Letter to the Jerusalem Report 404142

Readers weigh in on past issues of the magazine.

Envelope (photo credit: ING IMAGE/ASAP)
(photo credit: ING IMAGE/ASAP)
Disputed facts
The facts of the so-called Armenian genocide are disputed, see “Anniversary of a genocide” (May 18).
Turkey was occupied by the Allied Armies. They didn’t have a functioning government after the war.
They certainly didn’t conduct any court-martials.
The British, on the other hand, did conduct a war crimes trial. Over 150 Young Turks were prosecuted for war crimes against the Armenians. The British judges found them all innocent and they were all freed.
The Armenians suffered a great tragedy but genocide it wasn’t. They were killing Turks; they were not killed for being Armenians.
Shlomo Bar-Meir
Tel Aviv
Non-observant idealists
Apropos “The Begin phenomenon” (May 4), the plain fact is that the establishment of the State of Israel was accomplished predominantly by non-observant idealists. The fervent goal of the young men and women of the Second Aliya to create Jewish peasants to till the sub-tropical soil is probably unprecedented in the history of the human race.
The establishment of the kibbutzim and moshavim, most of them non-religious, is what made the State of Israel come into being.
And virtually all of their leaders were non-observant. David Ben-Gurion embodied “the soul of Israel.” It was Ben-Gurion who led a weekly gathering to study the Bible, not Menachem Begin. But it is undoubtedly true that, unlike his predecessors, Begin was far closer than any of them to Jewish religious tradition. And, of course, he has his place in history.
Perry Roded
Givat Zeev, West Bank
Comfort to Palestinians
If I were a Palestinian, I would derive comfort from the words of letter writer Allan Horwitz (May 18). These words would harden my heart not to make peace with Israel.
Why is this? First of all, Horwitz acknowledges that injustices were committed against Palestinians during the creation of Israel, but does not recognize that injustices were committed against Jews, as well. There is no recognition of the massacre at Gush Etzion, or the thriving Jewish communities of Alexandria, Cairo, Baghdad, Aleppo and Fez, who were made refugees as well.
Second, he describes the “international recognition” of the EU, the US, and the Arab League as great victories. In fact, this is not a victory at all, but a return to June 5, 1967. In those days, the US and European countries recognized Israel, but didn’t defend Israel when Egypt closed the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping. As for recognition by the Arab league, does that include Syria or Lebanon, border states under heavy Iranian influence? Third, he cites “settlements” as causing anti-Semitism. Seventy years ago, large Jewish settlements in Warsaw, Berlin, Lodz, Vilna and Kiev were also seen as provocations.
Finally, Horwitz correctly points out that Jews in ghettoes were forced to make dubious moral choices under conditions of great duress, and we are not under those conditions today. Therefore, it is less explicable how some Jews can give comfort to haters of Israel when they are not under duress.
Prof. Jack L. Arbiser
The Mediterranean Sea
Shlomo Maital is a great columnist in your magazine, but he errs when writing in “From sketch to test in record time” (May 18) that Hamas is regularly test firing rockets into the ocean.
I was not aware that the rockets from Hamas could reach either the Indian, Atlantic or Pacific oceans. Later in the article, I read that the maximum range of Hamas rockets is 160 kilometers. So I assume he means the Mediterranean – that is a sea.
Jakob de Jonge
Solihull, UK
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