(photo credit: Courtesy)
Sir, – Regarding “Dutch anti-ritual slaughter bill passes
preliminary vote” (June 29), I am an 11thgeneration Dutch Jew. My earliest Dutch
forefather reached the northern Netherlands in 1630 and was among the first to
repopulate the low countries with Jews after they were ousted and wiped out
there twice before – only to live under a system of apartheid until full civil
rights were finally obtained centuries later under Napoleon.
Second World War more than a staggering 80 percent of the Netherlands’s Jews
were murdered, including my four good grandparents, often with full
participation by Dutch civil servants. While Germans as a people have greatly
and palpably repented for their role in the Holocaust, so far the Dutch have
done so only sparsely and in piecemeal fashion.
For over a decade now, as
a recognizable Orthodox Jew I cannot walk many Dutch streets, including in
Amsterdam. Though the Dutch will rally for the protection of anything and
anybody, a movement of Dutch gentiles sticking up for their Jews has yet to be
formed. Apparently, old traditions of Jew-hatred and indifference die
Most of the 30,000 Dutch Jews who live in Israel have dual
citizenship. If the First Chamber of the Dutch parliament has the chutzpah to
ratify this deeply embarrassing law, let us, my Jewish landsmen in Zion, go en
masse to the Netherlands Embassy in Tel Aviv to return our Dutch
Enough is enough.MOSHE-MORDECHAI VAN ZUIDEN
Outside looking in
Sir, – What an erudite and incisive diagnosis by
Aaron Menenberg (“Perpetual self-sabotage,” Comment & Features, June 29). How
is it that we Israelis are so inward-looking and influenced by fear and arrogant
posturing? It takes an outsider to state the truth.
Our prime minister
has to constantly bolster his image internally by insulting those with whom we
need to find common ground. He does it mostly because he is surrounded by
inexperienced, narrow minded cohorts.
The people here deserve better, but
so far the only alternative on the horizon is worse than what we
Sir, – I disagree with Aaron Menenberg when
he contends that “blind anger... obstinacy and petulance” distinguished Israel’s
reaction to US President Barack Obama’s call for an Israeli return to the 1949
armistice lines with agreed swaps.
While Israel’s approach to public
relations needs drastic improvement, altering our key positions to placate
others shouldn’t be a part of the strategy. The truth is that Obama’s formula is
dangerous for Israel. It effectively grants the Palestinians a veto power over
Israel retaining anything, even Jerusalem’s Jewish neighborhoods and the Temple
Mount. Israel was obliged to oppose it quickly and clearly.
New York The writer is chairman of the national board of the Zionist
Organization of America A Korean War vet
Sir, – Relating to the item on Seoul’s
envoy honoring local Korean War vets (“Do svidaniya,” Grapevine, June 22), in
addition to the late Rabbi Jerome Pomerantz I wish to add the name of my
distinguished brother-in- law, the late Rabbi Oscar Michael Lifshutz, the first
Jewish chaplain to serve in Korea.
Chaplain Lifshutz was assigned to the
Eighth Army and traveled west with the troops under battlefield conditions.
Constantly on the move, they had to keep up with the ever-changing front, and
their weapons were under their seats as he led them in Shabbat and holiday
He left Korea with a Bronze Star and was cited for meritorious
service in hazardous combat conditions.SHOSHANA DOLGIN-BE’ER