ABCs of Zionism
With regard to “President, PM and education minister teach the ABCs of Zionism and loving thy neighbor” (September 3), these are excellent values. But I am left wondering how they will explain to the children that in Israel, loving thy neighbor often means loving our enemies, to whom we make the most unbelievable concessions.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reminded the pupils of their alphabet: “Alef for aretz [land]; this is your land. Bet, bayit (home), the State of Israel is your home. This is our land, this is our country; always remember this.”
But how will he explain to these children why he has already surrendered many important parts of their land, including Judaism’s holiest site, the Temple Mount, to their enemies? Hopefully, their generation will not be so easily lulled into complacency by a forked tongue and will not accept being dhimmis under Muslim rule in their own country. Also, it is to be hoped that the next elections – may they be soon – will put an end to the ambivalence about whose country this is.YENTEL JACOBS Netanya
Like Ron Kronish and Mohammed Daoudi Dajani (“The need for Muslim-Jewish dialogue,” Comment & Features, August 30), Raymond Apple (“Isaac and Ishmael – a hopeful answer?” Comment & Features, September 3) tries to sell the politically correct idea of Jews and Islamists living together in peace.
The idea is not in the realm of the romantic – it is closer to the psychotic, considering its remote distance from reality.
Not only was the founder of Islam a homicidal maniac, but homicide continues to be one of Islam’s most practiced precepts, including the killing of anyone who thinks differently from you, even another Muslim. Dishonesty is also a basic principle of Islam.
Both articles quote without comment that according to Islam, Abraham offered Ishmael, rather than Isaac, as a sacrifice.
Yet it is Isaac in our Torah, which was written hundreds of years before the advent of Islam. The writers brazenly explain this by saying that in fact, Islam preceded Judaism, and do so against all historical evidence. This penchant continues today, as with Jerusalem being the “eternal capital of Palestine,” according to PA President Mahmoud Abbas.
How in heaven’s name can anyone live in peace with them? AVIGDOR BONCHEK Jerusalem
Ron Kronish and Mohammed Daoudi Dajani raise valid points and advocate reconciliation. But they evade truth and crucial points pertinent to the Arab-Israeli conflict.
There is no mention of occupation, extrajudicial killings and flagrant violations of human dignity, ethics and pride; no mention of illegal Jewish settlements on Muslim lands; no mention of Palestinian refugees still languishing in despair and the hope that they will one day return to their ancestral homeland; no mention of Israel’s wall cutting deep into Palestinian areas to steal water and resources.
Palestinians have gotten little from the futile dialogue with Israel. It is time to reflect and ponder on the core issues that fuel collective understanding, but also disinformation, disrespect and animosity among Jews, Christians and Muslims.MUNJED FARID AL QUTOB London
Unnecessary word In “Senior Hamas leader released from prison” (September 1), reporter Adam Rasgon explains: “Administrative detention allows authorities to detain Palestinians without granting them a trial or indicting them.”
Mr. Rasgon should know that anyone can be put under administrative detention – Israeli Jews have found themselves in administrative detention. By adding one unnecessary and false word – “Palestinians” – he gives ammunition to our detractors, providing “proof” of yet another oppressive and discriminatory weapon of those “evil Israelis.”
ARIE WEISS Jerusalem Casting aspersions
Pity that Amotz Asa-El (“The Arab Herzl,” Middle Israel, September 1) does not laud Theodor Herzl without utilizing him to cast aspersions on some of the greatest rabbis of the Middle Ages and to sneer at their faith in Divine salvation.
It is ludicrous to suggest that Rashi was submissive for not demanding Jewish revolt or gentile justice in response to the Crusades. Did Rabbi Meir of Rothenburg engage in a passive “culture of lamentation” when he attempted aliya to the Holy Land, and then, when captured, opted to teach his students from prison rather than allow them to pay a disproportionate ransom for his release that would endanger other Jews? Was Don Isaac Abravanel a mystical messianic escapist? For years, he spent his own money trying to lobby and bribe the Spanish government as a strategy to avert the Jewish expulsion from Spain.
Did the Judaism of these luminaries snuff the Jewish spirit and leave the nation helpless, or did the nature of their faith, scholarship and self-sacrifice serve to inspire the Jewish nation to survive, forever bonded to one another, the Torah and the land? As we prepare to hear the shofar’s call again, it is worth considering how Jewish history, past and present, supports the notion that our fate is indeed very much “outsourced” to the Creator.
Herzl and modern Zionism might be examples of this phenomenon, but they certainly do not debunk the premise.
DANIEL YELENIK Beit Shemesh Real tragedy
What beautiful speeches from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guetteres during his recent visit here: fantastic praise for Jews and Israel; how the only way forward is a negotiated peace between the parties; how extremists on both sides must not be allowed to prevail.
Nowhere did Señor Guetteres mention that our so-called negotiating partners adhere to no negotiations, no peace, no recognition and the total destruction of world Jewry and the State of Israel.
The real tragedy, however, is that everything he said was a rerun of the infamous speeches made close to 25 years ago by Yasser Arafat, Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin.KALMAN BOOKMAN Jerusalem
When will we learn to mature before coming out with absurd claims of anti-semitism? In “Rapper Jay-Z: I know Jewish people don’t own all the property in the world” (August 24), we learn that the ADL had taken the rapper to task because of a line in one of his latest pieces that appeared to repeat the antisemitic trope about Jewish wealth.
Anyone actually reading the whole text would immediately know that the context was one of deliberate exaggeration of social attitudes extending over many different common elements (black, gays, Jews). In fact, the whole purpose of the piece was to put such attitudes down, not to support them.
Similarly, in “Australia broadcaster ABC explains why Israel left off map” (August 23), we read of an entry on the Jewish- Press.com website attacking Australia’s national broadcaster for publishing a map of the Middle East that left off Israel’s name – so by our definition, ABC was “wiping Israel off the map”! It turns out that the map was color- coded to show the level of women’s rights in Muslim countries as specifically relating to the inheritance law, which discriminates against them.
To me, ABC’s reasoning was entirely rational. First, Israel is not a Muslim country. Second, we have no such legislation. My own conjecture is that if the broadcaster had gone ahead and printed Israel’s name on the map, there would have been an equal condemnation for classifying us as falling inside the grouping.
We do ourselves no service by jumping with such alacrity to stupid conclusions.
HENRY KAYE Ashkelon