Rocked by rockets
Regarding “4 Israelis killed, 700 rockets fired from Gaza” (May 6), can it be that one can commit a crime against humanity with impunity as enormous as firing hundreds of rockets into civilian population centers, terrorizing thousands of people?
Is there no recourse to world bodies, no legal venue for compensation to victims for casualties and for damage wrought? Nothing? Hamas just signs a ceasefire (that they can break at any moment) and they get away with the crime scot-free? Is there really no price to pay, no justice?
Regarding “After 48-hour onslaught, truce holds firm in South,” (May 7), it will be recalled that UK prime minister Neville Chamberlain declared “Peace for our time” on September 30, 1938. It lasted 11 months.
This week a ceasefire agreement was announced by our great protectors, the UN. Will it last even as long as 11 months until the next outbreak of fighting?
One wonders what US president John F Kennedy would have done if the Soviet Union had fired 700 rockets at the United States from Cuba...
In light of the barrage of 700 rockets, perhaps the headline “Israel has returned and will defeat its oppressors” (2 May) should have been “Netanyahu, is this your idea of defeating our oppressors?”
While our prime minister makes concessions to the terrorists, our people are suffering because of his fear of destroying those destroying us. We are being destroyed, bit by bit, mentally and physically.
The IDF warns that Hamas and Islamic Jihad have restored their military capabilities to near 2014 strength and we can expect communities bordering the Gaza Strip to be incessantly pounded with rockets and mortar attacks again in the near future.
Netanyahu has once again surrendered to Hamas with a ceasefire, again humiliating us and showing our enemies that we lack the faith and courage to stand up for our rights.
I challenge Netanyahu and his family to step out from their nonstop protection and live among the people he has effectively abandoned. Sadly, it is those very people that enabled him to stay in power. Those who do not learn from their mistakes will repeat them with devastating results.
As you rightly state in your editorial (“Another ceasefire,” May 7), the timing of this latest offensive from Hamas and Islamic Jihad and their triumphant call for a ceasefire came as no surprise to anyone.
These terrorist organizations treat both the start and finish of their terrorism as if turning a tap on and off. The raison d’être is to spread fear and this can no longer be allowed to continue.
Israel must be proactive, not reactive. Otherwise, all we have is plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.
Lacking: Context, balance, truth
Regarding “Iceland’s Eurovision act: Israel is apartheid” (May 7), going on a Saturday visit to Hebron with a biased “Palestinian” guide and jumping to a conclusion that Israel is an apartheid state is absolutely ludicrous!
My suggestion is that they should now go with an Israeli guide and learn the true historical facts before passing sentence!
First, the Muslim guides view them as nonbelievers (kafirs). Second, it is part of the Islamic psyche to embrace the person in order to sting! As I was told by an Iraqi woman, “Muslims make nice boyfriends, but really bad husbands!” Mind your step!
If Iceland were surrounded by powerful enemies without and within sworn to its destruction and attacking it on a regular basis with mortars, missiles, untruths and false narratives, then I suspect their naive and self-righteous BDSM musicians would be singing a somewhat different tune.
Regarding “A revised Palestinian strategy” (May 2), Gershon Baskin puts too much faith in pieces of paper issued by the Palestinian leadership.
As long as they insist that the descendants of refugees must be allowed to “return” to the lands that they assert that their forebears fled from in 1948, the Palestinian plan, in actuality, is for a Jew-free Palestinian state to be established alongside a tiny Israel that has been turned into a Muslim-majority state. Of the 5.4 million people they call “refugees,” fewer than 30,000 were alive in 1948. The subsequent generations of the actual refugees have been fed a constant diet of anti-Jewish invective with murderers of Jews being highly honored and richly rewarded.
The first steps toward peace will be taken when the Palestinian leaders stop encouraging and funding terror attacks on Israelis, agree that the Palestine “refugees” will become citizens of the Palestinian state, and start building the infrastructure required for that state to be viable. And, just as non-Jews have full civil rights in Israel, non-Muslims should have full civil rights in the Palestinian state.
Archaeological Balak gold
“TAU: King Balak may have existed” (May 3) seemed to Bible believers to promise evidence of the historicity of the Bible. Not so fast.
First, the facts. Researchers using new statistical methods concluded that four or five faded letters on line 31 of the Mesha stone (840 BCE) should be read “blk” instead of the heretofore generally accepted “House of David.” If so, it would be the first mention of this individual outside of the Bible (Numbers 22-24).
The significance of this theory is summed up as follows: “The Biblical story that was written down later than the time of the Mesha Stone” was thought to need a “sense of authenticity.” So its author integrated the ancient names of Balak and Balaam into the story i.e. deliberate anachronism!
A more straightforward and plausible explanation of course would be that Balak was King of Moab when the Bible says he was (ca. 1200 BCE) so therefore, the new reading of line 31 of the Mesha Stone is not likely. Unless, of course you start with the premise that the Bible has no value as history. However, as Prof. Andre Lemaire, the eminent French epigraphist recently reiterated, “House of David” is a better fit with the trace letters and the relevant context.
Professor Israel Finkelstein declares that Balak, the king of Moab mentioned in Numbers, was an actual historical figure. Wow! What a revelation! As if the Torah needed any proof of its veracity!
It bothers me that archaeologists use the Hebrew Bible as a road map in their research, as a “spade” for their excavations, but do not accept its Divine origin and chronology. Just as without the discovery of the Rosetta Stone at the very end of the 18th century in Egypt we would still be struggling to decipher early hieroglyphics. Similarly, without the Behistun inscription found in Iran in the late 18th century, we would not have been able to decipher the Sumerian cuneiform text.
So too, without the Hebrew Bible, many of the names of places and personalities from the ancient Middle East would have remained unknown to us. For example, there is no known extra-biblical reference to the city of Jericho, nowhere! The site would have been excavated without knowing who had inhabited it if not for the Book of Joshua.
I ask archaeologists to show a little more respect to the validity and timeline of their primary source – the Hebrew Bible.
Memories come rushing back as I read “From the front lines in 1948” (May 5). It was my honor to be part of the anti-tank unit mentioned. We were truly, fully, an “Anglo-Saxon” unit. Our commander was an American. Our lieutenant was from England and our sergeant major a South African.
Many of our unit remained in Israel. We founded Beth Chever, the Hachshara Center, today the Haaretz Museum. Several founded a building construction unit. Others, 17 in all, made their way to a hilltop off the Jerusalem road and founded the cooperative moshav Kfar Daniel.
How pleasant when an article brings back such memories.
Upon my return from spending Passover with family in New York and Chicago, I was greeted with a plethora of articles and letters to the editor in The Jerusalem Post decrying recent antisemitic attacks in Europe and the US, including the Poway attack. Unsurprisingly, the coverage of these events is much greater here in Israel than in the areas where they occur.
Attending services at different synagogues in New York and Chicago, I observed a range of reactions from none at all, to a guard at the door, to the revving up of security protocols to such a degree that congregants had to wait in line for entry.
We do need to be vigilant. That being said, we should not forget that incidents in the US are part of a picture of individual acts of violence against non-Jewish institutions as well, such as elementary schools, universities and shopping malls.
Comparisons with the rise of Nazism in the 1930s miss the point. Under Nazism, antisemitism was state-sponsored and protected, whereas in the US, such incidents are condemned and prosecuted. I observed police presence not only near synagogues but in busy shopping areas before Shabbat and Yom Tov.
We should speak out against antisemitism wherever it occurs, but we should also be wary of creating a panic situation which, heaven forbid, becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Regarding “At Lohamei Hagetaot memorial, Thessaloniki mayor says ‘Jewish heritage part of our past and future’” (May 5), Thessaloniki Mayor Yannis Boutaris of is to be more than commended for his determination to educate the general population about the city’s amazing Jewish past, which, despite a some 2,000-year existence, was virtually wiped out by the Nazis in just a few weeks. And as further evidence of both the size and impact of the Jewish population on the city in the early 20th century, the very active and bustling port of Thessaloniki was closed on the Jewish Sabbaths and holidays, because the vast majority of the dockworkers were Jews!
Regarding “No gender apartheid in Israeli universities” (April 30), the writer states, “The haredi demand for male privileged separation is premised on the sexual objectification of women, which denies women’s full humanity.”
Actually, the opposite is true. The secular Jewish and non-Jewish world emphasize women as a sexual object through the media, advertisements, movies, beauty contests and so on. Women rightfully complain about this and yet they acquiesce and even promote this, for example by appearing in scant clothing (if any) on magazine covers and in movies, etc.
By contrast, the Torah and the Sages enjoin a woman to dress and act modestly. The latter includes not flirting with men and joking excessively with them but acting toward them in a friendly, businesslike manner. Through her clothing and behavior, she makes it clear that she is unavailable to men and that she is not to be considered a sex object.
Jews in Germany
Despite what Orit Arfa says (“My German date and the Holocaust movie,” May 4), Islam and Judaism are pretty similar. Apparently Rambam told people he didn’t think there was anything incompatible there. He thought Christians were idol worshipers, an attitude that certain right wing Jews hold even today.
So many make the Holocaust into something that could only have happened to Jews and don’t see we have to look out for any minority. “Never again” means no genocide, no demonization of people for their ethnicity or religion. Hitler picked primarily on Jews, but he could have used another group. It’s funny how many Israelis love living in Berlin. I met someone at the synagogue in Prague who said, “If we give up on Europe, that means Hitler won, because he didn’t start out wanting to kill Jews, he just wanted them out of his society. So he would have liked Israel, just like Stalin did.”
So let Israelis or Jews live in Germany or Poland or France. But don’t denigrate Muslims who come there looking for a better life, just as you did (in Egypt and elsewhere). Many Muslims saved Jews during the Holocaust, and historically Islam has been safer (though not perfect) for Jews to live under. If there is antisemitism in the Koran, a lot of it comes from Jewish texts themselves, just as much antisemitism in the New Testament repeats what was said in the Old Testament. The uniqueness of Tanach is that it paints an unflattering picture of Jewish society.
The Holocaust should be used to think of ways to protect minorities from the tyranny and abuse of the majority.
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