Sir, – Monday was my first Holocaust Remembrance Day
after 15 years living in the Diaspora (“Nation stands in silence to honor the
martyred 6 million,” May 3).
At 10 a.m., just after hearing about Osama
bin Laden, I heard this loud and sad wail coming from the sky, which took my
breath away. I had forgotten. I had forgotten how loud it is. I had forgotten
how awkward it is. I had forgotten how it puts things in
But it reminded me why I had packed my family, my bags and
my beautiful, safe and quiet life in Australia to come to this
country. It reminded me why I had taken my boys away from Law and Order
to chaos and uncertainty. It reminded me of my late grandfather, Eliyahu,
who had lost most of his family in the Holocaust.
To all the taxi drivers
and the shop keepers who keep asking me “Why in the world did you leave paradise
and come back here?” – this is why! Here you feel alive, here you belong, here
you are not called “a bloody Jew” in the park while you are playing with your
kids, here you don’t have a swastika carved in the cement on the way to the
grocer, here on Yom Kippur people don’t have barbecues or go to work as
Here, you have a moment of silence.RONIT HARPAZ
Hasharon ...and the uglier side
Sir, – On Holocaust Remembrance Day, I
discovered an entirely new fact about Israeli society, and I was horribly
disgusted, offended and disappointed.
At the siren, I stood in the
hallway outside the classroom at Tel Aviv University. The entire hallway quieted
down – aside from three students chattering on. They fell silent only after an
older gentleman asked them politely but firmly to shut up. He then had to
do the same with someone talking on his phone.
As a 24-year-old, I can
understand completely that for me the Holocaust doesn’t have the same meaning it
does for someone from an older generation. I would have no problem buying a
German car or traveling to Germany someday. Some of my best friends are
I am guided by the maxim “forgive, but never forget.” Holding a
grudge forever is pointless. Hand in hand with that, however, comes the
obligation to never forget what happened and to stand guard to ensure that it
will never happen again.
Standing during the siren is a token of that
Ra’anana ‘Israeli’ means normal
Sir, – Regarding “Do
Israeli and American Jews need each other?” (Comment & Features, May 3),
American Jews definitely need Israel to maintain their identity as Jews. But the
need for America by Israeli Jews (for cultural purposes, not financial,
strategic or military purposes) is the real question, and the answer is
There is no doubt that the American Jewish Diaspora is
unique in many ways, but the proud accomplishments of American Jewry lie in the
sphere of being Americans who happen to be Jewish. Israeli-Jewish
accomplishments, no matter how secular, are always Jewish.
Jewish life is compartmentalized. One can be the greatest of scientists,
authors or politicians, but one is still Jewish on the one hand, and American on
the other. There is always that definite distinction.
Israeli Jewish life
is totally integrated in every single human undertaking. Therein lies the
normalcy of being Israeli.HAIM M. LERNER
Ganei Tikva Stop it now
In “Where is the outrage?” (Comment, May 2), David Horovitz correctly chides the
global community for its deafening silence regarding the introduction of the
Hamas terror movement as a full partner in the Palestinian Authority.
would like to add a more personal note to his critique.
Part of this
agreement apparently includes the bilateral release of Hamas prisoners by the PA
and the release of PLO prisoners by Hamas. Up until now, Hamas terrorists were
largely confined to the Gaza Strip and were only able to fire rockets at
Should this mass release in the West Bank take place, innocent
Israelis – even more so than before – will be put in real and immediate danger
from a renewal of suicide bombings and other attacks in the heart of
Israel must act immediately to prevent this release from taking
place. This means taking security, diplomatic, financial, political and military
measures either to prevent the Fatah-Hamas agreement from being signed or to
make its implementation both painful and existentially dangerous to the
Israel has suffered two Palestinian intifadas already, with massive
loss of life and property. There is now every good reason for us to act swiftly
to prevent a third intifada.KENNETH BESIG
Kiryat Arba Embracing the prey
Sir, – Articles decrying Hamas- PLO unity are well-intentioned, but written in a
Israel, like America, should be looking to facilitate this evil
axis because nothing could be better for democracy than those who feed on human
carrion feeding on each other.
The PLO and Hamas feel they can save
themselves from the new wave of revolutions by embracing each other, but the
past has shown us that they will do little else than peck out each other’s eyes,
ears and tongue.
This will be an embrace to the death. We should be in
the forefront of those encouraging these vultures to stop circling and begin the
Jerusalem Give it up, Tzipi
Sir, – Tzipi Livni
again berates our prime minister, this time blaming him for the Palestinian
Authority’s reconciliation with Hamas (“Livni blames PM for Palestinian unity
deal,” May 2).
I’m sick of her criticisms and have given up on hearing
any positive suggestions from her.
Perhaps if her tremendous ego hadn’t
prevented her from joining the government as anything less than prime minister,
she could have had some kind of influence on events.
Then again, we’re
probably better off without her negative input.ANNICE GRINBERG
Sir, – Tzachi Hanegbi, in “The prime minister’s speech” (Comment & Features,
May 2), is grossly in error.
A genuine concern for the security and
future of the State of Israel would not have the prime minister retreating from
positions that are clearly in Israel’s best interests in order to invite the
opposition to join a government of national unity.
display of unity would be far better served by having Tzipi Livni give up her
partisan pretensions and, for the sake of the greater national interest,
volunteer to join a government that would lead with a coherent and consistent
message of strength and clear national purpose.
In a recent tirade, Livni
accused Israel of being responsible for the Fatah-Hamas reconciliation. If this
is her interpretation of events, she certainly cannot be placed in charge of the
negotiations between us and the Palestinians.
It would behoove Hanegbi to
show some ability to rise above politics and support an honest effort to deal
with the very grave problems that confront us.ZEV CHAMUDOT