Oslo was the line
With regard to “It is up to us” (Encountering Peace, January 25), those of us who were here before Oslo remember a lot more dialog with the Palestinian Arabs.
I remember going to thriving restaurants in east Jerusalem, many walks in the area near Nablus, and shopping in Kalkilya. We felt welcomed, not threatened. All the ordinary man wanted was to bring home a decent wage.
There were no walls.
All this changed with Oslo and the sacrifices the Jews had to make for peace (i.e., being blown up in buses and restaurants). Since Oslo, relations have gone from fairly good to horrific.
Can anyone, including European leaders, tell me why, when the West Bank was in Jordanian hands, east Jerusalem was not the capital of a Palestinian state? FREYA BINENFELD
Petah Tikva Approach to the asylum crisis
With regard to “Holocaust survivors offer shelter as asylum crisis rages” (January 24), the absurdity of anyone with any knowledge of the history of the Jews equating the desirability of a democratic form of government with the existential necessity of a Jewish state should be clear.
We have survived judges, kings and theocracy. In the terrible event that our democracy is damaged, we will survive to restore it. But should we lose our Jewish nature, there will be no restoration.
The question of illegal immigrants or non-Jewish refugees must be considered in this light as well as in the realm of humanitarianism.
Tel Aviv Leibler a voice of sanity
What a relief – the voice of sanity Isi Leibler and his “Seeking the perfect national leader” (Candidly Speaking, January 24). Most decent people are by now sick to death of the witchhunts, demonization and hysterical media campaigns taking place against elected politicians and leaders who have been put in office thanks to our right to vote.
Want a perfect leader? Not me. Angels belong in heaven, and even then, the Almighty decided perfection was not enough, hence the creation of Adam and Eve.
Mr. Leibler’s column is a written testament to the dangers we face not only from our enemies, but from enemies within our own countries – those filled with hate and madness because someone may have given Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu some fine cigars or – even more shocking! – his wife may have taken some food out of the wrong cupboard for her personal guests. As the writer says, Winston Churchill smoked and chewed the finest cigars day and night, and nobody could have cared tuppence because somebody may have given them to him.
I ask your readers: What is wrong with these people, not only here but in America and Great Britain? Have all the lunatics been let out of the asylum?
Israel has never been in such a good position. Countries we never dreamed of are asking for our help and getting it. The IDF is strong. Hotels are booming (tourists still love to be here). Anybody worth his or her salt in the entertainment world wants to come. (Those who don’t come? Let them sit in their own backyard.) I love this land of ours, and every day I say a silent thank you to God for allowing me the privilege to be here. If I want a new prime minister, I will work it out myself and vote accordingly, and not according to the hysterical ravings of a handful of reporters or lecturers or economists who think they know better than I do what is good for me and mine.
Plenty of people think like I do. This will be revealed when it’s election time.LINDA HIRSCH
Netanya Trump vs Roosevelt
It is interesting that a noted historian like Gil Troy lavishes such praise on Franklin D. Roosevelt’s moral standards (“America’s year of living Trumpishly,” Center Field, January 24). This was the president who kept a mistress and refused to bomb the concentration camp rail lines or accept the pleas for sanctuary by millions of Jewish Holocaust victims.
I kind of think a Trumpish president would have acted differently, don’t you Prof. Troy? J.W. KRASNER
Jerusalem Profound essay on brotherhood
Shuki Friedman’s profound essay “From peoplehood to brotherhood” (Comment & Features, January 22) can be well summarized by the affirmation recited each morning in our daily prayers: “Happy are we! How good is our destiny, how pleasant our lot, how beautiful our heritage.”
When politics enters the picture, even family relationships can become undone.
A voice sadly silenced
We mourn the loss of Toby Willig, a woman of Emunah in every sense of the word.
She was part of a generation of women who included my beloved mother and mother-in-law, of blessed memory, who dedicated their lives to the State of Israel by being active members of Emunah Women. They raised money for Emunah’s institutions, planned its programs and embodied what true Jewish women should be.
Toby could not sit still. She loved to go to lectures, classes and performances, and her presence uplifted all those around. She was part of every Emunah committee, and until her last days chaired the programming committee of the Jerusalem branch.
Her love of people, Israel and life were legendary. As a member and employee of Emunah for many years, I saw first-hand how she put her whole being into what she did. If she sat at a table with other people, she made sure that everyone felt comfortable by introducing everyone around.
I was privileged in the last 12 years to move from being a close friend to a relative when my son married Toby’s granddaughter. I also saw her devotion to her family, her optimistic outlook on life and her courage during hard times.
We will miss her many letters to the editor of The Jerusalem Post, as well as her warm smile and hugs. The people of Israel have lost a true spokeswoman.
May her memory be blessed.NANCY CHERNOFSKY
Last week, a great friend of the AMIT family passed away.
Toby Willig was well known in Jerusalem as a lady who knew and loved everyone she met.
Her mission in life was as a great defender of the Jewish people and especially the State of Israel.
I often thought that Toby could be the personification of Serah Bat Asher. Serah Bat Asher was Jacob’s granddaughter. The Midrash says she was a great woman who influenced Jacob, Moses and King David with her wisdom. Toby often met dignitaries and great rabbis, sharing with them her great wisdom and insight. She was so sure of what was right, and she had the courage to express it.
Toby could be seen at every lecture, Torah lesson, concert and Jewish-oriented event. She always sat at the front and asked the first question. Her questions were erudite and brilliant. Everyone learned from her.
She told everyone “I love you” – and she meant it. And who didn’t love reading her letters to the editor of The Jerusalem Post. She always made brilliant points. Even in disagreement with something written in an article, her comments were always polite and respectful.
Many of you, like us, have memories of Toby Willig. Her presence will truly be missed.
SARAH MASLOW ANNETTE JOTKOWITZ
The writers are co-presidents of Amit Chug Ayelet.
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