Sir, – I read with interest that the Palestinians have begun to call the present violence against Israelis the “knife intifada” (“Soldier, woman killed in two terrorist attacks,” November 11).
We just marked the 76th anniversary of Kristallnacht in Germany.
On that infamous night of pogroms, many Nazis and their sympathizers sang the “Horst Wessel song,” one of the most popular Nazi anthems. That song called for war against the Jews “until Jewish blood spurts from the knife.”
Sadly, we seem now to have come full circle. Thank God that the Jewish people is no longer stateless.
ARNOLD I. KISCH
Sir, – Awake, awake Israel and the Jewish people! The terrorists want nothing more than the death of every Jew, wherever the Jew is. But the death of Jews will bring only chaos and misery to everyone.
The terrorists will never have to give an account for the suffering they have brought to hundreds and thousands of families.
Instead of every country saying they will harbor no active terrorism whatsoever, they should not give physical or financial aid to these terrorists. Shame on every country that says it will recognize a terrorist state. For this, thousands of people should be rallying at the Prime Minister’s Office demanding that he declare military rule in Israel because it is essential that these terrorists be declared enemies of humanity like Hitler and Osama Bin Laden.
A long list of the countries and organizations that have given such power to terrorism should be published. We must fight back and we must try to make the world understand that there can be no free nations if terrorism exists anywhere.
Jerusalem What a difference
Sir, – As I read the headline regarding Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s comments on rabble-rousers (“Netanyahu: Go to the PA or Gaza if you don’t like Israel,” November 11), I had a flashback to 40+ years ago.
At the time, I attended a lecture by Rabbi Meir Kahane at the Young Israel of Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn. (The synagogue’s rabbi, Herbert Bomzer, was a supporter of Rabbi Kahane.) Rabbi Kahane’s address and the contents of the article are pretty much one and the same. Yet the former was blackballed for his comments. I doubt seriously the same fate awaits Bibi.
What a difference four decades make.
MICHAEL D. HIRSCH
Kochav Yair Out of order
Sir, – Justice Minister Tzipi Livni’s comment as quoted in “Protecting democracy focus of swearing-in of 24 judges” (November 11) is out of order.
Minister Livni should be advised that a basic tenet of democratic government is the checks and balances between its legislative, executive and judiciary branches. No one branch can be considered sacrosanct from reproach in establishing its decision and limited from any corrective action within the legal bounds of the other branches.
By stating “I will not allow the Knesset to override the Supreme Court,” she is taking upon herself a task that contradicts this basic tenet of democratic government. Further, with her statement she indicates a lack of understanding of the rules of law by personally impeding any legislative action to maintain this balance.
Tel Aviv All-purpose sauce
Sir, – In view of the vote taken in Catalonia (“Spain, Catalans to try dialogue,” November 11), we in Israel should organize a massive petition urging the government of some country or other to immediately recognize the State of Catalonia.
The Knesset should also pass a non-binding resolution demanding an end to the occupation of Gibraltar by Britain and its being handed back to Spain. Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman should visit Brussels and lecture the head of the EU on the need for a two-state solution in that country, and on his wish to see France living in peace, side by side, with the State of Corsica.
What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.
Petah Tikva Singular service
Sir, – Walter Bingham does a singular service by bringing us his firsthand “Reminiscences of Kristallnacht” (Comment and Features, November 11).
Twenty-one-year-old Herschel Grynszpan’s assassination of a Nazi German diplomat in Paris was indeed the pretext sought by Berlin to carry out an extensive pogrom throughout Germany and newly- annexed Austria and Sudetenland.
The planned pogrom thus came sooner than the Nazis had intended, and thankfully so.
Tens of thousands of German Jews in the expanding Reich who had been sitting on their suitcases in the desperate hope that “things could not get worse” made a final decision that night: They picked up those suitcases and left their lost homeland any way they could, and in much greater numbers. Most of those lives were thus saved.
Gerald Schwab, in his important book The Day the Holocaust Began, sums up the Grynszpan affair by suggesting that “in the final analysis, he performed a very valuable service” by poking the beast.
Grynszpan probably never intended this result, but his act of desperation resounds to us today across so many terrible years for humanity.
The so-called master race, then, has ill-begot the master jihad of today, personified by Iran. This should give the world a clue as to possible action to come. Hopefully, the continuing dialogue between the ships of state in Israel and America will not shipwreck over the issue of allowing Tehran to continue toward full nuclear weapons capability.
Let no one pontificate today by exclaiming “but Iran is against ISIS, isn’t it?” in the same deafening tone of yesteryear “but Germany is against Bolshevism, isn’t it?”
Sir, – What Shmuley Boteach says about Australian Labor Party politician Bob Carr (“Ex-Australian FM stabs Israel in the back,” No Holds Barred, November 11) resonates with me for particular personal reasons.
For many years, the Jews of Australia regarded Bob Carr as a friend.
I, as an Australian rabbi – for 32 years senior rabbi of the Great Synagogue in Sydney – certainly thought Bob was my own good friend, and it gave me pleasure to see him at various Great Synagogue events, culminating in my farewell at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.
He was never less than gracious.
He quoted me in parliament and said wonderful things about my efforts for intercommunal harmony.
He was constantly positive in relation to Israel.
Now, it seems, he likes neither Jews nor Israel and I guess he must find my own name rather embarrassing.
He seems to have caught dictionary disease, in which words mean whatever he wants them to: Friend no longer means friend, rights mean wrongs, and any way you can slur Israel – especially by unfairly labeling it an apartheid state – is morally defensible.
I deeply deplore Carr’s change of tone – not that he is influential enough to make a difference to international or Middle East affairs, but it’s not good to see someone I thought was a high-minded idealist making a laughing stock of himself.
Sir, – Shmuley Boteach says it all.
I have one word for it – “bravo,” especially for the two paragraphs that both start with “He omits....”
This column should be reprinted in all western newspapers and quoted by members of our government in every forum available.
If you tell the truth over and over again, it might sink into the heads of western governments and make them truly understand what is going on between the Palestinians and Israel.