Regarding “French company withdraws from Jerusalem Light Rail project,” June 28, the article mentions that “executives have come under sustained pressure by pro-Palestinian campaigners.”
In the interest of accuracy it should be noted that there are no pro-Palestinian campaigners; they are anti-Israel campaigners.
They show no interest in the welfare of the Arabs whom they claim to support.
Those of my near neighbors who used to work in the industrial area of Ma’aleh Adumim and lost their livelihood when SodaStream was forced to relocate were not happy.
Few people appreciate those who agitate to deprive them of decent jobs.
should be careful to describe these BDS types accurately as anti-Israel not as pro-anything.
Ma’aleh Adumim Neither slumber nor sleep
The article “Left-wing NGO crashes Birthright group to spread anti-occupation info,” June 28, highlighted an extremely serious growing phenomenon.
IfNotNow has heretofore specialized in picketing national Jewish organization headquarters and meetings. In its obsessive fixation on a (nonexistent) “occupation,” it ignores very real Israeli security concerns, and the Palestinians’ own agency in perpetuating their circumstances.
Above all, in rejecting the legitimacy of a sovereign Jewish Mideast state, their refusal to entertain Israel’s repeated peace offers.
Recently, IfNotNow has trained Jewish summer camp counselors in techniques towards sneakily subjecting unsuspecting campers to such views.
Activists have accosted Birthright participants at JFK airport as they prepare to board flights to Israel. Going beyond even that, it has evidently succeeded in embedding activists into arriving groups.
Such surreptitious subversions are absolutely intolerable. They need to be vigorously countered, with enhanced vetting and much closer supervision. Zero tolerance should be shown to violators.
American-Jewish youth are now seriously at risk. Whether it be anti-Israel curricula, from elementary to graduate school, harassment and intimidation on campuses, infiltration of youth groups, summer camps, and, now, Birthright cohorts, there no longer are any boundaries.
The enemies of Israel neither slumber nor sleep. It’s time for the Jewish community to wake up to such rising insidious dangers.RICHARD D. WILKINS
Syracuse, New York Be prepared
In response to “Abbas to Prince William: Palestinians are serious about peace,” June 28, this was clearly on display when Prince William was treated to the traditional stoning of passing traffic by Palestinian children, their cultural equivalent of rolling out the red carpet for the United Kingdom’s future king.
Surely Mr. Abbas, who we are supposed to trust as a peace partner, was pleased to see Prince William treated to this authentic Palestinian welcome, which is the inevitable result of relentless indoctrination in Palestinian schools, no doubt intended to prepare the Palestinian people for “peace through peace negotiations.”JULIA LUTCH
Davis, California Stop meddling
The July 1 editorial “Stop the Kotel Travesty” completely misses the point.
Nobody really cares if Minister Miri Regev changes her mind or not. The issue is much bigger than that.
On my visits abroad, if I choose to visit a famous cathedral, I remove my head covering. I choose to visit the Taj Mahal, I remove my shoes. If it is the Bahai Temple that I choose, I will conform to their religious set of rules. I also believe that I am not alone in this principle and that Jews all over the world act thus.
Then why do Jews from abroad when they come to Jerusalem and choose to visit the Western Wall, why do they not accept and show the same respect for the set of rules in our own religious heritage site, rules that were established and maintained over two thousand years ? Is it because there are new “modern” Jews who think that the old traditions are “passé,” that they know better, that things must move with the times ? Is that it? Well, let it be clear – the only reason that these Jews, and indeed all identified Jews in the world today, still identify themselves as Jews is because of the religious strictures that have been maintained for centuries by the traditional “passé” establishment.
I believe that there is not an identified Jew in the world whose great grandfather was not an orthodox practicing Jew or a rabbi.
The converse is also probably true, that there are no 3rd generation Reform Jews, who identify as Jews, and neither will there be. They are “modernizing themselves out of existence.”
So don’t meddle with Jewish history and survival. Pray separately at the Kotel – it doesn’t hurt and in fact it increases concentration and the intensity of our prayers.LAURENCE BECKER
Jerusalem Dangerous step
Regarding “Gal Gadot speaks out against US child separation policy: ‘Everything is wrong with this picture,’” July 2, indeed, everything is wrong with the use of this picture, which shows a poster of Anne Frank, with the text “Then they came for the children.”
Frank was hidden together with her parents from the Nazis in the Netherlands during the Holocaust until they were all betrayed and deported to concentration camps, where Anne died. Their only crime was that they were Jewish.
“Then they came for the children” is a fictional take-off on the famous quote by Pastor Martin Niemoller regarding the persecution of the Jews in the Nazi era.
Irregardless of the merits of the issue at hand, it is a disservice to the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust to use their images and stories for political purposes and a dangerous step in the trivialization of the Holocaust.MARION REISS
The author has written a book on the Holocaust.Rapid reawakening
I wish to congratulate Gila and Adam Milstein on their important article, “From Auschwitz to America: Lessons from Europe’s killing fields,” Observations, June 29.
All too often, Holocaust discussions center on the horrors perpetrated by the Nazis, and neglect mentioning what the other countries were doing while the Nazis were slaughtering the Jews.
As the Milsteins point out, “Antisemitism had long been present across Europe. Nazi Germany harnessed that hatred... to unleash the largest genocide in history.”
So-called civilized countries looked on silently and all-too-often actually aided the Nazis in rounding up the Jews. In Lithuania, Ukraine and Poland, the populace actively collaborated with the Nazis.
Hungary had their home-grown Arrow Cross Party, which even outdid the Nazis in the slaughter of Hungarian Jewry.
In Germany, Hitler was democratically elected to office, on an election campaign that included outspoken hatred of the Jews. Vichy France completely cooperated with the Nazis.
Dutch citizens betrayed Anne Frank to the Nazis, among many other similar Dutch acts. England closed the doors of Palestine when Jews were fleeing for their lives. US President Franklin Roosevelt did nothing to help the Jews, insisting that it was more important to win the war.
This deep-seated, widespread antisemitism lay dormant for half a century after the Holocaust, but now, antisemitism is rapidly re-awakening. Everywhere in Europe, poll after poll indicates that Jews and Israel are viewed as akin to the Nazis.
UN agencies, including UNESCO, the Human Rights Council, and the General Assembly, regularly display their hatred for Israel.
The EU and the British Labour Party are not much better, and the International Criminal Court ranks Israel among the world’s leading criminal nations. The spirit of the 1930s has been brought back by the radical Right, the radical Left and the radical Muslims.
Those who nonchalantly preach “Never Again” live in a utopian dream. It can and will happen again, unless we recognize the dangers and exert all our efforts to protect our threatened people.
The Amaleks of the 21st century are waiting for us lower our guard before striking again at “the tired and the weak.”NATHAN AVIEZER
Petah Tikva Saving music
I read with great interest Ben Sales’ article on Isaac Shapiro’s life in Japan during World War II, especially the fact that his parents were musicians. It reminded me of the story of the conductor, Joseph Rosenstock, who had a successful career in Germany until he was forced out of his position by the Nazis.
For a while, he continued conducting for the Orchester des Jüdischer Kulturbundes in Berlin, but he managed to leave Germany in 1936 and wound up in Tokyo conducting the Japan Symphony Orchestra (later known as the NHK Symphony Orchestra) during World War II.
Ironically, much of his repertoire consisted of German music and despite pressure from their German allies, the Japanese nonetheless assured his safety. He died in New York at the age of 90 in 1985.
Ma’aleh Adumim Unfortunate opportunity
Kudos to letter-writer Jan Sokolovsky for criticizing the appointment of Isaac Herzog to the chair of the Jewish Agency.
I had the unfortunate opportunity to sit next to Herzog in 2006 at the GA in Los Angeles. He was tourism minister and I had a tourism plan to try to implement for the government of Antigua. I was excited about this exchange and in the break (change of speakers) I asked him if he could help me promote it.
Instead, he turned to me and said “I am much too busy for that,” “speak to my aide.”
I’ll never forget that. Lucky for us the Jewish Agency today was replaced by Nefesh B’ Nefesh, or else we would really be in trouble.
Ramat Raziel Where were they?
I have read many articles about the Women of the Wall organization, about the Reform-Conservative claim for the Kotel, and I began to have an understanding and a sympathetic thoughts.
And then after much more in-depth thought I began to ask where were the WOW people for the fast of the 17th of Tammuz. Where were the lamentations and massive gatherings at the Kotel. Or is it all based on the idiom of “there is no business like show business”? I do have another question: how many Reform temples and Conservative synagogue sent letters of support to president Donald Trump for his diplomatic recognition of Jerusalem by moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem? YISRAEL (IAN) LAST