s In “Netanyahu’s ‘ethnic cleansing’ gimmick” (Comment & Features, September 14), Elias Zananiri, described as “vice chairman of the PLO Committee for Interaction with the Israeli Society,” shows the dishonest nature of Palestinian interaction with Israeli society and why the great majority of Jewish Palestinians don’t seek dialogue with Arab Palestinians anymore.
The writer uses a biased version of international law to explain the illegality of the Jewish presence in the Jewish homeland. He ignores the 1922 League of Nations Mandate of Palestine law and the ongoing presence of the Hebrews in their lands (when they were not massacred or expelled under pre-Ottoman, Ottoman and Jordanian administrations). Also, he confuses readers by referring to “colonialism” terminology of the 19th century, which had a completely different meaning from that used today.
Zananiri expects us to believe that selected non-Muslims could live in peace and security in a Palestinian state. Does someone really trust that Jews could be safe as dhimmis in an Arab state led by Hamas or the PLO? Finally, he forgets to explain the origin of Arab Palestinians in Ottoman-conquered lands.
As his liberal friends might say, this is a deplorable analysis.
DAN VITENBERG Jerusalem
It puzzles me that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s reference to ethnic cleansing in a recent video did not emphasize that the Jews were ethnically cleansed from the West Bank and Jerusalem in 1948. I am therefore grateful to Gerald M. Steinberg for discussing just this issue (“Ethnic cleansing: Memories of 1929 and 1948,” Comment & Features, September 13).
In lieu of these facts, and because the word “settler” has become such an emotional and derogatory word, I propose that from now on, “settlers” be referred to as resettlers. Then, at least everyone might appreciate that Jews lived in these areas before 1967 and we are just trying to reclaim our original land, which in the interim was occupied by the Palestinians.
CECILIA HENRY Kfar Bialik Where’s the outrage?
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu received criticism and condemnation from the US State Department (“US seethes over PM’s ‘ethnic cleansing’ video,” September 11) because he truthfully pointed out that it was outrageous for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s twostate solution to require that a Palestinian state be without a single Jew. It is more outrageous that the rest of the world doesn’t find this outrageous.
Compare this with the truthful conclusion of the respected and honored Nobel Peace Prize laureate, the late Elie Wiesel, who characterized the Holocaust (and, by extension, antisemitism) not as being man’s inhumanity to man, but “man’s inhumanity to Jews.”
LEONARD KAHN Zichron Ya’acov Pros of breastfeeding
Over the past 100 years or so, the debate has continued as to whether newborn babies should be breastfed, and if so, for how long.
Economics and education involving a mother in a poor Third World country or one who must go to work outside the home soon after delivery could dictate the choice of breastfeeding versus formula feeding. That debate is now being actively pursued in Israel (“Doctors: Breastfeeding a casualty of marketing war over baby formulas,” September 12).
Among deprived, unenlightened populations, the relative values of the two methods of feeding are often not appreciated. As a result, some babies do not thrive sufficiently to meet their essential needs for proper growth and development.
Allow me to point out that breastfeeding has significant advantages over formula: • It provides much-needed recurrent physical contact between mother and baby, beneficial for the development of positive social responses.
• It supplies maternal antibodies to the newborn to prevent infections.
• It reduces the incidence of allergic reactions that are often due to protein components in formula.
• It putatively decrease of the chances of the child’s later development of autism.
While rich in some biochemicals, formulas do not contain all of the more than 100 nutrients found in breast milk. As reported by The New York Times in 1981, the vice president of a major US producer once said: “Breast milk from a well-nourished mother is a superior product to ours.” It is hoped that the Health Ministry will consider this issue knowledgeably.
GARY STEINMAN Jerusalem
The writer is an obstetrician and gynecologist.Enjoying the show
Reader Richard H. Schwartz, in “Existential threat” (Letters, September 9), cites the current mass migration to Europe as one source for climate change. But climate is in God’s hands. It is one of the few keys He holds that man cannot control, even if he tries.
Climate change is a tool in God’s hands to bring hoards to those countries in Europe that have caused trouble. The Jews there were law-abiding, peaceful and educated people who built the lands they came to. God is showing the world that the vacuum Europe caused by helping the Nazis is now being filled with undesirables, to say it politely.
So-called climate change is filling the void caused by the wickedness of the world. At the same time, it is bringing the Jews back to Israel, where they fulfill God’s plan that his children will return, as the prophets promised.
I sit back and enjoy the show of God’s greatness.
HAIM SHOLOM WEISSMAN Beit ShemeshLooking for heirs
Nada Pinto died in 2013 in Los Angeles, leaving an estate valued at almost $172,000. No one knows the names or whereabouts of her heirs. I am hoping that someone in Israel remembers her family and will contact me.
Nada was born July 23, 1911 or 1917 (it is unclear), to Maurice (Mauro) Pinto and Rifka Montiljo (Montillo). As Nada Kobelev (she was either divorced or her husband had died in the Holocaust), she arrived in New York City on June 21, 1947. The passenger manifest shows her as having been born in Doboj, Bosnia. She became a naturalized US citizen on June 26, 1953. On her naturalization documents, she is shown as “Nada Milland, formerly Nada Kobelev.”
Nada’s brother, James (Haim) Pinto, was born on April 23, 1907, and died in 1987 in San Miguel, Mexico. He was a famous artist.
His wife was Ruska. James had come to the United States in September 1939. He spent some time in Brazil before settling in Mexico.
Nada’s sister, Erna Esther Pinto, was born on February 24, 1909, and died in 2008. She married Otto Englander, who worked for Disney Studios in Los Angeles.
Otto was born on February 17, 1906, in Czechoslovakia or Yugoslavia to Bella A. Englander (father) and Giselle Lisska. He died in 1969 in Los Angeles.
It seems the family may have been Sephardim, that is, Jews who were expelled from Spain and Portugal in 1492, or their ancestors.
Much of the Jewish community in Serbia was killed during the Holocaust. Only about 787 Jews remain. I contacted Miroslav Rajevic, secretary of the Belgrade Jewish community, but he was unable to find family.
It seems that none of the Pinto siblings had children. Therefore, other children or grandchildren of Nada’s parents may be entitled to the inheritance. They might now live in Israel.
Anyone with information about Nada Pinto’s family is urged to contact me at MazelEq@aol.com.
LOREN J. BIALIK San Francisco
The writer is a probate researcher and author of Unclaimed Fortunes: How to Get Your Share.