The (wrong) road
Sir, – I look forward to your excellent Sunday section, Travel
Trends, since it affords me the opportunity of “visiting” places I may never get
to see. And when it combines Judaism and history I find it especially
In one of this week’s features, on Charleston, South Carolina,
the writer quotes Reform Rabbi Stephanie Alexander in saying that the synagogue
“is vibrant in its practice of Judaism.” Wouldn’t it be more vibrant if its
Shabbat dinners were kosher?
Sir, – I am highly
disappointed that your travel section featured, for the umpteenth time
consecutively, locations in the United States.
My disappointment has been
exacerbated due to the fact that our world has been blessed with infinite
tourist gems, yet the reader is being deprived of such valuable knowledge. From
a practical perspective, this reader is being denied the opportunity to discover
her next dream vacation.
Our world is saturated with culture.
is time we experience its beauty.
Sir, – Your September 9 paper had a well-written piece, as usual, by Liat
Collins on political leaks and their dangers (“Hiss and tell,” My Word). I
wholeheartedly agree with her – some things must be kept quiet, at least for a
So why was there an article the previous Friday reporting on army
maneuvers and training toward a possible incursion into Lebanon (“Training with
Golani for a potential southern Lebanon offensive,” Frontlines)? Why should
Hezbollah have to do no more than open the Post to read about the military’s
thought process? Even if this passed the censor, as I am sure it was, why should
it be written at all? It makes for interesting reading and people do like to be
reassured that the IDF is on the ball, but I don’t think this justifies making
the information available like that.
Sir, – A physics professor wants The Jerusalem Post to refuse to
publish absurd advertisements, like the very silly one that recently
“predicted,” using mystic terminology, that extreme natural disasters will soon
destroy the planet (“Absurd ad,” Letters, September 9).
The refusal to
print an ad simply because it’s silly would fuel demands that all manner of
sayings, doings and viewpoints be barred from the paper’s pages on the same
For example, what’s an editor to do next time he receives an
article describing some of the theories of modern physics, e.g., that matter can
wink in and out of existence, that there is an infinite number of parallel
universes and that the properties of particles depend on whether someone is
Yishai and migrants
Sir, – Regarding
“Israel lets in 3 of 21 Eritreans stuck on Egyptian border” (September 7), our
own history describes the time when we became migrants. We went down to Egypt,
70 souls, seeking asylum from famine. We grew into a community of millions, but
the intention, as shown by our leaders, was always to return.
is currently a ubiquitous and knotty problem in the Western world. It is
extremely irresponsible to encourage the growth of the problem
Interior Minister Eli Yishai is taking a tough, realistic and
MIRIAM L. GAVARIN
Sir, – I
think Miriam Wolff’s suggestion that Egged use animals for its advertisements is
a wonderful idea (“From 2 to 4 legs,” Letters, September 4). Except that the ad
campaign should teach dog lovers to pick up after their pets rather than leaving
the streets a minefield of excrement.
Sir, – If ever the telegenic, kinder, gentler face of Palestinian politics,
a.k.a. Hanan Ashrawi (“PLO’s Ashrawi: Jews who came to Israel from Arab
countries are not refugees,” September 2), lost her credibility and possibly her
marbles! She has certainly gone overboard big time.
No need to
extrapolate further as there is irrefutable evidence on the subject of
approximately one million Arab Jewish refugees forced to flee from their
countries as violent anti-Semitism swept across the Middle East, gathering
momentum from the early 1930s. Consequently, in 1957 and 1967, under UNHCR
mandate, they were legally granted refugee status.
The impotent PA,
lacking media focus due to venal scenarios playing out elsewhere, seeks to
spotlight outrageous lies that are enthusiastically relayed to the rapacious
press by Ashrawi, and also by Suha Arafat with regard to her late husband’s
unwashed underwear as evidence that he was murdered by Israel.
both ladies feel the need to revive their flagging visibility!
Sir, – As a former Egyptian Jew I am writing to refute Hanan
Ashrawi’s claim there were no Jewish refugees from Arab lands.
are full of “terminological inexactitudes” and historical fantasies that only a
PLO executive can claim with a straight face. It is an undeniable, historical
fact that about 850,000 Jews living in nine Arab countries were ethnically and
brutally cleansed from their countries of birth and made
Ashrawi says the Jews left of their own volition. If so, why
did they leave all their assets behind? In each of the nine countries they were
expelled with only a small suitcase and some pocket money.
No trials. No
juries. No justice.
Jews were harassed and killed well before Israel was
In Iraq there was the infamous massacre in Baghdad’s Jewish
Farhud section in June 1941. Several hundred Jews were killed and wounded;
mothers were raped in front of their children. This went on for three
In Egypt, the Haret el Yahud (Jewish ghetto) was bombed in 1945
through 1949. But, the bulk of the expulsions there began in earnest in 1956,
during the Suez war, and continued unabated until 1970. The authorities
confiscated Jewish businesses, including my family’s; Jews were stripped of
their assets – homes, bank accounts, employment and personal
Officials began issuing travel documents to nearly all Jews,
stamped with the statement, “Without the right of return.”
In some Arab
countries the expulsions were especially virulent during the Six Day War. Brutal
riots in Libya, for example, led to murders and widespread atrocities. In Iraq,
nine Jews were hanged in a public square while thousands cheered in ecstasy. In
Egypt, 400 Jewish males between the ages of 16 and 70 were herded into the
notorious concentration camps of Abu Zaabal and Tura. They were tortured, and
some were forced to perform sexual acts until, with the help of the
International Red Cross, they were released in 1970. Several of my relatives
were in these camps.
Ashrawi wants to repeat the “right of return” of
Palestinian refugees. She argues, feebly, that Arab nations would accept the
return of expelled Jews with compensation. Please tell me: Why should I return
to a country that hates Jews and kicked us out? We are no longer “the forgotten
refugees.” Many of our number live in Israel, working hard to build a strong,
democratic and highly successful country, the envy of the world for its medical,
technological, pharmaceutical and many other inventions.
teaching our children to hate, we teach them how to study and succeed.
is time for Ashrawi to begin teaching the same thing to Palestinian