letters good 88.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Sir, - Once again, Caroline Glick gives Jerusalem Post readers insights and facts with which to arrive at intelligent conclusions ("A cautionary tale," May 5). In reviewing the sordid details of the AIPAC scandal involving Keith Weissman and Steve Rosen, she recounts how certain anti-Israel bureaucrats in the Bush administration twisted truths to prosecute innocent Israel lobbyists and intimidate many pro-Israel organizations, including AIPAC, into fearful silence.
Her expose is not so much shocking as it is revealing. It reminds many, in case we still need reminders in these days of worldwide Israel bashing, that the scourge of anti-Semitism runs deep; and that the first casualty of that poison is Jewish fear and self-doubt.
Sir, - Making progress in furthering the peace process with the Palestinians a condition of the US's ability to confront Iran in its race for nuclear weapons is a brilliant piece of diplomatic doublespeak by Hillary Clinton and Rahm Emmanuel.
Now the failure of talks with Iran aimed at stopping its acquisition of weapons of mass destruction can be blamed on the intransigent Israelis, as usual ("Peres backs Arab League plan," May 5).
Ready to serve
Sir, - As an ex-American paratrooper who participated the day Israel gave Sinai back to Egypt, I am fully behind your country. I'm older now, but prepared, mentally and physically, to serve again for what's to come.
Grove City, Ohio
Sir, - The disturbing "Professor probed after sending email comparing Israel to Nazis" (May 3) compels me to respond.
How absurd that a Jewish professor, William I. Robinson at the University of Santa Barbara, Cal., would make such an obscene comparison. Did the Nazis turn over land to the Jewish people "for the sake of peace" in WWII - as Israel did in Gaza? The nefarious result of that is the Arabs using this land for smuggling weapons and training terrorists. Isn't it the hostile Arabs who should be compared to Nazis?
Their terror groups, Hamas, Hizbullah, Islamic jihad, Al-Qaida and sundry others, have made abundantly clear their intention to eliminate Israel.
Israel's incursion into Gaza in Operation Cast Lead was a defensive, not offensive action to halt the many years of rockets and missiles bombarding innocent civilians daily in their homeland.
For Prof. Robinson to call the investigation against him "a violation of academic freedom" is a gross distortion of that concept. His remarks were slanderous, libelous and a thinly veiled effort to influence his students with his prejudicial views against Israel.
It behooves the professor to study Torah Judaism, which teaches: "Thou shall not bear false witness"... against fellow Jews.
BARBARA A. BLOOM, President
Peace Through Torah Truth, Inc.
Much further to go
Sir, - Hillel Goldberg attempts to redress the balance of Jewish attitudes to Poland before, during and after WWII, but in doing so errs on the side of providing a universal blanket of forgiveness which sweeps the truth under it ("New Poland," Letters, May 5).
That there were about 4,000,000 Jews in Poland in 1939 of whom most failed to survive the war is not in doubt. That there were examples of bravery and selflessness among their Christian neighbors is also well-known.
What Hillel Goldberg's "blanket" covers is the large numbers of returning Jewish camp survivors who were murdered by their 1939 neighbors, many of whom had moved into their vacated homes and were reluctant to move out.
One prime example lies in a recording of Hirsh Glick's famous Partisan Song, recorded by the Polish Army Orchestra and Chorus in 1945. Many of the Jews who took part in this recording were subsequently murdered by their erstwhile neighbors and were thus obviously unable to oblige the many requests for further performances.
Documentaries have been made recently of families of survivors returning to their Polish homes to enquire about their returned relatives, only to be told that they had been shot and secretly buried so that the grandfathers of the present occupants could retain their new-found homes.
If Jews and Poles alike are to move forward and away from all this, we need, all of us, to address the whole truth of Poland and the Polish people.
Two thousand years of religious dogma branding us as Christ-killers had its consequences. We need to go a lot further to redress the balance.
Stick to your job
Sir, - What gives Shimon Peres the right to offer sovereignty over Christian sites to the Vatican? ("Peres said willing to cede sovereignty over certain Christian holy sites," May 5.)
The president is supposed to be apolitical, and it is not in his purview to hand out chunks of sovereign Israel to anyone, especially the Vatican, which has thousands of Hebrew/Jewish artifacts in its possession and no intention of returning them to the State of Israel.
Do we need another religious argument with various Christian denominations who will want their voices heard in this discussion?
Peres should stick to his job of representing Israel, which he does admirably, and keep his fingers out of these very contentious issues.
Sir, - Instead of giving six Christian sites to the Vatican and receiving nothing in return, why not make it a trade?
In return for these holy places, let the Vatican give back to Israel all the holy objects from the Second Temple secreted away in its vaults.
MICHAEL D. HIRSCH
Where's the (halachic) beef?
Sir, - I am always bemused by knee-jerk reactions such as Ellie Morris's ("Oh, yeah?" Letters, May 5) to Jewish traditions and halachic requirements deemed "non democratic" by those who seek to undermine Halacha in the name of "democratic principles."
Your correspondent overlooks the fact that "democratic" does not mean instant entree for all.
An example: People under 18 are excluded from voting, as are non-citizens; and citizens may vote, but not residents. The same is true of many social benefits - one doesn't qualify for National Insurance if one's status is tourist rather than citizen.
In a democracy, privilege entails responsibility. Being part of a minyan or quorum is a responsibility, which is mandated for men. Your reader no more qualifies halachically to help make up a men's minyan than a 16-year-old qualifies to vote, or a tourist qualifies for state medical benefits.
Where's the beef? Your reader is not precluded from joining a women's minyan, nor from belonging to any of the more progressive and halachic synagogues which are inclusive of women within the framework of Halacha.
If this isn't good enough, she can go join a Reform or Conservative congregation and be part of its minyan.
That's democracy - she has a choice. But leave me my choices, also. As a lifelong feminist and working mother, I prefer not to be obligated to show up for every minyan.