Bailing out of Labour
Regarding “UK MPs, Jewish orgs back Labour splinter group” (February 19), these seven Labour MPs who resigned from the party in part due to “institutional antisemitism” are right-thinking people leaving on a raft from a sinking ship. The emperor is no longer wearing any clothes and must be outed at every opportunity.
Because the leaders of the Labour Party headed by Jeremy Corbyn are a group of long-standing Marxists and Trotskyites, those with consciences will take the leap. Those who stay must suffer the consequences, along with the rest of the UK population should the nightmare occur of a Corbyn-led Labour government coming to power.
The 21st-century UK is calling for a new path in politics, let’s hope this the start of the journey.
On a somewhat related topic, following comments regarding the role of Poles in the Shoah, their prime minister has decided he will not be present at the forthcoming summit in Israel.
No doubt the truth hurts.
While Melanie Phillips “The unique disorder of hatred now destroying the Left” (February 14), is right about the antisemitism that has taken root in the current UK Labour Party, the far-Right is not immune from peddling hatred of the Jew. It is the only platform on which they are aligned, even if one side calls it antisemitism and the other anti-Zionism. To the Left, Jews are capitalists; to the Right, Jews are communists.
There is Jew and Israel hatred in other UK political parties besides Labour. My feeling is that they are cleverly staying quiet, waiting for the demise of Corbyn’s flock. If only dismissing vocal antisemites from public office, which Phillips recommends, could cure that centuries-old disease.
The Catholic Church is grounded on antisemitism and still has much to be criticized for in their preaching, especially at their Easter mass, which, until very recently – and then only bowing to pressure from Jewish authorities – they supposedly diluted it to make it more acceptable. Martin Luther’s hatred and preaching against Jews was vehement and limitless, influencing countless followers to adopt his beliefs even to today. The Gospel of John, too, is known to be a foundation for antisemitism and its teachings have greatly influenced Christian believers. The evangelists have their proselytizing agenda for the Jews they profess to love.
It is surely Christianity that is the foundation, has the responsibility and is to blame for much of the antisemitism in the non-Moslem world.
Butting horns with Poland
Regarding “Visegrad Jerusalem summit canceled as Warsaw balks” (February 19), it is remarkable how a little word like “the” can cause so much trouble.
The omission or inclusion of the word “the” in UN Resolution 242, referring to “territories” that Israel would have to vacate in the context of a peace agreement, has spurred more than a half century of debate as to the extent of Israel’s responsibilities, a conversation which will undoubtedly continue for many years to come.
Now, the Polish media’s insertion (deliberate or not) of the word “the” in quoting Netanyahu’s accusation of Poles’ involvement in mass murder, has resulted in the latest diplomatic crisis between Poland and Israel.
The fact that the Polish government handed the keys to Hitler, thereby ceasing to exist as a nation, does not mean that the “Polish nation” was not by and large complicit or at least silent vis a vis the murder of almost three million Polish Jews. The handful of righteous Poles who hid Jews in their barns under stacks of hay hardly absolves their countrymen of their awesome responsibility for this unspeakable tragedy.
There are many truths in life, but there is only one “the” truth. The sooner the Poles come to grips with it, the better.
Unfortunately, Israeli politicians have yet to absorb the lesson of Pirkei Avot- there is nothing better for a person than silence.
This is valid no matter how true the underlying sentiment.
I’m really disappointed in what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Warsaw about my nation. So many Polish people died because they saved the Jews. You are not thankful.
Yes some people did not do good deeds for Jews. This was war and the Polish people lost a lot. We didn’t start the fight with Hitler.
Once again The Jerusalem Post is demonstrating disdain for Jewish Law, for human life and for journalistic ethics by carrying an advertisement for cigarettes (February 19). Jewish Law forbids smoking since we are prohibited from doing anything that causes damage to our own body and leads to death. Advertising such products is a violation of the Torah’s command against putting a stumbling block before the blind (Leviticus 19:14) as interpreted by the Sages. I call upon the government to outlaw all forms of advertising of tobacco products and urge the owners of the Post and all newspapers to stop accepting such ads immediately. Otherwise they are complicit in encouraging smoking and thus in harming human life.
RABBI REUVEN HAMMER
JerusalemOlmert on values
Every oleh/olah is quick to learn the lovely Hebrew word “chutzpah.” It’s such a good word because it can be used to describe behavior ranging all the way from the merely mischievous to crude bloody-mindedness.
The latter characterization would fit the lead article in “Olmert to ‘Post:’ Netanyahu can and will lose the election” (February 15). As a convicted felon, former prime minister Ehud Olmert seems to have no problem lecturing us about morality and values in political life. What chutzpah! I would remind Olmert of Shakespeare’s famous line in Julius Caesar: “The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones.”
Numerous indeed in our country are honest and incorruptible Israeli leaders who have the right to – and do – speak to us about morality and values in or out of political office. Alas, Olmert is not one of them.
As to The Jerusalem Post publishing the interview, I would implore you not to give any space – let alone top front page space – to an ex-politician and ex-PM who is out of office because he failed the test and who has nothing to teach Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who has a long, unequaled and enviable record of service and achievement for our country.
FRANK J. VAN BERS
Peretz Rodman is right (Letter 18 Feb) in criticizing The Jerusalem Post for giving Ehud Olmert’s views prime top space on the front page on the Feb 15 issue. Olmert is an ex-convict and even if the Post believes he has served his punishment – although his ugly Holyland development will continue to mar the Jerusalem skyline for decades – I for one am not interested in his opinions about anything.
It is also understandable that Olmert undermines Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and would be delighted if Netanyahu is eventually found guilty. Olmert will then be able to escape the distinction of having been the only Israeli prime minister to be convicted of a felony.
It is hard to understand why the Post’s editors should help Olmert’s campaign.
I was appalled and sickened to see the on the Jerusalem Post’s front page an article wherein Ehud Olmert expresses his dire misgivings about Binyamin Netanyahu.
Olmert is the last person to cast aspersions about anyone, let alone our prime minister.
Olmert represents all that is wrong in this country. He was convicted of criminal offenses, spent time in prison and to this day expresses no regret. His legacy to citizens of Israel is that of no worries, no shame and lots of gain!
By quoting him as if his words are newsworthy, the Post is giving this man credibility.
DAVID S ADDLEMAN
Providing for civil marriages
“Orthodox rabbis call for civil unions for citizens unable to marry in Israel” February 12) notes that this would provide a solution to mixed-faith couples, citizens not registered as belonging to any recognized faith, Jewish citizens who are unable to marry for various reasons of Jewish law, and homosexuals and lesbians.”
It should also be available for everyone – provided that they formally declare that they do NOT wish to be considered married according to the rules of their religious community and that any previous marriage has been dissolved according to the rules under which it had been contracted – in the case of Jews, a get. Such a declaration might remove halachic difficulties and enable the rabbinate to treat such unions as having no halachic significance and not require a get for termination.
The quid pro quo should be that the secular courts be barred from interference in halachic matters, over which they should never have had jurisdiction in the first place.
MARTIN D. STERN
Let justice be served
I am greatly distressed by Israel’s failure to extradite Malka Leifer to Australia (“Failure to extradite Leifer will hurt Israel-Australia ties,” February 19).
Israel should serve as a refuge for Jews who are facing punishment solely because they are Jews, but Israeli laws should not be used as a means of sheltering criminals who are wanted for trial by one of our allied countries. The fact that the extradition is being sought to bring to justice a pedophile is even more shocking.
Why religious leaders continue to protect those charged with heinous crimes is beyond my comprehension. When I read in the papers the collusion of Catholic authorities who, by their actions, condone pedophilia, I am almost embarrassed for their religion. When the guilty parties are our rabbinic leaders, I can only say it is a major hilul hashem [desecration of God’s name].
That certain rabbis can tolerate this desecration of God’s holy name is beyond my understanding.
No right to incite
Regarding “Abbas’ spokesman: Israel withholding funds will have consequences” (February 17), the Palestinian leaders have a lot to say about Israel’s responsibilities, but don’t see any of their own failings. Instead of trying to destroy Israel, they should be working to set up a state in which their people (including descendants of Arabs who fled Arab-initiated wars against Israel) can become productive citizens.
Leaders who will not negotiate on proposals that would end the conflict have no right to incite (and reward) their people to violence and tell the world that there is no alternative.
TOBY F. BLOCK
Anti-Zionism and antisemitism
Regarding “Minnesota state senator: Ilhan Omar tweet shows ‘pattern of behavior’” (February 15), People who claim to be anti-Israel and who support boycotting Israeli products, divestments from Israeli companies and sanctions are actually Jew haters who cloak their true hatred in anti-Israel rhetoric.
In the Middle East, the Muslim countries want to destroy Israel because it is a democratic country in a sea of totalitarian Muslim countries. They hate Israel because it is a Jewish country, and it is all about religion in the Middle East. There is jealousy of the high standard of living in Israel and all of the Israeli accomplishments in science, engineering, medical technology, education, agriculture, business and military prowess.
The United States values its close relationship with Israel, a strategic ally, because we share similar values and strategic interests. Unfortunately, our first two Muslim congresswomen, one from Minnesota and the other from Michigan, are apparently on record opposing Israel’s right to exist, and they have expressed typical anti-Jewish views which parrot the Jew Haters of the world.
We must be more careful electing our government officials.
To the continual debate about anti-Zionism being or not antisemitism, I have a simple answer:
Anti-Zionists are either antisemites or useful idiots of antisemites.
With friends like these...
Regarding “Saudi prince: Israel ignores Saudi efforts to make peace” (February 14), Saudi Prince Turki bin Faisal denounced the Israel for rejecting what the prince describes as the “Saudi Peace Initiative,” adopted by the Arab League, which is based on the “Right of Return” and UN Resolution 194.
It was stated that the Saudi plan was predicated on “a just and agreed solution to the refugee problem on the basis of UN Resolution 194 of December 1948” and that only if Israel agrees to these terms, “would the Arab states consider this to be the end of the conflict and establish normal relations with Israel.
The Saudis are a primary funder of UNRWA, which indoctrinates a half a million students who dwell in “temporary” UNRWA refugee camps to believe in the “right of return” – by force of arms. The Saudis increased support for UNRWA by a whopping 2,300% between 2008 and 2016, which can be seen in the context of the Hamas takeover of UNRWA in Gaza, new military training in UNRWA schools, and in a war curriculum promoted by UNRWA schools.
In 2008, the Saudis ranked as the Number 19 UNRWA backer with a $6 million donation for that year. By 2017, they ranked as the Number 3 UNRWA backer with a donation of $148 million.
While it may be possible to influence Western donors to UNRWA to condition funds to on a cessation of violent incitement, such influence on the Saudis will be hard to facilitate.
There are those who say that Saudi intentions can be measured by their actions against Iran, another mortal enemy of Israel. However. the enemy of your enemy remains your enemy.
Center for Near East Policy Research
How to win votes and influence people
Yet again our politicians have got it wrong. Their modus operandi in attempting to win votes and influence people is to besmirch, defame, insult and otherwise destroy the reputation of every candidate that is perceived as competition.
If any of our esteemed politicians are interested, I have two tips that may help them win votes:
• Be friendly and discreet.
• Tell us why you are running for political office why we should vote for you
Should they adopt these points and refrain from mud-slinging, they may stand a chance of being listened to. Otherwise they can continue talking to themselves!
DAVID S ADDLEMAN
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