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Join today's protest
Sir, - On Tisha Be'av, I reflected on the fact that while going hungry for a day several times a year is, for most of us, a matter of choice, for many in Israel it is part of their daily lives. So when I read this week about the government's "grant" of an NIS 83 monthly stipend to Holocaust survivors, I was filled with anger at this unspeakably offensive gesture to people who have already suffered so much and often live in terrible conditions. The institution that is charged with caring for its citizens is cynically providing too little, too late, for many of these people, who are dying off at the rate of 35 a day. The grant, by the way, is planned to commence only in 2008, by which time some 5,280 more survivors, whose average age is 81, will be dead.
The very least we can do is protest the government's behavior and show our support for this special segment of society by joining the "March of the Living" protest scheduled to take place today, August 5, at 4.30 p.m., starting at the Knesset and ending with a demonstration outside the Prime Minister's Office ("Holocaust survivors bash stipend, plan 'March of the Living' protest," August 2).
Heed Oscar Wilde
Sir, - The influx of Sudanese and other African illegals to Israel is the thin edge of the wedge. It is laudable that humanitarian principles are debated; however this is a problem the Arab world should address. The Janjaweed thugs in Sudan are Arab Muslims, a fact the Western media seem awfully shy to reveal.
Israel will be berated whatever decision is made with these people, the majority of whom now appear to be economic migrants. The bleating liberals are destroying European culture by allowing unfettered immigration. Israel was reestablished as a haven for the Jewish people, a fact many on the Left in Israel feel guilty about.
To import another problem that will be ongoing for generations is naive in the extreme. Why do the chattering classes think a worldwide problem will have a different outcome in Israel? If these people are settled, the Western media will show pictures of poor housing, lack of job opportunities, inequality, etc., providing yet another stick with which to beat Israel.
Russia supplies the African thugs with weaponry and walks away clean. An underpopulated fifth of the the world's land mass, Russia could take in the whole of the Darfuri population.
In the words of Oscar Wilde, "No good deed goes unpunished" ("'We knew it would be safe here,'" July 31)
Of Jewish blood
Sir, - Re the controversy surrounding Achoura Abbadi and the letter from Gloria Mound of Casa Shalom contending that Abbadi may be a Jewish name (August 1): Over the last many centuries, with the forced and voluntary conversion of Jews to both Islam and Christianity, there can be very few Arabs or European Christians who do not have some Jewish blood in their veins - however distasteful it may be to many of them. (It was even suggested that Yasser Arafat and Muammar Gaddafi had recent Jewish ancestors.)
It may be that the ferocious attitude of many Arabs and Christians to the Jews is really a reaction to the hidden knowledge of their Jewish ancestry, as it is well known that the greatest hostility to Jews came from Jews who had converted.
Sir, - Don't sugar the pill in the case of Rudolf Kastner ("Perfidy" revisited," Elliot Jager, August 1). Kastner's private archives, lately given to Yad Vashem, will not erase the fact that Kastner gave affidavits at the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg in favor of three senior Nazi officers: S.S. Col. Kurt Becher (4.8.47), S.S. Col. Hermann Krumey (5.5.48) and S.S. Gen. Hans Juttner (30.4.48) - all war criminals with Holocaust victims' blood on their hands.
In a recorded 1957 interview that a Dutch journalist, the Nazi Willem Sassen, did in Argentina with Adolf Eichmann three years before Eichmann was captured and brought to Israel, Eichmann said about Kastner:
"He agreed to help with the prevention of resistance of the Jews at the time of their deportation to Auschwitz (in summer 1944), even watching for silence and order in the gathering camps, on the condition that I will allow hundreds or even thousands of Jewish youngsters to emigrate illegally to Palestine. It was a good business. For the sake of order and silence in the gathering camps before being deported to Auschwitz, not such a costly price for me... As to his attempt to take out the group in which he was interested, he was very stubborn and consistent... "The others you can take" (Die Anderen koennen Sie haben)" he told me... Because Kastner assured us a great service by keeping silence in the deportation camps, I permitted these groups to leaveâ€¦." (Bureau 06 document 1423, page 65, German version).
As one of the Bureau 06 Officers of the Israel Police who investigated Eichmann, I noted that although Eichmann often "didn't remember" a lot of events, this was not the case with the interview he gave to Sassen.
Regarding the Supreme Court verdict which abolished the District Court's verdict in the case against Malkiel Grunwald, the minority opinion - namely, of judge Dr. M. Silberg - was brought up, determining that "Kastner knowingly and not innocently fulfilled the wish of the Nazis, thus simplifying for them the work of mass extermination... Kastner's guilt in cooperating with the Nazis was completely proved." I take the liberty of agreeing with the late judge.
Sir, - Billions of bees worldwide have succumbed to Colony Collapse Disorder, without blaming Israel for all their problems ("Where have all the bees gone?" August 2). Nahool, the Jihad bee who preaches violence on Hamas-controlled children's TV in Gaza, take note.