July 3: Meaningless listing
In terms of reality, as people everywhere understand it, the latest move by UNESCO was completely meaningless.
Sir, – In terms of reality, as people everywhere understand
it, the latest move by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organization was completely meaningless (“UNESCO registers Church of the
Nativity under ‘Palestine,’” July 1). It was also meaningless when UNESCO voted
to include “Palestine” as a full member state in the organization.
Palestinian Authority’s feverish exertions in the UN to obtain member status are
also meaningless. The Palestinians are not dealing with reality, but with a
malicious virtual reality whose meaningless elements are aimed at stabbing
Israel in the back.
There is a burning desire in the Palestinian
community and the Palestinian leadership to take any measure imaginable to harm
Israel diplomatically. But these tactics are meaningless because essentially
they just roll off Israel’s back and achieve absolutely nothing.
Sir, – We mourn the passing of a great man
who, together with his steadfast colleagues, is responsible for the creation of
the Jewish state by his determination and strong will (“Former prime minister
Yitzhak Shamir dies at 96,” July 1). The current Israeli leadership could do no
better than emulate him rather than pander to the unviable demands of the
An unpublicized attempt was made on Shamir’s
life in London by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in 1993 when
he was the guest speaker at the Jerusalem Day celebrations held by Likud Herut
GB at the Finchley Synagogue.
A member of the PFLP, Samar Alami, was
identified outside the synagogue by a congregant. In all probability, because
she had been identified, she did not carry out her planned action and left
before the ceremony was finished.
She was subsequently sentenced at the
Central Criminal Court (Old Bailey) to 20 years imprisonment for her involvement
in preparation of the bomb that damaged the Israeli Embassy in London in July
Shamir had a lucky escape.
Sir, – It
was a Shabbat in autumn 1986, I believe, that I and my then-roommate were
walking down Rehov Azza in Jerusalem when we noticed a short, stocky man walking
up the street with a taller man beside him. We quickly realized who it was, and
the then-prime minister bowed his head in greeting and left us stunned and
We were grateful to see Yitzhak Shamir was keeping
Shabbat (in what little way he could) by walking and not driving! That he
acknowledged us, two regular people on the street, showed his humility, his
feeling of being “one of us.”
May his memory be for a
Sir, – While I never liked Yitzhak
Shamir – he was just too right-wing for my tastes – I admired him
As a feisty little guy he showed no hesitation to go up against
the top politicos of his time. As one who had spent time imprisoned by the
British, he feared no one and nothing.
As a Zionist leader and fighter he
deserves no less than all the honors we can bestow upon him. May he rest in
peace. He deserves it.
Sir, – Your
July 1 issue lists some IDF directions about what to do in case of an earthquake
(“IDF to ready public for quakes,” News in Brief). Its primary instructions are
for people to flee buildings or enter bomb shelters as quickly as
As longtime residents of earthquake- prone Los Angeles my
husband and I were told specifically not to run outside, where people can be hit
by various falling objects – trees, poles, pieces of falling buildings,
Rather, we were advised to stand in a doorway under the lintel, in a
narrow hallway where our arms could reach both side walls for support, in a
bathroom with its infrastructure of pipes, or under a sturdy table, if nothing
else. Children in school were instructed to crouch down under their
By the time you run to a bomb shelter, unless it’s in your own
home, the earthquake will likely be over. It can be devastating, but quick. One
minute is a long time for a quake.
Sir, – I so enjoyed Herb Keinon’s “Graduation day: There and then, here
and now” (Out There, July 1). His family articles always engender a warm feeling
of, “Yes, it’s just like that!” I particularly liked his description of boys
hugging each other after just a day’s absence. I remember picking up one of my
grandsons at the Central Bus Station when he had Shabbat leave from the army. As
the young soldiers streamed off the bus they hugged each other so
enthusiastically, even though they’d all be together back at the base on
The informality and open affection Israeli youngsters exhibit
today is heart-warming.
As we say in Australia, Herb never puts a foot
wrong. He says it just the way it is and leaves us with a smile – and sometimes
Sir, – Once again Herb Keinon strikes a
My husband and I always enjoy his light touch, whether he’s
referring to “the wife” or to “the boy.” Depending on who opens the Post first,
one of us will announce that Herb wrote another zinger, which we then proceed to
enjoy with our morning coffee. Great way to start the day! Kudos from our
household to “the human typewriter.” Keep ’em comin’!
Robbing our traditions
Sir, – So a German court has decided that circumcision is
a crime and that the perpetrators must be punished (“Rivlin: Bundestag must pass
law to protect circumcision,” June 28).
German interference with our
God-given Jewish laws and traditions is totally unacceptable. The mass-murdering
German nation perpetrated the world’s greatest genocide, killing 6,000,000
helpless Jewish innocents, robbing them of their lives, their future, their
families, their money, their property, their insurance, their jewelry,
furniture, clothing, hair, teeth, spectacles – everything – all with the
permission of the German justice system.
As to circumcision (and
religious slaughter, for that matter), German Christians need to be reminded
that Jesus was circumcised and ate only kosher meat.
JOCK L. FALKSON
Sir, – I have no objection to Joshua Berkman’s
article explaining the excellent work of the Jewish Agency in promoting aliya
(“The Jewish Agency and aliya,” Comment & Features, June 28). What left me
deeply upset and enraged, though, was that the writer saw fit to precede his
article with an unnecessary attack on Moses, our teacher, which had no rational
connection to his report on the Jewish Agency that came
Berkman claims that Moses was “passive, stubborn and
“hopelessly behind the curve,” and that “God essentially canned him” and was
furious with him for poor leadership.
Why does the writer have to
besmirch a saintly figure who lived 3,200 years ago, revealed the Torah to the
world and led the Children of Israel for 40 years through the desert to the
outskirts of the Promised Land? Why does he see fit to hurt the feelings of
millions of Jews who believe that “Moses is truth and his Torah is truth?”
SHLOMO (STANLEY) WEXLER
The writer is a rabbi and author