Charity starts here

Sir, – It sure is disgusting reading your frontpage news regarding the Palestinian Authority (“Israel denounces PA bid for non-member status at UN,” September 21).

Why shouldn’t it be? Israel pays hundreds of millions to the PA in advance. What about the arrears due Israel for supplying electricity? After doing all this for humanitarian reasons, do we expect them to be grateful? They hate us from the bottom of their hearts.

Have the European nations ever checked the PA accounts for fraud and mishandling of funds? What about the super luxury cars and buildings? Their debts are practically in the billions of dollars.

When is Israel ever going to learn? Let’s stop being so gracious and kindhearted to the PA – you’ll never know when it will stab you in the back. We should never forget that charity begins at home.

N.E. SAMUEL
Yavne

Long memory

Sir, – We have received an assurance from Alan Dershowitz relative to US President Barack Obama’s support for Israel vis a vis the Iranian threat (“Ross, Dershowitz confident Obama has Israel’s back on Iran,” September 21).

Let me say up front that I have great respect for Dershowitz, whom I regard as a patriotic American, a superb legal mind, an outstanding Jew and an unquestionable supporter of Israel. Nevertheless, I vividly recall his support of and friendship for former president Jimmy Carter, and his later public admission of having been mistaken in his assessment.

Thus, Dershowitz’s assurances do little to assuage my apprehensions and distrust regarding Obama.

RICHARD JACOBS
Haifa

Certainly with love

Sir, – I am very relieved to see that Zatmi Ali tells us that Islam is a religion of “love” (“Jerusalem judge denies temporary injunction to block anti-Islam video,” September 21). I am sure that the families of Sunni Muslims killed by Shi’ite Muslims, and Shi’ite Muslims killed by Sunni Muslims, as well as Christians and Jews killed by both of them, are most comforted.

However, Ali spoils it by saying that anyone who says “anything bad about Muhammad” should have his “tongue cut out” – with love, of course.

ISIDORE SOLOMONS
Beit Shemesh

Sir, – If a person disagrees with the laws of Islam because Shari’a Law for women is cruel and tortuous, that is freedom of speech.

But if there are cartoons depicting Muhammad as a homosexual, a child abuser and many more disgusting lies, I put it in the same category as what happened in Germany when the daily cartoon in the newspaper depicted a Jew with an enormous nose, beady eyes, slobbering from the mouth and vermin crawling all over him.

These cartoons helped fan the flames of anti-Semitism.

I am with those who demonstrate against what is being done against the prophet. It has nothing to do with freedom of speech.

YVONNE NARUNSKY
Kfar Shmaryahu

We owe it to them

Sir, – I read with interest “Crisis of identity” (Frontlines, September 21) and would like to point out that the State of Israel uses as criteria under the Law of Return that anyone who is one-quarter Jewish (i.e., has one Jewish grandparent) or is married legally to a Jew can be considered for the purpose of aliya.

There is currently a problem in relation to the Bnei Anusim (Marranos or Secret Jews) who are “coming out of the closet” in many areas of the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking world. Many regard themselves as Jews and want to reunite with their people, but are not accepted as Jews by the Chief Rabbinate and consequently are denied residence in Israel under the Law of Return.

This is a terrible inconsistency.

Some of these people have adhered to their Jewish identity for 500 years under the most oppressive of circumstances. We owe it to them that they be allowed to make aliya at least under the same conditions as olim from the former Soviet Union and other minority groups, such as the Bnei Israel from India, Ethiopian Jews and the Falash Mura.

JACK COHEN
Netanya

Faustian quandary

Sir, – With regard to Martin Sherman’s “The humanitarian approach: Responding to readers – Part I” (Into the Fray, September 21), it seems to me that to offer financial incentives and subsequent voluntary emigration is the best that can be achieved in this tragically Faustian quandary.

Does anyone out there have a more workable solution? If they do, I haven’t heard about it.

MALCOLM DASH
Zichron Ya’acov

A place to go

Sir, – Yoram Dori (“The Jewish refugee issue,” Observations, September 21) is contradicting himself in the definition of a refugee. He states himself that a refugee is one that was “forced to flee from his homeland....”

There is no doubt that Jews were forced to flee their original homelands because of persecution. The fact that they had a chosen destination – Israel – doesn’t negate the fact that they were refugees and should be compensated for their losses.

Any refugee goes to some other place when he leaves his home.

The fact that Jewish refugees came to Israel should not be held against them. Thank God they had a place to go to.

URI HIRSCH
Netanya

What he’ll say

Sir, – Ben Caspit (“Preparing for the day after,” Observations, September 21) says it is clear to everyone that US President Barack Obama will win reelection.

The fact is, some agree he will and some are sure he won’t, but few have Caspit’s confidence.

If Obama doesn’t win, which will Caspit say: “I was wrong” or ‘Everyone was wrong?”

ISRAEL PICKHOLTZ
Jerusalem

Poor coverage

Sir, – It was extremely disappointing to find that your September 19 paper had no report about Rosh Hashana in Israel as one of the most solemn periods of the Jewish year. The few paragraphs about visits to parks and nature reserves (“280,000 visit parks on Rosh Hashana,” News in Brief) were a travesty of proper coverage of the occasion.

BERNARD GOLDBLUM
Jerusalem

Apostles of humanity

Sir, – During a recent stay abroad, I witnessed numerous round-table discussions on German TV and radio in which self-righteous, so-called humanist Germans were lecturing and pontificating about the inhumanity of male circumcision, accusing Jews (and Muslims) of, among other things, gross child abuse, irreversible mutilation and causing terrible anguish. This, from a people whose parents and grandparents willingly murdered, tortured and gassed infants, babies, children, adolescents, adults, the aged and infirm, by the millions.

These are today’s apostles of humanity, with barely a mention of their horrific past or a hint of humility, sensitivity or indirect responsibility for the barbarism of their immediate forebears.

Seen from this perspective and having witnessed the outrageous claims, hypocritical benevolence and impudent lectures on ethics in the German media, the well-meant and politically correct contribution by the German ambassador to Israel (“Circumcision in Germany,” Comment & Features, September 12) did little to improve the situation.

Instead, it reaffirmed a much more sinister phenomenon, namely that to the German people the Holocaust of only six decades ago is nothing but an unfortunate, largely forgotten episode that has little if anything to do with the present generation.

GEORGE MOSCHYTZ
Jerusalem

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