A sad read
I was saddened to read “Abbas: With Trump’s White House in chaos, what’s the point of peace talks?” (August 21). It looks like yet another possibility of ending the Israeli- Palestinian conflict is being lost.
Israel needs a comprehensive, sustainable two-state resolution to the conflict in order to avert continued and possibly increased violence, diplomatic isolation and criticism; respond effectively to its economic, environmental and other domestic problems; and remain both a Jewish and democratic state.
This is not only my view, but, as indicated in the Academy Award-nominated documentary The Gatekeepers, the opinion of many Israeli strategic experts. Many of these experts believe there is no military solution to the conflict, so diplomacy must be stressed if Israel is to have a chance at a decent future.
In the current absence of effective leadership by America and the Palestinians, Israel should put a comprehensive peace agreement on the table that guarantees its security as much as possible. If the Palestinians do not then negotiate in good faith, this would show the world who the real obstacle to peace is and thus be beneficial for Israel.
RICHARD H. SCHWARTZ
I’ve been watching with great interest the witch hunt being conducted to find grounds to indict Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (“Leaders of anti-Netanyahu demonstration freed from jail, claim police overreach,” August 21).
I don’t understand the difficulty. Allow me to humbly suggest a number of “high crimes and misdemeanors” whereby the prime minister could be indicted:
• Through his diplomacy and travel, he has put Israel on the map and greatly increased our prestige around the world.
• An extraordinary number of foreign leaders and dignitaries have visited Israel during the prime minister’s tenure.
• As a result of his foreign policy, there is a good probability of advantageous trade agreements with Third World countries, many of which have great untapped natural resources.
• While certain MKs struggle valiantly to weaken the Jewish/ Israeli claim to Jerusalem, the prime minister has stated explicitly that Jerusalem will remain the undivided capital of the State of Israel.
• While the Left endlessly attempts to tie down the prime minister, there is no one currently in the Knesset anywhere near qualified to replace him.
NATHAN J. AVERICK
Cnaan Lipschiz, who describes the anti-Jewish Swiss hotelier offering “passionate explanations” for posting anti-Jewish signs in her hotel (“I talked to the ‘antisemitic’ Swiss hotel owner: It’s more complicated than you think,” August 21), seems very gullible. He accepts the woman’s tearful explanation in which she says: “I should have said ‘all hotel guests’ and not just Jews.”
Does anyone really think we are naive enough to accept such hasty backtracking? Those were crocodile tears up there with “But see, some of my best friends are (were?) Jews!” How about: “No guest is permitted in the pool without showering” and simply “Refrigerator privileges between the hours of blank and blank”?
This is a hotel that has catered to Jews for years. They make up a large percentage of the woman’s customers and she is doing them no favors with her other entreaty: “My God, if I had something against Jews, I wouldn’t take them in my hotel!”
I sincerely hope she will have a lot fewer of us as guests in the future. She knew exactly what she was doing and thought she could get away with it. Don’t help her out with excuses.
Penchant to demean
Your editorial writers have a penchant to demean rabbis, ultra-Orthodox politicians and traditional Halacha (Jewish law).
In your August 20 editorial “Rabbinate reform,” you refer to the “rabbinate’s outdated mindset.” With reference to ultra-Orthodox politicians’ negative attitude toward Reform Jews, these MKs are no different from members of any other Knesset faction who use all democratic means possible to promote their agenda, whether you or I like it or not.
The present abuse of democracy in the Israeli system of government certainly has to undergo change, but simply maligning politicians has no input in bringing about such change.
You conclude your editorial with the words of Batya Kahana-Dror, the candidate for chief administrator of the country’s Rabbinical Court system, who hopes to see “even the appointment of female rabbinical judges.” On this matter, she deliberately fails to remember that the current culture of feminism does not veto thousands of years of halachic discourse going back to Mount Sinai.
No forgiveness here
With regard to “The day the descendant of Nazis apologized to me” (Observations, August 18) and several readers letters sent in response, I am a Holocaust survivor. We certainly did not go like sheep to the slaughter.
My father organized Aliya Bet ships. Subsequently, he joined the partisans in Greece, killing 33 Nazis and doing other mischief. A close friend was among those who blew up the crematoria at Auschwitz in October 1944. Many fought bravely.
Now, on to the Holocaust fundamentals.
In Germany, there were at least 500,000 clerks working in the Holocaust “industry” – and I do not mean the executioners, but employees with salaries like the accountant Oskar Gröning, who more than 70 years later was finally brought to trial. The vast majority of these clerks were never brought to trial. In fact, relatively few of the real executioners were tried, with most of them leading pleasant post-war lives in Germany and elsewhere.
While some Jews went like sheep, many more Germans went along like sheep, aiding and abetting Hitler’s infernal regime. Their progeny enacted the present legal structure that enabled the vast majority of culprits to evade punishment. These are the people who had the “right” to plunder Jewish property and round up the Jews for diabolical “processing,” including horrific “experiments.” To this day, not only can I not fathom how such satanic acts happened, but how anyone could even think of such things.
For many years, it was difficult for me to talk to Germans. Once, a German woman got exasperated when I told her I “experienced” the Holocaust and did not want to continue our conversation.
“What more do you want us to do?” she asked. “We gave you compensation, apologies and more.” What I want, I told her, is for Germans to stop having babies. She went pale.
“Only now,” I told her, “you are beginning to grasp the meaning of genocide.”
Forgive? Are you nuts, Ms. Arfa?
A refreshing read
It was refreshing and genuinely informative to read David M. Weinberg’s “Big problems, substantial essays” (Know Comment, August 18). It was exactly what is missing from virtually all newspapers in Israel, namely a considered review of recent articles by serious writers in important journals and magazines.
Mr. Weinberg presents different views on a variety of subjects, mostly with respect to international affairs. The reader is offered salient facts with respect to these matters and can make up his or her own mind about them.
I sincerely hope The Jerusalem Post will make an effort to publish more serious journalism. Presenting a number of descriptive articles on the same subject, often several days in a row, accompanied by the writer’s opinion or unattributable quotes but lacking hard facts, hardly contributes to our enlightenment.