Letters to the Editor, April 18, 2022: Discomfort and harassment

Readers of The Jerusalem Post have their say.

Letters (photo credit: PIXABAY)
(photo credit: PIXABAY)

Regarding Gil Troy’s “Some American Jews turn silent” (April 6), too many American Jews suffer from Stockholm Syndrome to the point that they cannot approach the situation in Israel in reference to the Palestinians with anything approaching clear thinking.

There are too many stories about Jewish students in different grades of public schools suffering from teachers. But it is on college and university campuses that the situation is worse, much worse. No one should be unaware of the level of discomfort and outright harassment that takes place on any of our college campuses against both students and faculty who attempt to stand up. For anyone still in denial, I suggest reading Anti-Zionism on Campus by Andrew Pessin and Doron S. Ben-Atar.

The tides of antisemitism have been rising for over 25 years, but we are only reactive as clearly antisemitic occurrences take place on campus after campus. Too often the argument is phrased as “freedom of speech.” How this squares with the accepted criminal standard of hate speech is already hard to understand. However, just as other legal precedents are being reviewed and revised, such as abortion and gun manufacturer liability, perhaps it is time to imagine using other legal standards to protect our students.

I would like to make a few suggestions:

1. Jewish college students come from three sources – public high schools, private secular high schools and religious Jewish high schools. It is inconceivable that their high schools are oblivious to the situation on campus. It is the duty of these schools to demand from the colleges pledges that the incoming Jewish students be treated equitably. Such demands would have an impact on college administrations.

2. On college nights, members of the high school administrations should be asking what the climate on campus is vis-a-vis Jewish students.

3. In the area of legal redress: change the forum from freedom of speech to contract law. When parents pay tuition they expect certain return value. These include educational quality, housing, food and personal security. When Jewish/Zionist events are disrupted, when speakers are shouted down, when coursework and professors bring politics into class, then the college is in dereliction of its contract responsibility and should be open to lawsuits.

I would guess that there are other ways of pressuring colleges to live up to the high principles that they pretend to espouse. I look forward to hearing from others about their ideas. We cannot allow our children to be chewed up on campuses.



The dancing stopped

I was extremely moved by the article regarding Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson (“Chabad holds global celebration for its late leader,” April 17). While attending Brooklyn College during the evenings from 1962 to 1966, I was learning in yeshiva with Rav Yisroel Gustman (881 Eastern Parkway), one block away from the Lubavitch World Headquarters (770 Eastern Parkway).

I had the good fortune of meeting the rebbe a number of times. Most noteworthy, perhaps, was on Simhat Torah each year. To conclude each round of dancing – hakafa – around the hall with the Torah scrolls, the rebbe simply dropped one finger down to his palm; all those dancing instantly stopped! Such was Rabbi Schneerson’s impact/influence over his followers.

May his memory be a blessing for all of us!


Tzur Yitzhak

‘Satisfied with our exile’

In reading Rabbi Warren Goldstein’s penetrating article “It’s time to rethink the Zionist dream” (April 15), I was reminded of the first Holocaust Survivors’ Haggadah put out in Munich in April of 1946. 

In response to the Seder question of why we eat maror (bitter herbs,) they wrote: “Because we were satisfied with our galut [exile]; because we ran from one exile to another; because we did not believe that what happened to our brothers in the past would happen again; and because we did not do enough to build our home, our Temple in our own land.” 

In reviewing the Haggadah at the time, which  compared the harsh labor imposed by Pharaoh and the brutality of the Nazis, an editor of the contemporary newspaper Unzer Weg wrote that in the last analysis, “it is the story of the ancient Haggadah that has always renewed us in the Diaspora.” 

As Rabbi Goldstein points out, it is still the Seder night that “continues to remind us of our miraculous past and the meaning of our future.”


Beit Shemesh

Rabbi Warren Goldstein unfortunately is incorrect in his limited description of the Hamas charter. It does not call for “the eradication of the Jewish state and the elimination of Jews from every inch of Israel.” Article 7 of the charter, which has never been revoked, calls for the murder of every Jew on earth. Israel is not mentioned in Article 7. It is the all encompassing Islamic demand for the genocide of the Jewish people from every corner of the globe.


Margate, Florida

Hiding out for decades

Douglas Bloomfield continues with his biased articles, making the statement that “Hearings on Supreme Court nominations have become particularly acrimonious in recent years” (“The land where giants are extinct,” April 14). Really? I wonder where the pundit has been hiding out for the last few decades, so that he missed all the acrimony of other Supreme Court hearings.

Who can forget the atrocious behavior of those questioning the qualifications of Brett Kavanaugh for Supreme Court justice, who was accused, with no evidence at all, of multiple gang rapes? Bloomfield passes over those vile accusations, saying only that the low point of that hearing was that Kavanaugh “blubbered like a child,” and that he liked beer. Then there was the current Vice President Kamala Harris’s ferocious attack against candidate Kavanaugh.

Bloomfield goes on to say that Republicans asked gotcha questions of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, the most devious of which was if she could define the term “woman.” How dastardly of them.

Full disclosure: I had to check on the Internet for the full scientific definition. It is a person having two X chromosomes. On the other hand, I’m pretty sure I could tell one if I saw one. Apart from anything else, I’ve fathered and grandfathered three of the gorgeous creatures, so I do have a little life experience.



Stamp of approval

Each week Gershon Baskin outdoes himself in terms of sinking further into the putrid swamp of the human low life (“Get real and face facts,” April 14).

As per usual, his whole article is aimed at blaming the Israelis for all the Palestinian issues, but he does admonish the Palestinians with the following words. He writes “...it is important for the Palestinians to understand that killing [sic – should be murdering, slaughtering, maiming] Israelis does more damage to the Palestinian cause than just about everything else they do to advance their cause.” Really, this is his message to them? That by inference if it were a successful strategy to murder Israelis, Jews and it benefited their cause that it would receive Baskin’s stamp of approval?

Shameful and disgusting. If Baskin wants to uplift the Palestinian code of morality and dignity, he should be advising them that killing and murdering innocent men, women and children is never acceptable in any moral society under any conditions. This comment by Baskin says a lot more about his moral failures than it does about his Palestinian brethren.

Also, Baskin needs to clarify for us readers, what is a “Palestinian citizen of Israel?” Baskin seems, by continuous reference, to be trying to create a new civilian population entity. I believe that there are Israeli Jews, Israeli Arabs, etc., but when all of a sudden did Palestinians become citizens of Israel? If anything, they are citizens of Jordan.

Finally, a note of point to Baskin: It is the Palestinian people who embrace a culture of murder, slaughter, maiming, violence and treachery. Palestinian mothers who celebrate the death of their child after they have just murdered at least one or possibly many Jews. Mothers are supposed to nurture, protect and cherish their children.

This phenomenon of violence is so deeply ingrained in the Palestinian psyche; Baskin just needs to look at how the moderate Fatah political factions have been rejected by Palestinian university students. The students want a more violent and radical leadership, and this comes from the well-educated and upper class of the population. That says it all.

There is so much more in Baskin’s article that demands a rebuff, but space provided by The Jerusalem Post for letters is insufficient for such a detailed critical analysis. Suffice it to say Baskin is not a truthful messenger of facts or ideas. His commitment to his Palestinian constituency has rendered his writings as irrelevant in terms of moving the needle.



Israel, the puppet 

While there is no doubt that Hamas is bolstering its image as “defender of Jerusalem,” Israel is showing the opposite image (“Gantz ends W. Bank, Gaza closure despite Temple Mount violence,” 17 April). I have noticed recently that the Post and I24News have mainly stopped using the term Judea and Samaria. Perhaps one more concession to appease the unappeasable?

So much blabber from Gantz that Israel will continue to act in a “targeted manner against terror and will stop anyone who seeks to violate public order.” However he made sure to allow the Muslims to complete their Ramadan prayers before entering the mosque to apprehend those throwing stones/rocks at police officers. This was “in order not to infringe on the freedom of worship.” Jewish worshipers, on the other hand, don’t have the same rights and infringing on their freedom of worship is normal.

Seems that Jewish prayer at our holiest site is a non-starter compared to the rights of Muslims whose religion only came into being 2200 years after Judaism and whose mosque is built on top of our Temple Mount. Public Security Minister Omer Bar Lev states that Israel has “said time and again that our goal is to allow freedom of worship to everyone on the Temple Mount.״

The truth is that the Muslims are in charge of our holiest site and Israel the puppet at the end of their string. We should hang our heads in shame that Muslims still rule Judaism’s holiest site. This is our home, so why are we encouraging and actually helping our enemies to virtually take over what is only ours? God kept His promise to return us to our historic home but the Diaspora mentality was too strong. Shame on us.



They were right

I owe an apology to the Board of Deputies of British Jewry who I thought were unfair when they accused MK Bezalel Smotrich of “abominable views and hate-provoking ideology.” Now that I read he wants to bar coalition members from synagogues (“Smotrich: Bar coalition members from synagogues,” April 14), I realize they were right. I don’t know what constitutes “incitement” in Israel, but I’m pretty sure if someone openly preached “Don’t let Jews go to worship” in the United States he would be roundly censured and perhaps even brought to justice.