Don’t go public
After reading Benjamin Mann’s piece “Schechter Manhattan is more important than ever,” December 17, as a new immigrant I am embarrassed that Chief Rabbi David Lau condemned Education and Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett for visiting the Solomon Schechter School of Manhattan (“Lau criticizes Bennett for visiting Conservative school in US,” December 10).
If Solomon Schechter did not exist in Manhattan these students might very well be attending public schools. There they would be singing Xmas carols, whereas at Schechter, as the head of the school Mann mentioned, they sang Hatikva, Hallel and learned about Hanukka.
Also, the eighth grade students are excited about a two-week trip to Israel this spring.
Would Rabbi Lau rather have those students attend public schools and not learn about their religion and Israel? Let him think about that.
In regards to the high-level secret meeting that was held in Switzerland to hammer out reconciliation terms (“After five-year break, Israel and Turkey may be on brink of reconciliation,” December 18), what is it with this prime minister that he is so obsessed with making concessions to our enemies? It is bad enough that the prime minister’s concessions to the Palestinian Authority and Hamas continue. But now it is Turkey and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who makes no secret of his enmity toward the Jewish state.
Turkey is having issues with Moscow over the downing of one of Russia’s planes and is also regionally isolated due to its efforts in Syria and Iraq. So now Turkey looks to Israel and sees an opportunity to come in out of the cold – but at Israel’s expense.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu already apologized for the Mavi Marmara episode on demand from US President Barack Obama. This in itself is disgusting as our soldiers were beaten with iron bars and were fighting for their lives sustaining very serious wounds. But, Netanyahu has also, on demand from Erdogan, offered $20 million compensation to the families of the dead terrorists.
What does this say to our soldiers who every day are fighting for their and our lives. Terrorists matter and their families must be taken care of by Israel. With Netanyahu so desperate to be the good guy, one wonders how he will get around Erdogan’s condition of lifting the blockade of Gaza, which is somewhat of a pathetic joke anyway as the government allows tons of supplies in to Hamas, which then enable it to prepare for the next attack.
As a sovereign nation we are perhaps the biggest joke of all in the way that we have lost all pride and faith in what we once stood for.
Missed the boat
I do not know what kind of ax Stephen Gabriel Rosenberg has to grind (“‘HMT Dunera,’ the scandal and the salvation,” December 13), or what his background is, but I know my background.
Born in Berlin before World War II to Jewish parents, we were among the fortunate ones to escape to Britain, away from the Nazi terror.
As soon as the war started we were all interned – up to this point Rosenberg is correct. But within just a few weeks of living in the internment camp (an old British army barracks, clean and – relatively – comfortable) the adults had to appear individually before a tribunal. The task of which was to determine the level of threat (if any) posed by the individual. All those cleared by the tribunal, as was my family, were given “friendly alien” identity papers, work permits and released.
Only those considered by the tribunal to be potential enemy risks were treated as Rosenberg describes. To the best of my knowledge, judging by the friends we made in the camp with whom we kept in touch, this was the majority, not the other way around as Rosenberg would have it.
Regarding the article “Abbas: Palestinian youth had no choice but to start wave of violence,” December 15, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas is quoted as saying about the Arab stabbings and car attacks that, “They set out because they have begun to feel desperate about a two-state solution.”
Abbas knows that this statement is completely false since he himself has shown no interest in a two-state solution. Rather, his statement is intended to further encourage and legitimize the stabbings and car attacks.
Just as he initiated the current terrorist wave three months ago by praising martyrs and saying: “Each drop of blood that was spilled in Jerusalem is pure blood as long as it’s for the sake of Allah. Every shahid (martyr) will be in heaven and every wounded person will be rewarded, by Allah’s will” (Abbas: We won’t allow Israel to desecrate holy sites, September 17), so he continues to do so. Abbas is the murderer-in-chief of the so-called lone wolf attackers.
They take their cue from him, just as if he had directed each terrorist act. Abbas should be arrested and tried for terrorism, as if he had committed the acts himself.
I could not agree more with the sentiments expressed by Farley Weiss (“Changing world opinion starts with Israel asserting it owns the land,” December 17), but was surprised by his failure to mention the Balfour Declaration, reaffirmed three years later by the Treaty of Sèvres, which clearly laid the foundation for the legal claim of Jews to sovereignty in the land of their forefathers.
Undoubtedly we have a historical claim, a moral claim and a de facto claim to sovereignty in the land, as Weiss pointed out, but the legal claim stems from the terms of the mandate determined by the League of Nations and the international Treaty of Sèvres. It is imperative that the Israeli government trumpet this fact at every opportunity, even if the objective is to negotiate a partial abrogation of these rights. It is time to publish the Levy Report, (which concludes that Israel’s presence in the West Bank is not an occupation and that the Israeli settlements are legal under international law) which is based on these legal foundations, even if it ruffles a few diplomatic feathers.
Keep us posted
Further to Alan Koor’s Letter to the Editor regarding the shameful performance of the Israel Postal Company’s “Doar 24” service (December 20), I’d like to record my own sad experience.
I had mailed a very important original document via the postal service’s registered express 24-hour special delivery service on November 15, and paid a very high fee to do so. Well, it did not arrive within 24 hours, nor within 48 hours and not even within 72 hours.
In short, it was delivered only a week and a half later. And this after many fruitless telephone calls that I made and an eventual appeal to the State Comptroller’s Office, which intervened on my behalf. Only then, did the postal service take the required steps to determine the whereabouts of the packet that had gone astray and manage to deliver it within a few hours.
Readers should think twice before they entrust any important items into the clutches of the Israel Postal Company.