Jerusalem Post Letters to Editor: Damage to Judaism

I await the day when a Jerusalem Post editorial denounces Conservative and Reform behavior and their damage to Judaism.

By
January 31, 2017 20:44
Letters

Letters. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Damage to Judaism

After reading “Conservative Movement proposes measure that lets non-Jews be synagogue members” (January 30), I would suggest that a vote also be taken on recognizing a non-Jewish wall from the many non-Jewish buildings in Jerusalem as the new Western Wall, at least for those who are not satisfied with 2,000 years of tradition at the present site.

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I await the day when a Jerusalem Post editorial denounces Conservative and Reform behavior and their damage to Judaism. No wonder their synagogues are empty and their youth tragically marrying out of the faith.

I would also point out that, contrary to the untruths these movements spread, there is absolute freedom of worship in Israel, and no one prevents them from building their own synagogues and praying as they wish. Of course, the problem is that there is very little local interest in these movements.

YITZCHOK ELEFANT Dimona The writer is chief rabbi of Dimona.

Bans, omissions

Regarding “Jews with history in mind” (January 30), liberal thinking Jews of America mistakenly equate Jews who fled the Holocaust with present-day Muslims now affected by US President Donald Trump’s ban on certain refugees.

They are not thinking logically.

Those Jews who managed to enter America after escaping the horrors of Nazi persecution wished nothing more that to integrate and live in peace with their new countrymen.



Muslims entering Western countries are determined to impose their beliefs, with the eventual establishment of a worldwide caliphate where the indigenous populations either accept Islam and Shari’a law or become dhimmis (second-class citizens) in their own country.

How many of those Jews who attend religious services have ever heard sermons vilifying Muslims and Christians? How many Jews are engaged in terrorist acts against their host nations? How many Jews engage in suicide bombings, car rammings or shootings? Muslims regularly hear sermons filled with hatred for Jews and Christians. Muslims are regularly involved in shootings, car rammings and suicide bombings.

Muslims riot against journalists who speak or write negatively about Mohammad; this culminated in the massacre at the Paris offices of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo. Since then, publications have ceased being in the forefront of free speech, with journalists fearing for their lives.

We have learned that Muslims do not make empty threats. They mean what they say, and sadly, the West is crumbling beneath their increasing presence.

CYRIL ATKINS Bet Shemesh

Jeff Barak (“Trump forgets ‘Never Forget,’” Reality Check, January 30) seems personally insulted that US President Donald Trump omitted “Jews” from his International Holocaust Remembrance Day statement, and also that Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev and other Likudniks chose to “celebrate” in Eilat at an event held on the same day.

Yes, President Trump should have talked about the Jewish nation in his statement, and it is very strange that he didn’t. But Mr. Barak knows very well that here in Israel, we take Holocaust Remembrance Day very seriously.

CHANA PINTO Tel Mond Jeff Barak begins by offending people who consider themselves right-wing or politically conservative by accusing them of being forgetful of the lessons of the Holocaust.

Does he really want to go there? Didn’t America have enough of president Barack Obama, who over the course of eight years divided the nation by demonizing and vilifying those who would not join in lockstep with him? He repeatedly slandered them by calling them racist or labeling them with some other objectionable term in order to bully and shame them into agreement. In large part, that accounts for the Trump phenomenon.

As a right-leaning individual, I completely reject being put into a category of those who are indifferent or complacent about the Holocaust, and I would dare say I’m not alone.

COOKIE SCHWAEBER-ISSAN Gizo The cacophony of criticism of President Donald Trump from Jews on the Left is annoying, to say the least.

They condemn him for not saying the word “Jew” in his International Holocaust Remembrance Day proclamation, allegedly ignoring the uniqueness of Jewish suffering as opposed to all other victims.

Then, they universalize Jewish suffering during the Holocaust by drawing comparisons with refugees affected by Trump’s new US immigration standards.

As a “second-generationer,” I, too, would have preferred mention of Jews in the proclamation, but I realize that much of the parsing of Trump’s post-election words is just political. With all due respect to Elie Wiesel’s poignant opinion on the issue of Holocaust uniqueness (which I share), Trump’s statement is nonetheless intellectually defensible – it’s another opinion, not the stuff of Holocaust denial, as intimated by some election-defeat deniers.

For decades, Jewish communal leaders and Israeli, American and European politicians ignored the word “genocide” when speaking of the death marches and massacres perpetrated by the Turks against the Armenians. It was purely political. What’s a bit of historical revisionism gonna hurt? So much for the moral high road.

Words are important, but the actions that follow matter more.

GABE GOLDBERG Jerusalem

Zomlot’s chutzpah

One can only laugh at the chutzpah of Husam Zomlot, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s adviser for strategic affairs (“Abbas adviser: If there were no hope for a Palestinian state, PA would collapse,” January 29).

The only reason there isn’t yet a Palestinian state is because its leadership has repeatedly refused to agree to the establishment of one. The only thing that would end all hope would be a decision by that very same leadership, which includes Zomlot, to deliberately, permanently, publicly and convincingly torpedo any chance of one.

Your article also contains a significant factual error, incorrectly saying “US administrations have historically supported the twostate solution based on pre-1967 lines.” Historically, American administrations opposed the establishment of another Palestinian state and, consistent with United Nations Security Council resolutions 242 and 338, recognized that Israel would retain some of the territory beyond the temporary armistice lines, territory that had been captured by Egypt and Jordan in the 1948 war.

While former US president Bill Clinton suggested the establishment of a Palestinian state during mediations in 2000, support for such a state did not become American policy until enunciated by president George W. Bush in 2002. Bush’s 2005 letter to prime minister Ariel Sharon clearly indicated that Israel would retain territory beyond the Green Line.

Only in 2011 did President Obama trample previous policy by calling for negotiations based on the armistice lines.

It’s also important to remember that the 1949 armistice agreement itself states that the lines were to have no political significance.

Hence, calling for negotiations based on such lines effectively violates that agreement.

ALAN STEIN Netanya

False news

There has been critical discussion of the use by the Trump administration of “false news.”

But this is certainly not a new concept. Apart from the use of altered history by dictators such as Hitler and Stalin, the liberal media in the West have been using this approach for years.

In relation to Israel, the security fence has been termed an “apartheid wall”; the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) has erroneously been termed “occupied territory” or “Palestinian territory” or both; Jewish villages in Judea and Samaria have been labeled “settlements,” as if that is derogatory, and these settlements have automatically been termed “illegal,” without any legal justification.

This liberal media bias corresponds to “false news.”

JACK S. COHEN Netanya


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