” (May 28). It is amazing that there was no recorded response from the Israeli Foreign Ministry.
Israel should be actively promoting the truth that Muslims need to go to such events, because in the eyes of many well-intentioned Europeans who are influenced by Arab propaganda, the Jewish state is just another colonial power and the Palestinians its victims.
Some facts to highlight should include the following: • The incident of the Struma in Turkey, which was typical of how Muslims prevented Jews from escaping the Holocaust • The collaboration of the Palestinians with Hitler • The genocidal threats from Iran • The dhimmi status of Jews in Islam for 1,500 years • The 1941 Farhud in Iraq, and other riots against Jews over the centuries • The expulsions of Jews from Arab countries after 1948 • Continuing terrorism against Jews around the world.
This is an opportunity to publicize why Muslims do need a concentration camp education instead of letting them claim that the Holocaust was a European phenomenon that doesn’t apply to them.
DANIEL FARB Beit Shemesh
“In spite of all our trials and tribulations in this country, not just since 1948 but since 1920, when the Arabs had themselves their first pogrom in Jerusalem, there are still Jews who are harrowed by a sense of guilt or indulge in illusions that recognition of the political rights of some fictitious Palestinians could provide the solution,” wrote Israel Eldad in The Jewish Revolution.
It seems to me that our leaders, including those of today, have spent most of the past hundred years retreating from what was returned to us on a platter by the international community in the aftermath of the first world war.
“If the whole world is demanding ‘two states for two peoples’ and the division of Eretz Yisrael, we must prove that the country has already been divided, and that the Arabs have received their share,” wrote Aryeh Eldad, a former MK, in the afterword to a recent edition of his father’s book. “Three quarters of the Jewish national home was torn from us, against our will in 1922. Churchill’s White Paper severed Transjordan from the territory covered by the Balfour Declaration and the League of Nations’s decision; this land had been earmarked for us and then given to the Arabs.”
At least there was reason and logic behind the British decision to establish Transjordan.
According to Sir Alec Seath Kirkbride, the British diplomat and general who served in Transjordan, in his memoir A Crackle of Thorns, it was “intended to serve as a reserve of land for resettlement of Arabs, once the national home for the Jews in Palestine, which [the British] were pledged to support, became an accomplished fact.”
JACK SHEBSON Jerusalem
I was happy to see the piece about all the historic documents since the Balfour Declaration showing what was supposed to be set aside for a Jewish homeland (“Forgotten facts and distorted history,” Analysis, May 28).
Originally, it was all Israel and Jordan until England gave Jordan to the Arabs. I think we need to be much more aggressive when the Arabs claim that in 1948, the Jews stole their land and kicked the Arabs out in their nakba (catastrophe).
We should strongly and openly state that it was the Arabs who forcefully rejected the United Nations plan for a Jewish state and an Arab state; that they attacked the new Jewish state in order to massacre its citizens and stifle it from birth; and that indeed there were Jewish communities before 1948 in Hebron and Gush Etzion and east Jerusalem, but the Arabs either massacred their residents or forced them out.
The truth is clear and must be told.
BEN KLEIN New York Great concern
I read with great concern “Chief Rabbinate throws doubt on tenure of Shlomo Riskin” (May 26). This is an absolute outrage and reflects an extreme level of disrespect.
The next day, I sent the following to Rabbi Riskin: “...The grip that the Chief Rabbinate has on the daily life of the ordinary Israeli citizen is appalling because of the religious vote that makes or breaks an elected government. The separation of church and state as practiced in the USA is best summed up in Thomas Jefferson’s inversion of the well known axiom, ‘United we stand, divided we fall.’ In the context of religious plurality, Jefferson said: ‘Divided we stand, united we fall,’ to mean that with one state religion we fall, but with freedom for religious practice, the state stands.
That is a lesson that the Israeli government and the Chief Rabbinate of Israel should take into account.”
STANLEY SILVERSTEIN Great Neck, New York
Rabbi Shlomo Riskin was one of the most influential and respected American rabbis, who continued upon his aliya to enhance the lives of countless Israelis through his rabbinate.
His caring is legendary! His teaching has inspired many, and his building of educational institutions has impacted upon thousands. The community of Torah and charitable deeds in Efrat is largely due to his dynamic and charismatic leadership.
Rabbi Riskin’s achievements and service to his community warrant the extension of his mandate as chief rabbi of Efrat.
AARON BOROW JAY KARZEN Jerusalem
The writers are rabbis and co-presidents of the Israel Region of the Rabbinical Council of America.Shabby treatment
I was disappointed to read in “Lew, Lowey to address ‘Post’ NY parley” (May 22) that two formidable women, Anne Bayefsky and Melanie Phillips, were summarily disinvited because the World Jewish Congress had taken responsibility for one of the panel discussions at your forthcoming New York conference.
The conference is poorer for these cancellations, and Bayefsky and Phillips, who presumably fit the conference into their busy schedules at your invitation, have been treated rudely and shabbily.
HAZEL GREEN Kingston upon Thames, UK Great song, bad timing
You have to hand it to Israel’s Eurovision representative, Nadav Guedj. He’s only 16, but he sings and dances like a veteran.
His English is impeccable, and his entry “Golden Boy” was a really good song that fully deserved to be in the final.
The only trouble is that the final fell on the Jewish festival of Shavuot.
I do not think an official representative of the State of Israel should be performing on TV before an audience of tens of millions on a Jewish holy day – and precisely on the festival of the giving of the Torah. Have we no pride, no national sense of honor? The IBA Eurovision committee should have checked the contest schedule and declined to appear, or it could have asked for the final to be rescheduled in order not to desecrate the festival.
I would also extend my criticism to cover Israeli teams that participate in international competitions on Shabbat or holidays, in total disregard for our sacred religious traditions.
I can assure you that I would never dishonor our flag or faith by appearing at an event at such times, no matter how valuable the prize or global recognition. I strongly urge the government to legislate in this direction.
DAVID HERMAN Jerusalem
The writer is a publisher, poet and song writer.