The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is again attempting to deny any Jewish connection with the Temple Mount (“Israel to UNESCO: Don’t sever our Temple Mount ties,” July 12).
Together with recent attempts by pro-Palestinian groups in the US to blame Israel for the murder of American blacks by American police, and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s accusation that Jews are poisoning the water supply in Palestinian areas, this hearkens back to the worst types of anti-Semitism that have plagued Jews in almost every land and era.
This all changed in mid-20th century, though, with the founding of the State of Israel. From the day it was established, and despite all its flaws and problems, Israel continues to prove to the world in both word and deed that it will do anything to defend Jews all over the world, not to mention absorb them, no matter what the economic or social costs.
So while the world seems not to have changed much – and, one could argue, seems to have even further deteriorated in terms of anti-Semitism – it has definitely accepted and internalized the message that Jews are no longer a wandering, stateless people that can be treated with impunity, since they have a thriving, strong and watchful guardian that no other people can claim.
To understand this unique fact and aspect of the Israel-Diaspora relationship, and to help Israel become even stronger, Jews living in the Diaspora should come here to live. Become one of the guardians rather than the protected!
Starting with the ugly blood libel of Mahmoud Abbas, that our government had been urged to poison Palestinian wells, the question can be asked: What are the prospects for the future? A blood libel in a speech to the European Parliament did not prevent Abbas from receiving a prolonged standing ovation.
This is reminiscent of the discussion during the Iran nuclear deal, when Tehran proclaimed that the destruction of Israel was still on its agenda and that “only one bomb” was needed.
Nobody protested. Now we have the analysis by Elliot Abrams (“The Iran deal a year after: There are no benefits,” Comment & Features, July 6), in which he tells us that the only benefit for the future is possibly a 10-year moratorium on Iran’s goal of Israel’s destruction.
And what about the “two-state solution”? There is, of course, Dennis Ross, who, as Herb Keinon reports in “Build inside settlement blocks, not beyond – Ross” (June 27), says that “Israel should make its settlement policy consistent with its declaration of support for a two-state solution.”
However, there has been a revolutionary statement by Shlomo Avineri, as cited by Isi Leibler (“Herzog’s intolerable deceit,” Candidly Speaking, June 30), that the Palestinian leadership “considered Israel’s destruction a greater priority than achieving their own statehood. Avineri concluded that under such circumstances, efforts to implement a two-state solution were delusional.”
Having read “The first Iran war” (Our World, July 12) by Caroline B. Glick, I am beginning to wonder how secure we should feel with the troubling, misguided decisions our commanding officers made during that war, more commonly known as the Second Lebanon War.
Misinformed high-command officers were busy with their inflated egos and evaporating portfolios. How in heaven’s name could anyone glorify his persona while sending committed young soldiers into carnage as a result of erroneous intelligence? We cannot afford anything less than a total defeat of the enemy! JULES EHRMAN Jerusalem Wish granted! Eli Kavon writes in “The evil king Manasseh: Idolatry and politics” (Comment & Features, July 12) that he wishes the biblical text could tell us more about the king’s 55 year rule.
Wish granted! Turn to Chapter 32 of Divre Hayamim 2, where one reads about the king falling afoul of the Assyrians despite his great efforts in promoting idolatry.YAAKOV FEUST
This reader agrees that Rabbi Haskel Lookstein’s stature is unquestionable. I, too, resent the put-down by Israel’s rabbinate.
That’s a disgrace. But it’s also a disgrace when a rabbi like Shmuley Boteach gingerly treads around the campaign of Donald Trump and attempts to paint him as a serious contender for the US presidency (“Ivanka Trump chose to be Jewish. Attacking her Orthodox rabbi is a disgrace,” No Holds Barred, July 12).
Boteach writes that Trump is “not yet running a values-based campaign that we can be completely proud of.” Not yet? And he’s waiting for a campaign that “we can be completely proud of”? Does his candidate have any values? Trump must never be elected president – and any rabbi who can support a candidate who has demonstrated such totally immoral and indecent behavior should throw his own credentials to the wind. Trump will never be anything but what he is.
And please, let’s forget that Trump’s daughter Ivanka converted to Judaism. It’s irrelevant.
Like many, I’m no fan of Hillary Clinton, but it’s clear to me that she is a far superior candidate to lyin’ Donald Trump.
Herzliya...and the GOP
Reader Richard Klitzberg (“Obama no help,” Letters, July 12) suggests that the current racial turmoil in America is the result of President Barack Obama’s “tragic failure” to reach out to blacks. He accuses Obama of “forsaking a chance to be a healer and uniter” and “undoing 60 years of racial progress.”
One wonders if Mr. Klitzberg is at all aware of the existence of the Republican Party.
Does he not know of the “Southern strategy,” by which Republicans, blatantly playing the race card, managed to turn southern Democrats into Republicans? That same appeal to racism is alive and well, and fueling today’s Republican election strategies.
Republican politicians and right-wing media outlets are experts at rousing racial resentment with the dog whistles of coded phrases that avoid overt racist slurs yet get anti-black points across very effectively to the target audience.
No doubt, Mr. Obama could have done more to deal with America’s race problems, but his major failure has been his inability to curtail the self-serving Republican exploitation of racial divisions and racial tensions.LEO TAUBES
David Eliezrie’s summary of Chabad activity in the US and Canada over the past 22 years (“The realigning of American Jewry,” Comment & Opinion, July 12) is quite impressive.
Chabad’s “monumental efforts to roll back generations of assimilation” along with its attempts to strengthen Torah learning and mitzva observance are indeed commendable and awe-inspiring.
Regarding the Land of Israel, however, Chabad seems to fall short of the mark.
According to Eliezrie, Chabad’s educational programs stress that Israel is “the spiritual and historical center of the Jewish people.” And, of course, Chabad even views Israel’s security as a “top concern.”
But why does it not insert in its educational agenda the importance of labeling Israel as the past and present homeland of Jewish people, the place where every Jew should make his home? Who knows? Adding the issue of aliya to its programs might even help bring success to another well-known Chabad program: Moshiach Now!D. FINKEL