Sir, – If what Khaled Abu Toameh reports in “Hamas claims it is starting to rebuild infiltration tunnels” (October 20) is factually correct, it would constitute a clear violation of the cease-fire agreement.
Neglect of the tunnels and misjudging their threat level by previous Israeli governments extracted a terrible price in soldier and civilian deaths during Operation Protective Edge.
Do we have to wait for more killings and kidnappings to justify responding assertively to this clear act of renewed war on the part of Hamas? Are we still cringing from the idiotic charge of proportionality? HARVEY LITHWICK Meitar Ruby slips Sir, – It made me sick to my stomach to read “Rivlin: It is time to admit that Israel is a sick society in need of treatment” (October 20).
There are ways to look for improvement, for tikkun, but that certainly is not the way. One starts with the positive and only then relates to what needs fixing.
President Reuven Rivlin’s words are simply fodder for our enemies and certainly provide no motivation for change. I hope he realizes his mistake.
TAMAR H. KAGAN
Sir, – We live in a time wherein the nations of the world are ganging up on Israel. Then along comes the recently elected president and announces what he has to say for all to hear.
We are our own worst enemy.
The adage comes to mind that what Peter says about Paul is more true about Peter than about Paul.
Sir, – Concerning President Reuven Rivlin’s statement, one of the yardsticks that can used to measure the health of Israeli society is the quality of its president.
Zichron Ya’acov Abbas and the Mount
Sir, – With regard to “Abbas calls on Palestinian activists to prevent ‘settlers’ from entering Temple Mount” (October 19), I am wondering when we are going to set Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas straight by publishing, fact by fact, our entitlement to the Temple Mount.
Our temples stood on that ground before there were Muslims, before there was Muhammad, before they invented Islam, before Christ. The wall is the same wall that was part of our temple grounds and the only thing we have left of it. Nowhere in the Koran does “Jerusalem” appear. In the Torah it appears countless times, in many contexts as the heart and soul of our country.
They have declared Jerusalem the third-holiest place for their faith. For us it is the holiest place.
As far as Abbas’s disgusting accusation that we are bent on desecrating the “Noble Sanctuary,” take note: They use it to play football, to picnic, to sleep. Oh yes, and to pray.
The “special flavor” that Jerusalem has for Muslims is that the loss of it would devastate the Jews.
Certainly, they should have access to their portion of it, as should we. But when will we formalize our position by backing it up with armed forces protecting our right to our most holy place? MARCELLA WACHTEL Jerusalem Sir, – The time has surely come for Israel to lodge a formal complaint with the UN Security Council about the desecration of the Jewish holy sites on the Temple Mount by Palestinian hooligans – aided and abetted by no less than the president of the PA.
Sir, – Can someone explain to me how on earth then-defense minister Moshe Dayan was allowed to let the Wakf Islamic religious trust take charge of the Temple Mount after the bitter battle for Jerusalem? That was a tragedy, for ever since it has been one, long fight for Jews to even set foot there.
Now we have the disgusting name-calling of our “moderate” partner Mahmoud Abbas trying to incite his willing masses to stop us completely from all the area, including the Western Wall. What is wrong with our government, for goodness sake, take back control of the whole area and stop being so scared of the rioting Arabs? If they behave normally they can visit; if not, bar them just like you do with some of our own hotheads.
What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.
Petah Tikva High expectations
Sir, – I so enjoyed “Maritime Voyage: Halifax to Prince Edward Island” (Travel Trends, October 19). The whole article was extremely interesting and I was delighted that the writer, George Medovoy, mentioned the Anne of Green Gables books written by L.M. Montgomery.
These have been my all-time favorites and I would certainly love to visit Prince Edward Island. However, I would hope to see Anne and Marilla waiting by the farmhouse door!
Sir, – Regarding “UN chief questions IDF’s actions in Gaza war” (October 17), Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is South Korean. I wonder why nobody has ever asked him what he would do and say if North Korea pounded the people of South Korea with missiles incessantly for 55 days? Ban’s repetitive statement “it is not acceptable” is becoming rather tiresome. If he had any gumption he would tell the truth and issue a complete condemnation for what Hamas has done and is doing in the Gaza Strip. The people there have nobody to blame for their misery and destruction but Hamas.
MIKE AYL Ashkelon No Nazi or sympathizer Sir, – On July 14 you reported the proposal of Dr. Matthew Fox (“Israeli researcher launches campaign to note history of Nazi doctors alongside diseases named for them.” Fox called Hans Joachim Scherer (1906-1945) a Nazi doctor or Nazi sympathizer. I asked him about his evidence. I never received an answer.
Since Scherer has been maligned and since dead men cannot participate in their own defense, I would like to mention a few facts that will give your readers a fairer image of my father.
While working in Berlin, Scherer was known as an explicit and imprudent opponent to National Socialism. In August 1933 he was arrested by the Gestapo. After his release he left Germany for Belgium.
In February 1939 he asked to relinquish his German citizenship and started the procedure for obtaining Belgian citizenship; unfortunately, this could not be completed because of the German invasion of Belgium in May 1940.
In 1941, after repeated interrogations by the Gestapo, Scherer was ordered back to Germany, and the physiologist Viktor von Weizsäcker invited him to Breslau, where he continued to be considered a political suspect.
Many of his contemporaries have declared that after his return he didn’t change his opinion about the Nazis.
Scherer signed 209 postmortem reports of children euthanized in Lublinitz and whose brains were examined in Breslau. Nothing gives anyone the right to say he ordered these children to be killed or that he participated in their killings.
Documents belonging to my personal archives seem to suggest that he could not have refused to perform these examinations without running the risk of being killed or imperiling the safety of his family.
In 1947 von Weizsäcker wrote: “...he [Scherer] certainly was forced to fulfill the requirements the regime has imposed upon him.”
I would also like to quote Philipp Schwartz (1894-1977), a pathologist and Jewish founder of the wartime Emergency Association of German Scientists Abroad, who in 1959 wrote: “I was and still am proud to have shaken hands with him [Scherer] since he was one of the few Aryan colleagues who emigrated voluntary because they didn’t accept the injustice which hit innocent people.”