Glorifying terror

Sir, – I truly wish someone could explain the editorial decision to place the photo headlined “Monument to fire” in your March 11 issue.

This picture depicts Gazans standing near a “monument” of an M75 rocket. This type of rocket was, as per the caption, launched into Israel, being aimed at Tel Aviv and Jerusalem during Operation Pillar of Defense. In other words, The Jerusalem Post decided that it was newsworthy to print a picture of those who wish to murder us along with a monument to the very weapon they have used in an effort to do so.

Would you also print a smiling Nazi next to the monument of a gas chamber? How about a picture of a Russian peasant standing next to a large hammer dripping with the blood of a Jew? Why do we need to encourage acts of terror and enable these people to glorify them with pictures in the Post?

ZE’EV M. SHANDALOV
Ma’aleh Adumim

Ridiculous election

Sir, – With regard to “ZOA chief Klein reelected” (March 11), does it not sound strange that an organization can boast that its president won reelection by a “landslide” when he got only 115 votes? Does it not sound strange that an organization determines its leader with only 124 votes out of thousands of members? Does it not sound strange that it requires members to fly from all parts of the US to one city in order to be eligible to vote? Does the word “ridiculous” come to mind when considering the ZOA election story?

DANIEL TOPP
Jerusalem

Contentious legacy


Sir, – With regard to “Historians grapple over FDR’s legacy, with the future of Israel at stake” (March 11), the trouble with reporter Maya Shwayder’s survey of the ongoing debate on whether US president Franklin D.

Roosevelt can be branded anti-Semitic is that the centerpiece to the whole argument is missing. I refer to Eleanor Roosevelt, his wife.

Whenever prominent Jews asked for the president’s help concerning the plight of European Jewry, he told them to refer to his wife. He encouraged her to help, knowing that if he himself came out openly in favor of Jewish rescue he would have to face the animosity of at least part of his electorate.

Eleanor Roosevelt, at her husband’s behest, did not fail the Jewish people. She was particularly instrumental in implementing the youth aliya program together with Henrietta Szold and Recha Freier, saving the lives of thousands of young Jews by bringing them to the Jewish Agency’s youth villages. Indeed, Israel has a special stamp to commemorate her efforts.

Moreover, I cannot fathom where the idea of “FDR’s notably anti-Semitic mother Sara” comes from. After two years of study at the Roosevelt library in Hyde Park, New York, where the president’s mother also stayed, the only comment I came across by her was that she could not tolerate her neighbors, the Vanderbilts, because of their ostentation.

I don’t think they were Jewish.

LILY POLLIACK
Jerusalem

The writer is a retired professor of history.

Sir, – Your article quotes University of Toronto Prof. Michael Marrus as saying that nobody should judge President Franklin D. Roosevelt for his silence during the Holocaust because it was “another world” in those days. American society was rife with anti-Semitism, and FDR’s records, Marrus said, should be evaluated “according to the standards of his day – his culture and his society and his context.”

But that’s not what Prof. Marrus wrote in his 1987 book The Holocaust in History. There he told us that by the time of the American-British conference on refugees in Bermuda in April 1943, “[public] opinion was mobilized on behalf of several schemes for rescue and refuge” (p.167). So I guess the entire public wasn’t anti-Semitic after all. He goes on to report that “in early 1944, Roosevelt finally bowed to public pressure and established the War Refugee Board” (p.168). So once again, the public supported rescue, and there was even enough “public pressure” on FDR to force him to establish a new government agency for this.

It was not “another world.”

There was anti-Semitism in America, but there were also many good people. There were opponents of rescue, but there were many supporters. Roosevelt could have gone either way; he chose to side with the rejectionists.

Nobody forced him to abandon the Jews, and no historian should be trying to rationalize that abandonment.

Marrus had it right back in 1987, and his new attempts to excuse FDR are baseless.

NATHAN MOSKOWITZ
Rockville, Maryland

Sir, – You say that Prof. Allan Lichtman, coauthor of FDR and the Jews, claims that criticism of the Roosevelt administration’s refusal to bomb Auschwitz was “manufactured” by “right-wing, pro-Israel factions.”

In 2004 I traveled to South Dakota to interview former US senator and presidential candidate George McGovern. McGovern, of course, was no “right-winger,” nor was he particularly pro-Israel, but as a bomber pilot during World War II he flew over Auschwitz while carrying out bombing raids on oil factories just a few miles away.

Here is part of what he said on camera: “There is no question we should have attempted... to go after Auschwitz. There was a pretty good chance we could have blasted those rail lines off the face of the earth... and we had a pretty good chance of knocking out those gas ovens.”

McGovern called Roosevelt “a great man” and his “political hero,” but felt the president made two major errors. One was the internment of Japanese- Americans, the other the decision not to “go after Auschwitz....

God forgive us for that tragic miscalculation.”

STUART ERDHEIM
Long Beach, New York

The writer was producer of
They Looked Away, a documentary film based on research he did for the article ‘Could the Allies Have Bombed Auschwitz?’

Far gone

Sir, – Once again I must protest Caroline B. Glick’s writing (“Why make light of PLO non-recognition of Israel?” Our World, March 11).

As is her wont, Glick seems to have ideas that are way off base.

To state that the US is attempting to back away from its support for Israel is untrue. I didn’t think even she was that far gone.

It’s high time for The Jerusalem Post to state that Glick’s words are not those of the newspaper.

Surely, it doesn’t back her!
LEONARD ZURAKOV
Netanya

President Itzik

Sir, – What an opportune time for Israel to demonstrate to the world the gender equality that exists in our country. By having a woman president, women’s rights organizations throughout the world would be ecstatic and full of admiration.

In this respect, Dalia Itzik is the perfect choice. She is highly educated and since 1996 has served in numerous ministerial or Knesset posts. She was the first (and so far only) woman speaker of the house, and was voted “Woman of Distinction” in 2011.

Great achievements! Furthermore, she was a very able acting president, gaining enormous experience for the role. Foreign dignitaries were always tremendously impressed on being greeted by a smiling, affable and charming person, and were not shy in voicing their admiration.

With her personality and vast experience in the political field, Dalia would indeed be a great asset to Israel. Her induction as the first woman president in Israel’s history would be a momentous occasion and imbue every Israeli with tremendous pride.

We won’t regret it.

URI MILUNSKY
Herzliya

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