letters to the editor

Yom Hashoah

April 15, 2015 22:37

Letters. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Yom Hashoah

For years, the Modi’in Municipality conducted a Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony at the city’s huge outdoor amphitheater.

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Composed of songs, poetry and dramatic skits, all by students, the presentation would connect today’s Israeli Jews to the unsolvable mystery of the Holocaust. This unique cantata always seared into the audience’s mind and soul the true, personal aspects of this Jewish human tragedy.

Sadly, this year it is absent. Upon inquiry, I was told it would be part of next week’s Memorial Day ceremonies.

Whatever the reason for the change, I, as a survivor, am saddened.

Yes, the Shoah’s six million should be included as our sacrifice for the rebirth of the state. Yet I still mourn specifically for European Jewry. Their vulnerability should be honored, if only for what their innocence represents – a people defenseless.

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As a nation, we remember and mourn the tragedy of the Shoah with meaningful ceremonies, programs and speeches. But at the same time, we must bow our heads in shame over how our Holocaust survivors are mistreated.

According to the 2008 report of the Dorner Commission, which looked into Israel’s treatment of survivors, the state has paid them less than what it took in as reparations from Germany.

In fact, the discrepancy per survivor was estimated to be NIS 1.3 million to NIS 2.2m.

Isn’t it time that attorneys work on a pro bono basis to attack the powers that be in order to rectify this humane injustice? BRYNA FRANKLIN Jerusalem

What sort of society is Israel, that it unfailingly strives to send aid to the victims of disasters around the world, yet continues to neglect the plight of its Holocaust survivors, many of whom desperately need financial and health care? Israel is apparently a flickering light unto the nations.


Appalling situation

With regard to “Police checking allegations that Jerusalem seminar exploited girls” (April 15), I was a Jerusalem high school guidance counselor for many years. Over 15 years ago, a few of my 11th grade girls disappeared from school and home. After speaking to their distraught parents and friends, I discovered where they were.

I went to the institution involved. Most of the girls were out working. I met a couple of girls who disclosed to me things that were similar to what appears in your article.

The girls lived in dormitory conditions.

They were sent out to work as babysitters and house cleaners. They gave their salary to the rabbi’s wife. They got an hour here and there in “religious studies.”

In time, they were married off to yeshiva students who otherwise would have had difficulty finding wives.

I reported this to the police (and of course to the school authorities).

I was told informally that the political connections of the rabbi’s wife were such that nothing would be done.

The exploitation of young, vulnerable adolescent girls is chilling.

The only change at the institution that I visited is that it since has surrounded itself with more wooden and tin barriers so that no one can look in or enter.

I am glad someone is finally investigating this situation. It is appalling.


Why the front page?

With regard to “Kim, Kanye baptize North West in J’lem’s Armenian Quarter” (April 14), how could you insult the intelligence of your readers by considering the arrival of Kim Kardashian and her entourage to be front-page news? You pronounce them superstars and celebrities when in actual fact they are a bunch of untalented, surgically enhanced nobodies who idolize materialism and exude vulgarity while making millions from exploiting the public’s obsession with their extravagant lifestyle.

The cult of reality television “celebrities” is bad enough in and of itself without The Jerusalem Post choosing to glamorize them even further. If you must report that they deigned to visit Jerusalem, at least consign the piece to the inside pages.


Educate about litter

Seth J. Frantzman hits the nail on the head in “The commandment Moses forgot? Stop Littering” (Terra Incognita, April 13).

Since my aliya from Australia 20 years ago, I always marveled at the huge sum of money spent of street cleaners here despite the lack of education to stop littering.

As Frantzman mentions, the anti-littering campaign in Australia eradicated littering completely.

Before that, my mother told me that in the 1970s, people had no qualms about throwing litter from car windows or other places.

Intensive education took care of that and the phenomenon disappeared.

A son of a friend who went to Melbourne for a trip told me: “I went to the local train station and there were no cleaners – but it was spotless!” Singapore imposes heavy fines for littering, and you can’t find a cleaner country.

All the money Israel spends on cleaners should be put into education.

Fines for littering could contribute further. Only in this way will things change.

MINA STERN Beit shemesh

Deri at Interior

I was somewhat relieved to read the excellent critique by Jeff Barak (“Should Arye Deri be interior minister despite having served 22 months in jail for corruption?” Reality Check, April 13).

It is indeed a sad reflection that while English fans (not renowned for their orderly behavior) have refused to allow a convicted rapist to play professional soccer, the Israeli public seems prepared to accept back into power, without hardly a whimper, someone the Movement for Quality Government has said “consistently led a life based on corruption.”

The completion of the statutory seven-year ban from holding office should not be a public whitewash.

The press and the judiciary have played their part in exposing and punishing such offenders, but this appears to have had little resonance with the public’s perception of honesty and propriety. The drive for higher moral and ethical standards should be led by our spiritual leaders. Alas, they are too busy manipulating the gains they can obtain from the political vacuum.

Mr. Barak, I and many others are ready to sign that petition against Deri’s selection.


Jeff Barak really should have asked what Arye Deri has in common with Isaac Herzog, and not with the British soccer player.

Both Deri and Herzog were accused of serious corruption while in government service. Deri was tried and convicted, and served his time. Herzog, who was accused in 1999 of election fraud while an adviser to the election campaign of former prime minister Ehud Barak, chose to take the right of silence during the investigation and thus avoided trial.

In his 1999 annual report, state comptroller Eliezer Goldberg found there had been a systematic violation of election finance laws. He fined the Labor Party NIS 13 million. He reported that most of the illegal funds had been raised by Herzog, who delivered them to the campaign by creating a web of non-profit organizations to serve as conduits.

Barak and virtually all members of the media have forgotten Herzog’s outrageous ethical lapse.

If corruption should be a barrier to government service, why doesn’t Barak question Herzog’s position as a member of Knesset, cabinet minister and party leader? JAN SOKOLOVSKY Jerusalem

I wonder which blessing Arye Deri offered upon the receipt of a bribe or kickback. Did he have a special one for breach of trust?


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