Letters to the Editor: June, 19, 2019 - A growing scourge in France

Readers of the Jerusalem Post have their say.

June 18, 2019 20:10

Letters. (photo credit: PIXABAY)


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A growing scourge in France

Regarding “Americans didn’t die on D-Day for France to become antisemitic” (June 18), Shmuley Boteach spells out the quandary both Jews living in France and those visiting have experienced up until the last decade – that the French were in more or less complete denial concerning the part antisemitism played in their history, especially in respect of World War II.

With the recent influx of individuals to the country from various war-torn and other areas in the Middle East, a virulent anti-Israel scourge has been imported that has turned up the volume and easily morphed into an outspoken and visible antisemitic epidemic.

Now that this is up front and scarcely veiled, as mentioned, no amount of platitudes and mea culpas on the subject by President Emmanuel Macron will assuage this dilemma.

I even have difficulty these days watching my favorite film Casablanca. Unfortunately, I am unable to agree with Rick when he says, “We’ll always have Paris.”


Tel Aviv


Shmuley Boteach laments that Americans didn’t die on D-day for France to become antisemitic, but the perilous situation in France and elsewhere calls for a practical strategy beyond pleas for decency.

Jews and other minorities have achieved their safest status wherever Western civilization has been strongest, for example, in the US. Not that Westerners have never fallen off the wagon and lapsed into barbarism, but at least those lapses are generally acknowledged as such by a conscience based on Judeo-Christian values.

This is not the case in Islamic culture, which divides the world by belief and is unrepentant toward the unbeliever. Some of the consequences: According to a report from the Central Criminal Intelligence Service of France’s gendarmerie, over the past three years there have been an average of three church attacks per day there, mostly in Muslim migrant areas. Where is the Muslim outrage?

These abuses, in addition to other crimes, most notably rapes and attacks on Jews, have been endemic wherever Muslim migrants have changed the local demography. The Westerners least tolerant of this situation are those with the strongest religious and national identities. They are the ones that Jews need to ally with against a common scourge in order to preserve the frail protections of Western civilization. These parties, largely pro-Israel, are snidely labeled “far right,” but nowadays, perversely, anyone pro-Israel is called a Nazi.

Observe the allegedly antisemitic AfD party in Germany, which recently tried but failed to have Hezbollah condemned in the Bundestag for its violence against Israel. Such parties (Dr. Daniel Pipes calls them “civilizational”) are our best bet.


Charleston, SC


Judiciary on steroids

In “Sovereignty of the people, parliamentary immunity and Netanyahu’s indictment” (June 17), Susan Hattis Rolef writes that “sovereignty of the people” indicates that the people have the final say in government decisions, but they can’t “overrule the decisions of the judicial system or supersede it” and “Even though the executive branch is undoubtedly dependent on the wishes of the majority, the judiciary is not.” Does she believe that the authority of the elected representatives is subordinate to that of judges who are answerable to no one?

If the executive becomes too powerful, there is a dictatorship; if the judiciary becomes too powerful, democracy goes out of the window and we revert back thousands of years to the time of Samson, etc.

Actually, this latter scenario could help Israel’s economy. If the legal profession can override any democratically elected laws and rule the country unopposed: then millions of shekels spent on elections could be saved, there would be no need for workers to have a day off work to vote, and no need for MKs to be paid to shout at each other in the Knesset.

Maybe I’ve misunderstood how democracy works, but it seems to this layman that what Rolef is saying is not really very democratic!




Sara convicted

Regarding “Court convicts Sara Netanyahu of corruption” (June 17), I just don’t get it. In the universities and other large places of work, there are entire administrations devoted to safeguarding public funds. At the university where I work, careful attention is paid to all my expenses, travel, meals, purchases. Intended expenses are reviewed. Receipts are carefully scrutinized, taxi dates inspected. Boarding cards must be saved and shown to prove I have really traveled to where I claimed to travel. I couldn’t steal even if I tried to. Who knows what might happen if the thousands of university academics were allowed free entry to their research and travel budgets. Spend and buy as you like.

I realize that administering a prime minister’s household is a different story, but could there not have been a fixed generous budget decided by the Knesset, and a requirement to submit requests for over-budget necessities? It looks to me that the state is guilty of mismanagement and somehow also responsible to some degree for Sara’s problems and criminal activities.




US JINOs and unity

Regarding “Lauder calls on Jewish world to “unite as one’” (June 17), who wouldn’t like to see Jewish unity?

The problem is the growing percentage of apostate Jews in the US, known also as JINOs (Jews in Name Only) who do not subscribe to any actual Jewish faith. Without a common religion, ethnic identity is not much different than identity by hair color – in effect, meaningless. To JINOs, being Jewish is basically irrelevant. Those who include their opinions in surveys are motivated by inclusion of their preponderant liberal perspectives so as to puff up the perceived numbers for leftist Jews.

The reality is that, by and large, JINOs do not reproduce Jews; once they reach that level, it’s the last stop for their Jewish blood line. Once they are gone, what’s called “American” Jewry will consist primarily of practitioners of the classical Jewish faith.

Then we’ll have unity.




Nations that start and lose wars

Regarding “Akunis: No to land withdrawals, yes to other peace initiatives” (June 17), United Arab List-Balad MK Mtanes Shehadeh doesn’t seem to realize that the UN has made itself irrelevant to ending the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians by obsessively censoring Israel. But President Donald Trump knows this to be true. His moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem and recognizing Israel’s need and right to retain control of the Golan are clear indications that the game has changed. Nations that start and lose wars do not have the right to dictate terms of peace. Leaders who refuse to negotiate do not have the right to incite their people to violence or use violence themselves to achieve their goals.

Palestinian leaders do not seek a state in which their people can become productive citizens. By demanding that Israel take in Palestinian “refugees,” rather than planning to grant them citizenship in a future Palestinian state, these leaders reveal their true goal – not a peaceful state co-existing with Israel, but a Muslim state replacing Israel.


Atlanta, GA


Party hearty: Identify our allies

It is amazing to read the breadth and depth of comments from the variety of participants in the Jerusalem Post Annual Conference in New York. I was particularly impressed with the comments of Congressman Elliot Engel (D-NY), who was my representative in the United States over many years in two different Congressional districts. Indeed, he was always an outspoken advocate for Israel as well as for many causes important to his Jewish constituents. He is absolutely correct in cautioning against making support for Israel “a political football.” It is important to keep a balanced view when discussing US political parties and Israel policy.


Beit Shemesh


The environment is a dirty word

Kol hakavod on your June 14 editorial “Save the beach,” in which you mention that “the Mediterranean Sea is choking with plastic waste,” and you urge actions to reverse this situation. Especially powerful are two statements in the editorial that could greatly improve life here is Israel if put into practice:

• “The citizens of [Israel] should reject [negative environmental] thinking and demand instead that the environment be a central issue in the upcoming campaign: to proclaim loudly that Israel should be a world leader in environmental protection.”

• “Every candidate in every campaign forum should be asked: what is your position on saving the Mediterranean, of cleaning up Tel Aviv’s beaches? What can the Knesset do to help sustain a healthy Israeli environment?”

I would only add to these powerful words: at a time when climate experts are warning that the world may have only about 10 years to make “unprecedented changes” in order to avert a climate catastrophe, what plans do you have for reducing greenhouse gas emissions?


Professor Emeritus, College of Staten Island


Remembering Wallenberg

Regarding “Humanistic philosophy in action” (June 16), we congratulate Susanne Berger and Dr. Vadim Birstein on their cogent and thought-provoking article about Raoul Wallenberg’s outstanding legacy.

We agree with the writers that the imprint of Wallenberg’s feats rests, above all, in the humanitarian spirit he embodied and the example he gave to the world.

We are proud that our NGO carries the name of this great hero and to be sure, our flagship program, Houses of Life, is based on his timeless legacy, as it strives to identify and mark physical sites in Europe that gave shelter to the victims of the Nazi persecution, mainly children. Since its inception in 2014, we have located well over 500 Houses of Life in Italy, France, Belgium, Hungary, Poland, Albania, the Netherlands, Greece, Denmark and Albania, and the numbers are constantly growing.

Wallenberg himself organized a number of safe houses in Budapest, which were in fact, Houses of Life.

We applaud the ongoing and enduring efforts of the authors and of Wallenberg’s closest relatives to unveil the mystery behind his disappearance and we pledge to keep his remarkable legacy alive.

Wallenberg was both a hero and a victim. Having helped so many human lives, he deserves to be remembered and cherished while the struggle continues to bring him back home.



The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation


Headline havoc

The headline “Half of Israelis in favor of removing Gaza blockade” is a totally inaccurate representation of the text of the article.

While it is true that Israelis do have concerns for the well-being of the Gaza citizens (according to the statistics in the article, this was true for 51% of the respondents), these same respondents are “hesitant when it comes to steps the government should take, preferring that private business people or other countries step in instead of the Jewish State.”

Further from the same survey, “65% blame Hamas and 7% the PA” for the dire situation in Gaza.

Headlines such as this give ammunition to our enemies around the world, being happy to quote the Post’s headline as an “authoritative” source




Editorial oversight

Many people will remember the stirring words from President Rivlin at the recent opening of the short-lived Knesset.

He described the campaign as having been dirty, and said that being in government is an honorable position of great responsibility and should be conducted in a civilized manner with the best interests of the whole population primary, and also being in the opposition is a position that is necessary in a democracy, is honorable, and should also be carried out in a civilized and mutually respectful manner.

A few days ago, ex-prime minister Ehud Barak indicated an interest in running  again and openly called for a “nasty” campaign.

Then, your newspaper featured ex-editor Jeff Barak (presumably no relation) bad-mouthing a current political leader with an epithet “homophobe,” which I seriously doubt he can support from his wealth of medical/scientific knowledge, that the person has an irrational – the key word – fear.

Finally, your newspaper chose on Friday to give front-page publicity to a young woman of 34 who “went from college to the Knesset” and wants to be the new leader of a political party.

Admittedly, that party has long passed its expiry date, but recently columnist David Weinberg wrote an excellent article pointing out that Avigdor Lieberman has headed a number of ministries with no demonstrable accomplishments. This woman wants to be a leader before even trying to run a ministry.

Those of us who have recently come on aliyah from Canada know what a huge mistake a country can make by electing as leader a person who has had no worldly experience, no understanding of local or global economics, and just offers airy empty platitudes.

I would suggest that you exercise more editorial oversight to separate what is appropriate from what isn’t.



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