(photo credit: REUTERS)
Sir, – With regard to “World marks 70 years since Auschwitz’s liberation” (January 27), I was fortunate that I, together with my parents, survived the Holocaust without being in a concentration camp. However, we found that no country wanted us.
Seventy years later, when we have our own country, we are being threatened again, by Iran, with destruction. Thank God we have a prime minister like Benjamin Netanyahu who has made it his top priority to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear arms, which could be used to destroy us.
I wish that 70 years ago we had such brave Jewish leaders.
JOE GELLERT Netanya
Sir, – In marking international Holocaust commemorations, it is intolerable that the date of the liberation of Auschwitz by Soviet troops has been chosen.
Were there not more appropriate dates? For example, those of the Wansee or Evian conferences, to remind the world of its inaction? Would not a commemoration of acts of Jewish heroism, such as the uprisings in Warsaw, Treblinka or Sobibor, have been far more appropriate than the date of the belated liberation? Without gainsaying the bravery of Russian troops, how can we forget that the Russian leadership signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, which effectively prolonged the war and added to our tragedy? Nor can we forget the allies’ shameful failure to bomb the railway lines leading to Auschwitz.
This subversion has allowed the world to blur and distort the memory of Auschwitz.
LOUIS GARB Jerusalem
Sir, – World leaders and delegations from all over the globe attended commemorations of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.
CNN covered it in its entirety; later, Christiane Amanpour interviewed Elie Wiesel, and Wolf Blitzer did a special program on Auschwitz- Birkenau survivors.
Sky News covered the ceremony with excellent if subdued commentary; so did France 24 and even BBC.
Israel TV couldn’t be bothered. It’s election time.
ISABEL BERMAN Ra’anana
Bennett and gays
Sir, – Regarding reader David Cohen’s criticism of Bayit Yehudi on gay marriage (“Archaic stance,” Letters, January 26), party leader Naftali Bennett has clarified that Bayit Yehudi supports the principle that all couples, regardless of marital status, are entitled to all financial benefits afforded to married couples.
That the Torah, which will always be the single source of God’s word and law, includes homosexuality among illicit relations is immutable, no matter how inconvenient it might be for certain politicians and rabbis.
Jewish thought also stresses that no one can judge another individual since he can never put himself in the other’s place.
I have no doubt that most Israeli gays proudly identify with the Jewish community more than with superficial groups. Comparing the fact that gay couples don’t have the word “married” in their ID card to the kind of torture gays suffer in every other country in the Middle East, as the Left often tries to do, is more than a little disingenuous.
Pragmatically speaking, any government that Isaac Herzog and Tzipi Livni might put together would necessarily include haredi parties, which would never allow the smallest change in the status quo, so gay marriage in Israel is not likely to become a reality anytime soon.
Bayit Yehudi can never separate itself from the three basic tenets: the Jewish Land of Israel, the Torah of Israel and the people of Israel. And few will agree with every single proclamation by any party leader.
But Bennett has tried to build a home where many can find a lot of common ground.
Bottom line: Everyone who sees the Jewish land as the inheritance of the Jewish people can find his place in Bayit Yehudi.
SHARON LINDENBAUM Rehovot